New Player Basics Guide

Beginner's Guide

Nutmeg

[If you’ve been playing a while, you might be in the wrong place. Why not check out our advanced Storm, Colossus, Ranger and Interceptor guides]

Welcome to Bastion, Freelancer. If you’re just getting started, feel free to have a read through and take in some of the information that will get you started on your journey.

Classes

Over the course of your journey you will have four Javelins made available to you. Every single one of these feels different, has different strengths and weaknesses, and different builds for you to sink your teeth into. Whether you’re after a damage dealing glass-cannon, or something on the meatier side, there’s a Javelin for you.

After your first couple of intro missions, you’ll be given the option to select the Javelin that you want to start the game with, this will be somewhere around level 2.

Your second Javelin becomes available at level 8, third at level 16 and final at level 26.

Ranger

In-flight image of the Ranger Javelin

Ranger is the “everyman build” in Bastion, and you’ll be starting with this one for at least your first couple of missions. Maneuverable, though not so much as the Interceptor or Storm, and fierce with the right combination of guns and equipment. It can take a beating with just a little bit of extra armour added. It’s a great Javelin for finding your footing and learning the mechanics of the game. Alongside the Interceptor and Storm, the Ranger has the ability to dash in any direction, and mid-air rolls are possible to avoid missiles/gunfire from enemies.

Your basic categories of weapons with the Ranger are grenades, missile/projectile weapons, and guns. Of all the classes, the Ranger probably relies on guns more than any other. While you can play without them, you’ll find guns handy in both building ultimate and prepping primes for detonation. Generally geared towards single target damage with it’s missiles, though there are grenade options and a reasonably solid melee that can hit AoE with the right timing.

Pros: survivable, good starting point to learn different weapons and playstyles, combos at a high base-value

Cons: relies more heavily on guns and good aim with grenades/missiles. Not as maneuverable as other classes. Single target focused damage makes it less useful against a crowd than other classes

Storm

In-flight image of the Storm Javelin

Bastion’s wizard of the skies is our Storm class, and this elemental javelin can pack a real punch. With the ability to call upon the elements through gear seals this class rarely requires guns, and it’s class benefit means it can hover longer than the others, and it is also the only class that can hover when there is a flight barrier active. Your dash consists of a jump forward, briefly disappearing and then reappearing, and melee attacks will bring you out of the air and down to the ground.

This class is perhaps the squishiest of all next to the Interceptor, and as a Storm player you want to remain in the air as much as physically possible, away from groups of enemies that can strip your shields and armour in seconds. There are a couple of guns that benefit this class due to hovering bonuses, but you’ll find that you don’t really want to use them once you’ve gotten used to your arsenal of elements.

Pros: doesn’t rely on weapons for damage output, can hover for extended periods of time including when flight is prohibited, can prime groups for own detonation or team detonation. Tons of “area of effect” damage.

Cons: Very squishy, needs armour boosts and the right components for any real survivability. Limited advanced builds for solid damage output.

Colossus

In-flight image of the Colossus Javelin

The colossus is our heavy hitting class, equipped with naught but a physical shield and a ton of armor, this is the one that you rarely see going down on the battlefield. Slow and lumbering, but powerful, and with the right tricks as effective as any other class at movement. 

This is the only class that gets access to autocannons and grenade launchers, as well as an earth-shaking melee with good AoE damage no matter which one you’re using. Shield bash is a unique ability for the colossus. Run forward whilst your shield is out and you’ll smash enemies out of the way, stunning them and doing damage at the same time. Unlike the other classes, the Colossus cannot dash in any direction, and this remains the case in the air where you can’t roll to dodge like the others.

Pros: potential for massive damage output, survivability, AoE, versatile builds

Cons: slow, not as maneuverable as any of the other classes, cannot dash, front shield only leaving it vulnerable to elements

Interceptor

In-flight image of the Interceptor Javelin

Interceptor is the fastest and most maneuverable build of all the Javelins you’ll encounter in the game. With it’s default triple dash and triple jump, the interceptor is the build you pick when you want to constantly be on the move. Built correctly, it’s a glass cannon and is capable of dealing massive amounts of damage before quickly moving on, leaving a trail of dead enemies in its wake.

