The Pathfinder is a fast, high-mobility class used for quick flag capture and chasing, and is unlocked by default. In one-on-one combat, the Pathfinder will find himself lacking the firepower to finish a fight with a more equipped class such as the Soldier.
- 1 Loadout
- 2 Cost
- 3 Tactics
- 4 Class Roles and Tips
- 5 Gallery
- 6 Video guides
The Pathfinder is one of the 3 default classes obtained for free.
|Class Cost Table|
|Item||Gold Cost||XP Cost||Mastering Cost||Total XP|
|Pathfinder MK I||Free||Free||15000||15000|
|Light Assault Rifle||500||88000||26000||114000|
The Pathfinder is the main light class in Tribes: Ascend. Speed is often the Pathfinder's best weapon as it is the fastest class in the game. However, this advantage is offset in most cases by the Pathfinder's weaker weaponry and low HP. These traits make the Pathfinder uniquely suitable for several roles.
Class Roles and Tips
Main role: Flag Capper
Secondary roles: Light Defense / Chaser / Flag Stand Disruption / Guerrilla
Capping is the act of taking the enemy flag from the stand and returning it to your own flag for a "capture", which gives the team 1 point. A standard CTF game will end when one team reaches 5 flag captures or the timer runs out.
The Pathfinder is the fastest class and therefore the preferred class for capping. Disc jumping and nitron boosting are great tactics for rapidly gaining speed and altitude. With the Egocentric perk, a Pathfinder has enough HP for 1 disc jump and 2 nitron boosts before requiring some time to regenerate health. Maintaining speed during this time is essential to becoming a good Capper and good cap routes often include a section where you can regenerate health before reaching the enemy flag stand. To disc jump / nitron boost, it is best to fire the spinfusor / nitron directly behind yourself at a 30 or 45 degree angle in order to maximize the amount of horizontal speed gained. You can also fire directly at your feet to gain height. The most effective way to capitalize on these mechanics is to jetpack directly after firing, allowing you to convert the speed into extra height as well. This can take some practice to get right every time.
A good capper will pick a route across the map that achieves the three following goals:
- Allows them to hit the flag stand as fast as possible, on most maps 300KM/h or more is attainable with a good enough route (and enough practice).
- Allows them to hit the flag stand with the maximum possible health, since the enemy team with often attempt to chase or otherwise attack the flag carrier relentlessly. Having a lot of health allows the pathfinder to exchange some in return for more speed (disk/bolt jump on the way home) and withstand a few attacks on the way.
- Hide the capper from the defense, a visible capper is easily stopped by the enemy defense, especially Sentinels. Ideally, the only time the defense should get a direct line of sight on the flag runner is when they are speeding off from the enemy stand with their flag, going at least 250KM/h.
Light Defense / Chaser
Pathfinders' mobility lends itself well to running down enemy offense before it reaches your stand, and also to getting up to speed quickly to chase enemy flag carriers once they've grabbed your team's flag.
The first of these roles, killing enemy offense, is called Light Defense. Between the various primaries, Explosive Nitrons and the Holdout Shotgun, pathfinders are capable of extraordinary burst damage in order to take out a single offensive player very quickly. The LAR is often preferred for LD to aid the transition from an LD role into a chasing role, and especially against a mostly Heavy offense. Playing LD includes protecting the sniper and the HoF from dying, allowing them to spot and shut down enemy cappers. In the case that the sniper and HoF are both killed, the pathfinder LD will try to Impact Nitron or burst the enemy flag carrier on the stand to prevent them from escaping with the flag. If they are unsuccessful, the pathfinder LD switches into the Chase role.
As a Chaser, it is the pathfinder's job to return the flag to the stand before the enemy flag carrier can cap it. The chaser must get to speed quickly to try to kill the flag carrier, Impact Nitron the flag away from them, or return the flag in the case that the sniper or some other player kills the flag carrier first. Thrust Pack and the Rage Perk are the two hallmarks of the chasing role, both enabling the pathfinder to get going fast very quickly. Lightweight is an optional perk that specializes the class further, as it decreases offensive power and increases chasing power.
