Gambit is a fun game mode that can be difficult to solo at first. It seems like every Jimmy and Sally has no idea of what they’re doing and that you’re constantly getting matched up against competent teams of raiders and PvPers. Personal philosophy on how to approach Gambit aside, this primer’s goal is to increase, as much as possible, the solo player’s awareness–of the team and of self–and increase the fun factor. You might even win a game or two.
Gambit is comprised of two teams of four with no loadout restrictions. The goal of Gambit is to win two out of three rounds. Rounds are won by summoning Taken Primevals and destroying them before the other team can summon and destroy theirs. Primevals are summoned by banking Motes of Dark that are dropped by the enemies that spawn in each team’s arena. Banking motes in multiples of 5, up to 15, will temporarily lock the opposing team’s bank with a Blocker that they’ll have to destroy before having access to their bank again. Kill the hostiles. Grab the motes. Drop ‘em in the bank.
At certain score intervals, a single player from one team can invade the other team in an attempt to nullify that team’s unbanked motes. Once Primevals are summoned, teams can invade each other to impede their progress on destroying the Primeval, which will regenerate health whenever a player is killed while their team is being invaded. The first team to eradicate their Primeval wins the round. Win two out of three rounds to win Gambit.
As a solo player, you should know that many competitive games, especially team games, are won before the match even starts. Your first duty is to equip yourself with the strongest, most flexible loadout possible in order to ensure that, in the worst possible scenario, at least you will be capable of handling enemies, banking modes, destroying Blockers and handling invasions. These are merely recommendations for basic loadouts.
Kinetic: Pulse Rifle, Auto Rifle, Submachine Gun
Examples: Bygones, Duty Bound, The Huckleberry
The basic purpose for the kinetic weapon is to get down and dirty with enemies. You want a high uptime, so perks that increase magazine size or reload speed are preferred, as are perks that flinch the more dangerous enemies you’ll come across.
Energy: Shotgun, Sniper Rifle
Examples: IKELOS_SG_v1.0.1, Borealis
The basic purpose for energy weapons is to hunt invaders, break shields and dump high amounts of damage very quickly. The IKELOS shotgun is, in some opinions, the most flexible special weapon in Gambit and it shows. Your perk targets here are those revolving around bonus damage and bonus ammunition; you want these weapons to be at the ready whenever they’re needed. Be smart with your ammo and your special weapons will be key to dropping the big bads that need to go away very quickly. Both weapon types are also fantastic anti-invasion tools that make repelling invaders much easier and more fun.
Power: Linear Fusion Rifle, Rocket Launcher
Examples: Sleeper Simulant, Bad Omens
Power weapons are a bit more niche in Gambit than you’d think, despite the abundant power ammo spawns in the arena. They are primarily going to be used during your invasions and your Primeval phases. Perks that reduce the need to reload or increase damage and accuracy are best. These weapons are also going to be what help you drop Primeval Envoys during the Primeval phase to get situated for your damage step.
Titan: Code of the Commander, Code of the Missile, Code of the Fire-Forged
Warlock: Attunement of Fission, Attunement of Control, Attunement of Flame
Hunter: Way of the Trapper, Way of the Current, Way of a Thousand Cuts
Subclass choices are really personal choices that players must make, but these basic choices work well at an absolute baseline for Gambit. Let’s briefly examine each class.
Titans are probably the most flexible solo class in Gambit. Between anti-invader strategies with Commander, instant boss or invader damage with Missile and Primeval debuffs with Fire-Forged, they bring a lot to the table. Try not to double up so you can share the wealth with the rest of your team.
Warlocks work best when they’re given something at which to excel, but because Gambit has so many different things going on, it can be hard for the solo Warlock to really dig in with other subclass trees like Hunger or Grace. The listed subclasses instead opt for the simplest ways to bring value to the table. All subclasses are strong invaders; Fission keeps health and ability regen high, Flame destroys mountains of enemies and Control is prime-time boss damage.
Hunters are in a weird spot here because they don’t get to play, in my opinion, to their subclasses’ strongest suits very often with the exception of Thousand Cuts, which is likely their strongest solo Gambit subclass. Trapper is going to be the team’s orb generator and Current is going to play footsie with invaders. Thousand Cuts is going for one thing only; massive boss damage.
It’s important to keep in mind the following: the setups listed here are basic solo Gambit suggestions. While it’s important for players to be comfortable with what they use and what they do, there is still no shame in rocking good gear and strong subclasses, especially if you don’t have much Gambit experience. Keep an open mind, use the really good stuff and then start to develop your own style of play from there. Working as a solo agent in Gambit can be unbelievably rewarding, but you have to think differently if you haven’t played very much. Using strong tools lets you focus on the more subtle aspects of the game without penalizing your performance.
If you’re fortunate enough to play in a fireteam, your primary goal should be to establish roles. Each member of the team is going to wear one or two hats almost exclusively, only switching when the situation demands it. Focusing on your jobs and trusting your teammates to handle theirs really allows for speedy gameplay.
This role is reserved for people with longer-ranged weapons who elect to stay at or near the bank and just get kills. The faster one enemy wave drops, the faster the next wave rises. One less player gathering motes also reduces collisions over “that last mote” and lets teams more precisely drop multiples of five while also stacking higher amounts of motes more safely. This player will also be responsible for clearing out enemy Blockers quickly so that players can deposit any time they need to.
This role is reserved for players with lethal accuracy and maybe some power ammo to spare. Invaders play nice and gather motes or destroy enemies when they can, but when that portal comes up, they become harbingers of your opponents’ destruction. Invaders will typically have exclusive rights to the guaranteed power ammo spawns near the bank to ensure that they have the firepower necessary to wreak havoc on the other team. They will need to time invasions appropriately and may opt for counter-invasions when their own team is getting invaded just to apply pressure.
This role is reserved for players who are willing to drop everything to seek out and destroy enemy invaders once they wander into the arena. These players must be equipped for quick and reliable damage output in order to drop invaders quickly. Snipers, linear fusion rifles and rocket launchers are easy loadout options for anti-invaders. Experienced players in this role can also camp invader spawns in preparation for imminent invasions, but they should be wary about reading the situation incorrectly and wasting time waiting for an invasion that won’t come. During the Primeval phase, where invasions are more predictable, camping invasion points yields undeniable results.
This role is reserved for players who are willing to manage the team’s bank. Which types of blockers, how many blockers and concessions needed for invasions are the types of questions these players will be answering. These players will be aggressively gathering and banking motes while keeping an eye on the team scores and making some decisions with regards to the Blocker strategy that the team will employ.
Sometimes players will have to change roles. Sometimes players will have to double up on roles or take a back seat to adjust to the enemy strategy. Stay open-minded and flexible to increase your chances of employing a successful strategy.
In the next article, we’ll go over the flow of a Gambit match in depth.