So you heard about this free-to-play game called Battlerite and decided to give it a try, but got stomped in your first few games and now you’re wondering if you should even keep playing? Well, this is the post for you.
Forget whatever genre you’re coming from. MMOs. MOBAs. FPSes. Battlerite is in a class of its own, and it’s unlike most other games you’ve played. But if you’re feeling lost and frustrated and hopeless, know this: that feeling will pass with time and experience.
Itching to speed that process along? Here are some of the most essential concepts to grasp if you want to get over that learning curve as quickly as possible, start playing Battlerite as it was meant to be played, and have fun along the way.
1. You Shall Not Waste Your Outs
An out is any ability that lets you get out of a dangerous situation. You have hard outs that can completely avoid damage while repositioning yourself (e.g. jumps, teleports, immaterials) and soft outs that allow you to mitigate damage but don’t guarantee safety (e.g. shields, d-barriers, some counters).
If you use your OUT to go IN, what are you going to do when you’re about to get popped? The average defensive cooldown is between 8-10 seconds. That’s an eternity when you’re in the middle of combat.
Read up on survival tactics 101. Once you start putting that into practice, you’ll die way less and win more. Also read up on how to initiate on targets without wasting outs! Never again will you space in, burn all outs, and die.
2. You Shall Not Neglect the Orbs
There are four orbs in Battlerite:
- Health orb: Small and green. They spawn in fixed locations on each map. Restores both real HP and recovery HP. Learn more about recovery health.
- Energy orb: Small and yellow. They spawn in fixed locations on each map. Grants a small but significant amount of energy.
- Death orb: Big and yellow. Dropped by teammates when they die. The amount of energy granted depends on how much energy the teammate had when they died. Also restores a significant amount of health.
- Middle orb: Big ball that spawns in the center of the map. When it’s broken, every player on the last hitter’s team gains a significant amount of health and energy. Values are essentially doubled when you’re the only one alive.
Grabbing these orbs can be the difference between winning or losing. A mere energy orb might be enough to let you cast a tide-turning EX or ultimate, giving you the moment needed to clinch a round. Learn more in this overview of Battlerite orbs and this compilation of middle orb control tips and tricks.
3. You Shall Not Trigger Counters
When a character begins glowing and emitting a vibrant humming sound, they’ve likely activated a counter. If you hit them while the counter is active, not only does your attack get negated, they gain a beneficial effect: teleport, shield, weapon recharge, pull you towards them, etc.
Against most champions, triggering a counter immediately puts you at a disadvantage. Keep triggering counters and you’ll lose rounds, maps, and even ranks. In fact, being able to anticipate and avoid counters is one of the most important skills you’ll need to be anything more than average at Battlerite.
4. You Shall Not Ignore Cancelcast
Every ability has a cast time. Some are very fast and only take 0.1 seconds, but others can take a while: Jade’s Snipe, Destiny’s Charged Bolt, etc. You have cast times in between: Bakko’s Blood Axe, Ruh Kaan’s Claw of the Wicked, etc. And you have channeling abilities: Ashka’s Fire Storm, Iva’s Tractor Beam, etc.
The cancelcast key (default bound to C) let’s you cancel when you’re in the middle of a cast or in the middle of a channel. If you cancel during a cast, the ability DOES NOT go on cooldown. If you cancel during a channel, it DOES.
Why is cancelcasting important? Because it lets you change your mind. Imagine you’re Jade and casting Snipe but the enemy Bakko puts up Bulwark. Instead of getting it reflected back in your face, you can cancel. Why not just redirect your aim? Because cancelling lets you preserve the cooldown and use it again.
This is one way to avoid hitting counters — and not just avoid them, but bait them! Learn more about advanced tactics in this cancelcasting guide.
5. You Shall Not Break Disables
A disable is an effect that temporarily hinders the target in some way. What’s interesting is that the Incapacitate, Panic, and Petrify effects can get cancelled early. Incapacitate only needs a single hit, whereas every Panic and Petrify ability has its own damage threshold for when it gets broken.
Disables have two purposes: either take an enemy out of the game (so you can heal up, get away, gang up on their teammate, etc.) or set up a big burst attack (charging up a heavy-hitting ability or follow-up). Breaking them early with M1s wastes the potential of your team’s disables.
Take it to the next level: if you have a powerful but hard-to-hit ability (e.g. Ashka’s Flamestrike) and your teammate has a great setup ability (e.g. Croak’s Camouflage), save it until the enemy is disabled.
