ryuji_sakujo

Advanced Vehicle and Ability Guide

2 posts in this topic

Intro

This thread is a collection/guide of "advanced tips" for how to use various vehicles and abilities in the game.

This thread is hyperlinked in my trophy guide for Switchblade: https://psnprofiles.com/guide/9556-switchblade-trophy-guide

The game was at the early January 2020 patch when this content was compiled.

Read more about each vehicle and abilities here: https://www.switchbladegame.com/vehicles/

 

Credits:

This guide was compiled by ryuji_sakujo.

The bulk of the content (as of 2020-01-20) has been provided by Reaper12279.

 

Other Contributors:

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Vehicle and Ability Guide

 

General Info

The most important thing to know in Switchblade is:

  • Spacial awareness (keeping an eye on the minimap, knowing where the enemies and your teammates are, etc.)
  • Knowing the map to the degree where you can pretty much drive in reverse while shooting (kiting) enemies and not crash into obstacles
  • Switchblade being a 5v5 MOBA, it's needless to say that co-operation is key, you simply can not¬†consistently carry your team to victory by being a solo player, so learn how to strategize and co-operate with your teammates!

Other tips:

  • Decide and adjust¬†vehicle selection¬†depending on what vehicles your team is using (to form a well-rounded and effective "team composition")
  • When buying enhancements and consumables for your vehicles, prioritize them in¬†such a way that it benefits both vehicles that you're using, for example:
    • Goofer & Fortress
      • Both benefit from the Critical enhancement
      • Fast/slow vehicle combo (one is slow but tanky/DPS, the other is fast and mobile but a bit more fragile)
    • Kamikaze & Sniper Prince
      • Both benefit from the Health + Shield enhancement
      • Fast/slow vehicle combo (one is slow but tanky/DPS, the other is fast and mobile but a bit more fragile)
    • Angel & Vampire
      • Both benefit from the Damage/Healing + Shield enhancement
      • Fast/slow vehicle combo (one is slow but tanky/DPS, the other is fast and mobile but a bit more fragile)
  • Damage/Healing and Critical Boost consumables synergize well with each other
  • The XP pad can be used every 6-8 seconds or so, granting a 50 XP reward spread among all team members.
    This is crucial to get an early lead in the match, so don't overlook the XP pads, try to secure control over them and surrounding areas!

 

Artillery Vehicles

  • As an artillery vehicle, you want to keep your distance, you're most effective at this range (and less susceptible to being damaged by vehicles that prefer to operate at closer range)
  • Your first purchase should generally be spent on Speed enhancement¬†as artillery vehicles are slow and need speed buffs to make up for it
    • Also purchase the Speed Gate consumable, use it to get out of dangerous situations where enemies would outmaneuver and lock you down¬†with their mobility

Berserker

  • R1 Missiles does¬†splash damage (AoE), effective against grouped up enemy mobs and vehicles
  • L1 Mortar (aka. Molotov Shells) can be fired through walls, so use this to surprise¬†unsuspecting foes
  • L2 Super can be used to turn 1v2 skirmishes around

Electron

  • This vehicle takes some time to fully master
  • L1 Orbital Cannon deals damage in a small area, but does good damage
  • R1 Plasma Torpedo and L2 Tesla Storm (Super) can be used over¬†a larger area, and also to clear lanes

Sniper Prince

  • R1 Barrage does¬†splash damage (AoE), effective against grouped up enemy mobs and vehicles.
  • L1 Forward Shield deploys a shield, you can use this to shield your ally mobs against enemy fire
    • The Forward Shield is the most unique feature for this artillery vehicle
  • L2 Shotgun Storm¬†(Super)¬†can take out multiple enemies if they're grouped up (and aimed at)
    • You don't have to be at melee range for your Shotgun Storm to be effective, it works as well at mid-range
    • Normally, while your shield is up you can't use your offensive abilities or primary weapon,
      but if you use your L2 Super, then you can both have a shield up and have an offensive ability active!

