How To Survive The TitanFall BETA

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If you are among the lucky few, the privileged, the jealousy inducing gamers that are happily shooting away at Titanfall’s beta, we have a few tips for what to do – or more accurately, what not to do.

Rather than just give you a list of tips and tricks (although we have some of those too), I thought I would lead by example. And by that, I mean use my example as what not to do, because things can get real ugly, real quick until you know what is happening.

This will also be an ongoing article with updates applied regularly. Once we have the full game in our hands for review, we will also revisit this post and overhaul it. We would also love to hear back from you with any questions you’d like us to answer, as well as any tips you yourself have on how to survive and thrive in Electronic Arts and Respawn Entertainment’sTitanfall.

Getting Started

Following the mandatory tutorial, you are thrust into the world of Titanfall like a newborn. A fully armed and dangerous newborn, but still. You have only the most basic tools to work with, and there are certain things you should avoid until you know what’s what.

For example, during my first match I decided to challenge a titan. This was a mistake. I’m sure the driver of the titan found it hilarious to kick my puny mortal frame halfway across the map, but I found it significantly less entertaining. It was an important lesson though: Know your role.

When you first start out, your goal should be to earn experience in order to level up. The generic loadouts are actually fairly respectable at first, but there are game-changing tools waiting to be unlocked. There will be a few people that got an early jump or just have played the game relentlessly since it launched. If you end up in a lobby with someone that is a much higher level (which ideally won’t happen thanks to matchmaking tools working behind the scenes), politely let people know that you left the iron on and your house is burning down or something, and back out. It’s not that you can’t compete, it’s just that there are things you won’t see coming.

I learned this lesson while trying to be a hero. It was a noble death, but a stupid one.

One of the most effective ways to hurt a titan when you are still in pilot form is to “rodeo” it, shooting it in the back control panel while hanging on. Anyone can do this at any level to good effect, but higher level titans can use an electrical defense to fight back. I didn’t know this at the time. It was not my finest moment. Playing the “Last Titan Standing” mode, where everyone starts in a titan and the winning team is the one to destroy the opposing mechs (no respawns), a high-level character with a customized mech will eat your lunch unless you are prepared and know what’s coming.

Feel better about yourself

Titanfall_E3_002-1024x576An easy way to level up is to target the enemy NPC characters, which are delighted to run right past you and then catch your bullets with the back of their heads. It’s a fun little game. There are three available classes: Rifleman, Assassin, and CQB (close-quarters battle). The Assassin class is especially useful against the NPC thanks to the lock on-friendly smart gun and cloak (picking up a more powerful assault weapon to replace your pistol helps, too). Killing NPCs won’t earn you as much as killing a pilot or titan, but with a cloak on you can walk up behind several of them, use the smart pistol to take out several at a time, and speed up the time it takes to get your own titan to … um, fall.

In order to call down a titan, you just need to wait for the countdown clock to hit zero. If you wanted to, you could try one of my early mistakes, and opt for the pacifist lifestyle. Find cover and just wait. Meditate maybe. Think about the choices in your life that brought you here. Alternatively, you can not be an idiot and speed up the clock.

With each positive action – killing an enemy, capturing a domination-like “hardpoint,” getting an assist, etc. – you speed up the clock. If your only goal is to get a titan as quickly as possible, go for the easy NPC kills as much as possible. Even when you get a titan, keep killing them to speed up the clock in order to gain a brief damage boost.

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