[Guide] How to fly an ESF

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by day ofm one, Nov 23, 2014.

  1. day ofm one

    Step 1: Spawn one

    Step 2: search a fight

    Step 3: get instantly killed by

    - a group of Scythes miles away from any VS territory
    - a farming party of enemy ESFs
    - a Vanguard shooting in obnoxious angles into the sky
    - a Burster MAX
    - 3 million lock-ons
    - all together

    Seriously, how are you even supposed to fly these things?

    I am extremely happy when I survive for longer than 2 minutes.

    Every time I get lock-ons, a Burster or anything else the pilot just goes out with half his health left

    Seriously, what is wrong?
    • Up x 2
  2. P1GG

    Step 1 should be go to the VR trainer.
  3. day ofm one

    Accomplished 100 times, doesn't help me against enemies.

    You see the difference between attacking dummies that do nothing and real players shooting you?
  4. P1GG

    I never said it helps against live targets, but that should be the first step.
  5. Alarox

    The entire sky is your domain and you move at >200KPH.

    Every time you die it is because you put yourself into that situation, but ESFs are the best vehicles for being able to pick and choose.
    • Up x 2
  6. day ofm one

    I can not put myself in a situation yes.

    Then I could also just not play the game at all, sitting in the warpgate is boring.
  7. Alarox

    Have you considered the possibility that you're making poor decisions which lead to your death?

    Certain things lead to your death no matter what (like running into a dedicated gank squad), but many things can be avoided.
    • Up x 1
  8. day ofm one

    Maybe you are right.

    Maybe the decision to fly into a fight is a bad idea.

    It is really risky.

    Possibly running into a threat for your ESF is really a bad idea.

    I should land my Mossy 1000 meters away and go by foot so it doesn't get killed.
  9. AlCohonez

    You need to grind it hard to get better.

    If you don't have the time to be a dedicated pilot then don't fly, there is no place for casual flying in the current meta.
  10. P1GG

    You gotta be smart about it. Find an area with friendly air and AA, then use that for support. Also, get some sort of anti-ground weapons, whether that may be the banshee or a secondary, because attacking air and winning just isn't going to happen for a while. Lastly, expect to die from dumb-fires, flak, crashing, and pretty much anything else that can hurt you. When you get better at running, you will live much longer. If you choose to unlock the banshee, then you can upgrade your fuel pods and use them to get out of danger fast.
  11. Alarox

    What do you hope to accomplish by whining? That's not going to help you.

    Did you make this thread because you wanted help or did you make it to complain?
    • Up x 2
  12. Leftconsin

    The only way you aren't dying to a gank squad running stealth and lock ons is by breaking line of sight with all of them and then (and you have to be lucky on this one) not finding you again. I've managed to hide under low bridges and waiting out the storm to escape, but it is rare. SO! Don't concern yourself with those. You're just going to die to gank squads every once in a while.

    Flying in a group is usually... boring. Most dedicated pilots just want to A2A from what I've experienced. When I'm in an air squad of dedicated ground pounders it is usually one I started.

    OK! now... how to avoid dying so much:

    - a group of Scythes miles away from any VS territory
    You're just going to die to these. I'm sorry.

    - a farming party of enemy ESFs
    Again. Sorry.

    - a Vanguard shooting in obnoxious angles into the sky
    The really good tankers will get you from render distance while you are hovering, or 200m away while at cruising speed. You can hit aircraft rearming at Mao Tech from Abandoned NS Offices. Most drivers can't do that, though. If you get killed by a tank it probably means you were hovering too long.

    - a Burster MAX
    Just avoid these things or speed up your entry and exit. If one burster is in the area and you want to keep going you basically have to never hover for more than a second and enter the fight from different angles each approach.

    - 3 million lock-ons
    Depending on the base you can break lock either by breaking line of sight before the lock, or getting behind cover before the rocket hits you. Out running a rocket requires you to already be well on your way out of a fight when it is launched. Fly behind tall buildings, mountains, hills, and such to cause the rocket to hit the terrain instead of you.

    - all together
    If multiple forms of AA are in a base you should go find a new base.
    • Up x 2
  13. day ofm one

    I would like to get serious help.

    People telling me to stay save does not really help me.

    Would it help you when I say enemies can shoot you when they see you?

    Not really...

    EDIT: Look at Leftconsins post for something actually helpful.
    • Up x 1
  14. P1GG

    But you are over-thinking it. All you really need to know is where you are being shot from, and where you can run to in order to survive. Assuming that you can fly well enough to do that, you will learn everything else you need to know in time.
  15. Cz4rMike

    First, you should not have written it in a whiny way. But if you're serious about learning, than I can write some ways to learn.

    Flying consists of three things: movement, aiming and situational awareness.

