The Newberry's Guide to the Galaxy
This guide aims to obliterate any and all doubts as to the nature of this game which you valiantly downloaded, whether these doubts arose due to the fact it was for free, or because you just really like science-fiction games. Perhaps because you believed it was like other FPS games you enjoy or have enjoyed playing?
First and foremost DUST 514 is, despite sharing the basic FPS gameplay elements, really NOT comparable to a Call of Duty, Battlefield or Halo game. I cannot stress this enough.
The developer calls it an MMO shooter. It's a unique and free First-Person Shooter, exclusively downloadable on the PlayStation 3 console. Part of what makes it unique is that it is "connected" to a popular 10 year-old Windows/Mac galactic conquest MMORPG called "EVE Online" (and each year, CCP brings the two games closer). A glorious example of one aspect of the integration of two games into one universe is Planetary Conquest.
As a review by one of the reporters at Ten Ton Hammer stated, DUST 514 is the thinking man's shooter. If you are already familiar with EVE Online and its initial complexity compared to other MMORPGs, this is what players who have only had a gaming background of the aforementioned FPS games and some other FPSs will feel like when starting with DUST. This is partially due to the nature of the game and CCP's goals with gameplay and immersion, not to mention the daunting task of truly integrating DUST seamlessly into the universe of New Eden, alongside EVE Online.
If, perchance, you have already lost interest in this guide, the official DUST 514 website can be found here. Navigate through the main page to the DUST 514 forums, or simply click a direct link to it here, to find a huge community who is more than willing (mostly) to assist you on your quest (possibly doomed from the beginning) to acquiring greatness. Watch out for trolls. The forums are rife with the smelly creatures.
If you do wish to continue reading, however, let me firstly explain that strange term in the title of the guide. No, we are definitely not referring to any sort of fruit. The term "Newberry" is used to describe a new player who has entered the harsh, brutal universe of DUST 514. It is harsh. It definitely is brutal. Here's an example. Reader discretion is advised; cover your kid's eyes:
- EVE News: Late March, 2013: A contract placed by the corporation "Planetary Response Organisation", with the intention of transferring ISK (game currency) internally, was intercepted by the Pink Fluffy Bounty Hunterz corporation. A contract worth three-hundred million. That's 300,000,000 ISK. Stolen. The unanimous public reaction? "Welcome to New Eden". Read more here, here and here. This is the world, nay, the universe, you will be spending your days in. A universe of corporate combat & espionage, piracy, deceit, political intrigue, and long-term Machiavellian scheming. All in the quest for military, economic, or political power. And all this is considered allowable play by the developer. As players say, you can't spell "deceive" without "EVE".
To read some of the pre-defined backstory of EVE and DUST, read backstory and New Eden. If you'd like a quick overview of some of the major events in the player-created history of EVE since 2003, look in player Veteran_counter logic's thread, and read his post that starts with "Some EVE online History". Developer CCP has a variety of resources to learn about the history of New Eden, including an interactive timeline, and stories submitted by players (who are creating the history as they play). To get CCP's material, click here.
Anyway. You're a newberry. Here are some questions I want you to keep in mind, as a newberry.
- Are you a newberry?
- Are you doing worse at the game than you thought?
- Are you doing horribly because the game still needs some fine-tuning?
- Are you doing horribly because other FPSs have influenced what you believe effective FPS play is?
- Or is it because DUST is truly unique, truly innovative, and immensely complex?
As you journey through the vast universe of New Eden, a fresh-faced mercenary clone (yep, you're a clone), you will formulate answers to these questions yourself. All we can and must do now is focus on making you a better player, setting the foundation upon which you will eventually known as a vetberry. Do not doubt it; with dedication and persistence, you will become better. Like the maturation process of fine wine, this WILL take time, but you must not despair, for the rewards are great! Good times will be plentiful, you shall forge friendships in the fires of battle, you will experience unforgettable, intense moments of gameplay, and best of all, it's for free.
So without further ado, let us begin!
 A DUST 514 Beginner's Guide
 Off To A Good Start (One Can Hope)
Now now, what do I mean with this? What I mean is, have you already made a DUST account and a character? The common answer to this would be a resounding "yes". If this isn't the case, then pat yourself in the back, for it shall be most convenient for you in the next steps. If not, don't worry; chances are you might not need to do any changes to your character, and if you already have more than three days under your belt before you read this guide, then it might not be worth deleting a character just to make a new one.
If you have not even made a DUST account first, it may be best to find an existing DUST player and get a recruitment web-link from them. If you are recruited by someone and create your account on the web, you get special bonuses, and so does your recruiter. Here are the recruitment links for some of the regular contributors here. Feel free to use any one of the following links. If you do, you will start off with a free Recruit Assault Rifle BPO and 7 day booster:
This will take you to a page on the official dust514.com website, where you will login with your PSN ID and create your DUST character.
