A Beginner’s Guide to Titanfall – Part 2: Titan Combat

Pilot, your Titan is ready.

Welcome to part 2 of my Beginner’s Guide to Titanfall! In part 1 we covered the art of wall running. In this installment we’ll be looking at the fundamentals of Titan combat. Strap in and get set!

Say hello to my little friend!

The first lesson to learn with regards to successfully using your Titan is that your Titan can be a deadly weapon before you’ve even climbed into it. Knowing when and where to call down your Titan is a very important skill to develop. The sight of a 50 ton armored tank-on-legs crashing down from orbit is not easily ignored. Canny Pilots will deploy their Titan as a distraction, drawing the enemy’s attention and leaving them vulnerable. Sometimes the sudden appearance of a Titan will cause enemy Pilots to scatter, giving you some much needed breathing room. Or best of all, with a little luck you just might be able to bring your Titan down on top of an enemy and completely ruin their day!

 

Heavy Metal

Once you’re inside your Titan, the real fun begins.  Titan combat is very different from playing as a Pilot. While Pilots must rely on their speed and maneuverability, Titans are able to wade into battle more deliberately, take a bit of damage, and pull back to safety.  While this makes the Titan’s roll in combat very different from the Pilot’s, success in battle comes down to the same basic skill: situational awareness.

Titans are hulking weapons of explosive destruction, which gives them some obvious advantages. However, their size carries certain risks. First of all, a Titan is a huge target. If you linger out in the open for too long, you’ll find yourself taking fire from all directions. Your Titan has rechargeable shields, but they won’t recharge if you’re taking fire. Use your surroundings to your advantage. Strike quickly and hard using a combination of your primary weapon and artillery, then take cover. The key is to do as much damage as you can in a short period of time, then pull back before the enemy is able to swarm you. Wherever you are on the map, you need to be aware of the nearest escape route.

Big Bully

A single Titan can usually squash a lone Pilot without too much trouble, but multiple Pilots working together can shred your defenses surprisingly quickly. So when you’re engaging enemy Pilots from within your Titan, it’s important to wipe them out before they have time to rally and swarm you. Some Titan loadouts are more effective in this regard than others. I put together this video to demonstrate my favorite build for dealing with those pesky Pilots:

Clash of the Titans

Taking on enemy Titans is quite a bit more complicated than dealing with their Pilots. Since you’re more or less evenly matched in terms of strength and firepower, the deciding factor in Titan battles is often your ability navigate the map, flank the enemy, and find cover quickly. Try to place yourself into positions where you have the ability to take cover faster than your target. For example, try ambushing an enemy Titan while they are in the middle of a long corridor or hallway. Stay in the intersection where you can move left or right to take cover, while they are forced to move straight forward or backwards (taking damage the entire time).

Another key strategy when battling other Titans is crowd control. Since positioning is so crucial, anything you can do to limit your enemy’s maneuverability will give you an edge. I’m a huge fan of using the Electric Smoke and Cluster Missile equipment for this very reason: they do sustained damage within a specific area. You can use both of these abilities to force the enemy into a corner, or limit their escape options.

Here’s a good example of using these techniques to engage multiple Titans at the same time. You’ll also notice I’m using the Arc Cannon, since it can hit multiple targets with each shot.

Finish him!

While taking down an enemy Titan is always satisfying, it’s only half the battle. The pilot that ejects out of it is still a dangerous opponent. Whenever possible, try to finish off Titans with your melee execution move. There is some risk involved (you don’t want to dash right in to your enemy’s self-destruct explosion), but once you master the timing you’ll be ripping Pilots from their cockpits like it’s going out of style!

The trick is to keep your distance until just before your enemy’s armor has depleted. Then use your thruster to dash in and hit your melee attack. If you time it just right, you’ll perform your execution maneuver before they have time to eject.

Live to fight another day

One final chapter in today’s lesson: Know when to retreat, and when to keep pressing. As I engage the enemy(s) in battle, the question I always ask myself is “Am I definitely going to survive this fight?“. If the answer to that question is “No”, then I pull back and find another way to engage. Playing defensively and evasively can be a great way to trick the enemy into taking unnecessary risks. The moment that you feel you have the ability to finish them off, move in for the kill with everything you have. Don’t give them the opportunity to retreat and recharge their shields.

Here’s a video that demonstrates many of the tactics we’ve covered today. Over the course of this battle, I take down 3 enemy Titans while engaging multiple Pilots, all with little or no assistance from my team. Pay attention to the way I dart in and out of battle, leading enemy Titans away from their teammates so I can engage them 1 at a time. Even though I make some extremely sloppy mistakes (those Titan punches… ugh!) I manage to control the battlefield single-handedly.

That’s all for part 2 of my Beginner’s Guide to Titanfall. Stay tuned for more!