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New to RTS games? Get ahead in Halo Wars 2 with these 6 tips

At long last, Halo Wars 2 is finally here and if you were itching to get another taste of Microsoft’s iconic shooter franchise in the form of a real-time strategy (RTS) game, it delivers on that front. It’s far from perfect, but if you’re a Halo fan, this is one for the books.

Between the beautifully-rendered cutscenes from Blur Studio to the fast-paced action and atmospheric music score, Halo Wars 2 is a must-play for anyone craving an extension of the Halo universe and the many stories that inhabit it.

More: Halo Wars 2 PC disc release canceled in United States, will be available digitally

That said, the shift in genres is an obstacle to overcome for many newcomers to the Halo Wars sub-series. Anyone who missed out on the original Halo Wars seven years ago will be elated to know that this sequel is largely self-contained, taking place 28 years after its predecessor.

Like many Halo fans, you may find yourself jumping into Halo Wars 2 without a history of RTS experience from which to draw. As such, we’ve carefully constructed a beginner’s guide of sorts to help you get started with Halo Wars 2.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to confidently complete the Halo Wars 2 campaign and move on to the hard part: competitive multiplayer.

Tip #1: Pause button is F10 for keyboard and mouse players

The biggest oversight that just about everyone and their mother is talking about right now is the lack of clarity when it comes to which key pauses the game. For Xbox One players, the answer is obvious. The Menu button (previously Start) opens the menu, naturally. Typically, in PC games, the menu is opened with the Esc key. Not in Halo Wars 2.

Of course, key bindings can be re-mapped once you do access the menu, making this not as dramatic a flaw as some are making it out to be. Then again, there is no indication in the Halo Wars 2 that F10 is the pause button. So unless you read it here or elsewhere, you were probably as baffled as we were.

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