- Each PSN ID can have 1 DUST account, and each DUST account can have up to 3 characters created. 1 of your 3 characters can be designated to earn Skill Points passively. This means they will gain Skill Points even while you're asleep with your PS3 turned-off.
Take heed! Once you press the Start button on the Title Screen, you'll be sent to the Character Selection screen, which currently carries three slots at your disposal. There is miscellaneous information underneath the three slots regarding, from top to bottom: character name, corporation name, how many days you've been a member when first joined the corporation. Continuing over the divisory line, ISK, which tells you how much ISK you have on hand, Aurum (the special, optional in-game currency that you can only get by buying with real-world money), how much you have of it; and finally SP, how much you accrued of it up to this point, either by your actively participating in battles or by simply being off the couch doing other important things. :)
 Character Creation (Why Is It So Hard To Choose)
Calm down, friend! Are you bewildered at the many choices being offered? Afraid you might make a mistake? Not to worry! Just about the only things that can be considered permanent changes would be your character's gender, name and default Corporation; trifles that hardly matter in the grand scheme of things.
Note: The order of the choices below will vary slightly based on whether you're creating your character in-game, vs. on the dust514.com web site. The order here is based on in-game creation.
The gender will affect the look of your mercenary, but not their abilities. It cannot be changed once selected.
Choose a race, either Minmatar, Caldari, Gallente, or Amarr. Currently, the race you choose will change things like the look of your mercenary quarters, and the characteristics of the free equipment you're given. This free equiment can be replenished, infinitely, and for free, but its stats are hard-linked to your choice of race. So choose carefully, or forever hold your whining. A quick overview of the differences:
- Caldari free gear: high shield, low armor. high shield recharge -- ZERO armor regen.
- Gallente free gear: low shield, high armor. High armor regen(relatively speaking), and high shield recharge. Slower movement. 3 lowpower slots, NO highpower
- Minmatar free gear: medium shield, low armor. High shield recharge, low armor regen. Fast movement
- Amarr free gear: medium-to-high shield and armor, slower movement. Fewer upgrade slots, but higher fitting capability for the ones it has.
If you want to browse specific stats, the (Militia [race] Medium Frame) dropsuits are almost identical to the racial freebies, and you can thus pick different stats. They're just not.. free. Nor do they come with the free weapons and modules that your default freebie dropsuits come with.
Also, it's worth noting that New Eden's universe has been growing in EVE for a decade. And where there are sides, there are people who've picked sides. Note that some players are extremists who take selection of race as the ultimate decision which defines the rest of your career in New Eden. These may act aggressively towards you if your race is hostile to theirs according to the contemporary lore.
You can read descriptions of the races in the game, or here. A super-brief summary...Gallente are progressive, believe in free speech, etc. In DUST, Gallente technology is generally armor-oriented. Caldari are the opposite of Gallente; strict, and ruled by mega-corporations. Caldari are all about business and making money. Caldari technology is generally shield-oriented. The Minmatar are tribal people who were once slaves of the Amarr. Minmatar technology is generally speed oriented, along with armor repair. The Amarr are a strict religious race, and slavers. Amarr technology generally sacrifices speed in favor of offensive and defensive power.
Next you must choose a bloodline. Currently the selection of bloodline has no noticeable effect, but that could change someday.
Every single character in DUST must have an alphanumerical name that is unique from all other characters in EVE's universe, New Eden. Since DUST is a part of this universe, this means having to select a name that both current capsuleers (EVE ship pilots cocooned in capsules as they fly) and mercenaries do not have. You cannot change your name after making it. You're only required to have a first name. Not sure what to call yourself? Look here for a log of some of the names players have already chosen.
Note: In addition to the automatic space created between the First Name and Last Name of your mercenary, you can add additional spaces into your name if you so desire.
 Character Deletion
Be aware if you ever want to delete a character, you have to click to initiate deletion, but you will not be allowed to actually delete the character until after 10 hours has passed. This is an anti-rage mechanism implemented in many MMOs and is intended to prevent one from acting without thinking in a rush of anger or humiliation.
This can only be a good thing, considering the nature of New Eden. There will be times where you tell yourself that all is lost, and that there is actually no end to the tunnel of hopelessness that seems to engulf all your senses. It is a natural human response to utter doom, it would seem. Hurt yourself; because you are the problem. However, never fear! These moments may take over your mind for a night, but a good rest will sort it out. And the deletion timer is only there to save you much regret, despite the initial inconvenience. Also useful when you're intoxicated out of your mind, someone has hacked your account or you yourself accidently pressed the wrong button.
Until the final delete is confirmed, you can always abort deletion.
 Starting at Your Apartment (I Get an Apartment? Nice)
When you finally load into your humble abode, you should be bombarded with CCP's adequate-for-now (read:grossly inadequate) video tutorials regarding how to do the things you're gonna do a lot from now on, like the controls to access the chat menu and the main menu, where a whole slew of options are available. One highly recommends setting down the time and having the patient disposition needed to go through these motions. However, in case you're feeling a tad impatient and have already read this guide, feel free to skip through. The tutorials can be (re)accessed at any time via the Help tab in your Neocom.
