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

  • New
    – Slower, but harder-hitting weapons and more
    heavily armored.
  • Vanu
    – Energy-based weapons with damage fall-off
    over range, and more maneuverable hover-tanks.
  • Terran
    – 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

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.

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
  • 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
  • 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.

alt="PS2 screenshot" width="600">

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.

alt="PS2 screenshot" width="600">

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.

alt="PS2 screenshot" width="600">

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.

alt="PS2 screenshot" width="600">

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 you...you’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

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

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016