Titanfall Beta tips and tricks: Inside secrets of the most eagerly anticipated game of 2014
The Titanfall Beta is now open to members of public and that means the lucky Xbox One and PC gamers to have received an access code already can now battle it out prior to the game's official release on 11 March in the US and 14 March in the UK.
If you're one of those but haven't managed to spark it up yet, you will be first faced with an enforced tutorial to help acclimatise you to wall-running, Smart Gun use and, of course, Titan control. Then you will be able to get into the thick of the action, playing the Attrition, Hardpoint and Last Titan Standing game modes in six versus six teamplay. A Beta Variety mix is also available, which will randomly choose a game mode and map, between Angel City and Fracture, for each round.
At first, it might all seem a little intimidating. While many aspects are familiar, Titanfall offers a different experience to multiplayer first-person shooter games you may be used to. It's fast, frenetic and the addition of Titans makes for all new strategies.
We've put together some handy tips and tricks therefore, to help you jump into the game with both feet. Some we discovered while playing the build during the recent press event in London - the same build as the public Beta, it turns out - and some from developer Respawn Entertainment itself.
We hope they help.
With the wall-running and fast speed of Titanfall, when you're not in a Titan it's best to get off the ground and take to the rooftops. In the Hardpoint mode, where you have to be close to checkpoints in order to keep them secured for your team, that might not be possible - especially as Hardpoints could be on or underground.
For the Attrition mode though it's almost essential. And in Last Titan Standing mode, although you will be in your Titan for a lot of the round, there's a good tip that involves disembarking and getting high up on the map. We'll come to that later.
Although a sniper rifle is available in the Beta (we won't spoil it by saying where), you'll spend most of your time without one. It's best then to keep moving at all times, even when in your Titan. Because of the speed of the game, a moving target is very hard to kill - just look at the static AI Grunts and how easy it is to take them out to realise that.
Hardpoint is an exception, but even if you just stand around waiting by a checkpoint, you'll soon find you're facing the work end of a Titan's heavy artillery. Or even having your neck snapped by an opponent who's managed to get behind you.
Just because your Titan is ready to drop, doesn't mean you are. Make sure that you don't call for your huge mechanoid exoskeleton at a point that's surrounded in well-armed enemies. Try to make your way to a more quiet spot of the map and call for it then.
If you die and you're Titan's ready, you'll get a chance to respawn inside the behemoth. Use it then as that will always being in a (fairly) safe point on the map.
Observe the environment
Both Angel City and Fracture maps have been designed almost like a Tony Hawk's Pro Skater park in that there are specifically placed structures to allow you to put together running and jumping combos to get to the best vantage points.
Don't blindly run down obvious streets or alleys. You'll either get taken out by other players or squashed under the foot of a rampaging Titan.
"One of the advanced moves to do when you're wall-running is to kick off the wall, land on the ground with some forward speed or momentum. As you touch the ground, hit jump and you'll maintain that forward momentum if you do it just right," says Respawn game director Steve Fukuda.
The wall hang move, where you can stick a knife into a wall is very useful when being chased or if a Titan is coming towards you. You can wall hang suddenly during a chase and then get behind your opponent to take them out either by shooting them in the back or through a jumping melee move.
If a Titan walks past while you're wall hanging, you can leap off onto its back, tear open the head compartment and blow away its circuits, rodeo-style.
Here's a tip we found particularly effective when fighting other members of the press during the dedicated event. Because you can leave your Titan and command its artificial intelligence to either follow you as you dash around on foot, or stay and guard an area, you can use that as a decoy to entice other players into a trap.
It won't work all the time, because if a player will see that your Titan is empty and in AI mode (it says so above its head), but at a quick glance they might not notice and therefore head straight for it to engage. You wait around on a nearby rooftop or in a building and either fire salvos towards them or leap on their Titan's head to "rodeo" them when they are faced away from you.
An empty Titan also makes a good guard in Hardpoint mode. And alternative Titan load outs, which become available as you level up, include an option for your Titan to explode with nuclear force when destroyed, harming all those in the area. That way you can sacrifice it in Last Titan Standing mode for the good of your team mates.
This may seem obvious but it wasn't to us when we first played. Like with your Pilot, your Titan can duck. That means it can reach low down places with its heavier firepower and therefore take out Pilots sitting by Hardpoint sites that look otherwise tricky to get to.
Burn baby, burn
After you've levelled up a few times you will gain access to Burn Cards. These can be a big game changer for you as they offer bonuses and power ups that you don't usually get access to. For example, we found the ability to swap our Titan-busting weapon for something that fired grenades at Pilots more useful in Attrition mode.
Faster speed was better for getting to the drop ship at the end of a round.
Bucking the cowboy
When another player is rodeoing your Titan, you won't be able to shoot at them. Instead, you can either get a friendly Titan to punch them off, disembark and shoot them or, best of all, eject from your Titan which will blast them into the sky.
"When you have someone rodeoing you and you decide to punch out, you actually both get catapulted in the air at the same time," says Joel Emslie, the lead artist for the game. "Something I saw that was super cool was two dudes up in the air, a hundred feet off the ground, freefalling and exchanging fire in mid-air. That looked badass."
Go for the spectacular
"The coolest way to kill somebody in the game or defeat an opponent is with a Titanfall," says Emslie. "The best way to do that is a little bit pro, it takes a little practice to do this.
"When you come up to an enemy Titan - get the advantage off a rooftop or whatever and you see him walking by - just jump at his head. You'll swoop in and lock onto him to do a rodeo.
"Inside the cockpit, the opponent will hear you hit his hull. Most enemy Pilots will dismount and once a Titan dismounts and you're rodeoing it, the Titan takes an automatic knee.
"So, if you can get a Titan to take a knee, have enough time and are skilled enough, you can aim straight down into that Titan and call in your Titan if you have it queued. Have your Titan fall, crush everything and kill everybody.
"It's the best and most satisfying way to get a kill on the game, I think. And it's the name of the game."
Registration for the Beta is still open, at titanfall.com/beta, but will close at 11.59pm on Monday, 17 February. If you haven't had a code by then, it's likely you'll have to wait until the final game arrives before getting a play. Only a limited number of seats are available on the two Beta tests - one for Xbox One, one for PC. There is no Beta for the Xbox 360 version of the game, which will be released slightly later, on 28 March.
If you have any further tips yourself, that have worked during your Beta playtime, please let us know in the comments below...