Admire the fresh smell of your quarters now, because that will disappear along with the novelty of having your own rooms after you return from one of the hundreds of your future skirmishes, spattered in blood and covered in dust, wearily restocking your gear for another excruciating battle in another system, upon another planet, for the fame and money. And you can't even sit on your couch. Yep, you'll soon forget these first days where everything seems shiny and new and awesome.
 Battle Finder
This is located in both your Neocom and physically in your quarters. Accessing the Battle Finder allows you to, well, find battles. For now, you will want to stick to Instant Battles.
The rest of the Battle Finder features can wait until after you've played some. In brief, the Mercenary tab is where you can find Factional Warfare. The Corporation tab is where you'll find Corporate Contract battles, if your corporation has accepted a contract.
The Starmap offers an Atlas, a 2D representation emphasizing the changing political divisions in the universe (based on who is winning/losing). The Faction Warfare map is a 2D map focusing on how things are going in Factional Warfare. The Corporation map is a 2D map focusing on how your corporation is faring in the universe.
You can learn more about the Starmap from this developer post here
The Skills tree shows Skills your character already possess, what level your Skills are at, and what other Skills are available (some you'll be qualified to get, others have pre-requisites you must get first to unlock access).
To get a Skill, if you haven't already purchased a Skillbook for it on the Market, then you must purchase it here, now. Then you can expend SP (Skill Points) to activate or upgrade the Skill.
As a convenience, you can also upgrade existing Skills via the Market, to get yourself ready to use new equipment you plan to purchase.
 Which Skills To Get
Be wise in your expenditure of Skill Points. If you add every Skill in sight and upgrade everything in sight without giving any thought to your priorities, you may find yourself dying a lot, and that some equipment you REALLY want you won't be able to use for a while, because you didn't upgrade the right Skills. You will eventually be able to get/buy/use anything. It just may be a longer wait than you like.
Picking the right Skills can give you increased armor and shields, and more weapon damage. So think carefully, you'll stay alive longer.
- CORE SKILLS: Some veteran players advise focusing on "core skills" first. For instance, rather than increasing Skill levels for a specific weapon, or so that you can run a specific dropsuit, instead focus on Skills that will benefit ALL dropsuits you use (like Dropsuit Armor Upgrades, Dropsuit Engineering, Dropsuit Electronics, etc). By broadly buffing any gear that you use, you can potentially play well using a variety of inexpensive gear (like Militia gear), until you can finally afford the SP and ISK to buy expensive equipment (and the Skills needed to run them).
- ARMOR VS SHIELDS: In deciding what Skills you most value, you might want to also read the pros/cons of armor vs shields down in the Fitting section.
- OFFENSE/DEFENSE/ETC: You can also think about what capabilities matter most to you...defensive ability (focus on armor/shield Skills), offensive ability (focus on weapon Skills), battlefield detection (focus on scanner/sensor/radar-related skills), etc.
- MODULES VS. SKILLS: Some attributes (weapon damage, armor protection, etc) can be improved with the right Skills, the right dropsuit modules, or a combination of both. Since some modules & weapons come in inexpensive Militia versions, one way to inexpensively get a feel for what attributes matter the most to you is to try out a wide variety of Militia gear. Militia gear is inexpensive, and has no Skill pre-requisites to use it. It may, however, perform less well than non-Militia gear and/or require more of your dropsuit's limited PowerGrid and CPU resources.
- Once you get a feel for what attributes matter most, you can consider the best, most affordable way to get what you want. Perhaps you will buy a Skill so you can run the non-Militia versions of a type of module. Perhaps some module you really want to try has no Militia version, so you will buy the Skill that lets you use that module. Or perhaps you will decide to upgrade some Skills (such as Dropsuit Armor Upgrades, Weaponry, etc) instead of using a module to improve some attribute (this also conserves your dropsuit slots).
- As a new player, you can quickly & "inexpensively" (in terms of SP & ISK expended) improve your attributes the fastest by buying a carefully-chosen set of Dropsuit Modules (Armor Plates, Shield Extenders, Light Damage Modifiers, etc). However, each time you die, you have to buy more modules. If you focus on improving Skills, it will initially cost you more (particularly in SP), and take you longer to get a noticeable improvement. However, after the initial spending, you won't have to spend again when you die, and the Skills will benefit all the equipment you ever buy. Which route to choose, or a mix of both, is up to you. Be aware, there is a limit on how many Skill Points you can earn each week, but there is no limit on how much ISK you can earn each week.
 But seriously, what do I train first?
