The Star Wars: Battlefront 2 beta has kicked off, offering plenty of content and a chance for players to go hands-on with one of the most anticipated games of the year.
Despite this being the sequel to the 2015 Star Wars: Battlefront, Battlefront 2 is, in many ways, a very different game. The sequel puts a lot more emphasis on class-based combat, and the different roles each class can play on the battlefield. Distinct classes define everything in the game, from the infantry to starfighters – no one thing is good in all situations.
But that’s not all. Battlefront 2, as a shooter, also plays differently from the first game. You now have to pay closer attention to your aim and positioning, making firefights more reliant on player skill, a clear departure from the casual fun of the original.
In the list to follow, we’ll explore some of the easy-to-miss new additions, the big changes, a few general gameplay tips, and the many ways you can tailor the experience to your liking. Take a few minutes to read these before jumping in. It’ll save you the frustration.
There may be classes, but this isn’t Battlefield
Battlefield veterans will probably be interested to try out Battlefront 2, and many of them will no doubt appreciate the focus on class-based gameplay. Although, yes, there are four unique classes here, they don’t function the same way they do in Battlefield.
For starters, the HP for each of the four classes is different, with the Heavy having the highest and Officer the lowest. It will take you a bit of time to get used to enemies not dying in the same number of shots. Trust us, this is something you will notice.
It’s also harder to make out the different classes at a distance. Specialists using a sniper rifle will get a scope glint, but that’s the only way you’ll be able to spot them. Assault troopers blend in with Heavy troopers. It’s only when you get close do you begin to see how bulky the Heavies are.
This can make it a bit harder to anticipate what your enemy is capable of, and it’s something you need to be mindful of in your first few minutes with the game. The one thing that’s not so different from Battlefield is that weapons and abilities – in this case, Star Cards – are locked to their respective class.
Play as the Officer
With the new focus on classes comes a big requirement for teamwork. The Officer class is perfect for anyone looking to play support. Their weapons in the beta can’t go toe-to-toe with the rest of the classes’ arsenal, but their abilities are what makes them great on attack and defence. The two abilities worth highlighting are Battle Command, and Blaster Turret.
Battle Command is a health buff that grants everyone around the Officer increased damage resistance for a short time. You’ll see a radius on the ground showing how far the ability can reach. Depending on the Star Cards you have equipped (more on that in a bit), you can have multiple uses of this ability before it recharges.
The Blaster Turret is as simple as it sounds, letting you place a small turret on the ground that automatically attacks infantry and vehicles. The turret repairs when near you or another Officer. You can also remotely trigger it to self-destruct. All in all, a decent package that focuses mainly on helping teammates rather than going for kills.
Start out in Arcade Mode before jumping into multiplayer
Like we mentioned earlier, there’s more to Battlefront 2 than meets the eye. The way aiming, bullet spread, recoil and all that stuff works is very different from the first game.
We suggest trying out Arcade Mode first to get a feel for the controls. There are two scenarios you can play in Arcade. The one you should jump in first is Roger, Roger, which lets you play as a Separatist droid in the same Assault on Theed mission available in multiplayer.
It will help you quickly get to grips with how the game plays without the pressure of multiplayer. Arcade is also a great way get used to using the roll move to quickly get out of trouble. All classes have it, and you should definitely familiarise yourself with how it works.
Understand the difference between the two types of Star Cards
Star Cards are everywhere in Battlefront 2, but the game doesn’t do a great job of explaining the different types you get. First of all, you should know that Star Cards are class-based, meaning that they’re designed to boost certain abilities for a specific class and can’t be mixed and matched.
Now that this is out of the way, the biggest point you should be aware of is that Star Cards come in two types. This has nothing to do with rarity tiers – which control their effectiveness. The first is called Boost Cards. These augment or enhance existing abilities for your class or starfighter. For instance, they can grant extra charges to the Officer’s Battle Command ability.
The second type is the helpfully named Ability Replacement Cards, which replace one of the class abilities with a different one. You can only have three Star Cards equipped at a time, so you can go two and one or all three in one of the two categories.
Boost Cards will be marked by the + icon on the top left, whereas Replacement Cards will have three tiny dots. In general, Star Cards are found in crates, but you can also craft them using Scrap – an in-game currency earned from getting duplicates in said crates. You should also keep note of the rarity, marked by little boxes at the top of each one.
Loot crates offer tangible gameplay advantages, not just cosmetics
In case you missed it, Battlefront 2 has loot crates. You earn these when you clear certain challenges, level up, and you can also buy them using the in-game currency (credits) earned from levelling up and doing well in multiplayer.
In these crates, you’ll find many beneficial items such as Star Cards, weapon unlocks, and of course, cosmetic items like emotes, victory poses etc. You start off with a couple of these crates in your inventory, and even more if you played the original Battlefront.
You should open them ASAP and equip whatever you get. Like we pointed out, Boost Cards increase the effectiveness of your abilities, and you definitely want that. Don’t go in with an empty card slot if you can help it.
