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Titanfall Survival Guide, Tips & Tactics

Jonathan Lester
EA, FPS games, PC games, Respawn Entertainment, Survival Guide, Titanfall, Xbox One Games

Titanfall Survival Guide, Tips & Tactics

Who's playing Titanfall? We certainly are, and have been doing so solidly for a week (with the exception of Carl who spends all of his time playing Dark Souls II in a padded room with no access to bonfire materials). Though offering impressive scope for expressive versatile gameplay, Titanfall is incredibly accessible and intuitive too, meaning that players with little or no experience can still have a good time without having to mug up on FAQs or forums.

However, we reckon that a few tips, tricks and tactics deserve a special mention... so it's time for a survival guide!

As with Borderlands 2 and a few other games, I'd like to invite you to share your own advice, tips and war stories - and I'll put helpful comments directly into the article itself in a "reader intermission." Okay. Standby for... well... you know.

Hang Tough

Titanfall Survival Guide, Tips & Tactics

Titanfall's tutorial is fairly comprehensive, but it completely neglects to mention a simple yet extremely potent power play at every pilot's disposal - which many new players don't seem to know about. The Wall Hang. While jumping or wall-running, you can casually hold down the left trigger or right mouse button to attach yourself to any surface like a murderous barnacle, recharging your double jump and letting you rain hip fire on unwary targets. On a basic level, wall hanging is a great way of gaining extra elevation or making it up to a tricky rooftop, but it affords some interesting tactical opportunities especially during Hardpoint or CTF matches.

The lack of ADS makes nuance and situational awareness critical when facing off against pilots. If defending or securing an objective, consider glomming onto a wall just above the main entry point or on a pillar to the side of the arena, granting you full view of the capture zone while benefiting from 'hardpoint hold' XP. From your newfound vantage point, you can easily throw grenades down into the mix, blast opponents with carbine hip fire, detonate any satchel charges at the perfect moment or - better yet - gain some easy Smart Pistol headshots from your elevated position. Be sure to stay cloaked and relocate after every couple of kills, though, as your victims will likely return with vengeance in mind.

Titanfall Survival Guide, Tips & Tactics

Titans, conversely, make big and easy targets - and are therefore extremely vulnerable to some clever wall hanging. If forced to eject during a tense one-on-one Titan battle, try to grab onto a high nearby tower or cliff, switch to your Sidewinder (easily my favourite anti-Titan weapon) and go to town, showering your already-weakened foe with rockets and Arc Grenades if you have them. Ejecting grants you a massive amount of aerial elevation, so use it to your advantage.

Just remember that Wall Hang time is limited and you'll fall eventually. Have an escape route in mind, or use any lull in the battle to drop and reattach.

Pick The Right Titan For The Job

Titanfall Survival Guide, Tips & Tactics

There's a Titan for every occasion, and a loadout for every job. As soon as you unlock custom Titan loadouts, you'll want to create a versatile selection of Titans designed for specific situations, and choose one that fits the bill.

Having an anti-Titan build on hand is never a bad idea, especially if your opponents have fielded several of their own. In terms of raw damage output, it's hard to beat the 40mm Cannon with the 3-round burst fire modification, while using multi-target rockets or slaved barrages (anything except Cluster Missiles will serve you well). For defence, pack a Vortex or Particle shield, while boosting your own survivability with Regen. Melee-minded pilots will also want to equip the 'Big Punch' kit to boost melee damage. Any chassis will do, but the Atlas' damage boost and Stryder's useful dashes arguably edge out the slower, tougher Ogre.

However, when playing Hardpoint or CTF, an Area Denial build can also be tremendously effective, whether you're holding an objective or pushing one. Since all maps have at least one Titan-accessible capture point, you'll want to focus on anti-pilot armaments, and weapons that can effectively deter opponents from entering the capture zone. The Triple Threat and cluster missile are perfect for this, while Electric Smoke is essential, since pilots will almost certainly be tempted into rodeo attacks in tight quarters. Let them, then get as close to the capture point as possible before popping your smoke and cooking anyone in the area. The Ogre chassis' durability gives you extra defence... and Nuclear Detonation can clear out the entire capture zone. Just be sure to run as fast and as high as possible once the chain reaction starts!

That said, everyone has their own preferred playstyle, so be sure to keep a versatile all-rounder build on hand - just do what feels right.

Mines & Satchel Charges Can Make (Or Ruin) Your Day

Titanfall Survival Guide, Tips & Tactics

Titanfall's generous grenade range means that aggressive types can effortlessly lob explosives through windows and over large distances, but when playing an objective game, mines and charges can be an absolute godsend. Be sure to lock down entrances to capture points or flag approaches -- and when playing CTF, consider placing a satchel charge very close to your flag. As soon as you hear that an enemy has made a grab, press the button and imagine the look on their face.

