MAG Developer Tips: Acquisition

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Another day, another battle! Today’s MAG gameplay tactics (check out Suppression and Sabotage tips too) come from designer Joe Maris – a man who was absolutely essential in the design of our character advancement system and an expert in tactics for the Acquisition mode. Plus, it’s a well known fact across the Pacific Northwest that Joe is the owner of one of the greatest beards of all time. No really, it’s true.

Anyhow, check out this instructional video to familiarize yourself with the 128-player Acquisition mode, and look for Joe’s tips immediately below it.

For new players, the 128-player maps may feel the most like a historical battlefield, where lines of bunkers establish defensive fronts from one side of the map to the other. In order to succeed, a player will need to both familiarize themselves with these defensive lines and also study the routes of the target objective: the prototype vehicles.

Basic Tips

  • Unofficially, the Acquisition Maps have two main phases: the bunker phase and the extraction phase. In the bunker phase, the attackers will attempt to break through the frontlines of bunkers and destroy the anti-air batteries, allowing them to spawn closer to their final objective. In the extraction phase, the attackers will attempt to steal the prototype vehicle and drive it to safety. Generally speaking, it is best for the attackers to complete the bunker phase before attempting the extraction phase.
  • For an attacking squad, there are three basic strategies for taking out an enemy bunker: smoke grenades, smoke grenades, and smoke grenades. The smoke grenades are a cheap way to neutralize the turret and confuse the defenders. For extra credit, the attacking squad can hit the turret with weapon fire while it is encased in smoke. Defenders will often give away the turret’s location by firing wildly in the smoke.
  • During the extraction phase, attackers should select an evacuation route and then assign squads to remove any obstacles along that route. Once the obstacles are removed, keep the squads near the obstacles to prevent the enemy from repairing them and to provide cover fire once the enemy vehicle is stolen and evacuated by the lead squad.
  • Defending squads should spend the first phase of the game concentrating on three main goals: 1) Keeping the bunker turret repaired, 2) keeping charges off the bunker, and 3) keeping charges off the anti-air battery.
  • Not only should defenders work to keep gates and tank traps repaired, but they should use their regular vehicles to block important evacuation routes.
  • Defenders, you don’t need a rocket launcher to damage or destroy a prototype vehicle. If you see a vehicle race by, fire at it. If you see it take damage, keep firing. Every little bit helps.

Advanced Tips

  • If the attackers are having a hard time getting through the front line, platoon leaders should coordinate their platoon on a single point in the line. Once one bunker is down, the next bunker’s flank will be exposed, making it more vulnerable. Work on down the line until all bunkers are down.
  • Attackers, try to keep a Precision Strike in reserve as soon as your team attempts to extract the vehicle. The defenders may unexpectedly repair a road obstacle, and a Precision Strike is a quick and appropriate counter.
  • If possible, the attacking faction’s platoon leader should help steal the vehicle, because his passive repair ability automatically repairs the prototype vehicle without anyone needing to get out and use the repair gun.
  • Bunkers are most effective when supported by other bunkers. A defending squad should prioritize protecting its own bunker, but when a neighbor goes down, it should send a few soldiers to help get it back up.
  • During the Extraction Phase, the defenders should jealously guard the mortar battery as if it were the prototype vehicle itself. If the enemy manages to steal one of your vehicles, the mortar battery is a quick way to both destroy and demoralize the enemy attackers. However, if your area is secure, don’t let the battery go to waste. Use it to help the other platoon, if necessary.
  • Once the bunkers have fallen, if a defending squad has a soldier or two who insists on being a lone wolf, the squad leader should encourage the loner to sneak behind enemy lines and start repairing bunkers. As long as the defending team doesn’t waste too many resources, this is a nice way to knock the attackers back on their heels.

Comments are closed.


2 Author Replies

  • Woooooo.

    That is all.

  • Mag is awesome!!

