NOTE: My apologies, but this guide is very outdated. Information is valid from the original closed Beta back in early 2013. Someday hopefully I will have time to update it!
FireFall Beginners Guide
- Section 1: Creating Your Character
- Section 2: Character Advancement
- Section 3: The Basics
- Section 4: Crafting (Molecular Printer)
- Section 5: Gathering Materials
- Section 6: Getting Around & Where to Go
- Section 7: PvP
Any cosmetic aspects of your character can be changed at a later time, but most changes require you to pay for the changes made. While there are not currently a very large variety of physical characteristics in Firefall, there should be something in there you like. Please note that the physical attributes of how your character looks has no impact on the gameplay.
Starting out in Firefall, you can create your character as any one of the five currently available "Battleframes". Essentially, a Battleframe is what you would expect as a "class" in your more traditional MMO. In Firefall, you are not necessarily limited to only one Battleframe, as you can switch out to any of the other Battleframes whenever you would like (more on this later). The first Battleframe is chosen during your character creation, and you will unlock your second Battleframe as part of the in-game tutorial. Please note that each archetype starts you out as a "T1 Battleframe", but you will unlock more specialized versions of your Battleframe as you advance in the game. During the current Beta, only the T1 and T2 Battleframes are available.
While I will eventually write up detailed guides for each of the Battleframes, here is the "short version" of each:
- Assault: DPS archetype. Specializes in AOE DPS, balance of speed and power.
- Biotech: Healer archetype. Focuses on healing / support, Lifedrain DPS
- Dreadnaught: Heavy armored "tank" archetype. Focuses on defensive abilities and single-target DPS.
- Engineer: DPS / Support archetype. Specializes in deployable DPS turrets, support items, etc.
- Recon: Long-range DPS archetype. Specializes in long-range sniping and AOE explosives.
More detailed information can be found on This Thread.
Section 2: Character Advancement
Experience points in Firefall can be gained through a variety of different options.
- Storyline Missions - There is an overall story arc that has begun to be implemented into the game (includes the tutorial), but at this stage in the Beta there are not many missions enabled for the storyline.
- PvP Matches - You gain XP both from completing a match and from fighting enemy players throughout the match.
- Random mobs - There are nests and wandering mobs spread throughout the map.
- Dynamic Event: Patrols - This random event occurs when a group of Chosen mobs will spawn and then patrol an area - attacking any enemy mobs / players they see. This event can be soloed.
- Dynamic Event: Drop Pod - This is one of the most common events, where a Chosen drop pod will show up along with a group of Chosen guards. This event can be soloed.
- Dynamic Event: Incursion (Invasion) - This event is currently the most powerful event with the Chosen. A large group of Chosen mobs will spawn and move towards NPC Towers / Cities in an attempt to take over those bases as footholds for futher attacks. These have been somewhat scaled back at this stage in the Beta, but eventually they will be able to take over entire sections of the map. Currently they can take over Towers & smaller Cities, which can only be returned to player control if Players fight through the chosen and reclaim the main structure. Generally you will need at least a few people to do this event.
- Dynamic Event: Crashed Thumper - This quick event requires you to return 5 scattered "parts" back to the Crashed Thumper vehicle. This is a timed event with scaling awards depending on how fast you can complete it. Note that while you are attempting to do this, increasing waves of mobs will spawn and attempt to kill you. It is usually best to do this with 2 or more people.
- Dynamic Event: Crashed LGV - This event shows up with a crashed LGV vehicle, and can have more than one result. Sometimes when you activate a crashed LGV a "Data Worm" robot will spawn, and you will be required to defend the Data Worm for a set time period (while being attacked by mobs). You may also get lucky and get the other option - a simple lootable LGV. Loot will simply drop and the LGV will self-destruct. Generally this is a soloable event.
