PlanetSide 2 New Player Guide

If you find being brand new to the PlanetSide 2 beta a little daunting, fear not! We've got a guide to help you find your feet as a new recruit. Planetside 2 Beta is in full swing, and with all the new players, we thought you guys might find a Planetside 2 new players guide helpful. Besides this article, you might also look at my Beta Hands-On Article where I go into several of the systems new to Planetside 2 and you’ll find some additional tips not covered here.

Getting Started

Let's assume you've scored a PlanetSide 2 beta key (if not, sign up at the official site), downloaded the client, patched, and you're ready to go. The next thing to do is launch the game and create a character. At the character creation screen you'll be choosing between three factions. Your faction makes a difference in how your character maneuvers in battle, so choose wisely:

  • 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.

Choose a faction and then hit next, and this is where you’ll pick a server. A graph to the right will let you know what the current mix of factions on the server is. Playing on a server where your faction is out-numbered nets you a bonus to experience, but a server that looks unbalanced now likely won't always be. So, while population balance is something to consider, it’s not hugely critical.

After you choose a server, you pick your character’s sex, face, and name. After you hit next this last time, you launch to the loading screen, and then you’re in-game where you’ll start off in your faction’s warp gate. Warp Gates are a subject for another article. What you need to know for now is that this is a protected area for your faction and flying into the gate allows you to warp to other continents.

Gearing Up

So you’re in the game, and you think you’re ready to fight…  Well, stand-down, soldier.  You’ve got a few more things to go over, namely, your kit and any vehicles you might want to purchase. This is handled through convenient terminals scattered around the warp gate facility.

PS2 screenshot

Infantry Terminals can be found all over in almost any facility.

First up is your infantry kit, so look around for a terminal with an icon of a pistol over it.  It’ll also have a diagram of a gun on it, but the icons show through walls and can make finding the terminals easier.  In this case, there should be several in the room you spawned into, so just walk up to one, and hit “E” as the text that appears on the lower part of the screen suggests to you.

Available Kits:

  • 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 light assault rifles and some explosives, they're like the FedEx of destruction--they deliver anywhere.
  • Combat Medic – Every Soldier's best friend is the medic. Packing a light 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 heavy assault rifles 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 screenshot

Select a class and make any modifications to loadout from the Infantry Terminal. This is where you'll load new equipment and weapons when you unlock them.

Rolling Out

Once you’ve picked your infantry kit, the next step is to pick a vehicle. Walk outside the building you spawned in and look for one of two other icons, the tank icon and the aircraft icon. There are actually a couple types of each. For the tank icon there will be some that allow you to spawn the heavier tanks and squad transports, and others that allow you to get personal transportation like the ATVs and lighter vehicles.

[IMAGE:PS2-VPad.jpg|CAPTION: Look closely at the picture and you’ll be able to see Tank Terminals on the bottom with a couple Aircraft Terminals that can be used to spawn Galaxies, and the Aircraft Terminals up top are for the Liberator and Faction Attack Aircraft. ]

Aircraft-wise, there will be terminals where you can get the Galaxy, a large transport aircraft that also doubles as a spawn location when on the ground. Alternatively, there’s a terminal for your faction’s attack aircraft (Reaver, Scythe, or Mosquito) and the Liberator gunship. There are cases in some bases where you may find all three available from a single terminal, which is also true of ground vehicles.

PS2 screenshot

Selecting a hotspot on the map and hitting Instant Action is another way to get to the fight.

Engage and Eradicate

Now you’ve flown, driven, ridden, or dropped into a hot zone and you’re ready to fight, but there has to be more to it than just shooting folks wearing the other colors, isn’t there? Well, there is. There’s a lot more to it, and the deeper you go, the more you find. To begin with, the most basic point of the game is to attack and defend the various bases on whichever continent you’re currently on.

Currently there’s a few ways to capture a base in Planetside 2. All bases are composed of a central main point with several satellite points located not too far around it. These points all show up on your screen with a letter associated with them. To capture some bases, one faction much take and hold all points for a certain amount of time and the base will change over to the holding faction. In other bases, the points must be captured in a certain order, and in yet other bases, you need none of them, but rather only to hold the single central point for several minutes.

PS2 screenshot

Some bases have key vulnerabilities that can be exploited to shut down player-spawning and shields.

While you’re fighting, communication is key, and every battle goes better with teamwork, so join a squad. You can either join a squad by hitting the F11 key to join one randomly, or if you want to pick a specific squad, hit escape and select Social Menu (Looks like two people standing next to each other). The first page will search for squads and display them for you choose from. Once in, to communicate you can type like most games, or Planetside 2 comes with a brilliantly high-quality VoIP system. Default keys are “Z” to chat with your squad and Keypad 4 to chat with anyone in the vicinity. There are others, so you’ll want to check your keybinds to find out what else is there.

War of Economics

Like nearly every war in the history of mankind, the war on Auraxis is at its root about resources. Every sector of the map for each continent is associated with a set amount of resources. By holding territory, your faction will receive those resources over time. These resources are how you purchase specialized weapons/ammo, vehicles, and other things. Of course there’s also Auraxium, which is earned through capturing bases, fighting, and basically playing the game.

PS2 screenshot

Resources are used to purchase skins, upgrades, new weapons, and implants from the store.


Implants are little bonuses you can get in Planetside 2, and they do a wide variety of things. Some implants increase the rate at which you accumulate resources or experience. Others decrease the amount of time you have to wait before respawning a destroyed vehicle. Some Implants just make you a little better at things like running, aiming, or reloading. You can load up to four at a time, so the customization options are fairly complex, while still not game-breaking. The down-side is that implants cost either resources or Station Cash (SOE’s system for exchanging real-world cash for in-game goods). Also, implants are only good for a limited time, typically 24-hours, so plan their use accordingly.


With the additional resources, your time in battle should have made you a little experience and possibly even granted some certification points. To get to the certification menu, hit escape as we did for the Store, but this time select the second icon from the right that looks like a circle with a notch out of it. That will pop up the certifications screen.

There are certifications for nearly everything in Planetside 2, so you have to browse down to where you want to certify. In this case, let’s take the Combat Medic for example. Browse out to Classes, then Combat Medic, and then Explosives. Under that section, you’ll see an option to purchase a certification for the Nanite Healing Grenade, a frag that makes love not war. Throw that guy in a cluster of friendlies and heal them all. It costs 50 certification points. If you have enough available, go ahead and pick it up and you can be that friend with benefits Now you have the certification, but you can’t use the new item yet.  You’ll need to go back to an infantry terminal (one with a pistol icon over it) and load it into your kit.

No Longer Maggots

Congratulations, you’ve now passed your trial-by-fire and are now inducted into the honorable rosters of your chosen faction. You now know just enough to make yourself a worthy target for other, harder, more vicious species that inhabit Auraxis, the veterans. You may wonder how it is you’ll be able to determine the veteran from the fellow newb on the battlefield. Well, here’s your last bit of advice from me. There will be no tea-bagging, bloating, or similar childishness from a veteran. When you see the well-organized squad sweep across the battlefield like a tidal wave of death and wonton destruction, you’ll know; when you walk out of the doorway only to catch a nonchalant shot between the eyes as an enemy soldier walks past’ll know. And when you look down the optics of your scope and see the tag Ricoxg pop up over the guy looking back at you… well, it’ll be too late to figure it out.

So get out there kids, and try to learn enough to make yourselves worthy targets. I didn’t write all this just for fun! See you on the battlefield.

About the Author

Last Updated:

Around the Web