Star Wars Battlefront recently received the free Battle of Jakku update. While the new planet, subsequent maps and new Turning Point mode are great, I must admit it’s getting harder and harder to find a game. Hell, I haven’t been able to find a match of my favourite mode, Supremacy, since the Battle of Jakku content went live. That said, it means there are a lot of good players who know the rules and are confident enough in their blasters and Hands to be a headache to come up against.
Thankfully, as one of those players (at rank 49 with a KDR of 2.13 at the time of writing), but one who also plays objective, there’s more than a few timely tips I can impart to help you get the most out of Star Wars Battlefront (if you’re lucky enough to find a game).
In no particular order…
Master the radar
For all of the areas where DICE has trained players in Battlefront, it doesn’t do a good job of teaching them about the intricacies of the all-important radar. Enemies will show up on your radar and there’s practical at-a-glance information to be gleaned from it. If they’re still a distance from an enemy but close enough for them to register, there will be red on the outer circle only. As they get closer, the inner circle fills up, and if they’re right on top of you, the middle circle lights up. There are exceptions to this. A deep red means they’re on the same level as you, while a lighter red means they’re at a different level: above or below you. Most important of all is that enemies won’t show up on your radar if they’re not sprinting or firing (unless they’re using the Scout Trait), and the same rules apply to you. Use this to your advantage.
Know when to hold ’em
Pick the right cards that not only match your preferred play style, but also the game mode. If you’re playing Walker Assault, for instance, it’s well worth at least having one hand (you can configure two) with anti-vehicle options. This is primarily useful for when you’re playing as Rebels, but it also comes in handy as Imperials if the Rebels are dominating the skies (a great anti-AT-ST tactic) or relying on turrets. Similarly, anti-vehicle cards are of no use in smaller, anti-infantry modes. There’s a decent amount of time at the beginning of the round to switch out Cards, so use this time to match your intended tactics with the right hand.
Bear in mind that you can also use your Partner’s hand, which gives you a chance to try out Cards that you may not yet have unlocked. If you’ve accidentally skipped past the screen at the start of the round and can’t change your Cards (you won’t be able to until the next round), match your play style to your Cards. You never know: you might find a new tactic that you enjoy.
Know when to fold ’em
There are 11 primary blasters in Battlefront and they all have different uses in different modes or, more obviously, at different ranges. The default blasters—A280C for Rebels and E-11 for Imperials—are both strong starting options, with a great balance between damage, cooling power and range. Honestly, I still regularly use the E-11, even with every blaster unlocked. The DL-44 devastates at close range and holds its own at mid-distances, the CA-87 can one-shot kill at close range, and my go-to pistol is the SE-14C because its accurate five-round bursts are deadly. Heavy blasters such as the DLT-19 and RT-97C work well but deal little damage, while their bigger siblings, the T-21 and its sniper twin the T-21B, dish out big damage at the expense of fire rate. These blasters all work well with the damage boost from Explosive Shot Charged Star Card, particularly the faster-firing ones. Regardless of your blaster choice, give it at least a round or two before moving on to something else, and match your engagement style to that of the blaster’s stats.
A matter of perspective
I played the Battlefront beta exclusively in first-person perspective. It was a lot of fun, but it’s the wrong way to play. Playing in third-person affords a competitive edge that first-person does not. There’s a natural wider field of view that’s great for peeking around corners or over cover without exposing your avatar. Get into the habit of tapping ‘C’ to switch shoulders while shifting from left cover to right cover, and you can get an idea of what threats are ahead. I get a lot of kills on unsuspecting foes as I roughly line up their chest or head as I come around the corner firing. By the time they’ve reacted, they’re usually already dead.
Take to the skies
Whether in Fighter Squadron or piloting a starfighter in one of the 40-player modes, there are some tips to boost lethality and enhance survivability. Throttle back not just for tight turning circles, but also to increase the damage of your ship’s blasters. I throttle back during strafing runs and when dogfighting to ensure that my blasters do the most damage. In Fighter Squadron mode, which mixes a max of 10 enemy AI with 10 enemy players, shift your reticule over the ships to separate AI from humans. If they’re human players, their player name will show up as you move your reticule over them. Prioritise these pilots for more points and satisfying kills.
When you have someone on your tail, move throttle up and down, while turning up or down to confuse pursuers as they turn to chase. While in Fighter Squadron mode, I favour the X-wing or TIE fighter over the A-wing or TIE interceptor, simply because they blend in better. The AI pilots only ever fly in the former options, which makes the (admittedly slightly better) A-wing and TIE interceptor pilots immediately stick out as human players. The best tip, though, is to plug in a compatible controller: the ships are so much easier to control with controllers compared to keyboard/mouse.
Mind your Traits
You can only have one passive trait active at a time, but they can offer significant boosts depending on how you play. You’ll need to score a three-kill streak to activate rank two of your trait, and a six-kill streak to hit rank three. Your Trait drops back a rank on death. My go-to Trait is Scout, which allows me to not come up on enemy radar when sprinting (or when shooting, at rank two). I get a lot of easy kills because players don’t know I’m there. On more open maps such as Jakku, I switch to Survivalist, which boosts the speed of health regeneration, significantly as you rank it up.
I haven’t had any luck with the RNG of Bounty Hunter (random power-up drops for kills), while Bodyguard (explosive protection) is great against teams that continually favour explosives (especially the Bowcaster) over blasters. Sharpshooter is best used by snipers, but it’s good for run-and-gunners if you back yourself to pull off headshots. Just remember at the start of each round you have time to change your Trait as well as your Cards, so match the Trait to the enemy team (if you’ve played them before) the mode, your team’s role and/or your intended play style.