Strategies  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Strategies  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Fast Break: Essential NBA Playgrounds Tips for Starting Strong Tue, 09 May 2017 16:43:26 -0400 Nick Lee

With over 200 current and former basketball players at your fingertips, there are a number of ways to go into NBA Playgrounds and dominate the court. To actually stake your claim in the Hall of Fame, you're going to need to divide your game into a few essential elements every time you play. These include scoring points, successful defense, utilizing the special meter, and upgrading your player. Combining these elements will ensure more wins than losses.

So what do you need to do with each of the mechanics listed above? Let's take a look.

Learn Animations to Time Your Shots Right

The most essential element in all sports games, NBA Playgrounds follows NBA 2K17 in that the timing the release of your shots is vitally important. And to get that timing just right, you'll need to learn the shooting animations inside and out.

At the exact peak of shooting, you have to quickly release the shoot button in order to score. Additional points are rewarded as you get closer to perfection with your shot timing. This is true for layups and dunks, in addition to regular shots within or beyond the three point line. Learning the animations will ensure you can time your releases well and rack up as many points as possible. 

Time Your Defensive Maneuvers, Too

If you're playing defense, timing your shot blocks is essential -- because no one wants to be poster-ized, and getting dunked on in this game is always in grand fashion.

Don't Be Afraid to Play Dirty

Stealing is half the game in Playgrounds, and angering your opponents is a big part of the fun in this game. When going for the steal however, you'll have to know when to sprint away and when to keep going.

This game also has another exclusive feature that allows you to play by street rules -- the push button. This does exactly what it says. When your opponent has the ball, you can just push them down. While a little cheap at times, this move won't become a major crutch while you play, because the special meter reduces with each of the "dirty" tactics you use. So luckily you won't get pushed down every time you get the ball, but you also won't be able to use it freely on your opponent either. So pick the best times to utilize it and maximize your control of the court.

Keep Your Special Meter Full

The lottery pick system is the Playgrounds' version of in-game bonuses rewarded during play. Performing the moves like alley-oops, blocks, steals, and monster dunks will fill up your special meter. Once that special meter is full, your team gets a randomly selected bonus to their shots. This includes things like a guaranteed shot the next time you shoot, or bonus points for every successful offensive or defensive action.

The pushing tactic we mentioned earlier comes back to bite you here, as you'll notice the special meter decreasing as your play style becomes more aggressive and dirty. So playing a clean game will get you more bonuses, but effectively playing dirty will rocket a good player into unstoppable greatness.

Stick With A Core Team and Level Them Up

At the end of each match-up, you can upgrade your players of choice to continue using them down the line. If you win your match-up, the game gives you a player card pack that unlocks more players on the massive roster. So when you start your career in this game, it's probably best to find your team and stick with them. Players with leveled XP on a team will outmatch lesser developed teams before the match even begins. Changing teams too frequently will essentially restart your progress and hurt you in the long run.

In addition to this, certain players also have signature moves that can give you a certain edge depending on your specific playstyle. So find the team members who vibe best with how you like to approach the game, then level them as much as possible so you can keep slam-dunking on your opponent in every match.


NBA Playgrounds is more intricate than most older arcade basketball games, and it rewards players for skillful gameplay without being too hard to pick up. Follow these tips each time you play, and in no time you'll be dominating the game with your team of choice.

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks in NBA Playgrounds here at GameSkinny!

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Blazing Beginner Tips and Tricks Fri, 26 Aug 2016 08:54:12 -0400 Synzer

The popular Ultimate Ninja series hits mobile with Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Blazing. It uses a unique turn-based and movement strategic battle system. It also has plenty of characters you know from the series, even some you couldn't play in the console games, as well as the original story.

There is a lot to learn about playing this game and doing the best you can, so I'm going to help by explaining everything you need to know.

This guide will go over everything you need to know to get started in Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Blazing including:

  • Battle Basics - The basics on how the game play works.
  • Elemental Affinities - What each element is, and how they interact with each other.
  • Field and Buddy Skills - The different skills your characters can have.
  • Missions and Character Improvement - What missions are, and how to make your characters stronger.
  • Extra Tips - More tips to make you better at the game.

