With Titanfall having its inaugural weekend out in the wild, we've had plenty to experience, and plenty to consider. We've spotted a few things during matches over the past 72 hours that are worth flagging.
Don't consider this a foolproof guide, nor concrete survival tips past the next couple of weeks - Titanfall's strategies are rapidly evolving as players get comfortable with maps and mechanics. We expect counters to some of these to come into play soon, if they're not already being used on the battlefield.
But, if you're getting chewed out by those already deep into their second regeneration, or just keep dying, these will help out some. A few may seem obvious, but we noticed hardly any Pilots in our games are using them. So, have a read, and see you in a match later on...
1) (WALL) RUN & JUMP
Parkour Pilots are more than a bullet point on Titanfall's diversity list to one-up the competition. Your superhuman moves are essential, not only to dodge bullets but to zip from one end of the map to the other.
Walking's slow, running's little better. Titanfall's designed so your feet shouldn't be hitting pavement that often. Leap at the end of a wall-run to get a speed boost and longer jump. Leap towards another wall - making sure you angle yourself correctly - and you'll flow into another wall-run. You'll effectively clear street gaps easily as a result and carry on moving. You don't even need to build up momentum; you can near wall-jump up short stretches through chains to get to rooftops quickly.
Re-evaluate the maps based on the fact that nearly every vertical surface can be used to set up a wall-run. You'll be surprised at how obvious these two-storey pathways are when you're looking for them (any of Corporate's capture points in Hardpoint Domination can be got to speedily by sticking to roofs and walls rather than corridors and floors).
Not only does it keep you off the ground, which quickly becomes a killzone with Titans stomping about, but it means you stick to the rooftops above, giving you a better sniping spot to target Pilots below, as well as their rides. The higher you are the longer it takes Titans to aim - giving you enough of a visual clue to beat it back from the roof edge.
2) STOP, LOOK, LISTEN
Titanfall's a fast game. But that doesn't mean you've got to be on the move every second. In fact doing so is practically suicide on the Colony map.
Colony's a great example of those smaller maps with tight streets and a dense network of multi-floored buildings. Gaining rooftops here doesn't give you an edge; in fact due to the time of day you're easily outlined against the sky for any sniper. Instead get into a building and stick by the windows, wait for someone to run by you instead. It's a similar situation with the Training Ground (there's a catwalk in the middle warehouse that gives a good view of the action below), and Nexus (you can duck into the room if you're spotted by an enemy Titan when unloading an anti-Titan barrage on them) maps.
3) SWEEP THE MAP EDGES
This early on, we've seen few people skirt round the edges of maps. Everyone ploughs through the belly of the IMC Carrier on Relic, or the central hanger on Airbase. Almost no-one curves round the map edges.
Take any Hardpoint Domination match on Airbase - there's a tunnel of open containers on the left/right of the map (depending which side you start). It's a straight corridor that's boxed in by multiple containers on one side, the map boundary wall on the other, and it spills you out onto one of the landing pads the other end of the map. On the other side of map, there's a network of first-floor control rooms and high wall ledges that provide good cover on your run through. We clocked a number of Capture The Flag wins on the map through this.
4) TOWER DEFENCE
Sniper Rifle's near useless, right? Yep. Titanfall's fast-paced gameplay doesn't lend itself to anyone other than god-tier scope players. Yet even the Carbine has a good enough range to make the smattering of towers - one in the middle of Airbase, one up high on Colony, even some of the taller buildings on Nexus - good vantage points for taking out Titans (prep those rockets) and nearby Pilots. Just be ready to leap when an enemy Pilot comes clambering up, King Kong style.
5) FIT THE TITAN TO THE MAP
A trio of chassis options, five (when unlocked) custom loadouts, numerous setups. While we're still tinkering to find the ultimate Titan setup, it's worth for now matching your Titan size and manoeuvrability to the map you're entering.
The wiry Stryker's speed means little if you're stuck traversing roads that are only only Titan wide. Get jammed between enemies and your own team and you're a few seconds away from being Doomed. Any maps with wide roads and plenty of open spaces - Boneyard, Coporate, Fracture and Lagoon - are tailored for the multi-boost speedsters. They can aggravate the slower Titans and dodge incoming missiles.
Equally the lumbering Ogres, which can soak up more damage and can't dance their way out of shit, are best served as the tanks they are - keep em to the smaller, tighter maps.
6) GUARDING TOGETHER
Auto-Titans will follow as loyally as any dog, and are as equally good at warning of intruders. If you've decide to play the holding game during Hardpoint Domination, set your auto-Titan to guard outside or nearby the entry points you expect enemies to come from (most will use the same windows or entrances), while you find a darker corner or blind spot and settle down. Get it right and your Titan will alert you to any incoming intruders, giving you time to cloak, and while they're distracted dodging out of the way of Titan fire, it'll afford you the opportunity to deliver a kill.
Wires overhanging Boneyard, Coporate and Lagoon - even Relic to a certain extent - are of huge benefit and have been seldom used by Pilots so far, letting you zip across the map even quicker than wall-running. All the more important with Boneyard and Lagoon that have little in the way of map-wide walls to run across.
It doesn't matter about gravity - whether the line's going down or up, your jetpack will zoom you along, and, going back to point one, will usually end at a wall or ledge to run along to continue your chain.
8) SMOKING THE DROP-SHIP
If you're serious about trying to down the enemy rescue drop-ship (and who isn't?) and you've a Electric Smoke Tactical Ability on your Titan, boost beside or underneath the ship just as it appears, and drop a load. That stuff eats away at its shield, and shortens your team's time and ammo count to destroy it.
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