The comparisons betweenDestiny 2‘s Gambit mode sare obvious: red aura, a desire to take out players minding their own business fighting AI, the rewards for success — Gambit’s invasions are at least a nod to Dark Souls‘ own PvP system.
That being said, dominating the field as a Gambit invader is not the same as one in From Software’s series of masterpieces. Your options for healing are nonexistent, you’re on a strict timer, and your enemies are usually somewhat competent.
If I were to boil down my invasion strategies to a single sentence, it would read as follows:
“Start slow, then hit hard.”
You have to take the time to gauge the battlefield: where you spawned in, how spread the enemy team is, which is the highest value target and how best to get to them, and so on. It’s in these last bits that the Dark Souls analogy breaks down. In Souls games, players and their summons travel in packs, but a Gambit match can — and will — put opponents at every corner of the map.
Let’s take a moment to unpack the two sides of the invasion coin:
- Dealing with an invader
- Getting the most out of your invasion
In Gambit, invaders spawn in with some advantages on their side. These being:
- An overshield.
- Slightly increased damage.
- Often they’ll have a Super ready and either a shotgun or sniper to back up their Heavy weapon.
- Relative element of surprise: though an invader only has a few zones to spawn into, the actual load in point is random.
How to best deal with your murderous foe when they have all these advantages going for them? There are two primary schools of thought. One, you can take the fight to them and rob them of both surprise and numbers. Two, take a wait and see approach.
Note: This section assumes you’ve played a few Gambit matches and are thus familiar with where the invader can spawn.
When Drifter calls out that there’s an invader on the field, send a player to each side of the map without enemies. In other words, the areas you’ve cleared of adds. The invader will still pop up as a red marker on your radar.
Because of their strict 30 second timer, it’s therarest invader who crouches at the start.
If you can communicate the enemy’s location to your team, do so.
If you can’t tell them where the enemies are, then comes the selfish part: bait your teammates. As soon as the invasion call comes out, take quick stock of where your teammates are and try to spot the invader’s bullet tracers.Once one of you knows where the fire’s coming from, descend on your foe en masse.
In the event you still aren’t sure of your opponent’s location, you should still go on the hunt. Grab Heavy ammo if you can, and prepare that Super button. When you find the invader, unload.
Even if you die fighting it, you’ll have wasted his valuable time, opened up an opportunity for your teammates to finish the job, and denied him the glory of a full team wipe.
As I said in the PvE Gambit guide, the currency of Gambit is time. Your team can’t afford to wait around any more than your enemy team. However, that doesn’t mean an invasion needs to end as soon as the invader arrives.
Sometimes the team that takes a more cautious hand with invasions is the one that wins.
Gambit’s maps have plenty of thick cover, and though invaders always know where your team is, there’s only so much they can do if they can’t shoot you.
To slow down the invasions and make them as safe as possible, you still need to know where your enemy’s coming from, so the strategy outlined above is applicable. The seeker(s) will need to play more cat and mouse than the others, but even if one dies, the other three can find a nice shady spot to hide.
Yourradar is your best friend here, as is your initial spawn.
Get away from blockers and mote-bearing adds so there’s no red in your radar, and wait. The minute you see the invader’s proximity light go off, start moving away from it, keeping cover between you and the Guardian in red.
Take time to listen. Those enemy footsteps aren’t terribly loud, you might hear the grunt of a jump, the swish of a slide, a jump. Maybe even a Super going off.
Think of it like a game of tag where the one who’s “it” wants to kill you.
Your goal with this strategy is primarily psychological. The momentary annoyance of a tea bag or emote is nothing compared to the lingering frustration of failure.
Odds are, the player you and your team outwitted before will want revenge and use the portal when they shouldn’t, as they’re not in the right mind. Then you can flip the script on them and obliterate them as a unit.
Take Out Those Guardians
Invading in Gambit is a rush, because there’s always something at stake, and the odds are tremendously stacked against you. Considering the strength of certain weapons (Sleeper Simulant) and the protection offered by certain Supers (Well of Radiance), even an uncoordinated team can decimate an invader faster than even a small blocker.
So how to dominate an entire team of Guardians who wanted you off their map yesterday? There are a couple ways, one simple, one complex. Both are satisfying. Both are effective.
This strategy is essentially brute force and aims for the highest level of prejudice. You’ll want a full Super, some Heavy ammo, and something to herd your enemies into a kill box, usually a sniper.
- Step 1: Use thefirst five seconds of your invasion timer to either eliminate one enemy from range or fire shots such that they move in a direction of your choosing.
- Step 2: Once you’ve got your enemies on the retreat, usually back closer to their team and behind cover, spend the next five seconds moving so that you could put everyone on the opposing team in a smallish box on your screen. In other words, clump them like sheep.
- Step 3: Rush in, popping your Super when some of them start to get antsy. You’ll know it’s time when players start to peek out to look for you. At this point, hammer them into submission (literally as a Titan, figuratively with other classes).
- Step 4: Once your super runs out, blast them away with yourHeavy ammo. Alternately, if you’re running short on invasion time, pull out a shotgun and rush in.
Embrace the Darkness
This strategy is meant for more advanced players, as it requires tighter timing, a thorough knowledge of the map, the ability to almost instantly gauge the state of the battlespace, and the ability to move with enough speed and precision to catch less skilled players off guard.
That does not mean you shouldn’t attempt this method if you aren’t the best on the team. We learn best through failure, but you should come to grips with the fact that you should stick to the beat down, or leave the invading to someone else until your skills are in a better spot.
- Step 1: Once you spawn in, take three seconds to note the following: where you are, where your enemies are, what your enemies are doing, and how long it will take you to get into the proper position to herd them.
- Step 2: Move such that you have agood line of sight on the mote bank area, as that usually has the highest number of sightlines to any part of the map.
- Step 3: Make your initial long-distance shots to start moving your opponents where you’d like them to go, but reposition after every one, using your fire and positioning as an invisible fence to corral the enemy team.
- Step 4: After securing your first kill, make another mental note of where everyone is, then go for the other straggler, if there is one. Keep your opponents’ spawns stagger if at all possible.
- Step 5: After two kills, it’s time to rush. Get out your favorite close range weapon and see if you can take out one more player. If possible, two. Alternately, you can make a nuisance of yourself and go for the two respawning players. Remember, a few motes are nothing when weighed against Gambit’s real currency: time.
The third and final tip I can give about invading doesn’t really have steps. Just, you know, shoot the red team from long range. It puts you at the least risk, and if you’re a good shot with a proper power weapon, you’ll still pick up a couple kills. The suicide Super rush is also effective if a bit overly blunt.
Destiny 2‘s Gambit is a mode a good player can take by the horns and steer on both his and his enemies’ sides.
There are a hundred little tricks you can pull as an invader to make the enemy team’s life miserable, and they’re impossible to cover in a single place that isn’t already a book. Don’t be afraid to experiment, especially now, because everyone else is too.
Be sure to check out my Gambit PvE guide if you’re more interested in the E than the P.