Anthem is only a month away, with the beta coming up in a few weeks. But like all live games prior to release, there are tons of tiny details that players want to know before they ready themselves for the long winter of grinding to that endgame.
A collection of BioWare developers — lead producers Ben Irving and Mike Gamble, as well as game director Jonathan Warner — have spent the past several months answering fan questions on Twitter. While most of Anthem’s big revelations come in the form of streams and press releases, some of the smallest and most interesting details only come from these tweets.
We’ve rounded up 55 interesting Anthem facts that are worth knowing ahead of release.
1. Individual gear doesn’t level up
Gear in Anthem is static, meaning that once it drops, it’s what you have. However, like Diablo, the goal is to find higher rarity loot with better stats.
2. Using your ultimate makes you immune to damage
Each Javelin has its own ultimate to devastate enemies, but it looks like it’s also a viable tool for defense. Popping your ultimate will make you immune to damage until it runs out.
3. You can start with any of the four classes
This is something we’ve seen conflicting reports on. However, one of the more recent tweets from Warner suggests that the Ranger is no longer the de facto starting Javelin and that players will instead be able to choose their starting suit from the beginning.
4. Story progress is per player, but can be done in a group
Anthem is an open game with a focus on story. So while you can always jump in and play with your friends, you won’t lose any missions because of it.
5. Story is progressed per-player, meaning it can be played in a group without fear
On the flip side of the earlier question, everyone in the group can make progress if they’re all playing through at the same time and on the same mission.
6. Random players can appear in the freeplay game world
In true MMO-lite fashion, random players outside of your team will appear in the open world. However, this only seems true for modes like freeplay, not instanced strongholds.
7. Players will be tethered together in missions so they don’t fall too far behind — in freeplay, teammates can go anywhere
Teammates will be forced to stick together during missions by a tethering system. This seems to be a developer choice, since it isn’t the case in the larger, freeplay mode. Instead, getting too far away from your teammates will teleport you back to the action in more scripted missions.
8. There will be a accessibility option to increase font size
Looking at small text can be grading or impossible for some folks. Anthem will have the option to increase font size.
9. Progress will not be cross-platform at launch
Players will need to choose where they want their progress before they start the game. While Gamble said that cross-platform saves could eventually be a reality, it won’t be there at launch.
10. Your pilot levels up and takes that level to whatever Javelin they’re in
Leveling has some unique perks, like unlocking difficulties and skills for your pilot. But Javelins themselves don’t level up, meaning you’ll only need to go through that process once without being punished by switching suits.
11. Loot is sent to you if you forget to pick it up
If you accidentally leave a piece of loot on the ground — or god forbid it falls off a cliff — there will be some way to retrieve it.
However, Ben Irving clarified on a stream that only rarer items will be sent to those that forget them — everything else will be lost.
12. Servers will be dedicated at launch
Dedicated servers are a big deal in multiplayer games, and should reduce some of the lag and inconsistent effects players are prone to feel when they’re connecting to some random player in their party. It also makes the game far more secure against players who would want to do nefarious things to the game.
13. Pilot customization will be limited compared to Javelins — at least at launch
While pilots in Anthem get all the levels, they get none of the beauty. Because pilots will be locked up inside the various Javelins for most of the game, their customization options are fairly limited — at least at launch. Javelins, on the other hand, are extremely customizable.
14. Anthem will have repeatable, difficult quests in the endgame
Contracts are like early game bounties meant to offer advice to new players or guide them on where to go. But in the endgame, the same system evolves to become a bit more involved and rewarding.
These contracts are mildly dynamic, and will move you around the world so it doesn’t feel like you’re constantly doing the same thing.
15. Loot is per-player, not for the group — Anthem will have no trading at launch
Anthem is a game meant to be played with friends, but loot will drop individually per-player rather than for the group. However, trading will not be available at launch. While not entirely uncommon in games like this, no trading is a bit more concerning in Anthem — which seems to share more of a loot philosophy with Diablo than Destiny. In a game all about that grind, using friends to leverage your bad luck can be useful and personally rewarding.
16. Weapon appearances cannot be changed at launch
While each weapon will look different and unique in Anthem, they will not be cosmetically customizable — at least not at launch. However, each weapon should be visually identifiable.
