A newbie's guide:

edited February 2009 in Strategies and Guides
First, I'd like to say hello to everyone, as this is my first post. I'd also like to personally praise the guys responsible for giving Tribes 2 another chance, and create a golden image in their likeness which I will offer virgin sacrifices to on a daily basis (shouldn't be hard to find them, I play Tribes 2 and WoW afterall).

Let's face it, Tribes 2 is definitely not a newbie friendly game. There are several nuances to learn, and when starting a game that already has quite a following of veterans, you're going to be respawning quite often. I typed up this guide on another forum, and it simply made sense to add it to this one. Everything is from memory, but it's reasonably accurate. This guide also assumes that you're playing BASE T2, but the majority of it applies to Classic as well.

What is Tribes 2?

Other than being a direct sequal to Starsiege: Tribes, Tribes 2 is a fast pased team oriented FPS game.

How is Tribes 2 different from other FPS games?

Other than being extremely team oriented, Tribes 2 also allows players to utilize jet packs to take to the air at any time. This makes the game much more 3-dimensional than your average FPS title.

Okay, I'll give it a shot, what should I know?

Glad you asked:

Beginner's guide

The three armor types are commonly known as light, medium, and heavy armor (sometimes called jugs, juggies, juggernaughts). The main advantages of each armor are pretty self explanatory.

-Light is the quickest but takes the least amount of damage. Lights can carry three weapons. They are the only armor that can use the cloak pack, as well as the laser rifle (which requires an energy pack). Lights can pilot any vehicle.

-Medium is the in between. Mediums can carry four weapons, and can use the missile launcher. They can pilot any vehicle except for the grav cycle. They can carry any pack except for the cloak pack.

-Heavy is slow, but can take a beating. They can carry five weapons, and can use the missile launcher and the mortar. They cannot pilot any vehicle, but can ride in the passenger seats of the havoc, or the tailgunner seat of the bomber.

There are six vehicles in Tribes 2. Each one can be used to be a huge asset for the entire team when use properly. Three vehicles are ground based, and three can fly. Every vehicle can be used to ram people to death.

-The grav cycle, also called the wildcat, has the highest potential speed in the game because of the game physics, but is generally slower than the shrike. It's a very lightly armored vehicle, but because of the way it hugs the ground and it's small size, it's a hard target to hit with missles. The grav cycle is not armed with weapons in BASE Tribes 2, but has a chain gun in Classic.

-The behemoth tank is very well armored, and actually fairly agile despite behind someone slow. The tank has two seats, one for the driver, and one for the gunner. Tanks have two weapons, the chain gun, which does great damage but has a huge spread, and the mortar.

-The Jericho MPB (Mobile Point Base) is slow, and can take a huge beating before being destroyed. The MPB is only useful when deployed. It has a missile turret on it, and an inventory station in the back. Despite being very durable, it's also a huge target for the opposing team. They should not be left alone. Also, when deployed, the MPB's driver seat is not usable by members of the opposite team, but it takes a few seconds for it to deploy after someone jumps out of the driver's seat.

-The shrike is a quick and agile air to air/ground fighter. It's lightly armored. It's equipped with duel blasters on the front that are capable of tearing through anything pretty quickly.

-The heavy bomber is only slightly better armored than the shrike, and it's slower, and a much larger target. Other than the pilot, there are two other positions in a bomber. The bombedier drops bombs, and can fire a blaster turret from the bomber's belly, but the turret is limited to objects underneath the bomber. The tailgunner protects the bomber by firing his own weapons at anyone chasing it, and by dropping flares to protect his crew from missiles.

-The havoc transport is only slightly better armored than the bomber, and it's slower and a larger target. Other than the pilot, there are a total of 5 passenger positions on the vehicle. It's primary use is the transport of a group of heavies to the enemy base to attack it's defenses and assets.

There are a total of ten different hand held weapons in Tribes 2, along with mines, and five different types of hand grenades. The blaster, ELF, laser rifle, and shocklance all require no ammunition and use the player's energy instead. Also, with any projectile weapon (the laser, shocklance, and ELF all do not use projectiles), the projectiles take on the momentum of the player. So if you're strafing to the side when you fire a weapon, the projectile will drift to the side as well.