Guns are rarely a thought with an interceptor, gear and melee are generally the focus, with weapons providing a handy back-up in a tight spot.

Pros: ability to move quickly, deal large amounts of damage when built correctly, fast-paced play.

Cons: base combo-damage is low, delicate little flower.

Ultimates

Your ultimate ability is a high damage dealing ability that takes time to charge before you can use it. The reload speed can be boosted through racking up kills, dealing combos (or having your combos detonated by others in the case of the Storm), or in late game, through certain inscriptions on gear. For all but the Interceptor, you’ll be unable to move whilst in this mode, so positioning is key to get the most out of it when you set it off. You’ll be completely invulnerable to damage for the brief time that you’re in this mode, and you can use that to your advantage as well.

Ranger Ultimate

Showing off the Ranger Javelin's Ultimate attack

Consists of a single launch of 12 rockets, which can and will target anything in the visual range that can be destroyed. Timing is key, allowing all rockets to prime before launching.

Interceptor Ultimate

Showing off the Interceptor Javelin's Ultimate attack

Melee focused, speed of attacks is slightly increased, you deal extra damage and leave behind shadow clones that continue to hit enemies for a few seconds after you’ve moved onto the next target.

Storm Ultimate

Showing off the Storm Javelin's Ultimate attack

 A barrage of three meteors, each priming and detonating itself over a radius. The first is always ice, freezing enemies in place before detonating them, followed by electricity, followed by fire.

Colossus Ultimate

Showing off the Colossus Javelin's Ultimate attack

Three large enemy-busting missiles that do massive area damage. It’s slow to start and slow to finish, but built correctly has the ability to take out entire groups, leaving the rest of the team to take out the stragglers.

Priming and Detonating

Priming

Anthem gear/item icon for primer

If a weapon or ability can prime, it will have a circle such as the above to indicate that it is a priming weapon or gear. The effect applied can be either fire, ice, electric, or acid which we’ll go into more detail on below. Priming is most often a case of point and shoot, though there will occasionally be prerequisites such as hit-streaks before an enemy is primed. Once an enemy is primed, the corresponding symbol will appear above their head, and then it’s a go for detonation.

It’s worth noting that even after detonating a combo, effects will stick for some time, meaning that your applied one needs to be cancelled out before the enemy can be primed with the same element again. Enemies will remain on fire for some time after the detonation can be triggered as an example, and this can be reset by priming them with ice, detonating and then setting them on fire again to cancel out the ice.

Synergising your primes is an important part of team-work, and perhaps even more important in solo-play, if you’re planning on doing any of that.

The elemental primes that are available to you are Fire, Ice, Electric, and Acid. You can prime any enemy with a red or yellow health bar, though some enemies may be resistant to certain elements e.g. Frost Brutes are more resistant to cold and it will take longer to prime them, and they will throw the effect off more quickly, and Elite and Legendary enemies have additional resistances. Shields must be stripped from enemies that carry them before they can be primed.

Detonating

Anthem gear/item icon for detonator

You’ve successfully primed an enemy! What now?

Any item that has the symbol above next to it will detonate a prime. Be it a missile, grenade, gun, elemental or melee attack, this is where you get your combos which can scale up your damage, often massively, and it is one of the fastest ways to destroy an enemy health pool. Enemies that have been primed with multiple effects can be detonated multiple times. Once an effect has been detonated, it cannot be detonated again until the effect has expired and been reapplied. Certain abilities at end-game can hit multiple times, and therefore detonate multiple times (up to three).When a target has multiple primers they will always detonate in the same order:

Fire/ice->Electric->Acid

Each Javelin has a different Combo mechanic, and very different strengths.

