Anthem tips: 13 things you need to know before you get started

It's time for some Anthem tips! Anthem has been six years in the making but BioWare's epic sci-fi looter shooter is now available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. If you played the Anthem demo or jumped in on PC last week with Origin Access Premier then you'll have a head start but we've got a whole host of Anthem tips for anybody needing a helping hand. At the same time, why not catch up with everything we know about the Anthem story explained, from the background lore to the characters and factions.

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1. Be careful about salvaging your gear

When you finish an expedition you’ll see a list of all the things guns, gear and loot you’ve collected. Be careful here because the options are to ‘Salvage’ and ‘Quit’ and in Anthem-land salvage ‘Salvage’ means ‘break into tiny bits for crafting materials’ not save or rescue like it does everywhere else. So just make sure you don't actually breakdown any higher level gear as it can make quite a quick difference to your abilities. However, do mince up anything you’re not going to use for the crafting materials. 

2. Try different Javelins and gear because they’re probably not what you’re expecting

They’re not quite what you’d expect. In the demo at least the Storm was super powerful for example, and the Colossus isn’t quite the tank you’d hope. That may change in the full game when you level up and get more gear but for now don’t expect the archetypes presented to play out quite as you might expect. It’s the same for guns. Something like a grenade launcher is usually more of speciality weapon in most games while in Anthem it’s a viable main option. Marksman rifles are also basically single shot assault rifles here and a pretty good all round choice if you don’t mind getting all squeezy-squeezy on the trigger. 

3. Try for a good mix of Javelins and gear on your team

It’s standard practice to not all be the same in a co-op game. You want a good mix of classes, guns and gear so you can mix up the range, area of damage and so on when you hit action. As we mentioned experiment with everything and try to identify any gaps or overlaps in your offensive and defensive capabilities. There’s no point in everyone taking in the biggest booms they can carry and no one bringing a shield. 

4. Get to the expedition screen to join any friends 

Anthem is a co-op game but in Fort Tarsis you walk alone. It’s only when you leave this single player game you’ll meet up with people. You can invite people to you game at any time but you won’t see them until you enter the expedition screen where there names should appear on the right. Once you all ready up the game will hopefully load and you’ll be in the open world together

5. If the game doesn’t load, don’t panic - your party will survive

One thing to look out for - since it was prevalent in the demo - is the infinite loading bug. The game would frequently get to about 95% on the loading bar and then hang. Don’t panic too much though. While it is a pain to have to quit the game, if you were playing with other people you’ll be asked if you want to return the expedition you were previously in. So, conversely, while if your game hangs you’ll have restart it, everyone else should stay in the game to let other people join them. 

6. Ammo can run out quickly so choose two good guns

From what we played in the demo, the max amount of ammo you can carry is pretty low. That will change as you level up in the main game, make sure you conserve ammo and use the best weapons early on. There will be more ammo around but enemy attacks can be pretty savage, with some tough to kill, high damage things to deal with - which means having a pile of ammo in open ground isn’t a great help. So always make sure you have two games that will work as a main. A sniper rifle is great for high damage precision but if it ends up being all you have ammo for when you’re in the thick of action things will get interesting (bad). 

7. Don’t forget consumables, and free roam to get crafting ingredients

Consumables were barely mentioned in the demo but are basically single shot buffs you can craft for a boost as long as you’re on an expedition. They cover things like armour, shield and damage boost and need to be crafted from resources you collect in the world. The best way to do that is head out in free roam and look out for anything that looks... a bit collectable. You can’t miss the piles of rocks and odd looking plants that are obviously meant picked up. 

8. You can quit an expedition at any time from the map screen

While the preset missions end once you’ve completed them, you can also jump out at anytime by heading to the map screen and holding down Square/B to quit out. Handy if you want to check what loot you got from a world event, or you’ve just had enough and want to get out. 

9. How to solve the light puzzle in the Manifold Chamber

This is a puzzle you’ll come across in one of the story missions in the game and it offers no hints or description of what you’re actually supposed to do. There are three platforms each with a coloured portal on them and you need to configure each one to open the door. The solution can be via different colored lights under the platforms with each one displaying the correct light for the portal above. But if you want to save time standing at the entrance is combination is left portal = Red. Far right Portal = Orange. Near Right Portal = purple 

10. Customise your Javelin in the Forge 

While you can customise your Javlin when you get it in to go on an an expedition there’s also the Forge which you can access via a small terminal in Fort Tarsis right next to your Javelin. From here you can equip new weapons, armour and a new lick of paint and generally set thing up just how you like without having to go anywhere. It’s marked on the map but can be quite hard to find if you don’t know what you’re looking for. 

11. You can't launch a squad expedition until your entire team is ready

When you’ve got all your buddies together to take on a mission, you’ll have to press square on PS4 and X on Xbox to let everyone know you’re ready to voyage into the wider world. The mission won’t launch unless everyone in your squad has hit that button, so remember to badger that one friend who always forgets to do it and leaves you all chatting in the lobby for way longer than necessary. 

12. Freeplay isn't as open world as you think

Once you've worked your way through the story missions, you might want to delve into the game's less structured Freeplay sessions. They'll pop up on your expedition maps with an icon that looks a bit like a Star Wars' AT-AT, and you just need to select one to dive right in. They play out a bit like dropping onto a planet in Destiny, and it's up to you to find thing to do while you're down there. World Events will randomly spawn, there are enemies and giant beasties to tackle, but they're also strangely less open world than you'd expect. There's an invisible boundary around each are that will stop you from just zooming around in your Javelin wherever you want. Unlike other games were your gameplay area is as far as the eye can see, you're going to be hitting walls more than you'd like, and suddenly find yourself being transported back to the "mission area" via (another) loading screen. 

13. Fly close to rivers and waterfalls to cool down your Javelin

It doesn’t take long for your Javelin to overheat when you’re soaring through the sky, but if you skim the tops of rivers and plummet down alongside waterfalls you’ll go into cooldown mode. This means your flying meter will pause where it is and turn blue, letting you glide around without any limit - as long as you remain near water. The buff lasts a couple of seconds when you pull away from the river/waterfall/lake, so it’s worth doing if you’ve got a lot of ground to cover.