- Dynamic Event: Melding Tornado - This is currently the largest Dynamic Event, generally requiring a party in order to complete. They can be soloed, but it will require quite a long time and a very careful player. Essentially these tornadoes will spawn in the game, and you have to complete two objectives in order to finish the event. First you have to destroy four "shards" that are floating around the tornado. These are moving targets and have a lot of HP. While the shards themselves do not do any damage, the tornado randomly attacks players in the area. There will also be a very large number of "Melding" mobs that are summoned by the tornado. Generally a good strategy is to attack from rock ledges in the area, and only go down to the ground to collect materials / powerups as needed. After the four shards are destroyed, you will then need to destroy the "Core" in order to complete the event.
- Thumpers (Player Created) - All players will start out with a basic Thumper as part of the tutorial mission. While I will go into further detail later in this guide, for now just know that the Thumpers will attract / spawn mobs that will attack the Thumper and the players in the area. This will start out in small waves and gradually speed up into larger and more numerous mobs based on how long the Thumper is active. If the mobs destroy the Thumper, it is lost and the event will end.
Once you have saved up a decent amount of EXP points, you can invest them in your current Battleframe by pressing "T". This opens your Tech Tree, as shown below:
For starters, across the top you will notice that you can select any of the different Battleframe trees for viewing. However, your experience points can only be spent on your currently equipped Battleframe. You start out with nothing unlocked, and the progression goes from left to right. As you click on each option on the left, you can choose to unlock that module for the given number of Experience points. You will notice that the dotted grey lines show which modules you will need to unlock in order to get access to the next modules in your tree.
To unlock the next Tier of your Battleframe, you have to unlock all of the necessary modules in the tree that lead to your chosen Battleframe. Each time you move to another Tier, you will have more than one option available. You may choose which type of advanced Battleframe you would like to use based on which branch of the tech tree you will follow. In the screenshot above, the "Omnidyne M Tigerclaw" T2 Assault Battleframe was unlocked, but the "Firecat" T2 Assault Battleframe was not. You may choose to unlock every option if you would like. Each of the T2+ Battleframes have specific abilities and uses that they are designed for, so you will want to mouseover the available options and read up on which Battleframe you want to work towards.
Note that after purchasing a new module, it is not automatically enabled on your Battleframe. You will physically have to go to a "Battleframe Garage" area and equip the new module(s). This will be explained more in depth in the next section of this guide.
Section 3: The Basics
After the intro character, you will be dropped in the first city area - Copacabana. Then follows an in-game tutorial that explains to you the basics of the game. It is pretty straightforward, but here is some more detailed information on the subjects covered in the tutorial:
Battleframe Garage: This terminal allows you to do a variety of things, including:
- Buying new Battleframes
- Modifying your existing Battleframe gear
- Changing the cosmetic look of your Battleframes.
The menu on the left shows the Battleframes currently available for your character. On this screenshot they are all filled, but when you first start out most of the boxes shown will say "Purchase New Battleframe". For 1,000 Crystite (in-game currency) you can unlock any T1 Battleframe of your choice. The T2 Battleframes are unlocked later from your character's experience points, but they will still need to be purchased at the Battleframe Garage (cost: 7,500 Crystite). Please note that you have a limited number of slots in the garage, but more can be purchased for "Red Beans", which is the real-money currency for the game. To open an occupied slot for another Battleframe, you can delete any one of your current options. If you choose to go back to the deleted Battleframe at a later time, the game allows you to resume where you left off (any experience spent on that Battleframe will be saved even after deletion). You will however have to repurchase the Battleframe each time.
The middle part of this screen shows your currently selected Battleframe. If you hover over various parts of your Battleframe, it will glow blue showing which part you can edit. Your modification options are as follows:
- Chest: Allows you to modify your Plating (armor), Specialty, Processor, and Special Abilities
- Arms: Allows you to modify your Primary & Secondary Weapons, and their respective Ammo types.
- Legs: Allows you to modify your Servos and Jumpjets.
Your available options will be shown in a smaller window (in this case off to the right side). As you click on different options, new windows will open up at the bottom comparing your selection (in blue) compared to your currently equipped item (in yellow). As you would expect - any lines highlighted in green show an improvement over the compared item. Any lines in red show a decline in stats versus the compared item.
