The main way of progressing your character is to unlock new equipment, and upgrade what you already own. In that sense, “progress” is opening new gameplay options and new ways of helping your team.
To get new stuff, you have to spend Certification Points, which you get by earning Experience Points.
Doing almost anything related to capturing territory, killing enemies or supporting your allies in that activity will grant you Experience Points (XP).
Each 250 XP will grant you 1 Certification Point, see below.
Accumulating a certain amount of XP will increase your Battle Rank (BR) – the level of your character. There are a total of 120 Battle Ranks, and it can take years to level up to BR120.
First few Battle Ranks unlock essential game functions, such as leadership certifications and additional loadout slots, but other than that, Battle Rank’s main purpose is to merely show how much experience this character has accumulated.
You continue to gain XP after reaching maximum battle rank. Battle Ranks also unlock new rank titles and shoulder decals with your rank emblem.
Certification points are used to purchase weapons, weapon attachments, suit slots, class abilities and so on. One certification point is granted for every 250 experience points, which you get for doing pretty much anything in PlanetSide 2.
Premium members also receive some certs passively while playing, and receive up to 48 certs when logging in.
There is a soft cap of 10 000 certification points: you stop earning certs for experience once you reach the 10 000 cap, but you can go over that cap if you get a cert refund for something – this happens very rarely on patch days. This cap is increased to 50 000 for premium members.
This cap isn’t something you should worry about, considering it takes an experienced player around 12 hours of gameplay to earn a 1000 certs, and there is always something you can spend your certs on.
Fast ways to earn certs
Stacking passive bonuses
1) Bonuses are provided for:
- Fighting on a continent where your faction has fewer players.
- Defending a base – provided whenever you fight in a hex with a base owned by your faction.
- By using a boost, usually purchased with DB. Normally provides 50% bonus, but there are Hyper boosts that provide 100% bonus.
- There are also squad boosts. In addition to standard 50% bonus for the user, they provide a 5% bonus to all squad members.
- You can have up to 2 boosts active. If both boosts provide XP bonuses, their effects stack additively. So if you have two +50% XP boosts active, they will provide +100% bonus XP together.
- Premium membership provides a 50% bonus.
- For each premium member in a squad, including yourself, you will get a 3% bonus.
- Following the mission assigned to you by the game, such as “capture this base” or “defend that base”. You will get 15% bonus XP for fighting within the hex with your mission objective.
- Note that your mission might change if you move to a different area.
- The mission can be more specific, like “capture that point over there”, but you receive bonus mission XP just for fighting within that base’s hex.
- You will get 30% bonus XP for fighting on a continent with Alert in progress.
- Continents with Alerts are marked by flashing red siren on the Warpgate terminal.
All these bonuses are additive, meaning 30% alert bonus and 10% defense bonus will provide you with 40% bonus XP total.
Teamwork and objectives
Bonus XP points are granted for:
- Playing in a squad: you will receive more XP for supporting your squad members by providing revives, ammo, Sunderer spawn, etc.
- You will get 100 XP bonus for killing enemies while standing within capture range of a capture point.
- Participating in the capturing a point will grant up to 425 xp, and you will also periodically get a little bit of XP for guarding it.
- First 5 ribbons of the day grant a 500 XP bonus.
- Being a member will also grant you some certs for logging in, up to a daily cap of 48.
As you can see, you can increase your XP gain simply by being a team player and following objectives laid out to you by the game.
Double XP events
The last full weekend of the month – when both saturday and sunday are in the month – is a double XP even for premium members. (thanks /u/zepius)
Occasionally, usually on holidays, there are double XP events for everyone.
During these events, all your XP is doubled AFTER modifiers.
For example, you get 100XP for a kill by default. If you do it while defending a base during an alert, you will have a 10 + 30 = 40% XP bonus, and receive 140XP for the kill. But during double XP event that amount will double and you will get 280 XP.
So during double XP, stacking bonuses and using boosts is extremely profitable, it’s entirely possible to get several thousands of certs in a day during double XP.
You can confirm that double XP is active on the TAB score screen, it should say: “XP Multiplier: 2” somewhere.
Which class to play for XP?
For the fastest and easiest XP gain it’s usually recommended to play support classes: engineer and medic.
But it doesn’t matter as much “what you do”, more “how well you do it”. Be it tanking, playing Infiltrator or a medic, as long as you’re doing well, you’re gonna score high. So instead of trying to figure out best ways to farm certs, just play the game the way you enjoy it, and get better at it. Certs will flow naturally.
Daybreak Cash (formerly known as Station Cash ) is bought with real money via in-game shop or the official site. It can be used to purchase weapons, weapon attachments, and cosmetics: camos and decorative armor and helmets.
Items purchased with DB are account-bound. They will become available to all characters on your account. You will not lose these items even if you delete all your characters.
Premium members receive 500 Daybreak Cash each month, they need to claim it manually from the game shop.
You can’t buy premium membership with DB.
