Be one with the Force
Star Wars Battlefront (opens in new tab). Its out. NOW. And you know what? Its really good. It is though, by nature of the way it drops you onto a huge, multidisciplinary, er, battlefront, a game with a fair bit to learn. The core shooting might be consummately accessible, but with X-Wings, Y-Wings, TIE Fighters, AT-ATs, AT-STs, the rest of the alphabet, hero characters, and multitudinous buff cards to play with, youre going to need someone to cut through the complexity and give you the edge early on. Youll going to be too amazed by OMGSTARWARS to think coherently for the first half hour anyway.
As such, Ive put together the 12 most important things you need to know before you get started. Weapon strategies, vehicle use, mode tactics, which is the right end of a lightsaber its all here. So click on, soak up the knowledge, feel it flow through you, and lament the fact that I got
1. Aim for the weak spot
In Walker Assault, it's tough as hell to take down the AT-ATs. If you're playing as the Rebels, you need to wait until the Y-Wings have bombed out their shields, then get underneath the beasts and start blasting their undercarriages while they're vulnerable. Why? That's where you'll do the most damage, in classic 'weak spot' fashion. The best tactic is to get a team shield or have Princess Leia present, so you can hide safely while you wait for Star Card power-ups like the Ion Torpedo to recharge (that's the stuff that does the most damage to vehicles). Other explosives like Impact Grenades are handy too - whatever lets you cause as much concentrated damage as possible to the underside of the AT-AT.
2. Use protection
When you play objective modes like Droid Run or Supremacy, the best tactic is to equip a personal shield (Star Card) while you race in to capture the objective. It's too short-lived to protect you long enough to actually hold it, but the shield will give you enough time to wade in and perform the capture animation. After that, it's up to your buddies to back you up, but as these objectives are choke-point for fire, it becomes very difficult to reclaim it once the enemy has started to occupy the area.
3. Know your hero
A hero or villain character can turn the tide of battle, but only when used appropriately. While Han, Leia and Boba Fett thrive in open areas, where their blasters provide enough firepower to quickly deal with oncoming enemies, they can be taken out pretty quickly in tighter areas where grenades and lightsaber swipes are not-so-easily dodged. Conversely, Luke, Vader and the Emperor are better in enclosed spaces, where they can rush in to melee with sabers or chain lightning between enemies. If you're playing objective-based modes, hero characters are essential for claiming and holding these objectives.
4. Kill your heroes
What's the best way to kill a hero? Homing shots are useful, as they let you maintain a safe distance, and they can't be parried by lightsabers. Grenades and Thermal Detonators work well, and the Exploder power-ups will cause plenty of damage too. You can't use Ion Torpedos, and killing heroes with vehicles is far harder than it looks. Automated turrets are your friend too, and sneakier players will learn to lure bold heroes onto Proximity explosives too.
5. Swap your power-ups
Don't forget - you can switch your power-ups for something better. Don't settle for substandard or inappropriate kit. Approaching a new token on the battlefield and tapping square / X will replace the power-up in your inventory with something new. However, instead of switching, you can also just use whatever you're carrying and pick up the next item - it probably won't hurt. In fact, if you're carrying a proximity bomb or a deployable turret, you may find it scores you a kill long after you've placed it.
6. Spawn on your friends
Did you realise there's a button on the respawn screen that lets you join a game right next to your buddy? Tap triangle or Y and it'll happen. Aside from being a handy tool for finding your friend on the battlefield, this is also great for working as a team - which is absolutely the way to win in all objective-based modes. Two blasters are always more powerful than one, so make it a policy of always spawning on your friend.
7. Don't forget to lock-on
If you're flying any vehicle, either in Fighter Squadron or during one of the larger-scale multiplayer modes, remember that the Left Trigger is your lock-on. It's easy to forget or miss, especially if you haven't played the training missions. When you're locked, it's much easier to shoot down enemies with blaster-cannons. Another top tip, is that you should wait as long as possible to squeeze the trigger for a lock... if you're already on-top of your opponent, they won't have time to evade before you've killed them, even if they get a lock-on warning.
8. Fly for freedom
Jump Packs are your friend, if you want to stay alive longer. While most encounters with enemies will result in a trip to the respawn screen (you're meant to die plenty in Battlefront - it isn't a game for killstreaks), you can evade a chaser or avoid a locked-on Homing shot with a quick blast of your Jump Pack. You can also use it to get into better positions on the battlefield, and get into combat much faster than running.
9. How to create a Sniper class
Battlefront doesn't have classes, but we reckon this loadout will help you create the ultimate long-range fighter. Blaster: T-21B, Star Cards: Jump Pack (for reaching elevated positions more easily), Explosive Shot (for making your hits count), Cycler Rifle (it's essentially a single-use sniper), Sharpshooter Ability (your headshot kills reduce Star Card cooldown).
10. How to create a vehicle-killer class
If you're a grunt, the sight of an AT-ST lumbering into view can be terrifying. Here is how you build a class to take them out. Blaster: SE-14C, Star Cards: Ion Torpedo (it's an anti-vehicle weapon), Thermal Detonator (causes decent area of effect damage), Cooling Cell (reduces the cooldown on your other Star Cards), Scout Ability (Keeps you off enemy radar, letting you evade enemies long enough to take down vehicles).
11. How to create a standard assault class
Sometimes you just want to be the person who shoots all the enemies and tops the leaderboards. To hell with vehicles - this is the warrior class. Blaster: E-11, Star Cards: Barrage (a handy three-shot grenade launcher), Homing Shot (lock on to any enemy for a one-shot kill), Scan Pulse (find your enemies faster), Bounty Hunter Ability (chance to get a Power-up with each kill).
12. How to create a short range class
The smaller maps and indoor areas can get pretty lethal. Here is the loadout you take for short-range, in-your-face combat. Blaster: CA-87, Star Cards: Impact Grenade (explodes when it hits an enemy), Flash Grenade (they're easier to shoot if they can't see), Explosive Shot (your blaster becomes even more lethal), Survivalist Ability (gives quicker health regen).
Stay on target
Got to grips with those tips? Then check out our other guide, where we tell you how to dominate every mode in Star Wars Battlefront (opens in new tab). We also have a Star Wars Battlefront collectibles location guide (opens in new tab) to help you find all those elusive markers and boost your scores.