Frontier Defense is one of the most entertaining modes in Titanfall 2, in my opinion, but I often see a lot of new, young players struggling with knowing what to do, and where to place yourself and your Titan. I'm hoping this guide will help new Pilots and maybe even old ones who never played Frontier Defense before learn what everything means, as well as a few tips on how to improve.
First Thing's First, What is Frontier Defense?
Frontier Defense is Titanfall 2's Player Vs Environment, or "PvE" Multiplayer mode. This mode places four Pilots on one of a handful of maps to defend a structure called a Harvester from five waves of ever increasing soldiers and Auto-Titans sent by the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation's, or "IMC's", "Remnant Fleet". You won't kill any enemy Pilots in this game mode, but it still gives you the EXP to level your Titans and weapons, and do any challenge that doesn't specify "Kill a Pilot."
There are five difficulty modes, Easy, Regular, Hard, Master, and Insane. Every increased difficulty doesn't simply mean enemies will have more health and deal more damage, however. Though it is true Enemy Titans have more sections of health the higher the difficulty, Enemies will both become more accurate, and carry different gear. Mortar Specters will summon a shield barrier on Hard that they don't have on Regular. Hard will also give some grunts Anti-Titan weapons, and the Stalkers will actually carry guns rather then march onward unarmed.
The game mode provides a suitable challenge and can be lots of fun for everyone. I especially recommend it if you want to play Titanfall 2 but either don't feel like, or simply refuse to play against other players.
What are Roles, and How do They Affect You?
As every veteran Pilot would tell you, Each Titan handles differently, and finding your Perfect Titan is a key part of becoming good at Titanfall. To help line this out, Frontier Defense lists with each Titan their "Role" in a match. There are four roles, Offense, Support, Roamer, and Tank. Some Titans are a mix of two of them. This guide will cover each of the Titans in more specific detail, but here's a general summary of what each role represents. Keep in mind you do not need to strictly follow these guidelines with any Titan, but do communicate with your team if you're going to move out of position, or do anything else that could be considered risky.
Offense: This role fits the most Titans, and is the most well rounded out of all of them. An Offensive Titan would typically stay forward of the harvester, around the middle of the map. They don't have the most mobility out of all the Titans, usually, and have some decent range to make up for it. Keeping to the middle of the map means if/when something goes wrong, you can make it back to the harvester in reasonable time.
Support: In one way or another, these Titans provide aid to allied Pilots and Titans with their abilities. Generally team players, they should stay in the middle with the Offense, prepared to run to any ally's aid at a moment's notice, or the Harvester in a pinch.
Roamer: be it by Stable fire rate and decent range, or by the ability to dive in and out of a fight at a moment's notice, causing massive damage with each step, the Roamer is the first line of defense to the team. This game mode features enemies that will hunt the harvester from a distance, never getting close to their target. It's a Roamer's job to hunt these down, and pick away at the health of stronger, more dangerous enemies when nothing else is present. A Roamer typically has the mobility they need to get back to the Harvester faster than any other Titan, and can afford to be on the far side of the map with little risk to the objective. A Roamer needs situational awareness, as they often end up fighting where enemy Titanfalls can drop in at any moment.
Tank: Big, healthy, and slow, Tanks should do their best to stand between the Harvester and anything that would harm it. High in damage, and capable of downing a lot of Titans at once, their major draw back is their slow movement speed and a single dash that is slow to recharge. A Tank class Titan should be beside the Harvester, either waiting to ambush a group of Auto-titans around a corner, or shooting down the straighter flanks, depending on the Titan in particular.
Titans and Their Aegis Ranks
Besides the normal Titan and weapon progression, Frontier Defense features it's own form of Progression: Aegis Ranks. These levels will give your Titan specific upgrades only available in Frontier Defense. These won't carry over to Player vs Player matches, so don't forget that if you go back to regular multiplayer matches. In this section, we'll go through every Titan, featuring all the tips I could think of for each, as well as what each Aegis Rank upgrade does in detail.
All Titans: every Titan shares their second and their fifth Aegis upgrade. These are Chassis Upgrade and Shield Upgrade. I'm not sure of the exact numbers, but Chassis upgrade will give your Titan one cell of health more than normal, and I assume Shield upgrade increases your Shield Capacity by roughly the same amount.
Ion, Offense / Roamer
"A Ka Me and a Ha Me, and a send them home to Mommy!"
Ion is the first Titan on the list, and the first example of a dual role Titan. Ion is a Atlas-based Titan, putting him in the middle when it comes to weight and mobility. His Spitter Rifle, Tripwire, and Laser Shot make him good at long, short, and mid-ranged combat, and his Laser Core is a quick way to burst down targets when it's available. He isn't the easiest to use, as his abilities and weapon require some resource management.
