Star Wars Battlefront is a big, beautiful and inviting shooter -- it won't take you very long to figure out how to blast a Stormtrooper in the head or choke out Rebels as Darth Vader. However, developer DICE's take on Star Wars has its fair share of depth, and there are plenty of small tricks that will help you go from a Tatooine farmboy to a prestigious Rebel soldier within hours. If you're looking to improve your kill/death ratio, unlock cool items or simply figure out how the heck to play as Luke Skywalker, here are our tips.
Find Your Aim
Battlefront is one of the few modern shooters that lets you play in either first- or third-person, and finding the camera mode that best suits your style is key to racking up kills.
Third-person mode will feel more familiar to those who played the original Battlefront games, and gives you a wider field of view that makes it easy to see enemies coming. I personally prefer first-person mode, however, since it's more immersive and seems to let you zoom in farther when looking down your gun's scope.
Regardless of which perspective you prefer, most shooting game fundamentals apply to Battlefront: aim for the head for faster kills, and don't keep your finger on the trigger for too long. While Battlefront's weapons have unlimited ammo, firing for too long will put your gun in a brief cooldown state, which you can expedite slightly with a well-timed press of the action button.
Learn the Lay of the Land
Getting to know each arena is key to succeeding in any shooter, and it's especially important for taking advantage of some of Battlefront's unique features. Scattered throughout each map are baby blue icons that give you random power-ups such as bombs and rocket launchers, and during select game modes, you'll find special tokens that give you access to hero characters and vehicles.
Hero and vehicle tokens are always located in the same spot, so it's important to remember where they are if you want your chance at piloting a Tie Fighter or wielding Luke's lightsaber. IGN has a useful list of all hero token locations for the larger maps.
Increase Your Arsenal
As you play Battlefront, you'll amass special power-ups called Star Cards, which are crucial for building a character that suits your style. Star Cards include grenades, limited-time weapon boosts and the ridiculously fun Jump Pack, which lets you soar through the battlefield like an aspiring Boba Fett. You can create up to two Star Card loadouts with three cards each, so feel free to experiment -- it's up to you if you want to double-down on explosives or play tactically with radar scanners and long-range missiles.
It's also good to get familiar with Battlefront's various weapon types. Blaster pistols and shock rifles (essentially shotguns) are good at close range, while heavy blasters and targeting rifles are useful from afar. I often go with the classic blaster rifle (the weapon of choice of just about every Stormtrooper in the movies), which I find useful in both close encounters and long-range shootouts.
Dominate the Skies
Whether you've picked up an X-Wing during a big Supremacy battle or are playing the starship-only Fighter Squadron mode, controlling Battlefront's vehicles is likely going to take some getting used to. There are a few useful in-game training missions that help you grasp each individual fighter, but you should also keep a few universal tips in mind no matter what you fly.
For starters, don't always fly at full speed. Pulling back on the left thumbstick allows you to slow down, which will make it far easier to aim and shoot when trailing an enemy. You can perform evasive maneuvers by tapping a direction on the d-pad, which you should utilize every time an enemy missile is headed your way. There's a brief cooldown period that keeps you from performing multiple dodges in a row, so only use them when you absolutely need to.
Complete Challenges to Rank Up
You'll need to rank up in Battlefront to access better weapons and items, and you can do so faster by completing in-game challenges. Challenges typically task you with getting a certain amount of kills with a specific weapon or winning a set amount of matches, and finishing them will give you a nice boost to your experience points. You can view your active challenges in the game's stats menu, and if any of them seem too boring or difficult, you can swap them out by paying a few credits. Which brings us to our next tip...
Don't Waste Credits
Credits don't exactly drop like candy in Battlefront, and you'll need to be careful not to waste them on useless junk. As tempting as it might be to unlock a lush beard for your Rebel trooper or buy a special in-game emote that lets your character do the robot dance, that's 1,700 credits that could go towards a powerful gun or Star Card. Cosmetic items are fun, but I personally recommend amassing a good collection of weapons and cards before you worry about them.
Earn Coins on the Go
While you'll eventually have to stop playing Battlefront and go to work or school, you can still earn credits on the go. Using the free Star Wars Battlefront Companion app for iOS or Android, you can play a strategic mini-game called Base Command that lets you rack up credits that can go towards in-game blasters, Star Cards and, if you insist, silly emotes.
To ensure that Base Command earnings go towards your main Battlefront character, make sure to log in to the Companion app with whatever EA account is tied to your PS4, Xbox One or PC gamertag.
Those are some basics for getting started in Star Wars Battlefront, but there are still plenty of strategies yet to be discovered. If you have any tips of your own, feel free to share them in the comments below.
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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.