clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Anthem beginner’s guide

Make your first days in Anthem better

Anthem Ranger using ult Bioware/EA
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

Loot games are hard to get into, and Anthem is no different. But we're here to help. In this guide, we’ve assembled are five tips that will make your first several hours better.

Don’t play alone

Anthem is better with friends.

It’s a huge game, in part because you can fly into the sky or swim through the water. There’s a lot of ground to cover and many enemy spawn locations. Playing with people you know makes the size manageable. If you get swarmed, your allies can fight alongside you. If you go down, they can revive you.

If you don’t have friends to play with, Anthem has matchmaking. Playing with a group of randoms is still better and faster than playing alone.

Pick up and hold on to everything

Anthem’s endgame is locked behind its story mode, but you can start preparing for it from the beginning.

Anthem has an extensive crafting system that uses blueprints and resources. Some resources won’t be available until you level up and upgrade your Javelin to get better drops, but you can collect low-level resources in your first few hours.

Gear and weapon space isn’t unlimited, so you’ll need to dismantle items. Use the safe to mark items as junk and make organizing easier. You can use the materials stored in your safe later.

Keep your spending to a minimum in the early game. You get gear quickly in Anthem, and some materials will serve you better later.

Anthem - a fellow warrior BioWare/Electronic Arts

Think vertically

No matter what Javelin you pick, you can fly high into the sky or swim down into the watery depths.

Flying enemies are easy targets, but so are you when you’re in the air. Unless you’re the Storm (which gets better shields while hovering), you’ll struggle if you fly too much. Use flying to to get away in a pinch or to gain a vantage point and unleash your Ultimate from above.

Don’t overheat

Overheating may be the worst mistake you can make in Anthem. If you can’t fly, you may find yourself stranded without a good escape route.

If you fly too long, your bar will fill up and your jets will stop working. You’ll be grounded you until you cool off — and it takes longer to cool down after you’ve overheated.

To cool yourself down, you can fly through rain or water or skim along the surface of a river. Diving quickly also eliminates heat. Sometimes, your best option is to land and wait for your jets to cool.

Some enemy abilities also cause your Javelin to overheat — especially if you get lit on fire while flying. There’s little you can do to stop this. Instead, focus on what you can control, and don’t push your Javelin too hard.

Anthem Colossus using flamethrower Bioware/EA

Choose your starting Javelin carefully

After you reach Fort Tarsis, you'll need to choose a Javelin. Eventually, you’ll be able to switch between the Colossus, the Interceptor, the Ranger, and the Storm, but you can only pick one at the start.

Each Javelin has its own strengths, weaknesses, and styles. Here’s a sentence about each, with links to our Javelin guides:

  • Tank players should pick the Colossus.
  • If you want to move fast and attack with daggers, select the Interceptor.
  • If you enjoy playing the balanced soldier class, choose the Ranger (which is the Javelin you play in the tutorial).
  • Mage lovers should pick the Storm.

If you don’t like your choice, you’ll have to wait until level eight to get your second Javelin. Take a look at our Javelin guides, which will help make your first hours as fun as possible.

You can ignore (almost) everyone in Fort Tarsis

You can talk to loads of people in Fort Tarsis, even at the start of the game. A quick look at the map will tell you wants to chat.

When you talk to people in Tarsis, you’ll get some color about the world and a handful of reputation for a faction (or all three). Conversations don’t give much reputation, but it adds up. For example, talking to the right people can help you clean your Javelin with new wear states.

If you want to get through the campaign as quickly as possible, save the conversations for later when you’re done with the story and can burn through the dialogue in town all at once.

If you need a break from combat, talking is a productive distraction — particularly if you’re interested in learning about the world or story. If you’re focused on getting to the endgame, it’s best to ignore these conversations and concentrate on the campaign. Unless a character has a mission, you can leave them for later.

Focus on combos

See the red icon above the enemy heads? That means they’re on fire and primed for our detonator.
BioWare/EA via Polygon

Anthem’s most interesting gameplay system is one it barely explains: combos.

Most abilities in Anthem are either primers or detonators — primers have a circle with a dot, and detonators have a four-pointed star. Hit an unshielded enemy with a primer until they become afflicted with the status. You’ll know they have a status effect when you see a red symbol above their health bar. Once they’re primed, hit them with a detonator to make them explode.

Each Javelin also has its own combo effect. Ranger deals big single-target damage, Colossus deals area damage, Storm spreads status effects to nearby enemies, and an Interceptor coats itself in a status aura that poisons, freezes, or burns nearby enemies.

These combos are powerful, and they become mandatory in the endgame. They also make combat more fun and engaging, especially in a group of friends where you can communicate. Master this process early, and you’ll be thankful later.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon