At first glance, it’s tempting to think that Star Wars: Battlefront is just another first-person shooter and the usual strategies for the genre apply to the game. Thanks to a host of little differences, however — as well as a few really, really big ones — how you play through Battlefront can be quite a bit different than how you play through, say, Call of Duty.
Battlefront consists not only of your usual FPS battles, it also includes tons of vehicles, power-ups, defensive emplacements, and short-term boosts that let you play as the Star Wars universe’s greatest heroes and villains. That means there are a lot of little nuances you’ll need to learn to be effective in Battlefront: here are some tips to help you complete your training.
Practice Getting Bullseyes on Womp Rats
There’s a lot more to Battlefront than just running around with a good blaster at your side. Especially in big battles, you’ll get opportunities to drive vehicles, use turrets and power-ups, and fly ships. While that can be a lot of fun, the huge nature of game modes like Supremacy and Walker Assault mean as soon as you jump in that AT-ST or X-Wing, you’re immediately a target for the entire other team.
Flying ships can be especially trying, because air support can be very useful to your team — but it’s also pretty easy to accidentally fly your TIE fighter directly into the ground, wasting your chance at a ship and robbing your team of the help. Luckily, Battlefront has lots of modes that let you try out things that are key to its big battles, but in smaller arenas. Before jumping straight into Walker Assault and Supremacy, spend some time with the Fighter Squadron and Hero Battle modes, as well as the single-player tutorials. They’ll help you get a handle on the ropes of Battlefront’s alternatives to running and gunning. That way, when you do finally start the biggest battles in the game, you’ll be a contributing member of the team instead of the person who keeps wasting your faction ’s fighters at key moments.
Lock In Auxiliary Power
On the battlefield, you’ll see blue spinning discs scattered around in every mode. If you pick one of these up, you’ll unlock a single-use item or weapon. These are often pretty powerful things to add to your arsenal, like the Thermal Imploder grenade, which has a huge blast radius, or the infantry turret, which you can drop and let fire away at enemies automatically. Power ups show up randomly on the map, but they’re marked on your screen, and grabbing one should be a major priority every time you use one.
Because power ups are random and scattered all over the map, you can often find one close to your position, and they’re totally worth having. Whether you need to put some fire on an enemy walker or want an extra edge defending a position, power ups can give you a huge boost, and they’re common enough that you can keep yourself well equipped. Whenever you die or use a power up, you should be on the lookout for your next one. Seek them out early and often to give yourself an edge against players who aren’t paying as close attention. Most power ups stick with you even after you die — with the exception of things like vehicles — which means you can save a particularly devastating one, like an orbital strike, for the perfect moment.
Short Help’s Better Than No Help
Battlefront is full of huge maps and it can be tempting to just go barreling toward the next objective at a full sprint, hoping to catch up to the fighting and help your team secure their next goal. Resist the temptation to go running off on your own, however, because Battlefront is full of opponents, and they absolutely love to pick you off at a distance when you’re not looking.
Perhaps more than most shooters, Battlefront is a game in which you need to stay with your teammates. You’re much more effective as an army than as a series of lone soldiers; you’ll have an easier time taking objectives, of course, but more than that, you’re much less likely to round a corner or jump over a ridge and get thrashed by other players. The speed at which you kill people, and people kill you, is really fast for how much ground there is to cover, and you’ll find yourself dead a lot if you don’t keep in mind that you’re a small part of a big whole.
Keep Your Distance — But Don’t Look Like You’re Trying to Keep Your Distance
Spend any time at all on Hoth or Endor and you’ll quickly find that blaster bolts travel far and fast, and they’re just as deadly from five meters as 50. On both the largest versions of these maps, you’ll need to cover serious ground every time you’re killed just to get back to the objective your team is trying to capture or defend — and every enemy you miss who kills you is time wasted and a potential to take a win too far out of reach.
Crossing maps is actually fraught with danger, and you need to take it seriously every time, lest you spend all your time respawning. Especially if you’re alone, try to avoid conflicts until you can link back up with other people. More than anything, stay out of the open whenever possible. In Battlefront, there are often as many as 20 people in the game with an incentive to blast you when you least expect it. If you’re wondering why you’re dying so much, how you get around is probably a big part of it.
Your Overconfidence is Your Weakness
You grab a TIE fighter power-up or you turn into Luke Skywalker, and you think you’re about to thrash the enemy utterly. You head to where the fighting is the heaviest, only to get sniped out immediately by a well-placed rocket or an attentive AT-AT. Your glory is over before it started.
That’s an all-too-common scenario, especially when it comes to Battlefront’s heroes. In every match in which you can use vehicles or become the supercharged hero characters in the game, you become a huge target for every other player on the field. You’re a major threat, which means they’re going to dispense with you as quickly as possible. You might feel invincible as Darth Vader, but you’re definitely not. Instead of charging toward the nearest bad guys, play as strategically as possible when you get major power-ups. Remember that these are tools to win matches, not chances to go on major killstreaks — the latter is a side-effect of the former. Stay out of danger until you can be useful to your team by breaking a siege on a control point or taking down another dangerous enemy.
Can’t See a Thing in This Helmet
Apart from fighting, you’ll spend a ton of time in Battlefront earning and spending credits, the in-game currency you get for every completed match that you can spend on new blasters and “star cards.” Cards are generally rechargeable items you can use in matches that give you the ability to chuck thermal detonator grenades or fire ion cannons at vehicles, and they’re usually on timers. Not all cards and blasters are created equal, though.
Earning credits is a slow process throughout Battlefront, and many cards and guns are locked behind requiring you to earn your way up to a certain player level in order to access them. All that means that progression through the game can be tough, and it’s quite a bit tougher if you just buy all the blasters or cards as they become available. Save your credits, especially early when you earn them fast thanks to Battlefront’s side challenges that dish out additional rewards. It can be tough to gauge whether a new blaster will feel right or not before you buy it, but consider what your play style is like and what you feel like you’re lacking in matches before you purchase. There’s nothing worse than seeing a new grenade card or a heavy blaster that you can’t unlock until you play a handful of more matches with equipment you already dislike.
Oh, and short, controlled bursts on your blasters. It’s tempting to just hold down the trigger, but it’s rarely effective.