You can preview the effect and cost of each upgrade by putting your mouse over it.
Nanoweave Armor and Flak Armor suit slots offer excellent protection from bullets and explosive damage respectively, at the cost of just 1 Cert per class. It’s worth noting that you can’t use both at the same time, you have to choose one.
Med Kits are unlocked for all classes at the same time, and they can be used to instantly restore full health. They can help you survive if you get under fire, and they are great for sustaining your own health without having to rely on Medics.
Med Kits Rank 3 will allow you to carry 3 Med Kits at the same time, and will cost 300 Certs.
Sidearm: if you find yourself using your sidearm a lot, you should unlock Reflex Sights and Laser Sight for it, they will make it more convenient to aim and increase your Hip Fire accuracy respectively. Each will cost you 100 Certs.
You are very likely to get most of these implants from implant bundles that you get for completing early class directives, but there is no guarantee.
Regeneration Implant automatically restores your health out of combat, and it’s a great alternative to Med Kits, if you wish to carry something else in the Utility Slot.
Target Focus Implant helps Infiltrators to Hold Breath while sniping. For all classes, it helps to identify enemies with your hip fire crosshair, and allows to see health of spotted enemies, so you can prioritize targets better. The latter is especially useful when fighting vehicles.
Ammo Printer Implant automatically generates ammunition for your weapons, tools and vehicle weapons. This is especially useful to Infiltrators – to sustain them with Motion Spotters or Recon Darts, and to Engineers when they pilot vehicles.
Safeguard Implant gives you damage resistance for a few seconds after you get revived. This is useful for classes that benefit from sticking together.
Sweeper HUD Implant warns you about nearby mines and C4. It’s great for all classes to avoid Anti-Personnel mines, useful for MAXes and vehicle pilots to avoid C4 and Tank Mines.
You can learn more about Infiltrator equipment in this guide.
Sniping: If you wish to become a better TR or VS sniper, you should invest in a Bolt-Action Sniper Rifle, which are generally considered superior to your starting semi-auto rifles. It will cost you 325 Certs.
Bolt-Action Rifles of all factions benefit from Straight Pull Bolt attachment (VS version is called Supercooled Coil). It lets you rechamber a shot while Aiming Down Sights, which effectively increase your rate of fire. 100 certs.
Close Range Ambushes: by default, you don’t have access to an effective close quarters primary weapon. You can choose to purchase an SMG, which will cost you ~1300 certs, including attachments.
Ability: Hunter Cloaking is the most versatile ability, and it works great for all playstyles. You should upgrade it to Rank 5, which will cost you 310 Certs.
Tools: both Motion Spotters and Recon Device require a lot of expensive upgrades to become truly effective. You should choose only one, put a lot of upgrades into it, and use it in all situations.
Upgrade Motion Spotters to Rank 4. 750 Certs. Or Recon Device to Rank 5. 780 Certs.
Utility: Mines – VS and NC Infiltrators can unlock powerful Anti-Personnel mines, that deal high splash damage whenever someone walks over them. They are a great way of boosting your firepower or covering your flanks. First Rank will allow you to carry one mine and cost you 200 Certs.
TR Infiltrators have access only to Claymores, which are a buggy mess, and should be avoided.
Implants: Target Focus, Regeneration, Ammo Printer.
You can learn more about Light Assault equipment in this guide.
Utility: C4 – it is a satchel charge, mostly used at short range, and it deals devastating damage to all targets. Light Assaults are universally considered the best class for using C4, as they can sneak up to enemy vehicles or flank enemy positions, and explode them all.
Rank 2 of the C4 will cost 700 Certs and allow you to carry two C4 bricks at the same time.
Ability: Skirmisher Jump Jets 4 – this will improve fuel capacity and regeneration speed by 14%. 160 Certs.
Implants: Regeneration, Target Focus. Safe Fall – this implant will allow you to avoid fall damage most of the time, and it can be a handy crutch while you are learning to use the Jet Pack.