17. Content will be added for free after launch — no season pass for Anthem
Anthem will have post-launch content — although what and when has yet to be revealed. However, it seems that Gamble is suggesting it’ll be free for all players.
18. Players can have multiple pilots to replay the story alone or with friends
While pilots are the ones that level, players will still be able to have multiple accounts and pilots. It seems that most players won’t engage with this system, but it’s an option for those that want to start fresh with new friends.
19. Harder difficulties will be unlocked from the start
For players looking for a challenge or want better chance at good loot from the get-go, Anthem will offer a harder difficulty from the start of the game.
20. The hardest difficulty doesn’t become available until max level
While a harder difficulty is unlocked from the start, the Grandmaster difficulty tier won’t become available until players have reached max level with their pilot.
21. The entire campaign can be played alone
While the game is inherently multiplayer, Anthem will be playable completely solo — at least through the story campaign.
22. New activities will become available after the campaign
New options for play will open for players after the campaign has been completed, elongating the game as it transitions into the endgame.
23. Players can reconnect to the game if they disconnect
Players who disconnect or have internet troubles will be able to reconnect to their friends as long as they can get back in the game within a reasonable amount of time.
24. Enemies can be afflicted by multiple status effects simultaneously
Different elements attach themselves to enemies and do different things (we’ll cover that a little farther down). But for teams that are running multiple elements, enemies can be afflicted by more than one effect at a time.
However, the more powerful the enemy is, the harder it’ll be to hit them with elemental effects.
25. Loot drops for all Javelins, not just the one you’re currently in
While the game will try to drop loot that is useful to players, there is still a chance that loot will drop for a Javelin they aren’t currently using. For example, if a player is playing the Colossus, they may still come across loot for the Interceptor. This can then be equipped on their Interceptor Javelin for the next time they play it.
26. All Javelins travel at the same speed — some handle differently
While traveling with friends, you’ll all be able to go the same max speed — regardless of which Javelin you’re playing. However, different Javelins will handle flying differently. Some will handle slower than others, while the Storm can maneuver itself very quickly.
27. Loot scales, even when playing with friends
Anthem will offer incentive for players to help their lower level friends. Loot will drop relative to your level, not relative to the level of the host. So while your drops may be less frequent due to difficulty, the loot itself will be potentially useful.
28. Even freeplay mode has a difficulty setting
When free-roaming alone or with friends, players will be able to select a difficulty — just like with all the other activities in the game.
29. Gear drops are based on your overall level, not what you have equipped
Speaking of drops, gear is relative to your pilot level rather than your Javelin’s gear score. Even if you aren’t wearing your best gear, you’ll still receive the best possible loot.
30. Javelins will likely get new abilities as content is added
Abilities are attached to gear pieces in Anthem. A frost arm cannon on your Storm will cause you to shoot frost bolts, for example. As the developer adds new loot, Irving suggested that they’ll most likely add new abilities as well.
31. Experience will still count toward something after max level
While not entirely clear how, experience gained past max level in Anthem will attribute to some kind of progression. In Destiny 2, for example, level ups post max level grant a cosmetic loot box for players.
32. Crafting materials are gained from salvaging items and collecting from the world
Crafting items come from all over the place in Anthem — including breaking down loot you don’t need and picking up materials in the world. Crafting can be used to supplement gear drops with blueprints for weapons.
33. Anthem won’t have player versus player at launch
Anthem won’t offer any kind of competitive multiplayer at launch. However, it could come later.
34. Snipers will use first-person own scopes, despite being a third-person shooter
When aiming down the scope with a sniper, the game will transition into first-person for precision aiming.
35. Anthem will have fast travel
Anthem is all about getting around fast with flight, but when you need to go a long distance the game will offer a fast travel system.
36. Even failed missions can be rewarding
Sometimes missions are too difficult to complete and you’ll need to back out and give up. In these situations, any loot you’ve earned or XP you’ve gained will remain with you.
37. High-rarity items don’t have an equip limit
Unlike in games like Destiny 2 — where only one Exotic weapon and armor piece can be equipped at a time — Anthem will allow players to equip any and all powerful pieces they get at once. So an ideal Javelin will be equipped with the highest level gear possible, all of the same rarity.