When on the offensive, remember that canny opponents will do this to you given half a chance. A well-placed frag will detonate any cheeky explosives that would otherwise ruin your day, while abusing wall-runs will keep you off the ground.

The Epilogue Sacrifice

Titanfall Survival Guide, Tips & Tactics

If it's clear that you're destined to lose the match, save your Titan until the epilogue plays out. Not only will your stompy pal allow you to quickly cover the distance towards the dropship in relative safety, but it's also willing to lay down its virtual life for you in a couple of surprising ways. If you've got a long distance to go and not much time to do it, try to aggro enemies into dooming your Titan as quickly as possible... which will let you abuse the ejection's enormous altitude to make up dozens of metres. A well-placed nuclear detonation will also destroy or deter any enemies near the dropship, which can prove intensely satisfying.

Just don't botch the final jump, which I do every single bloody time. Do as I say, not as I fail to do.

Reader Intermission: Community Advice!

Titanfall Survival Guide, Tips & Tactics

  • Premature Nuclear Eject.. In case you didn't realise, hit X, then tap E to cause you to Eject and your titan to explode (ofc. having the Nuke perk on). Extremely handy at the end of the match to damage the dropship (if you can get close), or damage the enemy mechs before escaping. - Tsung
  • For cheap XP/Points, shoot all the Marvins (neutral robots). There are challenges for this. - More sage advice from Tsung
  • A trick I like to do when I have my titan ready to fall (and warpfall active) is rodeo an enemy titan, look straight down, and call my own titan. There's about a 50:50 chance you will succeed in crushing the enemy mech. - Late

More Than A Mech

Titans may be exceptional war machines, but they aren't just bipedal tanks. Indeed, your metal chum can influence a battle in surprising ways without ever stepping into the cockpit.

Everyone knows that Titans crush everything beneath them when they deploy. It's awesome. As such, you should attempt to do this as often as possible, and can gain an extra advantage by equipping the 'Warpfall' kit that massively decreases deployment time, letting you use your Titan as a sledgehammer before it even activates. Canny pilots can also use it to block off streets, territory or assault routes with its Dome Shield, especially when supplemented with the Battery kit.

Your Titan is also an effective watch dog, capable of watching your back as you push the objective on foot, which leads to its second major role as a diversion. Inexperienced players will tend to focus on the enormous mech rather than the cloaked pilot stuck to the wall, leading to their demise when they reveal their position or go for the rodeo attack... in your gunsights.

On the flip-side, watch for this yourself. When you see an Auto-Titan near an objective, chances are its pilot will be somewhere nearby... if not getting their third smart pistol lock on the back of your head.

Burn 'Em If You Got 'Em

Titanfall hands out Burn Cards like they're going out of fashion. Not only will regular play unlock a ton of cards, but completing challenges usually results in a grab-bag of three relatively rare cards that are wasted on a full inventory.

So... burn them! There's no advantage to hoarding up, so be sure to enter each battle with two versatile cards you're prepared to use.

At the start of a match, equipping an amped weapon can grant you an early edge, while 'Ghost Squad' turns you into The Predator with its permanent cloak. Anything that shaves off Titan construction time is useful and worth playing early, while boosted XP is often best saved until you're ready to spawn in a Titan, due to its extra survivability. As a general rule, try to keep your inventory clear of cards you definitely won't use - I always junk amped DMR cards and most Grunt-related cards immediately to free up space.

It's worth keeping a game-changer ready just in case you need to turn the tide. Radar ping, or the aforementioned 'Ghost Squad,' is perfect for this, granting you a massive temporary advantage. Receiving a pre-charged Titan Core is also helpful if you need to cause some serious damage in the late game.

Oh, and Massive Payload is our favourite card by far. Matt tends to play this during the epilogue, then charges into the fray with no self-preservation whatsoever, ejects, and laughs heartily as he watches the enormous explosion from the air.

Play The Objective!

Titanfall Survival Guide, Tips & Tactics

As we mentioned in the review, Titanfall is extraordinarily generous when it comes to rewarding team play. Years of CoD may have drilled 'K/D is everything' into your head, but unless you're playing Pilot Hunter, this number is completely meaningless... and focusing on kills will actively decrease your experience earning potential.

When playing Hardpoint, the MVP will almost certainly have spent the match guarding an objective against incoming forces, earning a tasty 75XP bonus for every few seconds spent in a friendly capture zone. Killing attackers also grants defensive bonuses. CTF, too, will see K/D obsessed lone wolves languishing down the bottom of the leaderboard, overshadowed by Pilots who actually made captures and denials, even if their kill count suffered as a result.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't kill opposing players. That'd be stupid. That's the whole point, after all. But if you play the objective, you'll find yourself quickly rising through the ranks, and topping leaderboards on a regular basis. Plus, victory XP (and epilogue cleanup) is a tidy little bonus too.