- Dropsuit Upgrades Level II
- Dropsuit Armor Upgrades Level II
- Armor Plating Level I
- Dropsuit Core Upgrades Level II
- Drop Uplink Deployment Level I
- Dropsuit Electronics Level I
- Dropsuit Engineering Level I
- Nanocircuitry Level I
- Dropsuit Shield Upgrades Level II
- Weaponry Level I
- Light Weapon Operation Level I
- Assault Rifle Operation Level I (or an equivalent basic rifle skill, like Scrambler Rifle Operation)
- A basic drop suit frame skill of your choice
Note: Currently Augmentations can only be purchased using real-world money (Aurum). However, you can purchase Game Packs that provide free boosters and items along with the Aurum, and are recommended for new players.
Right now the only type of Augmentations are Boosters, which increase the speed at which you gain skill points.
This is where you setup loadouts to go into battle with. Your Fittings specify what kinds of outfits you can choose for battle.
KNOWING HOW FITTINGS WORK IS ESSENTIAL!
Knowledge about fittings has immense psychological value. If another mercenary wandering through the universe finds out you know how fittings work, they will immediately assume you are good at killing, good at hacking, have billions of skill points, have allocated skill points wisely, can lead a squad superbly, etc. Furthermore, this mercenary will then happily donate ISK, perhaps even Aurum and equipment that you may have 'misplaced' during your battles, and invite you to his or her corporation and beg for you to join his/her squad. Why? Because any mercenary who has travelled countless systems and taken part in innumerable battles until death as well as consciousness becomes obsolete, but still knows how fittings work, is a mercenary to be reckoned with. 
You will have several free, infinitely-reusable starter fittings. They will be tailored towards various types of gameplay (being a sniper, being a support medic, etc).
Generally, each time you die in battle, you lose whatever you were using at the time...1 of every item that was in each slot of your Fitting. So you lose your gun, perhaps a set of Armor Plates, etc (whatever was in that outfit). Thus, if you accumulate too many deaths in one battle, it may be detrimental to the state of your wallet. And a mercenary's wallet is everything.
However, do not fear! Your character starts with some default, free, infinitely-reusable, pre-built starter fittings for Dropsuits. You can run those (STARTER) type outfits in-game infinitely, for free, no matter how often you die. As you die (and you will die) they will never consume any Assets (inventory) or cost you any money. If you edit them it's easy to "ruin" them and make them non-free. Until you revert them, they will no longer be free to use.
To learn more about how to best customize and manage them, read the following section on Starter Fittings.
 Starter Fittings
The starter Fittings are a complete blueprint, from head-to-toe, in every slot. A blueprint is a mechanism to give you free copies of whatever the blueprint is for. The dropsuit itself is a blueprint, and it already contains sub-blueprints of stuff to fill all the slots. However, you do not "own" the blueprints of the items in the slots. They are not in your list of Assets (inventory). They are part of the Fitting blueprint itself. That is why they have a yellow border to them.
If you edit a slot and put a non-blueprint item (Regular Item) into the slot, your Fitting is no longer a complete blueprint from head-to-toe. This Fitting is now limited in quantity, by the number of non-blueprinted items you have purchased. More details in the Quantity section, below
If you want to fix that and make the starter Fitting like it was before you edited it, here's how: You cannot simply replace the Regular item with the blueprint that used to be in there. You never owned the blueprint for that slot item, so you cannot find it in your Assets to put it back in the Fitting again. The somewhat non-intuitive fix is, you "Remove" the Regular item you put in the slot. When you do, the specially-bound default blueprint item that is part of the Fitting blueprint, and used to show in that slot, will magically re-appear and fill that slot.
If you're having a hard time figuring-out which slots you changed to "ruin" the fitting, you can simply "Remove" every item that does NOT have a yellow border. That should "fix" your starter Fitting and make it just like it was before. It's best to make a copy of a STARTER fitting before editing. See further down for examples of fine-tuning them.
 Quantity field
A fitting that has "∞" in the QTY (Quantity) column is a free, inexhaustible fitting. It's a Blueprint of an outfit.
A fitting that has a number in the QTY column is limited, and not free. If it says "10", that means you can die 10 times using that outfit. Then if you want to keep running that outfit, you'll need to buy re-supply equipment to re-stock that fitting. The quantity is based upon whatever piece you own the fewest of. For instance, if your fitting specifies a swarm launcher and armor plates, and you have 50 armor plates in your assets (inventory), but only 10 launchers, the limit on that fitting is 10. Until you buy more launchers. Otherwise, after you've died 10 times (& lost those 10 guns from your assets), you no longer own the right equipment to run that outfit.
 Module Slots
Different types of dropsuits have different slot setups of how many items they can accept, and of what type. (This also differs between racial types. An "Amarr Medium Frame" has different slots, etc from a "Caldari Medium Frame". It's not just about fashion differences!) Different dropsuits also have different amounts of PowerGrid (PG) & CPU power. When the items you've added to a fitting use-up the available CPU & PG, you can't fill more slots.
Slots are color-coded:
- Red = The item in this slot is out-of-stock, you no longer own any more of that item. Either re-stock it from the Market, or change what's in that slot
- Yellow = This item can't be removed, but it can be replaced with another item, if you have a suitable item.
