21 May 2024

9 Min Read


XDefiant - Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

XDefiant’s Preseason is live now on PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC through Ubisoft Connect. The free-to-play arcade shooter takes inspiration from different Ubisoft games, kicking off with five game modes, five unique factions, 14 different maps, and 24 weapons with 44 attachments. To help prepare you to jump into its fast-paced 6v6 action, here’s the skinny on XDefiant.

Game Modes

XDefiant’s game modes fall into one of two categories: Arena and Linear. Arena modes see players duking it out across all areas of a map, while Linear modes sort teams into attacking and defending positions, and pit them against one another in progressive objective points across the map. The Arena modes include Occupy, Domination, and HotShot, while the Linear modes are Escort and Zone Control.


In Occupy, teams must work together to control a single zone on the map, while shutting out the opposing team. Periodically, the zone moves, so be sure to defend each zone as long as possible to garner as many points as you can. And if you’re having trouble breaking through enemy defense to capture a zone, don’t worry – you’ll get a notification of the zone’s next location before it moves, giving you a chance to get to the zone early and set up a strong position.


Domination functions similarly to Occupy, with two key differences: There are three zones to capture, and they stay in the same spot for the entirety of the match. Once your team secures a zone, you’re free to go take another, or stay to defend it against encroaching enemies. Each zone you control will continuously add points to your overall score, so dominating all three is a quick way to certain victory. But don’t leave controlled zones undefended, or the other team will capture them quickly and start racking up points of their own.


HotShot doesn’t have any zones to control, but it does have one key objective: get the most KOs. Every time you eliminate someone from the opposing team, they’ll drop a bounty you can pick up; only by picking up a bounty token will you earn points towards victory. Consequently, if a teammate dies, you can pick up their bounty – it won’t count towards your score, but it will deny the other team that point. The player holding the most bounties becomes the HotShot, gaining bonus speed and faster reloading. They also gain more points per bounty they pick up, making them powerful point-scorers. However, they are also marked on the map for all enemies to track down.

[UN] [XD] - Out Now Starter Guide - Escort


In Escort, the attacking team moves a package forward along a set path across the map. To move it, all you have to do is stand near the package, enabling it to walk. The more team members are standing in the package’s radius, the faster it will move. There are three different checkpoints along the path which, once reached, will serve as the new respawn point. There is also a time limit. The defending team, meanwhile, must stop the package in its tracks. They can even move the package slowly backwards along the path by standing in its radius when no attackers are present. If the attackers get the package to the final checkpoint before time runs out, they win. If defenders stop them, they win.

Zone Control

In Zone Control, the attacking team must capture five zones in a progressive order while defenders try to shut them out. The first two zones will be available simultaneously, but both must be captured before the third unlocks. Likewise, the third zone must be captured before the fourth, and then fifth zones become available. If the attackers can capture all five zones before the time runs out, they win; if the defenders stop them, they win.


Before each match, you’ll choose a faction to play as; you also have the option to switch every time you respawn. Your choice will be guided by the role you want to play on your team, as well as your playstyle. Each faction is inspired by a different Ubisoft game, and each grants you a passive buff, an active ability, and an Ultra ability. Each faction has two abilities to choose from, and each offers a different tactical option. You’ll need to charge your Ultra by racking up KOs, getting assists, and furthering your team’s objective, but once it’s ready to use, your Ultra has the potential to have a massive impact on the match
if deployed skillfully.


The Cleaners are an aggressive, incendiary faction, ideal for those who prefer to push through combat to reach and hold your objective. Your Ability as a Cleaner will burn everything in its path – whether that’s a straight line from using the Incendiary Drone, or a large radius around you using the Firebomb. And once you’ve powered up the Ultra, you’ll be able to unleash The Purifier, a deadly flamethrower. Regardless of your loadout, all Cleaners come equipped with Incendiary Ammo that deals extra burn damage when you hit your target. Because of their aggressive nature, if you’re heading into Escort or Domination, it might be a good idea to have a Cleaner or three in your squad.

