Battleborn is an FPS MOBA shoot-em-majigger that’s kind of hard to classify as a genre. That also means it can be a little difficult to play if you’re not familiar with its many inspirations. So here are some tips for beginners before they go out and fight across the Solus star system.
Play the Story with Other People
Battleborn is a game you can play solo, but it’s by far the worst way to play the game. All the objectives and bosses in the story mode are designed around having multiple people and a mixed party of characters on your side. So if you’re playing Story Mode make sure you play with friends or even random strangers. It’s a ton more enjoyable than playing by yourself.
Replay Story Missions
So you beat the Story Mode. Congratulations! Now get back in there and play the missions again! Play as a different character, try a different build, try to get a better score, or go for character or faction-specific achievements and lore challenges. There are tons of ways to play Battleborn and even more things to unlock, so part of the appeal of Story Mode is to jump back into a mission and try a different approach.
Stick with Your Team
As tempting as it is to lone-wolf or rush forward for kills, always make sure you got backup with you. In co-op, make sure you don’t stray too far ahead or behind your group. Make sure your team is all set up before you start a new section. I’ve seen plenty of deaths and failed missions because some player decided to rush ahead or got too far away from help.
In competitive, make sure you got someone else watching your back. Lone players are pretty easy to pick off and larger groups of players almost always have the advantage over smaller squads. This isn’t a competitive shooter like CoD or Overwatch. Teamwork wins more games than individual skill.
Try Out Characters in Private Matches
If you’ve unlocked a new hero and want to know what they play like, play a quick private match vs bots. It’s an easy way to get used to their skills and see how you can build them. I’d suggest doing a Meltdown match since those matches are a lot quicker in terms of game length and leveling.
Kill Bots and Capture Objectives in Competitive Matches
This may sound counter-intuitive for FPS fans who have never played a MOBA before, but killing other players isn’t always the best thing to do. In most matches you’ll be pushing lanes of bots into the enemy’s side of the map. You should always try to kill these bots because A.) this is how you win the game and B.) it gets you more levels and money. The same goes for capturing and holding points in Capture matches. Make sure you and your team is working toward objectives instead of aimlessly racing around trying to increase your K/D ratio.
This is a team game so a little communication goes a long way. You don’t need to be chatty. Just ping an objective or enemy, let your team know when you need to fall back to get some healing, or say something when you’re ready to unleash your ultimate ability. If you know what’s coming up in a mission with a bunch of newbies, maybe give them a heads up. A team with a little coordination will have a big advantage over one that has none.
Also don’t be a jerk. Nobody likes a jerk.
Balance Your Team
Battleborn is part MOBA, so team composition is really important. So if you notice no one on your team has picked a support character, it would be a good idea to sect one yourself. Grab a tanky or defensive character if you need one. Maybe focus on a debilitation or status-effect build if you got enough damage output. It might not always be the most glamorous job, but haveing a balanced team will help your team out in the long run.
Also, this is not really much of an issue in Story Mode (except on harder missions) but if you got a team full of supports or melee characters you might want to choose someone to even things out a bit.
Collect Shards, Buy Stuff Your Team Needs
As you run around maps and kill stuff you’ll run into yellow shards. These shards act like money and can be used to activate gear or construct buildables. Gear usually only grants increased stats for one player while buildables give your team new turrets, healing stations, traps, minions, and other boons. As a rule of thumb, it’s better to spend your shards on buildables to help your team rather than hoard them all for yourself. If your team is good on turrets and supply stations and you still have plenty of shards, then treat yourself to that extra 12% health bonus.
OK. This kind of goes without saying, but you don’t want to die in competitive matches. But Battleborn follows MOBA rules for death so you really don’t want to die. Enemies will get a good chunk of experience and you have to wait for a pretty lengthy respawn (30 seconds or longer at higher levels). It’s pretty much always better to run and fight another day than to try to go down in a blaze of glory. So at about half health you should be requesting healing or falling back to a supply station. At a third you should probably be running away from enemies or heading back to base.
Teleport to Base
I don’t think the game tells you this, but you can teleport back to your spawn by pressing down on the game pad or the B key on keyboard. Teleporting will fully heal you once you make it back to spawn. This is usually better than sitting around at a healing station for a long time when you’re low on health.
If you’re losing a match, don’t quit. If you disconnect you won’t get any credit, experience, or rank progression. Worse yet, you’ll be dooming the rest of your team to an inevitable defeat. And who knows? Maybe you’ll wipe most of the team later in the game and turn the match around. Point is: don’t be that guy, suck it up, and finish the game.
You can contact Zachary Long @invadingduck on Twitter and he’ll get back to you when he’s not fawning over a chipper nihlistic AI. He also wrote the TAY review for Battleborn. Spoiler Alert: He liked it quite a bit.
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