For Honor is now available and it’s a little overwhelming when you jump in. We’ve put together this handy guide to help you get started and some strategies to play your best.
What Works Best
It can’t be overstated just how important that tutorials are. For Honor‘s major point of difference is The Art of Combat fighting system. For Honor might look like a 3rd-person hack & slasher, but in reality it has much more in common with fighting games.
Patience, counter-attacking and a little bit of precognition are needed to become a master of For Honor. Don’t just mash your attacks and hope for the best, all that’ll do is use up your Stamina and leave you open.
Start out with the easy Vanguard Class characters first and then branch out and try one of the others. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, but each and every class can be effective against any other.
Learn Each Class
Once you’ve become familiar with a Vanguard class character — be it Warden, Raider or Kensei — depending on your personal preference, you’ll want to try something new.
If you’re after a heavy hitter try the Conqueror, Warlord of Shugoki. If you want a fast paced, nimble attacker then you’re best having a go with the Peacekeeper, Valkyrie or Nobushi or Berserker.
Those players who want a real challenge, or if you just want to ‘git gud’ with every hero, play as Orochi or Lawbringer.
There’s a real, tangible difference in each of the Hero types and you most readily identify it when you come across a player who’s both skilled and playing a class you’re unfamiliar with. It doesn’t mean you’ll automatically lose though. The basics of For Honor’s combat extend across all classes.
If you understand the basics and know how to use your chosen class, you’re likely to be able to stand your ground on most occasions.
Play the Campaign
It’s been overlooked almost completely during the pre-release phase, but For Honor’s campaign is definitely worth playing. If nothing else than for teaching you how to play.
The campaign covers all three Factions, but not every class. By the time you’ve completed the campaign though (roughly six hours) you’ll know enough about the combat to confidently jump into multiplayer.
The campaign doesn’t only teach you how to play, it also teaches you about Feats and about the various features of the game modes. You can get the same experience by just diving into multiplayer, but the foundation you get from the campaign means it’s going to be a lot less frustrating.
You can also play the campaign in co-op by partying up with a friend first and then starting a game.
Play With Friends
Many of For Honor’s multiplayer modes require a certain degree of teamwork and communication. They’re all completely playable if you want to solo-queue, but everything is a lot better if you’re playing with friends.
Dominion requires a level of teamwork even more intensive than multiplayer shooters. It’s basically Hardpoint with swords. Sounds easy enough in theory, but it’s not.
Points A and C are easy enough to capture, but it’s B that’s the most important. Leave your pleb soldiers alone for too long and the enemy heroes will clear them out and take back the point. It’s a constant Tug-of-War and one that needs plenty of co-ordination to get right.
Too often if you’re playing with randoms, they’ll be more interested in capturing back A or C than helping take back B. Unlike other similar modes though, capturing an additional point or a different point than you’ve held becomes a viable tactic if your side is breaking.
If the opposing team reaches 1000 points and your side starts to break, no respawns, if you can capture a point you’ll rally your troops and gain the ability to respawn again. Cooperation, communication and coordination extends to all multiplayer modes aside from 1v1 Duels.
Complete Orders and Spend Steel
For Honor’s Orders system is essentially groups of meta-missions to be completed in order to earn Steel, but it serves another purpose.
Not only does it incentivise players to try a range of modes and classes, it also rewards those players with in-game currency and XP. XP is required to level up your heroes obviously, but Steel has many different uses.
You need Steel to unlock heroes, purchase Champion Status and purchase gear packs. Champion Status gives you increased XP, Salvage from dismantling gear, more loot and an XP boost for those playing with you. You can buy Steel for real money from the in-game store, but you earn it just by playing.
You’re better off playing more, learning to get better and earning Steel rather than buying it. It won’t matter if you’ve unlocked the best gear instantly by spending real world dollars if you’re not good at playing.
Don’t Get Too Attached to Your Gear
For Honor wants to get you hooked by adding a loot loop into proceedings. It’s definitely working on me, but it all depends on how addictive a personality you have. Like in Destiny where you Guardian has a Level and a Light Level, your Hero in For Honor has a Level and a Gear Ranking.
The Gear Ranking is that second number next to yours and your opponent’s Level. This number is an indicator of a Hero’s overall weapon and armour rank. In some modes, Gear Rank is disabled, but in others, it’s vital.
Gear has different levels of rarity and different attributes. The rarer the piece, the better the attributes. For example, some helmets may reduce damage received but also reduce how quickly your Revenge meter fills. There are a huge number of attributes to play with when it comes to gear and it’ll come down to personal preference. And how lucky you are.
I say ‘Don’t Get Attached to Your Gear’ because when you get a new piece that’s better than what you had, your only course of action is to scrap the old piece. Doing so gives you Salvage which is required to level up your Gear.
If you have a piece you’re just totally in love with, keep it and boost its level with Salvage. This increases it’s attributes and can keep up with your overall levelling up.
We’ll go more in-depth into gear in a separate article. Stay tuned.
For Honor is a deep and complex fighting game with a steep learning curve. It’s disguised as a hack and slasher, but it has more in common with the likes of Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and Tekken.
It also has all the sensibilities of a modern shooter in the way that multiplayer has been designed and is played. On top of it all, there’s an RNG and meta-game element tying everything together.
For Honor is a game that’s going to continue to unfold and reveal its secrets for weeks and months to come and aside from all the advice above; the best way to play your best is just to play.
For Honor is being played on PS4 by way of a promotional code provided to PowerUp! by Ubisoft.