If you’ve been playing Titanfall since the release of Respawn Entertainment’s breakneck paced sci-fi shooter, then you know how much depth there is to the game. With its first DLC expansion pack already released and a new update on the horizon there is much ground to be covered. Let’s take a look at Titanfall’s classic gameplay mode, Attrition, and see if we can dominate the competition.
Attrition, similar to the everyday fps shooter’s cherished Team Death Match – if the traditional sense of the word implied 20 foot tall bipedal robots, autonomous terminator-esque machines, and enough ordnance to level a few cities’ worth of frontier real estate – requires players to kill enemy units to earn points towards victory. It’s fun, easy to understand, and even easier to get into (Again, thanks to our 20 foot tall robotic friends).
Attrition, a War of Endurance in Titanfall
If you may have not already know, a war of attrition describes warfare in which one or more sides employs a strategy in which depleting an enemy’s resources to the point of failure via the elimination of key materials and manpower is the main objective. A mouthful, eh? Not to worry, because we’re only going to concern ourselves with the “bang-bang-bang” side of things.
Let’s get started with the basics.
All is Fair in Love and War
At the end of the day, all is fair in love and war – except it isn’t! In a battle of Attrition, everything has its value. Knowing the value of all available targets is crucial if you have any hopes of stringing together anything significant in terms of points. So, here’s a comprehensible list of exactly what’s what in the number game that is Attrition:
Grunts 1 point
Pilots 4 points
Spectres 1 point
Titans 5 points
Pilot & Titan 9 points
Choose your Battles Carefully
Based on what we’ve read, you would start to think that a diet of nothing but pilots and titans is what you need to make it with the big shots, right? If so, you might want to think again. Here, check out this album of screenshots I took postgame, specifically shots number 3 and 6. Going into each game I had a certain focus. In the case of scoreboards 3 and 6, racking up the most pilot kills I possibly could was my primary objective with Titan kills as a secondary objective, being as they do not have a continuous presence on the battlefield. So, why didn’t I do as well as I did when my focus wasn’t as narrow?
When playing Attrition competitively you’re going up against more than just enemy pilots – you’re competing against your teammates for scarce resources.
Titanfall Objective Prioritization
Titanfall Game 1 – No Focus
No priority was given to any certain enemy type. As a result, I did relatively well. The reason for this is most likely that I used what was available to me as I moved quickly across the map. Remember, you’re not just competing against enemy pilots, but friendly pilots as well. So, move fast and kill faster. Also, do not skip over enemy minions. After all, minions spawn in groups and only 4 minion kills add up to what you would get for killing a single enemy pilot.
Titanfall Game 2 – No Focus
Again, no priority was given to any certain enemy type. As a result, I did relatively well. This game was performed in the same fashion as game 1 to back the claims I made in the description for Game Summary 1. All games were conducted (one after the other) in the order that they are displayed in this album except for Game Summary 4, which actually occurred immediately after Game Summary 6.
TitanFall Game 3 – Focus On Pilots
Priority was given to enemy pilots. As a result, I did not do as well in comparison to previous games. The reason for this is most likely that friendly pilots are scouting for enemy pilots as well. Enemy pilots can be seen as a scarce resource that you must compete against teammates for. Also, if you place too much emphasis on one type of target, you will end up overlooking other potential targets.
Titanfall Game 4 – Focus On Pilots
Again, priority was given to enemy pilots. A second game with focus placed on pilots was conducted because I simply felt that I could have done better. Also, it seems as if in game 3 that I may have competed against a team with less teammates than my own.
Titanfall Game 5 – Focus On Minions
Focus was given to enemy minions. The same phenomenon exhibited in Game Summary 3 and 4 can be seen in Game Summary 5. I did not do as well in comparison to previous games. The reason for this, again, is most likely that friendly pilots are scouting for enemy minions as well (However, less so because many players often mistake minions as being worthless in terms of Attrition points. Also, this may be one of the reasons why I did better than I did when hunting for pilots – there are more targets available). Enemy minions can be seen as a scarce resource in the same way that enemy pilots can be seen. You must compete against your teammates for these “scarce resources”. If you place to much emphasis on one type of target, you will end up looking over other potential targets.
