When you first fire up Star Wars Battlefront 2, you might find yourself getting destroyed by Stormtroopers, TIE Fighters, and a weirdly obtuse progression system. Fret not — we're here to rescue you.
Battlefront 2's accessible multiplayer action has a surprising amount of hidden quirks, and you'll need to master movement, reloading, space combat and a whole lot more if you want to dominate the battlefield. Here are 11 essential tips that will turn you from a scruffy nerf-herder to a master of the Force in no time.
Image Credit: EA
Play the campaign for rewards
Battlefront 2's roughly 4-hour campaign isn't just an entertaining Star Wars story -- it also yields lots of useful multiplayer rewards. The campaign will let you test drive many of the game's key heroes and abilities, and playing through it will unlock a variety of Star Cards for your heroes and troopers as well as a healthy amount of credits.
Switch up your Star Cards
Progression in Battlefront 2 is tied to Star Cards, which give your characters new and enhanced abilities and can be earned in randomized loot crates or purchased directly with crafting parts. Be sure to experiment with different Star Card loadouts, and don't forget that you can can change out your equipped cards mid-match at the character select screen.
Know how to crouch and roll
Battlefront 2 maps crouching and rolling to the same button (B on Xbox; Circle on PlayStation by default), which can be confusing if you're used to other shooters. Tap the crouch button to roll, and hold it if you want to crouch. Mastering this mechanic will mean the difference between dodging that Thermal Detonator and getting caught in a nasty explosion.
Change up your view
Battlefront 2 lets you switch between first- and third-person view by holding down on the d-pad, and you should get comfortable with weaving between the two depending on the situation. First-person view allows for more precise aiming, while third-person is ideal for when you're running around the battlefield and want a better view of your surroundings. Also, when in third-person, be sure to swap your character's left/right orientation often by tapping the d-pad instead of holding. This will allow you to get the best vantage point and cover possible based on your location.
Mind your cooldown meter
Your blasters might not run out of ammo, but that doesn't mean you can just fire them off recklessly. Pay attention to the white cooldown meter that fills up as you fire, and be sure to vent your weapon with the X or Square button when it gets too high. Or, if you're feeling brave, you can max out the cooldown meter and trigger a mini-game that lets you briefly fire away with no overheating if you pull the trigger just at the right time. Just know that you'll jam your weapon and become vulnerable if you mess up.
Stick with your squad
In most of Battlefront 2's multiplayer modes, you'll spawn into battle as part of a four-person squad. Not only is sticking with your squad ideal for survival, it'll also double the amount of Battle Points you earn, which will allow you to access heroes, special troopers and powerful vehicles even faster. You can easily identify your squadmates by the yellow markings above their heads.
Master flight movement
Battlefront 2's space combat has been completely revamped, so here are some quick pointers. Moving the left stick up and down adjusts your speed, while moving it left and right allows you to rotate your ship for performing barrel rolls and squeezing into tight areas. The right stick is strictly for steering. If an enemy has locked onto you, try creating your own evasive maneuvers by adjusting your speed, performing barrel rolls, and steering your way around asteroids and large ships for cover.
Check your abilities
Few things are worse than finally getting enough Battle Points to bring Kylo Ren or Rey into battle, only to realize you have no idea what you're doing with them. To check your abilities mid-match, press up on the d-pad. You can also do this at the character select screen by pressing Y or Triangle.
Play the objective
The bulk of Battlefront 2's multiplayer modes are objective-based, meaning you should focus on attacking or defending your objective over just going for kills. Not only will playing the objective give you a better shot at victory, it'll also net you a healthy amount of Battle Points for bringing more powerful characters into the fight.
Use Arcade mode to practice
Battlefront 2's Arcade mode is an excellent place to try out the game's various classes and heroes in an offline, stress-free environment. Completing Arcade challenges also earns you a small amount of credits, and there are a variety of Arcade-specific milestones that will yield you even better rewards for racking up lots of kills over time.
Claim your rewards
You'll unlock all kinds of rewards as you hit milestones for things such as kills and victories. However, you won't actually get those rewards until you pop into the Career menu and claim each of them manually. It's a cumbersome process, but one you'll have to keep in mind if you want to access all of your hard-earned credits. The Career screen is also a good place to see what milestones you might want to work towards next to get even more in-game cash.
Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.