Titanfall 2 isn’t like other multiplayer shooters. Almost every single match feels like two different games smashed together. First, you have the fast-paced, extremely vertical shootouts between “pilots,” who fight each other with abilities like grappling hooks, cloaking fields, wall-running and double-jumping. Then at some point in the match, players will call in Titans – giant walking robotic tanks – which literally drop out of the sky to join the fight. Titan-on-titan combat is a slow, tactical affair, and titans fighting pilots is all about quickly reacting to overwhelming force.
If you’re new to the Titanfall series, that dynamic combination of scenarios be hard to get a handle on. Titanfall 2 is full of nuances that most players will pick up over time through playing its single-player campaign, reading loading screen tips, and seeing other players in action. There are tons of cool abilities, and lots of deadly strategies to be executed by combining them.
In the meantime, though, there are a few things you can do to set yourself ahead in Titanfall 2. The first is to focus on being fast and thinking vertically, especially because most shooter players are used to most things being at about their eye level. Titanfall 2 isn’t always a game about taking cover and aiming down the sights, so get good at being speedy. We’ve also got seven more tips that can make you an extra, lethal pilot.
Learn (and invent) some loadouts
This is an obvious one, of course, but there’s something to be said for the default loadout in Titanfall 2. It’s a catch-all set of weapons and abilities that’s actually very effective – you get an assault rifle effective at many different ranges, a frag grenade, and the spiffy grappling hook that lets you move around more freely on many maps. You might get comfortable and never feel the need to change.
While the starting option is well-composed, Titanfall 2’s list of weapons and abilities offers a wide array of viable strategies if you’re willing to experiment. Most biggest change you can make to your loadout is your tactical ability. Your ability can enhance your speed with abilities like the grappling hook or speed-boosting stimulants, or provide completely new options, like personal cloaking. Regardless of what you choose, you may want to build a loadout around the ability you like best, because each one compliments certain play-styles. The cloak, for example, can make you play a completely different game that’s heavy on sniping and sneaking. You can also use it to get close to bad guys and shotgun them in their unsuspecting faces.
Experimenting with different grenades can also make a huge difference. Normal explosives are fine, but you may be more successful with satchel charges, electric smoke, or ninja stars that deploy thermite or activate gravity wells that suck players in and explode.
The point is, there are an awful lot of options for multiplayer this time around, and Titanfall 2 is customizable to the point that you can save several loadouts and switch them around mid-game. Get used to changing up your tactics: don’t just stick to climbing, wall-running, and assault-rifling.
Use your Titan to squash some bugs
In most Titanfall 2 matches, players start to summon their Titans around the same time in something of an arms race. As soon as you get hold of your own Titan, it can be tempting to turn around and go find another Titan to fight. That’s a good instinct if your heavy firepower can help your team accomplish an objective, such as capturing a hardpoint, or protecting a flag carrier from attack. If you don’t need to immediately go try to trash another giant robot – and almost certainly sustain major damage to your own Titan in the process – you might consider a different approach.
Titans are phenomenal anti-infantry weapons, and if you don’t need to go fight a robot, try fighting other players running around the battlefield as pilots. You can instantly thrash a pilot with most of your Titan capabilities, especially your melee attack. It’s also hilarious to punch a pilot and turn them into a fine red mist. And while pilots can threaten Titans with rocket launcher-type weapons or by “rodeoing” Titans and stealing their batteries, you can usually still run them down and squash them. Once you’ve gotten hold of your walking tank, take the opportunity to rack up kills against players who aren’t as lucky as you.
Steal (and recover) batteries whenever possible
Titan health functions differently in Titanfall 2 than in the original game. Your Titan’s shields don’t recharge on their own anymore: Instead, Titans use batteries to power their shields and health. In most multiplayer matches, the only way to get extra batteries will be ripping them out of other Titans.
It works like this: When you jump on the back of an enemy Titan as a pilot (and you’re not killed), you’ll yank a battery out of its chassis. You can jump into your own Titan and install the battery for a health boost, or you can hop onto the back of a friendly Titan and give them the battery.
