Starhawk has a unique, intense multiplayer experience, with up to 32 players competitively, or 4 players co-operatively (Prospector mode). 2 people can be splitscreen on 1 TV. This page is intended to help people learn how to play.
In Starhawk there are many vehicles and interesting weapons to master and fool about with. This wiki contains info about the various in-game objects, what they're useful for, how to use them, etc. You should read about the game's troop weapons, vehicles, structures, and hawk pickups. You also want to be familiar with one of the game's major mechanics, Build & Battle.
To see a list of every page in this wiki, click here
Your team has a limited number of buildings they're allowed to build (32). Therefore:
Generally speaking, look around before building, and avoid building duplicates. Your team doesn't need 2 or 3 Razorback garages at Home. There are exceptions to this "rule", but don't worry about them right now.
Do not build a ton of buildings at Home. That uses-up your team's build limit. Your team needs to be able to build things close to, or in, the enemy Home.
An "impenetrable fortress of walls" CAN be penetrated, or flown over, or destroyed, and can be used by the enemy as cover. Walls aren't going to win you the game. So don't over-build them. Learn to fight.
(This section is unfinished. Someone should write about Explore mode. Also creating your own password-protected server (be sure to turn Host Migration off). Mention the pros/cons of naming your server "newbie". Some vets may avoid it, or come in to train you, while others may be attracted to come bash.)
Host Migration: (defaults to "on") When you create a server, you are "host". With "Migration" off, when you quit, the server ends, everyone is kicked out. With "Migration" turned on, when you quit, the system randomly picks another player to be the host. Be aware, if you accepted the default server name, it is named after your PSN ID. With Migration on, you can quit, and "your" server with your name will live on, even though you're not in it.
Loadout: To learn more about Loadouts, and see what is in each Loadout, visit the Loadouts article.
Balance Teams: When turned on, it means that team sizes are required to be "even". For instance, if it's 8 vs. 7, someone from the smaller team can't switch to the larger.
All Talk: All mic chat from both teams is heard by both teams.
Intermission: Be aware, a 10 second intermission tends to annoy players, they don't get time to look over the scoreboard.
If you played Warhawk, you were used to the fact that randomly you'd be placed on either red team or blue team. In Starhawk, you are randomly on the Rifter or Outcast team, but your team ALWAYS appears "green" to you, and the enemy team ALWAYS appears "red" to you. Your spawn areas are green-colored, your team tags are green, on the map your buildings are green, etc. (Note: there is an checkbox in the options menu to switch the color scheme from green/red to blue/orange)
Whenever you spawn on Starhawk, you fly in through the sky in a Drop Pod. You can spawn in any green-colored area. Which means your Home, and around any Outposts that have been built.
Take advantage of the view: The drop pod sequence can provide you with valuable battle-field intel. Try to split your focus between your impact point and everything else happening around you - note all friendly and enemy structures to plan your movements, look for enemies behind cover, locate proximity mines, etc. Know what you are dropping into to be as effective as possible the second you land.
Your Drop Pod is a lot like a missile, in the sense that you can kill someone by landing on them. Even if they're in a Mech, etc. You will see a sort of "shadow" on the ground of where your Pod is going to hit. It's very useful for controlling where you're going, as you may want to land on a Supply Bunker to get some weapons and supplies straight away. Or you may want to land straight on a Hawk Pad to get straight into some dogfighting. Other options include landing on Rift containers to start with a little extra or targeting enemy structures to deal damage (a drop pod will destroy an MG turret).
One decision you will have to make when choosing where to land is whether to try to squash the enemy or not. When aiming for an opponent try to determine where his attention is directed and start your drop behind him, pulling the pod toward your target to catch him off guard. If you miss them but spawn near them, you will be an easy target and they will most likely have better weapons than you. You may want to spawn mid-range from enemies, so you can use your Rifle to gun them down.
Another way to decide where to go, you can see your teammates' cursors on the map as they're selecting their spawn location. If it's the game start and they're all spawning on the flag to defend it, maybe you should spawn near an edge, get a Razorback, and rush the enemy. If they're all rushing out, maybe you should spawn near the flag.
These all provide a replenishable source of rift. The Rift Collector and the Outpost will give you a slow supply when you are in a certain radius around them. Being near multiple Outposts does not give you Rift any faster than being next to 1. There is ZERO value to putting a Outpost in your own Home base. Rift Barrels give you rift when you shoot them. They respawn after 20 or so seconds.
As well as this, there are "active" ways to get rift. You can get rift from Capturing the flag, returning your flag, killing enemies, and destroying enemy buildings.
