More than anything else, Star Wars: Battlefront nails the Star Wars fantasy. When you crest a rise on Endor and see an AT-AT walker bearing down on you as red and green laser blasts criss-cross the battlefield, you’re suddenly whisked off to a galaxy far, far away.
That is, of course, until you forget for a moment which button lobs your thermal detonator, and an Imperial forces gun you down on the spot.
Battlefront isn’t a difficult game to master, but it’s got some quirks that might escape you during the game’s brief control tutorial. The tips you find here aim to fill in the blanks so that you can prep properly for waging wars in the stars.
Under the “Missions” menu is a “Training” section which offers five simple combat exercises. Each one focuses on different aspects of the game, from ground combat to vehicle controls to “Hero” moments when you step into the shoes of familiar faces from the Star Wars universe.
Not only are these brief challenges useful for learning the basics of Battlefront, but they also provide an early flow of credits. Each one offers three specific goals; completing each one gets you some in-game currency to spend on unlocks. You should be able to complete at least two of the three challenges on your first runthrough of each exercise.
If you jump into and complete all five training missions before you jump into online multiplayer — and you definitely should — then you’ll set yourself up to buy all the gear you want from the first few levels. (Specifically, go for Thermal Detonators and Ion Torpedoes.)
There are two elements to the combat loadouts in Star Wars: Battlefront: your main weapon and Star Cards. The latter dictates which support tools you bring into battle; thermal detonators (i.e. grenades), ion torpedoes (vehicle-specific rocket launchers), pulse cannons (sniper rifle) and more.
You can only have two gear Star Cards equipped, plus one limited-use special power-up. This other type starts unlocking at rank 7, and each powers you up in different ways: one temporarily boosts your blaster’s damage against vehicles, while another boosts your accuracy temporarily.
Gear-based Star Cards operate on a cooldown timer, meaning you can use them as much as you want during a match as long as they’re available. Power-up cards, on the other hand, require charges, and each use consumes one. You can buy more charges from the Star Card menu or pick them up (little lightning bolt icons) during matches.
Just remember that unlocking a Star Card for the first time requires credits, so choose your purchase wisely. Each card can also be upgraded (for a price) to permanently reduce its cooldown time.
Outside of training, Missions don’t really help your long-term progression as quickly as online multiplayer matches do. But: Missions aren’t bound by your player ranking, which means all the primary weapons are unlocked for use. Before you spend any precious credits to unlock new weapons for multiplayer, try them out in the Missions mode.
None of the weapons in Battlefront need to be reloaded, but they can overheat. Watch the meter below your crosshairs as you fire; when it forms a full half-circle, your weapon has overheated. You can eliminate the wait time if you press Square (PlayStation 4 controls) when the draining heat meter passes through the small yellow area. If you’re familiar with Gears of War‘s “Active Reloads,” it’s a lot like those.
Choosing the right weapon really depends on how you play. If you prefer to operate in close-quarters, stick with scope-less weapons or the shotgun-like CA-87 shock blaster. The standard blaster rifles for each faction — E-11 for Imperials and A280C for Rebels — are great all-rounders. Since they both sport a scope and relatively accurate rapid fire.
The good stuff doesn’t unlock until you reach the higher ranks, but you can still play around with everything in Missions to get a sense of what you want to save for (since every main weapon unlock costs credits).
Power-ups scattered throughout every multiplayer match fuel the heart of Star Wars: Battlefront. These pickups are your path to piloting an X-Wing Starfighter, commandeering Boba Fett or setting up turrets.
These power-ups can be a game-changer, but be careful about making a beeline for them. For one, it’s often a waste of time to run after them if you’re very far away, since someone is likely to beat you there. It’s also sometimes a trap, since the opposing team can see most of the same power-ups — and that’s a great way to set up ambushes.