Mini Masterclass –  Control Mode: The Fighter’s Role

by CCP Games
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Rookie pilots who have been paying attention this past week will have already checked out our guides to taking on a Control Match in heavy and support class ships. Now we turn our attention to the perennial favorite, the fighter. This versatile all-rounder plays a crucial role when trying to secure control points. Here are a few pointers on how best to deploy your craft.

Team Structure

SHIP Dominator cropped Many pilots will play solo and plough their own furrow when taking part in a Control Match. They will look after their own part of the task while keeping an eye on what’s going on around them and communicate accordingly. In the end, though, it is a team effort, so it’s a good idea to have a nice, balanced squad to take on the job.

Depending on which players and ships are available, it’s a good approach in a five player squad to have one or two fighters, one or two heavies and one or two supports. If you’re a rookie, you’re going to be flying the Wraith. Further down the line, the Dominator is a great. Furthermore, if you can get a Guardian support ship in the team, all the better, as they can provide excellent medic benefits with their precise head-tracked heal beams.

General Approach

Control Main You pretty much have any choice you like when splitting teams among the various tasks required. That said, a strong approach is to have the heavies and supports congregate around a single point (or preferably two points), exerting maximum pressure on the enemy and making sure that those points remain captured.

The fighter is then free to zip around the map, taking down drones and offering help where it’s needed. If you’re determined to up your kill rate, then by all means engage the enemy. However, you may want to consider holding off on the easy kills. Concentrating on taking out drones and preventing the control point from going red is an effective tactic, and more likely to secure the victory than going all-out for personal glory.

So, having established that you’re going to be playing the map and travelling between points, you now have to employ some classic fighter tactics. Cautious use of the boost is recommended, as when you’re entering a control point that is being hotly contested, the last thing you want is to be left with a lack of speed.

Again, it’s important you don’t get yourself tangled up in protracted cat and mouse dogfights. While you and your enemy are circling each other in a merry dance of death, the control points and your teammates are vulnerable. If you find yourself in a fight, best practice is to get the heck out of there using the scenery to escape missile locks and break line of sight. That’s why, as always, it’s a good idea to scout out the maps on Scout Mode beforehand.

If you do find yourself stuck in a drawn-out fight, you’ll need all your piloting skills to emerge victorious, making the most of braking, boost and powersliding to gain the upper hand. You can find out more about general dogfighting techniques in our Pilot Training section.

Watch Out for Traps and Ambushes

Groundrush Solitude Base 02 We told you to use Scout Mode to learn the maps, right? Well, we’re telling you again. Do it. Not only is it important to find the best areas for finding cover for yourself, you also need to know the places that your enemies are going to be using against you. We’ll use a couple of examples.

First, on the Crossroads map, there is a cave system in the nearby asteroid. You will often find heavies hanging out here lying in wait for you. Then, when you zoom over to start work on the control point… Boom! You’re space dust.

The new Solitude map can also be extremely hazardous for eager fighter pilots during a Control Match. Two of the control points are in highly restrictive areas (the underground tunnel networks) and if you’re playing against particularly savvy support pilots, you will find yourself with a faceful of mines or spiderbots if you’re not cautious in your approach.

A Change of Career?

SHIP Displacer cropped The nature of the fighter pilot is to get out there and kick some ass, but as we’ve discussed, that’s not always the best approach during a Control Match. With that in mind, you might want to consider treating the match as the opportunity to try out a new playstyle. Once you’ve acquired it, try out the Displacer. It has a mighty Mag Cannon for the combat duties, but also comes equipped with a heal beam and spiderbots, so you can take on a sort of hybrid fighter/support role.

Be sure to take a look at our other Control Mode guides for the heavy and support class pilots. Whatever you choose to fly, have fun out there.

Fly safe!