Battle Basics

Battles in Ultimate Ninja Blazing are turn-based, but you can use your turn to move around the board, switch characters, or use special attacks called Jutsu.

  • When it is your turn, just drag your character to where you want them to go.
    • Keep in mind that as soon as you touch your character, you cannot go back, and their turn will be used no matter what you do after that.

If you move within in range of the enemy, you will attack them.

  • You can tell if you are in range by looking at the area around your character, and noticing if the enemy has symbols around them.
Ninjutsu and Secret Techniques

Every time your character's turn comes up, part of their chakra gauge is filled. When it is maxed, they can perform a Ninjutsu.

  • To perform a Ninjutsu, tap your character's portrait, then move them within range.
  • You will see an area pop up when you change to Ninjutsu, so put that over the target character.
    • Keep in mind that some Ninjutsu are self power-ups, or support moves for your allies.

Some character can use powerful skills called Secret Techniques that work like Ninjutsu, but are much stronger. They must save up more chakra to perform these. You can tell it is ready when the color of the chakra gauge changes.

To perform a secret technique, you must double-tap your character's portrait when they are ready, then move them just like when you use Ninjutsu.

Elemental Affinities

Each character can have 1 of 5 different elemental affinities. Each of these elemental affinities has another that it is strong or weak against.

naruto shippuden ultimate ninja blazing elemental affinities

If your character is strong against the enemy, you deal more damage and take less damage from them.

If you are weak to the enemy, you deal less damage, and take more from them. 

  • Heart (Red) - Strong against Skill, weak to Body
  • Body (Blue) - Strong against Heart, weak to Skill
  • Skill (Green) - Strong against Body, weak to Heart
  • Bravery (Yellow) - Strong against, and weak to, Wisdom
  • Wisdom (Purple) - Strong against, and weak to, Bravery

Field and Buddy Skills

Each character has a Field Skill and Buddy Skill. 

Field Skills

These are skills that affect the area around a character when they are on the field.

  • If you move within range of an ally, you will benefit from their field skill.
    • You can also get negative effects from enemies when you move within their field.
Buddy Skills

First, when you set up your team, you can have 2 people in the front row, and 3 people on the back row. The 3rd front row slot is reserved for a friend character that you can pick every battle.

The characters in the front row are the ones that are in the field and fighting. The characters in the back row support the character they are under with buddy skills.

naruto shippuden ultimate ninja blazing

During your turn, you can switch the character in the front row with their buddy in the back row.

The benefits of each buddy skill only works for the character they are linked to. You can switch the placement before battle, but not after it's started.

Missions and Character Improvement

Mission Types

Missions come in 2 types: Story and Emergency.

Story Missions are always there and completing them unlocks more.

Emergency Missions are only there for a limited time and it lets you get characters and items you would not get in Story Missions.

You can also do each of these missions in multiplayer with other players. When playing with other players, there will be 2 others. Each player controls 1 front and back row character, so put the ones you want in your first slot.

Character Enhance and Awaken

You can enhance, or level, your character by selecting Enhance from the team menu.

Select the character you want to enhance, then add other items or characters from the list to power them up.

  • You can select up to 10 at a time to enhance your character.
  • You get an extra benefit if they are the same elemental affinity as the character you are enhancing.

When your character reaches their max level, you can Awaken them to increase their strength and level cap.

  • This requires specific items to complete.

Keep in mind that enhancing and awakening requires Ryo, the in-game currency.

Extra Tips

naruto shippuden ultimate ninja blazing field placement

  • Field Placement is very important
    • Always pay attention to there you are on the field.
    • If you place your character correctly, you may be able to hit multiple enemies and receive field skills from allies.
  • Have a mixture of elemental affinities on your team
    • This prepares you for any situation so you can switch out if there is an element you are weak to.
  • Always check the character cards to see what their skills and Ninjutsu/Secret Techniques do
    • Some characters heal, some attack multiple enemies, some attack 1 enemy. 
    • Knowing what your character does and planning your team around them will make winning a lot easier.

That wraps up my Beginner tips and tricks for Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Blazing. Let me know if you have any questions!

