Mini Masterclass –  Control Mode: The Support’s Role

by CCP Games
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We’ve already learned how to handle a Control Match in a heavy, thanks to Nydwen’s recently published play guide. Now it’s the turn of the support class. As usual, we turn to ace support pilot Anska to show us the way.

Choose Your Ship

SHIP Revenant cropped The most commonly used support ships you see in Control Matches are the Banshee, Revenant and, to a lesser extent, the Siren. Let’s take a look at them.

Banshee

The Banshee is great for laying down drones for the objective and for defending points. It can help heal a bit and has spiderbots that can heal friendlies or damage the bad guys. However, the Banshee’s phaser weapon is not so great at attacking enemies drones, so always look at your team layout before deciding to pick that particular ship.

Revenant

Control is where the Revenant really shines. It is a fantastic ship. It’s got the speed, mines, guns and the mighty corrupt beam that can amplify damage. The Revenant’s mines are a lot of fun to play with, giving you the opportunity to lay down traps at the control points, which you can then lure your opponents into.

Siren

The Siren doesn’t have a beam, so it’s not able to take part in healing duties. However, it is a pretty solid choice if you’re taking on the role of protecting control points, as it comes equipped with mines and a phaser. It’s very capable of looking after itself.

Guardian

I can’t talk about support ships in Control Matches without mentioning my favorite ship, the Guardian. It’s great for Control and if I’m in a squad, I always try to take it out. It’s ideal for quickly zipping between points and laying down drones. Its head-tracked heal beam can prove invaluable for keeping the team’s health topped up.

Though not technically a support, you might want to try out a Displacer. It has the capability to heal and you might find the opponents are more reluctant to take on a fighter than a support.

General advice

Com Alerts Main

Keep ‘Em Peeled

As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, always keep an eye on what the other players are doing. If you sit back and watch the opponents’ movements you can get a handle on their style of play, establishing whether or not they have an aggressive approach. By doing that you can decide whether to take on the role of a medic ship or someone who gets stuck into the fighting.

A particularly solid piece of advice is to check out the maps on Scout Mode, this helps you to get to know your surroundings and figure out the best places for cover, laying down mines and spiderbots.

It’s also good to watch other supports in Control, so that you can learn tricks from them. Personally, I’ve learned some great tricks and good places to lay down mines by watching other experienced pilots like Zman, Goatan, Whirlygiant and Boomergeek.

Communication is Key

Control is definitely a situation where you will want to use the Com Alerts to your advantage.  You need to constantly be well-informed about the state of a Control Match and Com Alerts are the best way to do that. Support ships can be vulnerable, and there’s been many a time I’ve taken a beating, but I've used the com wheel to call for some much-needed assistance.

I should add that since the recent update, you should also make full use of the new radar set-up. When someone sends out a Heal Me request via the Com Alerts, their radar marker changes color so you know exactly where you are needed.

Top Techniques

One of my favorite techniques is to play cat and mouse with the Revenant. Each map has certain tight places that are perfect for laying down traps for your enemies to get caught out by, so again make sure you learn the maps in Scout Mode. For example, one of my favorite places to do this is on the Solitude map, in the underground tunnels section. Equally fun is the Gateway map, where you can lay down mines between the two warp gates.

When it comes to healing, if the match is particularly busy with lots of ships from both sides battling around a single point, you need to use the ‘hot potato’ technique. This involves zipping between the friendlies, giving them a small amount of healing each… just enough to keep them alive without causing your beam to enter cooldown. Better to just top your friends up a bit, and repeatedly, than fully healing one teammate to the detriment of the others.

Thanks for that superb advice, Anska.

If you want to find out how to take on the Control Matches with heavy class ships, be sure to check out Nydwen’s guide.

Fly Safe!