 

Fighter Vehicles

Flaming Blade

  • L2 Flaming Blade (Super) deploys whirling blades of fire to deal heavy damage to¬†nearby enemies,
    because of this you should also use the Defensive consumable so that you can survive any incoming damage
  • L1 Speed Boost should be used in conjunction with L2 Flaming Blade (Super) to make the Super more effective, activate the L2 Super first
  • R1 Rocket Salvo can be used on¬†enemy mobs as they're approaching their target,
    that way they take damage-over-time (DoT) and get significantly weakened before duking it out with your ally mobs
  • L1 Speed Boost makes this vehicle perfect for lane switching

Kamikaze

  • R1 Homing Missile does splash damage, so use it on grouped up enemy vehicles or mobs that are temporarily stationary (not moving), otherwise the splash damage won't come to use
  • L1 Speed Boost makes this vehicle perfect for lane switching
  • L2 Kamikaze (Super) should be sequenced in the following order:
    • Get close to the enemy vehicle(s)
    • Activate the L2 Super
      • If you activate the Super in close proximity to¬†the enemy vehicle(s), it will slightly slow them down!
    • Activate L1 Speed Boost

Sidewinder

  • This vehicle takes some time to fully master
  • L1 Mag Shield is mainly a defensive weapon, but can definitely be used offensively as well!
    • For example: You can approach an enemy turret, absorb damage and then turn towards enemy vehicles to fire the plasma projectile
  • L2 Deadly Circus (Super) is about 80% more effective if you have a speed-up gate¬†deployed nearby or have the speed-up consumable ready to activate
  • L2 Deadly Circus (Super) can be used against multiple targets, in fact you should spread it among multiple targets if possible instead of just focusing down a single enemy vehicle
  • L2 Deadly Circus (Super) has no damage reduction based on distance, as long as you're locked on the enemy with your aim
  • In general, this vehicle performs better if you focus¬†on one target with its offensive abilities, the Super ability being the exception!
  • This vehicle is a "glass cannon", it can output high damage but it's also susceptible to offensive maneuvers by the enemy and can easily be taken down if not handled carefully (in terms of positioning and escaping ambushes)

Sundog

  • L2 Solar Flare (Super) has the following properties:
    • Low cooldown
    • It can easily kill 2 enemies (barely 3)
    • It synergizes well with the Speed Gate¬†consumable
  • L1 Fusion Core should not be shot directly at the target, the fusion core will dissipate if it does a head-on collision with an object
    • Instead, aim and shoot behind the target that you're looking to damage
  • L1 Fusion Core is an AoE projectile that slowly approaches the target location
  • R1 Nano Banner¬†has an¬†initial heal which is slow, the bubble explosion (during the end of the ability) does most of the healing
  • The Damage enhancement is good on this vehicle, it adds to both the damage dealt and the healing capability
  • The Critical enhancement and consumable should also be used for this vehicle, due to the high rate of fire with R2 Phase Array (Primary Weapon) there is an increased chance to land critical hits!
  • This vehicle is a lane pusher

Thunder Pulse

  • L1 Tractor Beam can be used to pull enemies into your mobs, that makes it the most overpowered/useful secondary ability in the game!
    • It can also be used in other ways, such as pulling in and¬†slowing down enemy mobs
  • L2 Thunder Pulse (Super)¬†should be used with L1 Tractor Beam
    • First, activate L2¬†Thunder Pulse (Super) to deploy the¬†damage-dealing lightning vortex
    • Then, activate¬†L1 Tractor Beam to pull in enemy vehicles
  • This vehicle benefits from the Defensive¬†consumable when using the¬†L2 Thunder Pulse (Super) to ensure that it survives¬†incoming damage
  • This vehicle can be used to both fight enemies and push¬†the lane, so it's a skirmish/lane pushing vehicle

 

