Now that we’ve covered the weapons of Titanfall, it’s time to cover what your Pilots can do when shooting isn’t necessarily the aim. As before, we’ll focus on the three established modes of play: close quarters, middle range, and “the unseen.”
The tactics of the tactical ability
With only three abilities on offer, you might think there would be a lack of versatility, but quite the opposite is true. Depending on how you play, either all, none, or some of these abilities will suit you. It is, as with most things in Titanfall, a matter of context. Still, there are certain abilities that favor one playstyle over another.
- Close quarters: While both cloak and active radar pulse are effective when surrounded by foes, by far the most useful ability is stim, but not because of the movement speed bonus. Rather, stim is best suited to swinging losing gunfights in your favor. Because it also speeds up health regeneration, if you can use it in conjunction with a some acrobatics to swing losing engagements your way, and provided you win, you’ll be in a better position for the next fight.
- Middle range: The thing about cloak is, at anything within middle range, it’s good for about two or three milliseconds of safety before your human opponents start shooting. If, however, you cloak when you know your enemies won’t be right up in your face, you might get as much as a second to react to their actions. In a game as fast as Titanfall, a full second of freedom-under-duress should be savored. Even the keenest eyed player will take a little time to recognize a cloak if it’s out in the field a little ways, so use that fact to your advantage.
- “The Unseen”: Of the three playstyles presented here, “the unseen” allows for the most variety in tactical ability choice. Stim is a powerful option for getting to unconventional locations quickly. Cloak most closely mimics the style’s title and played correctly will render you almost completely invisible. The most unique, active radar pulse, will allow you to stay abreast of your enemies and keep them in the dark as to your location. It’s usage is limited by a short duration and longer charge time, but used correctly, remaining unseen can be quite rewarding.
Kits: how your pilot handles on the field
The quick and dirty definition for kits in Titanfall is this: they’re Call of Duty perks with a new name and cooler graphics. That fact doesn’t take away from your need of them, especially if you want to compete on the Frontier. Those playstyles presented here combine multiple Tier One kits with a single Tier Two kit.
- Close quarters: Speed is your best friend in close, so that should be your focus when choosing from Tier One. To that end, both the Quick Reload Kit and Enhanced Parkour Kit are ideal choices if continued movement is desired. You might also opt for Power Cell, decreasing your stim ability’s cooldown, giving you that all important health regen boost that much sooner. For those who favor the SMG or
auto-aim noob cannonsmart pistol, the Run ‘n’ Gun Kit should serve well, granting full mobility while shooting and sprinting. For Tier Two, go for the Warpfall Transmitter, as getting your titan in fast can only be a good thing.
- Middle range: Because there’s more time between engagements at a middle range, there are fewer greatly effective kits on offer. That said, Power Cell is always a solid choice, as is the Enhanced Parkour Kit, though in this case more a method of escape and surveillance than movement in the enemy’s direction. You might also opt for the Explosives Pack to leave a few nasty surprises for your foes. In the Tier Two, go for the Dome-Shield Battery, as you won’t be needing to get into your titan as quickly, and taking a few extra seconds to take in your surroundings is always a good idea.
- “The Unseen”: To improve your art of not being seen, your best bets are the Enhanced Parkour Kit (to keep you on the move), Power Cell (to keep your abilities primed), and the Explosives Pack, so you have something lethal that doesn’t rely on line of sight. Pair any of these with the Minion Detector, as if you know where the grunts are, you can do two very important things. First, high concentrations of grunts and Specters often mean enemy pilots. Second, grunts will call out what they see, and can give you away in a flash. Keeping away from large groups keeps you off both the actual and verbal radars, neither of which you want to be on when trying to stay off the map.
Ordinance, or shut up and love the bomb
Grenades, mines, and other tossable explosive devices. Those make up the full breadth of Titanfall’s four types of what they term as “ordinance.” While all four are usable in the three playstyles established here, as with everything Titanfall, there are better options for different players.
- Close quarters: The satchel charge, as slow and sometimes cumbersome as its use can be, is probably the best close quarter explosive if only by virtue of its short toss distance. Combine that with a healthy lethal radius and you have yourself a recipe for a good time.
- Middle range: The choice of frag versus arc grenade is one of personal preference, and while I like the disorienting effects of the arc, the deadly frag has its own charms. With a predictable arc and much farther effective range, plus their fire and forget nature leaves you time to get a good distance from the blast.
- “The Unseen”: Arc mines, while annoying to enemy players, give your foes no indication of where you are in relation to your trap. The killcam will only show that the mine was on the ground and that it blew up, nothing more. Leave them in unexpected places and be rewarded either with a kill or a notification of an enemy player’s location.
Join me next time for the first part of the titan loadout rundown.