If you’d rather watch a video, Wrel gives a quick rundown in this one.
PlanetSide 2 Construction System allows players to build fortifications and defenses, as well as generators that can assist in conquering a continent. Building and sustaining bases requires mining Cortium with a special Vehicle – ANT.
Cortium crystals spawn randomly all over the world of PlanetSide 2. Depending on size, they contain 2 000, 6 000 or 35 000 Cortium.
ANTs can mine Cortium from these crystals. Fully mined Cortium crystals disappear and respawn later, but not within 100m of player-constructed objects (source). Cortium is more likely to spawn near warpgates (source).
Cost: 200 Nanites
Crew (4): driver/miner, secondary miner/gunner, 2 passengers.
ANT – Advanced Nanite Transport – mining and construction vehicle. The driver controls a mining tool in front, and there’s another mining tool on top of the ANT, which can be replaced by a secondary weapon. ANTs have the same weapon selection as Sunderers.
ANTs are a bit faster than Sunderers, and with a few Racer upgrades and Turbo become very good at climbing.
Capacity: ANTs carry 8 000 Cortium by default, upgradeable to 10 000.
Mining: to mine Cortium, drive up to a Cortium crystal and press and hold “fire” button to activate the mining laser. Each mining laser mines at a rate of ~200 Cortium per second.
ANT HUD has 2 bars: left bar represents the amount of Cortium in ANT’s cargo hold, and the right bar shows how much Cortium remains in the crystal you’re mining.
Mineral Radar: ANT will passively detect nearby Cortium deposits and show then on the minimap. This passive ability can be upgraded to increase detection range.
Reinforced Armor: this defensive certification will increase ANT’s Health by 10%.
Deploy: ANTs can be deployed (default key “B”), giving access to a Construction Terminal on the back.
Special Utility: in addition to common vehicle Utility Slots, ANTs have access to special abilities:
- Transport Cloak – while active, cloaks the ANT.
- C-Barrier – while active, increases Armor by 20% for all sides except bottom. Additively stacks with Reinforced Armor.
- Turbo – provides a boost to speed and acceleration.
Using these abilities requires and spends Cortium.
Deployed ANTs and Cortium Silos provide access to Construction Terminals.
Each time you want to build something, you have to buy it from a Construction Terminal. You can buy it with Cortium stored inside, or with Certification Points.
By default, players can buy: Cortium Silo, AI Turret, Rampart Wall, Bunker and HIVE.
Other templates must be first unlocked with Certification Points or Daybreak Cash.
Templates that are unlocked with Daybreak Cash will be unlocked for all characters on your account.
Once you buy a construction item, it will appear in your inventory, and remain there until you place it, so you can freely switch to weapons, spawn new vehicles, die and respawn, but not log out.
Your inventory can hold only one construction item at a time. If you try to buy another item, the first one will disappear, wasting the resources spent on it.
You can place the item anywhere outside no-construction zones. You don’t have to stay close to a deployed ANT or Silo to place the item.
A coordinated outfit squad can purchase a bunch of items from a silo, load up in a Galaxy, fly deep behind enemy lines, drop and raise up a whole base within minutes.
Then they can hack or construct a vehicle terminal, spawn a bunch of ANTs and start mining Cortium for their Silo.
How to build
To build a bought item, select it in your inventory. You will see a blueprint before you.
Hold left or right mouse button to rotate the blueprint. Hold “Ctrl” to slow down the rotation.
Hold both mouse buttons and move the mouse back or forward to move the blueprint away or closer to you.
Press action (default “E”) to place the blueprint.
You can’t deploy an ANT or build anything near most of the “conventional” PlanetSide 2 bases. Warpgates have particularly large no-deploy zones. You can build in enemy territory.
Objects can only be placed on the ground, and not on large objects, such as Bridges or Rocks.
You have to make sure that blue spheres on the blueprint are under ground, and green spheres are above the ground.
You can’t place similar items too close to each other, like turrets, silos, repair modules. A red ring will appear on the ground to indicate the range. This “exclusion area” is larger for objects under construction. Once the object is fully deployed, the “exclusion area” will become smaller.
You also can’t build too many of the same thing. The limit is shown at the top right corners of all construction items’ icons in the build menu.