6. You Shall Not Pillar Your Healer
Sirius is the only healer who can heal “through” walls. Every other healing projectile gets blocked by walls. And in the case of Poloma and Pestilus, their healing projectiles can get blocked by pretty much anything. Not to mention that heals have limited range.
If you’re on the other side of a wall, they can’t heal you, and if you’re out of sight, they can’t heal you. This is known as pillaring (i.e. disappearing behind a pillar). As far as priorities go, when you’re in trouble and need to escape an enemy, it’s more important to run to your healer than run behind a wall.
There’s more to be said on this, but that’s the most crucial point. Learn more in this article on how to make your healer’s life easier.
7. You Shall Not Tunnel One Enemy
“Focus healer?” No!
One of the best things about Battlerite is that the tank-healer-DPS triangle doesn’t exist. Healers are not the squishiest champions, and in fact can be some of the hardest to kill when they know what they’re doing.
Tunneling is when you focus all of your pressure on one target and ignore everything else. You develop “tunnel vision.” This is only a good idea on targets that have blown all of their outs (see Commandment #1), otherwise you’re actually sacrificing opportunities to kill other targets that are vulnerable. Learn more in this guide on who to attack and why.
Don’t 1v1 when you can 2v1 or even 3v1. Switch off your target and help your teammate kill their target. And if you’re taking too much damage, remember to disengage! There’s no shame in backing off and healing up if you need to.
8. You Shall Not Obsess Over Meta
The meta is the current trend, which usually means the “most OP” champion picks and battlerite builds, and culminates in tier lists and cries for nerfs. Some even say it stands for Most Effective Tactic Available.
It’s one thing to acknowledge that a meta exists and that certain champions and battlerite builds are generally stronger than others. It’s a whole different story when you’re constantly chasing the next flavor of the month after every patch. Don’t let the meta become an obsession.
First, any matchup between two equally skilled players is winnable, although some champions may require more effort and mastery. Second, compositions are more important than individual champion strength. Third, these nuances don’t really come into play until Champion League. Up until then, players make enough mistakes to capitalize on, and losing often comes down to poor play and bad decisions rather than compositions alone.
And if you’re playing solo queue, compositions are entirely luck of the draw so there’s no point fussing over it. Sometimes it’s in your favor, sometimes it isn’t.
9. You Shall Not Worship Score
Scenario A: You make it to the end of the round but only have 600 score while your teammates have 800 and 900 score. You feel bad.
Scenario B: You make it to the end of the round and everyone, both teammates and enemies, pretty much has the same 1700-1900 score but somehow your team lost. You feel confused.
Scenario C: You make it to the end of a match and narrowly lose by 1 round. You average 900 score while your teammates average 700 and 600. You feel angry.
The truth about score: Score doesn’t tell the whole story. Battlerite is all about recovery health, permanent damage, and good timing. It isn’t just about how much damage you deal, but when you deal it and against who. Same for protection.
If you scored 400 damage but 300 of it was dealt to recovery HP or shields, how much influence did you really have? On the other hand, a teammate who scored 500 damage of which 400 was permanent damage arguably played better than you. If your Lucie died 30 seconds into the round, is it because you ditched her and left her to fend for herself against a Croak and Shifu? Just because you’re the last man standing doesn’t mean you played properly.
Score says something. It doesn’t say everything. Use it as a guideline, but don’t worship it. Don’t get puffed up when it’s high. Don’t get discouraged when it’s low. Ignore the numbers and focus on playing better.
10. You Shall Not AFK, Flame, or Rage Quit
This shouldn’t even have to be said, but it’s sad how many people ignore it or forget it. Being a decent human being is not hard. All you have to do is say nothing and just play to be well ahead of the curve.
But here’s the thing: being non-toxic can help you “climb the ladder” faster. Or more accurately, being toxic indirectly makes climbing harder.
If you flame, your teammates are likely to play worse and your team more likely to lose. If you give up, you’ll eat the loss anyway so you might as well try to win — after all, you lose more points for 0-3 than 2-3. If you leave, you lose even more points than simply losing. Same for going AFK. On the other hand, if you’re nice and helpful with your teammates, they may perform better.
I know, solo queue can be immensely frustrating. But it pays to rise above that. If you’re struggling, see these tips for making solo queue more enjoyable.
Agree or disagree? What other commandments would you add?