Star Wars Battlefront released last fall and received mixed reviews from critics and players alike. I for one really enjoy the game and can’t wait for more as the rest of the planned updates and DLC continues to drop throughout the rest of the year. Check out my review for a more indepth look at the base game, as in this article I’ll be talking more about strategies and specific weapons, items and vehicles in the game.
Release Date: Nov 17th, 2015
Genre: First and Third Person Shooter
Modes: Single-player, Co-op and Online Multiplayer
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
Before you take the action online
Before we even get into the nitty gritty of fighting it out online in a galaxy far, far away, we are going to take a moment and look at the much underappreciated Missions Mode of Star Wars Battlefront. While a lot of people were upset over the lack of a single player campaign, what we did get is a great way to experience what Star Wars Battlefront has to offer for people new to a fast paced shooter and a great way to practice with all the games items, weapons and heroes.
Now I’m not saying you need to go into the missions mode and beat every single battle and survival level on master difficulty without dying, but you should at least take the time to beat them on the hard difficulty. This will unlock your custom star card hand to use in those levels and should net you a decent chunk of credits to help you unlock blasters and star cards for the online multiplayer. This is great because it allows you to try different combinations of star cards and traits to help you figure out what you like to use and how to use it best. While in these modes you will also have access to all the blasters currently available in the game. This means you won’t have to spend credits to unlock them just to try them and see what ones you like. Keep in mind, to use them in the online multiplayer modes you will still have to spend credits to unlock them after they become available to you as you rank up, or in the case of the latest blasters you will need to complete Hutt Contracts (more on that later) or have the latest DLC.
So regardless of what mode you play you will be gaining credits and after playing through some of the single player/co-op missions you should have a decent stash. So before hitting up the multiplayer you definitely want to take the time to unlock some star cards and some blasters as well. Currently I can’t really recommend any blaster specifically as I enjoy using all of them, and they all have different strengths and weaknesses and can be used in any situation with the right combination of star cards. Hopefully after playing the missions you have had a chance to use all of them and know which ones you want to unlock first as you rank up. Keep in mind though as when you first start playing online, you will have only have access to unlock a few as you will need to rank up, but this shouldn’t take you too long.
You have a blaster in hand and are ready to take on some multiplayer action. As you rank up you will have more and more star cards available to unlock but that doesn’t mean you have to unlock all of them as they become available. Same with the charged star cards and the traits as well, by the time you rank up enough to unlock them you should have enough credits to get them in most cases. That is unless you have been spending credits on the cosmetic character customization options and emotes, which is up to you but not recommended by this trooper.
What star cards you unlock are really up to you and how you want to play but I’m going to make a few must have recommendations and why they are good to have. One of the first star cards you will have become available is the Thermal Detonator, which is the classic Star Wars universe grenade, which is well worth unlocked once you have access at rank 2 and even worth upgrading as it will become a staple of your arsenal and can be useful across all game modes. Previously I would have recommended the impact grenade, but it’s damage was turned down in a recent patch, so again the Thermal Detonator is the way to go for a good all around star card. Next, and this is a must have for me in almost all situations, is the jet pack. It becomes available at rank 13 and when unlocked will give you some great added mobility on the battlefront. Its great for moving quickly to capture or defend objectives and is a great escape tool when you know you are in immediate danger.
Next you wanna start thinking about your charge card. The charge cards are like the other star cards but will only have a limited number of charges. You can always buy stacks of 25 charges in between games or find them scattered in the multiplayer level along with the other power up tokens in the game. Depending on your play style it really comes down to personal preference but I have found that in most cases the scan pulse is pretty handy as it shows enemies through walls for a short time. However in certain game types, like walker assault, I’ll switch to something that does increased damage, be it the explosive shot or ion shot. The scan pulse becomes available to unlock at rank 13, explosive shot at rank 18 and the ion shot at rank 7.
As for trait cards, they start unlocking a little later and each one offers unique advantages, however there are a few that I think stand out above the rest. First off trait cards act as a passive ability and will increase in power as you get more kills without dying. Each trait card has three levels and can prove to be huge game changers when you are on a streak. The trait I myself play with the most is the scout card which becomes available to unlock at rank 15. At its first level it will make it so you no longer appear on enemy scanners when running, at level two it will also hide you from enemy scanners when you fire your blaster and at its final level every time you kill an enemy it will instantly cool down your blaster. Also once you get higher up in the ranks a huge favourite among players is the bounty hunter trait card. This card will give you a chance to spawn a power up everytime you kill an enemy and as you get more kills to level it up, it increases the chance of the power up spawning after every kill. I have seen some people go on amazing sprees with this trait and it can definitely be a huge game changer, however it doesn’t become available to unlock until rank 26.
