Everything You Need to Know About Anthem’s Ranger
In Anthem, each Javelin exosuit is a tailor-made weapon at your fingertips. These powerful suits will grant you superheroic abilities, with the weapons and propulsion to take you far out into the wild beyond Fort Tarsis. The Ranger is the first of those suits, with a ‘Swiss-army-knife’ style. Today, we’re going to be taking a look at exactly what you can expect from your first Javelin. So, strap in and get ready to lift off.
The ‘Swiss Army Knife’ Javelin
Now, the Ranger, according to the developers, really embodies the ‘easy to learn, hard to master’ mantra. They say that it’s the first Javelin we get our hands on, and “not because it’s the easiest, but because it’s the most versatile. In the hands of a master lancer, the Ranger can achieve feats of combat prowess that no other Javelin can touch. The Ranger javelin has a deep bag of tricks to draw from, and there is no combat situation it can’t take on effectively. With access to a wide variety of weapon types, the Ranger is a true wild card that can complement any team and any mission.
Lock-in and Loadout
Let’s get started with some of the weaponry and build options you can expect. Each Javelin can have two separate loadouts at launch. The Ranger has some of the widest access to the weaponry of Anthem, and therefore some of the most diversity within its loadouts. It can use all weapon types up to Heavy, which are Colossus exclusive. This means you can rock Assault Rifles, Submachine Guns, Sniper Rifles, you name it and it’s yours to play with. I’ve no doubt that the Ranger is going to have some of the highest build diversity in the game, giving it a huge breadth of capability for everyone from the rookie to the most hardcore end-gamer.
Forge Your Own Path
While the Ranger exemplifies diversity, it also has just as many exclusive skills as the other Javelins. This means that you’re going to have just as many cool toys as your friends in the more focused Javelin types, you’ll just have a broader wealth of applications. The Ranger’s skills may seem simple, but by combining them with different builds, a player can really specialize.
In the live stream where the devs spoke about build diversity, we saw some truly frightening Ranger combos. By stacking up cooldown reduction inscriptions (which are like random weapon perks) and ability damage modifiers, the Ranger was able to output enormous damage through abilities. This lent it a ‘caster’ type role. Players of mages in other games will instantly feel at home with this kind of build. Alternatively, other players could seek to build ‘Impact’ into their items, which would shift the Ranger’s damage priority to their main weapon. This kind of build might suit more traditional DPS-players.
Overall, the freedom to build the Ranger however you like belies its simplicity, and I’m sure we’re going to see some really interesting things come from players dedicated to this Javelin.
There’s an App for That
Each Javelin has a melee ability, two offensive ability slots, one support slot, and one ultimate ability. For the Ranger, your choices revolve around your Grenade Gear, an Assault Launcher option, and some Javelin Support Gear.
The Grenade Pouch is SO Last Year
The Grenade options will be immediately familiar to most shooter players, but offer some really interesting build paths. The first is Frag Grenade, a classic AOE damage ability. The player can also unlock seeker and sticky grenades, which really just do what they say on the tin, at your preference. There are two more interesting options, though. Firstly, an Inferno Grenade will set a whole area ablaze, including any enemies stuck in the splash zone. Otherwise, a Frost Grenade will damage and snap-freeze enemies in place.
Both of these latter grenades can make for mean combos with other abilities, such as freezing enemies in place to guarantee an allied Colossus maximum damage with their Mortar. In addition, inscriptions will mean that players will be able to apply different effects with all these abilities. You can set up a powerful combination-strike for yourself, or a chain-reaction with your allies’ abilities.
If You’re Launching an Assault, Take an Assault Launcher
Meanwhile, the Assault Launcher introduces even greater variety for the Ranger’s skill set. Picking which options suit you and your build is going to be paramount, as each of the options will have radically different uses. The Homing Missile is a simple, but brutally effective, tool of destruction – especially against agile, airborne enemies. The Blast Missile is similar, but with even more punch at the cost of enemy tracking. The Energy Pulse blasts a single target with incredible force. The Spark Beam is a continuous flow of sustained damage. The Venom Darts Launcher seek out targets to cause caustic Acid damage.
If you think you heard a lot of ‘damage’ words there, you’re exactly right. The ranger is going to be the king of death from afar and a versatile DPS Javelin. The choices of Assault Launcher exemplify the range of ways that damage can be dealt, depending on what your build (or team) requires.
Our Javelin has two Support System options at launch. The first is the Bulwark Point, which deploys a bubble that deflects enemy projectiles. We already know that this can be modded for some really cool stuff, such as absorbing enemy fire to boost player damage, and who knows what else? Alternatively, the Muster Point offers that damage boost by default, and may be modded to reduce ability cooldowns as well as other effects.
These Support Abilities won’t win you any fights alone, but they will certainly help when pushing the harder content. Again, we’re going to see some mean combos here. Abilities like this are famously important in other games’ big battles and Anthem is no different. There will always be a place for a Ranger with these skills on any team, especially one who’s mastered the placement of their support skill.
Putting the ‘Fire’ in Fire Support
Finally, the Ranger’s ultimate ability sees it lock on with a huge barrage of missiles. This barrage can easily clear huge groups of enemies, or can be used to focus down a priority target quickly. No matter the enemy type, the Ranger’s Ultimate will be sure to be a welcome asset to any fight, and I know personally that it’s just plain fun to use.
This Ult really embodies the Ranger for me. Up front, it’s a bucket-load of damage being poured into the enemy’s face. Behind the scenes, however, building the Ranger in order to complement either the rest of its build or your teammates can make for some truly devastating combos with your Ult. It’s simple when you want it to be, but also goes as deep as you like. Just like the Ranger itself.
Home in Time for Dinner
The Ranger might not boast a cool cape or a giant shield, but it is definitely going to see some of the most diverse builds in the game. The devs have told us that:
“With its focus on precise damage and versatility, the Ranger Javelin can suit any number of skill levels. Novice pilots will appreciate the wide array of weapons and abilities they can use to sharpen their skills, while experts will gravitate toward the Ranger’s emphasis on excellent marksmanship and skill mastery. So, whether you’re the newest Freelancer in your group or the most veteran, the Ranger is the gold standard for combat efficiency.”
That’s just it. Efficiency. And that’s just what you need when trying to farm the best gear, defeat the biggest bosses, or finish that dungeon the quickest. The Ranger might be the first Javelin you pilot, but I’m sure we’ll see our fair share of veterans rocking the original Javelin suit in late game. Will you?
That’s it for our Ranger Javelin introduction and overview, guys, but keep posted closer to launch for more in-depth guides, builds, and gear choices. I’ll also be covering each of the other Javelins over the next few weeks, so stay posted if you’re thinking about piloting one of those, too. Let me know in the comments section below which Javelin you’ll be piloting out into the wild unknown, and I’ll see you all next time for a discussion on our resident THICC boy: The Colossus.
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