DUST Pointers for New Duders

#1 Edited by BurningStickMan (243 posts) -

This isn't a definitive guide by any means, just some idea of what to expect if you're interested in DUST but haven't jumped in yet. Sort of a "things I wish I'd known." Also be aware that things are changing fairly regularly as CCP rebalances and addresses complaints.

  • DUST supports mouse and keyboard controls. Yes, it's way better. CCP claims to be tweaking the DualShock controls though.

  • Gameplay is basically Space Battlefield. "Ambush" = wear down the enemy team's spawn tickets (clones) before your team runs out. "Skirmish" = capture and hold gun batteries to destroy enemy transport before they destroy yours. Additional modes are promised.

  • Don't worry about Factional Warfare as a brand new player. Your Corporation will guide you here if you choose to get involved. Quick Battles just match you up as a random merc for a random side of a random battle.

  • Tomorrow's 5/14 release is supposed to change matchmaking to keep new players separated from the vets. There *should* be much less steamrolling of brand new players, which addresses one of the top complaints. (EDIT: It did, and it does. This is what "Instant Battle Academy" is)


  • You earn passive skill points at the rate of 1 point every 2 seconds from the time you first create your character. This happens online or off, the game's free, so jump in ASAP and start racking 'em up. You also earn additional points from playing matches.

  • Skills require an initial cost of ISK (in game money) to unlock the skill, then subsequent costs in skill points to rank up a max of 5 levels. First levels are cheap, level 4 and 5 cost a shitload. Hit triangle to Get Info and show what benefit each skill gives. Some just unlock later skills.

  • I recommend starting in Weapons and Dropsuit Upgrades. These skills passively benefit shield regeneration, weapon sway and damage, additional armor, etc, regardless of what gear you have equipped. Great stuff to have!

  • Sniping costs a lot of skill points to get rid of the sway and be particularly effective. I'd recommend sticking with assault at the start, or at least, prepare for some disappointment.


  • When you die, you lose ALL gear in that loadout. Likewise, when you buy a gun off the marketplace, you are buying one COPY of that gun. To spawn again with that loadout, you will need to restock every piece of gear that you've run out of, or buy multiple copies ahead of time. For example, 10 dropsuits, 10 assault rifles, 10 shield boosters, etc.

  • The exception to the above is the "Starter" gear, which is always infinite. Starter gear comes in Assault, Sniper, Medic, and Anti-Armor flavors. Starter gear is worse than any gear you can buy, but not by much (biggest penalty is a 10 second delay in shield recharge if the shield is completely depleted). You CAN kill things in Starter gear.

  • You can also buy blueprints (shown with blue brackets) that offer infinite copies of that item - essentially "unlocking" it. Blueprints always cost real money. Be aware that you earn enough ISK per match, win or lose, to easily fund loadouts with basic gear. If you're low on ISK, run Starter gear for a few matches. Blueprints aren't really necessary.

  • Likewise, spend that ISK. You can't do anything else with it. You can't send it to other players, or feed it back to an EVE corp. It's easy to get more. Buy more copies of a favorite loadout, unlock some skills, try a new gun.

  • You randomly get "salvage" from some battles. These basically let you try new guns or suits for free, provided you have the skills. You can NOT sell or trade anything from your inventory.


  • Guns have a maximum range. Check it before you go into battle. Assault rifles particularly won't hit anyone at longer distances, and trying is just wasting ammo.

  • Look for Clone Reanimation Units (spawn points) and Supply Depots (regenerate ammo when nearby). Capture these. If it's too deep in enemy territory, destroy.
  • Vehicles are bad news for new players. Short of hopping in one to man a turret, don't worry about them. When you're ready to use them (or fight them), you won't need this guide.

  • Medics use nanite injectors and repair guns. Nanite injectors DO NOT heal people, they only revive. As a medic, you'll need to hold down R2 to get your weapon wheel and then select the injector - there's no quick switch button for this. Fire at someone on the ground with R1 to revive them. People revive with limited health and armor, so don't revive them in the middle of crossfire.
  • DUST is NOT "pay to win" - well, not exactly. You can kill a veteran with Starter gear, it will just take longer and you'll need to avoid return fire. Paid gear doesn't give you much of a one-on-one advantage. However, the other team absolutely can "spend" more than yours. If the other team is fielding tanks and prototype dropsuits, and your team has nothing (or not enough) to counter with, you'll get steamrolled.