After placement, it takes 45 seconds for an object to fully construct. While under construction, player-constructed objects take much more damage, and they can be damaged by small arms.
Building a base near continent edge or a natural wall is a double edged sword – you gain protection from 1 or 2 sides, but this means less ways for allied ANTs to get into base to supply Cortium.
Ikanam Biolab and Others
Most of the “conventional” PlanetSide 2 bases have no-construction zones around them, but there are exceptions, like Ikanam Biolab, located on Amerish. Players are allowed and encouraged to build their own bases on top of the Ikanam’s structure.
In addition, there are several bases without no-construction zones that consist of just a Vehicle Capture Point.
All constructed items can be repaired by using engineer’s Repair Tool on a small blue console.
Turrets, Cover and Structures have Heavy armor, and they can’t be damaged by small arms fire.
Mannable turrets for base defense. There are AI, AA and AV versions.
1200 Cortium to build, and a 1000 certs or 499 DBC to unlock, except AI turret, which is unlocked by default.
There’s also a low profile version of the AV turret, which costs 1000 Cortium to build.
Only one turret of each type (AA, AV, AI) can be built per player. This means that regular AV turret and low profile AV turret are mutually exclusive. All turrets have to be 20m apart from each other.
Turrets use heat ammo mechanic, but they’re not affected by AMP Station bonus to turret cooldown.
Despite looking like a common base Flak turret, constructed Hoplon AA turret does not have a Flak effect, and functions more like a simple machinegun, such as Walker
Turrets can be automated via Turret AI Module, in which case they will automatically attack respective targets within certain distance, and return fire if attacked outside that distance.
Automated AA Turrets will also target enemy drop pods.
Cover and Structures
In addition to providing cover for defending infantry, these fortifications can and should be used to protect key base modules.
Durable fortification with firing areas for infantry on the first floor, and an open area on top. When powered by a nearby Silo, Bunkers provide access to an Infantry Terminal.
1200 Cortium cost, up to 2 bunkers per player. Unlocked by default.
A large tower structure that can be occupied by infantry.
1500 Cortium cost, one tower per player. 1500 certs of 799 DBC to unlock.
Fortified structure. The roof hatch can be used by enemies to get into the Pillbox. When affected by a Structure Shield module, the hatch gains a vehicle shield, so it will stop large projectiles, but will still let through enemy players and C4 .
One pillbox per player.
A long horizontal wall with firing areas for infantry. Height of the wall can be varied greatly, creating a low wall just to protect infantry, or a high wall to provide cover for vehicles and structures.
1200 Cortium cost, up to 3 walls per player. Unlocked by default.
Lumifiber Rampart Wall – has Lumifiber faction-colored trim, and costs 1250 Cortium to deploy. 499 DBC to unlock. Counts to the same limit as Rampart Wall.
A large wall that can withstand a moderate amount of damage. Unaffected by Structure Shield Module.
1000 Cortium cost, up to 2 walls per player. 1000 certs or 399 DBC to unlock.
A multi-purpose vehicle ramp.
1000 Cortium cost, up to 2 ramps per player. 1000 certs or 399 DBC to unlock.
Provides cover to a single Sunderer, ANT, Module or HIVE. Can be used as entrances and exits to bases.
1500 Cortium cost, 1 garage per player. 1500 certs of 799 DBC to unlock.
MBTs and Lightnings are not intended to fit through a Garage, but with some squeezing and lubricant it can be done.
Provides a frame for a large force field that allows allied units to pass, but blocks enemy units.
Must be connected to a powered Structure Shield Module in order to generate the force field.
Glaive Ionized Particle Cannon is an unmanned mid-range artillery that disrupts Skywall Shields, but inflicts only minor damage to other targets.
Glaive requires a Turret AI Module to function.
How to designate targets for a Glaive: the base owner or another eligible player must walk up to the terminal at the turret’s back and purchase an IPC Targeting Dart from it.
This tool will appear in player’s inventory, and he will be able to fire darts to designate targets for the Glaive. Glaive can strike targets within 1000m.
Cortium Silo can store up to 50 000 Cortium. A small light atop of the silo and bars on the side will indicate the amount of stored Cortium.
Silo will expend Cortium to power modules and other Constructed objects within 100m. Immune to friendly fire.