Guild Guide: Improving your guild's performance in World of Warcraft Wed, 15 Jun 2016 14:59:19 -0400 Eliot Lefebvre

There's a new expansion for World of Warcraft in August, and that means a whole lot of additional content for your guild to take on as a team. Maybe you run a casual raiding group, maybe you prefer dungeons, maybe you're a PvP guild - it doesn't matter. No matter what sort of guild you're in, you've got stuff to do, and that means that it's time to make the rest of your guild get competent.

Yes, I know, you were expecting a "git gud" joke in there. No need to be so predictable.

Helping your fellow players get better is a lot harder than it might seem, though, and simply screaming at them to get better is not a strategy that works. You've seen it not work in countless pick-up groups, and it's just as unsuccessful on your friends. So here are some tips to help your guildmates get better at whatever content you intend to take on in World of Warcraft, whether it's high-level raiding or just weekly challenge runs on low pressure.

Make your intentions clear

This is something that's useful to set forth right away, For some players, any overtures that imply they need to get better at the game are met with disdain, like you can't possibly expect to have fun while focusing on improvement. These are, unfortunately, usually the people who are the worst part of the group, but that's neither here nor there. So it's important to outline your expectations for the group as a whole and for individual players.

Part of this is the play level you expect - flawless play, optimized specs, best possible gear, or solid play even with sub-optimal specs. But it's also important to outline what you're trying to do (help people get better) and what the expectations of a run are. You don't get to go on an improvement run and then complain that you're being asked to improve, and you don't get to whine when people don't want you on runs because you refuse to improve.

I do recommend setting aside designated practice/improvement runs for this sort of instruction. The point there is not progress so much as understanding - you all want to see how you're doing and see what areas you could stand to improve upon. Anyone heading along for a run like that knows that critique, analysis, and feedback are to be expected regardless.

Make sure everyone is on the same page for addons

Getting better at WoW requires a certain amount of data, and it also requires everyone to know what everyone else is doing. I'm not going to say that your group needs to necessarily be running a specific addon or voice chat application - maybe you all like Mumble, maybe you like Discord, maybe you think that Skype is all right for some reason. But if you're going to be using a voice chat app, you need to be using the same one, and you need to make it clear that you're doing so before the run happens.

The same goes for mods. If data from DBM is considered important to your group, everyone should have it installed and up to date. I've seen raids try to coordinate wherein some people have it and some people don't, and it's messier than just requiring it or leaving it to one side. "Recommended" mods usually aren't; have requirements you expect people to be using and expect no one to use anything that isn't required. It may be blunt, but it's more straightforward in the long run.

It's also important to consider that different mods lead to different environments, and there's some stuff that you might not need for your guild's environment. DPS meters, for example, are only useful for two things when trying to get better - seeing who is lagging behind in encounters that need people to produce more DPS, and distributing party members according to their strengths. If you're not running into those problems, you probably don't need them, and you might even want to have the meters only for people in charge of improving performance.

Recognize that there are different causes to problems

Let's say that you do have a DPS who is lagging behind the rest of the group by a significant margin. Your first step is to sit that member down and figure out why. There are lots of possible reasons, and very few of them are just "get better." Only one is, in fact.

Check out the player's item level as well as their actual items. It could be that your DPS Warrior is wearing a lot of gear with Versatility, which isn't really helping him all that much; it might also be that he's just been unlucky with drops on the past few runs. Even if his rotation is fine, he's going to lag behind if he's several levels below the other DPS and stuck with secondaries that don't help him.

Also check on whether or not the mechanics of the encounters are solid for him or not. There are fights which are just plain unfriendly to melee DPS, and it's easy to miss that if you're in a raid with mostly ranged DPS. Heck, your tanks might have habits that are transparent for ranged DPS that make melee DPS harder to manage. You only know if you pay attention.

Assuming that it is a problem of the player and not extraneous factors, take a step back and determine what the problem is and why. Telling someone to up their DPS is a bit like telling someone mired in poverty to make more money - it's technically advice, but it focuses on the what instead of the how. Sit down with the player in question and make sure that they know their rotation, then find out which parts of their rotation are proving problematic. Sometimes, just knowing a better rotation for abilities or priorities is all it takes to make a big improvement.