It is worth mentioning that in Pre-Game, Outposts and Rift Collectors do not supply you with rift, and you have to use the other methods to obtain it.
Building is one of the most innovative features of Starhawk. You access the build menu using Triangle. You can build almost ANYWHERE on the map, even inside the enemy home, and you can build WHILE you're flying a Hawk or using any other vehicle.
However, there are limits on placing buildings. Your entire team is only allowed 32 structures collectively. Once 32 buildings have been placed no one can build anything else until an existing building is either destroyed or reclaimed. Additionally, the ground has to be somewhat level (Terrain requirements vary by building - outposts and beam turrets have much more flexibility in location than a supply bunker or hawk pad).
To build things, you need Rift Energy. This is the currency of the game. Your Rift Meter shows you how much Rift you currently have. The Rift Meter is in the blue bar in the top right of screen. Each building has its own Rift cost: A Wall costs 1 bar of rift, a Garage costs 2 bars of rift, etc. Each structure is labelld with its cost on the radial Build Menu (triangle button).
To build something, select it in the Build Menu, then release triangle. If you don't have enough Rift yet, you won't be able to select the item. Once you've successfully selected and started the build, you'll have a positioning hologram you can move around to place the structure. When the hologram is green, you can build there. If it's yellow, you can't. Enemy holograms are red. You don't want to be standing in that spot when their building comes crashing down (Note: friendly buildings falling from the sky are just as deadly, even your own)!
Buildings are destructible (by the enemy), and repairable, if you have the Welding Torch. The Welding Torch can also be used to destroy enemy buildings.
Sometimes you may see a building that is in the way, no longer relevant to the changed state of the battlefield, or is badly placed. All allied buildings may be reclaimed. This is especially helpful with walls and gates that may be placed in bad positions by accident/bad tactics. To reclaim something, hold Triangle while standing in front of its glowing orange/yellow control pad. A menu will pop up with some icons, 1 of them being a small "recycle" icon for reclaiming. Use the left thumbstick to select that icon, then confirm your choice with X.
Building "too many" things at Home is not good strategy! It means your teammates can't build strategically closer to the enemy base to help mount an assault and manage to bring the enemy flag Home. Even if you fill Home with 32 structures, an enemy will still find a way to quietly slip in with a Welding Torch, put a hole in a wall, then several of them will rush your Home, get your flag, and get out...all while you thought you were completely secure. (Personal note: I love infiltrating overly-built bases. Too many walls provide easy cover to move around dismantling turrets and convient spots to hide and recover health. It's kind of counter-intuitive, but an "open" base is actually much more difficult to penetrate and much easier to defend)
You can learn some things about Walls and building them by reading the Walls article.
(Someone should write about the precise steps to build Walls, link them, etc.)
To obtain a Rocket Launcher or a Shotgun, enter or build a Supply Bunker. This requires four rift bars to build. You can also get these weapons from enemy supply bunkers, but it will not let you enter via the door. You will have to climb the ladder and enter through the hole in the roof. But you can still exit through the door.
To obtain a railgun (for sniping), climb or build a Sniper Tower. Building a Sniper Tower requires two rift bars.
(This section is unfinished. Someone should write here. Talk about the Kinetic Rifle, hip fire (but not while R2 sprinting), over-the-shoulder L1 snap-on targeting, health regeneration, how you do NOT have to wait for the weapon wheel to pop up to change weapons, etc.)
Unless a teammate or enemy abandons a vehicle somewhere, all vehicles in Starhawk are obtained from the relevant Build & Battle structure for that vehicle. For a Hawk you need to find or build a hawk pad (4 rift), for a Jet Pack you need to find or build a jetpack dispenser (6 rift), and for a Razorback you need to find or build a garage (2 rift). When you first build a Razorback Garage or Hawk Pad, it comes with a vehicle in it ready for the taking. Sometimes you have to move quick or teammates may steal that first vehicle.
Once one of your teammates has built a structure you can use the structure to build new vehicles for a discounted rate. You will see the empty garage or pad with the ghost outline of a Razorback or Hawk in it (due a bug, sometimes you don't see the ghost). Enemy garages and pads, however, always lack the ghost, because you are not allowed to order from enemy structures.
Just approach the orange/yellow control panel (sometimes you can find them because they have a tiny hologram of the vehicle floating in front of the control panel) on the structure and hold Triangle (the control panel will have put up a "hint" to use Triangle). A menu will pop up with some icons, 1 of them being the vehicle you want, and a small "recycle" icon for reclaiming. Use the left thumbstick to select the vehicle.