-The blaster is Tribes' pea shooter. It's projectiles can ricochet off of walls, and also ignores shield packs. It has a decent rate of fire, low damage per projectile, and is most effective indoors because of the nature of the weapon. The blaster can also hurt the player using it if the shots ricochet back at them.

-The laser rifle is Tribes' sniper rifle. The amount of damage dealt is directly related to the amount of energy the player has when he fires, so it's best to fire fully charged shots. The beam is bright red, and draws a line straight back to the sniper; it's best to shoot and move. Headshots deal more damage with this weapon. Only usable by light armor.

-The shocklance is a short ranged weapon, only effective up to 16 meters. Hitting a player in the back with this weapon guarantees a kill, unless the target has an active shield pack. The weapon also sports a knockback effect, and can be used to flip over flying vehicles by a skilled player.

-The ELF is primarily a support weapon. It deals no damage, but rapidly drains energy from the target, leaving them vulnerable. The electrical arc locks to it's target, so it's very easy to aim, but has a limited range of 30-35 meters (as I recall).

-The spinfusor disc launcher is basically a fancy looking rocket launcher. It fires a disc that explodes on contact. It has a low rate of fire, decent damage, and the blast has a good knockback. A small gimmick to the weapon is that discs can be skipped off of water and magma at a low angle.

-The plasma rifle is similar to the spinfusor in many ways. Lower damage per shot, faster rate of fire, smaller blast radius, and no knockback. The nature of the weapon makes it best suited for indoor use, and taking down base assets.

-The grenade launcher is pretty self explanatory. It has a rate of fire slightly slower than the plasma rifle, blast radius and damage slightly more then the spinfusors, and fires in an arc. The grenade takes a second or two to arm, and bounces off of any surface until it does.

-The chain gun is also pretty self explanatory. It fires projectiles in a cone at a fast rate, and does low damage per projectile. It's a great weapon for air-born targets, but is a poor choice for indoor combat. The chain gun takes a moment to "spin up" before it starts firing.

-The missile launcher fires a heat seeking missile at a locked target (red reticle). It can also "dumb fire" while it's locking on (green reticle), and under water. It does high damage, has a very low rate of fire, and a small blast radius with a small knockback. Base sensors, base turrets, all vehicles, and any personel with a high heat signature (the red bar under your energy bar, when it's flashing) can be locked on. Missiles are diverted by flares. Only usable by medium and heavy armor.

-The mortar is the grenade launcher's bigger brother in every way. Slower rate of fire, more damage, larger blast radius, longer range. Only usable by heavy armor.

There are also hand grenades and land mines that every armor can carry. Anyone can carry up to three land mines, and the number of hand grenades depends on the armor you're using.

-Land mines are fairly simple. Drop one, give it a second to arm itself, avoid it from then on. You'll often find that land mines are marked with a beacon which shows up as a marker on your HUD. Your flag is also almost always mined. You can destroy a mine by damaging it. Land mines cannot be placed too closely to one another.

-Frag grenades are the most common grenade seen. You spawn with five of these. Toss the grenade, it explodes after a couple seconds.

-Concussion grenades do no damage, but can knock players around quite a bit, and can disarm them and knock the flag away from flag carriers.

-Flash grenades do no damage. They can blind anyone within range for a couple of seconds, including team mates and the person using them.

-Flares are used to divert missiles. They serve no other real purpose, but are very important for what they do.

-Cameras are not really grenades of course, but they take up the grenade slot. You can deploy a camera that the team can use to monitor an area. They're often used in conjunction with a satchel charge pack as a trap. Some players have even started using them as a small platform to stand on, or place land mines on.


  • edited January 2009
    There are many different packs in Tribes. Packs are used to enhance you in some way, act as tools, or as a deployable. Some packs are passive, others are only effective when activated. Active packs require energy to function.

    -The energy pack is a passive pack that recharges your energy faster, and as such, allows more flight mobility, as well as allowing you to use energy based weapons more effectively. The laser rifle requires an energy pack.

    -The ammunition pack is a passive pack that allows you to carry more ammunition for your weapons, hand grenades, and one extra health kit. Players rarely use this pack.

    note: Health kits can be used to replenish a small amount of health. You can normally carry one.

    -The shield pack is an active pack that drains your energy instead of health when you take damage. While activated, it slowly drains your energy. Blasters ignore shield packs.

