Back in 2016, we reported that the original PlanetSide MMORPG was shutting down after thirteen years of service. Planetside 2 released in 2012, but this franchise still has much more to explore. Yesterday, Daybreak Game Company announced that PlanetSide Arena is now available on Steam Early Access. The developers say this is just the beginning of a new epic journey to bring fans of the franchise the ultimate massively multiplayer sci-fi arena shooter. They also thank all the players who helped playtest it in beta. A new phase begins now with the Early Access version.
The initial Early Access release includes two modes: Squads, which is a 300-player match-based mode with 12 players per Squad; and Teams, a 150-player match-based mode with 3 players per Squad. PlanetSide Arena aims to be an ambitious project that will feature a variety of match-based modes. Some of them will even be capable of supporting up to a thousand players per match. Other modes planned for release on Early Access include Sunderdome, Outfit Wars, and Massive Clash. Players should look out for weekend events on a regular basis for special rewards.
PlanetSide Arena roadmap and beyond
As we can see in the infographic below, Daybreak will add Sunderdome Mode and Solos Mode by Q4 2019, as well as new guns and suit mods. Holiday events are a given, obviously. Q1 2020 will bring an “Outfit (Guild) System” and Outfit vs Outfit Wars. There will also be Advanced Suit and Gun Progression, along with Aircrafts. Finally, the official launch out of Early Access will happen in Q2 2020 for PC and consoles, bringing new classes, the Massive Clash Mode, and the Clash Map.
Classes, weapons, and vehicles
The game currently includes three initial character classes: Assault, Medic, and Engineer. As expected, each class fills a tactical role and has its own outfit with a unique ability, utility, or tool, plus a primary weapon option. You can see a brief breakdown of the classes below.
- ASSAULT CLASS
- Escape Jet (F Key): Launches character at accelerated speed
- Flash Totem (5 Key): Places a totem that blinds nearby enemies when activated
- Has access to Carbines and Mods that improve speed and mobility
- MEDIC CLASS
- Team Heal (F Key): Activates area of effect (AoE) aura that heals you/allies
- Shield Totem (5 Key): Places a totem that buffs shield regen time of nearby allies
- Has access to Scout Rifles, can revive teammates faster than other classes
- ENGINEER CLASS
- Spitfire Turret (F Key): Deploys auto turret that targets enemy players/vehicles
- Hardlight Barrier (5 Key): Places a barrier to use as cover for you/allies
- Has access to LMGs and Mods that improve utility
PlanetSide Arena guides
Daybreak has published some introductory guides on each class – Assault, Medic, and Engineer – that might be helpful to new players. PlanetSide Arena also features a deep and diverse arsenal to choose from. It includes the ability to customize your Loadout before diving into a match. An introductory weapons guide is also available to walk new players through the arsenal. Apart from classes and weapons, you’ll be able to drive some vehicles in PlanetSide Arena to establish more dominance in the battlefield. You can find out more about the vehicles on the launch guide.
PlanetSide Arena is a free-to-play title, but it also comes with two premium bundles, which you can purchase on Steam. If you just need the basics for now, the PlanetSide Arena: Recruit Edition ($19.99) includes the exclusive Alpha Strike banner and 80 NS-0 Standard Crates. If you’re looking for more oomph, the PlanetSide Arena: Legendary Edition ($49.99) includes the Alpha Strike banner, 200 NS-0 Standard Crates, and four exclusive skins (M-20 Tempest Hoverbike, and Alpha Strike Armors for the Medic, Assault, and Engineer). These skins will only be available during Early Access.
If you were looking to return to the world of PlanetSide, now should be a good time to jump into PlanetSide Arena.