You can learn more about Combat Medic equipment in this guide.
Tool: Medical Applicator – upgrading it increases healing and revive speed, which is crucial if you’re serious about playing Combat Medic. Rank 5 will cost you 190 Certs.
Implants: Safeguard, Target Focus.
You can learn more about Engineer equipment in this guide.
Tool: upgrading your Repair Tool to Rank 5 will increase its repair speed, and it will take longer to overheat. 240 Certs.
Utility: Tank Mines deal high damage to vehicles and MAXes when they walk or ride over them. Rank 2 will allow you to carry 3 Tank Mines and cost 300 Certs.
Two tank mines are usually enough to destroy most vehicles and kill MAXes even with Flak Armor.
- Target Focus as a general slot filler.
- Safeguard when supporting infantry.
- Ammo Printer when piloting vehicles.
- Sweeper HUD is also useful, especially when piloting vehicles. Remember that you can use your Repair Tool to deconstruct enemy Tank Mines and C4.
You can learn more about Heavy Assault equipment in this guide.
Tool: Ground to Air Lock On Launcher – it will allow you to deter enemy aircraft, while still being usable against ground targets. 650 Certs.
Ability: Nanite Mesh Generator – upgrading it will slightly increase the energy regeneration speed. Get it to Rank 3, which will cost only 31 Certs, but don’t waste any more on it.
Implants: Target Focus, Safeguard.
You can learn more about MAX equipment in this guide.
Weapons: in order to actually be effective at something, you need both your arms to carry same weapon. So you need either a second anti-infantry weapon for your right arm (650 Certs for the cheapest one), or a second anti-vehicle weapon for your left arm (1000 Certs). Anti-infantry is usually a better idea.
A second anti-air Burster will cost you 1000 Certs, but these weapons are much less effective without Extended Magazines, which would cost additional 500 Certs per arm. Anti-Air MAX is really not something you should pursue as a beginner.
Suit Slot: if you’re using Ordnance Armor, you should upgrade it to Rank 3, which will make it reduce damage from the most common MAX killers: C4, Tank Mines and Infantry Rockets. 250 Certs.
Ability: MAXes have access to two main abilities:
Emergency Repair 1 – restores a portion of your health with a long cooldown. It’s a universally useful ability, but not worth upgrading.
The second ability option is different for all factions.
TR MAXes can Lockdown themselves in place to make their weapons more effective. When fully upgraded and coupled with specific weapons, it works great for long range anti-aircraft and anti-vehicle combat. But it’s very expensive.
Lockdown doesn’t work as well for infantry combat, as your weapons already kill infantry pretty fast, and standing in place would only make you a magnet for rockets and other explosives.
VS MAXes can use Zealot Overcharge Engine to move faster and deal slightly more damage, but take more damage as well. When fully upgraded, this ability can be useful to an experienced player, but not so much to a beginner.
NC MAXes can use Aegis Riot Shield to absorb frontal damage and move around and reload with more safety. It’s a great ability, and remains useful without any upgrades.
If you’re looking for more complete loadouts, take a look at these loadouts recommended by PlanetSide 2 infantry mentors, who you can always reach on PS2 Discord.
A couple of important things to consider before you decide to invest a lot of certs in vehicles:
Vehicles are situational. They are a great tool to have at your disposal, but a specific vehicle will not always be useful in all situations.
Most vehicles require multiple players to function effectively. If you’re not big on teamwork, you should focus on vehicles that function well with just one player: Lightning and ESF.
Vehicles Weapons have to be unlocked and upgraded separately for each vehicle. Even if they have the same name, they will have different stats for balancing purposes.
For all vehicles weapons that you actually intend to use, it’s a good idea to unlock:
- Ammo Capacity 3 – increases the amount of ammunition for the weapon. 41 Certs.