- Blue = The item in this slot is a Blueprint, which will never run out and allows unlimited use.
 Valid Fittings
A fitting only remains valid if:
- It has at least one weapon.
- None of the items are out-of-stock (you still own the right assets).
- You have the right Skills to use all the items in the fitting.
- The total PG/CPU load doesn't exceed the dropsuit's capacity.
 What Fittings To Create
Initially just try the various free Starter Fittings. Once you get a feel for the gameplay, and have built up some SP and ISK, start making some custom fittings to fit your priorities. Remember that you can make a lot of Fittings using just Militia gear, so there will be no spending to meet Skill requirements, and the gear is inexpensive. Higher-tier (non-Militia) gear has better performance, and requires less of your dropsuit's CPU and PG resources. You can move up when you can afford to.
You might try making different fittings that let you try every interesting-sounding Militia dropsuit module, Militia weapon, and Militia dropsuit (more about dropsuit selection further down). Then you can learn what you like, and what helps your playstyle most. Note that all your freebie dropsuits are "Militia (your-race) Medium", but you can buy, and fit, "Militia (any race) (Light/Medium/Heavy)", reguardless of what your actual race is. Yes, a Caldari CAN fit into an Amarr heavy dropsuit :)
Also think about situations you run into and what Fittings would help you solve them. Killed by a tank? Maybe spawn back in with a Fitting tailored towards AV (Anti-Vehicle) combat...AV grenades, Swarm Launcher, etc. Or maybe you need a speedy Scout Fitting so you can rush to capture a Null Cannon at the start of a Skirmish game. Perhaps another Fitting with a long range weapon (laser rifle, sniper rifle) for when you need that. Perhaps another Fitting with a Mass Driver when you know enemies are tending to cluster in tight groups. Perhaps another Fitting with a shotgun when you know you'll be in lots of CQC (Close Quarters Combat).
 Sample Assault Fitting
As one example to get you thinking of the kind of direction you can head with Fittings, let's say you like to fight on the front lines, but want more defensive protection than the free starter Fittings offer. Let's assume you don't have a lot of ISK or SP to expend on gear or Skills (or just want to be miserly), so you want to stay with Militia gear. Here's one possible Fitting:
- Make a duplicate of the free "Assault - Frontline" starter Fitting (or perhaps the medic one, depending on whether your racial freebies give you free shield modules).
- Replace the Militia Armor Repairer with another copy of the Militia Armor Plates (so you now have 2 sets of plates).
- You're done. You now have a Fitting with an extra 85 points of protection, at the "cost" of a 2% penalty to movement speed, and a slower (perhaps 0%!) repair rate.
- As you get better dropsuits, you'll be able to have Plates, increase your shields with Shield Extenders, better weapons, etc. But you'd better have a bankroll to back that up. A top-tier premium set of dropsuit/weapons/modules, can come close to 100,000 ISK!
 The wisdom of being cheap
Note that You just saved a ton of money with the slight tweak mentioned in the "Sample Assault Fitting", above.
If you had thought to yourself, "the free set doesnt have two plates, so I'll just make my own militia set. Go buy a militia medium suit... add weapon(s), module, grenade..."... you've just spent somewhere close to 10,000, per death. Whereas if you leverage the freebie suit, you only pay for the cost of replacing the single Militia Armor Plate module you customized it with.
Another good way to avoid having to buy a non-free dropsuit just to try a new module/weapon combination: If the only reason you cant try out some new weapon/module combination, is that one of your bluprinted light modules is hogging too much CPU/PG... you might think you're stuck, since you cant "remove" it. However,instead of removing, you can replace it with a "Militia CPU Upgrade" module. It takes 0 PG, and actually adds to your CPU capacity. Thise can be yours for the low, low price of around 490 ISK, which is slightly cheaper than buying a militia dropsuit, but more importantly, helps you avoid buying all the other free goodies.
Surprising tip: when looking at building a hybrid free/optimized suit, dont be put off by the names; Just look at the modules. For example, you may want to built a combat fitting on top of free "Medic" build, since it may give you 2xhigh power shield modules.
 What Dropsuit Should I Buy?
Dropsuits come in many varieties. They each will have different prices, speeds, amount of armor/shields, number & type of slots for adding Equipment/Weapons, detectability on the Scanner, ability to detect others, and different amounts of PowerGrid (PG) & CPU power.
No matter what race your character is, you can use any race's dropsuit. Initially only buy Militia dropsuits, so you can try out different ones without spending too much SP or ISK. This will let you try out various playstyles to decide what kind of dropsuit you want to invest in. Unfortunately, as a new player with low-end equipment, you may die so quickly that it's hard to get a good feel for the various playstyles you can discover. Note that "Militia" gear has its own (bargain basement?) area of the market. If you want a "Militia Heavy ...", do not go to Dropsuit->Heavy. Go to Miltia->Dropsuit->Heavy
Once you have some feel for playstyles, you may also want to check out the statistics of higher-end dropsuits. For example, compare a high-end Light Dropsuit to a high-end Medium Dropsuit and think about which one would ultimately suit your playstyle better. You might want both, and that's fine!... However, given that you must first unlock them with bucketloads of SP points, you're going to be able to get one of them a lot sooner than the second one you pick.