- 1: "Split Shot Power" Ion's Split Shots deal more damage and require less of Ion's Energy charge.
- 3: "Energy Storage" Ion's capacity to store energy is increased, allowing him to retain more power to spend.
- 4: "Laser Shot Power" Laser Shot deals more damage to Titan weak points, such as the cockpit, or exhaust vents.
- 6: "Energy Regen" Ion's ability energy builds at a faster rate.
- 7: "Reflex Cannon" Kills made during Ion's Laser Core extends it's duration, allowing him to down more targets.
"I love the smell of Napalm in the morning. It smells like victory."
Scorch is one of the most brutal Titans with the strongest damage outputs on the Frontier. This power isn't perfect, however: Scorch will struggle engaging an enemy at long range. His best position is to lay in wait around a corner from a tight passage, and light the passage on fire when the enemy Titans can no longer escape. He'll typically want to stay a little farther forward than his brother, Legion, but still within range of the Harvester. As an Ogre-based Titan, he's strong, but he can't move very fast.
- 1: "Double Threat" Scorch's Thermite Launcher now has a magazine size of two, increasing the time between his need to reload.
- 3: "Hot Streak" Enemies caught in Scorch's Thermite build up a Core Meter Multipler with every hit they take from the heat.
- 4: "Roaring Flames" The Damage over time effect of Scorch's Thermite is strengthened, dealing even more damage to enemy titans while they're caught in the fire.
- 6: "Triple Threat" Scorch's Thermite Launcher increases it's magazine further, allowing him three shots between reloads.
- 7: "Explosive Barrels" When Scorch ignites his Incendiary trap, the barrel now explodes for additional damage before laying down a field of fire.
"Sniper's a good job, mate."
Northstar is the lightest of the Offense Titans, being made from the Strider Chassis. She is afforded two dashes by default instead of one, and can preform a VTOL hover to get herself up some ledges. Just keep in mind, she can't go anywhere a Titan can't go normally, this just gives her some unique ways of interacting with her enemies and the world around her. Her Plasma Railgun does more damage the longer it's charged, and does the most single-hit damage out of any Titan's weapon. It has a low fire rate, however, and combined with her light frame means she'll have trouble when a crowd of enemies come to visit her.
- 1: "Explosive Traps" Northstar's Tether Traps will explode when they expire, dealing damage to the trapped Titan. WARNING: These explosions can hurt herself as well as her enemy.
- 3: "Plasma Railgun: Quick Charge" Her Plasma Railgun charges faster on aiming, allowing her to fire her strongest shots quicker.
- 4: "Trap Mastery" Northstar's Tether Trap skill now has two charges.
- 6: "Plasma Railgun: Critical hit" When hitting a weak spot on unshielded Titans, Northstar's Plasma Railgun deals additional damage.
- 7: "Twin Cluster" Her cluster Missile ability now fires two missiles with every use.
"Now I'm motivated!"
Ronin is the only other Titan using the Strider frame, possessing the characteristic mobility, and lack of health of his forefather. His shotgun has short range, the bullets actually disappearing when they travel too far. His two abilities are for getting him in and out of combat safely. Arc Wave can stun and slow down enemy Titans, and Phase dash will take him out of reality for a single, directional dash. Warning! Ending Phase Shift inside of an enemy Titan will instantly destroy Ronin. be aware of your surroundings!
- 1: "Sword Mastery" Ronin's Sword, which is his Melee attack, deals more damage.
- 3: "Ghost in the Machine" Ronin's Phase Dash now has two charges, allowing an additional dash to be used in a pinch.
- 4: "Kinetic Transfer" Damage Ronin Negates with his Sword Parry charges a portion of his Sword Core.
- 6: "Wraith" Phase Dash much farther than normal, around two times the normal amount.
- 7: "Blademaster" Sword Core attacks restore his personal Shields, and his Core's duration is doubled.
Tone, Offense / Support
"They're goin' ta bury what's left of ye in a soup can!"
Tone is a Atlas-based Titan in an unique position, being considered a Support as well as an Offense. Most people won't play him as a Support, as it's only his Aegis ranks that really lean him towards that aspect. Featuring a powerful explosive 40mm cannon, tracking rockets, and a Sonar pulse for good measure, Tone can be a force to reckoned with.
- 1: "40mm: Splasher Rounds" Tone's explosive rounds now have an increased area of affect, allowing him to hit multiple enemies easier.
