If you’re new to Planetside 2 or have been playing and haven’t quite worked it out yet this guide will hopefully highlight some of the lesser explained features of the game to help you get an edge.
Today’s guide is going to tackle the subject of tactical spawning by using the map hot zones, redeploy options, instant action, and joining on a squad leader.
When you first log into the game you begin in your faction’s warpgate (a safe zone where you cannot be team killed or attacked by the enemy). From this point you can pick a squad to join or press insert on your keyboard to auto-join a random squad. If you are very new to the game automatically places you into a squad upon logging in. I would recommend removing the automatic squad join on login as it will sometimes put you into a squad on a different continent or that squad may have aims that don’t fall in line with what you want to do while you’re playing.
Pressing insert to join a squad can also place you into a squad not currently on your continent so you need to check to see whether you see any of your squad mates on the map. If you don’t see anyone, chances are that they are on another continent. You can also search for you in-game menus for squads advertising, most are named for the continent on or what they’re doing. Some squads focus on back capping bases, going into enemy territory to lay ground work for easier assaults, and some aim to do a specific thing like have everyone running air support, etc. The ideal scenario is joining a squad that is part of a platoon. Platoons are typically assembled when an outfit is trying to take over a map or making a concerted effort. These are the most enjoyable of squad setups as you will usually get the excitement of large- scale battles. One thing to be aware of, however, is that not all platoon leaders can be Patton-level quality. In certain cases you would be better off ignoring the directions of the platoon leader as they will be ignoring key locations that are vital to defending territory you have already captured but we will cover that more in a later article.
While in your warpgate you can press insert a second time after joining to quickly spawn near your squad leader. This is a handy trick as it leaves your ability to use instant action for later when it might be far more important.
Instant action pops up on the game map in locations that are currently seeing a lot of fighting. Choosing this option will drop pod you into the fight. Once the drop pod spawns you have limited aiming ability and it is useful for getting into hard to reach areas which set you up to deal the most damage. It also loudly announces your presence and if luck is not with you, you can drop pod into a hail of enemy fire and you won’t last more than a couple seconds.
If you’re trying to build up certification points or just quickly level your character these sort of fights are you best option. The important thing to remember here is that use of the instant action does have a cooldown timer so you will want to use it sparingly to ensure you’ll always have access to if you need to quickly redeploy to another part of the map. With recent patches to the game, the developers have also added another option to fast travel to locations where reinforcements would be of use, which can turn the tide of battle in some cases. The key that I see a lot of new players making the mistake of (including myself at the beginning) is hot dropping into locations which are essentially doomed. The likely hood of being able to save the point or turn it for your team is extremely limited and you could do better to find a location on the map near that point where you anticipate the enemy might be heading next.
In many cases you can turn the tide of battle when your team makes a tactical withdrawal and further fortifies the next spot on the map stopping enemy progress dead in its tracks.
The most useful way to use instant action drops is to reach locations otherwise unreachable by any class other than a light assault. A particular favorite of mine is using the drop pod to reach the top of tech plants which have an anti-air platform. Players can land on the awning covering the anti air emplacements and give you a defensible position to fire down on the engineers trying to keep the turrets up and running. In some cases you can secure that top platform using it as a quick access point for the rest of your team to spawn into via spawn beacons.
Spawn beacons are a cert upgrade that allow squad leaders to deploy a beacon that anyone on the same squad can hot drop into at any time. They’re a worthwhile cert to invest in due to the ability for one player to sneak into an enemy fortification, and drop the beacon anywhere visible to the sky and additional players can rain down on the enemy. If you’re new, you won’t be leading a full twelve man squad, but if you play with friends often, the ability for you and any number of your friends in a private squad being able to respawn in a particularly defensible position is worth it.
The ability to deploy your sunderer as a forward spawn point is worth every cert it costs and is worth buying right out of the gate. Sunderers allow players to spawn into locations which would take far longer to reach by running,flying, or driving to from a held point. Often times the arrival of a Sunderer with spawn capability can turn the tide of battle. An added benefit of this is you gain XP everytime someone respawns through your Sunderer. In large battles it isn’t uncommon to see multiple spawn Sunderers parked around the perimeter of a base. They can also be used to park at or very near a heavily contested point allowing players to return to battle in the shortest time possible. The downside of parking your Sunderer in hot spots usually means it will be quickly destroyed. When spawning on a Sunderer it is important to check out the surroundings on the map as you will be able to see enemy tanks, air, and infantry units on the map. If the Sunderer is completely surrounded it would be advisable to spawn elsewhere as you may simple spawn in just to die again.
If you’re driving your own Sunderer, I would personally recommend parking a short distance away from the battle as the Sunderer won’t be targeted by multiple opponents and destroyed. It might not net you as many XP points for respawns, but if the forward position Sunderer gets destroyed, you will already be setup and in place to give your teammates another position to spawn into and stop the destruction of the forward position Sunderer from turning into a complete rout. You should never spawn a Sunderer that doesn’t have spawn capability. Even if you only plan to use it to replenish your own ammo and change classes as needed you should always have your Sunderer deployed when not moving. Unlike spawn beacons, anyone in the area of your Sunderer can spawn on your vehicle greatly increasing your chance to earn XP as well as help out non-squad teammates in battle.
Most of the smaller bases on the continents only have one spawn point that only is usable once your factions owns the point. In Larger bases such as Tech Plants and Bio-Labs there are outlying points which can be taken to provide a forward spawn point for your faction. Choice of spawn points is limited by your physical location on the map. When you log into the game you start in your faction’s warpgate which limits the forward points you can spawn into. In order to make use of these you will need to click the redeploy button on the bottom right of your map menu. You can do this in a leap frog fashion to get into the base you want. In some cases, it is better to grab a vehicle and transport yourself there rather than trying to spawn in somewhere. With the recent patch to the game, spawn rooms have been modified to give players a better picture outside as well as protect from the dreaded spawn camp scenario that typically comes when an enemy faction has all but captured a point and the only thing left is to keep your team from regaining ground. Some players prefer an Alamo style gun battle where they hold out as long as they can while others will often respawn nearby and bring air or ground vehicles into play to try and break the focus on the spawn room by the enemy. This is purely a matter of preference as almost nothing will stop a base cap at that point short of an armored column rolling up (which can happen).
Path to Glory:
The key thing to remember about spawning in Planetside 2 is that you need to use it wisely, these battles are often immense and sometimes last for hours on end so you need to make the best use of your resources available. Sometimes something as simple as bringing in a Sunderer can turn the tide of a battle so even though you will be getting fewer kills because you’re at a different base bringing a reinforcement vehicle in, the advantage it brings to your faction is immense. As a new player you need to balance your wants and needs against those of your squad, platoon, and overall faction. This is not a game for lone wolf players, you need to try and go where your needed rather than where you think you’ll be making the most points or getting the most kills. Next time I will be discussing the value of map control and understanding the continent you play on. Until then, stay frosty.
- Planetside 2′s next patch squashes bugs and boosts firepower (digitaltrends.com)
- Planetside to add SMGs, as well as other tweaks to the game (mrghosty.wordpress.com)
- Fighting for The Crown: SOE talks about PlanetSide 2′s most well-known base (pcgamer.com)