    -The cloak pack is an active pack that makes you nearly invisible to other players and most turrets. Motion sensors will render the pack useless if you're moving, and the sensor jammer pack can deactivate your cloak. The cloak pack slowly drains your energy when active. There are other various ways to detect cloaked players, such as the sound cloak packs make, and the foot prints left on the terrain by players. The cloak pack can only be used by light armor.

    -The repair pack is an active pack that can repair equipment and players. You can repair yourself with the repair pack as well. The repair pack drains energy as it's being used. Bases also have a repair pack that spawns in them somewhere, which is necessary when your base's assets become disabled from being destroyed, or a lack of power from generators.

    -The sensor jammer pack is an active pack that renders you, and any nearby team mates or team equipment invisible to enemy sensors. It can also disable enemy cloak packs if they're within range. The sensor jammer slowly drains your energy while active.

    The following packs are all deployables. Deployable packs can be used once, then need to be replaced. All deployables, mines, turrets, inventory stations, cameras, beacons, and even vehicles, can only have a limited number of each one out per team. For example, each team can only have five deployed inventory stations on the map. If another one needs to be deployed, one needs to be destroyed.

    -The satchel charge can be tossed, then activates after a few seconds. Once activated, the player can detonate it by pressing the pack key again. The satchel charge is the most powerful weapon a player is able to carry.

    -The turret barrels are interchangeable barrels for base turrets. There are a total of five different types of turret barrels. The mortar and missile turrets are the same as the carried weapons, with the exception that turret missiles chase for twenty seconds, while the carried missile launcher missiles last chase for only five. The ELF turret drains energy from it's target, as well as health. The AA (anti-air) turret shoots the shrike's energy bolts at anything within range with a high heat signature. The plasma turret fires a large blue ball of plasma that explodes on contact. Only medium and heavy armors can carry a turret barrel.

    -Spike turrets and clamp turrets are both deployable turrets that can help defend particular locations. The spike turrets are the more durable of the two, can only be deployed on terrain, and fire projectiles that explode on contact. The clamp turrets aren't as durable, can only be deployed on buildings, and don't do as much damage, but fire faster. Deployable turrets cannot be deployed too closely to one another. Only medium and heavy armors can carry spike turrets or clamp turrets.

    -Deployable inventory stations are like regular inventory stations, but with a few limitations. You cannot get another inventory station from it, turret barrels, or change your armor. You can change your weapons, reload on ammo, or get deployable spike and clamp turrets. Deployed inventory stations usually have a beacon marking it. Only medium and heavy armors can carry a deployable inventory station.

    -Deployable sensors allow you to see anything they can detect on the command map, and also (supposedly) slightly increase the range of turrets next to them.

    A little known fact, certain packs are considered "heavy", and will weight you down a bit, limiting your jetting abilities. The inventory station, and all turret barrels are considered "heavy".

    Base Assets
    The various assets your team controls are extremely important for providing defenses, vehicles, ammunition, and a way to change out your equipment. If your team's assets are disabled, repairing them should be your top priority, unless you're defending your flag. I've seen small, well organized groups of only three to five players can keep a base disabled for entire rounds lasting more than a half an hour. Remember, heavies are extremely vulnerable outside, but very powerful indoors. Keeping them outside is key.

    -I'm starting with generators because they are the single most important asset in your entire base. If your generators are down, all assets associated with the gens are also disabled. Assets assigned to a genenerator depend on the map designer's preferences. Sometimes one or two inventory stations are not attached to a generator, sometimes nothing is attached to a generator, sometimes everything is. When playing on a new map, figuring out how to get to your generators is extremely important. There are two types of generators you'll see, the regular base generator, and the solar panel generator.

    -There are two different basic types of base turrets. The smaller one, the sentry turret, is usually found inside bases. They're similar to clamp turrets, but are shielded, slightly more powerful, and are able to detect motion. The other base turrets are the ones with interchangeable barrels. They're much tougher than all of the other turrets, and much more powerful. There are a few player maps that start the turret out without a barrel, and the turret must be armed before it does anything.

