Northstar tips and tricks for Titanfall 2, dominate with this combat guide

Not only is Titanfall 2 an enthralling twitch shooter, it also lets you pilot giant mechanized killing machines known as Titans. Northstar, one of the most difficult Titans to master, can truly dominate the battlefield when played correctly. Here's how to do the most damage with Northstar.

Northstar's weapons and utilities

Northstar can deal out a ton of damage but suffers from very low health. This is made up for by having high mobility and the ability to attack from across the map. Your first step to mastering Northstar is getting to know its loadout.

This loadout is fixed to Northstar:

  • Primary weapon: The plasma railgun is best used at long-range. Charge it up and let loose a powerful shot.
  • Offensive: Launch a missile at your enemy that explode multiple times for high damage.
  • Defensive: Put down a tether trap that locks Titans in place if they pass over it.
  • Utility: Use your engines to hover in place — use this to get a better view of your enemy.
  • Flight core: Take off, hover, and shoot missiles at any enemies within reach.

Northstar also has five kits to unlock and use that will help bolster your playstyle:

  • Piercing shot: Your plasma gun shoots projectiles that pierce through Titans, dealing damage to anyone in its path. Piercing shot is immediately available.
  • Enhanced payload: When your cluster missiles explode again after the first explosion, they do more damage to a larger radius. Unlocked at Titan-level 6 or can be purchased for 24 credits.
  • Twin traps: You can throw down two tether traps instead of just one. Unlocked at Titan-level 7 or can be purchased for 24 credits.
  • Viper thrusters: Your movement speed is increased when you have your flight core enabled. Unlocked at Titan-level 8 or can be purchased for 24 credits.
  • Threat optics: When you're zoomed in with your rifle, enemies are highlighted for easier target acquisition.

How to use Northstar's plasma railgun and flight core

The plasma railgun is Northstar's primary weapon, and will thus get the most use. It is, for lack of a better definition, a sniper rifle and should be treated as such.

It can be quick-fired in emergency situations, but it does the most damage when letting lose a fully charged projectile. Holding down the left trigger begins the charging process. After about three seconds, your crosshair turns yellow and you let loose a devastating blast.

These charged projectiles do the most damage out of all single attacks the Titans possess. The plasma railgun does, however, have a low rate of fire and a small magazine, so it should not be used for close-range engagement.

Pro-tip: Northstar's railgun is great at completely destroying Titans on their last legs. If you see a striped health bar, charge a shot and let it go. If that health bar is also already depleted by about half, it's all but guaranteed that a single shot will finish them off. Many pilots will attempt to hold on until the last moment before ejecting, so you can really rack up the points by taking advantage of this devastatingly fatal move.

Northstar's core is a flight function that raises you above the battlefield and lets loose a barrage of missiles. These missiles are directed wherever you're aiming, so you must keep a close watch, even though your screen will be flooded with explosions. The crosshair, which turns into four separate pieces when the flight core is engaged, turns red when you have an enemy targeted.

The general nature of Northstar — picking shots from afar — usually means it takes awhile for your flight core to be built. Best practice is to save it for a time you really need it, like when the enemy has you surrounded. Northstar has no defensive ability, so do your best to go out with a bang.

How to be successful as Northstar

Northstar's low health and high-range weapon mean you should be challenging enemies from afar. Attacking up close is never advised, as this Titan has no defensive abilities or close-quarters combat abilities whatsoever. You should almost always use Northstar's dash ability to peek out of cover, fire, and jump back behind cover. Unless you absolutely can't live without another Titan kit, go with the Turbo Engine for an extra dash.

Sticking to the edges of the map allows you to choose where you'll engage enemies, and will also allow you to have an escape route. Don't be afraid to fall back!

The cluster missile launches a single missile that, after detonating on impact, continues creating small explosions that are especially lethal to pilots, specters, and grunts. It is less effective against enemy Titans, but it still does damage. In a firefight, every little bit counts.

When you have an enemy pilot on your back, you can use the cluster missile as a defensive tool. Fire it against a surface about the same height as your viewpoint, and back Northstar up to the explosions. This will kill the enemy pilot quickly without doing too much damage to yourself. This is especially useful if don't have an electric smoke ready to go.

When using the tether trap, be wary of the setup time. It takes a couple of seconds between deploying the trap and it being ready to snare an enemy Titan. For this reason, the tether trap is best used in a controlled scenario.

You're already stalking the edges of a map with a sightline chosen, so why not set down a trap where your enemy is most vulnerable? When tethered, these traps hold an enemy Titan in place for about three seconds. If you have a flight core ready to go, this is potentially the time to use it. Make sure you don't place a trap to close to cover, as the Titan will still have a few meters of movement.

The VTOL hover function is most useful in two scenarios: getting a better view to snipe an enemy or getting out of ground damage like Scorch's firewall. You can also use this function to get around obstacles not usually traversable by Titans, giving you an edge on escaping undesired close-range combat.

If you're playing in a squad, it's never a bad idea to hover above the battlefield and call out enemy positions. Your team will have the advantage and you'll quickly gain a reputation as a team player.

Your career with Northstar

You either love or hate this Titan; which is it? Let us know if you use Northstar in the comments section!

Don't have Titanfall 2 yet? It's never too late!

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Cale Hunt
Senior Editor, Laptop Reviews

Cale Hunt is formerly a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full-time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.