PlanetSide 2 Flash Bike Guide
PlanetSide 2 Flash Bike Guide by TokyoShoe
I spend most of my time in Planetside 2 as an Engineer. I like not being stuck with a dead equipment terminal that I need to use and no way to fix it. I like being able to repair the vehicles that I may employ from time to time, as well as the vehicles of my platoon / outfit members. I also like having infinite ammo for my trusty carbine. I am one of those slightly crazy Engineers that actually does not mind staying behind after a base raid to repair the turrets, fix up the dead terminals and generally getting the place back in working order.
Because of all this, I end up trailing behind a tad bit and have found the Flash quad-bike to be a perfect (if a slightly suicidal) fit for my personal vehicle needs. I by no means consider myself to be a “Flash Pro”, and have only started gearing one up and learning things. I did want to pass along some of the things I’ve learned to others, in hope that it would prove useful.
The Flash has a real handling issue, something that routinely ends up getting a careless Flash driver killed. If the vehicle rolls onto the left or right side all the way, you probably just blew up. If it turns over completely you are definitely dead. This combined with the “skate” / “drift” that you get when making turns in the Flash at speed, specifically on any surface other than roadways, you end up getting a lot of bounce. If you hit a bump or dip in the landscape while turning like this, you are going to start bouncing very hard with high potential for suicidal fireballs of death.
First mistake that I found myself making with the Flash was thinking that its only speed was maximum speed. Charging off road (or even on-road in some cases) at full speed will end up making you very dead very quick. What found to be the most useful habit is to pull completely off the throttle (W key by default) when you hit a bump, and don’t hit back on the throttle until the Flash hits back on the ground again. If you are going full speed and hit a bump at an angle.. you’ve probably just killed yourself. Easing off of the throttle after hitting bumps has slowed down my travel time some, but I actually end up making it to my destination alive.
The drift problem with the Flash can unfortunately only be solved through performance upgrades (the chassis), so you will find yourself getting very frustrated and stuck in all sorts of dips and gulleys until one of these new chassis has been acquired.
REACQUIRE & RESOURCES
The Flash configuration I use only costs me between 23 and 25 mechanized resources per spawn. Without sinking any certification points into reducing the Reacquire Cooldown Timer, I can still grab a new Flash once every 4 minutes. This puts the Flash firmly in the “Disposable Transportation” category. I ride one to my destination and pretty much abandon it somewhere. Don’t try to “protect it” by hiding it and do not worry yourself with that 5 minute countdown timer in the top right corner of your screen. Yes the Flash will deconstruct in 5 minutes if you don’t hop back on it, but you can get a totally new one in 4 minutes so why worry? By the time I get somewhere and perform pretty much any task in game I have already recovered the 25 mechanized resources I initially spent on it!
The Flash is small enough to fit through all base doorways and up most base stairs. The navigate around the outer supports of all the bridges as well, easily riding the outer “walkway” instead of the main roadway.
If you are riding a Flash, do not get within 10 feet of any other vehicle. If you do, odds are very high that you will end up getting counted as “run over” by the game and instantly killed. Keep your eye on your Minimap Radar just as often as you do the road. This allows you to keep track of the other vehicles in your “convoy”, so you can give the tanks and Sunderers a wide berth.
There are three basic chassis for the Flash, each with its own benefits and quirks.
- Combat Chassis – This performance mod increases the vehicle’s turn radius, reduces some of the “bounce” from hard turns, and improves the tire grip in general. If you find yourself hating the “drift” / “skate” effect of the Flash and feel like every surface in the game is an icy lake, this is the chassis for you. (Currently Rank 1. Differences are noticeable but not massive just yet. The Combat Chassis also grants you a “full speed reverse”, although at Rank 1 I can only hit a speed of 35. Tire grip is improved considerably and I find myself sliding down hills totally out of control far far less now.)
