As a game, Battleborn is deceptively deeper than its cartoon-like characters and color art style would imply. Coming up with tried and true tactics that will always win the day isn’t possible. Strategies are still in a constant state of evolution. Things that always caused an opposing team to fold in on itself during the beta and early launch days of the multiplayer portion are now seen as rookie mistakes that can be exploited to decimate teammates, leaving players staring at the countdown timer for a respawn. There are some things, however, that are still overlooked that can make players more valuable members of their pick up group. It seemed like a good idea to run the most important ones down; the ones that separate the Battleborn from the Battlestillborn. (Disclaimer: The following applies only for pick up games. When playing with a team of known members, strategies will differ)
1. There’s a teleport function. Use it
A showdown with an enemy was hard fought, but ultimately futile. Using a mix of guile, fancy footwork, and just plain booking it, the escape was made and health is dwindling. It must be refilled, as death will be immediate once the recharging shield goes down. A very common mistake is to park next to a supply station to refill health. This is a very slow way to refill health, and takes the player out of the game for far too long.
The health stations that can be built during Meltdown and Incursion matches are intended for quick top offs and to provide a good vantage point for taking down enemies from afar. If the player is pouring fire onto the enemy while refilling, it is being used as intended. If using it leaves the player out of the fight, teleport back instead. Mapped to the *down* on the directional pad or ‘B’ on the keyboard, this will take the player back to base, instantly refilling health and shields. There is a small amount of lead in time, so this is not to be used when being shot. Considering that the respawn timer is short in the early game, it might be even more efficient early on to just eat the death while wreaking as much havoc as possible.
2. Minions are more important than opposing players early in the game
When playing Meltdown or Incursion, protecting the robot minions while taking out the enemy’s is more important than getting that kill. Especially early on, the goal is to kill the ‘bots and chase off the foe. Should the enemy retreat, let them go. and focus on the minions instead. That is what will help lower the sentry’s shield or score the points. Chasing an enemy will more than likely lead into an ambush and death, while their teammates pick off the valuable minions.
Of course, respawn timers get longer as the match progresses. Here is where the decision must be made based on the current situation. If the enemy is about to eat it late in the game, take them down. Removing them from play for fifty or so seconds is worth disengaging the enemy minions. Otherwise, the goal is to discourage other players from engaging the minions as they work to the goal.
3. Let the team’s support members do their job
This is a shorter one, but it seems worth mentioning. When in the thick of fire, bouncing around like a rubber ball covered in nitroglycerin is a valuable tactic for preventing the enemy from staying alive. When behind the lines in safety, stop it. Teammates will then be able to provide overshields and valuable healing and buffs if they are able to target you. Seriously. Just chill a second.
4. There’s oodles of gear; tailor a loadout for each preferred character
A huge part of the game, a properly geared character can turn the fortunes of even the greenest team. However, no single loadout is going to be effective for every Battleborn. It is best to get specific. Starting off, pick three preferred heroes. Think about what they do and what makes them work. Build a separate loadout for each that shores up their strengths and supplements their weaknesses.
5. Consider the cost vs benefits of the gear
Along the lines of the above, it should be noted that legendary tier gear items are not always the best, even if it is a piece with character specific bonuses. As the cost to activate a legendary piece is eighteen hundred shards, the true benefit to the team must be taken into account. What would be more likely to help the team win: activating the gear piece or taking the center turret emplacement, and upgrading it to the maximum. In my experience, it seems better to bring cheap common or uncommon items into a match, leaving the rare, epic, and legendary items for story mode.
That isn’t to say that the rare and higher tiers won’t be useful in PvP. Some of them have a detraction that makes the activation cost cheaper, but do not apply to the chosen hero. Rath swings a two swords and doesn’t need to reload. Therefore, the penalty that is associated with the gear piece that speeds his skill cooldown times and increases damage is meaningless for him.
6. Don’t be a surrender monkey
Okay, so it’s one minute into a meltdown match. The opposing team is winning 46-32. As this is a game to five hundred points, don’t go into the options menu and vote for surrender. Instead, get out their and kick some ass!
The surrender option is there for situations when team members have left the game. Having a team of three dominated by a team of five is no fun for anyone. The winning team gets bored and tries to finish the job as quickly as possible, while the losing team gets frustrated. End that nonsense. Alternatively, if it’s five minutes into the game and the first friendly sentry is down, with the other one under heavy attack, wanting to call a “good game” and moving on to the next is understandable.
Keep in mind, this game is designed so that anything can be turned around. I’ve been stuck more than once in games that looked like they were going to be a rout, only to find the team suddenly gelling together and pushing the enemies all the way back. These games were some of the most memorable experiences I have ever enjoyed in this, the greatest of hobbies. It would have been a shame if we had robbed ourselves of this by giving up.
7. Have fun
This is the most important. Don’t get too frustrated. It is, after all, only a game. Even when the chips are down, remember that progress is still being made. Each character has some lengthy lore challenges to complete. Each loss will still result in character and command XP. There are still title challenges to earn. So, play and enjoy it. Even the losers get something for their trouble.