- 3: "Sonar Weak Points" Enemies marked by Tone's Sonar Pulse take 25% additional damage while revealed by the ability.
- 4: "40mm: Extended Ammo" The Ammo capacity of Tone's 40mm is doubled, allowing him to spend more time shooting and less time reloading.
- 6: "Signal Strength" The duration of Sonar Pulse is doubled, allowing enemies to stay marked and weak to damage longer.
- 7: "Salvo Core Barrage" Salvo Core fires more missiles then usual, increasing the damage potential of his core immensely.
"My name is Legion, for we are many."
An Ogre-based Titan like his brother, Legion focuses his immense damage output over time, and at a greater range then Scorch. Able to switch between his powerful close range firing mode, and his less efficient yet just as powerful long range firing mode, Legion dominates long narrow passages, and open fields. in Close range mode, his power shot fires a powerful shotgun-like blast, forcing his enemies back, and in Long range mode, he fires a single sniper shot that pierces all targets it hits, until it hits the wall or the floor, where it explodes on impact.
- 1: "Piercing Rounds" shots from the predator cannon shoot through both enemies and allies, damaging enemies who don't spread out, and keeping him fighting even when an ally gets in the way.
- 3: "Executioner" If a Power shot preformed in the Close Range firing mode would put an enemy Titan into the doomed state, it instead kills it outright.
- 4: "Redirect" Damage dealt to Legion's gun shield restores his personal shields. Allies can shoot his shield to give him shields as well.
- 6: "Drill Shot" When in Long Range firing mode, Legion's power shot deals more damage for every enemy it passes through.
- 7: "Dreadnaught" All of the Legion specific Titan kits are equipped at once.
"Ugh. Worthless consumer models."
Although she's based off of the Vanguards present in the Campaign, Her mobility and health place Monarch firmly in the "Atlas" class Titans. Perhaps one of the most versatile Titans in the game, Monarch's unique set of "Upgrade Cores" Allow her to do anything from survive better, deal excess amounts of damage, or even heal her allies. Her kit "Energy Thief" allows her pilot to steal a battery off of a doomed Titan as she executes them. If you see a Monarch with Energy Thief, do try to let her get some executions. If she dies, she loses all her active upgrade cores, even if her pilot lives.
- 1: "Energized Smoke" Monarch's Anti-Rodeo counter measures restores her personal shields.
- 3: "XO-16: Sniper Configuration" Monarch's rifle now has reduced spread, and pressing Shift while aiming will toggle between two zoom levels.
- 4: "Energized Smoke Lvl 2" Monarch's Anti-Rodeo counter measures now restore the shields of nearby allies, as well as herself. Warning: An allied Auto-Titan will always wander out of the smoke, regardless of the benefit. Tell your allies to sit in their Titan if you intend on using this to restore their shields.
- 6: "XO-16: Critical Hit" Monarch's Rifle now deals additional damage to the weak spots of enemy Titans.
- 7: "Apex Titan" Monarch will spawn with one of her two tier one upgrades she didn't designate to be her first core benefit.
There are five unique types of enemies the Remnant Fleet will throw at your Team. What they specifically will have equipped or how often they use their abilities depend on the difficulty, but they will be present regardless.
Modified Legions equipped with the "Nuclear Eject" Titan kit, They will march slowly towards the harvester, before triggering their nuclear core to deal massive damage. When doomed, a Nuke Titan will also trigger their core in an attempt to take their attacker with them. Legion's Executioner can keep them from going nuclear by ignoring the Doomed state entirely.
Warning! Nuclear Titans can NOT be executed. they trigger their core the moment they become doomed. Attempting to execute a Nuke Titan WILL get you killed.
Modified Tones, These Titans will usually sit at the spot they drop and start firing rockets at the Harvester, though depending on the map they may wander over to their preferred shooting spots. These Titans are typically the Roamer's job to deal with, Though another Titan can call out going for one group if they're on opposite sides of the map.
These modified Spectres will find specific spots around the map, typically on roof tops, and will behave like their big Titan brothers. They operate in groups of four, and are usually easily dealt with by a Pilot.
Occasionally they'll just be normal Northstars, but usually a Sniper Titan will be a Tone that stays back, and has increased accuracy for the current difficulty. They will (usually) wander towards the harvester just long enough to get line of sight on it, then start shooting from there.
Modified Ronins, These Titans will typically use their Ronin abilities to get themselves as close to the harvester as possible. Until they are Doomed, an Arc Titan will always emit a field of Electricity that instantly destroy shields, scrambles Titan's vision, and very swiftly kills any exposed Pilots.