By now you are probably wondering about the "Requirements" section shown here on the two items. The CPU, Power, and Capacity (also seen in other windows regarding your Battleframe) have to do with the restrictions of your Battleframe. At this time in the FireFall beta, these limitations are not currently enabled. Right now you can have any level of equipped items on your Battleframe without any problems. At a future patch in the Beta, these requirements will be enabled and you will then have to figure out which upgrades that you would like to have equipped on your Battleframe. For example: if your CPU power is too low to allow for that big weapon upgrade you just unlocked, you would then need to upgrade your Battleframe's CPU in order to allow the weapon upgrade to be equipped. It has not yet been mentioned if this "Requirements" system will be enabled as it appears at some point, or if it will be changed entirely during the Beta development process.
Battleframe Station: This terminal allows you to switch between your available Battleframes. It is a very simple UI window that looks like this:
Simply scroll the your mouse up and down to select the different Battleframe to equip (left click to select).
New You: This terminal allows you to change the cosmetic look of your character.
Some of the changes are free, but most require Red Beans (real money currency) in order to purchase. Note that any puchases in the New You station are for that character only, and must be repurchased if changed at a later time.
Section 4: Crafting (Molecular Printer)
Located in Copacobana and a number of other NPC cities in the game, the "Molecular Printer" (MP) is the crafting station used to make a variety of different things. When you first start out in FireFall, you will most likely use the MP to "print" consumables like Ammo Packs and Health Packs. Eventually you will move into other fields such as parts of an Advanced Thumper, items for special events, etc. See the screenshot below for examples of other printable items.
Once you have a T2 Battleframe, you can also start "Printing" upgraded versions of the stock modules unlocked for your Battleframe. For example, you could unlock a 350 DPS weapon for your T2 Battleframe that does well for all general purposes. However, if you take it to the MP and print a new "Nanoprint" version of your weapon you can get a 375 DPS version of your weapon with faster reload times. The types of materials used when printing T2+ modules in this way will change the outcome. Luckily, the game shows you a preview stat sheet of the item that would be printed. It is important to note that you will not be able to create printed versions of any modules that have the word "Accord" in their name. Accord is considered the "stock" company, and no modified versions of their equipment can be created.
It is also important to note that many of the items that are printable on the MP can be found elsewhere in the game. For example, the Polymorphous Fibers that are requried to create an "Advanced Thumper" can also be found as a reward for completing Crashed Thumper events with a very fast time.
At this time, there are no restrictions as to "crafting professions" or anything like that. Currently all characters can print all items, and per the last update from the RED5 Devs it does not appear that this will change.
Section 5: Gathering Materials
As of the current Beta, there are currently 12 types of minerals in FireFall:
Simply throw the detanotor at a surface deposit, and after a few seconds it blows up and you can collect the resources. While this is easy, fast, and safe - it is not going to be your primary means of resource gathering. The most efficient way of resource gathering is referred to as "Thumping".
The first step to the Thumping process is to find a good resource spot. Using your Scan Hammer on a flat surface (i.e. not on a wall or side of a hill) will detect any buried resources in the area. The game interface will tell you what minerals (if any) were detected, the rarity, and the percentage of mineral concentration in the area. For example, it could show the following:
The area that shows up in red is 0% ("unthumpable"), white is for very low percentages ("trace quantities"), and green shows high concentration. This particular scan is showing a 49.98% concentration of Coralite 458. In other words, that particular area has 49.98% Coralite and 50.02% of dirt. The color of text shows the rarity of that particular mineral in general, and the number after the mineral name further classifies the rarity. As a quick reference, here are the current mineral rarity levels in FireFall:
- 0-167 = Grey (salvage)
- 168-334 = White (common)
- 335-501 = Green (uncommon)
- 502-668 = Blue (rare)
- 669-835 = Purple (epic)
- 836-1000 = Orange (legendary)
When you call down the Thumper at your chosen location, this is what you will see:
The interface will show who called down the Thumper, along with two very important numbers - Capacity and Integrity. As soon as the drill starts going (causing a lot of noise) - mobs will start showing up. At first it will be a slow trickle, but as the thumper capacity fills up the waves of mobs will increase. Please note that this also scales based on the number of players in your group and the level of Thumper you are using. You will notice that when selecting which Thumper to call down from your resource menu, the game lists the "recommended" number of players. The stronger the thumper - the nastier and more numerous the mobs will get. They will attack the player, but their primary target starts out as the Thumper. Essentially what you are doing here is trying to stop the mobs from destroying your thumper, so you defend as long as possible. If the capacity hits 100% or if you want to send it off early (such as when it's above to be destroyed), you simply run up to the Thumer and press "E" to launch it away. As soon as the Thumper lifts off you will see the mineral results on the right side of your screen.
