PlanetSide 2 New Player Guide

Over the last several months we’ve brought you a number of articles about Sony Online Entertainment’s new PlanetSide 2. Now that the game is released, here are a few things you need to know and some links to other articles with more detailed information.

If you’re not sure whether to play or not, check out 5 Reasons to Play PlanetSide 2 for a little help making up your mind. You might also want to take a look at our review

Getting Started

Download the client by signing into your SOE account (I find signing in at is easiest), then go to and start the download. You’ll download a launcher, which will then download and patch the game. It’s a big game, so expect to wait a while.

Once you’ve launched the game, pick a server and a faction and run through the character creation process. There’s not much to it as most of the customization is done in-game through either certifications or cosmetics purchased through the online store.


  • New Conglomerate – Slower, but harder-hitting weapons and more heavily armored.
  • Vanu Sovereignty – Energy-based weapons with damage fall-off over range, and more maneuverable hover-tanks.
  • Terran Rebublic – Rapid-firing weapons and lightly-armored, but very fast vehicles.

Pick a Class

The class you chose helps to define your role on the battlefield. You’ll nearly always have easy access to an infantry terminal to change out if you decide you don’t like what you chose, though. Here’s a quick list of the various classes:

  • Infiltrator – Think James Bond as these guys pack a large assortment of toys to include Stealth Suits (“F” to Activate), Hacking Tools, Numerous Electronic Countermeasures and Counter-Intelligence systems, Sniper Rifles, Pistols, and some explosives.
  • Light Assault – Jump Packs allow these guys to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Lightly Armored and packing sub-machine guns and some explosives, they're like the FedEx of destruction--they deliver anywhere.
  • Combat Medic – Every Soldier's best friend is the medic. Packing an assault rifle, these guys aren’t defenseless, but it’s when they whip out their bag of healing tricks that they really turn the tide of battle. Various healing kits include several options like the Healing Hand Grenade of Antioch.
  • Engineer – For when it absolutely positively must be destroyed overnight, you call the corps of engineers to the fight. As they get upgraded through certs, these guys pack a plethora of explosives, various mines, and turrets for holding important choke-points or blowing things up in a hurry.
  • Heavy Assault – It’s hard to roll as one of these guys and not affect an Austrian accent. Heavy weapons specialists, these guys carry light machine guns and various counter vehicle weapons (Anti-Air or Anti-Tank). Perfect for Terminating at will.
  • MAX – If Mac Trucks could pack heat, they’d be something like this. Heavily armed and heavily armored, MAX suits can take every-bit of what they can dish out, and that’s a lot. Their modular design allows them to equip a large number of various types of weapons from general guns, to flame-throwers, to several types of anti-vehicular weapon systems.
PS2 New Player Guide

Every class has it’s unique equipment or abilities. As you invest in certifications, be sure to click on the options on the right to apply the upgrades.

For more information on classes, take a look at our Class Compendium 1 and Class Compendium 2 guides.

Getting in the Fight

Once you’re kitted up, you have a few options for getting into the fight. The fastest option is to hit “M” to bring up the map. Look on the map for an explosion icon in a zone controlled by your faction, or adjacent to a faction-controlled zone. You can tell who owns the zones by the color. Click on that icon and you should get a deploy option. If you’d confused, there will be a list on the bottom left of all the hotspots. Just click through until you find one you like. Deploying on a hotspot will find you falling from the sky in a drop pod after a countdown. These pods are a little controllable, so try to guide it down behind cover.

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PS2 New Player Guide

Drop pods are a great way to get into the fight quickly, and sometimes give a chance to flank the enemy.

Alternatively, you could always pick up a tank or an aircraft from one of the terminals located at the warp gate where you spawned. Two things to know with vehicles, you have to have the resources to get one, and you can only pull them every-so-often. The timer between vehicles can be cut down with certifications.