Keep it congenial

There's an attitude that runs through certain improvement pushes that I've seen in various guilds, that what matters is a clear. If you want to be in the guild, clear. Optimize your rotation, optimize your build, be the best or there's no space for you in the guild. And the fact of the matter is that such an attitude is fine. If that's what the guild is together to do, first and foremost, it's the right attitude to have. If you want to be involved in that guild, you clear content, or you go find another guild.

That does not mean that you should be a drill sergeant in the runs and it doesn't mean that you should be shouting that in the middle of runs. Because very few things turn a group off from working to clear content faster than feeling like they're being yelled at for just playing the damn game.

By all means, you have the right to say that someone isn't cutting it. You are allowed to have standards and make sure that people are living up to those standards, otherwise they're out. It's a true statement of life, even; either you're clearing bosses or you're not progressing. It's a simple reality that needs to be accepted. But you can push that mindset as an enemy or as a friend.

In business, it might be different. But in a guild in a game you're playing for fun, you don't have to get up like Alec Baldwin every night shouting, "If you want to raid here, clear." You can be fun to be around and even congenial. In the long run, it's going to be a better motivator.

Break The Prison hardest puzzle cheats Tue, 05 Jan 2016 14:47:09 -0500 Ty Arthur

For a mobile time-waster, Break The Prison can become a very addicting game, and it features levels of wildly varying difficulty. While some levels are as simple as pressing and holding down for an extended period, others require cat-like reflexes or thinking outside the box to figure out how to even start a puzzle.

Although we covered general tips and tricks to help you plan your grand prison break, some of the puzzles require a little more explanation to successfully complete. Here's a break down of how to complete some of the more difficult Break The Prison puzzles that don't have clear explanations.

Prison 1 - Puzzle 5

The final puzzle of the first prison seems like there's nothing to do, as there's no way to interact with the box (despite it's arrow symbol) or locker on the screen. If you look close at the wall though, you'll see a very faint scratch mark.

Tap and swipe up and down rapidly to make the scratches turn darker and come into focus. Eventually they'll be replaced by a escape hatch – just tap it and slide up to end this puzzle in in a matter of seconds and nab those three easy stars!

Solving Prison 1-5

Prison 2 - Puzzle 5

This puzzle lets you change the numbers on the screen, but doesn't give a clear indication of what you are supposed to set them to in the first glance. You don't have to change numbers at random though, as there's a method to this madness. Shake your device up and down or side to side to knock over the can full of water, which will reveal the answer in the reflection on the ground.

Now just tap the middle of the number you want to change, keep it held down, and then slowly drag up or down and keep it held at the top or bottom of the screen until you reach the desired number. Your real enemy here is the timer, as the controls are a little unresponsive, and the numbers don't seem to move well at all if you just tap and quickly swipe.

When playing the number puzzles like this one, keep in mind the number that looks like the letter “Z” in the reflection is a “2,” and the number that looks like a “2” in the reflection is actually a “5.”

Solving Prison 2-5

Prison 3 - Puzzle 4 / Prison 6 - Puzzle 4

Prison 3-4 is where this mini-game gets tough, but it gets ramped up to a whole new diabolical level with 6-4. The trick here is to remember that you can pause your runner by tapping the screen next to him.

Take advantage of this trick to stop and wait before you reach the rotating blades or spinning giant balls. Just as the obstacle passes, tap and drag towards the right to move your runner much faster than his normal speed. Don't forget you can also do the opposite and drag towards the left to slow him down, which can be helpful when there are multiple zig-zag patterns in a row as the screen is scrolling forward.

Be sure to also use a stylus and not your finger here, as that makes it much simpler to see whether you are about to go off the track or not. Even when implementing these strategies, you are probably going to get annihilated on 6-4 during the first few attempts, so make sure to be logging in every day for extra coins so you can buy more time if you hit an obstacle.

Solving Prison 3-4

Prison 4 - Puzzle 5

This is another puzzle with no obvious answer, as you can drag the minute hand on the clock to change the time but there's no indication of what time is the correct answer. The solution to this Break The Prison puzzle is deceptively simple: you just have to set the clock to whatever time is set on your device!

The easiest way to complete this puzzle, especially if it's currently an odd time like 6:57, is to simply pause the game and then manually change your device's internal clock to 12 noon. You then just need to move the Break The Prison clock to the 12 position and shake your screen.