Silo costs a 1 000 Cortium to build, but it spawns with a 1 000 Cortium inside, so it’s essentially a free building. You can deposit Cortium into a Silo from an ANT the same way you mine minerals – drive up and hold “fire”.
Tip: You can deposit Cortium into a silo while it’s being built.
Silo also has a Construction Terminal. By default, any ally can deposit Cortium into your silo or access the terminal to build something.
Owner of the silo and his squad mates can access a Deconstruction Tool from a construction terminal, and deconstruct anything around the Silo, so you have a bit of control of what other players are building nearby, and you can delete unwanted structures.
You can also use Q menu to restrict access to individual silos and turrets to your faction / platoon / squad / yourself:
These permissions do not reset when the owner logs out.
Once deposited, Cortium cannot be extracted from silos.
From time to time, players will have to use ANTs to deposit Cortium into the Silo to keep the base powered, since modules and HIVEs drain Cortium constantly.
Elysium Spawn Tube
When powered by a nearby Silo, allows nearby infantry to respawn on it. Each respawn will cost a small amount of Cortium.
Matrixing: Additionally, any player can walk up and press “Action” to matrix to the Spawn Tube, giving him the option to respawn on it from anywhere on the continent. A player can matrix only to one Spawn Tube at a time.
Note: it is currently unclear if matrixing is necessary at all, because even without it seems to be possible to spawn on a Tube from thousands of meters.
Light Air Terminal
The Light Air Terminal can be used to spawn Empire Specific Fighters and Valkyrie at the cost of both Cortium and Nanites.
Light Vehicle Terminal
The Light Vehicle Terminal can be used to spawn Flash, Harasser, Sunderer, and Lightning tanks at the cost of both Cortium and Nanites.
Vehicle Ammo Dispenser
When powered by a nearby silo, Ammo Dispenser will resupply ammo for nearby vehicles.
These are small box-like objects that enhance other constructed items around them. To function, modules must be placed within 100m of a Silo. Modules will drain Cortium from that Silo at a constant rate to supply themselves with power.
Turret AI Module
Makes nearby turrets automated. They will automatically target nearby enemies, and return fire when fired upon from longer ranges. Turrets can still be manned and targeted manually, if need be.
Automatically repairs nearby constructed items. Hardened structures, like walls and bunkers, do not take any damage while under the influence of an active repair mod.
Repair modules take longer to repair Turrets. Repair modules cannot repair other Repair modules.
Skywall Shield Module
Creates an aerial shield 15m above the module. The shield will protect the base from above, and damage vehicles moving through it. Infantry dropping through the shield will be set on fire and take damage over time, and will die without some healing.
Firing at the shield does not damage the module, but with enough concentrated fire, the shield can be temporarily taken down. In that even, an allied player will have to interact with the Skywall Shield Module to reset it.
Structure Shield Module
Creates one-way shields in Rampart Walls’ and Bunkers’ loopholes to allow allied players to fire from safety.
Creates vehicle shields in Garage entrances.
Structure shield will also create a shield bubble around Active HIVE for additional protection. If the shield takes sufficient damage it can be temporally disabled allowing the HIVE to be damaged; the bubble shield will not reactivate until the HIVE is restored to full health.
This module will alert the owner and their squad when an enemy is detected or a construct is attacked within 100 meters of it.
If you have a Sunderer deployed in range of this module, allied infantry will be able to deploy from across the whole continent on that Sunderer, as long as the base meets the requirements to be “reinforcements needed“. Generally, this means that there are more enemies in the hex than allies.
Modules have Light armor, and they can be damaged by small arms.
All modules except Repair module are immune to Friendly Fire. Repair module takes 60% reduced friendly fire damage.
Modules of the same type can’t be placed too close to each other – they have an Exclusion Area around them.
But different modules can be deployed closely:
|Module||Cortium Cost||Limit per player||Exclusion Area||Effective Radius||Cortium Drain Rate||Unlock Cost|
700 Cortium, 1 banner per player. 299 DBC to unlock.
Orbital Strike Uplink
When powered by a nearby Silo, and after a sufficient charging time, can unleash devastating Orbital Strikes at nearby enemy positions. Targets inside No-Construction Zones can not be designated.
- Takes 2000 certs or 1500 DBG to unlock, and 3000 Cortium and ~40 seconds to build.
