Welcome to the very first "Player's Guide" post for the Starhawk BETA. We know that Starhawk is a deep and challenging shooter and it can be a bit intimidating for new players. That's why the team here at LightBox Interactive is going to be making a series of posts to help all our new players become true multiplayer masters in the Starhawk BETA!
But first things, first... Lets talk about the basic character controls.
Currently in the Starhawk BETA there are 3 vehicle types: Hawks (aircraft), Vultures (JetPacks), and Razorbacks (4x4s). You can also play as a Character (Rifter or Outcast) as well, and knowing how to play all the units in the game will greatly help you and your team.
But you always start every multiplayer game by spawning into the map as a character as your drop-pod smashes into the ground!
Shooting & Aiming:
Playing as a Rifter or Outcast character in Starhawk should be very straightforward for any player who's familiar with shooters. You move your character with the and aim with .
To fire your currently selected weapon press and to zoom-in "Over the Shoulder" press for a a view often called OTS. While you're in OTS you are more accurate but you move more slowly. And it's worth pointing out that since Starhawk is a very fast-paced shooter, you don't have to rely solely on OTS to be effective -- running and gunning has it's role in ground combat as well so choose wisely!
The weapon inventory is exactly like Warhawk -- we call it the Weapon-Cross. It is accessible on and you simply press a direction to select the weapon you want.
If you press-and-hold a direction on the , the full inventory will be displayed in the middle of your screen as seen below. Once you've played for awhile, you will memorize the locations of the different weapons and this will help you quick-select them from the Weapon-Cross. If you just tap the desired direction on the , your character will change weapons quickly and the Weapon-Cross will *NOT* be displayed at all.
To make your character sprint you press and hold while using the to move around but be advised that while you are sprinting you will be unable to use your weapons.
Throw a grenade with the button and it's important to know that grenades *CAN* be used to attack enemy structures. So if you encounter an enemy structure and you don't have a Rocket Launcher, you can use your grenades to cause a decent amount of damage.
Build & Battle:
Now it's time to talk about -- this is the Build & Battle button! Build & Battle is a huge part of Starhawk and a very deep system unto itself so we're going to be covering that in it's own Player's Guide but here are the basics to get you going in the Starhawk BETA!
If you press-and-hold , your camera will be lifted away from your character and you will see a radial menu showing you all of your Build & Battle options. While you hold , you can use to select a structure to build. The Rift Energy cost of each structure is displayed in the radial menu and you can see your total Rift Energy you currently have displayed by the meter in the upper-right corner of your screen. You will also see a Team Structures display. This tells you how many structures your team already has built. This is important because there is a limit of 32 structures per-team -- It's like a population cap in an RTS.
Once you have selected the structure you want, you can release the button and place the the structure on the battlefield by pressing the button. You will see a hologram of the structure projected out in-front of your character and it's color will show you if you can successfully build the structure in that location. If the hologram is YELLOW, you can't build that structure there. If the hologram is GREEN, you *CAN* build there.
Any hologram you see that is RED, be careful! That is an enemy hologram and it means one of your adversaries is about to build a structure there!
You can earn Rift Energy by killing an enemy troop or destroying an enemy structure or vehicle. You can also earn a small amount of Rift Energy simply by guarding your home base. There are also caches or Rift Energy stored in barrels scattered around the map. Just destroy the barrels and you will collect the Rift Energy inside.
Using Vehicles & Other Actions:
The context-sensitive action button in Starhawk is and it's used for various actions in the game. For example, if you want to climb into a Hawk or drive around in a Razorback, you need to get close to the vehicle and press . To get out of the vehicle, you just press again.
is also used for constructing new vehicles at certain Build & Battle structures. For example, if you need a Hawk to help provide some air support for your team, you need to access the that structure's console as pictured below.
Once you are standing in-front of it console, you are prompted to "press to deploy vehicle". Constructing a new vehicle costs Rift Energy and price varies from vehicle to vehicle. You can also use to reclaim a structure on the battlefield. This will destroy the structure and return the Rift Energy back to the player who built it. To reclaim a structure, just stand near the console and press-and-hold .
Lastly, your character will reload the currently selected weapon if you press and are not nearby any consoles or other vehicles.
Jumping & Crouching:
Your character will jump if you press and crouch if you press . In addition to helping you hide behind cover and other natural features, firing your troop weapons while crouching gives you an accuracy bonus by minimizing your bullet-spread when firing the Kinetic Rifle and Shotgun.
You can also use the to jump from spot to spot in a vehicle. For example, the Razorback has 3 positions for players: Driver, Passenger and Gunner. Once you have mounted the Razorback, simply press-and-hold the to display the vehicle's menu. This will allow you to switch places in the Razorback *WITHOUT* exiting the vehicle.
Unlike Warhawk, which had the combat knife as a separate weapon, Starhawk features a more contemporary control mapping for the knife on . If you get close to an enemy you can press and your character will dash forward and strike your opponent. You can also dismantle Auto-Turrets by getting close to them and pressing just like you would knife an enemy!
Map & Uplink:
Pressing will expand / contract your mini-map and will access the Uplink.
The Uplink is where you will find all of your display and control options, your friends list, current XP, leaderboard, server-list, etc. We think of it as the smart-phone for your character. Its always online, even when you play the solo-campaign and gives you access to all the games features through the "Apps" on its home page.
Capture the Flag:
If you are new to the Starhawk BETA, its a good idea to understand the basics of Capture the Flag. The rules are pretty simple. Your team needs to grab the enemy flag and carry it back to your own team's flag at your home base. Your team's flag *MUST* be there for you to score! If you are killed while carrying the flag, the flag will drop right were you were killed.
If the other team gets to the location where you dropped their flag *AND* they protect it for a short amount of time, it will be returned to their base. However, if you or someone from your team can get back to the dropped flag and grab it again, you can try to run it back to your base and score.
Lastly, players need to know they *CAN NOT* fly with the flag -- only units that have a ground-mode can carry the flag. Hawks still can be used for flag-captures but they must stay in Mech mode. Vulture JetPacks can be used to carry the flag as well but you will not be able to engage your thrusters and fly.
Good Luck in the Starhawk BETA and
stay tuned for more Player's Guides!