How to avoid becoming a burger
Earlier this month, Mobile Suit Gundam: Battle Operation 2 finally received an international release outside of Asia. What should have been a smooth introduction for many became a lesson in frustration due to unclear instructions and an already experienced player-base showing no mercy.
While these tips won’t turn you into an ace overnight, they will help reduce the gap between you and the veterans online, while also helping you understand the systems the game has in place.
Do the optional tutorials
If you weren’t aware by now, the game’s basic tutorial does not explain all the mechanics and actions at your disposal. As a result, many are finding themselves getting stomped because the enemy has a better understanding of the core mechanics. In order to locate these lessons, you’ll have to speak with the poorly named NPC titled “Information Center.”
What kind of mechanics are explained, you may ask? Well for one, it’s the only place that reveals that you have a tackle move that boosts forward and grants invincibility during it. In addition, if you hit an enemy with it while they’re attempting to melee, you will counter the attack and leave them vulnerable. Suddenly how you approach melee combat has changed, knowing that you can counter your opponent and vice versa.
You won’t be coming out of these extra tutorials empty-handed, either. The tutorials focused on mechanics will grant you DP and recycle tickets, two of the game’s currencies, as well as the GM Trainer line of mobile suits. In addition, there are is a line of 1v2 scenarios that will grant you tokens, which are used for Battle Operation 2‘s loot box system.
Use Free Practice to learn maps and new mechs
Just got a new machine and you’re afraid to learn it in the middle of a match? Want to learn the lay of the land before launching? No worries, there is a practice mode for that. Head over to the NPC titled “Sortie Counter” and choose Free Practice. You can set up the enemies to have AI, their point cost, and select the map. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s a solid start for getting your bearings before heading in.
I would recommend exploring each map at least once. This will in turn help you figure out their layouts and any gimmicks they have. For instance, I didn’t know Mountain and Impact Site had a tunnel that directly connected the two bases, or that support fire didn’t exist on the Space Fortress map until I went into Free Practice.
Be aware of the cost rules and of your mechs
Here’s one that happens all the time. Someone brand new hops into a lobby, has their Full Armor Gundam set to be used, and finds they can’t ready up to sortie. Two minutes later, they’re kicked out of the lobby because they couldn’t ready up. Turns out they had entered a 300-cost lobby and were attempting to deploy a 450-cost mech, which was against the rules.
The cost system is partly how the game balances mobile suits, similar to Gundam Versus. The higher the cost, the more powerful and tougher the machine.
In order to give the large roster a chance to shine, the rules rotate every two hours, which includes cost restrictions. Where a queue once had a 450-cost limit could suddenly be 200 after a rotation. The machine you choose to deploy with must be at the limit or below, and you should generally aim to be as close to the limit as possible to avoid a power gap that skill can’t fix.
Get your feet on the ground before heading into space
Maps can either be ground-based or space-based in Battle Operation 2, and they have their own queues. When you first start out, stick with the ground-based queues until you’ve got a handle on the core fundamentals since it plays closer to a traditional shooter.
Space matches are arguably a lot more involved and complicated, as you must now worry about having 360-degree awareness, vertical movement, and momentum after moving. In addition, there are space-only suits like the Psycommu System Zaku (pictured above) that are able to detach their limbs and fire on you from numerous angles. While it’s a lot of fun once you get the hang of it, this is not a beginner-friendly mode, to say the least.
Kill steal but also don’t kill steal
In the most frequent game types, it doesn’t matter who gets the kill. While there are acknowledgments at the end for things like “top scorer” and “most assist points,” the score of the team is emphasized first and foremost. Working with teammates to take out an enemy should take priority over getting the final hit. That being said, two of the modes – Ace Match and Rotating Target – are a different matter.
In both of these modes, at least one person at any time is designated as the Ace/Target. During that time the enemy team gets bonus points for shooting them down, but the Ace/Target gets triple points for anything they do. Do not steal their kills unless they are in absolute danger, as every time you do you’re denying your team points and hurting everyone.
Beware the EXAM system family
When you enter a match that has a 350-cost rule or higher, you have a good chance of encountering a unit that has the ability to activate what is known as the EXAM system. These units are Blue Destiny Unit-1, Unit-2, Unit-3, and the Efreet Custom. They are considered some of the best units in the game at this time, and rightly so. Overall they have a great selection of weapons, stats, and skills, and their EXAM system ability pushes that further.
When the EXAM system is activated, the machines gain a red aura along with buffs to offense, defense, and mobility. If they time this right, they can tear through a team and essentially guarantee a victory. However, the EXAM system has a major drawback. It only lasts for a minute, and once it ends, the unit’s head and legs will break, effectively crippling it. Keep your distance, stagger, and counter as needed until the timer runs out. The mech will be a sitting duck, resulting in easy points if you denied it kills.
It should be noted that anyone who logs in before October 31 gets a Unit-1 for free, meaning every active player can currently deploy it at the time of writing.
Friendly fire can kill
While friendly fire cannot cause damage to your teammates outside of support fire, it can still affect them. Your shots and melee attacks can still stagger or even knock down your allies, potentially leaving them open to the enemy and letting the target escape.
Avoid crossing the line of fire of your allies if possible, and if you see someone going in for melee combat, give them space and hold off on the explosives. Nothing is more frustrating than seeing a team member go down because their own ally accidentally shot them in the back with an explosive.
What your rating and queue choice mean for rewards
Upon completing a match, the game rewards experience and DP, along with clan points if you’re in a clan, based on four categories: Rating, if you won, if you defeated your rival in stats, and if you own specific mobile suits for that month. Even if you lose horribly, you will still get rewards based on your rating.
What the game doesn’t necessarily make clear though is that the higher your rating is, the more experience and DP you gain. In addition, you’ll gain more from multiple categories from playing rating matches rather than quick matches. The lovely folks at the Battle Operation 2 subreddit have a chart dedicated to it. Try to get your rating up ASAP so that you level up and earn money faster, expanding the store’s roster and what you can afford quickly.
Join a clan ASAP
As with many free-to-play games, there is a clan system within Battle Operation 2. The first chance you get, you should try to join one.
Clans have their own unique set of missions that help everyone in the clan gain DP and tokens. What’s more, clans have a level system, and also deal out rewards upon leveling up. If you are not in a clan, you are missing out on easy rewards.
If you’re looking for one to start out that’s very casual, join the Destructoid clan. Go to the Clan Camp NPC, and search for a clan via the tag option. Enter Cok, a tag chosen lovingly by our own Dere, and apply. You’ll be added instantly, and you’re free to leave at any time if you find a clan that better suits your needs. Only rule we have is that when challenged by clan mates or other clans, you have to do a pose off.
Don’t spend money on the loot boxes
Unfortunately, Bandai Namco has to make money somewhere, and so Battle Operation 2 uses a loot box system. It should go without saying, but don’t spend money on them in order to get a specific mobile suit/weapon/part/cosmetic. There’s a high chance you’re just going to end up with junk you don’t want and effectively waste your money. Only spend if you want to support the developers, and even then it should only be on the starting pack bundle that’s like 10 dollars.
While the game does hand out 3 tokens a day for the gacha system through daily missions, it’s best to wait. Normally a single pull is 3 tokens, while a 10 pull is 30 tokens, meaning there’s rarely an advantage to either method. However usually, at least once a month, a special banner will pop up that offers a 10 pull for 15 tokens. This is when you should be spending your tokens, especially if you are not actively playing every day.
It should be noted that while items may be exclusive to the loot box system when they are introduced, they will make their way to the DP store eventually. Also remember that because of the cost system, high-value pulls like the Zock aren’t always going to be usable.