  • blaster master is out on wii guyz!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jeremy, this is unrelated to Acquisition, but I’m rarely, hardly ever chosen to be Squad Leader. Currently I am level 30 and only have 21/100 Squad Leader points. I apply every match, but worry that by the time I hit 60 may only be starting Platoon Leader. Are there ways to increase my chances of being selected for Squad Leader? And is the number of players qualifying for Squad Leader unexpectedly throwing the curve off?

    • The way Squad Leader selection works is that once you put your hat in the ring, the game picks the person who has waited the longest to be Squad Leader — we do it that way to be fair and so that no one leader is taking over every squad they\’re in.

      The way to get it is to just keep applying.

  • Tenacious, try applying for Squad Leader in Sabotage instead. You are still low in Squad Leader points so it will be easier to gain leader points there.


  • I dunno if Zipper reads these comments, but I really hope they don’t listen to the complaints to allow multiple factions at the same time. The loyalty bred by the restriction is what makes this game so attractive to me and many others, and I think it was a great decision. I hope it doesn’t change.

  • these are greate tips for new players that are starting to play Acquisition. Thanks Dunham!! [F2F]gunslinger346

  • MAG – what kind of mag?

  • Step 1. Be on SVER
    step 2. SVER always has the advantage
    step 3. no other faction will take away SVER’s 2 contracts in Domination
    step 3. Valor owns 2 contracts with Suppression b/c everyone on SVER is getting mad exp in Domination

  • At kxpuc: Raven has 2 contracts in aquisition. Sometimes it’s fun to be the underdog.

  • still thinking about if i should get this game.

  • Would be good if platoon leaders could setup waypoints/frago points, even if these will only be seen by squad leaders.

  • “Jeremy Dunham replied on February 10, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    The way Squad Leader selection works is that once you put your hat in the ring, the game picks the person who has waited the longest to be Squad Leader — we do it that way to be fair and so that no one leader is taking over every squad they’re in.”

    Sorry, but it not working the way it suppose to work. I been in Party where one guy would be the squad leader in 3-5 straight matches when all of use apply for leadership. So you guys need to look into that because it just not working they way you guys intend it to work. I myself has been squad leader in 4+ straight matches already.

  • I’m thoroughly enjoying this video series, as well as playing the game of course.

    So much so in fact, that I just wrote my own “guide” to MAG.

    I really only write about games I truly enjoy, and this is definitely one of them.

    You can check it out here if you want:

  • Hey Zipper, MAG is awesome! Good job :)


  • Aha, finally. I suck so bad at Acquisition. These tips should help me out, thanks!

  • These are all excellent tips…the only problem occurs when u have a squad who doesnt want to listen to them lol

  • I wish i could play mag

  • I love these tips. I can’t wait for the domination one. I’ve learned a lot and it is showing. I use smoke grenade a lot more too. Now I just need a headset.

  • This is my favorite game mode. It seemed to me like no one knew how to play it. Hopefully this will get more players in this game mode now that they have a bit more understanding of how it is played.

    Thanks Mr. Dunham.

  • So Zipper does read these comments…

    How about making a “real” Next Gen Socom experience? Do the opposite of MAG, screw 256 players on bad graphics, get 16 players on amazing graphics….

    Let’s see what Zipper can really do…

    Here’s how you get started…

  • Said this before but please tweak the vehicle controls. They are too loose or twitchy or something and I’ve yet to see anyone drive them well. The vehicles in Warhawk controlled really well.

  • the controls for this game are rubbish the shooting is the lamest i have seen in any game. there is way too much recoil on the guns it’s so fustrating trying to get kills.

    other problems
    1. the voice chat starts coming out of the headset and switchers to the tv for no appart reason very annoying.
    2. the sound effects mute themselves for no appart reason
    3. some of the maps are way too hard for the attacking team.
    4. there is no team work what’s the point of having a leader with no mic.
    5. the graphics absolutly suck.
    6. this training mission is broken.
    7. this game should be called fag not mag failed action game.
    8. the 256 player battles are a laggy mess.

    this game needs patching so bad it’s not even funny.

  • Is zipper going to have another day when we can vs them? I had to go to work that day and unfortunately missed out by 30 mins.

