Know When to Build’em
When you land on the field for the first time, you are going to want to start building right away. The first drop is the trickiest, since there is nothing already built, and figuring out what is needed is a crapshoot. You can either start plopping down whatever you want right away, or wait and see what your teammates are building and help add to the base efficiency. The items you can build are structures with both defensive and offensive purposes.
The offense structures are vehicle spawn areas and are: corrals for Sidewinders, garages for Razorbacks and Ox Heavy tanks, launch pads for Hawks, and stations for the Vulture jetpacks. The defense structures that can be built include: supply bunkers, watch towers for snipers, beam towers, and Auto-turrets. The rest of the structures are Outposts, a Shield Generator, A.R.M.’s and walls.
To build structures, you will need to have the necessary amount of Rift Energy. At the top right hand corner, will be a bar that shows how many you have — each block representing one unit.
It takes 1 to 10 units to build a structure. The more blocks needed, the better the items. To see what each structure needs, press the triangle button to bring up the construction wheel and circle around it. Each item on the wheel when highlighted will show a number in the center, and that’s the magic number of units needed. Choose which structure you want, and then a wireframe will appear in green or yellow. Move the frame until it turns green — which indicates that it can be built in that spot — and then press X to drop it.
When you are on a full team, it can get a little hectic with everyone trying to throw down their structures at once, so if that’s the case, get on the offense of your base as the other team will no doubt be starting their attack as their teammates also start dropping down buildings. You can also only have a maximum number of structures placed by your team. To check what the max is and how many structures are built, press and hold the Triangle button and it will show you in to the top right hand corner.
As you leave the base and start making your way towards the enemies’, remember that you can also drop structures anywhere on the map (except in the enemy red zone). This will be a major asset to your team in doing so, both for allowing your team to move forward and to distract the enemy team with buildings to destroy. Building outposts away from your starting zone will give teammates an alternate spawn point as well as an alternative attack route, allowing them to start building more structures and have closer vehicle spawns. This is extremely useful for Zone and CTF games, but for TDM, it’s just more of an annoyance for the other team.
The Defense: Know Your Buildings
Walls have some very good uses and are cheap to build. Not only do they slow down enemies from entering your zone, but they can also help protect other buildings. Walls can also link together to help create a formidable defense over a large area. When building walls, keep in mind that after the wall is built, you can upgrade the wall for no cost of energy to create a gate within the wall, allowing troops and vehicles to pass through. It makes the walls weaker, but not as weak as a teammate reclaiming (thus destroying it) a wall because there’s no way out of the zone. Walls can be built for only 1 unit.
Dropping Auto-Turrets all over the place is a good way to pelt enemies from all directions. Auto-Turrets are not all that strong and can be destroyed with one melee hit if an enemy gets close enough to them. But they fire from a long distance and if there are more than one in an area, getting close can be tough. Auto-turrets can be built for 3 units of Rift Energy.
The large Beam Towers are a good defense against approaching Hawks when left to their own devices. When not occupied by troops, they will attack any Hawks that get within range, as well as vehicles and troops. If they aren’t doing a good job on their own, you can use the Beam Tower manually and aim at whatever floats your fancy. Beam Towers can be built for 6 units and once built they can be upgraded to Flak Towers for no charge. Flak Towers will automatically attack any Hawks that come within firing range and do a much better job than the Beam Towers.
Watch Towers can be raised and are automatically equipped with rail guns and ammo, for your sniping pleasure. Once a watch tower is created, it is a formidable structure and with the right player in its perch, it can hold off many enemies. Watch Towers can be built for 3 units of Rift Energy.
Every zone needs a Supply Bunker to help arm its troops. Each bunker, when built, will have a M.A.W. rocket launcher and Union Shotgun inside, along with ammo. Troops can use the window openings to attack any enemies outside the bunker with little fear of getting hit. Supply Bunkers can be built for 4 units of Rift Energy.
The Shield Generators are one of the most useful defensive structures that can be built. When active, the Shield Generator will create a large dome of protection that will not allow any enemy fire to enter. Troops and vehicles may enter, and that is the only way the generator itself or those it’s protecting can get damaged. Outposts and Watch towers are perfect structures to have guarded by the Shield generators. Each one costs the maximum: 10 units of energy.
When you have traversed outside of your zone, you can drop Outposts to allow teammates to spawn at that location. Outposts will also generate Rift Energy much like the large rig in the zone. Having multiple Outposts out in the field is a wise move to make in case your zone starts to get overrun. Each Outposts costs 8 units.
When your vehicles and buildings start to take a beating, the ARMS will fix you right up, provided you can get to it. Building an ARM beside a structure will keep it repaired as well as it can, but it won’t make the building indestructible. Having ARMS spread out around your zone will help to keep buildings up, but it’s almost easier just to build a whole new building than to have to worry about keeping existing buildings up. The ARMS can be built for 4 units of energy.