    -Inventory stations are perhaps the second most important base asset next to the generators. Inventory stations allow players to quickly change their loadout, rearm, and heal themselves. Because of the high traffic involved with inventory stations, there's almost always several of them in a base. If you notice a destroyed inventory station, repairing it will greatly help your entire team. Unlike deployable inventory stations, base inventory stations and MPB inventory stations will allow players to change their armor and get any pack.

    -Force fields act as barriers to prevent weapons and explosions from passing. Force fields are usually color coded, but the color is up to the map designer, luckily certain color codes are universally understood. There are a total of three basic types of force fields, and sometimes they act slightly differently. The "no-pass" force field prevents anyone from crossing through them regardless of team, they're blue or white. The team-pass force field allows anyone on that team to cross through them, they're green. The all-pass force fields will allow any player to cross through them, they're red. Some force fields act as a barrier that slows down traffic, and it feels like you have to push your way through them. Others don't slow you down at all. I'm not sure what determines this, but I believe it's a server side mod.

    -The vehicle station creates vehicles when a player accesses it. Vehicles serve multiple purposes, including a mode of quick transport, defensive purposes, offensive purposes, and supportive purposes. Each team gets a limited supply of each type of vehicle "in play". This means that if four players are currently using a shrike, and the map limit is four shrikes per team, you must wait for one of your team's shrikes to be destroyed or abandoned before you can select one. Be warned, an enemy can steal one of your team's vehicles, and as long as they're in the vehicle, you cannot retrieve it. Because of the versatility of vehicles, and the fact that the v-pad is almost always outside and exposed, it's a popular target for attack.

    There are a few basic gameplay nuances that should be known, such as skiing, a few terms, and some of the understood rules of the game. Rules that are understood tend to vary from server to server, understanding some of the terms will prevent you from being kicked from servers. Remember, if you don't like a server's rules, then you're playing on the wrong server. Someone owns that server, and it's not democratically run. Servers are dictatorships.

    Skiing is an important skill to learn in Tribes. It started off in the first title as an exploit of the game's physics, and eventually came to be a standard gameplay mechanic. When Tribes 2 was released, skiing was something that was included in the manual of the game as a "feature".

    Skiing serves three primary purposes. First, it acts as a way to increase and maintain your speed. Second, it helps prevent falling damage. Third, skiing helps your energy management.

    Skiing is quite simple. To ski, you simply hold the jump button while going down hill. That's it. While holding the jump button, you keep hopping, minimizing your friction with the ground. If you've gained a decent amount of speed, hopping along a flat surface will help maintain it, and boosting short distances will also help while keeping your energy bar high.

    Sounds easy, right? Really, it is. Skiing isn't hard. Learning how to select your ski routes, and incorporating skiing into regular gameplay and combat is the tricky part. All I can really suggest as a tip is to practice it, all the time. Always ski. If you're running down a hill, you're doing it wrong.

    -Base rape is the act of destroying as many of the enemy's base assets as possible, and keeping them down for as long as you can. There are various rules surrounding base rape. Most servers with rules on base rape have mods installed that implement those rules automatically. Generally speaking, base rape is frowned on if the teams are smaller than 8 vs. 8, or 10 vs. 10, depending on the server. The reasoning is that with teams that small, repairing the damage is simply too time consuming compared to how long it takes to deal the damage.

    -OOB means Out Of Bounds. The boundaries on a map are prominently displayed by the OOB grid. Taking the enemy flag OOB will cause you to drop it. Some servers frown on OOB sniping, or OOB mortar spam. Some don't care. In the case of OOB play, the only way to know is to ask around. Don't let individual players tell you it's "lame" or whatever, though. Go by the server rules here. And if you don't like it personally, just don't do it. Just remember, players are able to go OOB for a reason.

    -The ceiling of a map is a boundary in which flying vehicles are disabled when they go above it. If your vehicle suddenly no longer provides any thrust, it's because you went above the flight ceiling. Just point your nose down, and you'll fall back below the ceiling quickly. You can see the flight ceiling by checking how high the OOB grid goes. Players are perfectly functional above the flight ceiling, only vehicles are affected.

    -Ceiling bombing is generally frowned upon. This involves taking a bomber up to the flight ceiling on a map with a very high flight ceiling, and constantly dropping bombs on them. The reason against this, is that if you can keep bombing their vehicle station, the enemy has no way to retaliate. Most ceilings aren't all that high, but some custom maps are meant for large amounts of aerial play. When it comes to ceiling bombing, just don't do it. If you do, and I'm playing, I WILL take you out, even if you're on my team :D.