 Light Dropsuits
Light Dropsuits are faster moving, harder to detect on the scanner, and have an enhanced scanner, but have reduced built-in armor/shields, and reduced ability to customize (fewer slots, lower power & CPU resources). They are sometimes chosen for snipers (& sniper hunters), reconnaissance, running in close to stab or shotgun enemies, quickly getting to an objective to hack it, and quickly getting to a location to plant Remote Explosives or uplinks. If you wish to get a better Light Dropsuit, you can move up to non-Militia Light Dropsuits, either Basic Light Dropsuits, or specialized Scout Light Dropsuits.
 Heavy Dropsuits
Heavy Dropsuits have MUCH more armor/shields, and the exclusive ability to use heavy weapons (Heavy Machine Gun, Forge Gun), but are slower moving, and have reduced ability to customize. They are sometimes chosen for a variety of roles, such as attack or defense of an objective, anti-vehicle (AV) combat, and sniping. If you wish to get a better Heavy Dropsuit, you can move up to non-Militia Heavy Dropsuits, either Basic Heavy Dropsuits, or specialized Sentinel or Commando Heavy Dropsuits.
 Medium Dropsuits
Medium Dropsuits split the difference between Light and Heavy. Good for general purposes, but if you have a very specific Light or Heavy role you want to fulfill, a Medium Dropsuit probably won't fulfill it as well. They are sometimes chosen for attack or defense, sniping, or support play (repairing, re-supplying, and healing teammates). If you wish to get a better Medium Dropsuit, you can move up to non-Militia Medium Dropsuits, either Basic Medium Dropsuits, or specialized Assault or Logistics Medium Dropsuits (Logistics Dropsuits are specialized for support play).
 Armor Or Shields
You can have both at the same time, but you'll probably end up spending your money and SP on improving one of them first. So, which one should you focus on first?
- COST: Less expensive way to get protection
- MOVEMENT: Reduces your ability to run/jump
- VULNERABILITY: More vulnerable to explosive & projectile weapons than shields are, but less vulnerable to Laser Rifles. Unaffected by Flux Grenades.
- REPAIR: Armor repairs slowly, even while under fire, but ONLY if you're able to add an Armor Repair Module (active repair) to your Fitting. A teammate can repair you if they have a Repair Tool, and certain Nanohives can repair you.
- RESOURCE USAGE: Lower CPU & PG demands than shields.
- Tip: Rather than buying bigger & better plates, you may want to focus on better repair. Plates get used-up during combat, but your repair keeps helping you as long as you stay alive. As long as you CAN stay alive.
- COST: The same money & SP will buy you much more armor protection than it does shield protection.
- MOVEMENT: Unaffected
- VULNERABILITY: More vulnerable to Laser Rifles and Flux Grenades than armor is, but less vulnerable to explosive & projectile weapons.
- REPAIR: Shielding self-repairs (passive repair) quickly, but not while under fire. Repair can be boosted in various ways with shield modules and certain Skills.
- RESOURCE USAGE: Higher CPU & PG demands than armor.
If you tend to die fast, armor may be a cheaper way to keep yourself alive longer. Especially if you're near teammates or nanohives to repair you. If you're able to survive, and want speed, shields may be better, especially if you're off on your own, or on the frontlines.
As you focus on increasing armor or shield ability, players debate whether it's better to focus on having a stronger, "passive" defense vs. a weaker, "active" defense:
- Passive defense: For example, focusing on being an "armor tank". Armor is passive, it just sits there, absorbing damage, and weakening. For a passive defense, you would focus on getting maximum points of protection against damage (a large "buffer" against damage), even at the expense of having a lower or non-existent self-repair rate. An example of this would be a lot of armor points, and possibly no Armor Repair Module. You would be an "armor tank" with a large "buffer", possibly no self-repair, reduced mobility, and low cost.
- Active defense: For example, focusing on being a "shield tank". Shields always re-generate by themselves. For an active defense, you would focus on getting a good self-repair rate, even at the expense of having fewer points of protection. Some examples of this would be focusing on shielding (be a "shield tank"), or focusing on the best armor self-repair you can get. This route may give you more mobility, but may be more expensive, and give you less protection per firefight.
In reality, no matter what route you go, you are likely to want an Armor Repair Module, if you can fit one, so your defense is always "active". It's mostly a question of how you focused your SP and ISK...do you have a lot of points of protection, with slower re-generation, or fewer points of protection, with faster re-generation.