Titanfall Game 6 – Focus On Minions 2
Again, priority was given to enemy minions. A second game with focus placed on minions was conducted because it seems as if in game 5 that I may have competed against a team with less teammates than my own.
There is No One Right Tool for the Job
By now you should understand that the top pilots playing in Attrition lobbies are gunning for anything and everything, but what exactly constitutes anything and everything? We need to talk about your class loadout, or that set of tools you carry into each game.
Your weapon should be able to handle medium to close ranges at the least. Lots of ammo and large clips are a must here, as we’ll be shooting for a large kill count of pilots and minions. We also want a weapon that can do decent damage to enemy titans, in case we ever find ourselves on one. A weapon like the Smart Pistol Mk5 still makes a good choice for a primary weapon despite not doing much damage to rodeoed titans, as it is very effective in dealing with both pilot and minion threats because of its lock on feature.
The benefits and drawbacks of each pistol will only become apparent when the scenario allows for it. As a result, I would choose your secondary weapon based on preferred playstyle, just as you would a titan chasis. To get a better idea of the roles each pistol can play, I would watch these videos:
Out on the frontier, you have to be ready to face any number of different threats, ranging from hostile pilots to enemy spectres. Choose your tactical ability based on what you believe will give you the greatest advantage over the most lethal of threats, or in this case what you will use to net yourself the most points. Active Radar Pulse will streamline the process of picking out your next target. Stims help in PvP combat, as well as outmaneuvering enemies and teammates for that next objective. Cloak makes it easier to engage both minions and titans.
Again, you want to retain the capacity to defeat all sorts of threats, as that will earn you the most points. In my personal opinion, the Arc Grenades and Satchel Charges allow you to do just that, as they keep their lethal and disorienting capabilities in almost every situation. Arc grenades are great because they will almost always “single-shot” grunts and spectres. You can also use them to blind enemy titans (and pilots) temporarily, making it easier to perform a rodeo. Satchel charges, on the other hand, are powerful little packs of explosives that can be used to dispatch any type of target that you set your eyes on.
Tier 1 Kit:
There are a lot of options to choose from here, and it would probably take me the rest of the guide here to sum up every pro and con possible. Instead of dictating to you my own personal preference (*cough* power cell *cough*), I’ll remind you that in order to get the most points you have to be able to take on whatever the enemy throws at you.
Tier 2 Kit:
The same scenario applies here as it did for the tier 1 kit. Although, I will dare to say that the Minion Detector and Guardian Chip kits are the most effective when it comes to Attrition. Minion kills should not be ignored if you want to reach the top, just don’t put too much time and effort into them, say by taking the time to individually kick and hack each one. Float like a pilot, sting like… a pilot… I guess?
There is no single class that will guarantee you team MVP for every round of Attrition you play. All you can do is make sure the right tools are available to you when you need them most.
There Is No Such Thing As A Magic Bullet
Perhaps we have something that resembles a magic gun, but that’s not the point. We understand that in a battle of attrition numbers are what count, so get them wherever you can. Also, when filling up a loadout slot, versatility matters the most. You can’t win them all, but you can sure try. With these rules in mind, let’s go over some final tips:
- Unfortunately, you can’t win this by yourself. Excuse the corniness, but this is not pilot hunter. Points are not solely determined by who can kill who. With everyone everywhere, you can only hope to gain enough points by doing your part for your team and taking what you get.
- What does everyone at the top of the scoreboard have in common? In addition to a large pilot kill count, they all have around 20+ minion kills. Do not make the mistake of ignoring minions. They may not be the key to victory, but they absolutely do help.
- Avoid tunnel vision! Focusing on a certain type of enemy unit is a recipe for failure. No one enemy unit will always be present in your current location, and chasing them down would be a waste of time. Remove the threat of the moment and move on instead of waiting for the next enemy titan to fall.
- Make use of what you have, when you have it. Grunts not worth the bullets in your primary? Use your secondary then. No time to lose? Drop an arc grenade and forget about it! Lagging too far behind the battlefront? Activate your stims and get back into the action. There is no excuse for lollygagging, so learn how to make the best use of your time.
I’ll finish with this; your overall success in Attrition is not determined exclusively by your level of skill.
A high you score is a measure of team competency just as much as it is a reflection of your own prowess as a pilot.
Now get out there! The frontier needs you.