Thinking about it the other way, when a pilot jumps on your Titan, they’re literally stealing your robot’s health, but you can steal it back. Pilots carrying batteries drop them when they die, allowing you to run over and pick the battery up yourself. It’s fully possible to get rodeoed by a pilot, kill them as they try to escape, and grab the battery back.
If you see a battery, grab it and try to use it as soon as you can on a friendly Titan, since you’ll drop it if you die. If a pilot rodeos you, run them down and get the battery back if you can, or just hop out and shoot them off your robot’s back. Just don’t ignore batteries – they’ll let you keep your Titan alive longer, which can easily turn the tide of a Titanfall 2 match.
Everyone expects speed, so try being still
Everything about the design of Titanfall 2 will make you want to move as fast as possible. It makes you hard to hit and kill, especially if you can manage to close gaps on enemy players and freak them out with erratic movements. But you can also do a lot by occasionally messing with players’ expectations. Try ducking around a corner and cloaking, for instance, waiting for an enemy to bumble into your trap – or jump up and hang from walls, thanks to a piece of equipment you can add to your loadout. Mixing up your strategy with a bit of stillness can help you outsmart other players.
Back in the original Titanfall, one of my favorite tactics in Capture the Flag was hanging out on defense, waiting for enemy players to wander into the flag room. You can’t just stand anywhere, though – camping low in a corner might work once or twice, but you’re still easy to see when you’re at eye level. Luckily, you can include an item in your loadout that lets you hang motionless from walls, and hiding out above the flag made it easy to pick off opponents in Titanfall who weren’t too observant.
Lead the chase
Titanfall 2 is about being fast, but it’s also about being smart. You can use your abilities to make yourself harder to kill by wall-running and sliding, and also by doing unexpected things. When you close in on an enemy pilot and you’re not able to take them down immediately, don’t let them confuse you by getting above or behind you – get out of there and draw them to a better location.
You aren’t completely defenseless when on the run. When you’ve got a player in pursuit, try pulling a grenade and then cancelling the throw. You can do it with the triangle button on Playstation 4, Y on Xbox One, or X on PC. Canceling a grenade doesn’t just put it back in your pocket – it drops it on the ground, Mario Kart-style, to surprise anyone behind you.
Another useful pursuit trick; sliding around corners or into cover will make you as small a target as possible. That precious extra second your attacker spends looking for you might be enough to take him or her down. Better yet, if it lets you get in close, a melee attack is an instant kill. Remember: if you can confuse your enemy, you’re much more likely to win the encounter.
Why “Burn” when you can “Boost”
In Titanfall, players were able to earn and utilize a series of items called “Burn Cards” during matches that gave them special advantages in multiplayer. Burn cards are gone in Titanfall 2, but they’ve been replaced by a new element of your loadout, the “Boost.” Boosts charge up over time the same way your Titan does, allowing players to activate temporary bonuses every so often.
There are several boosts to be unlocked, and they’re worth experimenting with. The first, “Augmented Weapons,” makes all your guns stronger for a short period. Later, you’ll unlock a whole bunch more, such as the Map Hack, which gives you intel on enemy locations, and a spare Titan battery that you can activate on the fly to replenish some robot health.
Choose boosts that compliment your loadouts, and keep particular strategies in mind. Don’t ignore them just because they aren’t available all the time. Like other parts of your loadout, you can (and should) swap boosts depending on the situation. Keeping your Boost in mind (and getting rid of ones that aren’t useful in particular matches) can give you a big advantage at a key moment.
Not every gun is great at every range, but many of the weapons in Titanfall 2 are pretty effective even from far off. If you spot an enemy in the distance, try squeezing off a few shots even if it feels like they’re too far away. Many Titanfall 2 guns seem capable of knocking out enemy players at considerable range, especially the default loadout’s assault rifle. You might snag a few unlikely kills if you test the limits of your weapons. It pays to be persistent.
At the very least, you’ll freak out an enemy pilot who’s not really a threat and put them on notice. Just be aware of how Titanfall 2’s minimap works: when you fire your gun, other people can see you.
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