Be prepared for Titanfall
You’re not going to be able to use the same old tactics when you boot up Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall–rely too much on your Call of Duty or Battlefield prowess and you’re likely to get a giant robot dropped on your head. But don’t be alarmed! I’ve played a few dozen hours of the new shooter, and have some tips to get you up to speed right quick.
Did you know you could hack enemy robots? You totally can, and they join your side! You can also stick to walls, which is super helpful when trying to surprise your foes. And those two tidbits are only scratching the surface–there are tons of other ways to get a leg up on your opponents, be it by clever use of the titans or learning when to bail. Let’s get to it.
Learn to stick to walls
That lengthy tutorial never taught you about this, did it? Though running on walls is helpful for navigation, it doesn’t actually help you when you need to actually shoot at stuff. But if you want to stop and pop mid-parkour, you can. Hold the left trigger at any point when you’re on a surface and you can to stick to the location, Spider-Man style. You can’t zoom in while you’re clinging to the wall (you’re already holding down that button), but it’s still good for some situations.
Finding a good hiding spot in Hardpoint and Capture the Flag, for instance, is much easier when you can just stick to a wall above the point. People are usually so busy scanning the corners that they never think to look up. Another use? Jump out of your titan when you’re being mounted by an enemy and stick to the nearest wall. The would-be cowboy most likely won’t think to look there, and it’s easier to hit ’em when you’re up high.
Use Cluster Missile to get rid of pesky cowboys
On the subject of cowboys (the term we’re using to describe people rodeoing you, just go with it), there are more ways to take them down than using your Spider-Man skills. Besides using Electric Smoke, you can also make use of the Cluster Missile to kill enemies riding around on your back.
The Cluster Missile explodes on impact, and then continues detonating explosives for a few seconds. Blast one into a nearby wall and then back into it–your Titan will take some damage, but so will the enemy on your back. Is it worth it? Well, it means you get to kill the enemy without getting out of your titan, and I call that a win.
Don’t be afraid to get out of your titan
“Hey! You just said how great it was to not have to get out of your titan!” Yeah. I know I did. But that’s because I never want to get out. Even when someone is a second away from blowing my Orge’s brains out, I still want to stay inside. But, you know what? That’s wrong. Sometimes you need to know when to bail. Once you’re confident in your ability to kill a would-be cowboy from the outside, jump out the second you get the warning. From here, you have two options: either jump right back in (don’t laugh, it works) or take them out.
But, honestly, you should be confident in letting your titan live it’s own life, man. Supporting your AI-controlled titan from the outside is often more important than controlling it yourself–it’s two guns instead of one, and that can make a big difference.
Auto-titans are easy to kill for big points
“HEY! You just said to let your auto-titan do its thing like TEN seconds ago!” Will you get off my case? I said to get out of your titan and support it, not let it go off on its own. Alone, titans are as good as dead. When someone rodeos an AI titan they immediately drop down and accept their death–and they’re not too hard to kill with anti-titan weapons, either.
That’s bad news for the titan’s owner, but good news for you (unless you’re the titan’s owners, obviously). If you ever see a lone auto-titan go ahead and put it down. That’ll grant you five points if you’re playing Attrition and–let’s be real, you’re probably playing Attrition.
Don’t forget to use your Burn Cards
Odds are you’ve never forgotten to use a Killstreak reward in Call of Duty; the game basically screams it at you until you remember to send dogs or helicopters or whatever at your foes. By comparison, Titanfall’s Burn Cards–temporary buffs that end when you die–are basically hidden, requiring you to stop pounding “A” after a death for long enough to activate one. But it’s worth remembering to use them, because they help a ton.
You’ll eventually find which you like best, but the most inarguably important cards are the upgraded anti-titan weapons. A few shots from the upgraded guns can totally obliterate an enemy’s mech, reducing it to scrap in only a handful of seconds. Totally worth it.
Drop your titan before heading inside for CTF
Remember when you thought Halo’s Warthogs were the biggest innovation in Capture the Flag history? Oh, how things change. In Titanfall you can ride inside of a mech while carrying the flag, making it much easier to get back to your base. But it’s not that simple–the flag is usually kept indoors and titans, like vampires, can’t go inside unless invited (because they’re too big). You also don’t want to leave your titan unguarded, else it might get destroyed while you’re grabbing the flag. So, what is a Pilot to do?
Get to the enemy’s base on your own and then call your titan down before you enter the building. It’ll fall around the same time as you’re picking up the flag, and the shield will keep it safe while you run back out. This means you have a ride waiting for you when you get outside, which is awesome.
Eject to land in the drop ship
You lost. Sorry. Typically, the word “Defeat” would pop up and you’d just stand there and cry, but in Titanfall you’ve one last chance to escape: make it to the evac ship. If you’re on foot, this is a fairly difficult task, but it’s pretty simple if you’ve got a titan nearby.
Head over to the drop point a few seconds before the ship shows up, and just as it arrives hit up on the d-pad and start pounding on the X button. You’ll be launched out of your titan, regardless of its current damage, and able to land right inside the ship with ease. Usually, you can actually do just that–clip through the top of the ship and you’ll land inside, ready to leave without ever needing to set foot on the ground.
Hacking turrets and Spectres is super helpful
I know, it’s hard to do anything other than melee Spectres–it’s so rewarding to snap their robotic necks! But when you get up close to one, there’s another option that the game never really tells you about: taking them over. Holding X lets you hack them, and as long as no one is nearby when you do it, you’ll end the encounter with a new robot buddy.
This process works on turrets, too. Some levels have large, automated guns that you can sneak up to and hack, changing them from angry lasers of destruction to helpful blasters of righteousness. They’re not that powerful, but they certainly help distract enemies from their conquests.
You might have already known one or two of these tips, but we think that if you learn to master all of them, you’ll become much more proficient on the titan-filled battlefield. If you have any other tips let us know, though–we might have played the game for a few dozen hours already, but there’s little doubt that you’ll be able to give us advice before too long.
And if you’re looking for more, check out the best Xbox One games and upcoming Xbox One games for 2014 and beyond.