- 1.5x Zoom – makes it more convenient to aim with a weapon. 50 Certs.
- Most starting vehicle weapons already come with free 1.25x Zoom, so feel free to use that instead. Make sure to equip it, though.
- For Tanks, getting a Reload Speed 1 upgrade for your cannon of choice is a good way to slightly boost your damage-over-time for 150 Certs.
Utility Slot: Fire Suppression
Vehicles at 20% health or less will start burning and slowly lose health over time, as well as become less controllable.
Fire Suppression is a Utility Slot ability, available to all vehicles. When activated, it instantly repairs the vehicle to be just above the burning threshold, and then slowly repairs the vehicle over time for a small amount of health, depending on Fire Suppression Rank and vehicle type (ESFs and Valkyries are repaired more).
When timed right, Fire Suppression can considerably improve vehicle’s survivability. It’s a good idea to get Fire Suppression 1 for all vehicles that you intend to use in combat, which will cost you only 30 Certs.
All ground vehicles have access to these defensive certifications, and depending on playstyle and preference, new players can benefit from each.
Mine Guard – reduces damage from Tank Mines. New players often suffer from awareness issues, and might not notice the mines, so a few ranks of Mine Guard will be helpful at first.
Nanite Auto Repair system – automatically repairs the vehicle out of combat. It will function even when vehicle is not occupied, so it can help you repair the vehicle faster to reduce downtime. It also lets you ignore chip damage from far away enemies plinking at you.
Vehicle Stealth – reduces the distance at which your vehicle automatically appears on enemy minimap, and increases the time it takes for lock-on launchers to establish a lock. Rank 3 is enough to almost entirely eliminate the auto-detect range, which will make it much harder for enemies to find you, if you prefer be stealthy and flank around. 330 Certs.
Engineer’s Repair Tool to Rank 5 – being able to repair your vehicle faster is crucial. 240 Certs.
Performance: you could invest a few hundred certs into Racer Chassis, but it’s not really necessary. Flash transport is meant to be cheap, not effective. If you really need to get somewhere fast, Harasser or ESF is usually a better option.
Fire Suppression 1 – 30 Certs.
NFI-2000 Turbo 1 – when activated by pressing the “sprint” key, gives the Flash a short, but strong boost in forward acceleration. It can allow to perform some crazy stunts, like using a rock as a trampoline to launch you on top of a building. You better be a Light Assault or equip a Safe Fall implant to avoid any trauma, though. Upgrading only increases recharge speed, and generally not necessary. 150 Certs.
For combat, Flash mostly relies on Wraith cloaking module, which means you will be using the Infiltrator class to pilot the Flash.
Flash weapons are hard to use on the move, and standing still exposes the Flash and the driver to enemy fire. Wraith Flash plays a lot like the Infiltrator himself, using Cloak to flank vulnerable enemies, stop still, decloak and briefly engage enemies, and then use Cloak to escape.
- Kobalt – anti-infantry machinegun. 550 Certs. Has the longest effective range, and it is the most effective against infantry.
- Fury – automatic grenade launcher. 875 Certs. Mostly intended as a light anti-vehicle weapon, but it’s more or less usable against infantry as well. Can be hard to use due to long projectile travel time and projectile drop.
- Basilisk – high caliber, general purpose machinegun. 200 certs. Deals average damage to all targets, bad accuracy.
- Renegade – shotgun. 875 certs. Deadly at short range. Effectively, it requires you to take the Flash right into close quarters combat, as if it was infantry. Base interiors can be hard to navigate, and being close to enemies is dangerous. Not recommended unless you are already very good at driving the Flash.
Performance: Scrapper – will make the Flash more maneuverable. Rank 2 will cost you 300 Certs.
Ability: Wraith Cloaking Device. Rank 2 will cost you 350 Certs. You will likely have to invest more, if you seriously want to focus on Wraith Flash.
Keep in mind that Harasser require two players to become a truly effective combat unit.