    -O or D mean offensive of defensive, respectively.

    -O sniping simply means offensive sniping. Some players frown on it, some servers don't allow it. Personally, I think it's a stupid thing to complain about. "I can't keep my defenses up because some sniper keeps destroying them." Well, yeah.. that's the point. I just kill O snipers. Still, server's rules? Don't do it. Don't like it? Find another server.

    -TG is short for Tail Gunner. A tail gunner is a bomber's primary defense. They can drop flares to get rid of chasing missiles, and have a better range in which they can attack if a shrike is chasing. Tail gunners are about the only role that ever take an ammunition pack. Repair packs are sometimes used, so they can repair any bomber damage while in flight. Sensor jammers are also used at times, since they render turrets useless against the bomber.

    -Chain whoring is when someone is using the chain gun a lot. It's used as a derogatory term. Screw them, it's a weapon in the game. If they're bitching because you killed them, then maybe they should learn to play better.

    -Duels are one on one battles between two players. Chain whoring is generally frowned upon in duels, since duels are used to determine player skill, and chain guns are fairly easy to use. If you're challenged to duel, it's assumed you'll be in light armor with a spinfusor and a grenade launcher as your primary weapons. The third weapon is up to the player, but ELF's, lasers, and chainguns are all generally frowned upon in duels. Plasma and shocklances are usually okay.

    -MA is short for Mid-Air, and refers to the spinfusor unless told otherwise. MA shots are considered especially skillful, and can also disorient your opponent since knockback effects will change their direction. Learning to MA opponents is essential for dueling, and is an important skill to learn in Tribes 2. Don't worry, MA's are tricky to nail because of the game's physics, and take practice to learn to pull off. Even skilled players miss MA's often.

    There are other terms, of course. I tried to cover the confusing ones, and important ones.

    If anyone feels like something should be added, feel free to post it. If things become hectic, I'll update the OP with pertinant information.
  • edited January 2009
    *reserved for updates*

    the 20,000 character post limit sucks. :P


    I also typed this up on a forum where language is not an issue. I did a quick proof read, and edited out two curse words (as I haven't read the rules to this forum yet). If anything is left, I honestly apologize, and will edit it out if I spot it or if I'm told.

    If language isn't an issue.... well I'll soon find out.
  • There's also a Tribes 2 Wiki http://www.tribes2wiki.com
  • Looks like it's just starting. Maybe I'll lend a hand. I've never assisted with building a wiki in the past. It could be a new experience!
  • If any noobs want some help with dueling, get a hold of me (on here). I'm not the greatest of course but I can be a good teacher.

    Oh and I'm pretty sure discs can't skip off lava.. and lance has a range of exactly 16 meters. And you should also say that turret barrels are interchangeable by medium or heavy armor, and spike/clamp turrets require you to be those armor types as well to carry/deploy them, as well as deploy remote inventory stations. And you can only use cloak pack as a light.
    "The grav cycle is not armed with weapons." unless your playing classic, and you get a chaingun like weapon.

    Nice job though, thanks for typing it up- I'm sure noobs will take advantage of this.
  • Nice call, never even noticed that I missed those. As for the discs, I'll have to test that, I seem to remember doing it.
  • edited January 2009
    lets see as a nOOb to T2, Ive had a hell of a time finding the spawn options, and how to start a change mission vote. Along with the option to vote a player out. are all of these available, I see peeps starting map votes, but am yet to find it myself. Oh yeah and as a bombadier I can shoot the turret fine, but how the hell do you drop a bomb? ::)
  • I haven't played T2 in a few years and I only just found the site but IIRC voting is still done through the ESC menu.

    And as bombardier, I seem to recall that you switch with the same button you switch weapons with.
  • lets see as a nOOb to T2, Ive had a hell of a time finding the spawn options, and how to start a change mission vote. Along with the option to vote a player out. are all of these available, I see peeps starting map votes, but am yet to find it myself. Oh yeah and as a bombadier I can shoot the turret fine, but how the hell do you drop a bomb? ::)

    On the bomber, just like ColonelFatso said, you just have to switch weapons to the bombs.

