How to play as Ion in Titanfall 2: dominate with this combat guide

Titanfall 2 puts you in the role of a pilot of an enormous mechanized killing machine known as a Titan. Ion, the first Titan on the list, is well-rounded and is a great starter for anyone still getting used to the game. When played correctly, it is a formidable opponent. Here's how to get the most out of Ion.

Ion's weapons and utilities

While you deal relatively low damage compared to Titans like Scorch and Legion, you do have a medium amount of health and mobility. To get the most out of Ion, you must play smart and choose a suitable set of weapons and utilities.

This loadout is fixed to Ion:

  • Primary weapon: Ion uses a splitter rifle that shoots energy projectiles at a high rate of fire.
  • Offensive: The laser shot emits an instant beam of energy that can kill pilots in one shot.
  • Defensive: A vortex shield is deployed that blocks and absorbs enemy projectiles. When you release the shield, the projectile are hurled back at the enemy.
  • Utility: The tripwire uses three small stands that will explode if an enemy trips them.
  • Laser core: This special weapon launches a wide laser beam that does significant damage to the enemy.

Ion also has five specific kits available to unlock that tweak the fixed loadout:

  • Entangled energy: Hitting the enemy with the splitter rifle and scoring critical hits will replenish your Titan's energy. Entangled energy is immediately available.
  • Zero-point tripwire: Using your tripwire won't deplete any of your energy. Unlocked at Titan-level 6 or can be purchased for 24 credits.
  • Vortex amplifier: When your shield reflects projectiles, their damage is increased by 35%. Unlocked at Titan-level 7 or can be purchased for 24 credits.
  • Grand cannon: Your laser core will last longer. Unlocked at Titan-level 8 or can be purchased for 24 credits.
  • Refraction lens: Your splitter rifle will now split into 5 beams.

Ion's energy bar

Unlike other Titans, Ion has a unique energy bar that is displayed diagonally to the left of your crosshair — it is orange and blue. Using the alt-fire on your splitter rifle, deploying your vortex shield, using laser shot, or dropping a tripwire all deplete the energy bar.

It's important to keep a close watch on the bar, as you don't want to get stuck in a situation where you have an enemy Titan cornered but have no energy to deal significant damage. Incorrect management of the energy bar will almost always lead to a fiery death.

How to use the splitter rifle and laser core

Your splitter rifle, as your primary weapon, will get the most use while using Ion. It has an automatic rate of fire that deals a steady stream of damage, and it also has an alternate fire-mode that splits your projectile horizontally. Firing a split shot drains a bit of your energy bar, so use it wisely. It is best used against a tight group of Titans or a squad of grunts.

Ion's core is a massive laser that deals some pretty significant damage. The core is built quite quickly, so don't be worried about saving it for the opportune time. If you have an enemy lined up and the core is built, let it rip. Try to use it on an enemy who doesn't have anywhere to go, like within a tight chokepoint. Laser core does not use any of Ion's energy.

A good tactic when using the laser core is to engage it behind cover so that it begins to charge. During the charge time — just a couple seconds — you can still use your dash function to pop out right when the laser starts doing damage. You'll catch your opponent off guard and will deal more damage before they pop up a shield or dash behind cover.

How to be successful as Ion

Due to the energy pool that Ion uses, you must pay close attention to which utilities and weapons you use — there's no cycling through them like other Titans who have a cooldown for each.

As a general rule, you want to engage enemy Titans from a distance. Getting in too close will cause you to use too much of your energy either defending or attacking, and you'll end up dead. Focus on using cover and staying three steps ahead of your enemy.

If you plan on using your tripwire, ensure you do so while allowing enough time to recharge before engaging any enemies — the tripwire takes a significant amount of energy to deploy. Set traps in close areas where your wires are less likely to be noticed, but ensure nothing sits between the posts, blocking the sightline.

When it comes to using the laser shot, there's one technique that seems to work the best. It is an instant hit, so there's no need to lead your target. For this reason, you can peek out of cover, launch a laser, and jump back behind cover before the enemy has time to react. This will frustrate your opponent and might even cause some confusion as to where the shot came from. Anything to knock your opponent off their gameplan is a bonus on the battlefield.

Vortex shield

Your defensive ability, the vortex shield, sucks in enemy projectiles (including Scorch's thermite grenades) and, when you release the shield, launches them back at the enemy. Having the shield up does deplete your energy, so use it sparingly. Running at the enemy with it deployed isn't a good idea, as you will have no energy left to deal any damage when you arrive. The vortex shield is best used when you can't get behind cover, or when a large projectile is inbound.

Your career with Ion

Is Ion your first choice when it comes to Titans? Do you play aggressively or defensively? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Cale Hunt

Cale Hunt brings to Windows Central more than eight years of experience writing about laptops, PCs, accessories, games, and beyond. If it runs Windows or in some way complements the hardware, there’s a good chance he knows about it, has written about it, or is already busy testing it.