Welcome to PlanetSide! This guide is intended as the go-to resource for completely new players.
Step 1. Create character
There are three factions. You can have characters in all of them, so your initial choice doesn’t matter.
Pick a server with the best ping for you.
You will have only a few faces to choose from, but later you will be able to customize your character with cosmetic armor, helmets, camouflage and decals.
Step 2. Complete tutorial
The tutorial is a narrated obstacle course. It will start basic at first, but will quickly move to explaining concepts that are unique to PlanetSide 2. Do not rush through the tutorial, and let the narrator finish speaking before doing anything, or they will interrupt themselves, and you won’t get to hear all of the useful info.
If you’re anxious to get into action, you can sprint through the tutorial, and revisit it later with another character.
Press “Left Alt” to show your mouse cursor.
Step 3. Your first battle
Completing the tutorial will automatically send you into battle on one of the main continents. Nothing can prepare you for what lies ahead. Try to have fun and stay alive for longer than 10 seconds.
Basic information about the world
The world of PlanetSide 2 is split into four continents. When a faction conquers a continent, it becomes locked, and all players have to go somewhere else. Usually, another continent unlocks at the same time.
There’s always at least one unlocked continent, and that’s where all of the fighting happens. Be mentally prepared to play with and against people with years of experience, as there is no matchmaking of any kind.
Besides main continents, there are two additional locations you can go: Koltyr VR and VR Training. All equipment is unlocked in these zones so you can test it out, but you cannot earn any Experience Points. You can always redeploy off these zones.
Press “M” at any moment to open the main map and check the strategic situation.
Each faction has one Warpgate at the edge of each continent. Warpgates are safe havens that cannot be attacked.
Regions are connected to each other and to Warpgates via lattice links. Only bases that have a lattice link to an enemy base can be attacked and captured. This is why majority of the combat happens at the front lines:
Sunderers are vehicles. Their primary function is to provide a spawn location for nearby allied infantry. To fulfill that role, Sunderer must be deployed – it needs to stay stationary for a few seconds and then hit “deploy” key (“B” by default).
Deployed Sunderers are invaluable in attacking a base. Typically, once all attackers’ Sunderers are destroyed, you can consider the battle to be over for them.
In general, if you’re not getting a red cross hit marker near your crosshair, then you’re not dealing damage.
Step 4. Follow Basic Training Directives
Directives are achievements in PlanetSide 2. Completing Directives grants you account-wide Directive Points (they don’t do anything), and sometimes grants you additional rewards.
Basic Training Directives are a set of objectives that will help you learn the game and provide a few nice rewards. You can track your current Directive on the left side of the screen.
One Certification Point is granted every time your earn 250 Experience Points, which are granted for doing pretty much anything related to capturing territory, killing enemies or supporting allies.
Earning XP will also increase your character’s Battle Rank (“level”). Battle Rank doesn’t affect anything important, but you will gain bonus 100 Certs for each Battle Rank until BR15.
Certification Points are hard to get for new players, so you must cherry pick what you want to upgrade or unlock. You can find some recommendations here.
With a rare exception, you should avoid unlocking new weapons early on, because they are expensive and usually do not differ that much from weapons that you have by default. Your starting guns are very effective, and often are either best in their category, or close to best. It is very likely you will get dumpstered by veterans with years of experience, but trust me, your weapons are not the reason for it.
Unlock first couple of ranks of Med Kits. They are a consumable utility item, which is unlocked for all classes at the same time. They offer a convenient way of restoring your health without having to call for a medic.
Familiarize yourself with every class. A good way to do that is to complete the first tier of class directives. And then you can unlock upgrades for the classes you had the most fun with. Completing these directives will also award you with some implants.
- In the beginning, you will die a lot, and many things will seem confusing. Don’t mind it too much, we’ve all been there. Check these First Person Shooter Basics if you’re struggling in infantry combat.
- Pay attention to the population balance on the minimap. You’re unlikely to have a good time when massively outnumbered.
- PlanetSide 2 is rather picky when it comes to PC hardware. You should set Shadows to “Off”, as they are the biggest performance eater. Consider tuning other settings if you’re still having performance issues.
- Default mouse sensitivity is rather high, and can make it hard to aim properly. Consider lowering it, or otherwise tuning for yourself.
- Cheaters and “hackers” are exceedingly rare. Pretty much all “questionable” and “suspicious” situations are caused either by internet delay or vastly superior enemy skill and experience.
- Your starting guns have an Optic and Rail Attachments unlocked by default, but not equipped. Same deal with starting implants. This video will show how to equip all of that, if you’re having issues.
- Worth repeating: don’t waste certs on implants or new weapons.
- Burst firing is important to maintain accuracy at range.
- You almost always want to be moving to avoid being an easy target for enemies, especially snipers. Use cover.
- Don’t hesitate to ask the community about anything. People here are always happy to help.