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Combat Medics are a staple of PlanetSide 2 organized gameplay. They are always universally useful and welcome into any squad composition. PlanetSide 2 is a constant battle, and in every battle there are killed and wounded. The more medics there are, the easier it is to keep the push alive. Everyone knows that.
Combat Medics – along with Engineer – are the most often recommended class for newbies to play. Everyone always talks about how easy it is for medics to make copious amounts of certs simply by healing and reviving their more competent comrades.
However, no one ever talks about medic’s versatility and firepower, and new players often mistakenly assume that healing and reviving is the only thing they can do, and the only thing that’s expected of them.
The two-dimensional “revivebot”, “med tool primary” playstyle is easy to enter, but doesn’t leave much room for improvement, and does not force the player to improve by learning situational awareness, weapon handling, picking proper engagements and working with the team to accomplish objectives.
By explaining the idea behind this loadout, I hope to illustrate that even a single medic can be much more than just a revive bot – a competitive and powerful fighting unit.
The overall idea behind this loadout is to provide you with maximum versatility, so you can be a “one man army inside a bigger army”. You’re very capable by yourself, but in the end PlanetSide 2 is a team game, and you get vastly more powerful by fighting alongside your allies, and accomplishing objectives together.
The best part is – most of this loadout is either provided for free, cheap to get, or something that you’re gonna enjoy using on other classes as well.
The default Assault Rifle
NC1 Gauss Rifle
This shouldn’t be surprising. These rifles are well known for their versatility, for never being the worst choice for any situation. They offer a perfect balance between accuracy and firepower. They can win headshot duels with HAs at any range, and they can hip fire spray enemies in close quarters. These are the weapons that bring Assault Rifles the fame of being the best weapon class.
These weapons are faction specific, so they will play a bit differently. Cycler with its high DPS and large mag favors aggressive pushing and can sometimes kill several enemies before needing to reload. In contrast, Gauss Rifle favors a more cautious ranged approach, though in close quarters it can ensure very quick kills with headshots. Pulsar VS1 plays as something between these two, favoring quick reloads between engagements.
These weapons are generally not effective at ranges that would warrant higher magnification. In other words, if the target is too small to be comfortably shot with a 1x scope, it’s probably out of your range anyway. Forward Grip serves to improve weapon’s ranged accuracy. Even the Gauss Rifle, that has great horizontal recoil in stock form, benefits from it greatly.
It will also help your headshot accuracy, and you definitely want to go for headshots when you can easily get them at close range duels, and when going against tough targets such as Heavy Assaults. It’s the only way to beat good players.
A thoughtful sidearm choice is important for a Combat Medic, as this will be your go-to weapon when you get engaged while reviving or reloading. Re-equipping your Assault Rifle with a Forward Grip will take a full second, whereas a sidearm can be equipped twice as fast.
NS-44 Commissioner – this weapon doesn’t need much introduction. Commissioner is universally known as the best sidearm in PlanetSide 2 and there’s a good reason for it: overwhelming damage. Commissioner can kill a shielded Heavy Assault with double tap headshots in 0.35 seconds.
It is effective to the point that when running with a low DPS primary, I’ve started bringing out Commissioner when going into close quarters. It is that good. However, Commissioner requires good accuracy, and especially rewards headshots. If you find yourself completely incapable of hitting headshots, or if you don’t want to challenge yourself, you can always fall back on your faction-specific burst pistol:
These can get relatively easy kills by simply spamming them in general direction of the enemy. Within certain range, they can even go for headshots.
Eventually, you want to upgrade this to maximum rank. It does take a fair amount of certs, but you’re expected to do this anyway, as long as you have any intention of playing Combat Medic somewhat seriously. Upgrading increases healing and reviving speed, as well as the amount of health that MAXes have after reviving.
I recommend you check out the Med Tool’s ground rules in Czern’s Combat Medic Guide.
Even if you’re being completely selfish, reviving fallen allies gives you an extra meat shield, more targets for enemies to shoot at. This is the Medic’s way of gaining a combat advantage when compared to HA.
Nano Regen Device. Having an on-demand AOE heal is a big part of what makes you a swiss army knife. It leaves your utility slot open for C4, and both your implant slots for something more useful than Regeneration. You can also heal nearby allies better, as Med Tool takes a long time even when fully upgraded.
Upgrading the NRD is cheap, but not necessary, as you only get a minor boost to energy regeneration.
Shield Recharging Field can potentially provide powerful combat advantages, but they kinda tether you to a specific area, and in this way limit your mobility. With NRD you’re free to always been on your feet, and mobility is a big part of versatility.
Nanoweave Armor. It gives you more breathing room in infantry combat, and a necessary advantage against Heavy Assaults. It is perfectly fine to sit on Rank 4, which only takes 211 certs.
Frag Grenade. It’s not very effective, but it’s free, straightforward to use and versatile: it can be used to damage infantry behind cover, force enemies to relocate, and even snipe deployables.
If you wish, you can choose to use Revive Grenades. They can potentially be very powerful, and certainly bring more certs than Frags, but they’re also more situational.
C-4. Again, a bit part of being a Swiss Army Knife. With this you can deal serious damage to Sunderers, and help destroy them as part of a team effort, and you can also oneshot tanks, Harassers, MAXes and infantry. Very powerful stuff.
It does require close range, and as a Medic you won’t have a lot of success in chasing vehicles on your two feet, but the important part is that you will be able to do something when an opportunity presents itself.
Power Knife (low priority) or standard knife. The reason I recommend a power knife is that it’s almost as good at quick-knifing, but also provides a very powerful wielded option. It is hard to use, especially without habit, and situational at the same time. However, you can’t ignore the power of killing infantry by touching their toe.
Battle Hardened. This is the only “mandatory” implant. Medics are often fighting face to face, and they’re often right in the thick of things, including in positions being bombarded by screen-shaking explosives.
You’re free to use anything else in your second slot. There are almost no wrong choices there.
Combat Medic is a very interesting class to play. It’s probably the only class that delves into every aspect of skilled gameplay to such a high extent. You have to master everything:
Weapon Mechanics and Gunplay in order to succeed in firefights, especially against superior enemies, such as Heavy Assaults. This includes Situational Awareness, so you can avoid getting ambushed by more mobile or stealthy enemies, such as Light Assaults and Infiltrators.
Combat Medics don’t have the best firepower nor mobility, so you have to compensate with wits and skill. However, you’re not entirely at a disadvantage. You get a reliable and braindeadly effective Assault Rifle, and a meat wall of allies to absorb enemy fire.
The gist of the playstyle is the cycle of:
- Spawn at a location.
- Find a group of allies to follow.
- Stay behind someone’s back or be ready to retreat if you take point.
- When you see enemies – engage if you can, retreat when you have to. Always keep C4 in mind, it’s an effective tool when you can sneak up on tanks or MAXes. Against Sunderers – it’s better to push up together with the team.
- When your allies go down or need healing, revive or heal if it’s safe to do so. Don’t be a resbot, and take responsibility. Refresh on the Czern’s Med Tool Rules, if you have to.
- If you get entrenched for too long, don’t be afraid to lurk around for a flank, you can do a lot of damage on your own, and worst case – you die and have to walk from the Sunderer.
- Keep fighting and pushing together until you accomplish whatever you came for, or get hopelessly wiped, or just decide to go elsewhere. In any case, return to point 1.
Have no bad feelings about abandoning a hopeless fight. It is not rare for an ally to place a Sunderer so poorly that you will just get repeatedly farmed without ever having a chance of success. This usually happens when the enemy spawn room is between your Sunderer and the objective.