Starfighter combat has completely changed
Just like infantry combat, flying around and shooting in a TIE-Fighter or an X-Wing in Battlefront 2 will feel completely different to how it did in the first game. You’ll no longer hold a button to lock on to an enemy and have most of your shots automatically track them.
Instead, you must now aim and track the target yourself for blaster fire. The game will sometimes show you a white circle in front of the target you’re chasing. This is where you should aim to hit. This circle gets away farther from the target the faster they’re moving. A faster target means you’ll have to lead more and vice versa.
Many other air combat games have this feature, so it’s not completely new, but it definitely is for Battlefront.
The way starfighters move has also changed. You now have complete control over pitch, yaw, and roll. The game doesn’t automate anything for you by default. Under ‘Controls’ you’ll be able to turn advanced flight on or off, disable manual roll, and change how missile lock is handled. You should definitely pay this menu a visit and mess around to see what works best for you.
The same menu also has three sensitivity options that only affect starfighters. These control how far you have to move your mouse/right stick to turn, and how precise you need to be and so on.
Back to combat, remember to use the zoom feature to slow the fighter down and allow yourself to be more precise with aiming. Finally, don’t forget that you can also switch between first and third-person in a starfighter.
A lot of players fly in third-person and only go into first-person when they’re chasing a target for better accuracy. You can always switch back to third-person on the fly if you feel lost.
It’s hard to see infantry on the ground when you’re in a starfighter
Following up on the previous point about starfighters, you may have noticed that enemies are very hard to see when you’re in a fighter on a Galactic Assault map. Outside of the big target being highlighted, the infantry are much harder to make out.
To avoid having to go too close to the ground and risk a crash, utilise the same zoom tactic we talked about earlier. It’ll slow you down and help you see where enemies are before you can come back around for a strafing run. Be careful, though, as this makes you an easier target for ground troops.
You want to focus on the choke points, such as in the second phase of Assault on Theed. You’re almost always going to find Separatist droids on the outside entrance trying to get in. If you’re in a fighter as a defender, just aim at this general area and you’re guaranteed to at least get a few hits in.
Another really helpful tip if you’re an attacker in fighter is to shoot defenders on the ground carrying Ion Disruptors. These do a lot of damage to the big MTT and you ideally don’t want that to happen. The game will highlight Ion Disruptor carriers for you with a red crosshair icon. The splash damage from your fighter blasters should be enough to take them out – they’re regular infantry after all.
Don’t ignore side objectives in Starfighter Assault
Although the focus of a typical Starfighter Assault round is to attack/defend big targets, you should not have 100 percent of your focus on the most obvious. Sometimes, other time-limited objectives will pop up that could hurt you if you don’t go for them.
As the Empire, you’ll occasionally see Y-Wing bombers coming in to support the Rebels. They’re usually easy to take out, and you should definitely go for them if no one else is.
Beyond that, there are other non-objective defences that you should take out, such as the turrets protecting the Star Destroyer. They won’t be highlighted with a big red icon, but they will shoot you down if you get close, and taking them out grants you points.
Remember, everything you do that helps your team earns you points, which you can later spend on Hero ships.
The MTT front gun and the LAAT Gunship are on rails
Every now and then, you’ll get the chance to spawn in the front of the big MTT moving down the street in Assault on Theed. This turret is very powerful, but there are a few things you need to know.
You can’t control the turret’s movement, since the MTT is always moving forward. What’s more, the turn radius on the gun is very narrow. Enemies in your peripheral vision can easily shoot it and you’d be helpless against them. What you can do, though, is focus on what’s ahead.
Many times you’ll find Clone Troopers crossing from one side to the other, completely unaware that someone is actually sitting in the gunner turret. Blast them for some easy kills. Your time in that seat is limited, so make it count.
Similarly, the LAAT Gunship is a support vehicle you can call in. Like the MTT, you can’t control its movement, only the turret. Your view will be locked to first-person, and the gunship will keep on circle strafing, giving you a shot every now and then.
Unfortunately, much like MTT, having no control on where it moves means you’ll be getting shot from both sides without much you can do about it.
Pick up the Ion Disruptor as a Clone Trooper defender on Assault on Theed
As a defender on Assault on Theed, the Galactic Assault mode, every few minutes you’ll see a blue icon in the game world alerting you to an item. This is the Ion Disruptor, and they always spawn in pairs.
It goes without saying that you should definitely pick it up. Ion Disruptors are used to take down the MTT and prevent the game from reaching the second phase and beyond. As a defender, you ideally want that to happen as soon as possible.
Ion Disruptors do great damage to the MTT, so you should definitely pick them up. If you miss them and someone else picks them up, stay around to protect them. The game will even flash a nice big ‘protect’ sign on top of their head. The reason being – outside of the points you earn – that they get marked as soon as they pick it up.
Your enemies, especially in starfighters, will have a big red icon to shoot at. One thing to keep in mind though is that you only get a limited window every few minutes to fire at the MTT. If you fire at it when it has the lock icon, you won’t do any damage.