38. Players can save their favorite Javelin loadouts
Builds can get complicated in Anthem, with multiple gear slots on each Javelin. To manage this, players will be able to save a loadout for when they go out into the world.
39. The bigger your group, the harder the game
Anthem offers group scaling for players. A bigger team will give your group more damage due to the sheer amount of weapons on your side of the playing field. However, enemies will scale up based on your group size, making it harder the bigger the group gets.
40. Armor is cosmetic, components carry all the stats
Stats and cosmetics are completely separate in Anthem. Players can customize the look of their Javelins without altering the stats. Similarly, players can change the components — gear pieces that have different effects on them — without changing the look of their Javelin.
41. Players who AFK for long periods of time can rejoin if a slot is still open
Sometimes life gets in the way of thing when trying to play with friends. Having to step away from the game to deal with a child or another emergency won’t be too punishing in Anthem. Even after getting kicked for inactivity by the game, players should be able to rejoin the mission if an empty roster slot is still available.
42. Weapons can be crafted by blueprints if you’re lucky enough to get one
Like in Diablo 3, blueprints for items will be difficult finds. However, players will be able to earn them in currently-unknown ways, allowing them to craft infinite supplies of weapons as long as they have the crafting materials.
43. Combo bonuses only work for the first player who detonates it
Different Javelins have different effects when comboing enemies. When players apply a status effect to an enemy, it can be detonated by a different kind of weapon. Weapons that can prime and detonate are explicitly stated in the menus. But comboing has its benefits. For example, Interceptor Javelins who manage to combo correctly will surround themselves with an elemental field that can prime nearby targets. Unfortunately for teams, only the Javelin that primes the combo first will receive their unique benefit.
44. Bosses don’t drop specific loot
The loot pool in Anthem is universal, meaning all loot can drop from all locations. This means bosses won’t drop anything specific to them when they’re killed. However, adding this post launch isn’t completely out of the question.
45. Playing with low level friends will scale you back
High level players will be scaled back when they join friends, meaning an overpowered Javelin can’t just decimate all the story enemies.
46. Javelins can share weapons that belong to the same pilot
Switching Javelins is an inherent part of playing Anthem. While many gear pieces are Javelin specific, weapons can be transferred between them — making strengthening a weaker Javelin much easier.
47. Players won’t be able to inspect friend’s gear at launch
Players won’t be able to inspect the builds of their friends or random players out in the wild — meaning old fashioned communication or screenshots will be needed to see what a pal is taking into battle. However, this is a feature the team is looking into post-launch.
48. Ammunition drops for specific weapon types
Ammunition blocks are tied to specific weapon types. For example, you can run two of the same kind of weapon if you like. But since they share the same ammo type, you’ll run out far more quickly than normal.
49. There is no timer on respawns
In Anthem, certain areas of the game lock the respawn of allied players. However, the team won’t lose until all players are dead or the area is completed. Allies can be revived in perpetuity.
50. Difficulty setting mainly bolsters health and damage
Difficulty settings can change enemy behaviors, but the most noticeable change from normal to hard is the damage dealt by enemies and the health they have.
51. No content scales above four players
Unlike other games of this type or MMO-likes, four is the maximum group size across all activities — there are no raids that allow six or eight players to work together.
52. All the elements have different effects
Elements can be applied by some weapons and abilities in Anthem. Each has their own interaction with enemies. For example, setting an enemy on fire will cause them to take damage over time, while electrifying enemies will deal damage in a area around them.
53. Loot can’t be swapped mid-mission
Currently, players will be unable to change loot on their Javelin until they return to the hub area. However, the team is watching how this works and it could change in the future.
54. Enemies will fight each other, not just you
Anthem has quite a few different enemy factions, and players may run into more than one at once. Thankfully, enemies will treat all units not part of their faction as enemies. Players should be able to leverage this to their advantage, letting their enemies take each other out and saving them some ammo.
55. And in case you’re worried that all this information will ruin Anthem before it’s even out …
Like many open-world games, Anthem will have secrets hidden outside in the world. However, the team is being fairly tight-lipped on this aspect of the game — for obvious reasons.