Welcome to Titanfall 2
With Battlefield 1’s glorious retro combat and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s sci-fi schtick you’d think 2016 had enough of shooters, but along comes Respawn and the new and improved Titanfall 2 and now we’re obsessed with another FPS.
If, like us, the thought of jumping into the belly of an armoured mech and duelling it out like a high-budget episode of Power Rangers sounds appealing, then Titanfall 2 is the game for you.
So to get you ready for its slick, fast and rewarding multiplayer offering, we’ve spent countless hours as Pilot and Titan to bring you ten of the best tips and tricks. Now, if you could just standby for Titanfall...
1. Enlist in single-player
Much like DICE’s recent work with Battlefield 1, Respawn has created a solo mode that offers a perfect way to learn and test the physics, mechanics and systems of the game while actually feeling like a justifiable and engrossing experience in its own right.
So from its simulated tutorial to the chaos of its final missions, you’ll be able to learn how to wall-run and maneuver around your environment as a Pilot.
Your time with the deadpan Titan, BB, will also give you ample time to learn the different Titan loudouts available and how these weapon and gadget setups work against certain Titan types. This area is absolutely vital to playing in the big leagues of multiplayer, so soak it up!
2. Run, Pilot, Run
Unlike Call of Duty and Battlefield, which are often built to accommodate players who rush and those that stalk and camp, Titanfall 2 is much faster beast that taps into the speedy kills and chaos of old school shooters a la Unreal Tournament.
The game's movement comes in two flavors - auto-sprint and manual - with the second one requiring you to click in the left analog stick to manually move from running into a full on pelt.
Since almost every player uses auto-sprint (which sees you running at full speed from the off), you should have this enabled straight away by toggling it on from the Settings menu.
3. When kills aren’t always kills
In the world of Titanfall 2, Pilots are considered the elite of the Frontier Militia and the IMC, so since the game often tries to recreate full, dynamic battles it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to learn not every soldier on the field is player-controlled.
These AI-controlled units appear as human Grunts for the Militia and robotic Spectres for the IMC and both are slow, stupid and much easier to kill. Killing them will net you points, but far less than you’d gain for downing a Pilot so learn to distinguish the two and instead focus on human-controlled targets for higher overall scores each match.
4. Know your Boosts
The old Burn Cards from the original Titanfall have been dropped in favor of the new Boosts feature, which provides an enhancement to your Pilot every time you max out your Titan meter (located on the bottom left-hand side of the HUD). Much like every other part of the game’s setup, there are lots of Boosts choose from, so spend your first few hours trying each one out.
You can’t switch between them mid-match, and they’re non-stackable, so use them wisely. Amped Weapons, for instance, buffs your primary and secondary weapons with extra damage so activate them (using the D-pad) when facing a clog of enemy Pilots or Reapers.
5. Always use wall runs and boosts jumps
Even with auto-sprint enabled, the fastest way to navigate a given area is to wall run. Respawn has designed each map to offer enough vertical surfaces to enable you to move with speed so never run on the ground if you can skirt a wall at a quicker pace.
Also learn to get your timings right as this is key to stringing together wall run combos in a firefight.
Each wall run animation has a natural end so use this to jump off (either towards another wall or a ledge) before using your boost to give you extra distance. Boost jumping can also help you throw off enemy fire, but remember boosting will slow you down slightly.
6. Abilities are key to success
While Boosts in Titanfall 2 can take a little while to regenerate based on your performance, Abilities fill up relatively quickly by themselves, making them an ideal addition to your arsenal. Sadly, most of them only unlock once you’ve reached a specific level, but the first few are easily some of the best.
Grapple Hook (unlocked from the start) is great for zipping onto the back of an enemy Titan or flitting across an otherwise deadly area of the map, while Pulse Blade can inflict damage and identify enemies to your entire team. The Halo-esque Cloak is another brilliant Ability that’s perfect for stealthily outflanking foes.
7. Collect Batteries as often as possible
Unlike the original Titanfall, your Titan’s shields won’t regenerate in Titanfall 2 so you’ll need to recharge them yourself.
To do this you’ll need to collect Batteries (the glowing green objects you have to collect in the first mission of the campaign). You can collect these as a Pilot, but keep in mind they’ll automatically strap to your back, making you much easier to see as a target.
They’ll be placed randomly around the map, but the surefire way to get one is to collect one from the remains of a destroyed Titan. You can also grapple to an enemy Titan and pull one from its back!
8. Don’t rely on Anti-Titan weapons
While they might sound useful, Anti-Titan weapons in Titanfall 2 aren’t as all-powerful as they might seem so switching out your primary weapon for one when facing a Titan can often end up in another death for you.
The Archer rocket launcher is the only decent weapon of the four currently available, but we found relying on your primary weapon a much better option.
Another great alternative tactic to using an Anti-Titan weapon is using the Grapple Hook to fling yourself onto the back of an enemy Titan and remove one of its batteries. Using Amped Weapons on weakened Titans also works really well.
9. Use Gravity Stars for makeshift killboxes
Titanfall 2 has loads of new features and tools, and one of the best is the new Gravity Star. Remember those awesome grenades from Thor: The Dark World that created a mini blackhole? Gravity Stars work in a similar way, essentially ensnaring nearby players into a tangle of helpless limbs before exploding.
Chucking them into busy corridors can bag you loads of easy extra kills, especially if you’re getting overwhelmed by Pilot and Grunts. But be wary - those with a little more experience and a Grapple Hook equipped will be able to launch themselves to safety and turn the tables if you’re not careful.
10. Auto-pilot Titans can be just as useful
Titans are one of Titanfall 2’s biggest calling cards (it is in the title, after all), but when you call one down simply searching for an enemy mech might not be the best tactic. For a start, Titans are a surefire way to clear out infantry so be sure to support your team and mop up some easy kills with your Titan of choice.
Once activated, Titans will also move into auto-pilot mode should you manually eject at any point. If you’re looking to take any objectives that would be best suited to a Pilot, your Titan will engage the enemy by itself and potentially net you more kills (but it won’t be as deadly without you).