Guide for beating the hardest content with 1st Generation Gear.
Combat tips and tricks for those of you new to the game based on what I learned through trial and error. You should be able to clear any content with a Generation 1 TSF, it does get much easier with later generations.
While there are many different loadouts possible in the game, with very different specials and abilities, this guide will focus on what I feel are the 2 strongest loadout options. Double Blade, and Double Assault Cannon.
Your default loadout for your TSF should include 2 blades and 2 guns. In terms of guns, APFSDS does more damage to heavily armored enemies, while APCBCHE does splash damage to enemies. I usually carry one of both but it doesn’t matter too much as the primary attributes of the weapons matter much more.
The most important thing in the game is your weapon properties, levels don’t matter too much as long as you keep your gear close together in levels. This is because enemies will scale based on your gear level. You can dismantle/sell gear in order to change weapon Properties to match the ideal properties. I recommend only doing so on the Legendary tier gears that come with a special HQ effect.
The Double Blade loadout is the strongest loadout early in the game and will remain used even until the end of the game. The primary reason being mobility is quite hard early on and your jump pack will run out of energy quite fast. Other reasons include early enemy AI not using counter moves, a lack of mobility early on, and a lack of numbers early on, which makes the Double Blade the best combat art.
When using the Double Blade, you will be engaging enemies in melee combat. Do keep an eye on your Jump Pack amount because you will need to have enough to run out of danger if needed (specifically enough to fly and run away). You need to stop moving and not attack on a terrain that does not have an environmental hazard for you to regain Jump Pack movement.
Tip: When retreating, it is best to change the enemy target to a slow and static unit so the camera does not mess up causing you to waste Jump Pack.
The Parry button is also the Attack button. When you see enemies with the alert icon flash Yellow, you can Parry them and perform the Parry Art you specify in the Player -> Set Skills Menu.
Just keep pressing the primary attack button, as long as there are less than 20 clustered together you should be good. Don’t fight G-Element empowered Tanks with the blade.
In the first half of the game, you can simply spam the attack button as Grappler AI will not counterattack you. In the second half of the game, the AI will be much smarter and you will not be able to do so. You will not be able to Parry their attacks either. The recommended strategy is to use your Skill Charge Hold L2 skill Lightning Slash. Press and hold your Skill button until the second level charge is complete a safe distance away from a grappler. If they use their charge ability you will need to dodge. Otherwise, when ready, use it to charge to the back of the enemy grappler. Then attack at will.
In the first half of the game, you can simply fly and let the destroyer charge behind you, then attack them with normal attacks. In the second half of the game the destroyers will be able to turn around much faster, so the recommended solution is to use Lightning Slash to get behind the enemy destroyers. The destroyer always uses charge first unless you are close range, so bait out the charge first, then charge up your Hold L2 skill (not in close range though) so you can jump behind the Destroyer. If you have Blade Crit Chance there is a chance you instant kill the Destroyer, otherwise, you can attack them in the rear. Or if they turned around, repeat the ability. If the enemy has large numbers of Tanks, just fly out and repeat.
While you can use blades to kill lasers, it’s recommended to use Assault Cannon 36mm instead as it interrupts the laser attack and kills lasers far faster.
Countering Heavy Lasers
Not recommended to use the double blade unless desperate against heavy lasers because most of your face (except for very early on) will have an uncounterable melee attack unless you manage to hit them from the rear. You generally don’t have time to charge up Lightning Slash. Use 36mm cannons from point-blank and 120mm rounds instead.
Early in the game, you can simply dash to be right behind the stinger and spam attack. Later on, it’s recommended to use Double Assault Cannons to beat Forts instead after clearing other enemies.
- Parry Skill: Twinblade Dance (double Blade special)
- Dodge Counter: Lightning Slash
- Skill Charge Hold L3: Mad Butterfly
- Skill Charge Hold L2: Lightning Slash
- Combo Finisher: Insanity Blade
The following Properties are best on your Blade:
- Blade Crit Rate Boost
- Blade Crit Strength Boost
- Blade Speed Boost
- Melee Attack Speed Boost
- Skill Charge Time (does not stack)
- Blade Attack Boost
- Blade Attack Power Enhancer
- Critical Guarantee
- Attack Boost
Double Assault Cannon
The Double Assault Cannon loadout is the strongest end game loadout with the lowest risk. You do need good mobility in order to properly use it.
Double Assault Cannon is the best cannon weapon layout because it allows you to have two guns equipped at once and not need to worry about switching weapons. You can simply switch Combat Styles between Double Blade/Double Assault Cannon to quickly toggle between ranged and melee mode.