That's our lot for the time being - so now it's your turn. Let us know how you've been securing victory in Titanfall!

Add a comment11 comments
Tsung  Mar. 17, 2014 at 14:27

My Tips... (PC Version)

Hardpoint.. Take point and defend it. yes being in a titan is great fun but it ain't going to win you any matches. Use your titan in Guard Mode to help defend the point.

Premature Nuclear Eject.. In case you didn't realise, hit X, then tap E to cause you to Eject and your titan to explode (ofc. having the Nuke perk on). Extremely handy at the end of the match to damage the dropship (if you can get close), or damage the enemy mechs before escaping.

For cheap XP/Points, shoot all the Marvins (neutral robots). There are challenges for this.

Burn cards, it's obvious but don't activate burn cards that have no use. Eg. if you active the Massive Payload at the start of the match, you will have 2 to 3 mins to wait before that card has ANY use. That is a long time to stay alive.

Hardpoint + Double XP burn card.. Take first point, sit on it, defend it = loads of XP..

Echo Vision + Titan = Epic fun..

If your dead, and your titan is ready, press left key on the keyboard (before re-spawning) to spawn in the titan. (It isn't obvious).

I think of others soon.

MattGardner  Mar. 17, 2014 at 14:31

XP farming in Hardpoint is great and I nearly always take up a defensive position now, unless I'm recording video stuff (doesn't exactly make for thrilling viewing). Using your Titan in guard mode as a hulking decoy is always good fun.

And yes... I don't always go nuclear at the end of matches, but when I do, I use Massive Payload. 60% of the time it works every time.

Late  Mar. 17, 2014 at 16:24

As Tsung says, note that it's not necessary to have opponents doom your titan for you to do a sky high exit (particularly useful when evacuating the field at the end of the match). You can do it manually at any time (pressing up on the d-pad on Xbox). Of course you'll generally want to stay in the titan as long as possible - but don't leave your eject until there are only 4 or 5 seconds left unless you want to watch the drop ship depart from way up in the heavens.
I'm not sure it's possible to land in the drop ship when falling from up in the clouds BTW - I think you need to land next to it and hop in. I've tried to drop into the ship and gone straight through it (and sometimes out of the map) several times.

A trick I like to do when I have my titan ready to fall (and warpfall active) is rodeo an enemy titan, look straight down, and call my own titan. There's about a 50:50 chance you will succeed in crushing the enemy mech.

JonLester  Mar. 17, 2014 at 18:56

As promised, I've updated the article with a Community Advice section. If you've got tactics or advice to share, let's hear it! :D

ProfSaurus  Mar. 18, 2014 at 12:09

This one doesn't really work for Ogres since they only have the one boost bar and it's best used in a more confined space... It's also a really simple tactic but it's worked for me more than once now... What you want to do is boost right up to an enemy Titan or two... And then go straight past them, popping your electric smoke on the way by. If you can keep the enemy occupied for a few seconds the smoke can do serious damage...

Late  Mar. 20, 2014 at 09:46

When you're getting close to level 50 try to keep a decent supply of your favourite burn cards spare - assuming you're planning on regenerating (prestiging).

After regeneration you'll be back at level 1, with no custom classes and only basic equipment. At this point you might like to play a couple of games without using those burn cards. You'll very quickly find yourself at a level where Challenges become unlocked.

It's a godsend to be able to bring out an amped version of your favourite weapon, or call a titan in the first seconds of a match when you're low level. (You get 3 titan burn cards when you hit level 50 - one of each class. Well I did - I assume everyone does.) And if you wait until challenges become unlocked you'll hopefully find each burn card will complete you some challenge or other, in the process earning you a load of xp.

Speaking of Regeneration, be sure to check out the requirements for doing it.
The first time you only need to get to level 50. The second you need to get to level fifty and to have killed loads of people and npcs using the shotty and the 40mm cannon.
Each successive prestige requires more difficult criteria to have been fulfilled. Details here
As such, I'm now mainly using the EVA shotgun. I hate shotguns in FPSs. I'm rubbish with them. Hopefully I'll improve over the next few days!

Tsung  Mar. 23, 2014 at 12:39

Since the latest update there is(are) no point(s) in defending. (Dropped from +75 points, to +25 points).

It's a shame, but Hardpoint has turned into a Team Death Match with 3 points on the map. So changing my original advice..