Power ups and vehicles
Strewn across the blaster chard levels of Star Wars Battlefront are the power up and vehicle tokens. In most cases these are great to get and will help take you closer to victory, but they are often placed in very dangerous areas with little cover from enemy fire. These power ups are pretty self explanatory and can be a huge help in certain situation when implemented properly. For example, using the squad shield can really help you protect you and an objective from blaster fire, but a well thrown grenade can still make it through the shield so remember it won’t make you invincible. Also be careful with the explosives like the thermal imploder, orbital strike or rocket launcher, when used they can get you some huge multi kills and won’t hurt friendly players but if you yourself are caught in the blast you can kiss your butt goodbye.
As for vehicle tokens, they are great and can certainly help you get a clutch victory in the last few moments of a match, especially the snowspeeders in the sections of walker assault missions. When you see them in game your first instinct will be to rush right at them but there are a few things to consider first depending on the vehicle token. Such as the AT-AT token, it will give you roughly a minute to utilize the powerful walking troop carrier but if picked up in the early stages of a match you will find that you won’t have a clear shot at most of the enemies and you are better off waiting to use them closer to mid match. As for any flying vehicle like the TIE Fighters, TIE Interceptors, X-Wings and A-Wings, they can prove very useful to a skilled pilot but there is one huge tip I want you to keep in mind. When you spawn in a flying vehicle you will begin flying in from the behind your team’s spawn area, this is very important to keep in mind as when flying around you never want to put your back to the enemies spawn, since if you are not paying attention, as they spawn in ,you will be a prime target for a lock on missile or will end up with enemies on your six looking for a quick and easy kill.
Heroes and villains
As for the heroes and villains, I’m not going to really break them each down here as I feel it is best for everybody to play as each hero and figure out for themselves which they like to play as best. Once again the mission modes offer a great way to try them all out and get a feel for each one. With that being said I’ll just mention the big uses for each type of hero. First off we’ll talk about the more offensive heroes mainly Han Solo and Boba Fett, they are both great at taking out infantry and even other heroes. They are both used best at a distance and can do some serious damage to objectives and other heroes.
Luke and Darth Vader are both good at attacking and defending, although I don’t recommend using Darth Vader in later stages of the objective game modes like walker assault or turning point, since he spawns at the back of the map and can be really slow getting back into the action. However both Darth and Luke can cause all sorts of damage to other heroes, they can defeat huge amounts of infantry and are quite good at holding an objective.
Now both the Emperor and the Princess are much more support oriented as they can both have two powered up guards spawn in on them. These guards have improved weapons and instead of star cards they both have unlimited use of the rocket launcher and homing missile power ups (with reasonable cool downs). They can both dish out decent damage but are really great at defending an objective since they can both drop power ups for other players to pick up or hero health pick ups in the hero oriented game types. If you keep these strengths in mind for each hero you should be racking up the points in no time.
The latest Update and DLC.
Just recently the latest monthly update was release and with it came the usual round of fixes, tweaks and new content. Most notably for players who do not have the seasons pass, or are planning to get the Outer Rim DLC, is the Hutt Contracts. The Hutt Contracts are in game challenges which you must pay credits to unlock and then meet certain requirements before you can get the associated reward. Requirements for these contracts vary but they tend to be things like get xx amount of headshots or get x amount of streaks using a specific type of weapon. Once you pay to unlock one, just be mindful of what specific blaster or star card you need to use, then just playing normally should get you through the requirments pretty quickly. For example the first Hutt Contract is the Bounty Hunter 1 contract which will unlock the new DL-18 blaster pistol for multiplayer use. It’s available at rank 12, costs 3,500 credits to unlock. Once unlocked you will have to get 3 blaster pistol streaks (this works with any of the blaster pistols you might have unlocked at this point, such as the DH-17, DL-44 and the SE-14C) and 15 kills with the scout pistol star card ( which becomes available to unlock at rank 3). Keep in mind you can only earn progress toward the Hutt Contracts while playing in the online multiplayer modes and not in the single player/co-op missions.
The latest DLC entitled Outer Rim, is currently available to season pass owners, and will become available to purchase separately later this month. It will include new weapons, star cards, two new heroes (Greedo and Nien Nunb), a new game mode and new maps to fight it out on. For a full breakdown of the Outer Rim DLC check out Paul’s overview here. Also remember to stock up on your pre-paid cards because you can only get the Star Wars Battlefront Season’s Pass and DLC online.
There is a lot to take in while playing Star Wars Battlefront and it might take a little while before you find exactly what blasters and star cards suit your play style best but hopefully this article gave you a good place to start and few things to consider. The last piece of advice I will give you, to help get the jump on the competition, is to keep an eye on the EA Star Wars Battlefront forum. Every month they will be putting out a free update and you want to know when it will be live and what is in the update, so be sure to read those update notes when they come out.