Solving Prison 4-5

Prison 5 - Puzzle 5

Much like with puzzle 1-5, to get this one started you have to tap and swipe side to side to reveal the scratches on the wall. Eventually a math problem will appear that already has the solution present on the screen – the catch is that you have to change the plus, minus, divided, and multiplied symbols so that the equation makes sense.

I wish I could just give you the answer, but the math problems are randomized and you'll get a different one each time.

If you get a problem with a bunch of even numbers it should be a snap to figure it out, but in some cases you'll get something that takes a lot more thought to make work. In this case if you are struggling to figure out the equation before the time is up, you can hit pause and open up your device's calculator app! Try each combination on your calculator until you figure out the right answer. Yeah, it's cheating, but it works.

Solving Prison 5-5

Prison 6 - Puzzle 1

While this is the same as any other standard starting puzzle where you just have to tap and gently slide back and forth while the guard isn't looking, the time constraints make this one much more difficult than normal. You only have 50 seconds to get a three star rating, and that's harder than it sounds.

There's a random element here as well, since the times the guards come out and how long they stay changes between attempts, but there's a few ways to shave down your time no matter what happens.

Keep in mind that you don't have to stop hammering when an inmate walks by, you only need to stop if it's a guard. You also don't have to stop as soon as the guard appears, but can instead wait until just before he is fully on the screen and he still won't notice you are up to anything. Likewise, start hammering again as he's leaving instead of waiting for him to be fully gone from the screen – but stay on your toes, as sometimes the guard will go for a fake-out and suddenly stop and look in your cell right at the last second.

Solving Prison 6-1

Prison 6 - Puzzle 5

This particular puzzle is very finicky and can be difficult to initiate, depending on the sensitivity of your device's touch screen. You have to tap at the very far left edge of the brick wall (just to the side of the metal bar) and quickly swipe back and forth all the way to the right end of the wall and back.

If you're doing it right, scratches will appear again as usual until finally a new number puzzle appears on the screen. Unfortunately any variation from that exact pattern (or if you don't quite hit all the way to the side on your swipe) will prevent the scratches from appearing. After the numbers appear, shake your screen to reveal the answer and complete this difficult puzzle just like you did with prison 2-5.

Solving Prison 6-5

Star Wars Battlefront: 14 Cardinal tips for beginners Tue, 17 Nov 2015 03:13:23 -0500 Gabriella Graham

For those who haven't hopped onto the Star Wars Battlefront beta train and already gotten the hang of things, the extensive Walker Assault map presents hefty challenges. Struggling to figure out basic game mechanics and strategies could throw a nasty bump in the road toward entertaining gameplay. These handy tips will start off your lightsaber game with a bang, whether you're supporting the Rebels or the Empire.

1. Grab a headset

We're starting out pretty basic here, but footsteps come loud and clear through headsets. Don't be the player disadvantaged by a lack of one. Key in on audio cues and up your level of awareness by plugging one in.

2. Crouch! 

Press the B button (Xbox One) or the circle button (PS4) to stay low while moving for a hefty increase in your kill rate. You'll keep out of your enemy's line of sight and get a jump on attacking. Seriously, this can make an unexpected and huge improvement in your gameplay.

3. Don't be hasty on Drop Zone departure. 

Star Wars Battlefront directly recommends players hang out in the Drop Zone before stampeding on toward the Walker Assault game mode. The details remain in obscurity for players to figure out, leaving you wondering: Exactly what level and which equipment should you aim for before moving forward?

Dedicate roughly 45 minutes to an hour to the Drop Zone. Don't take on Hoth's map until you've reached at least Rank 3. Leveling up unlocks new Star Cards, a.k.a. your loadout. Try to earn enough credits to unlock the Ion Shot and the Cycler Rifle Cards. Rebels will find the Ion Shot absolutely essential to taking down AT-ATs. The Cycler Rifle provides a one-hit headshot kill from long range with a bonus low cool-down time. HOWEVER, this weapon has a 7-second recharge so don't use it if and while you're camping.

Use the A280C, your first weapon, to reach level 3. Switch weapons as soon as you jump into multiplayer. Earn 550 credits for a new weapon and grab either the DLT-19 or the DH-17. The DLT-19 suits long-range attacks better with a drop in firepower. the DH-17 suits medium range best with a serious damage boost.