Like with taking the drop-pod, you’ll want to look at your map in this case as well and you’re looking for the same icons. This time, you’ll right-click and create a waypoint. The waypoint will show up on your map and on your screen, giving you an easy way to ensure you’re heading the right direction. PS2 maps are bigger than you’re probably used to, so you may not want to just wing it.

Confidence in Numbers

Once you know how you want to fight, it’s highly recommended that you join a squad or platoon. You can just hit F11 to automatically be placed in one, or you can hit escape and go to the social menu to choose from several open squads manually. Either way, don’t go it alone if you can help it. Fighting with teammates will nearly always make the experience more fun and you’ll nearly always get experience a little faster while squadded up.

PS2 New Player Guide

This Sunderer rolled into our tower. I took it out with a MAX unit, but only because I had an Engineer behind me, keeping me repaired while I cleared the room.

PlanetSide 2 has an in-game VoIP for players to talk to each other. You have several channels, but the one you really need to focus on is the squad channel. Default is the Z key for squad VoIP using for push-to-talk. Platoon, Outfit, and Local Area all have channels too, but if you’re new, you really want to stick with just squad. To tell who’s talking, look at the squad list. The player with their mic keyed will have a speaker icon next to their name.


One big difference between Planetside 2 and some of the other games you’ve played are certifications. Each class, vehicle, and weapon in the game has a swath of certifications that make it just a little better in one area or gives you access to something new. As with the social menu, you access by hitting escape and then selecting the certifications icon.

A couple examples of certifications would be the armor upgrade for the Reaver, a Skyguard upgrade for the Lightning, or the Reflex Site for Stiletto EM9 Assault Rifle. The Reaver gets an armor upgrade, which can then be equipped at an aircraft terminal by customizing the Reaver’s loadout. The armor upgrade might make the aircraft a little more sluggish in flight, but give it the ability to take a lot more hits.

PS2 New Player Guide

Tired of firing dumb rockets at armor and missing? Certify in the Heavy Assault guided weapon of your choice. Every faction has both Anti-Tank and Anti-Air weapons with lock-on capabilities.

The Skyguard is an anti-air gun that can be mounted on the Lightning light tank. Think cross between flak and ZSU-23-4 for you military folks. Equip it from the vehicle terminal by customizing the Lightning, and it replaces the normal gun. The Skyguard can fire at a much higher angle than the default C75 Viper, and exchanges damage for longer range and much higher rate of fire.

The EM9 rifle is an unlocked rifle, meaning the player had to invest points to certify in the rifle in the first place, and the Reflex Site is just an upgrade for that rifle. Once unlocked the certifications for the weapon can be found under any class that can use it ( Light Assault, Engineer, and Combat Medic in this case ). Under the weapon, you’ll find a laundry list of available certs like the site above. Grips, ammunition, recoil compensators, and sites are all things that can be purchased through certifications, and like everything else, you add it to the weapon by going through the customization menu from an appropriate terminal.

Online Store

Everything in the game can be purchased in the Planetside 2 online store. You can even exchange real life money for in-game resources, or even better a boost to resource accrual rate. All the weapons that can be unlocked through certifications can also be unlocked through the store for Station Cash. The store also offers several cosmetic upgrades for those who’d rather play Barbie than get into the fight and shoot someone.

The good thing about the store is the fact that it literally offers nothing game-changing that can’t be purchased in-game. Thus, all you really are buying is time, and that’s a great move in my opinion. There’s no pay-to-win, but rather just pay-to-save-time. For us working folks, that’s awesome.

Ave, Caesar! Morituri te salutant!

That’s pretty much it, folks. The game has some complexities, but the gist of it is pretty straight forward. Pick a weapon and shoot players wearing the other two colors. Pay attention to your squad and ask questions. The PS2 community has been pretty good about helping folks into the game. Nearly everything is pretty intuitive, and you can always deploy to an instant action location for insta-fun.

Hopefully this guide has helped you to prepare at least a little for the game, and if you’d like some more in-depth information, check out the PlanetSide 2 page for all the guides, interviews, previews, and whatever else you may need for gaming enhancement.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our PlanetSide 2 Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016