Overall, it’s perfectly possible to fully enjoy PS2 without ever spending a dime. It’s a much more accessible game in that sense, compared to other F2P games out there. Its monetization model resembles League of Legends’ a lot.
- If you buy an empire specific item with DB, it will be available to all characters of that empire on your account.
- If you buy a cross faction item with DB, it will be available to all characters on your account.
- If you unlock an item with certs, it will be available only on that character.
Before purchasing something with DB, think! There are no refunds!
While it’s totally fine to spend some money on cosmetics, think hard before spending real money on weapons. PlanetSide 2 is not a pay to win game, so do not think that a new shiny weapon will help you dominate. And you can unlock any weapon in the game just with certification points.
If you’re dead set on buying a new weapon, at least do some research if it’s something you want. Check the weapon section of this site for an up to date review on the item, and ask experienced players on reddit or forums if that gun would be a good investment.
If you decide to purchase something, check if it is:
1) … on a daily sale or a member sale, if you have premium membership.
2) … a part of one of the bundles in the in-game store.
Check the daily sale from time to time. Maybe something you want will be on sale one day. If you’re too lazy to login, you can check what’s on daily sale at PS2 Daily Deals twitter.
A universal resource. Spending Nanites is required to use infantry consumables, such as grenades and med kits, as well as spawn vehicles and MAX units. Nanites have a hard cap of 750, and regenerate automatically over time.
Membership and Resource Boosts can increase Nanite income, but apart from that you can’t do anything to affect it. Regardless of where you are, and how much territory do you have captured on a current continent, nanites always regenerate at a constant rate.
Usually nanites are not the problem, and are only there to prevent you from suiciding five tanks in a row into enemy armored column.
Directives are PlanetSide 2’s achievements. Completing directives grants you access to unique cosmetics and weapons. Refer to the official guide for more.
You earn a medal with a weapon when you get 10, 60, 160 and 1160 kills with it for the first time. There are bronze, silver, gold and auraxium medals, respectively. For each medal you get a set bonus of certification points.
Weapon medals serve two purposes: bragging rights and fulfilling weapon-class specific directives. Auraxium tier of carbine directive, for example, requires the player to earn auraxium medals with five different carbines. The reward is auraxium-coated special carbine.
Player stats can help you judge where you stand among other players, and keep track of your progress. If you’d like to learn more, check out this article, which describes what conclusions can be made by looking at stats, and how various stats relate to each other.
There’s also a mini-guide: Bad Advices: How to attack someone’s stats – an article, explaining how different stats can be used against a player in an argument.
There are many places where you can check your personal stats, the most accessible being the game itself, on Profile -> Stats page.
Do not use stats to judge other people. Use them to judge your own progress.
Keep in mind that players can use a specific playstyle, to artificially bloat their stats in a certain area:
- A cowardly sniper that sits in the safety of the spawn room and snipes passing by enemies can reach high K/D levels. But that kind of playstyle is neither fun nor optimal.
- SPM, the score-per-minute stat is often used to judge how useful the player are. Basically, the more stuff you do, the more XP you get, so the more you help your faction. The flaw in that is it promotes farming over objectives: e.g., sit and spawncamp a Sunderer instead of destroying it for good. SPM is also inflated by boosts and membership bonuses (this was supposedly changed in one of the updates, so god knows how SPM is calculated now).
- Unfortunately, PlanetSide 2 doesn’t track the percentage of headshots, it only tracks kills with headshots – HSR. HSR can be bloated by shooting slightly above the head, to get only headshots, even if a lot of shots miss. Overall accuracy will be lower, but headshot kill rate can reach as high as 60%.
- KPM, kills per minute. Another stat to gauge the combat efficiency of the player. KPM is tracked for each weapon separately, so it can be bloated by running with a sidearm in hand, and taking out the primary weapon only to shoot someone or reload.
- Average accuracy. Can be bloated by shooting vehicles that take damage from infantry weapons.
Obviously, I don’t recommend doing any of that. Very few people actually do that, but just keep in mind that stat system can be abused, and it can’t be used to judge who’s a better player with 100% certainty.
Other places to check stats
planetside2.com/players – detailed character stats, you can login with the same account you use on forums.
stats.dasanfall.com – the most complex, and the most detailed tool. Official description:
This website is designed as an alternative to SOE’s Player’s Site. Their site is quite lacking in both statistics and analysis features. Everything you could need is here and analyzed mostly with distributions and simple functions. Some common shortfalls are also addressed and fixed, such as the tendency to group stat numbers and a lack of division among the three primary roles in PlanetSide 2 (infantry, air, vehicles), which any veteran will tell you are completely different game
Uses this grading system.
auraxis.info – another community-run site.
Recursion Stat Tracker – a third-party program that keeps track of your sessional stats, displays them in overlay, has it’s own achievement system and even an announcer which says stuff like “Double kill!”.
If you would like a fancy forum signature picture with your stats, you may go to planetside-universe.com/characters and use search to find your character. Then register and claim your character to create a stats signature picture.