You might want to put some thought into who you want to be to other players before you finish registering your account. As of mid-2021, you cannot change your nickname or avatar and you cannot start over.
You will start the game with $17,000 of in-game money, and you will receive an additional $1,000 per level. Periodically, the developers run a special that allows you to purchase an additional $17,000 for a dollar of real money via Steam. This is helpful if you’re willing to part with a buck.
The starting weapons vary wildly in efficiency; here is a chart of the first few weapons you will encounter:
The L113V3 is a bad rifle. I did not encounter an efficient sniper rifle, so it may be best to ditch the sniper entirely at the start of the game. When you decide to explore PVP, you should think about hiring an Elite sniper and leveling him to the max.
You will also note that the machine gunner is weak at the start of the game. Whether you ditch him is up to you, but there is really no point in leveling up the starting machine gunner. I would also advise that you not bother leveling up Marco. Just be aware that in the end game, the Heavy becomes more viable.
If you can get a good weapon for a reasonable price, you will enjoy much greater success. Otherwise, save your money. The starting game has little impact on the end game, so spend no more than you have to. If you want to fire your sniper and machine gunner, it will cost you $500 each to replace them with assaults. Probably worth it to start off on the right foot.
A word on how the weapons were rated: Straight damage was increased by additional crit damage at the given probability of crit. I did not verify this with statistical analysis, I have been busy. This adjusted damage was then reduced by 1 part in the number of shots until reload, to account for efficiency lost in reloading. This value was multiplied by the given accuracy of the weapon to come up with an overall efficiency rating. Again, none of the developer’s given values have been verified. My own experience is that these numbers are at least in the ballpark.
This rating system has important weaknesses that you should be aware of. The most obvious weakness is that the range of weapons is not accounted for. This is especially evident with machine pistols or SMGs such as the very good MP50, without question the best weapon available in the early game. However, its range is limited and damage drops off unrealistically–probably to compensate for its very good DPS. I did not account for this in the weapon efficiency ratings because the fog of war in this game is so claustrophobic that weapon range is seldom a factor.
Probably the next most important weakness in these ratings is the inability to quantify the additional utility provided by class skills. For example, the sniper skill rapid reload makes the L113V3 a barely passable weapon if you limit your analysis to exactly 4 rounds. The weapons chart is a simplification of a complex topic. Just be aware that class skills have a direct impact on weapon efficiency.
Becoming Competitive – Mid Game
Since there are good guides on specializations already, I will limit my comments to making sure you get an elite stormtrooper with a scout. This is important so that you become aware of your enemy at least when he becomes aware of you. If you do not have a stormtrooper with a scout, you will probably lose a PVP match where your opponent has a scout.
Until you achieve ranked status in PVP, you will find a maximum of 3 potential team members in the store per day. With ranked status, you get 6. For this reason, you should consider getting through the story missions and opening up calibration battles to be a priority. Completing 5 calibration battles will earn you ranked status, even if you lose. Most likely you will not lose all of your calibration battles, because you will be fighting other players of similar capability. Regardless, you need to get through this so that you get 6 choices in the labor market.
Eventually, you will need to have your entire team comprised of elite soldiers. There is not that much difference between normal and pro fighters in PVE, so you may want to skip the pro level. Here is the breakdown:
Type Cost Specials Skills
- Normal 500 1 23
- Pro 5,000 2 25
- Elite 25,000 3 27
You can see that they are not that different, and it does not really matter what level of soldier you use in PVE. However, for competitive PVP it will be important to field an all-star team.