[UN] [XD] - Out Now Starter Guide - Factions


Echelon is perfect for those who favor a stealthy approach. These super spies excel at moving through the map unseen and won’t appear on enemy minimaps. Their Intel Suit ability is highly versatile for all game modes, revealing enemies who are lurking or sneaking up on you. The Digital Ghillie Suit is perfect for HotShot, as it renders you nearly invisible as you flank the enemy team to take out their HotShot (or simply gather bounties). Similarly, Echelon’s Ultra, the Sonar Goggles, will reveal all enemies and grant you use of the Third Echelon 5.7 pistol, which has boosted firepower.


The Phantoms function best as aggressive defenders. Not only do they have bonus health as their passive trait, but their Abilities allow you to block massive amounts of damage. The Mag Barrier can provide cover for any teammate standing behind it, and is key for standing your ground while holding zones in Occupy, Domination, or Zone Control. The Blitz Shield ability is particularly clutch if you’re advancing the package in Escort, as it lets you push forward against a barrage of enemy fire (just remember your back is still exposed). The Aegis, the Phantoms’ Ultra, is a spherical plasma shield that lets you negate damage on the go, while wielding an electro scattergun that deals massive damage in close combat.


Libertad is excellent for support and should be part of any team regardless of game mode. Their Espíritu de Libertad passive ability will slowly heal you and nearby teammates automatically. The El Remedio Ability is a deployable canister that will heal any allies within its radius, giving your team an extra edge in Occupy, Domination, and Zone Control. The BioVida Boost is perfect for healing on the go in Escort and HotShot, giving off a wave of health boost for yourself and nearby teammates. Their Ultra, the Médico Supremo backpack, provides a large mobile health boost, giving you an edge over your opponents no matter what game mode you’re playing.


[UN] [XD] - Out Now Starter Guide - DedSec

The DedSec faction will be locked when you first start playing, but can be unlocked by completing in-game challenges. This tech-savvy hacker faction is perfect for creating chaos and turning enemy gadgets against them. Their Fabricator will automatically print a new device after you deploy one, slowly replenishing your grenades so you can cause more havoc over time. The Hijack ability allows you to hack into active enemy abilities and make it work for you (say, by stealing the healing power of an enemy El Remedio to heal your squad while you KO your opponents). Deploying a Spiderbot will send an arachnid drone to track down the nearest enemy and jump on their face, obscuring their vision, temporarily stunning them, and making them an easy target. DedSec’s Ultra, Lockout, will disable all enemy Abilities, HUD, and minimaps in the area of effect, perfect for shutting down an Ultra-fueled push by your opponents.


You know your mission objective, and you’ve carefully picked your faction. Now, it’s time to finalize preparation by selecting your weapons of choice. You can choose from preset loadouts across the six different primary weapon types, or build an array of personalized weapon loadouts suited to different situations. Libertad are healers, and armed with a modded-out light machine gun (LMG), they become very tough defenders to displace. Cleaners may seem perfect for up close and personal combat, but if you like ranged attacks, think of the damage a sniper rifle with Incendiary Ammo could do.

In XDefiant, you get a primary weapon, a secondary weapon, and one device (like a mine or grenade) per loadout. Primary weapon categories include Assault Rifle, Submachine gun (SMG), LMG, Marksman, Sniper Rifle, and Shotgun, while Pistols serve as the secondary weapons. Each category will have one gun unlocked at launch, while the rest can be earned through in-game challenges.

[UN] [XD] - Out Now Starter Guide - Loadouts

There are 44 attachment options across six categories including Barrels, Front Rail, Optics, Magazines, Rear Grip, and Stock, each of which can have an impact on your weapon’s damage, rate of fire, accuracy, and more. Primary weapons have five available attachment slots, while pistols have four. The more you use a weapon, the more weapon XP you will gain towards unlocking new attachments for that weapon to help you customize it even further.

Download XDefiant today on Xbox Series X|S, PS5, and PC through Ubisoft Connect. Ubisoft+ Premium subscribers get exclusive skins and will have the DedSec faction automatically unlocked at launch. To get a closer look at XDefiant’s development, be sure to check out the XDebrief series, with more episodes coming soon.

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