Anthem, BioWare’s first crack at the looter shooter genre, is here. Thanks to early access through EA’s subscription services, many have already been playing the game for a few days now, but with its global launch, everybody will be jumping into their Javelins into the developer’s latest creation. If you’re one of those people, these fifteen basic tips and tricks should prove helpful to you as you make your way through the game, especially in its initial hours.
SAVE YOUR CRAFTING RESOURCES
In the earlier missions of the game, don’t spend your materials on crafting stuff- the game itself will provide you with decent stuff in the first few missions, and its best to save those resources for a little later, when you can use them to craft something that’s much better, and won’t become useless after a couple of hours due to just how much progress you would have made.
SAVE CONSUMABLES FOR THE ENDGAME
Consumables grant you buffs in several areas, from your abilities to your weapons, and while that might seem tempting to you, it’s recommended that you hold on to these until you’re much, much further into the game- maybe even the endgame. You can get through the campaign pretty easily without having to resort to using consumables, and they will come in handy during endgame activities, or Strongholds, or when you’re grinding out Legendary Contracts.
KEEP FARMING MATERIALS
This is something that should go without saying, but given Anthem’s nature as a looter shooter, it feels even more important. Crafting, of course, relies on how many materials you have, and you’re going to want to have as many of those as possible. Anytime you see these in the open world, don’t think about whether or not you need them for now, because eventually, most likely, you will- just keep farming them. Oh, and speaking of the open world…
DON’T IGNORE FREEPLAY
The main drive in Anthem as far as progression goes is obviously going to be things like Expeditions, Challenges, and what have you, but make it a point to do open world activities – or freeplay – whenever possible. Not only are there activities exclusive to freeplay out there that you’re gonna want to get in on, it’s also a great opportunity to farm materials – as we just discussed – and get experience to level up.
DON’T PLAY IT AS A SHOOTER
Don’t let the over the shoulder shooting fool you- Anthem might technically be a third person shooter, but if all you do is run and gun, it won’t do you any good. The game gives you several abilities and moves that it expects you to mix and match an use properly in combat, and if all you do is aim and fire and repeat until your enemies’ health bar is depleted, you won’t get very far. So what do you do then?
MASTER THE COMBOS
Anthem’s combat is built around its combo system. Abilities in Anthem are mostly either primers or detonators, and what you want to do is hit unshielded enemies with primers to inflict them with ailments, and then hit them with detonators to make them go boom. Each Javelin also has different abilities specific to combos, which can also come in very handy in combat scenarios, so pay as much attention to combos and the combos system in general, because clearly, that’s what the game wants you to do.
LEARN WHICH ELEMENTAL ATTACKS WORK BEST IN DIFFERENT SITUATIONS
Certain elemental attacks have more of an effect on specific kinds of enemies- which should be obvious, but something worth keeping in mind anyway, if you want to get through combat scenarios more quickly and efficiently. For instance, enemies with blue shields around them are more susceptible to ice attacks, while enemies with yellow health bars are weaker to fire or acid attacks.
Every Javelin obviously has an Ultimate ability, which will come in handy in various situations where you want to deal massive amounts of damage through deadly attacks. But make sure you pay keen attention to the somewhat more subtle effects your Ultimate abilities have as well. For instance, with the Interceptor, as you move away from an enemy after a flurry of melee attacks, you’ll see that you actually leave a ghost behind that continues those attacks for a few more seconds and keeps on dealing damage to the enemy, which means you can move on ahead to your next target, even while your ghost keeps dealing damage to your previous one. So again- keep an eye out for exactly what each javelin’s Ultimate can do, and use it to your advantage whenever and wherever possible.
COOL DOWN YOUR JAVELINS
The main hook of Anthem might be being able to fly around in a mech suit like Iron Man, but that doesn’t mean you can fly endlessly- no, your exosuits have limits, too. Javelins can be overheated after prolonged flight, and that’s something you want to keep an eye on while playing. Cool your jets by diving into water, skimming the surface of water bodies while flying, or flying through waterfalls.
MAKE SURE TO EQUIP SIGILS
Sigils are things that you’ll unlock at various points in the game, which give you bonuses and buffs to your equipment- these can be incredibly useful, and provide some truly useful benefits, such as letting you fly longer before having to cool down, to so you shouldn’t be ignoring these. Take a look at the Sigils, see which ones will suit your play style best, and make sure to equip them.
Completing feats is a great way to earn experience a little more quickly, and these can also be done while you’re engaging with other activities, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on them. These function somewhat similarly to challenges (which we’ll get to in a second), and reward you with medals as you hit certain milestones with different actions. These medals can go from bronze to silver to gold as you complete more milestones for that action, and provide greater experience boosts as they do so- so while you’re out doing missions or expeditions or whatever, try and play in a way that allows you to simultaneously complete these feats as well. It’ll be worth it with all the extra experience you get.
DON’T IGNORE CHALLENGES
Challenges, by definition, seem like a very generic part of Anthem- essentially amount to counters that keep track of various actions you’ve done in the game and keeping track of any milestones in these targets. But don’t ignore these, because the rewards for these are actually pretty important. A large number of the blueprints you’ll need for crafting the best things in the game will come to you as rewards, and those are something you’re definitely going to need (unless you’re just in it for the story, I guess). Additionally, halfway through the campaign, there will be one particular mission that will require you to complete a set of challenges before you can progress, so maybe keep hacking away at those from the get go, so progress later on isn’t halted too much. Doing all the daily and weekly challenges also results in a slow and steady supply of coins, which is another bonus.
Speaking of coins- making use of the Alliance system in Anthem is a great way to collect coins a bit more quickly- and obviously, you’re going to need coins aplenty (unless you just want to spend real money on microtransactions). Essentially, anybody on your friends list that is playing Anthem will contribute Alliance experience, which in turn will generate coins for the entire Alliance- everybody benefits from it (as long as you’re friends). So if you see a high level player out there (or someone you know will be playing a ton of Anthem), add them as a friend (if they aren’t your friend already), and leech off of them to make some coins.
TURN UP THE DIFFICULTY
While playing solo, Anthem can be a bit of a challenge, especially in some particular activities that are specifically built with co-op play in mind, but when you’re playing with a squad, most activities are better with higher difficulty settings. You get better rewards, of course, but many activities in Anthem can actually be a bit too easy when played with other players. Now Strongholds, on the other hand, definitely do not fall in that category, but it’s suggested that you don’t turn down their difficulty (because if you do, what’s the point of doing them anyway?). Instead, get better gear and weapons, and tackle them when you feel like you can properly take them on.
Legendary contracts, as their name implies, are some of the toughest activities in the game, and as repeatable and dynamic activities, they’re designed to be the stuff that you’ll be doing most of your grinding with once you’re done with the campaign. Given that these are actually quite challenging, though, it’s best that you tackle these with a group of players, rather than taking them on solo.