If you’re looking to play the Star Wars Battlefront 2 beta then what better way to get a head start than tips direct from multiplayer producer Craig McLeod. There are a lot of changes for the sequel from the first game, with new classes, heroes and deeper mechanics to learn. I spoke to Craig to get some advice direct from DICE to see what he thinks is the best way to max out your progress and make the most of your time with the game.
1. Stay with your team to earn more Battlepoints
There’s a new Battlepoint system that replaces the old picks up. If you want to be a hero character like Han Solo or Darth Maul, a high powered reinforcement, or vehicle, you unlock the ability by spending the points you accrue as you play. “You get points for pretty much any positive action,” says Craig. “Whether you’re on the objective, defending or attacking, buffing, whether you are getting kills, eliminating opponents - almost everything you do will get you points because we want to allow players the diversity to play their way.”
However, more importantly, doing it with your team will earn you more. “Every positive action that you do in our game awards you battle points,” says Craig. “If you work together as a team you’ll get multipliers and additional points and you’ll help to fast track that.” The game spawns you with a group each time so you don’t even have to select a team, just stay with the one you're given: “you don't even need to party up. Stay with your friends keep them alive.”
2. Save your Battlepoints for the right time and spend them wisely - it's not all about the heroes
Here’s the thing: while the temptation will be strong to blow it all on Darth Maul the second you can afford him... it might not be the most tactical option. Unlockable characters like Maul and special reinforcement troops have different strengths and weakness. Maul might be cool, but that lightsaber isn’t the best tool for an open battlefield.
“I try and save a lot of my points for the palace,” says Craig, talking about the Galactic Assault on Naboo map. “Everything’s getting a little bit tighter, it's getting a little bit more intimate.” So a characters like Maul, with his lunging ‘saber attack can be devastating. “Personally, the way I play is I try to save a lot of my points for that moment,” he explains. “This is where heroes and some of more powerful specialists can start to make a big, big difference. I’ve seen Darth Maul do some amazing things inside that palace.”
It’s also worth noting that there are non-hero vehicle and reinforcement options that can do far more damage if you use them at the right time. For example, on the Naboo Palace map the AT-RT mini-walker can far more devastating in the courtyard areas. Similarly, picking a bomber to take out support ships when needed for Starfighter Assault can have far more impact than the Millennium Falcon, no matter how cool it looks.
3. Play. The. Objective
This might seem obvious but in the chaos of blaster fire and explosions it’s easy to forget Battlefront 2 is largely an objective focused game. While you’ll get points for just killing the enemy team, you’ll get more for working towards the map’s overall goal. So on Naboo that might be escorting or destroying the giant MTT tank assaulting the palace, and later protecting or destroying security systems. For the Strike map on Takodana it’s all about stealing or protecting an artefact, while Starfighter Assault is about shield couplings and targeting support ships. You won’t be punished if you just go off and do your own thing but you also won’t score points as quickly, which means less chance to play as a hero or unlock better gear and options.
4. Choose the right class and play them together
The original Battlefront was basically classless, using a Star Card system to tweak otherwise generic characters. This time it’s all about classes that have been designed to have very specific roles, but to work together much more closely.
- Assault - The general soldier. Reasonably mobile and well armed.
- Heavy - A tank class with a shield. Slower moving and firing, but harder hitting.
- Specialist - A sniper class with thermal binoculars that reveal all enemies. Best used at a distance.
- Officer - Officers are basically support, able to buff other players and drop a turret.
“Because we have a class based system you can actually start to put these different player types together,” explains Craig. “I can have a heavy that’s going to sit there and help with his shield. I can have an assault who’s flanking to really attack from the back, and I can have an officer who’s offering buffs to my team, also laying down turrets. [Plus] a specialist at range, knowing he’s not getting involved in that fight but he’s supporting and helping with high damage impact from his sniper rifle. When you start to stack these together they’re really powerful. It’s something that’s not immediately immediately obvious, but that depth is there.”
5. Learn your ship types for Starfighter Assault too
There are three distinct starfighter types now, fighter, interceptor and bomber. Each has different strengths and while they’re less interdependent then ground troops, picking the right one makes all the difference.
- Interceptor - A very fast and agile attack craft.
- Fighter - The middle ground in terms of speed and damage.
- Bomber - Slow but very heavy hitting.
“Bombers are slower, they’re more sluggish but they have incredible impact when they hit,” explains Craig. “But they need support and some defending,” he continues. “Your interceptor, your A-wing type starfighter is incredibly agile, the role for this is to be taking out other starfighters. Then you have your fighter class, your X-Wings and TIE Fighters [which] are probably more of a balance. For new players. That’d be a great place to start, probably the closest you’ll find to the first game.”
6. Learn and tweak the new Starfighter Assault flying controls
Star Wars Battlefront 2’s ships have much deeper and more involved controls this time. Don’t worry if that scares you though, as you can set it to be as easy or as hard as you want. “We’ve really deepened the handling,” explains Craig. “So we now have manual roll, leading target reticule kills, all these things that make a much deeper and more skilful experience,” he continues. “But it’s worth knowing you can change a number of these settings to have something that is much more intuitive.”
7. Use your Star Cards
In the previous game Star Cards added abilities and perks to effectively create a class. Now Battlefront 2 has classes, it’s about customising and tweaking everything just how you like it. “We have cards for troopers, for starfighters, for reinforcement units, for our heroes,” Craig points out. “Everything can be customised towards you and making it work for you in a really positive way. So how I kit out my Darth Maul or starfighter might be completely different.” Like the classes, it’s about finding what works for you and playing that advantage.