  • DUST allows for 6-man squads. You can create one to bring into matchmaking, or jump into an open one in the pre-game match lobby.
  • Squads DO NOT earn you more skill points. You cannot spawn on a squad like in Battlefield (this is done with mobile spawn emitters that cost ISK and must be deployed). It's OKAY to not be in a squad; your presence doesn't automatically help them.
  • Squads CAN have objectives marked by the leader (capture, defend, etc) Following these grant bonus War Points (these are what the match leaderboards are calculated by; more WP gives more Skill Points after battle). Squad leaders can call in an artillery strike each time the squad as a whole earns 2500 WP. (This is different than fire support from EVE players).

That's all I've got for now. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, add things, or ask questions.

#2 Edited by Mr_Creeper (1779 posts) -
#3 Posted by spidermanga (17 posts) -

@burningstickman, really good write up. Do you know what the difference is between "Ambush" and "Ambush OMS"?

#4 Posted by Ubersmake (771 posts) -
  • Gameplay is basically Space Battlefield. "Ambush" = wear down the enemy team's spawn tickets (clones) before your team runs out. "Skirmish" = capture and hold gun batteries to destroy enemy transport before they destroy yours. Additional modes are promised.

I really liked this, saw this part and wanted to add, this is Space Battlefield 2142. There are Titans. Missiles get shot at them. People drop from the sky and it's all kinda awesome.

#5 Edited by BurningStickMan (243 posts) -

@spidermanga: OMS is Off Map Support. Regular Ambush has no support structures to capture (clone spawn points, supply depots, turrets). OMS does. There's also an unused "installations" option in the call for support menu - I think in the future you'll be able to order more support structures somehow.

#6 Edited by spidermanga (17 posts) -

@burningstickman that'd be sick if we got some mid-combat love from Kite Co. Space Trucking. We'll see what happens. :) Thanks again for the info.

#7 Posted by MildMolasses (3193 posts) -

Does anyone know if we'll have to download a new game off of there store or if they are just going to patch the beta up to the release version?

#8 Edited by Mr_Creeper (1779 posts) -
#9 Posted by yakov456 (1971 posts) -

Good advice on here. It can be overwhelming when you first jump in.

#10 Edited by Benny (2010 posts) -

what's the best weapons to go for? I have 3 million skill points and don't know what to try.

#11 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (1537 posts) -

Man I wish my PS3 still worked

#12 Edited by BurningStickMan (243 posts) -

@benny: Can't go wrong with assault rifle at the start. Every "role" can use it, and filling out your Dropsuit Upgrades (for shield and armor boosts) plus Assault Rifle (for extra ammo, range, accuracy, damage) skills should eat up those 3 mil.

Beyond that, it's more about what role you want to fill. There aren't enough medics (as with any team shooter), so repair gun will keep you busy and rack up skill points per match. Forge gun for anti-armor is the flavor of the month. The heavy machine gun (for anti-infantry) is always a crowd-pleaser, but you'll also have to train heavy armor to field it. Makes you into a beast of a tank, but very slow.

Don't forget grenades. Militia (starter) grenades are pretty weak. 1 point in Grenadier gets you some better frag grenades, and the ability to use anti-vehicle grenades (good alternative to a full on anti-tank role).

#13 Posted by yakov456 (1971 posts) -

Guess I will start dropping points into grenades because the default ones are awful.

#14 Posted by fisk0 (5441 posts) -

Could it be worth mentioning that whether or not you chose to join the Giant bomb corp, the Giantbombing chat channel that many GB users hang out on in EVE Online is also accessible from Dust 514? Just use the select button to enter the Neocom, then move the pointer to the leftmost column and move it all the way down to the + button, which will change to "Create/Join", there you just have to choose to join Giantbombing and you'll be talking to Giant bomb's Dust 514 and EVE Online players all across the world, though mostly EVE players, and the game will remember to reconnect to the chat every time you launch the game.

#15 Posted by Mr_Creeper (1779 posts) -

@fisk0: Thanks for pointing that out, man. I'll add it to the corp thread.

#16 Posted by BurningStickMan (243 posts) -

@fisk0: You also appear with a blue highlight in EVE chat, so players know you're currently in DUST.

#17 Edited by daltonrowe (23 posts) -

Thank you, this helped a lot! I would love to see more quick overviews like this.

Perhaps over Logistics fittings and equipment? I never see anyone using these.

