Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Succeeding at Titanfall 2: Game Modes

[NOTE: One in a series of posts on my Titanfall 2 experience. Find the intro article with links to others here.]

Titanfall 2 has a bunch of great different game modes. Some focus on Titan combat, some on pilot combat, some are mixed.
There are game modes in Titanfall 2 that I have zero interest in playing. Those modes are the 100% pilot vs pilot modes including Free for All, Pilot vs. Pilot, Capture The Flag, Marked for Death, Live Fire, and The Coliseum. If you get along well in those modes, great. Happy for you. You are a better pilot than I. Seriously. I’d rather punch myself in the balls while being dragged naked behind a motorcycle through a patch of cactus and broken glass.
My game mode mixtape has (generally) five or six modes on it. These are modes where I don’t end up screaming in frustration and throwing stuff because I’ve been shot in the head or executed for the sixth time in the last 30 seconds. I choose game modes I can succeed in, and have a good time while doing it: Amped Hardpoint, Bounty Hunt, Attrition, Last Titan Standing, and Titan Brawl. The sixth would be the occasional “special” mode Titanfall 2 throws in that’s not a simple pilot vs pilot mode. Sometimes they’ll do variations on modes I can succeed in, and I’ll add those to my mixtape.

Learn How To Win Each Game Mode

In most cases, for the mixtape I run, simply killing lots of pilots won’t win you every game. Several game modes require you to do other things to help your team win.
Bounty Hunt and Amped Hardpoint are two such modes. You need to focus on scoring points by killing Remnant Fleet players (Bounty Hunt) or holding/amping hard points (Amped Hardpoint). It’s totally possible to rack up a lot of pilot kills and end up losing the match because you weren’t taking care of business—as shown below, where in a game of Bounty Hunt I had far more points than anyone on my team, and 1,000 more points than the next highest opponent. And we lost. Because my teammates were out running around killing opponents and not scoring points. If each of those players had simply scored 200 more points each we would have won the game. Dramatic sigh.
Scored Lots of Points, Lost Because Team Was Killing Pilots Instead of Getting Points
Focus on winning. That means understanding the requirements and scoring for the game. At least make an effort to help your team win.

Pilot Kits and Ordinance

I like the Firestar because it’s persistent and an area of effect weapon. It also blinds Titans and does good damage on them. I’ve gotten several “from the dead” kills from flame damage on a Titan that did me in.
Titan Hunter kit works for me because it helps me get a titan faster.
I use Phase Embark because it lets me get into the shelter of my Titan as quickly as possible. He who runs away lives to run away another day.
Hover? Useless for me. Why do I want to float over the battlefield where people can shoot my ass out of the sky?
Stealth Kit seems to work great for others, but I still get killed regularly by electric smoke when I’m rodeoing with it, so I gave up on it.
I used the satchel charge exclusively in Titanfall 1, but only with the perk that blew it up when you died. I got lots of “from the dead” kills that way, but it’s not part of TF2, so I don’t use the satchel. The other ordinance is fine, I just roll better with the Firestar.

Thoughts on Specific Game Modes

Here are a few things that work for me in various game modes.


Goal: Kill as many opponents as you can. Titans are ten points, pilots five. Remember that minion kills can get you serious points, especially if you take out Reapers. As of this writing they’re three points each (they used to be five!), which means they’re good for overall points. They also can kick your ass all over the place if you’re not careful while you’re trying to blow them to smithereens.
Pilot Weapons: I like mid-range weapons like the Hemlock, G2, and Flatline. Again, this suits my style of play. A couple maps like Blackwater and Homestead are great for sniping with the Kraber, too. (I hate the DMR and don’t play well with it.)
Titans: Find what you play well with. I prefer Legion, Monarch, Ion, Scorch. Use kits that help you move faster. When playing Legion I use Hidden Compartment and Extra Dash. Monarch I’ll roll with Overcore, Arc Rounds, Fast Rearm, and Chassis. For Scorch I’ll use the extra thermite and dash.

Bounty Hunt

Goal: Kill Remnant forces for their bounty. Cash bounty in at banks in between rounds. Kill opposing pilots to piss them off and steal half their bounty collection.
Tactics: Focus on Remnant forces, kill pilots when they’re around. Remember your points to victory come from bounty, not pilot kills. If you’re going to chase after opposing pilots, go for the ones with large bounties in their pockets—the amount shows over their heads—and make sure to bank your money at the end of the round! Don’t just run around killing pilots and not banking your bounties. 20 kills and 100 points does not help you win the match…
Pilot Weapons: I roll nearly 100% with the Cold War. Splash damage from this is awesome because I can shoot at the door of a landing pod and kill almost all the Remnant grunts/specters/stalkers. The Cold War’s downside is the time to spin up before firing. You’re screwed if a pilot comes at you… Also, I’ve blown myself up a significant number of times by starting a shot, then ducking inside a door to hide from an enemy. Gun goes off, Jim gets blown up. If not the Cold War, then look for a gun that’s got a bunch of ammo and hits hard. Flatline and Devotion are good options.
Boost: Pilot sentry is awesome. I regularly get it 30 seconds into the first round. Drop it in a good spot, then hide from other pilots while blasting Remnants.
Titans: Legion with the extra ammo kit and Overcore kit, because you want Smartcore ASAP. It’s a thing of beauty for laying waste to the Remnants and pilots who are swanning about.