- Orbital Strike Uplink is mutually exclusive with HIVEs, they have to be built at least 250m apart.
- When built, it starts charging Orbital Strikes by drawing power from a nearby Cortium Silo, at a rate of ~ 2.8 Cortium per second (170 Cortium per minute).
- Striking distance starts at 0m and increases by 20 meters per minute.
- Minimum striking distance is 200m (10 minutes charge time) and it is displayed on the map as an orange circle.
- Current striking distance is displayed as a yellow circle, and the current charge level is indicated by power bars on the Uplink itself. Enemies within ~700-800m of the Uplink can see the current striking distance on the map.
- Maximum striking distance is 800m (45 minutes).
- Energy drain continues even after the full charge has been reached.
- Owner of the Uplink or his squad members can equip an Orbital Strike Target Designator from the Uplink’s terminal and then use it to mark targets for the Orbital Strike.
- Only targets outside No-Deploy Zones can be designated, and you cannot see No-Deploy Zones while holding the Designator.
- The Designator has a short range of about ~60m, and fires darts to designate targets. It can shoot only through a scope, and only targets that are close enough to be visible through the scope can be designated.
- Redeploying will remove the Designator from your inventory.
- After a target has been designated, it takes a few seconds for the Orbital Strike to fire. Allied units are warned about incoming strike via radio message.
- Orbital Strike deals devastating damage in a relatively small radius of ~40m, killing all units and destroying all constructed items, and then the damage starts tapering off. The damage is applied in a full column, meaning it will destroy targets even at a flight ceiling.
- Damage to friendly units is greatly reduced, to the point that you can call Orbital Strikes at your own Constructed Bases that are being overrun with enemies, and the OS is likely to deal less damage than enemies would.
- Using Orbital Strike consumes charge from the Uplink based on the distance. For example, an Orbital Strike within 33% of maximum striking distance will consume 33% of the Uplink’s charge. Thus, it is possible to call in several close range Orbital Strikes in a row, provided the Uplink is sufficiently charged,
A video demonstration of the some of the mechanics.
HIVE – Hardline Interference Volume Emitters – can house a Core to refine Cortium from a nearby silo.
Building a HIVE costs 2500 Cortium. HIVEs have to be built at least 500m apart, and can be built only by players above BR15.
HIVE without a Core inside is inactive, and its “chassis” is vulnerable to enemy fire.
HIVE with a Core will become active and emit an orange ray, visible from a distance and through constructions. Players who own an active HIVE cannot build any more HIVE chassis.
Active HIVEs refine Cortium from a nearby Silo. Producing a certain amount of refined Cortium is required to trigger a Critical Mass Alert.
- Active HIVEs appear on the global map of both allies and enemies.
- Players fighting within a 150m radius of an active HIVE receive a 20% XP bonus.
- The “chassis” of the Active HIVE becomes indestructible, and a small shielded area in the middle becomes the only point where HIVE can receive damage, and only by weapons that can damage heavily armored vehicles.
- Alternatively, Infantry players can use HIVE’s terminal to overload its shields, similarly to a generator.
- After the shield fails, it takes little effort to destroy the Core inside. Destroying a Core captures it for your faction.
- Shortly after being destroyed, an active HIVE deals huge amount of damage in a large area, destroying nearby structures.
- Structure Shield Module can create another layer of protective shields around an active HIVE, which functions similarly to Sunderer’s Deployment Shield.
- Active HIVE is immune to friendly fire.
HIVEs will refine Cortium with different efficiency, based on their location and how long ago they have became active.The fewer there are lattice links between Active HIVE and the closest enemy Warpgate, the more efficient is refining process.
Every lattice link beyond the first reduces the efficiency by 12%. For example, a HIVE in a territory 3 links from the warpgate will work at 76% of maximum speed.
- HIVE efficiency also grows over time, by up to +30%. 100% efficiency remains as the upper limit (source).
- Putting a mouse over an active HIVE on the main map will display that HIVE’s efficiency.
- Putting a mouse over a certain territory will display the initial efficiency of a HIVE built in that territory.
The gist of it is that building a HIVE closer to enemy warpgate is more profitable, but it’s also usually more dangerous.