#18 Posted by BurningStickMan (243 posts) -

@daltonrowe: Logistics suits' major benefit is 3 equipment slots. Anyone can provide support, but Logi's are specifically designed for it. Since this is more complicated (and "less fun") than assault, you don't see them as much.

Equipment currently includes the following:

  • Nanohives are portable ammo restockers. Think the ammo case in Battlefield.
  • Drop Uplinks are portable spawn points. They appear on enemy radar and can be destroyed, but you can drop them anywhere.
  • Repair guns heal vehicles and soldiers alike.
  • Nanite Injectors revive downed soldiers. You'll appear as a "triage unit" on their screen so they hopefully don't respawn.
  • Remote Explosives are for tanks and structures. Mostly tank traps.
  • Active Scanners make targets appear on everyone's map/radar. This is the closest equivalent to Battlefield's target marking. All suits have a scanner range of 10-15m that automatically upload enemy positions. The active scanner has ranges up to 100-150m, and angles between 30-60 degrees. Yes, there's a range of dropsuit gear for scouts to jam this.

An assault suit could only field one of these. But a Logi running any three of them at a time? Let's just say he's got options.

#19 Posted by Mr_Creeper (1779 posts) -

Once I train up my Assault Rifle a bit more, I'm gonna lean more into Logistics. I've enjoyed running around an reviving people then repairing their armor. This also give mad War Points. B|

#20 Posted by Contusio (23 posts) -

@burningstickman: thx for the intro!! I just loaded up Dusk 514 today and will be taking your pointers with me.

#21 Posted by daltonrowe (23 posts) -
#22 Edited by mjk1 (230 posts) -

Any advice on what to put my SP into; armour or shields? I read somewhere shields are better but not sure if true or the reason.

#23 Posted by TheDigitalistic (79 posts) -

Armor is basically your health. Personally, I'd think it's better to boost shields, since they recharge faster, but boosting your armor is probably also quite useful.

#24 Posted by meatsack (10 posts) -

@thedigitalistic: Really depends on your build, armour slows you down, but doesn't tax your PG or CPU much. Shields don't slow you down, but their boosters chew up a fair whack of PG & CPU. Also different gun types will do different levels of damage, depending if they're hitting armour or shields, so speccing completely in one direction may leave you vulnerable to certain weapon types.

#25 Posted by Driadon (3087 posts) -

@mjk1: @thedigitalistic: Also keep in mind what you're fighting. Laser weapons do a lot more damage to shields. if you go shield heavy, with minimal or no armor, you have to be very careful with how you tackle a firefight.

#26 Posted by Sterling (3469 posts) -

I was unaware of this myself until today. There is apparently a weekly active SP gain cap. You can only earn 190,400 SP per week in active battle. Then anything after that will only net you ~300 to 400 SP per battle. Doesn't this pretty much negate the purpose of buying the active booster. This just means you can play less matches per week with it active. Kinda pointless. I mean, I know you can keep playing. But when you see your SP gain at the end of match, it is kind of deterring. I just played a match and had1550 WP, I earned 455 SP. I turned the game off directly after that battle.

#27 Edited by Mr_Creeper (1779 posts) -

Yup; that's a thing. I thought the cap was 1,000 SP after you reach the cap. I understand for people that play a lot it can be pointless to run an Active Booster if you don't want to cap out too fast, but I've never hit that weekly cap, myself. Esme, who's in the corp, plays on his alt once his main hits that cap every week.

Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

#28 Posted by TheDigitalistic (79 posts) -

Also, the weekly SP cap gets reset every Wednesday morning, so if you hit the cap on Tuesday night, just stop for the night.

When you hit it, you'll earn 1 SP for every 1 WP, for a max of 1000.

#29 Posted by Sterling (3469 posts) -

Maybe I was at the end run of my cap and I only had 455 left on that. I had read the 1,000 SP thing also, but then when I saw the 455, I felt cheated. And sad. I'll check it out again tonight.

#30 Posted by BurningStickMan (243 posts) -

Cap only affects active boost, correct? You still earn passive at the usual rate?

#31 Posted by Sterling (3469 posts) -

Correct, it only affects active gains, what you get from battle. It does not affect passive gains.

#32 Posted by Mr_Creeper (1779 posts) -

Cap only affects active boost, correct? You still earn passive at the usual rate?


#33 Posted by Driadon (3087 posts) -

@burningstickman: Correct. Passive rate should be unchanged from what you do to actively gain points.

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