The game’s creator outlines the best strategies to survive in its competitive arena
With Whitemoon Dreams’ PlayStation VR sci-fi shooter StarBlood Arena already witnessing plenty of skill kills and fancy manoeuvres in its opening weeks of release, we caught up with the studio to harvest some tried and tested pointers to make sure you keep up the pace when you next blast into the arena…
1. Starting out? Try out Alice and Elisa, two well-balanced, no-nonsense fighters
David Lee, Designer: Alice, who plays the bombardier, is a specialist in missiles and long range combat. She’s still my favourite character – I can win any match with her and she’s accessible for anyone coming into the game.
I’d also suggest Elisa, who is probably our most well-rounded class/character – she can do it all. She can kill at short and long range, and is also very easy to pick up.
2. Getting repeatedly creamed? Earn your flight and fight skills in Skirmish
David: Skirmish lets you customise your match – so jump into that and try a standard carnage game. Because you’re playing against any number of AI bots that you select, you can trim it down and tailor your difficulty level. But in a carnage game, the bots are going to shoot each other, so it’s not just an eight player match were everyone is trying to specifically kill you.
3. Starting to feel confident? Go berserk with Buck
David: Buck is very close range character, who doesn’t use missiles. So use the combined left and right triggers to open up both of his rail guns for extra shredding power. It’s not unlimited, so you’re going to have to pick your moments carefully. And he also has a forward-facing shield, so the more damage he deals out, the more it strengthens his protection. Get in close and cause some destruction.
4. Feeling like top dog? Sink your teeth into Dregg, Blade and Apolonia
David: These three characters are more complex, but they’re fun to play because they have such different mechanics. Dregg has a weapon which shoots a big white glue-like glob. It doesn’t do anything on its own, but if it impacts a wall it’ll blow up – so you can cause trouble with its massive area effect.
Another thing is that all the characters have a missile lock after two seconds – so if you can keep your head reticule tracking on a ship for that duration, you can guide a missile in. Dregg’s actually got a longer lock time of around four seconds, but the pay-off is his powerful sniper gun will track the target. So if you can master that, it’s very effective.
Conversely, Blade’s an assassin with a melee attack, and two wing blades in front of his ship – you’ll also see a guided rail telling you which way your charge attack is going to go. You can tag multiple guys along the way and literally ram into them. It’s a potentially tricky mechanic to master, but it’s worth it.
And finally, Apolonia is our hunter with useful deployables. She can put out cages and heal fields, so she plays a vital support role. She’s a little bit more difficult to get the hang of, but at the same time very rewarding, so give her a try.
5. That’s not enough? Try these additional tricks
- Use your head: Your PS VR headset is the ideal tool to scan your environment, aim weapons systems and track down enemy pilots. Don’t be afraid to look around while flying.
- Go faster: If you’re having trouble with escaping or chasing down enemy pilots you should probably learn to boost. Use R3 to boost towards or away from your enemies at faster speeds.
- Get focused: If your headset seems to be losing calibration, hold down the “Option” button on your DUALSHOCK 4 controller for a couple of seconds and it will re-center you automatically!
- Try new things: Each pilot has varied attributes and loadout options. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ships, modifications and weapons systems to find a style that speaks to you!
- Find your team: Trying to figure out who you’re supposed to be shooting? In Team Carnage and Gridiron, the colour of your HUD will match your team’s colour. You can also open the scoreboard by tapping the touch pad and looking for your PSN ID to identify which team you’re on.
- Access your arsenal: You have LOTS of firepower at your disposal, so use it! Your ship comes equipped with primary, secondary and heavy weapons as well as mines and missiles. Press “Triangle” to switch between primary and secondary guns and to use your heavy, wait until your HUD’s “heavy” bar is flashing and press “Square” to unleash! Missiles are fired with left trigger and mines are dropped by pressing “X”.
Now broadcasting its lawless matches across the universe, the StarBlood Network needs pilots – pilots who are prepared to risk it all. Join them in StarBlood Arena – out now exclusively for PlayStation VR!