You can order a Hawk from existing hawk pad (2 rift), a Jetpack from an existing jetpack dispenser (3 rift), or a Razorback from an existing garage (1 rift). There will be a delay time for spawning a new vehicle after a vehicle has been spawned. For a hawk it is 3 seconds, a jetpack 3 seconds (I think), and a Razorback is 3 seconds. The delay time will come up on screen when you approach the control panel of a structure. (Note: for the time being, as a test, the devs have shortened all wait times to 3 seconds).
You may want to take care not to build multiple buildings of the same type "too close" to one another, as this just uses up your team's structure limit of 32 structures. Instead you can easily walk to nearby existing garages/pads and order a vehicle. Although since the tank spawn delay is so long, more than 1 tank depot can be useful if multiple tankers want to get going quickly.
You can't order vehicles from the enemy team's structures, but you can use the enemy team's abandoned vehicles. Which means...don't leave a Razorback sitting around or in a garage at Home base. The enemy can use it to drive away with your flag!
To create a new spawn point, you need to build an Outpost using the Build&Battle menu. This requires four bars of rift. If you are lacking rift, then travel to an area with rift barrels via jetpack, Razorback etc. Shoot the rift barrel continually until you have enough rift to build the Outpost. If you're building near Rift Barrels, keep the Outpost close enough that you get its Rift while you're harvesting/defending the barrels.
To avoid damaging yourself upon take-off, a good way to take-off from being a Mech is...look upwards into empty airspace, hit X to jump, while you're in mid-leap, hit O to transform. You should have no problem taking-off vertically (or nearly so).
How To Take-out An Automatic Machine Gun TurretEdit
Auto Turrets can be a nuisance when you're trying to assault an enemy's base. Fortunately, there are mutliple ways to destroy them...
Auto Turrets can be destroyed with every weapon in the game, though some do more damage than others. It is advisable that you either use a Rocket launcher or a Railgun. Two shots from a rocket launcher will destroy the turret, and if you have a railgun you can shoot the 'eye' of the turret to kill it in one go. Although you can shoot the 'eye' with all weapons, the railgun is the most accurate and therefore the best choice.
If shooting the turret fails, or you're too close to shoot it without it killing you first, you can 'dismantle' the turret. This is simply done by running up to it and using the melee button (R3). You have to approach turrets carefully, since the turret is more accurate up close and it may kill you before you get to it. Some you can sneak near, some you can rush while moving left & right, every situation is different.
If you do not have a jetpack and are being attacked by someone who does, here are some things to consider:
Be aware: JPers (jetpackers) always show on the map. If you see a fast-moving troop dot, be aware there's a JPer around.
Melee: If he drops to the ground right next to you, he wants to knife you. Be ready to avoid the knifing, or knife him first. Right now a lot of JPers prefer this attack. You can take a chance here...if you stay facing away, he'll think you don't know he's there. As he gets close and drops down, wait for the last moment, then move out of the way and turn, he'll miss, and you can knife him. This could be a risk if he's planning to shotgun you. You might wait and just get shot in the back. But you might live and might be able to shotgun him, or sprint away. If you're worried he has a shotgun, you're better off taking a few shots while he's far away, then running if he continues to close, take a few more shots, etc.
Shotgun assault: He may want to get close to blast you at close range with the shotgun. Sprint away while weaving, then try aimed fire at him with your rifle. If he's hovering, he'll be fairly easy to hit.
Use the environment: If you can find a tight alley, they have less room to circle around you and shooting them becomes easier.
Wait them out: If you're sprinting and shooting enough, if they keep trying to kill you, eventually they'll run out of fuel and have to come down. You can then fight on more even terms.
Shoot them in the back: If they give up and retreat, try to kill them as they go with rifle, rocket launcher, etc.
Rocekt Launcher: You can lock onto jetpackers the same way you lock onto a hawk. This is most effective against jetpackers that are high above the ground. They may try to dodge the rocket by using a jetpack boost but this will use up most of their fuel.
At the beginning of the game you might decide to prepare your home base for attacks. If you are defending, you have a few options. Some prefer a clear view of their own flag and a clear killing field. Others prefer to put walls around the flag. At the very least to stop vehicles from driving right up to the flag. You can also try to use walls to make it harder for troops to get to the flag. When you are building them, you have the option to link two walls together. If you do this, then the enemy cannot filter in through the gaps, without first taking time to damage the walls.
You may wish to convert one wall into a gate by tapping square on the yellow button attached to the wall. This allows your team mates and you to easily move in and out of the walled-off area. Don't convert every wall to a gate though. With many gates constantly opening, an enemy will find a time to slilp in.