    People I have spoke to said it was great. I would love to have that opportunity to play with and against you guys at zipper. Also to see if S.V.E.R. can actually be beaten on domination.

  • Also as a last line of defense on Acquistion is you can use a humvee to block the vehicle in the extraction container. I don’t know if Zipper condones this but I have used it a couple times to help win when the platoon just isn’t working right.

  • @25
    The controls are pretty standard for FPS games. The recoil is almost nonexistent and has never hindered me when trying to get a kill.

    1. Wut? This has never happened to me.
    2. Again wut? This has never happened to me.
    3. I do better when attacking then defending. What map do you have problems attacking on?
    4. There is team work, people just like to not use it. If they squad leader has no mic than just go to the frago and assume that is what they want. That works for me.
    5. I beg to differ.
    6. I agree, I remember it was a pain for me because it is broken.
    7. I do believe Massive Action Game is appropriate considering it is an action game that is MASSIVE.
    8. I have never lagged not even once. Your internet must be slow and only lagging on your end.

    I love lists don’t you!?

  • Probably my least favourite mode. You can defend your bunkers great and all, but if the attackers can get by on the other side and take the vehicle, you have to rush back all the way to take it out. Other modes have much better progression with the objectives.

    Also, everyone plays SVER now, so 95% of my matches are against SVER :(

  • MAG is awesome. I waste way to much time on this game…but it is soo fun. I have a couple comments for ya;
    First SVER can be beat in domination. I have played matches with victory. Second Squad leaders should set fragos and squad mates should follow orders. The system allows leaders to lead there squad with out a mic, but it is very helpful, just follow orders Why does everyone go after the burnoff towers before the bunkers? Also the APC is not a tank! It IS your spawn point us it that way, protct it dont drive it into the gate between 2 bunkers so everyone that spawns gets blown up with it. Be flexible try new strategies when one isn’t working and have fun.
    Valor lvl 40 platoon leader

  • @25
    If your having trouble with recoil invest in a foregrip and stablizing. The guns have about the same recoil as other FPS and with these it’s less than other shooters.

    1. Your squad comes through your headset, I think it’s people in your area or the other squads w/ the same frago not sure which.

    3. Only the S.V.E.R. maps are easier to defend, that does need to be fixed

    4. I had that problem about every other match until I joined a clan

    5. Not bad for 256 players, as good as COD MW2

    8. Out of 82 matches I’ve only been in 2 that lagged, it only lasted a minute or two. Others I’ve talked to that have lag issues turned out to be their wireless conection

    It does need some patching, but I have a feeling Zipper will do right by us unlike IW and a few other devs.

  • @25

    Go back to CoD please.

  • whats the best way to earn credits to upgrade your weapons and defences as killing dosn’t seem to be the best way to achieve the best score. any tips please..thanks

  • @33

    Medic, repair, and kills. If you do these at or around the frago you get double points.

  • One bad thing about this game is how unfair it is in each game mode and the fact most people join SVER cos they are ‘the best’ supposedly. SVER easily win domination, they have the best map to defend, Raven has the worst to defend. I am valor by the way. Acquisition and Raven have the best, rarely play SVER but the Valor one is hard to defend. Sabotage is pretty equal. If you guys want a challenge and want to be the underdog then dont join SVER, its more fun that way

  • one thing that really needs to change is that OIC’s have to effectively outrank Platoon leaders who both which must outrank Squad Leaders who in turn must outrank everyone else and this is most obvious in aquisition. Too frequently a noob without a microphone will take control of vehicles or bunker turrets not knowing what to do, where to position themselves or what to defend and different tactical importances. As you rank higher in leadership you should be able to have priorities over vehicles and bunker turrets and be able to displace team mates ranked lower than you. It is near impossible to win some maps when a noob pops in and starts dictating strategy by controlling certain elements of the game the OIC/Platoon leaders and squad leaders should be controlling. It is especially important these leaders have good positions so they can frequent the main map to issue squad command abilities.

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