Anthem Guide: Tips You Should Know Before Starting

There are a lot of mechanics that Anthem doesn’t make abundantly clear. For instance, combos are a damage-dealing mechanic that’s essential in combat. But the game only lightly touches on their execution and importance, and there are several tidbits like this that are likely to go right over your head.

To help you transform into the best freelancer you can be, we’ve highlighted several tips that’ll enhance your abilities both in and out of combat. We’ve also included further insight and clarification on ancillary aspects of the game you might have questions about.

For more Anthem tips, take a look at our combo guide. We’ll be posting more guides in the coming days, so be sure to check back often. Though, if you’re more interested in guns, we’ve created a feature showcasing every Masterwork and Legendary weapon we’ve found so far.

GameSpot gave Anthem a 6/10 with Reviews Editor Kallie Plagge saying, “Anthem has good ideas, but it struggles significantly with the execution. It’s a co-op game that works best with no one talking; it buries genuinely interesting character moments and puts its most incomprehensible story bits at the forefront; its combat is exciting until you get to the boss fights and find your wings have been clipped. Even the simple, exhilarating act of flying is frequently interrupted by the limitations of your javelin, and you never quite shake that feeling of disappointment–of knowing, throughout the good parts of Anthem, that you’ll inevitably come crashing back down.”

Got any useful tips you didn’t see here? Share them with us and the community in the comments below.

Every Javelin Detonates Differently

When you examine special abilities, you’ll notice that some are called “primers,” like the Ranger’s Ice Grenade or Interceptor’s Venom Spray, while others are labeled as “detonators,” like Colossus’ Siege Artillery or Storm’s Lightning Strike. If an enemy has been hit by a primer, hitting them with a detonator will cause them to “detonate,” causing a special damage effect to trigger. This sequence of damage dealing is what Anthem calls “combos.” Primers and detonators can be identified by small icons in the UI: primers are designated by a semi-filled circle and detonators are marked with a four-pointed star.

Each javelin has a different effect that activates upon successfully detonating a combo. Below you can find details on each one:

  • Ranger (Critical Target): Inflicts the largest amount of damage to detonated enemies
  • Colossus (Explosion): All detonations explode and damage nearby enemies.
  • Storm (Spread): All detonations explode and spread an elemental effect to nearby enemies.
  • Interceptor (Aura): Detonating an enemy causes an elemental effect to be imbued into the javelin, which can be spread to nearby enemies through proximity and melee attacks.

Additionally, javelins can trigger combos with melee attacks. Colossus, Storm, and Interceptor have detonator melee attacks, while Ranger has a primer melee attack.

Bring a Primer and Detonator

Before you embark on a mission with your javelin, make sure you have both a primer and a detonator in your loadout. For example, you might want to choose an acid elemental primer and then choose an ice elemental detonator as your secondary. There aren’t a lot of ways for your team to communicate when they’ve set up a combo, so packing your own primers and detonators can ensure you net that extra damage. In addition, having both primer and detonator weapons in your loadout allows you access to combos during solo play.

Dodge Like Your Life Depends On It

This seems like a given, but don’t forget to dodge. With your javelin’s flight capabilities, you might be fooled into thinking you’re speedy enough to avoid incoming attacks. But when an enemy starts using homing attacks, a speedy dodge will get you out of trouble way more easily. You can dodge up to three times with one button press by holding down dodge and a direction. It’s much quicker than flying around the battlefield to avoid said homing attacks.

The Interceptor Will Save You

Many players mistake the Colossus for a tank and choose it early on, but the real tank is the Interceptor. The Interceptor’s ultimate enables a period of invulnerability that can be used for attacking or simply buying time to revive a downed team member. If you’re looking to protect your team, the speedy maneuvers and abilities of the Interceptor are a must.

The Colossus’ Shield

If you’re switching over to a Colossus, take note that it uses shields differently compared to other javelins. In fact, it can’t even perform a traditional dodge. Instead, using the dodge button as the Colossus raises a physical shield with its own health meter, which absorbs all incoming damage. It’s worth noting that you can deploy a Lightning Coil while simultaneously holding out the shield, and it can even be used to melee or ram into enemies. The Colossus’ shield is useful in a variety of offensive and defensive situations, so don’t hesitate to make use of it to support your squad.

A Titan’s Weak Points

Titans have several weak points that shift through the battle: their forearms, back, and chest. You’ll notice each of these areas will glow yellow and look “open” when they’re exposed. These areas will only open when the Titan is attacking, so it’s usually a good idea to have the team spread out, with anyone who isn’t the target of the attack laying down damage as the targeted teammate distracts the Titan. Make sure to focus all your fire during these moments and Titan fights should go a lot more smoothly.

Shallow Water Can Delay Overheating

Extend your flight time! You probably know you can cool off underwater or by flying through waterfalls, but you can also delay overheating by flying close to shallow water sources and by nosediving.

Play Solo to Experience the Story

If you’d rather go at it alone, you can launch solo sessions through the privacy menu at mission launch. This comes highly recommended for players who prefer experiencing the story, as playing with others opens up the possibility of getting left behind and missing certain sections due to the game’s insistence on teleporting you to your party if you can’t keep up.

Turn On Subtitles, Seriously

Turn on subtitles! If you’re playing with friends, it’s a good idea to turn subtitles on, just in case someone is talking while you’re in a cutscene or trying to hear dialogue. It makes things much easier to follow, keeping you focused on the drama while still able to communicate with friends.

There’s Far More World Building Than You Think

In your time spent flying around the world and exploring Fort Tarsis, you slowly discover more about Anthem’s world and characters. However, the game actually has far more storytelling than it lets on. Peruse your email, for instance, to find detailed tidbits that further flesh out the world, while adding a welcoming sense of realism to its inhabitants. If you’re a fan of digging deep into lore, check your codex often, especially after interacting with objects and NPCs in Fort Tarsis or discovering landmarks during Freeplay. New world building details are continually added.

There are a lot of great stories packed in Fort Tarsis. We recommend seeking out Marelda, Pindel Blatch, and Sayrna.

How to Change Your Javelin’s Colors

When you first start customizing your javelin’s appearance, you might have trouble figuring out how to change its color. If you simply select the first option upon entering the Paint menu, you’ll notice you’re only altering your javelin’s textures. To change its colors, press right on any of the body options to shift over to a little box on the right-hand side of the menu; this allows you to change the part’s color.

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