The Ranger is the first Javelin you’ll pilot as a Freelancer and is the mascot for Anthem. It is an all-around, versatile Javelin that has both AoE and heavy single target damage capabilities. This guide will cover all the information we currently have on the Ranger. Keep in mind that as we get closer to launch, the details shared in this overview might change. We will update the guide as swiftly as possible to ensure all information is relevant.
– Status Combo Effect: Each Javelin has a unique mechanic when attacking “primed” enemies with combo weapons. Enemies are primed by inflicting status on them such as setting them on fire using a gear ability or weapon that applies status effects. Enemies are then “detonated” when attacked using a combo weapon. The combo effect for the Ranger is heavy single target impact damage, making him an excellent option for bosses or “elite” mobs.
– Personal Defensive: All Javelins have their own defensive capabilities. The Ranger is capable of dodging, allowing you to take cover in a pinch.
The Ranger has access to a versatile arsenal of grenades that he can use in battle. Grenades have powerful effects, but are slower paced than traditional weaponry. At the time of writing this, there are five different grenades the Ranger has as options. Keep in mind that you can only equip one of these options in your loadout, but can switch between missions.
– Frag Grenade is damage and combo-focused, dealing heavy area-of-effect (AoE) damage on explosion
– Inferno Grenade is damage and status focused, setting an area on fire and igniting enemies. Presumingly deals damage over time (DoT)
– Frost Grenade is status-focused, damaging and freezing enemies in AoE. Based on gameplay shown, freezing deals relatively low damage and is more utility / crowd control (CC) focused.
– Seeker Grenades are damage-focused, splitting into smaller bomblets that seek out the nearest enemy.
– Sticky Bomb is damage-focused, sticking to a specific enemy and dealing heavy single target damage. Likely excellent for elite mobs and bosses.
Assault Launcher Gear
Another tool in the Ranger’s arsenal is his wrist launcher. Unlike the grenade gear, this Assault Launcher is a quicker option to immediately add some firepower to the battle in addition to your weaponry. As with all your gear, you will only be able to select one of the options below for your loadout, but can switch between missions.
– Homing Missile is split between single-target and AoE focus, shooting a missile that seeks a specific target with a small AoE blast on impact. One key detail to keep a watch out for on this gear option is its effective range.
– Energy Pulse is single-target focused, dealing significant damage to a single enemy. Likely has the highest burst DPS among the Assault Launcher gear options.
– Spark Beam is single-target focused, producing a continuous beam that deals damage to enemies. May have the highest sustained DPS if balanced like beams are in most shooters, or might be complete garbage like beams are in most shooters. We’ll find out!
– Venom Darts is single-target and (possibly) status-focused, launching out a volley of darts that seek a single target and deal acid damage. May be a great enabler for combos depending on its effectiveness.
– Blast Missile is AoE-focused, shooting a missile that explodes for AoE damage.
Each Javelin has its own set of gear that it can use to bolster either its own effectiveness or the team’s effectiveness. In this case, the Ranger has two options available (at the time of writing this). We suspect that most players will opt for Muster Point over Bulwark Point since DPS is often more valuable than protective abilities, but that might change in higher difficulty settings.
– Bulwark Point is defense-focused, summoning a protective sphere of energy that blocks and deflects incoming projectiles. The sphere is always summoned on Ranger (cannot summon sphere over distance).
– Muster Point is damage-focused, creating a small field which boosts weapon damage for any allies that enter its radius. One key detail to find out is if this gear also self-buffs (EA’s site doesn’t mention this anywhere).
Melee Ability and Ultimate Ability
Unlike the gear attachments we’ve covered up until now, you cannot change your melee and ultimate ability. Bioware has noted they may change this in the future (at least for melee weapons), but for now there is no customization available for melee or ultimates. Here’s what to expect from the Ranger’s melee weapon and ultimate ability.
– Shock Mace is the Ranger’s close-range melee weapon of choice. It deals electricity damage as you might suspect from the name and may be another enabler of combos (unknown if it can apply status or not).
– Multi-Target Missile Battery is the Ranger’s ultimate ability. It summons a barrage of missiles that lock on and seek out several enemies, dealing heavy damage on each missile impact.
Naturally it’s difficult to have an opinion on a Javelin before even playing it, so take what we say with a grain of salt. However, we’re passionate theorycrafters so let’s share our overall thoughts on the Ranger. From what we can see so far, the Ranger is actually fairly close to what it is described as: An all-around Javelin. It’s not squishy and is capable of single-target DPS, AoE and CC. That puts it squarely in the bracket of “all-around.”
However, we are interested in seeing how powerful status combos are. If it turns out that they provide a significant boost to DPS, it’s possible that the Ranger might be the best single-target DPS Javelin in the game. With a Sticky Bomb – Energy Pulse – Muster Point loadout, the Ranger might be capable of taking down elite mobs and bosses in seconds. This would come at the expense of AoE and CC, but can easily be made up for with a good team comp. Of course this is all speculation at this point, but we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!