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BobBudJones's Avatar

02.21.2014 , 10:30 PM | #1
Obviously GSF can be pretty frustrating at first, especially with the lack of a way to practice and the fact that you're thrown right in the mix with veteran players and their upgraded ships.

I'm no pro, but I can hold my own against most opponents, so I thought I'd take a minute to share some helpful tidbits I've discovered over my 3-4 weeks of pretty consistent flying. I still remember that painful first week when I was only hitting 10-15% of my shots and really not helping the team at all. Note that I play strikers and scouts almost exclusively, so this is aimed at them.

1) Know thy enemy. For example, if you're targeting a Gunship, look at the picture of them in the target window. If they're looking straight at you, don't fly straight at them or they will blow you out of the sky. If they are facing another direction you should be OK because likely they are staring down their scope at another target. Likewise, know that most scouts use Distortion Fields which they can activate to give them 6-9 seconds where they are VERY hard to hit with blasters. You can see this happen when they start to glow. Plan accordingly. Just like with ground PvP, you need to know what your ship can do and what your enemies can do to fight effectively.

2) Use the F1-F4 power selectors. Switching power to a given system will not only regen energy much faster, but will make that system more effective. Power to weapons makes your blasters do 10% more damage. Power to shields makes your shields stronger. Keep in mind that when you focus power on blasters or engines, your shields will actually be WEAKER than if everything is balanced. You should be switching between these systems pretty frequently.

3) It is very hard to land hits on someone when they are flying perpendicular to you and their lead indicator is way out in front of them. Don't waste blaster power when you can't land hits; get lined up behind them (you'll see the lead indicator get much closer to the actual ship) and blast away.

4) Save some engine power to be able to boost out of someone's range or use your engine maneuver when you have to.

5) Use LOS. The tiniest bit of LOS blockage will break a missile lock, e.g. one of the arms on a satellite. If you don't think you can kill whoever is chasing you, LOS them repeatedly and they may just give up and go after someone else.

6) Get a good crew. Make sure you have people with bonuses that synergize with your playstyle. Also get a good active ability that you like to use on your co-pilot and use it liberally; the cooldowns are pretty short.

7) On a similar note, find a build where the components work together well to fit your playstyle. There's way too much to go into depth here, but good builds are all over the internet and you can ask other pilots for tips too. Spend your first reqs on the weapon loadout you prefer, then you can get some cheap upgrades on your secondary equipment. This may seem obvious, but it really makes a difference.

8) Know thy targeting hotkeys. TAB targets the closest enemy (including defensive turrets, mines, etc). "E" targets the enemy closest to the center of your reticle. "R" targets whomever damaged you last. I tend to tap R fairly regularly to see if anyone is on me.

9) The easiest targets are those who are already engaged with one of your allies. They are MUCH easier to get behind, and often won't see you coming. Help your friends!

10) Don't get discouraged. You will die, a lot. Really good pilots with mastered ships will own you for a long time. After a good week or so though, you should have the skill/upgrades to hang with a lot of the players out there, and you might even be beating down some noobs yourself. My own results can vary significantly depending on the team makeup on both sides.

11) Get on your Pilot Chat Channel! /cj pilot There are plenty of helpful pilots out there who will give you tips!

12) If you really don't enjoy, or can't get the hang of dogfighting, buy a cheap gunship or bomber. They are both completely different playstyles and may suit you better (Gunship plays like a relatively stationary, long-range sniper; Bombers are very tough to kill and can get you some damage/kills via mines and drones without having to actually aim at anyone)(Note that the dronelaying Bomber is 5000 reqs though, Minelayer is 2500).

I'm sure there's more but that should get people started. I'll be happy to answer any questions (should I in fact have the answer).

Good luck out there! GSF needs YOU!