4 essential tips for your first day with Star Wars Battlefront

Battlefront is pure chaos. Pick up some basic knowledge before you jump into the fray.


Dennis Scimeca

Internet Culture

Published Nov 17, 2015   Updated May 27, 2021, 3:30 pm CDT

Star Wars Battlefront was released today for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One—and fans probably won’t waste any time in getting started. 

See this video? Battlefront is extremely chaotic, quick, totally unforgiving, and the duration of each life may be so short that you have very little time to learn anything from your mistakes.

You would therefore be wise to pick up some knowledge about basic gameplay before jumping into your first match, and the developers at DICE have posted a list of tips and tricks on the Star Wars Battlefront blog.

These are the four basic lessons that resonated the most with us, based on our time with the game thus far. (As a note, we’re giving Battlefront one, full day in the wild before publishing our review.) 

1) “The Ion Shot makes your blaster more powerful against vehicles, and weaker against troopers during its active time.”

Facing vehicles as infantry in Battlefront sucks. There is very little you can do to an Imperial AT-ST with just a blaster at your side. You need special abilities and ordnance to take them down, so take DICE designer Christian Johannesén’s advice. Unlock the Ion Shot Star Card the second it’s available to you when you hit Rank 7.

The Ion Torpedo unlocks much earlier. It requires a weapons lock to fire, but tracks its target and also allows you to damage vehicles effectively.

2) “Energy shields [block] incoming energy blasts, but solid projectiles like grenades, rockets, and the Cycler Rifle slug will pass through.”

One of the powerups in Battlefront is called a Squad Shield. It drops a dome of energy that can cover a healthy number of troopers, and it blocks all energy weapons.

Don’t learn the hard way that it’s useless against ordnance. Squad Shields are good for leapfrogging across the battlefield, but don’t stay in them for too long or you’re just a juicy target.

3) “Hold the Left Trigger (RMB on PC) to activate your targeting system on the starfighters. It helps you land your shots.”

This tip is from DICE vehicle designer Björn Sundell pairs nicely with another from designer Nick Baker.

4) “Evasive maneuvers break missile lock and soft lock.”

Together these two pieces outline the basics of starfighter combat, which is one of the most enjoyable parts of Battlefront. You may think at first that locking on to enemy ships is only about firing missiles at them. This is incorrect.

The “soft lock” occurs when you are targeting an enemy ship. It increases the accuracy of your laser cannons by helping to guide your shots home even if you’re not aiming precisely. 

A “hard lock” or “missile lock” takes place when you’ve held a soft lock for long enough, at which point you can launch concussion missiles that will home in on the target. Either kind of target lock on your ship is something you want to avoid at all costs.

Friendly pilots will warn you when an enemy ship is on your tail and locking on. Then it’s time for a canned evasive maneuver, which on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game are slaved to left, up, and right on the d-pad.

You can change speed and direction while piloting an X-Wing or TIE Fighter in Battlefront, but unless you’re breaking line of sight by hitting the deck and using ground cover, you’re probably better off using one of the automatic evasive movies like barrel rolls and Immelman turns to break target locks.

So don’t forget to use those canned evasive moves, and always remember that they take time to recharge. You need to use them wisely.

Illustration via Electronic Arts

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*First Published: Nov 17, 2015, 7:50 pm CST