Weapon: Harasser is armed with a Basilisk by default, and it’s just not powerful enough. You will have to purchase a weapon in order to be effective. Your options include:
Anti-Infantry: Marauder, Canister, Proton PPA – great at invading base fights. 550 Certs.
Close Range Anti-Vehicle: Vulcan (875 Certs), Mjolnir (550 Certs), Aphelion (550 Certs). This is the recommended choice, as they are generally powerful at close range, and Harassers are good at diving in and out.
Medium / Long Range Anti-Vehicle: Gatekeeper (550 Certs), Enforcer (875 Certs), Saron (875 Certs) or NS Halberd (875 Certs). These don’t have as much raw firepower as their close range counterparts, but their longer effective range makes them safer, and a more workable choice for using Harasser as a solo player.
Performance: Scapper Chassis 2 – will make the Harasser more maneuverable, especially in close combat situations. 300 Certs.
- Smoke Screen 1: Can be used to shrug off enemy Lock-on Rockets, which are one of the few effective ways of dealing with Harassers. Smoke Screen is also great at covering an escape. 50 Certs.
- You can keep using Fire Suppression, if you prefer.
Vehicle Stealth 3 and Composite Armor 3 are generally considered more useful than Mineguard. Rank 3 of either will cost you 330 Certs.
By default, your Sunderer uses Basilisks. For most intents and purposes, these are the best weapons you could have. They are moderately effective against all target types and easy to use.
Mobile Spawn Station
Performance: Racer – increases speed and improves hill climbing capabilities. Rank 2 will will cost you 300 Certs.
Utility: Gate Shield Diffuser 1 – when activated, allows the Sunderer to move through enemy base shields and energy bridges. It is a great utility, as it allows you to deploy the Sunderer directly inside some of the enemy bases. Rank 1 is enough and it will cost 100 Certs.
Defense: Deployment Shield 1 – creates a protective shield around a deployed Sunderer, making it considerably harder to destroy. Upgrading it will increase the shield recharge speed, but in general Rank 1 is enough, and it will cost only 30 Certs.
Defense: Blockade Armor 3 – increases Sunderer’s survivability, especially against C4. 350 Certs.
Performance: Rival – makes the Sunderer more maneuverable. Rank 2 will cost you 300 Certs.
Weapons: by default, your Lightning is armed with a C75 Viper autocannon. It is generally a good weapon for newbies, but it can be hard to use against vehicles with the necessary level of accuracy.
Lightning has access to Python series of single shot cannons. There are AP, HEAT and HESH varieties. All of them have important traits for fighting infantry and vehicles. You can look up differences here and make a decision. 550 – 875 Certs.
Performance: these upgrades are generally not necessary for a Lightning, as it is fast and maneuverable even in stock form. Feel free to try both Racer and Rival in VR, drive around the racing track, do some hillclimbing, try engaging target dummies, see what works the best for you.
Secondary weapon: all MBTs become significantly more effective with a gunner. Having a good secondary weapon is a sure way to attract more gunners and make you more effective.
Almost all secondaries are viable, but keep in mind they all have different roles, and you will have to change your playstyle accordingly. Usually the recommended choice is to go with your empire specific long range secondary: Gatekeeper (550 Certs), Enforcer (875 Certs) or Saron (875 Certs). NS Halberd (875 Certs) will work as well.
Walker or Ranger anti-air machineguns can be useful if you wish to play solo MBT, and you want an effective way of protecting yourself from ESF attacks. But they won’t be very attractive to gunners.
Performance: Racer 2 – will make your MBT faster and better at climbing. Prowler is maneuverable enough by default, so Rival is unnecessary. 300 Certs.
- Barrage 1 – significantly increases your firepower for a limited time. Rank 1 is enough and it will cost you 100 Certs.
Performance: Racer 2. 300 Certs.
