XDefiant’s Closed Beta is here bringing fast-paced multiplayer first-person shooter action between factions inspired by different Ubisoft games. The Closed Beta offers four playable factions with 16 unique abilities, five game modes across 14 maps, and 24 weapons with 44 attachments. Each of XDefiant’s factions open new gameplay opportunities that can drastically change the way you play, which is helpful because each of the five game modes calls for a different strategy. For those diving into the Closed Beta this week, here are some starter tips for what we think the best faction synergies are for each game mode.
Every time you spawn in XDefiant, you can choose your faction, which determines your passive trait, activated ability, and Ultra as well as your loadout, which determines the weapons you use. Game modes in XDefiant are broken up into two categories: Arena and Linear. Arena matches have both sides competing to achieve a higher score than their opponents in symmetrical gameplay. Linear matches put one side on the offensive and the other on defense, and force you to employ different tactics. To help you adapt on the fly and get an edge in each game mode, here are some recommendations for how to use each faction's strengths to your advantage.
Starting with the Arena modes, we have Domination, where teams compete to capture and control three points across the map. Because the points are stationary and holding them is the name of the game, you’re going to want Factions that specialize in area denial and defense, like The Cleaners (The Division) and The Phantoms (Ghost Recon). The Cleaners’ Incinerator drone will lay down a strip of fire that can cut off routes, zoning the entire enemy team out or splitting them up. Or, if you’re looking to make a splash, their Firebomb ability throws a Molotov cocktail on the ground blanketing the immediate area in fire. It’s a powerful ability that can instantly clear a zone of enemy presence, provided you can get in close enough to set it off. You might not survive getting that up close and personal, but neither will your opponents, leaving your teammates free to gain control. If all else fails, remember the Purifier; The Cleaners’ Ultra ability arms you with a powerful flamethrower that’ll roast anyone in your path. Once a zone is yours, you’ll need to hold onto it, and that’s where the Phantoms’ Mag Barrier comes into play. Place one or two of these down to block enemy bullets while you and your allies fire back through the one-way barrier.
In Occupy, there’s only one zone you need to capture. This might sound simple, but the zone is constantly changing locations, forcing you to be mobile and adapt to your surroundings. This is where the Echelon (Splinter Cell) shine. Their digital ghillie suit will turn you all but invisible, letting you stealthily approach to get the drop on unsuspecting opponents and help your allies clear out an occupied zone. When you need some support moving from zone to zone, call in Libertad (Far Cry 6). Not only does their passive trait provide area-of-effect healing over time, but their BioVida Boost activated ability increases overall health and health regen for all nearby allies. That extra 20 health can go a long way to winning a firefight. When you really need that extra juice, activate Libertad’s Ultra, the Medical Supremo, which doubles your health and dramatically boosts your healing for a limited time.
(This mode is no longer available in the Closed Beta.)
The last Arena mode is HotShot. When you kill an opponent in Hotshot, they drop a bounty, which you then pick up to secure a point for your team. You can also grab your allies’ bounties to deny the enemy team points. Whichever player in the match holds the most bounties at once becomes the Hotshot, gaining enhanced movement speed and reload speed. Any bounties the HotShot picks up are also worth more, but that player is marked for everyone to see and track at all times. Offense and speed are key in HotShot, so Echelon’s digital ghillie suit is great for snatching up bounties, but their Intel Suit is equally useful, especially for the HotShot themselves. Everyone may know where you are, but you can return the favor with the Intel Suit’s ability to detect nearby enemies.
If you really want the drop on your opponents, Echelon’s Ultra ability, Sonar Goggles, will reveal all enemies through walls and arm players with Sam Fisher’s 5.7 pistol, which has boosted damage and will let you make quick work of the opposing team. While the objective is picking up bounties, you’re going to have to win some firefights, and you know what helps in firefights? Extra health. Utilize the Phantom’s passive ability Hardened – to always have 20 extra base health, or trigger Libertad’s BioVida boost to get extra health and regeneration. The health regen is particularly useful in extended gunfights, or when you just barely squeak out a trade.
Escort is a linear mode that charges one team with escorting a package on a predetermined route, and the other team with stopping them. Attackers move the package by being near it – the more teammates are near it, the faster it moves. Defenders can stop the package by keeping attackers away or contesting the zone, and they can even reverse the package if they control it entirely. The Phantoms’ Blitz Shield is an especially powerful activated ability as it will give you nearly 100% frontal cover from gunfire, letting you get to the package more easily and stay on longer. When the match is on the line and you just need to move the package a few more inches to hit that next checkpoint or finish line, that’s the perfect time to pop the Phantom’s Ultra, the AEGIS. The AEGIS drops a bulletproof shield around you that's big enough for teammates to fit in. Get on the package, activate the AEGIS, and the enemy team will be hard-pressed to stop you.
Stopping you is, of course, the defending team’s objective, and they have plenty of tools to make that happen. Echelon’s digital ghillie suit is great for surprising the attacking team from unpredictable angles, while The Cleaners’ Incinerator Drone and Firebomb can move them off the package. If all else fails, use the attackers’ tactics against them – pull out a Blitz Shield and push them off the objective while they’re distracted by your teammates.
Finally, there’s Zone Control: five static zones laid out in a linear map. Attackers need to stand in zones to progress their capture meter. Any progress they make in capturing it is permanent and defenders can’t reduce the capture meter. Once the attacking team has secured a location, they can advance to the next zone along the map. Here, the Phantoms’ bullet-blocking Mag Barrier can be very useful, as capturing zones takes much longer than in Domination or Occupy. If you’re pinned down by Defender sniper fire, the Phantoms’ Blitz Shield is always your friend when you need to get on the objective. The static zones are also prime locations for Libertad’s El Remedio ability. Throw this ability, and it’ll disperse a healing cloud for any allies in its range. The best part is, it stays right where you threw it, even after you die. The only way to get rid of it is by destroying it or canceling the ability. So, if you’re struggling to get to and stay on point, throw out El Remedio and help your team, whether you’re alive or not.
These are just some of the strategies you can employ across XDefiant’s five modes, but with the variety of factions and loadouts available, there’s plenty of room to discover your own winning style.
So, what are you waiting for? The XDefiant Closed Beta ends on April 25, and certain rewards you unlock while playing will carry over to the full game when it launches later this year on PlayStation, Xbox, PC via Ubisoft Connect, and Amazon Luna. For more on XDefiant, be sure to visit news.ubisoft.com.