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Beginner's Guide to PlanetSide in 2016

Beginner’s Guide to PlanetSide 1 in 2016

  • Still receiving updates

Join a squad The first thing you want to do is join a squad. Press “P”, click the “Find Squad” tab, double click on a listed squad, then click “Join Squad.”

Certifications Your character has limited access to weapons, equipment, and vehicles by what your character is certified in. Each certification costs a certain amount of points. Characters start with seven certification points. New characters already have these certification points spent, so it is recommended that you go to a Certification Terminal in your empire’s Sanctuary or Bio Laboratory facilities.

In PlanetSide with current populations, vehicle certifications usefulness are diminished since most fights take place indoors where vehicles have virtually zero impact. I will list exceptions to this rule later.

How to repair your armor and heal yourself The certifications of Engineering and Medical are convenient for repairing your armor and healing yourself respectively. However, newer characters may not always have access to these certifications. There are very valid workarounds, although they typically Fortunately, most of the combat in PlanetSide with current populations revolve around battling near Equipment Terminals.

To repair your armor without Engineering (regular armor, not MAX or Infiltration Suit): Go to an Equipment Terminal Choose a loadout of a different armor type you are currently wearing Choose the loadout of the armor type you were wearing

(Hotkey process: G → # → G → #)

This will repair your armor to full. Be warned, if you change loadouts to the armor type you were wearing, the armor will not be healed.

To repair your armor while in a MAX If you are in a MAX suit, you can repair your armor by going to a Medical Terminal. It may be more convenient in the heat of battle to have a player repair you. You can inform nearby players that you need repairs by using a voice macro. (Keys: V-N-R).

    • One very useful tip/trick, if you standing directly behind someone at point blank range, they can repair you. This is extremely useful if that player is third person camping. It is important to note that not all players will know about this trick.

To heal yourself without Medical/Medical Applicator Not having Medical is less convenient than not having Engineering. The reason for this is Medkits, one of the few pieces of equipment that everyone has access to, regardless of their certifications. Medkits can be used to heal yourself for 25 health every 5 seconds. They are useful and in the thick of battle because they essentially increase your effective health -- they are instant cast and don’t require any weapon change. **For this reason, I recommend switching the Medkit hotkey to a button that is easy to hit, other than the default of F1. Personally, I use Right Click so I don’t have to move my keyboard hand (responsible for movement in fights) to press it.

Medkits can be useful out of combat when you don’t have Medical or don’t have a Medical Applicator. Typical Reinforced Exosuit loadouts contain 2-4 Medkits. If you don’t have Medical, and/or access to many certifications such as Anti-Vehicular, you can often times make room for more. For instance, I have a specific loadout that contains 8 Medkits in Reinforced Exosuit. Typical Agile Exosuit loadouts contain 1-3 Medkits, depending whether or not you take a Decimator or not, and if you take extra hand grenades.

In downtime between fighting, make your way to an equipment terminal. One of the main advantages of Medical is that you can heal yourself with a lot more inventory efficiency than with Medkits, and that you don’t waste Medkits for downtime instead of fighting. However, since most fights take place near Equipment Terminals in current day PlanetSide, this advantage is mostly negated. Take as many opportunities as possible in downtime to return to Equipment Terminals and replenish your loadout with Medkits, as well as using the armor swap trick to repair your armor. These two methods will make the lack of Engineering and Medical certifications much less painful.


There are a few important aspects to combat in PlanetSide that are important to learn about as a beginner.


Strafing is an important part of infantry combat. In this game, strafe movement is quicker compared to other games in the FPS genre, so you can help mitigate damage through good movement. Strafing side to side (A-D-A-D) for approximately one second in each direction is a sweet spot that can create a rubber-banding or ‘warping’ effect that can throw off an enemy’s aim. Sometimes you’ll want to take a longer strafe and throw the warping strafe in to throw off an enemy. The more unpredictable your movement (while simultaneously integrating the warping strafe) the better.

Agile ExoSuit moves and strafes faster, so this effect can be more prominent when using it. Additionally, you can more easily execute circle strafing or flanking maneuvers. However, it requires some pretty good skill and game sense to do so.

Third Person/Camping

Since there is a third person mode that allows you to see around corners (albeit not aim), many players will camp corners to gain advantages in combat, waiting for unsuspecting troops to push forward. While it’s not always a guaranteed kill, it benefits the defender greatly in a lot of cases (particularly 1v1 situations). If you are uncertain if an enemy is around a corner, throw a hand grenade at it to determine if an enemy is there or not. If the cone of fire appears, then you hit something.

Boomers (Spawned through Combat Engineering’s ACE Device) are very deadly remote controlled mines used primarily indoors by third person campers to get an instant kill on enemy infantry or do heavy damage to MAX units. You can use third person to check corners in a hostile area before you proceed. If you spot a boomer (a gold, triangle shaped mine), you can throw a Jammer grenade around the corner to destroy it. Boomers are often a newbie trap, but using this technique will highly mitigate their threat.

Radar Your minimap in game displays the location of friendly and enemy players, MAXs, and vehicles. Friendly are green -- enemy are red. Radar viruses can influence this sometimes, but they are typically rare. It’s important to keep an eye on red dots and bracket looking blips while indoors. If your base has Interlink benefits, you can see enemies if they are moving (running) while not crouched or walking. You can also get a similar effect from using the Audio Amplification Implant, which should typically be your first or second Implant pickup. This is an important part of the game that many people utilize to their advantage. It is important you do so as well.