Utility: Vanguard Shield 1. Significantly improves your survivability in direct combat. 100 Certs.
Magrider requires more upgrades than other MBTs.
Due to fixed main turret, having a second player is much more important to keep the tank safe from infantry and flanking attacks, and having a good secondary weapon is important for attracting decent gunners.
Aiming a fixed turret can be hard for beginners, so its recommended to get Rival 2 performance upgrade for 200 Certs to increase turning speed. There are other benefits, such as better strafing and reverse speed.
Magriders have a bigger difference in effectiveness between its HEAT (PC) and AP (FPC) cannons than other MBTs. If you want your Magrider to be an effective dueling platform for engaging enemy armor, consider unlocking the FPC cannon for 875 Certs, and get a Reload Speed 1 upgrade for it for 150 Certs.
Utility: Magburner 1 – provides an on-demand boost to forward acceleration. Crucial for moving around, both in and out of combat. 100 Certs.
By default, your ESF uses External Fuel Tanks instead of a secondary weapon. Many elite pilots prefer this additional afterburner fuel for air-to-air combat, but that’s the only thing this loadout is good for. As a new player, you’re likely to find air combat an impossible challenge, especially while using only your nosegun. You can find an ESF guide here, if you wish to improve upon that aspect. Otherwise:
Consider getting a Secondary Weapon, it would go a long a way of increasing your firepower. You have a few options, depending on whether you want to specialize against ground or air targets:
Hellfire, Breaker, Dual Photon unguided rocket pods. They are relatively easy to use, effective against infantry, and okay against vehicles. 875 Certs.
Coyote Missiles – effective against enemy aircraft at close range. Much easier to hit than the nosegun, but you will need to use both to fight enemy aircraft effectively. 875 Certs.
Hornet Missiles – these guided missiles are more effective against ground vehicles than unguided rocket pods, but can be harder to use. 875 Certs.
Tomcat / Photon A2A Missile Pods – these lock-on anti-air rockets are intended against big game – Liberators and Galaxies. 875 Certs.
Performance: Hover Airframe Rank 2 – will increase the upwards thrust of the ESF, making it more maneuverable. 300 Certs.
- Upgrade your Fire Suppression to Rank 3 to transform it into a great on-demand repair ability. 330 Certs.
- Decoy Flares 1 – will let you throw off lock-ons and locked-on rockets off your tail for a few seconds. Choose this if enemy lockons give you a lot of trouble. 100 Certs.
When you pilot an ESF as an Engineer, it will automatically repair itself out of combat, so you don’t need the Nanite Auto Repair system that much.
Performance: Evasiveness Airframe 2 – will make you faster and more maneuverable. 300 Certs.
- Fire Suppression 1: 30 Certs.
- Scout Radar 2 – detects movement of enemy infantry within 100m and relays that information to nearby allies. Incredibly useful while you hover above the battlefield, providing spawns and fire support to your squad. 150 Certs.
Weapons: similarly to Sunderer’s Basilisks, your default Wyvern is the most effective and versatile weapon. You don’t need to replace it.
Nose Cannon and Belly Weapon: your default Vektor and Shredder are versatile, easy to use weapons with a long effective range. Generally, there is no need to replace them.
Tail Weapon: your default Drake is “good enough” when dealing with ground and air targets, and it works well in combination with Shredder. However, if you don’t have a stable crew, a Walker might do a better job of attracting gunners, and it’s an effective anti-air machinegun with some air-to-ground potential. 550 Certs.
Passive System: Afterburners 2 – getting the first upgrade will reduce afterburner cooldown by 25%. 100 Certs
Performance: other airframes can be viable too, but you should start with High-G Airframe 2, which will make you more maneuverable. 300 Certs.
Composite Armor 1: increases health by 7% for 30 Certs. Cheap and angry.
Performance: Racer Airframe 2 – increases cruising speed. 300 Certs.
Not really a thing without multiple expensive weapons.