11 things you might have missed about Anthem, but really need to know

With Bioware’s Anthem game finally out of the Anthem demo period, you probably already know that there are four Javelins to play as, there are various things to shoot, and you can fly. Duh. So far, so obvious. But hidden on the internet are tons of cool, tiny details about Anthem that might have escaped your notice. On the surface it might seem like just another shooter with added jetpacks, but there’s plenty beneath the hood that make Anthem stand out, whether that’s tiny details about Fort Tarsis or how to keep your hands on all the uncommon loot you leave at the end of missions. Here are 11 small details about Anthem that you might have missed. 

1. Fort Tarsis is named after an ancient hero

Fort Tarsis, the place you’ll soon call home (and be able to sprint in at launch), is named after one of the very first people to wield a Javelin – General Helena Tarsis. She led the Legion of Dawn (hence the Legion of Dawn Collectable Edition of Anthem), who are the precursors to the Freelancers (psst- that’s you). 

2. You won’t ever lose your loot at the end of mission

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Once you’ve done all you need to do to finish a mission, a countdown timer starts that’ll boot you back to either Fort Tarsis or freeplay once it runs out – which can mean it gets a tad stressful trying to snatch up all of the loot enemies and chests have dropped. But don’t worry about losing any of your hard-earned bits and bobs. All loot above uncommon will be delivered to you via the Store, which can be accessed in Fort Tarsis, so you don’t have to run around like a headless space-chicken trying to collect all those glowing bits of loot. 

3. There won’t be any loot boxes, period

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In the words of Michael Gamble, “you see what you get” when it comes to loot boxes – or, more accurately, the lack of them. You can use the in-game currency to buy vanities, but that’s all. No pay for power (i.e. XP), and if you prefer you can earn your vanities instead of shelling out cash for them, although we don’t have any concrete details about how this would work just yet. Gamble is of the opinion that loot boxes “[serve] no purpose”, so you won’t find any of them in Anthem, which means no more rolling the dice to see what cosmetics you get. Woo!

4. Those Javelins in Fort Tarsis are Anthem’s police

During the Public and VIP demo you probably noticed some Javelins in Ranger gear standing around Fort Tarsis holding guns and generally keeping an eye on you while you walked around minding your own business. These are Sentinels, which are kind of like Fort Tarsis’ police. They uphold law and order...so yeah, actually they’re definitely Anthem’s version of the police. Relationships between Sentinels and Freelancers are sour, as they see us lot as unreliable and untrustworthy. Just because we like to go out and see the world...harsh. 

5. You can change your banner

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When you were matched with other players during the demo you’ll have seen your details pop up on the side of the screen, and they all probably looked incredibly similar. But there is a way to change your banner to something different, even if it’s not immediately obvious how. Before you start an Expedition by hitting ‘Launch’, go to the social tab and select ‘Change Player Banner’. There you’ll be able to alter what your nametag looks like when you’re squadding up for expeditions, making you stand out from the crowd...until everyone else figures out how to do it too. 

6. There’s a Konami Code musical easter egg hidden in the game

Because no game is complete without at least one Easter Egg, you can find a use for the classic Konami code hidden inside Anthem. When you’re in the title screen, push these buttons to unlock the easter egg (which alter depending on the platform you’re playing on):

Xbox: Up - Up - Down - Down - Left - Right - Left - Right - B - A
PS4: Up - Up - Down - Down - Left - Right - Left - Right - O - X
PC: Up - Up - Down - Down - Left - Right - Left - Right - B - A

Then the music will turn delightfully retro and 8-bit, in true old-school Konami fashion. 

7. You’re flying the bad guys’ Javelin

That Storm Javelin definitely looks powerful and brimming with space magic, but it’s not always been a force for good. The technology is in fact stolen from the Dominion, the baddies that you’ll be fighting against for most of Anthem, so that’s why when you’re flying around the world in freeplay you’ll come across enemy Storms and their damned spherical shields, but not any other kind of Javelin. 

8. New weather and regions are on the horizon

One of the things BioWare has confirmed for certain is that there are some changes to weather and the regions coming once the game is out, though what form that will take is yet to be seen. More shaper storms, rain, maybe even snow? Who knows. Well, BioWare does, but they’re staying quiet for now. 

9. 1 million Strongholds were completed and 2 million Grabbits were killed during the VIP demo

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You heartless, heartless beasts. A whole bunch of you during the Anthem VIP demo shot and killed two million innocent Grabbits when all they wanted to do was happily hop around the world. Just you wait until a boss Mamma Grabbit shows up to exact revenge, and then you’ll be sorry! Those of you who did the right thing and protected the pure beasts will be happy to know there’s a Twitter account named PETG advocating for the Protection and Ethical Treatment of Grabbits. At least there’s some good left in the world. Plus during the VIP demo of yesterweek a whole one million Strongholds were completed, which is one heck of a feat. These are Anthem’s toughest locations and are the game’s versions of dungeons, so I applaud anyone who could get through to the end of a Stronghold with their sanity intact. 

10. You can fly as an Interceptor for 10 seconds longer by using this trick

Only being able to fly in the air for about 15 seconds can get a bit frustrating, but user Notacretin on Reddit has figured out how to stay airborne for a whole 10 seconds longer than usual as an Interceptor. When compared to just straight flying, they found that cancelling flying by dashing let you stay airborne for about 10 seconds longer. So there’s a mini hack for you if you don’t want your pristine Javelin boots to touch the dirt more than they have to. 

11. There’s a ton of potential future additions on the cards

Because Anthem devs have been taking on suggestions about what should be included in Anthem further down the line, Bioware isn’t ruling out a lot at the moment – so Reddit has a big ol’ dump of everything it’s said isn’t going to be available at launch - which means these suggestions are still on the table. Cross platform, bows “like Robin Hood style”, photo mode, and a secret Grabbit level (like Diablo’s secret cow level) have all been vaguely discussed according to the thread, as well as customising the colour of your Javelin’s thrusters, lights, and elements (ice, fire, shock, etc). With Anthem being released on February 22, none of this will be available at launch, but that doesn’t mean it won’t appear in the future. More potential additions further down the line include endless Strongholds, bigger Random Events, and even Horde Mode

To read all of our extensive and in-depth coverage of BioWare's latest, be sure to check out our On The Radar: Anthemhub.

Zoe Delahunty-Light

While here at GamesRadar, Zoe was a features writer and video presenter for us. She's since flown the coop and gone on to work at Eurogamer where she's a video producer, and also runs her own Twitch and YouTube channels. She specialises in huge open-world games, true crime, and lore deep-dives.