New Character Quick List: Go to the Certification Terminal in the HART Building Access the Certification Terminal using the “G” Key Forget certifications: ATV and Harasser Get to the fight using Instant Action (/instantaction, or Escape > Instant Action) OR board the HART in the HART Building. Join a squad (P > Find Squad). As you gain Battle Rank, return to Sanctuary or go to a Bio Laboratory facility to spend certification points. Certification Build Quick List (Infantry focused on effective killing ASAP): Forget ATV and Harasser At BR3: Certify Heavy Assault At BR6: Certify Engineering OR Anti-Vehicular AND Implant Surge OR Audio Amplifier At BR9: Certify Engineering OR Anti-Vehicular At BR12: Certify Medical AND Implant Surge OR Audio Amplifier

Certification Build Quick List (Infantry focused on support/self-reliance ASAP): Forget ATV and Harasser At BR2: Certify Engineering At BR5: Certify Medical OR At BR6: Certify Heavy Assault At BR9: Certify Heavy Assault OR Certify Medical At BR12: Implant Surge OR Audio Amplifier

Certification Build Quick List (MAX/Mech Suit or Vehicle Driver/Pilot) Forget ATV, Harasser, and Reinforced Exosuit Certify Uni-MAX Spend additional certification points based on personal preference At BR6: Implant Advanced Targeting or Surge At BR12: Implant Advanced Targeting or Surge

Loadouts As a rule of thumb, all loadouts should contain a Remote Electronics Kit (REK)! A REK is needed to hack doors and Control Consoles. Additionally, it is needed to hack Equipment Terminals with Advanced Hacking. If you don’t have one, you can find yourself stuck outside an enemy base or unable to hack an enemy Control Console!

If you are a new character who lacks the Anti-Vehicular certification, it is recommended that you bring some Gold Ammo (Armor Piercing) boxes into your loadout to help deal with MAX Units.

Newer players with less certifications will probably be more interested in the alternative loadouts requiring less certifications.

    • NOTE: These are the Terran Republic versions of loadouts. New Conglomerate and Vanu Sovereignty will have to use their equivalent empire specific weapons and respective ammo.

Reinforced ExoSuit (Rexo) -- Standard Loadout

Loadout Notes Equipment Used: Remote Electronics Kit (REK) Medkit x2 Mini-Chaingun -- Heavy Assault Decimator x2 -- Anti-Vehicular Medical Applicator -- Medical

**If you lack Medical, can use REK as a Sidearm instead

Body Armor Nano Kit (BANK) -- Engineering

**If you lack Engineering, can use REK as a Sidearm instead

Adaptive Construction Engine (ACE) -- Combat Engineering Command Uplink Device (CUD) -- Command Rank 2

**If you lack these, can replace for additional ammo


Extra Health/Armor canisters at the cost of one Medkit, and one set of hand grenades. Good for Generator Holds and/or taking a more backline support role.

A good loadout particularly if you don’t have Medical or Anti-Vehicular

Agile ExoSuit (Agile) -- Standard Loadout

Loadout Notes Equipment Used: Remote Electronics Kit (REK) Medkit Mini-Chaingun -- Heavy Assault Decimator -- Anti-Vehicular

**If you lack Anti-Vehicular, can replace for more ammo/medkits/grenades.

Medical Applicator -- Medical

    • If you lack Medical, can use REK as a Sidearm instead

Body Armor Nano Kit (BANK) -- Engineering

**If you lack Engineering, can use REK as a Sidearm instead

Adaptive Construction Engine (ACE) -- Combat Engineering Command Uplink Device (CUD) -- Command Rank 2

**If you lack this, can replace for additional ammo

Alternatives If you don’t have Anti-Vehicular (likely for newer players), then this loadout is preferred:

Can replace ACE, Medical Applicator, and BANK for more Ammo if you lack Combat Engineering, Medical, or Engineering

Respawning You can’t go into battle expecting not to die! When you do end up dying, the spawn screen will appear. This consists of usually two or three respawn points. This would be the closest Tower, Facility, and Advanced Mobile Station (AMS) if available. You have to wait a certain amount of time based on your number of deaths before respawning. This ranges anywhere between one second and one minute. When the timer ends, you materialize in a respawn tube. If you don’t like where you have spawned or wish to respawn somewhere else, go into the Respawn Tube and press “G” to deconstruct your avatar. On the AMS, the respawn tube is located at the back of the vehicle.

Scattered throughout the facilities are Matrixing Panels. By hitting “G” you bind yourself at that facility. An AMS will have a Matrix Panel as well, and is located on the very front of the vehicle. Binding at a facility will let you respawn at that facility, even if it isn’t the closest. You can only be bound to one facility and one AMS at a time.

Advanced Mobile Station (AMS) The AMS is a vehicle that serves as a mobile spawn point. It also features a Matrixing Panel at the front and two Equipment Terminals on either side. If you wish to deconstruct yourself, you can do so by going to the rear end of the AMS. The AMS can be acquired from a Vehicle Terminal by certing Ground Support.

    • NOTE: When populations are extremely low, it is sometimes considered unethical to camp or destroy spawns, particularly an AMS. The reason for this is that it kills the fight for a while, leading to meaningless downtime. This isn’t a problem when the game has enough players to work correctly from a design perspective. However, when populations are extremely low, sometimes it’s considered bad etiquette to do so. Use your best judgment!