When a continent is unlocked, each faction receives two Cores to use on that continent. The faction that has unlocked the continent – by locking another continent – gets one extra Core (unconfirmed after Critical Mass update). In total, there are 7 Cores per continent.
If a Core remains unused for too long, it will become neutral, and then even enemies will be able to use it in their HIVEs.
Status of the Cores can be monitored on the pop-up tab on the main map.
Every 3 minutes, Cores will automatically teleport into most efficient HIVEs.
If a Core is already inside a HIVE, it can teleport from it if there’s a more efficient HIVE available. But it will not teleport if there are enemies nearby.
To prevent griefing by building an unprotected HIVE close to enemies to “gift” them a Core, it will teleport into a HIVE close to enemy warpgate only if there’s a large amount of friendlies nearby.
If an enemy faction destroys a HIVE with a Core inside, they will steal the Core for themselves. The faction that lost the Core will not lose their refined cortium.
To prevent a faction from hogging all cores and not using them, Inactive cores have a placement timer on them. If the timer reaches zero before a valid chassis is provided by players, the core will become neutral and be awarded to the faction with the oldest existing valid chassis.
To avoid excessive server load and clutter, if a player logs off, everything he constructed will decay (lose health) and eventually disappear after about 2 hours. This decay damage can be repaired by allies or by a Repair Module, which will require a constant supply of Cortium from a Silo.
Constructed Base Combat
Repair Module makes fortifications immune to all damage, so the “classic”, developer-intended approach is for vehicles to first destroy turrets from long range, and then infantry can move in and destroy lighter-armored repair and shield modules, after which the base becomes essentially defenseless, and all forces can move in and methodically level the base, or just surgically destroy the active HIVE.
… In order to kill that wall, you need to kill its repair mod, and to kill that repair mod, you’ll likely need to kill the turrets and defenders protecting it.
If all else fails, attacking forces can just surround the base and wait for their silos to run dry. Sci-fi siege in a nutshell.
If enemy is using Skywall Shields to defend against your air forces, a Glaive IPC artillery can be used from a nearby constructed base to disrupt the Shields.
Automated AI turrets will automatically target and kill enemy infantry within ~50m, but they will not react to cloaked infantry, so it’s possible for Stalker Infiltrators to infiltrate a base, and destroy key modules or HIVE itself with Hunter Crossbow with explosive bolts, but it’s likely to work if the base has no enemy players inside of it.
As of yet, Infiltrators cannot hack base modules.
Skywalls will not react to C4 or tank mines falling through them, so a Valkyrie or a Galaxy full of Engineers and Light Assaults can be used in a cheesy tactic to rain destruction on bases below.
Originally posted on reddit by /u/Tehnomaag:
AI and Repair Modules in a Pillbox, with the entrance blocked by a Spawn Tube. It’s not invulnerable, killing the Spawn Tube lets you get in, a there is a gap between the tube and door frame through which one can shoot through.
The intention is to make it harder to just “snipe” the AI module from some arcane angle.
Unlocking construction templates and upgrading the ANT is expensive. The beauty of the construction system is that you don’t have to heavily invest in it to start enjoying it.
As you pass through already established allied base, you can walk up to a Silo, and use its Cortium to add something to base’s defenses – even one turret or a wall or a repair module can prove invaluable.
Things you should get early
Keep in mind this is just the recommended order, feel free to stray from it to your heart’s content.
In order of importance:
1000 certs: Repair module – vital to keeping any base up and running.
1500 certs: Skywall Shield module – protects from drops and aerial harassment.
Then invest some certs into upgrading the ANT, if you plan on doing your own mining.
50 certs: Cortium Capacity to Rank 1, so your ANT can carry 9 000 Cortium.
350 certs: Mineral Radar to Rank 3, detection range of 400m.
Consider investing in a secondary weapon for the ANT, which can be used for self-defense and to engage enemy ANTs. ANTs are surprisingly tough and can outlast a less armored opponent even with the little amount of firepower a secondary weapon can give.
Basilisk is the recommended choice, as it’s reliable, easy to use, versatile and dirt-cheap at 200 certs.
Then you can start getting the luxury stuff.
1000 certs: AV turret
1000 certs: Turret AI Module
1500 certs: Garage
1000 certs: AA turret
1000 certs: Structure Shield module
Credits and Closing
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