    0) If you have time, I strongly suggest reading all the possible stuff on
    That's a web dedicated to flying ESF.

    1) Movement.
    1.1) watch tutorials on Youtube. After classic Reverse Maneuver tutorials I can recommend
    He's got some pretty advanced flying tutorials.
    1.2) train your flying in VR: flying below trees and object, flying around rocks in hover mode as closely as possible etc. Try to find challenges and make them easy as pie.
    1.3) practice 1vs1 fights, more in AIM part.
    1.4) in forward flying mode, if you pitch up, also press SPACE to get tighter turns, if you pitch down, press DESCEND.

    2) Aiming.
    2.1) In Planetside 2 bullets DO NOT inherit any of your speed. Which means, if you are in hover fight and both of you are ascending - you HAVE to to aim higher to hit the enemy. How to know what enemy is doing? If you push SPACE and he stays on the same level as you, he must be pushing SPACE too. Visual clues.
    2.2) Go to PTS with a friend (if you have none, get one) and practice 1vs1 hover fights (duels). At best you should be dueling someone slightly better than you are. Here is the example who duel might look like:

    Basically you and your opponent pass each other and this is when duel begins, then you turn around whatever way you like (RM, just air brake and pitch/roll or maybe just pitch with no brake at all)

    How to duel in same faction: create a squad with your friend, both set your Vehicle management of ESF to "Locked to squad", exchange ESFs. Such way you won't get weapon locks. You can ofcourse do this on LIVE, but your friendlies might start shooting at you, since they'd think you're teamkilling...
    2.3) NEVER use lock ons. Whether you agree it's a noob crutch or not - it will keep you from learning properly how to move or aim.

    3) Situational awareness.
    3.1) Know where your friendlies are, and where your enemy is.
    3.2) Use altitude to be above ground locks / flak distance. I don't know the exact number, but I think you need to have 600 meters above ground.
    3.3) In the beginning only pick fights above friendly units / with friendly esfs in the skies.
    3.4) If possible, use terain / rocks to hide and watch what happens nearby.
    3.5) Fly in 3rd person, as it gives you better forward view. If you need to look on the side, roll a bit to the side and use 1st person free look mode.

    Well that's some short tips, the key to learning flying (or anything in your life) is having a good practice instead of just practice.
    • Up x 1
  16. Flashtirade

    Being able to pick and choose your fights does not mean that there will always be fights that you can participate in.
  17. Cz4rMike

    4) Graphics

    Basically a must is Particles set to high for you to better see your tracers, if you can - go to Ultra.

    Also setting Graphics to low seems kinda nice for tracers and also I like it for game the most anyway.

    Other settings are to save FPS and remove useless stuff from the screen.
  18. P1GG

    You might not realize this, but setting "graphics quality" to "low" seriously impairs the usefulness of thermal optics. And the game looks weird on medium(or at least it does for me). For this reason I keep everything at low except for that setting.
  19. \m/SLAYER\m/

    yep, on Cobalt there ambush next to warp-gate, but TR always has bunch of ESFs flying together, join them. or try at lower pop continent
  20. Cz4rMike

    Yeah, I noticed Thermal is not so nice, but render distance of it is the same independent of the settings, isn't it? Anyway, haven't had any problems getting infantry with nosegun while in Thermal.

    I always had Graphics to medium, never higher cause of FPS drops... When I went to Low - it looked kinda weird - colors changed a lot. But after half an hour I started liking it and wouldn't go back now :p.
  21. IcEzEbRa

    I'm not a very good pilot, but flying an esf is about the most fun I've ever had in a game. I've been flying an esf for about 6 mnths, my fps skills are ******, and I asked myself the same questions when I first started. "How the f### do those guys do that?"

    Flying a "glass cannon", as it's been referred to, is the only way you can surround yourself with enemies (and I include trees, base radio towers, dirt and shrubbery), in all 3 dimensions. You've been there I bet, I have. Chase the enemy esf, throw in a bit of lag, oops, I'm in the middle of enemy air zerg over enemy ground zerg....there should actually be an esf horn that goes..."mine, mine, mine, mine".

    I think a good way to practice, if you're solo, is when you are backed up nearly to your warp gate on a continent. Quite often the battle is pretty heavy, air and ground, and you can actually view what's in the air and on the ground, with safety at your back. You can practice seeing the visual, and hearing the audio clues of the enemy. You can really view, and think about, how approachable that base is. You know you're gonna get locks, do you have or can find a route to lose them, etc. Practice shooting at an enemy vehicle with the nose gun from 100m's away, while moving side to side and up/down. Try engagement radar, can be helpful when other air around.

    There are also battles, or times in those battles, when esf's cannot be effective. There are also times when even 1 can be very effective for your factions efforts.