Star Wars Battlefront: 13 beginners tips for playing the beta
So you’ve finally downloaded the Star Wars Battlefront beta and you’re itching to wield a lightsaber and get behind the controls of a Snowspeeder. We’re with you on that.
Here we present a bunch of tips for the three different game modes; Walker Assault, Drop Zone and Survival, including weapon and loadout advice, strategies for dealing with each map and some guidance on how to take down those menacing AT-ATs on Hoth.
Rank up with Drop Zone
As Brenna says, start with the Drop Zone mode. It’s not the big epic Star Wars experience you’re here for, but it’s great for ranking up. Try it for 45-60 minutes and you should get over Rank 3 and beyond, ready to get stuck in to the bigger Walker Assault mission.
As you rank up you’ll unlock Star Cards, which basically act as your loadout. Each has a set number of uses or works on a timer. Choose them wisely because they can make a big difference depending on which map/mode you’re playing.
Unlock the Cycler Rifle ASAP
It doesn’t look like much, but the Cycler Rifle is a one shot long-range weapon that is accurate and deadly. It can take down most enemies with a single headshot from quite a distance. It’s not a lot of use in the Drop Zone mode, but it’s great in Walker Assault. Hoth is a big map but armed with the Cycler you can pick off enemies from afar. Be aware of the 7 second recharge though: it’s not a weapon for campers.
Master the Jump Pack
A lot of Star Wars Battlefront is on-foot combat, which can feel like a slog getting from one part of the map to another. The key to traversing the terrain is the Jump Pack. It can be used to reach higher ground for better shooting spots and to boost over large distances (great when you need to claim the pod and gain extra XP in Drop Zone). It also good for rushing enemies – you’ll take them by surprise if you jump directly at them. It’s handy for quick escapes should you get surrounded, and for surprise landings in the trenches on Hoth.
Basically, the Jump Pack is more essential than a lot of the weapons in the beta.
Know the terrain
As well as being handy with the Jump Pack, you need to know where you’re fighting and how to use the environment to your advantage. Drop Zone on Sullust is tight and rocky. If you get cornered in a corridor you’re as good as dead. Keep moving at all times. Use Proximity Bombs near pods to keep enemies at bay.
Survival on Tatooine is multi-layered, with some great high outcrops for taking on the AT-ST, although those positions may leave you exposed to Speeder Bike snipers and Jump Troopers. The overhanging rocks and tight ravine is useful for taking on multiple enemies on foot.
On Hoth’s Walker Assault, when the action moves to the trenches make sure you use them. Crouching and moving through the trenches will get you loads of kills. Don’t try and sprint over the top as you’ll be a sitting duck. Instead, use the Jump Pack to boost from one trench over enemy’s heads into another.
Use Ion weapons against vehicles
The AT-AT, AT-ST, X-Wings and other vehicles are as tough as a Snowtrooper’s boot. Using a regular blaster won’t do hardly any damage at all. Use the Ion Grenade on the slower moving AT-AT – you can predict its route as movement isn’t player controlled.
With faster vehicles use the Ion Shot Star Card, which gives your blaster a more powerful attack for a short amount of time. You start with five charges for the Ion Shot, but you can find more littered around the map as pick ups.
AT-ATs can only be harmed after a Y-Wing attack
You can fire away at an AT-AT all you like but you won’t do any damage until a Y-Wing bombardment has weakened it. Stay out of its way at all costs because you won’t stand a chance against it.
You’ll know the time is right when you hear commands to concentrate fire on the AT-AT over your radio channel. Unload everything you’ve got and pray the X-Wing pilots are readying their grapple hooks to take it down.
Hoth is huge, stay in cover where possible
It goes without saying you need to stay away from open ground on Hoth. Always use the trenches and make use of the base built in to the mountainside if you’re playing as a rebel. In here you’ll find power-ups but also be safe from the incoming aerial assaults and high-mounted blasters on the AT-AT and AT-ST.
Don’t get cocky, kid
We understand the attraction: you’re playing Star Wars, you want to get behind the controls of the AT-AT or the Tie Fighter. That’s perfectly understandable.
But don’t just jump into a vehicle because it’s there. Remember to work towards the objectives, there are 19 other people depending on you. Sometimes, defending or attacking the uplink is much more important. Besides, we guarantee the first time you get in an X-Wing you’ll stack it straight into the ground.
Survival on Tatooine is perhaps the least interesting mode of the three on offer in the beta, but it’s still fun in co-op or splitscreen. It’s not particularly hard, so you won’t need the power ups in the Drop Pods until you’re attacked by later waves (there are six waves in total).
Also, you’re offered two Star Card hands to choose from. Always pick the Secondary as it includes the Ion Torpedo. Using this will take down the AT-ST in two shots, which is a lot quicker than pumping it with the blaster until the batteries heat up.
Master the cool down
There’s no reloading in Star Wars Battlefront but there is cool down. Keep your trigger on the blaster for more than a few seconds and your gun heats up and needs to rest before it can fire again. You really need to keep an eye on this.
The good news is that once your blaster over heats if you time it correctly and hit the X/Square button as the bar on the inverted semi-circle moves through the yellow zone it will instantly cool down. Being stuck with an overheating weapon in a firefight is instant death.
Be aware: scoping isn’t great, and bullets are slow
There are two things to take into account when blasting the shit out of Rebel scum. Firstly, regular blaster shots can be quite slow. Obviously the further the distance the less accurate they’ll be. This video will help you decide which weapon is best for you, but just be aware that blasters generally aren’t great at long range.
Secondly, scoping on blasters isn’t as effective as you’ll find in most first-person shooters. In fact, it might not be worth using at all in situations that require quick reactions as it doesn’t make a big difference to accuracy. Save scoping for the Cycler Rifle.
Listen for John Williams’ score
When you hear that theme music on Hoth it means one of the Heroes has entered the battle. This is basically a player who’s bagged the Hero pick up and is either playing as Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker.
If you’re the lucky Hero just go wild and slaughter enemies. It’s a blast. If you’re facing the Hero head-on you have little chance of survival. The best way to take him down is to gang up and concentrate fire while keeping your distance. He goes down eventually, kneeling in the snow like a little lost gnome. It’s weird. But he’ll take a hell of a lot of you down with him.
Pods drop rewards
Once you’ve secured the pod in Drop Zone don’t be too quick to run off to grab the next pod. Once secured a pod drops rewards – charges for your Ion card, heavy weapons and other good stuff. It can be a bit of a fight with your teammates but an extra power-up is always welcome and if you’re securing the pods there’s no need to hoard your Star Cards.
Look at that Thermal Imploder: it’ll take out a whole squad of enemies, don’t leave it for someone else.