Titanfall is out today across Europe, and VG247’s Dave Cook has been putting silly-time into Respawn’s shooter for a week now. He’s laid down some tips for you to get your online career off to a strong start.
I’ve been playing Titanfall loads this week, and my years spent slaughtering fools in Call of Duty have given me a some-what transferable skill set for use in Respawn’s shooter. It’s not just ‘CoD with robots,’ but there are similar rules of thumb that apply to both games.
My Titanfall pilot is currently at level 30, and I’ve sunk a good eight hours into the Xbox One version, so I thought I’d put some handy multiplayer tips on this page for you to check out. There are few bad habits you’ll need to shake off if you want to get fully-accustomed to the game’s lightning pace and verticality, but I’ll do my best to help with that too.
Titanfall is a game about height advantage, and to get the drop on your enemies you’ll need to make proper use of the environment by wrapping your head around how to reach those sweet concealed spots. You probably already know that wall-running is executed by jumping into a vertical surface at a slight angle, but you can also wall-grab at any moment by hitting the aim button.
This allows you to hip fire while clinging onto a wall, but it also lets you stop, and better align your next jump. The game doesn’t teach you how to do this explicitly unless you consult the manual, but it’s a good way to compose yourself before making your next jump. You can’t grab on indefinitely however, so be wary of falling off if you remain stationary for too long. I’d also recommend combining wall-grabs with your Pilot’s cloak skill to get the drop on unsuspecting enemies.
As long as you keep your momentum up, you can chain wall-running and jumps for a long time. If you’re used to quite grounded shooters like Battlefield – where your solider barely leaves the ground unless they’re in a vehicle – it can be hard to fully adjust to the vertical options open to you. Use the scenery as intended, try running along new walls and leap to previously explored areas. You’ll be killed often at the start by sneaky buggers up high, but as they say; if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.
“A wall-grab allows you to hip fire while clinging onto a wall, but it also lets you stop, and better align your next jump.”
The pace of battle is so insane that Pilots and Titans often focus on what’s right in front of them. Chances are two players locked in a small skirmish will be too busy focusing on killing each other that they won’t have time to spot you taking aim at their head from up high. Sometimes gaining some height and taking a moment to observe where these encounters are taking place is a great way of finding your next victim, or scoring some AI kills.
Being up high also gives you a better chance of scoring a rodeo on enemy Titans. By jumping on a hostile mech, your pilot will automatically rip open a panel on the back of its head, leaving you free to shoot at its circuitry until it becomes doomed – which means it’s about to explode. You can take Titans down quickly using this method, but be wary of the Pilot inside releasing a plume of Electric Smoke. It’ll make you choke to death after a short while.
You can also fool Pilots by climbing on their Titan’s back, which triggers a warning inside their cockpit. You can then jump off as soon as you hear them disembark in an attempt to shoot you. As long as you hide elsewhere and are ready for them, they’ll be too busy shooting at the back of their own Titan to notice you aren’t there any more, leaving them open for an easy kill. It’s sneaky but hey – it works.
All of this means nothing if you simply run into the heat of battle without consideration for the map layout or any sort of plan. Titanfall can get hectic at the drop of a hat, but if you stay calm, keep an eye on your screen’s periphery and watch the mini-map for enemy signatures, you should do fine. Never, ever, reload out in the open unless you’re sure no one else is around and keep moving as much as possible.
Each of Titanfall’s game modes are won by achieving a set point total, apart from Last Titan Standing which is a basic game of survival. There are a few tips that can help you maximise your score potential and ensure that your Titan drops are flowing thick and fast. Essentially; points earned also shave seconds of your next mech drop, so ideally you want to keep getting kills or capturing objectives to be among the first to have a Titan in the field.
“Maximise your XP gain and points by helping your team capture Hardpoints or returning flags in CTF. Play to the mode, not your K/D ratio.”
Aside from Pilots and Titan mechs, each map is populated by AI Grunts and robotic Spectre troops. They earn you one Attrition point in Titanfall’s base team deathmatch mode. That doesn’t sound like they’re worth bothering about but trust me; you should be killing this fodder as much as possible. While they dispense low points, they also knock time off your next Titan drop, so they’re an easy way of getting your ride faster. Cook and throw a frag grenade into a pack of them – they usually cluster up – to get a combo multiplier to reduce the timer even more.
This is a hangover from the Call of Duty days, but there’s no point playing Hardpoint mode only to focus on boosting your K/D ratio. While the rest of your team is off capturing the map’s three objective points, you’ll be earning much less score for simply killing Pilots. Maximise your XP gain and points by helping your team capture Hardpoints or returning flags in CTF. You’ll also get more score for killing Pilots trying to steal a flag or neutral objective, or for defending your own Hardpoint from the enemy, rather than a straight-up kill. Play to the mode, not your K/D ratio.
You can also use specific Burn Cards – more on these later – to boost your score and XP intake. Some cards will give you additional XP back for each successful shot landed on specific enemy types, while cutting extra time off your next Titanfall. For example: There’s a card that will give you more XP for damaging a Titan mech, on top of defeating them. You can also use a straight-up double XP card that lasts one life, so if you see a big battle with lots of Titans on the map, play your Titan XP booster and watch your level soar.