When EVE: Valkyrie hits PSVR on 13 October there are going to be an awful lot of rookie pilots out there. If you're reading this, perhaps you'll be one of them. And perhaps you don't fancy becoming cannon fodder for a more experienced player. Perhaps you want to make your mark as a pilot to be reckoned with, a pilot to be respected, and a pilot to be feared - but you know, in a nice way.
Well, you're in the right place. If you’re a PlayStation owner about to make the leap into space warfare we've got everything a first timer needs to know about the fine art of dogfighting right here. The Valkyrie community is a welcoming place and we’ve enlisted the help of Super Kev, one of the game’s finest pilots, to help you thrive in the black iciness of space and the white heat of battle. He may have a callsign that sounds like a budget superhero, but trust us, this is one guy whose Gatling Guns you don't want to be on the business end of.
So listen up pilots and prepare for a masterclass in dogfighting.
Super Kev's Pro Tips
● Valkyrie takes place in space so you have to nail down the fundamentals of flight as set out by the game. In terms of dogfighting in Valkyrie, this means making full use of all controls, including roll, brake and boost. As in any dogfighting game, the goal is always to get behind your enemy. Do everything you can do put yourself in that position.
● Understand that Valkyrie is nothing like an atmospheric flight simulator. Speed changes are almost instantaneous, both braking and accelerating. Rolling is also accompanied by some lateral movement, so you never get a pure barrel roll. It's always a corkscrew. These things are important to know as you dogfight.
● Every other pilot will also tell you the importance of tapping the brake and boost buttons to vary your speed and even induce a bit of a "power slide" while turning. They'll also probably mention that gently bumping a heavy as it is spooling up its MWD (Micro Warp Drive) cancels it and keeps them there for you to kill. These are both valuable tips.
● I've learned to hold my controller a little bit differently than I do in other games. I keep my middle fingers on the triggers and use my index fingers for rolling with the shoulder buttons. It was awkward at first, but I got used to it and now it seems quite natural. Now, this technique allows me to match movements with ships I'm pursuing without letting up on firing or adjusting the position of my hands on the controls.
● I also use the XBox Elite controller, which has allowed me to map some of the more difficult buttons (D-pad down and Right-click) to paddles on the bottom of the controller, which I can hit with my fourth and fifth fingers. Again, this is so I don't have to move my fingers from the main flight controls during a dogfight. Bear in mind that the way the controller is set out isn’t always the way you should slavishly use it. Experiment and find what’s best for you.
● Do not begin an engagement, especially with an experienced pilot, by firing missiles. The element of surprise is your biggest advantage in an attack, so don't blow it by setting off their missile alarms. Experienced pilots will dodge or ECM (countermeasure) your missiles, then end you quickly because you now have reduced firepower. Save your missiles for when they can't miss.
● Finally, make use of cover. The hardest pilots to kill are the one who have learned the maps in detail and know how to weave in and out of structures and asteroids. Squeezing through tight spaces might give you the opportunity to lose a pursuer, or make them damage their shields/armour in a collision with the structure. If you're a fighter being attacked by a heavy, you can hide in cover and they won't be able to chase you because they are too big and slow. This allows you time to recharge your shields, sneak around behind them and finish them off.
Thanks Super Kev! We hope to die less speedily as a result of your wisdom.
As for you would-be rookie PlayStation VR pilots, listen up. If you enjoyed these dogfighting tips you’ll be pumped to learn that we will be posting an exclusive video on the very same subject on launch day, that’s Thursday October 13. Be sure to check back to give yourself that all-important edge in battle.