A popular strategy (especially on Orbital) is to wall-off your flag with all the ladders facing outwards, and make no gates (perhaps with a jetpack dispenser inside). This way, teammates and enemies can climb in, but once an enemy has gone in and gotten the flag, they have no way out, since you can't jetpack with the flag. They either have to destroy a wall, or find a place to build a turret, sniper tower, or wall (if there's room), then hope to climb it as a stepping point to get outside of the walls. If you build other things inside the walls, it will be harder for enemies to find room to build. Teammates can use a jetpack to get out.
Auto-turrets can be placed on top of walls. This provides defence for your base and make the turrets harder to disable. Do not build an uneccesary amount of walls, as there is a build limit of 32 buildings for each team. You need some ability to build items when attacking the enemy Home.
If you're staying home and defending...play a little structure clean-up too. Home often gets overbuilt, then the limit is reached and no one can build near the enemy to attack/capture flags. If you see stuff that is redundant (how many Razorback garages and jetpack dispensers do you need at Home?), or overbuilt (giant maze of walls that give enemy cover and confuse your own team), reclaim it.
Dont Forget Beam Turrets: Beam turrets are a wonderful thing to have if placed correctly, The best spot to place a Beam Turret is in a spot with a view of the sky and with the least obstructions as possible.</p>
Foward bases are a useful tool in Starhawk. Especially in Capture the Flag. If your foward base contains an Outpost, you and your team can spawn close to the enemy's base and get straight into attacking.
Forward bases are vunerable though. This is because the enemy has the advantage as their main base is nearby. They can easily destroy your outpost, so you can no longer spawn there, but they can always spawn "close" at their Home base. The best way to combat this is to make sure that your forward base is stocked-up well. This means putting bunkers down so that anyone who spawns there is well equipped. Just remember the enemy can very easily enter the bunker from the top and surprise you with an attack. And be as well-equipped as you are if you don't defend the Bunkers from them. You may want a garage so that you have easy access (if you're playing Capture the Flag) to a Razorback.
Starhawk gives you a lot of choice in relation to attacking the enemy's base. Here are some of the options:
*Crazy Razorback do-or-die rush! A common method of attacking. Though it is often done badly, if done correctly this can get you an easy flag. The tactic with this is to be as quick as possible, and don't stop to kill enemies that are out of your way. If you do this, you will attract more attention and most likely get killed.
Make sure you protect your Razorback . Your Razorback is your ticket out of the enemy base, and if it's destroyed you are pretty much dead.
*The "slowly but surely" method: Not all of us like to run into the enemy base like a maniac (surprisingly), so another approach is to launch a continuing assault on the enemy. This means building a foward base from which you can blow up enemy buildings and get some troops into their base. This gives you close access to the flag or the enemy stronghold. Some may see it as spawn trapping, some may see it as a good tactic move. It's your call.
Be warned though, you need to keep some men at your own Home base, as an enemy may sneak round the side of the map and get your flag/spawn trap you. It also takes a lot of time to gather enough rift and build a foward base and effectively defend the Outpost.
*Denial of resources: Whatever the enemy is using the most, destroy it. If they're using a lot of hawks, destroy their hawkpads. If they're jetpacking a lot, destroy their dispensers. Of course, the most "dangerous" enemy structure is the Outpost, and the bubble shield. Destroy those first.
* Pwn them like a ninja! LONE WOLF! Though teamwork is vital for a lot of tactics, some stuff you can do on your own. One example of this is the classic "LONE WOLF". This is where you sneak into the enemy's base (utilising cover) and sabotage them. Not many do it well. In Starhawk, this tactic often is often done best using a Repair Tool - which can destroy enemy buildings within seconds. You can also hack their structures to make them friendly to your team so you can use them, and the enemy can't.
You will face a lot of enemies, so it is important to use cover to your advantage. Enemy buildings and Bunkers are good for this. Go in through the top and restock on ammo. They will likely see you when they drop pod in, so it is useful to be good at using the knife or the shotgun so you can get them as soon as they land.
One common mistake is to put walls and turrets down in the enemy base. This DOES NOT work, and simply wastes your rift and building slots. They are easy to destroy and can often help the enemy (If it's a bunker or a wall).
* Long range sabotage...LIKE A BOSS. If you're familiar with Starhawk, you will have seen the Railgun. This is a deadly weapon in the right hands, and if these hands are your hands (lol), then this tactic is for you.
Make some kind of supply station at your base, which contains a Bunker , A Sniper Tower and A Jetpack Dispenser (Maybe some Turrets to stop them from being destroyed). This will act as your 'base of operations' for the match.
