After Respawn’s opening effort, it was clear that Titanfall was going to be a successful series that resonated with first-person shooter fans. This is in no small part thanks to the fact that the developer is made up of the talented people behind Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, which to this day is one of the best games in that series. And also, giant mechs you can summon down to trample on people.
Offering unparalleled movement speed and verticality, Titanfall 2 delivers on every promise laid out in that first game, but at a cost. You’re going to need our tips to survive the battlefield, both online and if you plan on completing the hardest difficulties of the stellar single-player campaign.
You’re quicker on walls than on the floor
It may seem obvious, but Titanfall is all about movement. To that end, if you are wall running you will be quicker than if you’re sprinting on the ground. Stringing together wall runs and wall jumps puts you at your top speed, and with the bounty of skills available, you can be sure that as a moving target you are harder to hit, harder to see, and will be able to get the drop on people from above. Importantly, know that shooting while wall running doesn’t lower your speed, so don’t be afraid to spray from above.
Know your level and map layout
Whether you’re playing single player or online, there are multiple ways to attack things. Different combinations of weapons and skills work well. For example, coming from a high platform you can drop down for an instant melee hit, or even a shotgun kill. If you’re sniping from the back of a map, make sure you know the ways your opponents can get round the side or back of you. Be aware of entrances and exits, and if you’ve got the cloaking skill, know when to hit that button and run away to fight another day. It’s good to be aware of the size of the map, too, so you don’t waste time accidentally moving out of the battlezone and being told to go back.
Remember that what you do has a visual effect
If you’re double jumping around while cloaked, you will leave an exhaust trail. Likewise, if you are cloaked and shoot someone, you’re immediately uncloaked. Think about what you’re doing and be aware of your surroundings. If you really want to be sure you’re not going to get spotted there are unlocks like the Low Profile ability, which actually removes your jump kit exhaust trail. If you’re jumping on an enemy Titan to pull out their battery, before needing to jump back on so you can drop a grenade in to finish them off, those few seconds you save by not being seen can be the difference between success and failure.
For the true elite pilot, skip across the ground to gain top speed
Titanfall 2 marries platforming with its shooting to such an extent that if you reach high speed while wall running and jumping away from the wall, you can hit the jump button as you hit the ground, and do so repeatedly to continue onward at top speed. If you can do this regularly, you’re going to be hard to kill, and we don’t want to come across you on the battlefield, because with everything else going on this isn’t an easy task.
Have multiple loadouts and test them out
There are lots of abilities that work well together, but it’s vital you find the one that works for you. With Wallhang you can hold the button to bring your sights up while running, and stick to the wall. If you’ve got up high and remained undetected, that’s an easy few kills with minimal effort. The grapple hook may seem great at first, but do you really need that additional manoeuvrability, or would it be better switched for a skill that keeps you alive longer? Consider all the abilities before rushing into a match, and have lots of loadouts all named so you can select them quickly pre-match.
Don’t get caught short in a firefight
Remember you can pick up enemy weapons. If you run out of ammo, don’t be afraid to grab whatever is lying around on the floor after you’ve defeated someone. Switch to your anti-Titan weapon in a real pinch, but grab any old gun and get back to it. Try not to be a serial reloader, and use every bullet in the clip, use cover and buildings to reload, and get back into the fight, Pilot!
Cook your grenades
Sure, that sounds like something a madman might say, but holding the throw (or fire) button down “cooks” it, and means the highly skilled can cause a grenade to pop at exactly the right moment, and in the perfect spot you intended it to. Like the skipping across the ground skill we mentioned, this will take practice, but the best players will be doing this, you can bet on that.
Know your game mode and play accordingly
At first we were worried by the Titanfall 2 beta, as it seemed that Attrition mode was missing, but having played the final game extensively, it’s back and it’s brilliant. A unique mode that allows you to get points from killing AI soldiers (minions) as well as enemy pilots, it’s important to realise that they serve a dual purpose. Of course they are there for point scoring and to help you get your Titan faster, but they also serve to flush you out. If the AI on the map finds you, they’ll start firing, causing people to realise where you were.
It’s vital you know the modes in the game, and play accordingly. For example, Titanfall 2’s CTF (capture the flag) mode has a return timer, so if dropped, the flag will return to the base after time passes. In Last Titan Standing you might lose your Titan, but it’s not over: grab batteries for your team-mates to help them win the fight. Never forget that if you die during Bounty Hunt you’ll lose half your bounty. It’s all about knowing what you need to do to succeed.
Respect enemy Titans, but don’t be scared
Some Titans are harder to take down than others and while you should never foolishly jump in front of one, as a Pilot you can take them down. Of course you could just fire at them with your anti-Titan weapon, but remember you can jump on them and remove their battery, weakening them. After that, you can climb them again and drop a grenade in, which will finish them off. But beware, respect your opponent, and know they could have a nuclear explosion as a perk, meaning when you kill them, they will take you with them. Know your Titans, and know what they’re capable of.
Experiment with the Titans by playing the single-player campaign
As well as being a genuinely excellent single-player campaign, Titanfall 2’s story mode also acts partially as a tutorial for the online. It'll familiarise you with the movement and weapons, but it'll also give you the chance to try out all the major Titan loadouts as you play. We’ve found Scorch is the hardest to play as, as it feels a very defensive Titan, but Ronin (the new sword-wielding one) is brutal, if weak. Each Titan has a weakness and a strength, and using Ronin as an example, that Titan is perfect for getting in close and killing lots of enemy Titans quick, but its speed and weapon strength is negated somewhat by having a weaker chassis.
Find regular team-mates by using the new Networks system
Respawn have invested time making a robust online friend system for Titanfall 2 called Networks. Once you join, the creator can set a happy hour which grants double XP for that hour. Finding friends and battling together is half the fun of online gaming, but it also ensures you will have a higher chance of success thanks to team communication. We’re not sure where Respawn will take the idea, but the ability to find a group of like-minded friends is certainly a nice one.