Section 6: Getting Around & Where to Go
For the most part, there is no "fast travel" option in FireFall. If you want to go from point A to point B, you can either run there or "fly" on a glider. The tutorial walks you through this, but in case you haven't gotten to that part yet - here is a screenshot of a glider pad:
Simply run over a glider pad as shown above and you will get launched into the air with a glider on your back. Getting the hang of gliding (pun intended) is not easy, and it may take you a few tries to really get it down. While there are updrafts scattered around the skies that will lift you up; most of the time you will gain speed by pointing your mouse downward and then lifting it back up to gain altitude. If you hit a tree or a wall, you will spiral straight down. The good news is that you won't take damage from crashing in that way. You will generally find glider pads at cities and watchtowers.
Other than gliding, the fastest way to get around is simply by sprinting and using your jump jets. Every Battleframe in the game has jump jet ability that allows you to fly for a short period of time. Generally you use this to get over large rocks or to fly up a mountain side. Jump jets are also very useful in PvP and avoiding PvE mobs that do not have a ranged attack.
As for deciding where you want to go, you can open the map at any time with the "M" key.
The blue icons refer to cities or watchtowers that are currently "friendly" controlled. The red icons show any areas currently controlled by the Chosen. Any dynamic events taking place will also be labeled on the map. General events such as crashed thumpers, meld tornados, etc. will show up as purple icons. Chosen related events such as Drop Pods and Incursions will show up in red. The purple edges of the map is what is known as "The Meld" (see the Firefall Lore video for more information on what that is). This border will usually stay in place along the edges of the map, but can be pushed back at times by events or players. Pushing back the meld usually involves a player printing the item required for powering a "Meld Repulsor". This machine pushes back the Meld for a limited time, allowing players to enter the area to gather rare minerals (like Azurite) and activate special meld-only events in the area. To put the playable map in perspective, the RED5 Devs have explained the world as "2.5 square miles as open area, with a total of 10 square miles possible when the Meld has been pushed back all the way". In other words, the playable map area right now is a relatively small percentage of the FireFall world.
Section 7: PvP
At this stage in the Beta, the PvP content is only just getting started. Numerous Dev interviews and forums posts have pointed out that RED5 sees a lot of gameplay value in making FireFall a legitimate PvP "eSports" game. Currently you can join the instanced PvP matches by going to a PvP Terminal or pressing the "K" key from anywhere. If you like PvP, it may interest you to note that PvP also provides experience for finishing matches and killing enemy players in PvP.
Currently there are three available options for PvP Matches: Team Deathmatch, Sabotage, and Harvester.
- Team Deathmatch is pretty self explanatory - it involves two teams of 5 players trying to kill as many enemy players as possible. Whichever team gets to 25 first - wins.
- Sabotage is a traditional "assault" style PvP game, in which one team defends part of the map against the enemy team. There are three objectives for the attacking team to capture. Once the attacking team captures all three points (or if time runs out), the round ends and the team switches sides. The new attacking team must take the objectives in a faster time than the enemy team in order to win the match. These are 10 vs. 10 matches.
- Harvester PvP matches are designed as a "capture and hold" structure. Players take pre-defined objectives on the map and defend them against the enemy players. The longer you hold each of the points, the more points your team gets. First team to 600 points wins. These matches tend to be larger, as the teams are 12 vs. 12.
Please note that this Tutorial is an "active work in progress". The FireFall Beta has been very progressive in making changes and introducing new content. That being said, the information in this tutorial is subject to change, but I will do my best to keep it as updated as possible. If you have any additional questions about the game, please feel free to contact me directly via Mumble or a PM here on the forums. Thanks!