Scout Vehicles

  • Scout vehicles generally benefit from the Critical boost consumable, due to their increased fire rate on their R2 Primary Weapon
  • Scout vehicles are more of a niche category of vehicles, their usefulness is very situational. They do require¬†a bit more player skill to play correctly and to contribute positively for your team

Goofer

  • R1 Stealth, attacking while in stealth will cause the vehicle to be visible again and adds a damage bonus
    • Activating the Critical consumable as you de-stealth further increases damage output
  • R1 Stealth does not work against enemy AI vehicles (bots)
  • L1 Jammer will jam enemy weapons but it¬†also slightly slows enemies down
  • If you have a¬†Mob Buddy on your team, then you can group up and target enemy(s) that have their weapons jammed AND shields broken (team combo) at the same time
    • These¬†two¬†abilities both cause slowdowns which stack with each other (they don't override each other)
  • L2 Goo (Super) can be used to give ally mobs¬†extra damage resistance and bolster them for hard pushes into enemy Tower Cores
  • L2 Goo (Super) damage resistance works for everything (including yourself, ally turrets), but does not work for ally Towers (Tower Doors and Cores)

Mob Buddy

  • R1 Mimic¬†does not work against enemy AI vehicles (bots)
  • It is suggested that you allocate¬†all upgrade points on the L1 Shield Jammer, except for 1 upgrade point¬†on each of the other abilities including the L2 Super
  • Despite its name, this vehicle is not¬†good on working together with and pushing your ally mobs
    • It's better suited¬†for working together with¬†teammates¬†(in a supportive role),¬†for instance by taking off enemy shields and having your heavy-damage teammates kill the enemy(s).
  • L2 Mob Boost Ray (Super) is one of the best abilities for giving damage resistance to your ally mobs, only outmatched by Angel's healing capability.
  • L2 Mob Boost Ray (Super) causes mobs to prioritize pushing into enemy Tower Cores, so they'll actually ignore enemy mobs or vehicles to a greater degree in order to make a hard push!

Porcupine

  • R2 Striker (Primary Weapon) must be locked-on to stay tethered to the enemy (unlike the R2 Primary Weapon tether of Healing Hippo, Tiny Giant, Gravitron)
  • R2 Striker (Primary Weapon) is the strongest primary weapon out of all Scout vehicles
  • L1 Thunder Mines can be used defensively, by hiding behind them (placing them between yourself and the enemy firing line), they will absorb the hits if an enemy is trying to shoot you
  • L1 Thunder Mines are very effectively used in narrow corridors, try to lead and lure enemies into these, as there's less room to move around and a greater chance that enemies will trigger the mines
  • Here's an example scenario of how to use the Porcupine vehicle:
    • Run next to the enemy
    • Use R1 Overdrive to gain movement speed and drive in front of the enemy
    • Drop mines with L1 Thunder Mines
    • Now, the¬†enemy is¬†"steer locked" (their ability to turn is malfunctioning)
  • R1 Overdrive can be used to help allies speed up, so it's useful for both offensive and defensive courses of action
    • This ability effectively makes Porcupine into a good supportive vehicle for your team
  • L2 Lockdown Storm (Super), when activating this ability, try to catch enemies at the edge of the AoE aura¬†and approach them to keep them locked down
    • Once activated, it takes¬†a second or so for it to startup, before the lockdown effect actually kicks in
    • Damage consumables synergize well with the activation of the Super ability
  • Critical consumables are also of good¬†use for this vehicle (in conjunction with activating its abilities)

 

Support Vehicles

  • Support vehicles with damaging tethers (currently only¬†only Healing Hippo and Tiny Giant) benefit from the¬†Critical¬†consumables as their R2 Primary Weapons deal damage at a high rate

Angel

  • Your first purchase for this vehicle should be the¬†Damage/Healing enhancement
  • This vehicle is an excellent supportive vehicle (for skirmishes or team fights) and a good lane pusher (since it can bolster and protect ally mobs)
  • This vehicle has excellent speed and mobility making it great for lane switching and split-pushing
  • Note that there's no regenerative shield on this vehicle! It makes up for it by passively healing in an area around itself.
  • R2 Seraph Blaster (Primary Weapon) is below average in terms of damage dealing, but it can be used to finish off enemy vehicles that are trying to escape after skirmishes or team fights
    • To increase your success rate at chasing down weakened enemies, use the Critical + Speed Gate¬†consumables for an extra boost to offensive capabilities when chasing down enemies
  • R1 Divinity can be used both defensively and offensively¬†by healing ally mobs and teammates that would otherwise be destroyed in combat
  • L1 Sanctuary¬†can be used to "absorb damage" in various situations
    • Shielding¬†ally mobs from damage when skirmishing or lane pushing
    • Shielding ally mobs from damage when they're targeted by enemy Tower defense
    • Baiting out Supers and damaging abilities¬†from enemy vehicles
  • If you're in a weakened state trying to escape enemies that are targeting you, generally speaking use R1 Divinity first to mitigate some damage and then use L1 Sanctuary to shield yourself
  • L2 Guardian (Super)¬†benefits from the Speed Gate consumable, since the movement speed and mobility of this vehicle is decreased while the Super is active
  • L2 Guardian (Super)¬†is strong enough to protect ally mobs from being killed by the enemy Tower defense, as well as providing enough health restoration to ally units that would normally destroy them in a vast number of combat situations

Gravitron

  • Your first purchase for this vehicle should be the¬†Damage/Healing enhancement
    • The second one should be the¬†Secondary Cooldown enhancement
  • This vehicle provides the best healing tether in the game, that is to say that it outperforms Angel in terms of¬†single-target healing (but not in AoE healing)
  • This vehicle is¬†useful as a supportive vehicle (skirmishing with teammates), but it's not really suitable or effective in 1v1 duels
  • It's good at lane pushing and can together with ally mobs hold its own in 1v2 situations
  • Early upgrade points should be focused on leveling up¬†L1 Healing Burst
    • Next, focus on leveling up¬†R1 Missile Squall / Rockets
  • L2 Singularity (Super) cooldown is lower than on other vehicles, so consequently it can be used more often during a single match
  • L2 Singularity (Super) can be used in various situations
    • Defending ally Towers and Turrets
    • CC (crowd control)¬†enemies and set up damaging Supers for ally vehicles

Healing Hippo

  • Speed Gate consumables are very useful for this vehicle
  • This vehicle's shield is one of its most important assets, as it has one of the largest shields in the game, so make sure to replenish it continuously after combat
  • R2 Laser (Primary Weapon) is the strongest primary weapon out of all support vehicles, to balance it out it has the weakest healing tether out of all support vehicles
  • L1 Harpy Drone does not heal R1 Missile Balloon
  • R1 Missile Balloon will not hit or damage the enemy Tower, even when it's within range, unless your vehicle has been damaged by the tower (you need the enemy Tower to aggro the balloon)
  • Enemies will most likely target R1 Missile Balloon as it has a wider radius of effect
    • You could make use of¬†L1 Harpy Drone to divert attention to it, while Missile Balloons are deployed
  • Mastering this vehicle requires situational awareness (knowing where allies and enemies are) and knowing how to position the L1 Harpy Drone and R1 Missile Balloon abilities on the battlefield
  • Try to sequence your abilities by using L1 Harpy Drone and R1 Missile Balloon first, before using the L2 Heal Wave (Super)
  • L2 Heal Wave (Super) can be used defensively, but also offensively when pushing ally mobs into enemy Towers, by bolstering them

Tiny Giant

  • R2 Laser (Primary Weapon) does more healing than damage with its tether, so it's better suited for healing. It's healing tether is the¬†second strongest in the game.
  • R1 War Balloon will not hit or damage the enemy Tower, even when it's within range, unless your vehicle has taken damaged by the tower (you need the enemy Tower to aggro the balloon)
  • L1 Heal Balloon does not have a limited capacity pool of healing per deployment
    • If you're looking to target heal¬†a¬†specific unit¬†on your team, make sure others don't "share" the resources
    • Upgrading L1 will increase the following stats: balloon duration, healing per second, radius, balloon health, cooldown speed
  • L1 Heal Balloon can be deployed at the same time as the Healing consumable (they will stack, not override each other)
  • You can use one balloon to protect (meat shield) the other one, by placing them in the same location
  • One possible strategy is using¬†the R1 War Balloon to kill enemy mobs while your L1 Heal Balloon and R2 Laser (Primary Weapon) healing tether keeps your mobs alive
    • Rinse and repeat until you see an ally vehicle that needs health, then peel off the enemy health and heal your teammate
  • L2 Tiny Giant (Super) can be used to escape (evasive maneuver), it's actually more useful in defensive situations rather than offensive ones
    • It is¬†recommended to not put more than 1 upgrade points into this Super ability while working on upgrading the other abilities
  • L2 Tiny Giant (Super) can be used to push around enemy and ally vehicles
    • An interesting use case is pushing¬†Fortress around when it's stationary in Fortress Mode, towards the retreating enemies

 

Tank Vehicles

  • Tanks are very slow and severely lack mobility, it is highly recommended to focus (early) purchases on Speed enhancements and Speed Gate consumables to make up for this!

Fog Hog

  • To increase your survivability, purchase and be ready to activate¬†Healing + Speed Gate consumable in situations where you're being heavily targeted
    • These consumables gives the vehicle more options for defensive play, siege and maintaining lane pressure
  • R2 Primary Weapon does good,¬†consistent damage and is not restricted by range, but has a slow rate of fire
  • R1 Triple Threat does splash damage
  • L1 Skin of Stone should be upgraded first, this vehicle is specialized on tanking during team fights and skirmishes
    • R1 Triple Threat deals good damage right off the bat without being fully upgraded, so it doesn't really need upgrades as much as other abilities
  • L2 Fog of War (Super) should be used with care, especially in defensive situations
    • It could inadvertently¬†cause enemy mobs to ignore ally units as they approach ally Towers that they would otherwise engage, potentially causing damage to your own base!

Fortress

  • This vehicle synergizes very well with Gravitron, since Fortress often needs to be up-close and within short range of the enemy vehicles (due to R1 Flamethrower), so it's often in need of consistent and heavy healing
  • Relies on supportive ally vehicles and both the Healing and Speed Gate consumables to¬†heal up from any damage taken¬†as well as¬†being mobile in crucial situations
  • It's very good¬†and holds it's own in the laning phase (early game), even against something like a Sundog¬†or multiple enemy vehicles
  • R2 Shotgun (Primary Weapon) is effective when used at close range against multiple enemies
    • The Critical enhancement is useful as it is possible to get a critical hit for every pellet that hits and enemy unit
    • The effectiveness of the Primary Weapon is decreased due to a damage/range drop-off as the vehicle gets further away from the target
  • R1 Flamethrower is the most damage dealing ability in the game
  • L1 Bulwark is a shield that can't be used simultaneously¬†with other abilities or Primary Weapon
    • The most common use will be shielding your own ally mobs as they're pushing into enemy Towers and engaging enemy units
    • It's not possible to shield ally Turrets from taking damage with that shield, as it¬†doesn't completely cover it
  • L2 Fortress Mode (Super) is all about positioning and timing
    • Use it against enemy Turrets or Towers when pushing the lane
    • Or use it in skirmishes and teamfights against enemy vehicles
    • This Super ability is one of the most damage-dealing in the game (high DPS)
    • Your mobility while in Fortress Mode is extremely limited due to being rooted in place (stationary)
      • Because of this you will need teammates that can protect and/or heal you
      • An interesting trick is pushing Fortress around with Tiny Giant (read about the trick in the "Tiny Giant" section)

Safeguard

  • This vehicle is¬†one of the more balanced and well-rounded tanks in the game, along with Vampire
  • A very good beginners vehicle if you're new to the game!
    • Other good beginners vehicles are:¬†Kamikaze, Thunder Pulse, Healing Hippo, Tiny Giant
  • L1 Sentinel Drones, it's possible to have 2 drones active¬†at the same time
  • R2 (Primary Weapon) has the highest rate of fire out of all the tanks, and does not have damage/range drop-off (unlike eg.¬†Fortress or Vampire), so it's effective up close and from a distance
    • This makes the critical consumable effective for this vehicle and it also¬†applies to the L1 Sentinel Drones
  • L2 Rebirth (Super) acts like a much weaker version of Healing Hippo's "Healing Roar"
  • L2 Rebirth (Super) could be used to heal up ally mobs as they're reaching the enemy Tower, just to make sure they have enough health to survive
    • This is not always a viable or recommended strategy, but it is an option

Vampire

  • This vehicle is one of the most powerful and well-balanced vehicles in the game, when operated correctly
    • It's restricted by speed (mobility) and range, but it makes up for it's damage-dealing and offensive capabilities, as well as survivability (healing)
  • Focus primarily on buying¬†enhancements rather than consumables for this vehicle
  • R2 Shotgun (Primary Weapon) has a damage/range drop-off, it is however not as severe as Fortress' drop-off
  • R1 Frag Dispenser is the main damage and sustenance ability of this vehicle
    • The Damage/Healing enhancement is very important for this vehicle!
      It contributes to both the damage inflicted on enemy units and the healed amount returned to Vampire (double buff)
      • The second-most important enhancement is the¬†Cooldown enhancement
      • The third one that you should purchase is¬†tied between:
        • Speed enhancement to make up for this vehicles low speed and mobility (you can hold on to a Speed Gate consumable meanwhile if it makes more sense to do so)
        • Critical enhancement is also very useful as it further boosts the damage dealt and the healing done by the grenades
    • The Frag grenades explode after some time, even when lobbing, so don't aim too far up.
      Keep track of where the grenades explode, re-adjust your aim if needed, to make sure that your grenades are not exploding too far above the ground where they are not dealing any damage!
    • The Frag grenades are also very useful and efficient at¬†taking down enemy Towers AND keeping yourself healed up at the same time
  • L1 Mesmer Flash is a very powerful AoE debuff that slows down enemy units that¬†surround¬†Vampire
    • The reach of the AoE debuff is more or less the same as the ring size of Turrets
    • With precise timing, it can be used against enemy mobs as they enter your ally Tower ring.
      This will give your Tower extra time to reload its Tower defenses and hit an extra enemy mob on the way in
    • It can be used to effectively set up for R1 Frag Dispenser and L2 Vampire Kiss (Super) ability use
  • L2 Vampire Kiss (Super) is an AoE damage and healing aura, with good timing and situational awareness you should try to always use it against multiple enemy units
    • It can also damage enemy balloons and other enemy drones and deployable¬†targets in addition to enemy units
    • (speculation and not verified) It can possibly damage enemy Towers if placed close enough to the Tower ring without getting disabled
    • Deals damage evenly over the duration of the activation, and it deals the same amount of damage regardless of whether the enemy is in the inner or outer radius of the aura
    • You should also try to use¬†the R1 Frag Dispenser and L1 Mesmer Flash¬†abilities while this Super ability is active and enemies are within range

 

Edited by ryuji_sakujo
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Feedback and corrections are very welcome!
Most likely the state of the game will change over time with patches, in which case I'm open to have other contributors maintain and change the contents of this in-depth guide, just let me know!

Edited by ryuji_sakujo
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