Hawken Beginner’s Guide

Hawken Beginner’s Guide by Climatic

Hey guys! Recently I have seen a lot of people complaining about how hawken isn’t beginner friendly and that matchmaking is broken because “All the people on the other teams are level 20+, there’s no way we could win!”, so I decided to write this guide to help beginners to go up against some of the more experienced players.

So, why should you trust me? You are probably one of three types of players, one that is curious about the game and wants to start or just started playing, one that wants to get better (and at some point thought something like what I said above in quotes), or the one that is just bored and wants to troll noobs here. Whichever kind of person you are, you don’t have to take my suggestions. I am just saying that these things listed below can be great for people who are starting, and I think that most experienced players here would agree.

1. Movement is the most important factor between life and death in this game! Which means, as you level up use your optimization points in the movement tree first!

  • For those of you who have played a lot of First Person Shooter games (e.g. CoD, Halo, Team Fortress 2, Counter Strike etc), you know this is true! I have seen quite a few people who always stand still when they fire at other players. Please don’t do this. Movement is key to staying alive here, you are in a giant mech suit for gods sake! You are a nice, big, red target!
  • Dash left and right (default key: hold shift + A/D) will be your best friend! They should be used to avoid major damage, to get away from an enemy quickly, and to chase!
  • *Advanced Advice* The art of KITING! For those of you that don’t know what kiting is, it’s that you manipulate your own movement (usually cut around corner of a structure)so you stay away from the line of fire of your enemies, at the same time you are damaging your enemy. This requires that you know your weapons explosion radius as well as your enemy’s precise location (most of time using radar)! So this requires some practice to execute well. Once you have mastered it, kiting will allow you to do a lot of damage while taking very little damage. Watch this video from 5:00 – 5:45, great 2 kills and 1 assist by kiting! Thanks RentAKnight

Or this video for a few good clips of kiting in slow motion


2. Keep an eye on your radar!

  • Ok your radar is like 10 pairs of eyes! It can detect motion around you in every direction, which means you can detect the location of an enemy when they are around a corner. If you have ever played Halo online, you know how important this is.
  • Practice looking at radar every 2-4 seconds (more often if you want to be better). Often times, you will detect an enemy before you see them, if you know their location, it’s great for both offense and defense plays.
  • Boosting forward/dashing sideways will light you up on enemy radar. However walking does not (it does it’s just you have to be REALLY close to them to show up ~1.5m).
  • The glowing balls are repair charges (gives you pure hp), they will be dropped when someone gets killed! THEY ARE MARKED ON THE RADAR as little white dots and they will give you an edge if you consume it by going near it.

3. Where to spend your points? And does huge difference in levels make a big difference?

  • If you read the tooltips as you mouse over the various spots on the tree, each point in the offensive and defensive tree, they aren’t too good. Each point in damage increase gives you less than 0.2% damage increment. If you deal 1000 damage without the point, each point will increase less than 2 damage per point you put into the tree. Let’s face it, most of mechs you are facing have 500-800 health, so, it’s not gonna make a noticeable difference in combat. Offensive tree is the considered by experienced pilots the worst, don’t put any points in it!
  • Altogether, the skill trees make a very minimal difference, if you are 10+ levels behind an opponent, and that person knows how to spec their points, then it will make a difference. As I said before put your optimization points into the movement tree, at least until you can reach the “reduce cooldown of dash for .25 seconds” node, which is on the third tier, about 10 points in or mid-way. If you are very new to First Person Shooters, and feel that you’d rather have a little more hp, then put it into defensive tree until you get the increment in armor (also takes at least 10 points). In most cases, will not make a difference between surviving a hit or not. Once you are more familiar with the game, you will come to understand the importance of being able to move better and know how important the movement tree is.

4. That scout is so OP!

  • If you think scout is OP, well yes,in the hands of a skilled and experienced pilot. Although same thing could be said about pretty much every mech in the game. The more you get experienced and comfortable with a mech, the more OP you will seem to newer players.
  • CT-R is the best mech for new pilots!!!!!!! (the tv/microwave mech), It’s strength is it’s balance between health (most health possble without downside in class B mechs), movement, and damage.
  • When facing a scout, or any A class mech, the key is, shoot to kill! Since they are extremely squishy, one good TOW and a couple of bullets would bring them down to half health! So, don’t shoot your TOW aimlessly on cooldown, make them count! The best way to be sure to land your TOW is to wait until they dash and hit them at the end of it, while they are stuck on cool down, boom TOW to the face.

5. General combat rules/tips

  • Choose the correct server before you select the game mode. It is defaulted to US West. If you are US East and don’t change it, your latency will be atrocious, making your experience worse than it would have been to begin with (this is located at the matchmaking tab, in the same menu as when you choose your game mode).
  • To active countermeasures: when you are at garage while in a game, there is a little white square at the bottom of the screen next to all the mech internal where you can push button to active it.
  • Don’t DASH into an enemy line of fire when you know they have their TOW up. You can walk, you can forward boost into their line of fire, and fire your own TOW then dash to dodge their fire! Save that dash for dodging their TOW in a tight situation.
  • Heat manage is very important! Overheating in a crucial duel would most likely lead to the death of you, even if you are ahead. So please please please wait hide behind a cover for a few seconds for your weapons to cool when it’s about to overheat. The only time you would not mind over-heating is when you are sure that next shot will land and it wil finish them off.
  • Teamwork is important. Chasing an enemy into a group of enemies is not a good thing to do. Also, pissing teammates off is usually not a good idea if you are serious about the game. A GG (good game) after each match, always looks good from you no matter win or lose, and helps to make friends and build community.
  • Fire to kill, make every shot like it’s your last. Accuracy > Quantities.
  • Save your teammate > getting a kill that’s about to get away, If you do the math, saving a teammate will get you a kill or an assist, which is about the same exp point as you finishing off a running enemy. Also it would help you to improve teammate relationships. It’s a team based game, two heads are better than one.
  • When you are about to enter repair mode, make sure you are at a good position where you can see when an enemy arrives to hunt you down (since the camera goes to 3rd person when you start repairing, any corner of a wall would do the trick).
  • For those of you who likes the the Grenade Launcher. Grenades will bounce off walls and objects before exploding. Use this to your advantage. You do not have to be in line of sight to take out an enemy around the corner. Which means they are easier to kite with, they also have lower cool-downs  than the TOW.
  • One mistake a lot of new players make is jumping/hovering in unnecessary situations. Jumping and jump boosting are great mobility tools to sneak in a well placed shot to finish off an opponent, but has a HUGE drawback.  When you jump, you expend large amounts of fuel, and cannot side dodge after landing.  An experienced pilot will almost always either pick you out of the air, or nail you on landing.  Jumping should only be done when you HAVE to get over an obstacle, or your enemy is waiting for you to move from cover into his line of fire.  You can, with practice use jumps to your advantage, but more of often than not, there are safer and better ways to move around the battlefield.
  • Fall damage exist in this game, a light hover (1-2 seconds) before you land will reduce the damage to zero.

If you work on mastering these tips, you can, and will be better than half of the people who are level 20+. You will be the rookie rock star! You will be the reason people rage quit! You will be the guy who pick up the chick that the level 20+ dude is afraid to talk to!

Alright that’s it for now! If there are more tips and or suggestions, I will update this post! Feel free to add more tips that isn’t covered in this post in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

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