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Tribes 3 Rivals: Ultimate Beginner’s Guide for New Players




Tribes 3: Rivals is the latest entry in the classic competitive series bringing in a lot of new players, so we made an ultimate beginner’s guide to help ya’ll get started!

There are a lot of unique mechanics and systems in Tribes 3: Rivals, such as how movement works and what game mode it focuses on.

If you’re eager to start boosting your way to victory and stealing your enemy’s flag in this Jetpack-equipped FPS, read on!

Ultimate Beginner’s Guide | Tips and Tricks for New Players

It’s All About Capturing The Flag

Tribes 3 Rivals: Ultimate Beginner's Guide for New Players - Capture the Flag

The first thing to know about Tribes 3: Rivals is that the game is primarily focused on Capture The Flag gameplay.

Each team has a flag, and the only way to score points is to capture the enemy’s flag and bring it to your base. It’s a game mode as old as time itself, now with jetpacks!

This means that you should primarily focus on working toward raiding the enemy base to steal their flag. Just killing enemies over and over won’t earn you points, if you don’t even try to steal the flag.

Tribes 3 promo shot of a character stealing a flag

This isn’t a deathmatch game, so you’ll have to actually coordinate with your teammates to complete the objective.

By the same token, you and your team have to make sure to defend your own flag and keep your enemies from stealing it!

In summary, just understand that this game revolves almost entirely around defending and capturing flags.

Get a Heads Up!

Tribes 3 Rivals: Ultimate Beginner's Guide for New Players - HUD

If you want to get into Tribes 3: Rivals as a new player, you have to understand the Heads-Up Display (HUD). It has all the information you need to be aware of at a moment’s notice.

Here’s a description of every important aspect of the HUD, based on the image above:

  1. Bottom Left – Your current and maximum Health.
  2. Center Left and Center Right – Inclination meter and your current speed.
  3. Top Left – A radar of the current map, showing allies in blue and enemies in red. Also shows the flags using the same coloring scheme.
  4. Top Center – Current match info. Tells you how many points each team has, if a flag has been captured, and how much time remains for the match to end.
  5. Top Right – The kill log, shows when players kill each other. It also shows when a player steals a flag.
  6. Bottom Right – Your current weapons and ammo.
  7. Bottom Center – Shows your current Energy as a blue gauge that turns red when critical. Also shows your current Belt and Pack Utilities, plus notifies you if you have Skiing enabled or disabled.

The HUD is fairly straightforward, but it’s very important that you get familiar with it right away as a new player.

Select Your Armor

Tribes 3 Rivals: Ultimate Beginner's Guide for New Players - Armor

There are three Armor types for you to choose from, each one with its own strengths and weaknesses. Which one you pick will greatly affect your available weapons and overall playstyle!

Here’s a short breakdown of each Armor type:

  • Light Armor – The speediest of them all, but also the one with the least firepower and defense. Primarily used to steal flags, or to chase down enemies who stole your team’s flag.
  • Medium Armor – Middle of the road, boasting a perfect balance of mobility, firepower, and defense. Medium Armor characters can do everything well, making them a solid jack-of-all-trades choice.
  • Heavy Armor – Sacrifices mobility compared to the other Armor types for overwhelming firepower and powerful defense. Great for attacking enemy bases and protecting your own team’s flag.

Every Armor type also has a bunch of unique weapons, gadgets, and perks at their disposal. Select whichever ones you like the most to fully define your own playstyle!

Understand Your Role

Tribes 3 Rivals: Ultimate Beginner's Guide for New Players - Roles

Since we just covered the Armor types and their playstyles, it’d be a good idea to also give a brief mention of roles. Understanding what your role is in the team will be vital, after all!

There are 5 distinct roles defined by the players:

  • Flag Defense – Flag Defense players, also known as Flag Defenders, are those who stay in their team base and fight off any incoming enemies.
  • Chaser – Similar to Flag Defense players, Chasers mostly stay near their own base. However, their focus is more on chasing down flag-stealing enemies than fending off incoming enemies.
  • Midfield – A somewhat odd and unique role that stays in the middle of the map, between both bases. Provides recon for their team, pinging incoming enemies but also helping with offense and defense.
  • Clearer – Players who invade enemy bases shortly before a Capper arrives. They kill or distract enemies to make it easier for Cappers to capture the flag.
  • Capper – Speedsters who focus entirely on stealing the enemy’s flag. Very simple on paper, but being a good Capper requires a lot of practice and map knowledge.

Of course, that’s just a very basic overview of what each role does. For much more detailed information, feel free to check out our roles guide!

Master Your Jetpack and Skiing

Tribes 3 Rivals: Ultimate Beginner's Guide for New Players - Jetpack

The thing that makes a Tribes game truly “Tribes” is the Jetpack. As such, you should do well to start practicing using it as soon as you start the game!

You can activate your Jetpack and boost by holding down the Right Mouse Button by default, which will rapidly deplete your Energy. It will give you some nice air time for a brief moment.

However, that’s just the very basic use. More importantly, you should learn to combine the Jetpack with the Skiing function.

To start Skiing, hold the Ski keybind, which should be Space by default. Release it to stop Skiing.

The trick here is to use Skiing as you go downhill to gain a massive boost of speed, then use your Jetpack as you go uphill to propel yourself further.

Example of a player who use movement to fly

If you do it right, you will be basically flying across the map!

To keep your momentum, try to hold the Skiing key while in the air and aim to fall on slopes going downhill. Do it right and you’ll keep your speed, and maybe even gain some.

Mastering these movement tricks is absolutely crucial to success in Tribes 3: Rivals, though you’ll also need to keep a steady aim to shoot enemies while moving around.

But, that’s the end of this guide. Hopefully, this helps you get started in this frantic retro-styled competitive FPS. We hope to see you out boosting all over the battlefield. with your Jetpack!

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