To those anticipating the unveiling of Starhawk, the Build and Battle system was a large surprise. The ability to craft the home base, as well as outposts, as you see fit- giving players a nearly unlimited amount of freedom in how to set up fortifications.
To start using the Build and Battle system, hold down Triangle to bring up its menu; there are currently ten structures to choose from, use the Left stick and X to choose the building, then use the Left stick and X to confirm the position of the structure, or Circle to cancel placement of it. From there, the building will fall from the dropship and set itself up, do not run into the highlighted area, unless you want your own building to kill you.
The Build and Battle system is ran through earning Rift Energy. Each player can hold up to 12 units of Rift Energy, and the energy total earned will remain if the player is killed. Rift Energy can be obtained three ways- staying in a 'Friendly Zone' outlined by your team's base or Pod beacons (one energy unit is earned every 15 seconds,) destroying Rift Barrels laying around the maps (one energy unit is earned for every two barrels,) and laying damage to the enemy team (one energy unit is earned for every three kills, and half of the points used for creating the enemy structure will be received.)
If you end up disliking the position of a building, you can reclaim most of them- Outposts and Machinegun Turrets currently cannot be reclaimed. On buildings that can be reclaimed, you will notice a computer interface on the side of the building- stand in front of it, then hold down the Triangle button and hit down on the D-pad to break it down; half of the energy spent on the building will go back to the player who set up the building.
Certain conputer interfaces have additional properties. Vehicle structures (Garages, Launch Pads, and Jetpack Dispensers) can spawn additional vehicles while conserving team building limits and reducing the cost of receiving a new vehicle. Walls have an ability to be 'upgraded' to Wall Gates, which will only open when players on the same faction approach them.
The wall structure is currently the least expensive asset to build, as it costs a single unit of Rift Energy to set one up. Before accepting the position of a second wall, make sure it's connected to the first wall. With the wall sockets set between existing buildings and terrain, it is possible to create a series of walls to block off all ground vehicle access to a designated area. When the unconfirmed second wall is within proximity, an interlocking joint will be used to adjust the angle of the wall about to be built, so it is up to the builder to block off access properly.
The Corral building is currently very inexpensive to build, as it also costs a single unit of Rift Energy to set one up. One Sidewinder Jetbike will spawn when the Corral is built; additional Jetbikes cost one unit of Rift.
The garage structure is used for spawning Razorbacks; each structure costs two energy units, and an additional Razorback costs one unit to spawn in. Many have yet to realize that multiple garages in the same area are unneccesary, so instead of wasting energy, use the same garage as a teammate when he or she builds one at the beginning of the round. If you notice unneccesary structures laying around, do that teammate a favor and reclaim it so he can use that energy elsewhere.
These auto turrets cost two energy units to build. These turrets have the ability to 'snap-on' the top of Walls and Supply Bunkers to avoid getting destroyed from grenades and 'disables'. Grouping multiple turrets can add force when there is no other ally around to defend a point.
Watchtowers also cost two energy units. The sniper rifle and an ammo supply lie on the top of the tower, accessible by the ladder. As the tower is a sight for sore eyes, don't consider staying on top of it.
Outposts are vital for controlling territory in the game. They cost four energy units to deploy, yet can aid in gaining more energy when the player is in its vicinity, marked on the map. Players can respawn with the Drop Pods within its vicinity, so when placed effectively, teams can force their opponents into a defensive position. The beacons are weak, however, as it takes about four explosives to knock one down.
These structures cost four units of energy; they are essential in gaining an advantage on the ground. Each are stocked with shotguns and rocket launchers, let alone ammo supplies. Players can shoot out of the windows, yet will not take damage through them due to the protected glass. If you're dealing with an empty enemy bunker, collect the ammo from it before destroying it with rockets, grenades, or the repair tool. If you're dealing with an enemy in a bunker, your two choices are to raze the bunker to the ground or infiltrate it from the top port, either tossing in grenades/proximity mines, or drop in and dispatch him or her with a shotgun or knife.
These stations dispense Vultures, or jetpacks; the dispenser requires six units of energy to be placed, and three units for additional jetpacks.
The arm is a structure that can repair any vehicle or building within ten feet of it. If you can't find a Welding Torch nearby, but have four units of rift, use this to get your vehicles in working order; also use these to prolong the life of a Supply Bunker, Beam Turret, or other structure.
This platform is used to spawn in Hawks; they cost four energy units to be placed, and two energy units to spawn in additional Hawks. The four pillars used to hold the platform up are handy for ground cover, in case a group of enemies makes their way into your base, and you're unable to spawn a Hawk at the moment.
The Beam Turret is an effective defensive asset that is able to take down enemy vehicles with relative ease; they can also be used to destroy enemy buildings and even ground targets from a distance. They cost six energy units to drop onto the battlefield; additional walls and beam turrets can be linked to each other. The most effective means to destroy an enemy Beam Turret is to use a Repair Tool on it.
These are found on the Heavyweight and Air Superiority loadouts, where it either outright replaces the Beam Turret, or the player must upgrade to the Flak Turret by standing in front of the panel, holding Triangle, hitting up and X on the menu.
These are the most expensive assets on the battlefield alongside Shield Generators; it costs eight units of Rift to set up a Depot. Each Depot spawns with a single Ox Heavy Tank. Additional Ox Tanks cost four units of Rift to build, and a waiting period of 10 seconds before building another.
These are the most expensive assets on the battlefield along with the Tank Depots; it costs eight energy units to protect a ground target from aerial and long-range attack. The shield will stay up as long as the generator is intact- no rocket impact on the shield itself will damage it, yet the generator itself is pretty weak, maybe slightly weaker than the Pod Beacon. Run inside the shield to disable it, stealth is key to surviving and getting out of the area.
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