As of the current DUST build, some advanced players say focusing on shield defense is definitely the way to go. However, the introduction of the Scrambler Rifle may bring the benefits of shield tanking into balance. It will take you longer to get lots of protection than if you go the armor route, but they say it will serve you better in the end. Other players worry far less about defense. They focus their money and SP on better weapons and weapon Skill boosting, at the expense of improving defensive protection. Of course, if you're bad at shooters, none of that advice may be best for you. You might, for instance, fare better if you just bought lots of armor plating.
Here you can buy all manner of equipment and Skills. A few items may only be purchased using Aurum (AUR), the in-game currency that you have to spend real-world money to get. Most items you can purchase using ISK, the free currency. And the plan is to always have an ISK version of any AUR items.
What you can buy:
- EQUIPMENT: Physical goods, power-ups, modules, attachments, etc. These cost currency, either AUR or ISK. They may have pre-requisites. Militia equipment (the cheapest) never has pre-requisites. Equipment comes in 2 forms:
- Regular Item: You are buying an item that can be used-up and need replacing. For instance, if you die in battle, your gun is left there and you lose it.
- Blueprints: You are buying the blueprint of how to make an item. Blueprints are never used-up. If you buy the blueprint for a gun, from then on you can always make a new copy of that gun, without spending any additional money.
- SKILL UPGRADES: As a convenience, you can upgrade your existing Skills via the Market (you can also do this under Character tab). To "buy" such an upgrade you spend/use-up SP (Skill Points).
- NEW SKILLBOOKS: This is how you add new Skills. You buy the Skillbook using currency, then you use-up Skill Points to activate (or upgrade) the new Skill. They may have pre-requisites.
You can buy equipment, but to USE the equipment, you will need to satisfy any Skill and equipment pre-requisites. This may mean upgrading existing Skills your character already has, or buying new Skillbooks to add new Skills to your character (that you may then have to upgrade). It may also mean buying other equipment. For instance, you can't use heavy weapons without a heavy dropsuit...and the Skills needed to operate heavy dropsuits & heavy weapons.
 Pre-requisite Skill Indicators
Market items have checks and "x"s to represent how you're doing in regards to Skill pre-requisites for an item. Though there are no indicators to warn you if you need to buy other equipment to make use of the item (like a heavy dropsuit for a heavy gun).
The indicators mean different things depending upon whether you're looking at the item in a list of Market items to buy, or if you've drilled into the item and you're looking at the Pre-requisites tab for just that 1 item.
- In the Market listing, a green check means you don't have the item yet, but that if you do buy it, you're ready to use it Skill-wise.
- On the Pre-requisite tab for a single item, a green check means you already HAVE that Skill, you need do nothing more to satisfy that requirement.
For detail, read on:
 In Market Listings
- GREEN CHECK: This means you're "ready" Skill-wise to buy/use that item, you already have the necessary Skills to let you use the item. It does NOT mean you have the right equipment pre-requisites (like a heavy dropsuit to use a heavy weapon). It also does NOT mean you currently have enough SP or currency to complete the buying transaction.
- RED "X": This means you lack some necessary Skills. You can buy the item anyway, but you won't be able to use it.
The Market is organized in a hierarchy of requirements. If you're looking at the page of Assault Rifles, the ones at the top have the fewest Skill pre-requisites, and cost the least. As you go down the list, you'll see new Skills or Skill levels sprinkled throughout the list. Once you're able to get that Skill, you'll see the next section of rifles will get green checks, indicating you now have the right Skills to use them. If you want to get the best rifle on the list (see bottom of list), you'll need to upgrade/buy all the previously listed Skills/Skillbooks in the list.
 Pre-requisites Tab Of An Item
- GREEN CHECK: This means you've already satisfied this pre-requisite, you need do nothing more to satisfy that requirement.
- RED "X": This means you haven't satisfied this Skill requirement yet. You can buy the item anyway, but you won't be able to use it.
This tab allows you to connect with friends in-game, send mail, chat, check your leaderboard standings, etc. For details on this, please read our article about the Social tab (we haven't written this yet)
This tab allows you to manage your participation in a Corporation (like clan or guild in other games). For details on this, please read our Guide To Corporations (we haven't written this yet)
 System Operation
This tab lets you control in-game options for video, audio, etc. You may wish to experiment with different controller sensitivities in-game so you can find what sensitivity best suits your play and preferred ranges/weapons.
For full details on this tab, please read our article about System Operation (we haven't written this yet).
A few items of special interest to Newberries:
Currently voice chat is off by default. You can turn it on here.
Even if you don't have a mic, activate voice chat. This ensures that you hear any orders given by your Squad Leader if in Squad chat or the whole team in Team Chat.
However, activating chat for DUST does not mean that when you join a Squad, it automatically activates chat for you in your Squad. You must specifically "Activate Voice" for your Squad once you are in your Squad.
If your chat is setup right, when you look at the icons for your chat channels, you'll see a green light in the top left corner indicating voice is active for that channel.
When you speak, you should see a speaker icon flashing green next to your name.
Check here to see what the controls are to play the game.