Take a point, move to another point. If all 3 points are taken (by your team), move off your point to allow the enemy to take it back then retake it. This will net you much more XP than defending it.

I really wish they put more game modes in the game, like the Killzone one (where the objectives change during the game) would be great. Or a single point for both teams to try and capture that moves around the map.

I have a feeling this game is going get "old" very quickly. Maybe that is the idea to encourage us to buy the DLC or Titanfall 2 when it comes out. :/

And they still need to sort out Matchmaking, got put into a server this morning, losing side, as the drop ship arrives (to collect). I don't care about stats so much but to get a loss when there is nothing I could do about it is annoying.
If the sides are unbalanced due to early quitters, make the quitters suffer a loss or two not the people who fill their places or the existing team.

Last edited by Tsung, Mar. 23, 2014 at 12:45
Late  Mar. 23, 2014 at 18:35

The size of each defensive zone has shrunk a bit, too. Instead of being at the other end of the room getting 75pts every ten seconds you now stand much nearer the hard point and get much less score. Not a nice update :(

BlackToeMcGreggor  Apr. 10, 2014 at 15:46

1st Its's an AWESOME game to have and to play! But than I wonder... As Tsung already pointed out: 'getting old real quickly'. This WILL happen, if 'stuff' doesn't chance (read: gamecontent). I baught the game and after 3 days I was L50 Gen2 (= Gen 3 level 1 basicly). Getting to 'Gen number whatever', I don't really care.

I mean for just getting faster XP and a few challenges and start all over again as a L1 (besides the unlocked stryder and ogre)? This will really KILL Titanfall if you ask me. And thatswhy I dont understand the Devs: Why make an EPIC shooter, JUST to hit - max level and have unlocked the FEW: weaps, attachemnets and perks- in max 2-3 days???? For example: at Gen4 u could get rewarded to have another perk, or customize looks, gear whatever, but NON so ever... Just a few weaps and attach to unlock and thats it for your pilot :(

I am very affraid this EPIC shooter dies in a record time. Any Game-Dev should know this: Fanatic gaming is all about progress and not about having JUST with a (stupid) number in front of your name: my progress stopped after 3 days.... Now I will try to enjoy it, with some friends online. Hopefully near future and some creative Dev's-mind will save us.

Graphics/Design: I give a 9+

Gameplay incl some nice original features: I give a 9+

Game-content / progression / extended (customizing features and or weap/gear upgrades etc.: I give 4+ (sorry) :(

Late  Apr. 10, 2014 at 18:14

Nice to see private matches added today.
The new improved matchmaking seems rather slow though. And not all that balanced...

BlackToeMcGreggor  Apr. 10, 2014 at 21:33

Nice to see private matches added today.
The new improved matchmaking seems rather slow though. And not all that balanced...

So I just found out:

By Gel Galang | March 30, 2014 10:22 AM EST
Now that the anti-cheating system for Titanfall has been enforced and has exhibited a rather intensely amusing and thought-provoking look on cheating (will you or won't you?--it's actually a big question here), developer Respawn has turned towards the next installment of the game.

Or rather, towards the first DLC expansion, which Respawn boss Vince Zapella has responded to a fan query over at Twitter.

Spotted by IGN, a fan has asked when the first DLC will be coming out and how much it will cost, to which Zampella responded, "Don't think we've announced a date, cost is $10 US."

It seem that the first DLC will be a paid one, since Respawn has also announce that Titanfall's follow-up content will include both free and paid DLCs. What will come for free alongside the Season Pass are free updates.

This was confirmed by Zampella also via Twitter, as spotted by Gamerant. Following a fan's statement on wanting new modes for the next big update (and not the promised paid DLC), Zampella tweeted, "Modes we release will be free to all, not part of DLC."

Matchmaking for skills in Titanfall

"The game finds teammates and opponents for you by using this skill data. After we build teams and those two teams play a few matches, it is usually very clear which team is better. However, we weren't taking full advantage of this information," said Respawn in the official Titanfall web site.

This is why the developers made a recent change, particularly in two areas. The first is that searching for teammates and opponents will take more time to ensure that there is good skill level match among the players. Respawn hopes that this would create better teams and closer games in general.

The second change is that teams can change periodically and toss your team with another team that's different from the one you've been playing against. This not only gives you a better suited opponent for the next round, it will eliminate the chances of a fairly weak team that keeps losing to a team that does not have a similar skill match. This can provide both reprieve (for players who need a break from losses) and a challenge (for those that keep winning while playing with their eyes closed).

Respawn is already going to make the changes available via the "Improved Matchmaking (Beta) playlist, which you can find in the Play Classic MP section. But it's a watch-and-see transition, so changes will keep happening.

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