- Racer Chassis – This performance mod boosts top speed of the vehicle as well as over all acceleration time. This does nothing for handling, tire grip, torque or any other vehicle feature. The only thing it is designed to improve is top speed. (Not not currently have at any rank, will acquire and test soon.)
- Surger Chassis – This performance mod is intended to boost engine torque, allowing for easier climbing of the steeper surfaces around the game world. If you favor getting your Flash in hard to reach places (for whatever reason), this is the chassis you should be looking at. (Currently Rank 1. Yes the engine generates more torque, but the chassis does nothing for tire grip. This leaves me staring up a steep incline with my tires squealing and spinning on the rocky / grassy / snowy surface, failing completely to get any grip so it can push me up the incline. What’s the point of more torque… with more tire grip to accompany it? This problem may get solved with Rank 2, will test and update later.)
UTILITY SLOT (Opinions)
The utility slot upgrades are designed to increase the over all functionality and usefulness of the Flash. Unfortunately I only have Rank 1 in Scout Radar at present, so I cannot comment on other Utility Slot upgrades at present. I will get more and update later.
In regard to the Scout Radar upgrade, I find it to be a very large let down. I bought it with the initial idea of turning my Flash into a mobile radar station for my Outfit’s vehicle convoy; drive it into the middle of a base and have it spot where all the enemies are running about / hiding… a notion that seemed very feasible given the Flash’s small size and ability to navigate inside structures. Rank 1 of Scout Radar only covers an actual distance of 25 meters, which is not even remotely far enough to be useful. To compound this problem, the Scout Radar does not actually put your “spotted targets” on the top layer of the minimap over the base icons. This leaves your spotted hostiles hidden beneath a myriad of massive ammo pack icons and base terminal symbols.
Unless the distance gets increased or the Minimap gets a zoom function, Scout Radar is a waste of certifications at the lower ranks (and potentially at the higher ranks). Each step is only 25 meters, meaning that you only get a 100 meter radius at Rank 4 (max). While 100 meters is slightly larger that some small bases and depots, it is not far enough to be truly beneficial in any way (because of the minimap clutter).
DEFENSE SLOT (Opinions)
At present I have Nanite Auto Repair and Vehicle Stealth at Rank 1. Auto repair is extremely nice to have and keeps you from arriving at your destination on a burning Flash that has been battered from the offroading that you have been doing. I think this is a useful option on any vehicle.
Vehicle Steath is a great idea for any vehicle… at least in concept. In practice it is more than a little pointless for the Flash as this quad bike has one of the noisiest engines in the game, making a very distinct motorized whine while you zip through any part of the landscape. Yes you may not be on your opponent’s minimap radar but they will easily be able to location you from the massive din of racket your transportation is making while you “sneak under the radar”.
Yes, Vehicle Stealth extends lock on times for anti-vehicle weaponry. I still see this as pointless however because the Flash can routinely be killed with a light smattering of infantry gunfire. So if someone can kill you or your Flash with a shotgun in a few blasts… who cares about 0.5 extra seconds of reprieve from a missle? (shrug)
Weapons on a Flash are not as silly or pointless as you might initially think. Arming a Flash puts a crosshairs in your field of view, giving you (roughly) a 90 degree arc that you can pivot around with and shoot at targets. Combining this with the Combat Chassis makes for easier maneuvering to line up shots. Another perk of sticking a weapon on a Flash is having Night Vision or Thermal Vision as an option, allowing for easier spotting of enemy targets at night! (Or just avoiding dangerous landscape features.)
TL;DR – I think the Flash is a great concept of a vehicle that needs some massive bugs corrected, a few more hotfixes… and a drastic overhaul of its options and accessories. Most of the chassis are worthless if you want to arrive at your destination alive, putting the Combat Chassis firmly in the “Must Have” category for me. Skip Scout Radar until it gets a revamp and range extension per rank. Skip Vehicle Stealth on a Flash until it gets changed to muffle engine noise some (if it ever does) and stick with Nanite Auto Repair in the mean time.