The Best Star Wars Battlefront Hand Guide, Ever

(Star Wars Battlefront, Electronic Arts)

The intensely fun, nostalgia-packed Star Wars Battlefront has received flak from the FPS community for being a shallow experience. One such criticism stems from the developer’s decision to forgo the modern, class-based loadout system found in most modern shooters for a simpler, card-based system. While a 3-card hand seems far less involved than the loadout complexities found in Call of Duty, the proper Star Card Hand in Battlefront can bring freedom to the Rebellion or glory to the Empire.

Spend your credits wisely.

Spend your credits wisely. (Star Wars Battlefront, Electronic Arts)

Once you reach level 2, you can begin spending credits to purchase Star Cards and build your hand, which will consist of 2 regular Star Cards and 1 Charged Card. Level 10 unlocks the ability to create a total of 10 different Star Card Hands. This is important because mid-game, you cannot swap out individual cards in your Hand, but you can swap between what you’ve assigned as your 1st and 2nd Hands. Creating and rearranging Star Card Hands can be done in the menus, on the Star Wars Battlefront Companion website, or via the handy Companion App. Level 15 unlocks “trait” cards which, once selected, do not need to be placed in a hand and apply a passive trait to your character, regardless of what hand you are using.

Seasoned FPS players may instinctively build hands to create pseudo-classes (sniper, heavy gunner, etc). If familiarity makes this strategy more comfortable for you, by all means use it. However, know that this is not the Hand guide you’re looking for. Battlefront is not like other modern shooters and therefore requires a different approach. This guide is all about building Hands that cater to specific game modes rather than making classes.

Blast & Cargo (defensive)
Jump Pack, Scan Pulse, Bowcaster

Screen Shot 2016-01-09 at 4.57.20 PM

(Star Wars Battlefront, Electronic Arts)

Blast and Cargo are Battlefront’s versions of team deathmatch and capture the flag, and this Star Card Hand is about gaining the advantage in direct combat. To reach vantage points, escape hairy situations, and occasionally chase down your stolen Cargo, the Jump Pack is ideal. Although the Bowcaster is one of the most devastating weapons, it’s not as simple to use as a Call of Duty “noob tube.” If fully charged (which takes a few seconds), it can shoot multiple, horizontally spreading laser blasts. While direct hits with individual blasts won’t always bring enemies down, they inflict massive splash damage. Once you learn how to use the Bowcaster in confined spaces in conjunction with the Jump Pack, you can rain hell on your enemy. If you prefer a less nuanced weapon or just haven’t unlocked the Bowcaster yet, the Thermal Detonator is your next best bet in the medium sized maps of this game mode. Lastly, as Han Solo can confirm, shooting first is always advantageous, which is why the Scan Pulse comes in handy.

Droid Run, Drop Zone, & Cargo (offensive)
Jump Pack, Personal Shield, Thermal Detonator

Screen Shot 2016-01-09 at 4.57.38 PM

(Star Wars Battlefront, Electronic Arts)

As mentioned earlier, the Jump Pack is the best way to get around quickly, which is a requirement in these modes. It can’t be used while carrying cargo, but it will get you to enemy bases, drop pods, and droids quickly. It also allows you to reach high vantage points when defending droids and drop pods. After testing all the thrown explosives, we’ve found that the Thermal Detonator is best when it comes to damage and blast radius. It’s also advantageous over the Bowcaster in these modes, as it can be slung from great range and over obstacles. You can’t fire your blaster while using a Personal Shield, but you can carry cargo and capture drop pods and droids, making it a necessity for victory in these game modes.

Hero Hunt & Heroes vs. Villains
Jump Pack, Explosive Shot, Homing Shot

Screen Shot 2016-01-09 at 4.59.06 PM

(Star Wars Battlefront, Electronic Arts)

In Heroes vs. Villains, when you’re not playing as a hero or villain, you occasionally have the option to spawn as an Honor Guard or Shocktrooper, both of which are armed with Smart Rockets and Homing Shots. However, like the heroes and villains, your health won’t regenerate as one of these heavily armed troopers. You also won’t be as mobile without the Jump Pack, which is ideal for this game mode when you need to put some space between yourself and a lightsaber-wielding enemy. The Homing Shot is also perfect for accurately dealing out damage to a flying Boba Fett without getting close enough to incur his wrath. The Explosive Shot is the final edition to this Hand as it adds splash damage to your blaster, which you can then shoot at the feet of any enemy who has the irritating tendency to deflect regular blaster fire.

Supremacy, Walker Assault, & Turning Point (Imperial)
Jump Pack, Personal Shield, Pulse Cannon

Screen Shot 2016-01-09 at 4.58.52 PM

(Star Wars Battlefront, Electronic Arts)

You’ve probably noticed a trend with the Jump Pack. As mentioned earlier, it’s invaluable when it comes to mobility and necessary in order to reach good sniping positions. Speaking of sniping, a charged Pulse Cannon’s one-shot-kill is the most effective way to harass ranged enemies. The Cycler Rifle lobs a solid round, which can penetrate shields. But, its dramatic bullet drop makes it extremely difficult to aim at great range. Like the other game modes where you’ll need to capture points while under heavy fire, the Personal Shield gives you the edge.

Supremacy, Walker Assault, & Turning Point (Rebel)
Ion torpedo, Ion shot, Pulse Cannon

Screen Shot 2016-01-09 at 4.58.39 PM

(Star Wars Battlefront, Electronic Arts)

Playing as a rebel is dramatically different than as an Imperial in these game modes. As bringing down Imperial vehicles is a big objective, it’s worth forgoing the mobility of the Jump Pack for the damage you can inflict with an Ion Torpedo. The Pulse Cannon (or Cycler Rifle, if you don’t mind the bullet drop) are great for dealing damage to both exposed vehicles and enemy infantry. Lastly, although you need to capture points as a Rebel, taking down Imperial vehicles is very important, especially in Walker Assault. Therefore, we recommend the Ion Shot over the Personal Shield, but we recommend using whatever is most comfortable. The cycle of Ion Torpedo, sniper rifle round, Ion Shot, then repeat, is devastating to AT-STs and AT-ATs.

Shoot him in the belly. He HATES that. (Star Wars Battlefront, Electronic Arts)

As you can see, we’ve only listed a total of 5 different Star Card Hands, each of which can be used in multiple game modes. If you’d rather your Star Card Hands not overlap with different game modes, you can create a total of up to 10 different Hands. We simply found that 5 Hands were easier to manage and cycle through between matches.

After many hours of experimentation with all the Star Cards, these are the Hands we’ve found to be most effective for each game mode. That being said, feel free to experiment with each hand and swap out Star Cards as your play style may wildly vary from ours. If you think you’ve found a better Star Card Hand for a game mode, let us know in the comments and we’ll try it out!

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