Amped Hardpoint

Goal: Hold the hardpoints and amp them. Prevent the opposing force from doing the same. You do not get points for killing the opponents!
Tactics: At a minimum, stay at a hard point until you see the message flash up “Hardpoint Hold” or “Amped Hardpoint Hold.” This means you’re getting points for yourself and your team. When you respawn, head immediately for the nearest hardpoint, either to hold it/amp it for points, or to try and seize from the enemy. You do not get points for running around the map shooting at opponents. Stick close to the hardpoints to get, well, points.
Keep an eye on the hardpoint status indicators and overall points. Try to keep your own hardpoints amped and the enemy’s unmapped.
Pilot Weapons: My standard is Hemlock (my favorite gun), Flatline, occasionally G2. Sometimes I’ll play the R97 because it sounds cool and it’s good for the close range defense.
Titans: Few hardpoints on any map allow you to hold them in your Titan. You’ll generally need to be dismounted. Ergo, I like Titans with weapons I can shoot into a hardpoint: Northstar (cluster rockets), Monarch (rocket salvo), Scorch (everything: barrels, flame wall, flame core, flame shield, thermite launcher).

Last Titan Standing

Goal: Destroy all enemy titans to win the round. No respawning. Pilots outside their Titans are nuisances, but you don’t get points for killing them. Focus on the titans!
Tactics: As with all titan mode games, stick with a crowd. One on one titan matchups suck. Two on one or three on one means the outnumbered player is going to have a bad day at the office. In short order. Conversely, if you’re outnumbered pop smoke and run the hell away. ABS: Always Be Shooting. Rack up damage on the opponents, even if you’re not going to kill one. Somebody else will.
If your Titan is blown up, PAY ATTENTION! Your job is not to hide and live. Your job is to grab batteries for your team’s remaining titans, damage the enemy titans, and prevent dismounted enemy pilots from harming your titans. Damaging the enemy titans is critical! A round whose time has run out goes to the team with the most remaining titans. If the same number of titans survive for both teams, then the team with the least damage wins. Remaining pilots can save the day by damaging enemy titans, even if they don’t doom or destroy them. I once won a match for our team by rodeoing the opponent’s sole remaining titan and pulling its battery at the last possible moment. Yay, me.
Pilot Weapons: Focus on Titan damage. Great anti-Titan weapon (Thunderbolt is my preferred one) and a good grenade launcher like the EPG or Cold War.
Titans: LTS rounds go fairly quickly, so for me it doesn’t make sense to use the Monarch—she takes too long to upgrade, even with Overcore. I prefer Legion, Scorch, or occasionally Northstar. Ronin can be great, but see my disparaging comments in the Titans post.
A Note On Titan Kits: Take some care with your Titan Kit options for this mode. It makes zero sense to use Assault Chip or Stealth Auto Eject kits for this mode. Zero. Sense. Nuke eject is close behind for poor value, in my experience. Assault and Stealth Eject bring nothing to the table. Use Overcore or Dash. Counter Ready with its 2x smoke may be beneficial if it matches your play style.

Titan Brawl

Likely my most favorite game mode. It’s just insane fun. I once got 14 kills with zero deaths running a Monarch. Screenshot below because, well, I don’t brag often but this deserves a bit of braggery.
14 Kills, Zero Deaths
Goals: Kill as many Titans as you can before the match ends. Constant respawns, no dismounts, no ejections.
Tactics: Stick with your homies. Watch out for flanking enemies. ABS: Always Be Shooting. Rack up damage on the opponents, even if you’re not going to kill one. Somebody else will.
Pilot Weapons: N/A for this mode.
Titans: All Titans are good for this mode. Pick one you do well in and have fun. Monarch is particularly awesome here, especially with Energy Thief, Overcore, Arc Rounds, Fast Reload, and Chassis. Legion is great because you can lay down some serious-assed damage at all ranges. I suck at Tone, but have seen folks wreck with it in this mode. Bully for them. Maybe when I grow up or hit Gen 100…
A Note On Titan Kits: Take some care with your Titan Kit options for this mode. It makes zero sense to use Assault Chip, Nuke Eject, or Stealth Auto Eject kits for this mode. Zero. Sense. You can’t actually use any of those kits in this mode. So Just. Don’t. Use Overcore or Dash. Counter Ready with its 2x smoke may be beneficial if it matches your play style.

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