4. Deny habit! Don't waste time aiming down the sights.

The mechanics of Star Wars Battlefront actually don't support aiming down the sights for a boost in accuracy or utter lack of recoil. Instead, you lose a precious second of firing time in addition to significantly slowing down your character without much of a difference in accuracy. Scoping also leaves you completely unprepared to react quickly to the surrounding environment. For the sake of Battlefront, try to shoot enemies immediately. Do it for a much improved K/D ratio, if nothing else.

5. Firing in slow motion.

Note that laser rifles' ammo doesn't care for speed. Shots tend to be slower than you might expect or anticipate. (The Empire's blasters tend to be particularly slow.) This makes ranged attacks trickier. You'll find it most beneficial to lead your target in order to predict their location and unleash sci-fi inspired hell upon them.

6. Master active Cooldown.

Weapons overheat in Battlefront, necessitating cooldown periods afterward. In the middle of the screen, below your aim, you'll notice a curved bar. This bar fills up red the more you fire your gun - overheating, right before your eyes. Laying back on gun use prevents overheating, but should your gun reach that point, yellow sections appear on either end of the bar while it clears out (the cooldown period). Hitting X or the square button, depending on your controller, as the bar moves through these yellow sections instantly cools your weapon, thus allowing you to fire away to your heart's content until the process repeats itself.

Beware: Consecutively using this feature gradually decreases the size of that yellow section. Practice nabbing that instant Cooldown. This saves precious time while providing the chance to nab extra kills.

7. Your map is your life now.

All the information you could ever want or need lies in Battlefront's handy dandy minimap, complete with HUD. It reveals:

  • Enemy location
  • Pickups
  • Objectives

Some areas of the Drop Zone map straight up obscure your line of sight via rocky terrain, making the map crucial to navigating and locating specific points.

Don't get caught up in spawn points either! Enemies may randomly pop in for a hasty hello and gun greeting right behind you. They may even appear in a group directly in front of you. Seeing as how enemies get a few seconds of invulnerability upon spawning, you need to be privy to these sudden appearances, making the enemy location on your minimap a potential and literal life saver.

Conclusion? Always, always, always leave some attention for your map.

8. Use that Jump Pack!

Purchasing the Jump Pack Star Card ASAP can make a huge difference to your field traversal. It's the key to mastering the huge map Walker Assault presents as its burst thrusters allow you to jump over large distances.

This item makes quickly escaping or even launching surprise attacks in trenches a breeze. Use it to reach high ground for ideal firing locations, rush enemies, bolt out of range, or to quickly claim an escape pod for bonus EXP. No matter what strategy you go with, make this baby your bread and butter.

Never sprint over trenches unless fatal enemy fire is your cup of tea. Stick to the Jump Pack.

9. Stick close to escape pods even after they're captured or lost for rewards.

Each pod drops 3 lovely boosters anyone can grab. This first come, first serve mentality may leave you racing teammates for goodies, but don't let that discourage you. Pods drop heavy weapons, team shields, Ion Card charges, etc. Get lucky enough to grab a Thermal Imploder and you can take out an entire squad, for example.

These boosters come with an added bonus: They stick around even if you die, so don't feel pressured to use a solid perk at the wrong time.

10. Stick to third-person perspective.

While first-person tends to be the go-to in shooters, this mode doesn't actually provide any real advantages in Star Wars Battlefront. A reliance on third-person works best. Shot accuracy remains about equal from first to third-person, plus third-person lacks the heightened recoil consequence of first-person.

Third-person perspective significantly broadens your field of vision so you can be keenly aware of your surroundings and approaching enemies. Being able to spot said enemies more quickly also helps build the habit of shooting on sight, without delay or extra time spent aiming down the sights as mentioned earlier. Hold down D-pad to switch perspective on PS4, or change this preference in the gameplay options.

11. Be wary of vehicles.

Being able to take over a vehicle tempts the best of us with its grand promises of enemy devastation, but don't take advantage of this option just because its there. Controlling vehicles on either side takes practice. Concentrate on objectives with your nineteen comrades in arms.