Attack From Close Range
Despite what you think, cannons are best used from close range. This is because the damage dealt by your 36mm round heavily depends on the range from which you fire them from. 120mm rounds are very limited (between 6-8, depending on if you have Extra Round equipment attribute) and can be fired from afar.
For slow enemies, what you should do is use 120mm rounds until the enemy closes in, then use 36mm rounds, and then use your Jump Pack and retreat away from the enemy. You can use your 36mm gun’s damage to know when you should retreat, depending on the enemy (see sections below).
An important aspect of using cannons is managing the reload time.
The reload bar will build up slowly over time, once it is blue, you have an ammo pack ready to be swapped in. This means you can have up to 2x ammo capacity ready at any time (the spare ammo pack and what is currently in the weapon).
When using the cannons it is important you use ammo in guns that have an ammo pack ready and waiting, so you can begin reloading as you cannot store extra magazines.
Example against Forts:
Fly far away. Press LB 6x (use 120mm rounds). Press LB 1x (reload 120mm round). Press RB 6x (use 120mm rounds). Press RB 1x (reload 120mm round). Now I have used all of my 120mm rounds and they are reloading. I still have 12 rounds available, but I’ve begun the reload process.
The enemy fort is likely in close range now, so I switch to using my 36mm round. I use 600 rounds in my left gun, before kiting back. I wait for my jump pack to refresh. Then I use 1200 rounds, kite back again, and wait for the jump pack to refresh. Then I use the last 600 rounds and press the attack button to begin reloading.
Now I repeat the above, except this time with my right gun. This should set up all 4 weapons to be on reload.
Next, I repeat what I did above using all of my remaining ammo. By the time I am out of ammo, the reload should be complete, which means I can repeat it again. Usually, the fort will be at half health.
If you have reloaded reduction weapon attributes, you should be able to repeat the above indefinitely. Otherwise, switch to Double Blade and use a special. By the time the special is complete your weapons should be reloaded.
Just keep pressing the primary attack button from a safe distance. Damage can vary between 30-150. Generally, I pull back after 1-2 seconds of over 100 damage.
You can use 120mm ammo to “stun” and knockback Grapplers if there is a cluster of them together in order to isolate a grappler for melee combat. Super late game once you have ~6000 mobility in your TSF and can remain dashing forever, you can also use your 36mm gun from point-blank range while dashing in circles around grapplers. Otherwise, it is recommended to use the Double Blade instead. Damage can vary between 30-150. Generally, I pull back as soon as damage hits 75.
Not recommended unless it is a super late game and you have ~6000 in mobility and can remain dashing forever. Then you can dash behind them and use the 36mm cannon in point-blank range.
Shoot at them from afar to interrupt the laser attack while you fly towards them. You can shoot at them point-blank, should kill them in 1 second.
Countering Heavy Lasers
The 120mm is the best weapon against heavy lasers as it interrupts their attack and staggers them. If you run a blade/cannon combination you can alternate between the 120mm round and then hitting them while they are staggered (they cannot counterattack you). However, in practice I found this to be very hard to do. So I typically use Double Cannon and just shoot at them point blank instead with the 36mm cannons while using the 120mm cannon to stagger them. Heavy lasers can dodge an attack every so often so do be careful, try to bait out their dodge then spam the 120mm. I also keep some 120mm rounds in reserve to interrupt their laser attack since it can take quite some time to kill them with the 36mm cannon.
Described in Reload Management. You should kite back roughly 1-2 seconds after you see your 36mm shots dealing 20 damage.
Really doesn’t matter to be quite honest
- Jump Unit System Load Reduction – this stacks and reduce energy spent when you move
- Reload Cooldown Reduction
- Cruising Boost
- Jump Unit System Recovery
- Extra Dodge Time Boost
- Assault Cannon Crit Rate Boost
- Assault Cannon Crit Strength Boost
- Mobility Boost
- Trigger Happy
- Attack Boost
- Assault Cannon Attack Boost
- Automatic Fire Enhancer
The most important skill is Lightning Slash, followed by everything in Double Blade and Sword Saint. Lightning Slash allows you to jump behind enemies and will usually also kill any Tanks on you. Generally, you won’t need to farm Blade Skills since they are so good early game and you should get plenty of SP.
Assault Cannon Skills
There’s not much here that is important, just the passive bonuses from the Double Assault Cannon tree. You can farm kills against Tanks or Forts (Mikhail 6 is a good level to farm against fort) for SP.
The melee tree contains some really great bonuses in Survival and Jump Unit Mastery. You unlock SP via using the Knife/Fixed Weapon combat style. You can simply use those weapons instead of double-blade vs tanks to farm SP.
BETA Classes and Behavior
Enemies are divided into two versions: regular enemies and enemies empowered by G-Element. Empowered enemies have a blue/gray aura around the BETA and will behave differently. Not only do they have additional health, but they will also deal considerably more damage and behave much smarter.