Ranger - Combo Impact

Ranger combos deal the most damage out of any of the Javelins, but they are strictly single-target. If there is a big target that needs to be taken down, thats when you call a Ranger. No other Javelin can put up the Combo damage numbers that Ranger does, but Rangers will strugle against large groups of smaller enemies because of their extreme single target focus.

Colossus - Combo Blast

Colossus Combo damage is second only to the Ranger. There is one very important difference though, Colossus Combos are explosive. A Colossus Combo detonation will hit every enemy in the immediate area, making detonating groups of enemies absolutely devastating. If your enemies are foolish enough to cluster up, a Colossus can vaporize them in seconds.

Storm - Combo Chains

Storm has the lowest Combo damage in the game, which means that in the end game Combos are not really ever a focus of Storm builds. Unlike Ranger and Colossus, Storm Combo damage does not increase with "Combo Chains" inscriptions. Instead, Storm Combos will spread the elemental effect to nearby enemies. This can be a good thing, if you actually plan for it, but it is more likely to actually hurt your squad than help it. Combo Chains inscriptions will increase the spread of your elemental effects on Combo.

Unfortunately, when a Storm chains the elemental effect to other enemies it does not prime them, only add the status effect. This means while they will burn or freeze, for example, they can not be Combo'ed and will not be able to be primed with that element until the effect wears off. This means that Storm Combos often prevent other Javelins from priming and detonating Combos of their own, while also doing the least damage.

The exception to this is when you are intentionally trying to spread high damage fire or electric effects which can deal tremendous damage when properly geared for it, or with a very strong Ralner's Blaze assault rifle.

Interceptor - Combo Aura

The Interceptor has the same lack luster Combo damage as the Storm, except that there are some Interceptor Components like Way of Integration that can give it a little bit more power, though still FAR short of Ranger and Colossus.

When an Interceptor detonates a Combo, it gains a damaging Aura of the element that was detonated. This Aura is refreshed each time you Combo (regardless of element) and will apply the elemental status effect on nearby enemies. Like the Storm though, this will not prime them. "Combo Aura Effect" seem to do absolutely nothing and certainly don't boost any damage at all.

Status Effects

Overheated

Anthem status icon for overheated

You’ll be unable to fly whilst overheated, and if it happens while you’re in the air you’ll come crashing down to the ground. Your landing won’t be pretty, but cancelling out of flight provides a bit more control and can allow you to come down with a bit more grace and keep fighting. You won’t be able to fly again until your jets have completely cooled down.

On Fire

Anthem status icon for on fire or burning

You’ll overheat faster whilst you’re on fire, as well as taking damage from the flames. If you’re low on armour this can be a death sentence, the best way to avoid it is to steer clear of enemies that can set you on fire, trying to stay behind them as much as possible.

Frozen

Anthem status icon for frozen

You’ll be stuck in place and vulnerable to enemy attacks until you’re unfrozen. The game provides a way to unfreeze quicker, by mashing the corresponding button on your controller/keyboard. Keep an eye on enemies that throw ice around, to try and dodge their freezing attacks.

Acid

Anthem status icon for acid

Will strip your shields fast and start dealing damage to your armour as well. Like fire, this can be a death sentence if you stand around in it too long, and seems to do quite a bit more damage than the other effects. Keep moving and try to avoid enemies with acid-attacks.

Electrocuted

Anthem status icon for electrocuted

Deals damage to both you and any other players that are close enough to you. Avoid the glowing balls of electricity, as these will also overheat you as well as electrocute you.

Webbed

Anthem status icon for webbed

Mostly seen in strongholds, but will overheat you instantly if you become caught and freeze you in place momentarily. Doesn’t last as long as being frozen, but can hinder progression and is quite annoying.

Cooled

Anthem status icon for cooled

Cools your thrusters. When flying through a waterfall, your heat bar will be completely reset. When flying low over water your heat bar is paused. While it is raining you gain heat a little more slowly.