How-to understand and succeed as best you can in Hawken: Reborn’s free roaming patrol mode.
Patrol Mode Do’s and Don’t’s
HAWKEN Patrol Mode
Patrol is the free-roam mode available in Hawken: Reborn. Unlocked during the story missions after unlocking your first major upgrade to your mech, patrol lets you explore the area around the Refuge transfer portal for resources, blueprints, and credits. Random waves of enemies will spawn, resource nodes to collect will be randomly distributed across the map, and some randomly generated missions may pop up that can be completed for additional credits and xp.
Patrol mode is influenced directly by the ‘threat level’ at the top of your screen in game. The little purple diamond with a number in it. The base for this seems to be either 50 or 55, and it goes up as you play in patrol mode. The higher the threat goes, the stronger the enemies will be but the more and better resources you can potentially get.
At some point, if this game actually gets developed into something worthwhile, I will update this guide with more detailed information, but here’s the basics to get started.
The explorable area for Patrol Mode is currently only the surrounding area around the Refuge Matter Transfer Portal, or MTP. Presumably more areas will be unlocked later if the game sees more development.
You may have been enticed by large areas like The Fracture from story missions, but most of these are blocked off from you by large red barriers that prevent you from leaving the area immediately around Refuge.
The map itself is comprised of multiple interlinking looped paths. There are very few ‘dead ends’, and these are typically objective areas for the patrol missions. It is very easy to get turned around and go in circles as each sub-area of the map is made up of the loops, but your compass will always have a marker for the MTP that you can use to navigate your way out.
At any time, you can return to the MTP to bank collected resources, or to return to the hangar. You can even do this midway through a patrol mission for no consequence other than the mission being reset. If you get into trouble, just run. RUN. I haven’t stuck around long enough to find out what the penalty for getting destroyed is, but I imagine I will have to in order to complete this guide.
Resource nodes will randomly spawn in different tiles all over the map. Which tiles can spawn resource nodes are fixed, but where they spawn and what nodes spawn there if any is random. If the game survives this initial PR fiasco and is developed into something more playable, I will probably try to get a map image with these tiles labeled.
Resource nodes are introduced in one of the early missions, with the on-screen notes mentioning that you need to explore to find them. Unfortunately the story missions have soft boundaries (on-screen warning but no actual barrier preventing you from going that way) that prevent you from doing much exploration minus the immediate area around the mission. Most of the resources you use for crafting will be coming from Patrol mode.
There are multiple different types of resource nodes, ranging from organic-looking sludge piles and rock formations to scrap metal and crates. These node objects may also appear as regular clutter, the difference between clutter and collectible node is the nodes will be highlighted. To collect from them, walk over them with your mech to destroy them and then you will collect the resources. The type, quality, and amount of resources collected will always be random, with each different type of resource node having a different range of possible materials.
Resource nodes spawn randomly when you load in to the patrol mode, and will refresh randomly if you are in patrol mode long enough. It’s a good idea to go all the way around the map at least once every time you load into patrol to ensure you get the most resources you can for your time.
Note: If you break open a resource node with either of your equipped weapons below their maximum ammo amount, you will lose out on potential resources as one of the slots for resources will instead be ammunition. Make sure to collect ammo from loose resources dropped by downed enemies before going after nearby nodes.
There are five main factions that spawn in Patrol mode.
Renegades/Bandits are always hostile to every other faction, and comprise the majority of enemy forces that spawn both randomly and for missions.
The Dawning are the ‘friendly’ faction. Their troops will always spawn in friendly to you, represented by green icons on your radar. Their infantry have blue visors. (while in story mode, all friendly infantry have blue visors even if they are from other factions).
Prossk, Sentium, and Burning Flag are the ‘warring’ factions of the game. When you are first introduced to Patrol Mode, elements of these factions will mainly spawn as enemies. If you enter patrol mode after clearing the story missions, their troops will spawn as neutral (yellow on the radar) and they will ignore you unless you shoot at them. The exception being if a patrol mission spawns where one of these factions is the employer or the enemy, where they will then spawn as friendly or enemy appropriately. Unlike in story missions, friendly infantry will not automatically have blue visors.
As far as the enemy variety goes, there is currently zero difference between the factions. They all use the same unit types, even if some of them may use slightly different names.
Infantry are the majority of the enemies you will face. Very little health, sometimes shielded, generally die in one or two hits from almost any weapon.
- Troop/Soldier/Infantry – Standard rifle troop, no shields
- Assault/Rocket – Rocket troops, sometimes shielded.
- Support – Rifle or machine gun troop, usually shielded.
- Gunner – Heavy armor and shield compared to other infantry, carries a heavier machine gun.
- Sniper/sharpshooter – Sniper rifle equipped troops, identified by their visible laser sights.
- Lightly armored, lightly shielded, all high-mobility with the ability to jump around terrain.
- Comet, machine gun drone.
- Meteor, Rocket Drone with suicide attack at half health.
- Laser Drone (forget the name), death blossom attack at 25% health.
Enemy Mechs come in a few varieties, mainly with dual weapons equipped but some are asymmetrical.
- Dasher – Light mech with SMGs
- Skirmisher – Light mech with Assault Rifles
- Soldier/Veteran – Medium Mech with shotguns (veterans are more aggressive), sometimes have one assault rifle or precision rifle
- Heavy/Tank – Heavy Mech with machine guns or assault rifles, sometimes with an explosive weapon. (Tanks are more aggressive and have more health)
- Sniper – Special medium Mech with either two precision rifles, or a precision rifle and an assault rifle.
- Beamer – Special medium Mech with laser weapons, highly aggressive
- Rocketer – Special medium Mech with rapid-fire rocket launchers, highly aggressive.
- Grenader – Special medium mech with rapid-fire grenade launchers, highly aggressive.
Do’s and Dont’s’
- Keep Moving. Moving makes it harder for enemies to hit you, makes you stay alive longer.
- Keep your distance from combat. Get too close, too easy to get swarmed, too hard to take cover to regen your shields. Remember armor damage is permanent until repaired back at the hangar.
- Explore the map every time. Resources respawn randomly, so make at least one full lap of the map every time you load in to maximize your resource gain.
- Use the factions to your advantage. If a netural mech is fighting an enemy mech, let them soften each other up before you swoop in for the kill.
- Get Greedy. Bank your resources any time you pass by the MTP, and if you are taking too much damage return to the hangar.
- Stay in the middle. If you find yourself surrounded, get out of that spot. Even if it’s a mission objective. Enemies will chase you more than they will attack the objectives.
- AFK in the field. This game is always online and does not pause. If you have to go AFK, return to the MTP. Ideally, use the MTP to return to the hangar.
- Go to deep. At around threat level 69, enemies get a significant increase in damage and health. Unless you need those blue or purple tier resources, consider backing out to the hangar to reset your threat level.
- Be a murder hobo. Enemy drones and infantry are largely filler between mech encounters. They don’t drop much in the way of resources, and their often single resource drop is usually taken up by ammo to replace the bullets you used taking them down.
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