The Tank Class is the grunts you face in battle. They rely on numbers and will slowly bleed you to death over time. Surprisingly they are arguably the most dangerous enemies when trying to complete missions with a time limitation, especially the G-Element empowered versions.
The normal Tank Class is best countered with the Blade and Knife weapons early on in the game if there are 20 or less clustered together. If a Tank attaches themselves to you, the best solution is to either fly or switch to the blade and attack (as blades will deal damage to any Tanks attached to you.
You can also use 36mm cannons against them but you will need to be in close range for it to deal respectable damage. For clusters larger than 20, the best solution is to use the 108mm APCBCHE assault cannon and deal splash damage.
The best counter to G-Element tank is to kill it with the 36mm cannon from medium-close range. Stay out of the Tank’s jump radius but close enough to do ~50-100 damage/shot. You should avoid engaging in melee.
The grapplers are like brawlers in the game, high health, okay defense (later grapplers will enter into a defensive stance by default when you approach them) and high damage. Later grapples will also have an uncounterable melee attack.
In general the best strategy is to get behind them then hit them with your melee blade. They also can be mini-Destroyers with a charge attack late game.
They aren’t too high of a priority generally unless in groups of 5 or more. In that situation you can use 120mm rounds to “slow down” grapplers and isolate one from the others.
One of the more annoying units, the destroyer generally doesn’t do much damage but does mess up what you were planning. Lightning Slash makes short work of destroyers (you can use fly before you unlock this as lasers shouldn’t be in game yet). The G-Element empowered enemies are very important to kill however as they will charge very frequently and can result in you using all of your Jump Pack energy dodging them if left alive (lasers still have higher priority).
The general strategy is to dodge their charge, then while they are turning around charge up your Special L2 Lightning Slash, and slash behind them. Most of the time this will work and you can then hit them from the rear. There is a 50% chance they will turn around before you can hit them however, in that case let your jump pack rest, they should charge up a melee attack, you can dodge that one, and then charge up your L2. They will either melee you again or do a charge. If they do a charge, you need to dodge it again as your L2 will not hit them before they charge you, and then charge your L2 again to get behind them and hope they won’t turn around this time.
Super late game once you have ~6000 in mobility you should be able to circle them forever and hit them with the 36mm cannon although I still recommend the blade to the rear unless there are many enemies grouped together.
The Fort class is a siege engine that moves toward you and deals heavy damage.
It is also the second-fastest enemy, second only to Forts that are charging. You can use this to your advantage by luring them away from the main cluster of enemies and hitting them with ranged.
They have a few attacks:
- Stinger will charge out in AoE if you are in front of stinger.
- Fort can do a spin if you are under it hitting stinger.
- They can do a smash on one side if you are to the side of the stinger.
- They can also release acid as well as tanks.
Generally, you can avoid triggering any attacks if you kite them with assault cannons. Otherwise, the best strategy is either slashing them with a double blade directly behind them (and taking the damage/ attempting to dodge) or using Butterfly Slash to clear out enemies near them.
Mikhail 6 Walkthrough
- Change Target to regular laser, dash to the left and kill the laser with 36mm round.
- Change Target to G-Element Laser, dash to the right. Rest and let the Jump pack recover. Dash toward the laser. Rest if needed before the ridge (laser can’t shoot you). Then shoot and kill.
- Change Target to G-Element Destroyer. Switch to Blade. Move into medium range so destroyer does not use charge. Use L2 Special Lightning Strike and jump behind it. Attack it with a full combo 3x from the rear to kill.
- Change Target to G-Element Tank. Use 36mm round from medium/close range and kill.
- Avoid Tanks, stay in Double Assault Cannon mode and wait until G-Element Heavy Laser Spawns. Immediately interrupt the heavy laser with your 120mm round.
- While dodging the enemy G-Element Grappler/normal Grappler, circle and shoot the G-Element Heavy Laser. Kill using your 36mm cannon from close range, and use your 120mm rounds to interrupt it whenever it tries to shoot the heavy laser again (you can shoot off your first 12 rounds to get the reload timer started). If you are out of regular rounds, you can switch to the blade temporarily and try to hit it from the rear. Attacks from the front will fail.
- After you kill the Heavy Laser, a regular laser will spawn. Dash to it and kill with your 36mm rounds or use double-blade if out of ammo.
- Switch to Double Blade and use Lightning Strike to finish off the Destroyers. You can then kill the grapplers with Lightning Strike. Try to save 2x full ammo for the Fort in both weapons.
- As soon as the Fort spawns you should start retreating and focusing on the fort with your Double Assault Cannons. If any grapplers are alive, use your Double Blade combat style and kill them when your ammo is reloading.