So here it is, the third and final guide to flying the various ship classes on the new Gateway map. This time around we’ll be taking a look at Support Class. Your host will be Anska, an ace Valkyrie pilot who’s a popular member of the community and whose support skills are legendary.
Take it away, Anska.
I love the Gateway map, it is so amazing. The first time I got to play that map I just kept getting killed because I was so in awe of it and spent too much time looking around! In a match situation there’s so much to like about it. It has so many places to hide and the jump gate is just too much fun. The main structure itself really appeals to me as a support pilot. It's fun to work out where to place stuff or if you can use the structure itself to protect you. The scale of the main structure gives a great feeling of speed, especially when you are warping through it.
The map is also good for supports because there are so many places you can move in and out of, so the structure can take the bullets or missiles instead of you.
In the past I have tended to play the medic role, but inspired by other great players out there I’m now trying out attacking support styles. My main ship of choice is the Guardian, but I’m starting to play around with the likes of the Revenant, Warden, Siren and Banshee.
In my medic role, I get right into the ball of death. As a support player, we are often seen as being soft but don’t let that put you off going in head-first and taking chances. This is a great map in which to do so because if you do get into trouble, there are loads of places to take cover. Also, if someone’s on your tail, the scaffolding is amazing to weave in and out of until you can escape. If you are going to play a more medic type of support role on this map, then your job is to keep people playing. Don't try to fully heal players as there is often too much shooting going on. Your best option is to hot potato back and forth around your fellow pilots. On the offensive side, you can have some fun with support ships on this map. When flying, for example, a Siren or Revenant, be sure to seek out the best spots to place mines. Placing mines in a tight area that is frequently travelled through can catch out the enemy and turn the tide of a battle.
So many times I’ve seen people in the heat of the game not notice a mine from a Siren or Revenant… Boom!
If you really want to go on the offensive, the Revenant is a good choice because it can heal, but is also equipped with a punchy Gatling gun.
Much of the advice that applies to Team Deathmatch also applies here. Players often get into the death match mind-set of ‘kill, kill, kill’ but support can be an amazing little objective monkey in this mode. Sure, take pot shots at those around the control point if you like, but if you have other teammates there already you’d be of more use elsewhere. A lot of supports are fast and perfectly suited to zipping quickly between control points in order to destroy opponents’ drones or land a quick attack on an enemy ship if playing a more offensive role. In terms of specific ships, it has to be said that the phasers the Banshee and Siren are equipped with aren’t that great when it comes to destroying drones. When flying the Siren, you can compensate by using missiles instead. If you’re in a Banshee though, you are much better off defending the control points or putting drones down. While doing so, place mines or spider bots around the points so that when enemy ships come to attack your drone, they get hurt in one way or another.
I love Carrier Assault. A good idea for support pilots here is to have a good look at what’s going on around the map before you dive in. Often, you’ll find a point that’s been left open, and players are so wrapped up in their own battles elsewhere that you are free to zoom in and place a drone. Once again, mines are a useful tool in this mode. Inevitably, there will come a time when your opponents are rushing toward the core for the final push. Imagine their surprise when the route to the core is riddled with mines. Another win for the sneaky supports. I’ve found that the Guardian can be a nice ship for this mode. It’s fast enough to get to the points and its weapons are potent enough to help with the fight and take out stuff like the drones or the nodes on the carrier. It’s also useful as bait. I’ve had times when ships have gone after me instead of defending their carrier as they may have seen me as an easy kill. However, the longer you can keep that person away from their own carrier, the better for your teammates.
Before I go I’m just going to leave you with three final tips on flying support in general. First, never take things personally. If enemies are repeatedly targeting you, it means you’re doing your job properly. Second, shooting bad guys is fun, but play more of the medic role if it’s needed. It might not get you to the top of the board but you’ll get more victories and your team will love you for it. Finally, Scout Mode is a support’s best friend. Use it to really get to know the map and use that knowledge to your advantage.
Thank you, Anska. Hopefully your wise words will inspire more players to try out the Support Class. If you want to know more about flying the other classes on Gateway, check out our guides to fighters and heavies.