That said, AT-ST and AT-ATs have the potential to dominate gameplay in Walker Assault. If you're Empire, consider practicing your pilot techniques. While you don't want to be more trouble than your worth on the battlefield, these skills definitely still have a time and a place once honed.

12. Playing Jedi.

Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader control doesn't come down to optimal player performance. This ability comes as a random drop. The Jedi's health gradually decreases in addition to your damage exposure and the consistent chance of death. (You don't escape this simply because you've become iconic.) 

Aid your team. Don't just run around blasting your enemies in the face because it's easier now. Gather allies and obliterate your objectives.

13. Fighting Jedi.

You don't. Run. After that, find comrades and try to eat away at a Jedi's health from afar. Close engagement promises only the sweet release of death.

HOWEVER, if the Jedi that shows up features the iconic theme music of your side (Rebel Alliance versus Imperial tunes), seek out the player and aide them as they wreck objectives.

14. Just for Rebels.

Stick to trenches and your mountainside base to stay hidden from aerial assaults while taking out AT-ATs and AT-STs with high-mounted blasters.

9 Essential Rise of the Tomb Raider tips for beginners Wed, 11 Nov 2015 18:58:35 -0500 Gabriella Graham

Rise of the Tomb Raider hit shelves November 10th, officially unveiling all the nooks and crannies the new installment has to offer. Lara Croft certainly leads an exciting life, one brimming with violence -- a combination that yields danger in spades...gunmen, rabid wolves, and ticked off bears, an so on. While juggling the combat that pervades Lara's life, players must divide their focus. Strategic character progression and the exploration of the surrounding environment's secrets are musts to a successful and fulfilling playthrough. I've prepared nine solid tips for getting off on the right foot to guarantee that your journey both gratifies and entertains.

1. Get your skill priorities in order.

Every time Lara levels up, players earn a skill point. As golden tickets to success, players must spend these points wisely and based on their playing style. The game offers nearly fifty different skills in three categories: Brawler, Hunter, and Survivor.

Try not to frolick after the seductive promises of combat based skills - the brawler breaks hearts as well as faces. So what's the best move you can make right off the bat? Invest in the Avid Learner and Finesse skills. You'll find Avid Learner in the Survivor category to boost the amount of EXP gained by reading documents, discovering survival caches and relics, and completing certain challenges. Make Finesse your second priority, though it may have to wait a bit as it's a second tier skill in the Hunter category. Finesse adds a bonus to the EXP gained by chaining headshots, stealth kills, and death from above kills. The longer the chain of pain, the bigger the pay-off.

Maximizing your EXP speeds up character progression and gets you much closer to all the skills your little gamer heart desires. While waiting on the Finesse skill, also consider Eye for Detail as your second character upgrade. This improves Lara's ability to track down challenge objects with her Survival Instinct (which I'll cover exclusively in Tip #3), allowing you to get the most out of that Avid Learner boost. Dead Eye, a second tier Hunter skill, makes it easier to line up headshots by adding a red dot indicator onto targets, so keep it in mind soon after acquiring Finesse.

Thick-Skinned, the first option in the Brawler menu, should beat out the combat-heavy skills unnecessary in the very beginning of the game. This hardens Lara to physical discomfort, ensuring enemies deal less damage. 

2. Backtrack or go home, my friends.

This goes out to the OCD completionists out there: Rise of the Tomb Raider does not allow players to complete areas 100% before moving on. While following the plot's path, Lara unlocks new ways to interact with the surrounding world, such as obtaining new tools or the means to upgrade old ones. These open new paths in old areas, paths previously locked and impervious to your efforts. 

On the other end of the player spectrum, those who could care less about completion should keep the foolishness of ignoring these paths altogether in mind. Unlockable areas lead to powerful weapon upgrades and collectibles. The game's fast travel makes backtracking efficient and convenient, so there's no excuse not to take advantage of these spoils.

3. Meet Survival Instinct, your new best friend.

R3 (clicking the right analog stick) activates Lara's Survival Instinct. Forget Mariah Carey - you need to obsess over this ability and only this. Survival Instinct highlights relics, documents, and crafting materials as well as providing helpful hints by imbuing such objects with faerie magic and a bright orange glow. (I'm gonna just go ahead and disclaim that faerie thing. I repeat: you will not interact with actual faeries.) This special vision reveals the area's traversal options, such as routes up trees, hidden ledges, and hidden passageways. Basically, the orange glow covers any interactive object, so it'll also remind you if you've missed some valuable corpse-loot on your way out.

The only exceptions to this color code are Survival Caches. Survival Instinct won't call your attention to these, so you'll have to look out for the small, flashing white light that marks the caches instead.

4. Red means stop. Yellow means go.

Survival Instinct doesn't stop at exploration. For stealth and effectiveness in battle, look no further than R3. So long as you remain still, Survival Instinct lights up enemies either red or yellow. Red indicates a link to other enemies. In other words, if you take down one of these bad boys, you'll alert the whole neighborhood. Yellow symbolizes conspicuousness. These enemies are out of sight, out of mind as far as their fellow cohorts are concerned. You can pick off anyone cast in yellow without further incident or alarm. The second you move, however, the world returns to normal, so pick one spot and stick to it.

Just because you've officially initiated combat doesn't mean you need to completely ditch your Instinct. Survival Instinct leads Lara's gaze to explosive barrels. The ability will also help you track down bottles for crafting molotov cocktails. Take cover and find tools to make the fight an easy win.

5. Don't avoid lonely Tombs and talk to strangers.

Tombs, caves, and crypts house valuable loot and some of the best puzzle experiences of the game. Skipping any of these side quests means losing out on valuable skills only unlockable through their completion. Besides, you don't want to lessen the Tomb Raider experience by, you know, ignoring tombs. It's part of your job description to enjoy those puzzles!

Disregard stranger danger. The friendly characters Lara encounters in Rise of the Tomb Raider offer side-missions that reward you with special equipment you won't find anywhere else. It's most beneficial to your gameplay if you accept every challenge thrown your way. These extra missions come with a heads-up in game: “Ally nearby: optional mission available."

6. Avoid the pitfalls of lazy collection and stock up on materials. 

Grab all the wood, feathers, and pelts you pass. Crafting in the midst of combat could save your skin by restocking your inventory's ammo and healing aids. Don't be stuck needing something you could've have grabbed moments before prior to a heavy gunfight.

Some pouches and tools require animal hides. Crafting a satchel and rucksack in the very beginning preps a hefty inventory. You'll need pelts for a little bit of everything, from increasing the amount of arrows Lara can hold to the ability to use an ice axe as a melee weapon. Try to collect at least ten deer skins around the first base camp before heading out.

Use ranged weapons for wolves, bears, and wild cats. Continually put distance between yourself and your prey. Guns won't necessarily beat out bows, so stock up on arrows before the hunt and remember that the bigger the foe, the more ammo you'll need to drop it. Poison and fire arrows can reduce the time and effort of this process, so keep those close when they become available.

7. Rely on your bow. It likes the attention.

There's simply no beating the range and sheer power of Croft's bow. Upgrade the crap out of that thing for advantages like triple headshots later in the game. Headshots yield more experience than the run-of-the-mill kill, and these are far easier to land with a bow than a gun. 

You'll need your bow for stealth kills to avoid the noisy grand entrance of your gun as well. Armored assault troops can't be taken head-on. Utilize hiding places and the silent but deadly bow to decimate these brutes. Investing in the Arrow Retrieval skill could also save time on restocking your ammo, allowing you to pick an arrow back up from your foe's corpse. This option doesn't come with bullets.

8. Embrace the walkway.

The outfits in Rise of the Tomb Raider aren't just for show. Their extra buffs make the effort to unlock and equip them well worth it, so don't scoff at Lara's fashion sense just yet. Five different outfits effect Lara's performance by shortening the delay between the time Lara takes damage and when her health regeneration begins.

Players can only change outfits at a base camp, You'll find this option in the Weapons menu.

9. Revisit base camps before entering red zones. 

Changing weapons, such as the type of gun or bow you're carrying, can only be done at base camps. Search out that fire before running willy nilly into enemy territory or you may regret it. Getting caught with the wrong weapons for the wrong situation could really hamper your gameplay. Try to stick to weapons you're most familiar with for hot areas to prevent being caught unawares.

And there you have it! Have you tried the game yet? Do you plan on utilizing on particular advice above? Let me know in the comments!