    Voting is also as he said, in the esc screen, you look at the top right hand corner to see the voting options. To vote to kick (or mute on some admin mods) someone, you find their name in the list on the left side, and right click their name.
  • Also, in case newbies don't know, default "Yes" vote is [Insert], default "No" vote is [Delete].
  • Also, in case newbies don't know, default "Yes" vote is [Insert], default "No" vote is [Delete].

    Someone really needs to write a script where when a vote is started the bottom says that, so the admins don't have to bother heh.
  • cool...thanx my brethren in obsession. ;)
  • here's another question. some servers require extra maps or files, so i can't play in them. but when i look online there's like ten thousand different maps and mods and things. is there a list out there of the 'standard' extra files that i could use to download the stuff i'm usually going to need? even better if there were a pack.
  • The larger, more populated servers don't usually require any downloads. As for everything else, it's sort of a shot in the dark.
  • It would be nice to see a script added to servers that could send the currently playing map to any player that needed it.
  • tribes2maps.com used to have an autodownload feature. I'm not sure if it still works; you'd have to ask sfphinx.
  • and how about turrtes, can they be contoled by a command center like T1? if so how? Ive looked repeatedly through bases and invos for a portie command center, but I never see one. Is it just the "c" button now, with no need to be at a command center?
  • Yeah, command stas are now just the command circuit, default [C]. Turrets are listed under base assets or deployed assets, click little square to take control. Pretty sure those are the categories; I never take control of turrets.
  • Frankly taking control of a turret is a bad call 99% of the time and will get you yelled at in most servers.
  • Frankly taking control of a turret is a bad call 99% of the time and will get you yelled at in most servers.
    tell that to the nOObs in GOON. I suppose every game has a server or 2 like that. IMO 64 peeps is WAY to many for a game like this.
  • Frankly taking control of a turret is a bad call 99% of the time and will get you yelled at in most servers.

    In GOON (with 64 ppl playing) it could actually be useful to take controll of the turrets. Would prevent mortarturrets from killing teammates... if you can aim a bit.
  • Frankly taking control of a turret is a bad call 99% of the time and will get you yelled at in most servers.

    In GOON (with 64 ppl playing) it could actually be useful to take controll of the turrets. Would prevent mortarturrets from killing teammates... if you can aim a bit.
    Suppose it depends on where that mortar turret (or any barrel) is. If it could do better with an AA barrel and on its own, I think you should go that route, as AA might lead targets better. But if the mortar is in an odd spot and you can suppress well (I'm thinking Riverdance here), manual control could be the best way to go.

    It's always dependent on the map.
  • Controlling turrets in mino can be quite entertaining.
  • There's some guide to being an Annoying Bastard (there's a link here somewhere) that has a very amusing strategy. Basically you get one guy to get into the enemy gen room with a clamp turret, and as soon as they set it up, you, a long way away and safe, take control of it and destroy the generators. When someone comes down to fix them, you keep control (so it doesn't shoot), and wait for the guy to leave before opening fire on the gens again.

    I doubt it would ever be that coordinated on a pub server like Goon Haven, just from the large amount of chaos, but that would be an awesome strategy to see happen.
  • http://www.dansdata.com/t2bastard.htm

    I've done it, it actually can be surprisingly effective IF you have more patience than buddha and the entire enemy team is deaf to the sound that a clamp turret makes (or you get them so paranoid about cloakers they just always assume one's running around). Personally if you absolutely MUST control a turret go stick an AA barrel on a turret and use your human ability to lead targets intelligently to turn it into a spike turret's big brother.

    Retro-tardedness aside doesn't the plasma rifle also ignore shields?
  • No, plasma does not ignore shields.. The fact that it has a decent rate of fire, and a small splash, means it's great for eating through shields.
  • Right, must've been from one of the bajillion mods everyone used to run except base.
  • The blaster ignores shields, however, it's not very powerful.
  • That just makes it even better when Mr. Immovable Object in the attic forgets they bounce and get's zotted to death by ~8 angry spawners while frantically wondering why his shieldpack isn't helping.
  • Heh, try out mousemod. The shields in that are kinda ridiculous. They don't drain energy while in use, only when getting shot.

    On the up side, you learn how to take down shielders really well.

    Still, a fun mod.. The server owner is a cool guy, the old player base was fairly nice.
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