Dust 514 also has vehicles available. When you are a new player, you are given a limited number of Onikuma for free. This LAV is capable of getting you into the main battle quickly, and can also be great for running over enemies...as long as they aren't wielding a Forge Gun or carrying AV grenades!
There are also militia Heavy Attack Vehicles available if you want to try tanks without investing any skills. Be aware though that tanks are more costly, and you are likely to lose one of the militia ones more easily.
Similarly, there is a militia version of a dropship. Do not even think about buying one, until you are prepared to lose a lot of money learning to fly them. The primary enemy for dropship flying, is yourself (or the ground+buildings, depending on your perspective).So dont even bother trying to equip any modules for the first few times you fry... I mean fly.. one of these things. Only after you can successfully fly the thing without crashing in the first 20 seconds, will you then have to worry about being shot down by enemies. And you will have to worry about that too.
The Help tab offers in-game help on various aspects: Instructions, the option to re-run the various tutorials, and the option to re-watch the intro movies.
 What To Learn Next
If you want to learn still more, here are some things to look at:
Learn about squads at our Squad page.
There are some other guides and help listed at List Of Guides.
To see a wiki table of contents (of sorts), visit our Main Page.
To browse our entire wiki contents by category, visit our Category Tree
To see a list of every article in our wiki, click here
 Tips For Your First Battles
Here is a SMALL number of tips for your first battles:
- SPAWNING: If you spawn at the MCC, be aware that after you jump out of the bay, you need to use your inertial dampers (X button), or you will die when you hit the ground.
- DYING/REVIVING: As a newberry (or DUST bunny?) you might die a lot. Each time you re-spawn, you use up 1 of your team's clones. If your team runs out of clones, you lose. BUT, if you get medical attention, you can get revived without using-up a clone. You can call for medic help (any teammate that has a Nanite Injector), and eventually (or quickly), one may come around. After you've looked at the info about how you were killed, press X to exit that screen and go into the overview map. If your body isn't too damaged to be revived, you will be able to put/keep the selection circle on the skull & crossbones showing where you died, and you can click X to call for help. If no medic ever comes, after a while lying there you'll be automatically forced to re-spawn. And, be honest, if you're dying a lot, your presence on the battlefield isn't critical, you can afford to wait around a short time. But your team can't afford all the extra clones you'd be using up.
- REVIVAL TIP: When you hear the sound of being injected, you can hold L3 and push forward on the stick. Your character will then quickly power slide 10 yards as you revive. This may get you out of danger as you're reviving.
- FIREFIGHTS: Be aware, you may be thrown right in with FPS experts, who may also have vastly better equipment and stats/attributes than you. Much better armor, much stronger guns, more radar boosts, mobility boosts, etc. So you may be killed VERY quickly, even with all the armor & shielding you can possibly afford. What to do? Hang around teammates. Fight as a squad/group/team so you have support, and can offer support. Or focus on healing (Nanite Injector), repair (Repair Tool), and re-supply (Nanohive) support play, until you can earn more powerful equipment.
- CHANGING GUNS: You can get a different gun by going to a Supply Depot and changing the current Fitting you're wearing to another Fitting with a different gun.
- PROFIT: To get better equipment, you need to keep earning SP and ISK. Which means you need to do well in your role in the battle. So figure-out what roles you can do well in and execute those roles at the right time. Otherwise if you keep doing poorly, you may find your character is broke and can only use the basic, free equipment.
- TACTICS: For further interesting reading on tactics, check out this tactics guide.
- BRAND-NEW TO SHOOTERS?
- Never stand still. Not even during firefights. That lets other players (including snipers) get headshots on you.
- Use cover. Walk near walls. Walk in gullies, not along hill-crests. Be wary of running in straight lines (snipers love that).
- Spin & look around every so often...glancing around may make an enemy show up on your radar that no one's seen yet.
- Here is a great basic FPS firefight movement tutorial video
- SHOOTING PRACTICE: In a game of Skirmish try hanging way back on your team's side and practice running/moving/side-stepping/strafing while shooting at a small, stationary object. You may decide to adjust your controller sensitivity (see "System Operation" above). Shooting in short bursts may improve accuracy. While practicing, if there's a Supply Depot nearby, you can get more ammo, change Fittings, try your other weapons, etc.
- FIGHT UNFAIRLY: Only fight when the odds or 2:1 or 3:1 or more in your favor. If too many of your teammates die, consider throwing some grenades then retreating.
 Frequently Asked Questions
This is just for questions often asked by newberries.
- How do I report a bug or contact customer support? Go to CCP's page here. You will have to login with your PSN ID.
- What's with this Orbital Bombardment? If your team has Squads (you want it to, so join/make one!), and a squad is performing well, the Squad Leader can earn the ability to call in an Orbital Bombardment. Players that get under some overhead cover can survive the bombardment.
- Why am I suddenly earning few Skill Points from playing? Read our article on Skill Points
 Ask A Question
For questions, you may want to head to the Official DUST 514 Rookie forums