Once you are fully kitted out, Jetpack up to a vantage point in the map. For example, on Conduit, the Pipes overlooking the enemy base and the centre of the map. Destroy all the enemy buildings you can see, using the Rocket Launcher and shoot as many enemies as you can see with the Railgun. Once you've run out of ammo, return to your little "base of operations" and restock. Find a different spot (They'll know where you were the first time and prepare for you) and repeat.
You will be vunerable when sniping and sabotaging, so make sure you have a suitable escape route or fortification to hide in. It's better if as few people on the team are using this tactic as possible, as it leaves your base defenceless and if it's CTF , nobody is going for the flag. Tell your team to use the other tactics, or do them yourself.
* Make a hole in their defenses: Is the enemy Home heavily fortified so you can't get to their flag? Get a jetpack and sneak in from behind. On Acid Sea, from around the mountains/coastline. On Orbital, from under the map. Have a repair tool and quietly make a hole in their walls. Have teammates shortly behind you to take advantage of that hole in case you're killed before you can.
*Rush the enemy! As soon as the game starts, it is advisable to build a garage straight away and head to the enemy's flag in a Razorback . This is a good method since you can get to the enemy base before they have a chance to build any fortifications or turrets. It may well end up badly, since you are usually outnumbered badly, and any enemies you kill can spawn back right where they died in a few seconds. But if you are quick and smart enough, you should be able to get an easy flag capture right at the start of the game.
* Following on from this: Prepare for an enemy rush! At the start of almost every game, the enemy will try and rush you using the above tactic. The best way to prepare for this is to leave some team-mates behind at the base, and preferably on high ground (since Razorbacks can easily run you over). You may also want to build a bunker as quickly as possible, because you will get a Rocket Launcher which can easily destoy enemy Razorbacks.
If any enemy is out of their Razorback , concentrate fire on the razorback rather than the enemy. If they have no means of transportation, they're sitting ducks for people at your base.
*Intelligent wall placement! Whatever you do, don't build walls in a ridiculous labryinth that not only confuses the enemy, but you and your team! The best way to build walls is to surround the flag in as little room as possible. Walls are really more about blocking/slowing vehicles than they are about stopping troops.
*Fortify your base sufficiently As the game goes on, your enemy will most likely start building hawks and fly over to your base, transform into a mech and beat the heck out of you. However, you can stop this by building decent fortifications. This means always having a Bunker in your home base so that anyone spawning there can get some decent weapons. It also means having a few well-placed walls that will afford you time to kill the enemies who are after the flag. Energy Shields are a big bonus too, although they are expensive and you may want to consider spending your rift on something else. Such as a Beam Turret . These are very good against airbourne enemies as they auto lock onto them. They are also good for destroying enemy forward bases that are visible, since you can get in them and beam fire onto their bunkers, or whatever buildings they have.
* Torpedo their base! One of the easiest ways to get rid of Energy Shields is to get in a Hawk, transform and grab the Torpedo. After you have it, select it, turn towards the enemy base and get ready to fire. As soon as you get inside the shield, fire and boost away to get Hawk Health if possible. This is also useful for destroying large amounts of Auto Turrets near the flag.
* The most important tactic of all: Teamwork! It really helps to have an effective method for teamwork. This means using a microphone, or at least some kind of communication. This is good, as it means that you can ask teammates what buildings they've built, and whether you need to build another one etc. It also helps to know who has the flag, or who's defending it.
You may want to move around in groups also, this is relevant to the Rush tactic, since you can get a Razorback full of people right at the start of the game and storm the enemy base as a team. One person might want to be the driver, one person might want to use the turret and one person might want to jump out and get the flag.
Team defense is also important, as you may want to cover different sides of your base, or have diferent buildings assigned to each person.
* Protect Your Run: If you end up running the flag out on foot, if you made sure to have some rift...drop a wall as you run backwards to protect your run. On the ground in front of that wall drop a turret. Enemies will go around the wall to get you and not notice the turret.
If you are playing in a game that's experiencing long delays in network communication with the host (approx. 10 seconds), a bit of orange text will be displayed in the upper right of your screen that reads "Network Stall". If bad network conditions persist, Starhawk will deem that host no longer viable to host a game of acceptable quality and host-migration will automatically be triggered.
Machinima Director - TRIX has produced a number of Starhawk montages and gaming commentaries - praised and promoted on Twitter by Starhawk's very own development team (Lightbox Interactive.) : http://www.youtube.com/TomahawkTrix