Flag Stand Disruption
A good light disruptor will always be around the flag stand, usually using the Bolt Launcher due to its higher splash damage radius. Due to its increased damage, the Explosive Nitron is also very useful when playing this position. The main goal of a disruptor is not to get the flag but to make sure the flag stand is clear of enemies and turrets for when a friendly Capper comes in to make a grab. Recommended perks are usually Safety Third or Looter as the primary slot, and Survivalist or Quick Draw for the secondary slot. As far as primary slot perks go, safety third gives you an extra explosive nitron, and when fully upgraded, more explosion radius for your belt item of preference. On the other hand, Looter will make replenishing your ammo easier, allowing for continuous disruption. Secondary slot perks are also a matter of personal preference, survivalist lets you disrupt for a longer amount of time, whereas quick draw makes you a powerful duelist and makes your Explosive Nitron DPS go up because of the perk's 20% reduction of grenade throw speeds.
A "Guerrilla" Pathfinder functions as a light offense and is most useful in Capture and Hold. Guerrillas are most effective when they approach capture points in groups, as they are easily beaten in duels and especially when outnumbered. However, they are a deadly force to be reckoned with if their opponents ignore them. The key to being a successful Guerrilla is high ground (or air) and constant movement. Guerrillas should choose their weaponry to maximize their ability to quickly defeat opponents. Both the Bolt Launcher and the Dueling Spinfusor deal high damage on a direct hit, and as a result Guerrila Pathfinders will find them to be effective. The Shotguns and the Light Assault Rifle have their advantages, and they are all used primarily to take out flying enemies. The shotguns deal high damage in a short time when fired at short range, but the Light Assault Rifle can quickly finish off fleeing enemies. Explosive Nitrons deal more damage than Impact Nitrons, and as a result will generally be more effective when trying to quickly destroy enemies. With practice, Guerrillas can even take out Heavy armor classes if they use all of the tools available to them.
- While the Bolt Launcher deals more damage than the Light Spinfusor (877 direct/650 splash vs 770 direct/550 splash), it has an arc and its tracer is harder to see. Thus, chasers often prefer the Bolt Launcher as they have more time to place their shots than cappers. The Light Spinfusor is better for disc jumping because it does less damage to the pathfinder than the Bolt Launcher - naturally, this means it also does less to enemy targets. If the other team has a HoF (Heavy on flag), it may be a better idea to use the Dueling Spinfusor or the Bolt Launcher due to the higher damage.
- The Dueling Spinfusor grants more damage on a direct hit (880 vs the Light Spinfusor's 770), while having a smaller splash radius (but the same splash damage). The Dueling Spinfusor gives the same impulse as the light spinfusor, but the smaller splash radius decreases the margin of error for disc jumps at high speed. The Dueling Spinfusor fires light green discs, much like the spinfusor MKD.
- The Shotgun is a very situational weapon that only does remarkable damage when the Pathfinder is really close to his target. The Light Assault Rifle gives the Pathfinder the option to engage targets practically every time he has a line of sight to them. This makes the weapon a valuable tool for any Pathfinder, but chasers will find it to be invaluable.
- Since the Twinfusor patch, the knockback to self on impact nitrons has been reduced. Therefore, the forced flag drop makes it invaluable for chasers, but much less useful for cappers. The Explosive Nitron is much better suited to killing enemy players. Dealing double the damage of the impact nitron, the explosive variant is best used when causing flag drops is not needed, such as during arena or capture and hold matches. Explosive Nitron is a good option for cappers, as it provides significant boost, but beware of the higher damage. With Egocentric equipped, a pathfinder can use two Explosive Nitrons on themselves, propelling them to ludicrous speeds, but nearly killing them.
- Generally speaking the Energy Recharge pack is a capper's tool and the Thrust Pack is a chaser's tool. Thrust allows the Pathfinder to accelerate from walking speeds to around 140 km/h | 85mp/h with the press of a button, allowing him to close the gap between him and a capper quicker than any other class. On the other hand, the faster energy recharge of the Energy Recharge pack allows the capper to use routes where a chaser might not be able to easily follow him. However, the Thrust pack can allow cappers to start routes more quickly, potentially making the difference between a last second e-grab and the enemy capturing the flag. Overall, a flag runner can use either pack and still be effective, while chasers are almost exclusively bound to only using the Thrust pack.
- Primary Perks
- Reach: Perhaps the most used Perk for the Pathfinder, it is very handy for both cappers and chasers. Cappers benefit from the possibility of easily stealing the flag from a stationary HoF, while chasers have a much easier time collecting bouncing flags in clutch situations. A minor advantage is that the fully upgraded version of Reach makes collecting ammo drops in the field much easier, sometimes providing that extra Nitron in close situations.
- Rage: Made for a chaser, this Perk enables the Pathfinder to quickly gain speed and it enables him to traverse the terrain like no one else can, thus granting him the ability to intercept enemy cappers a lot easier. However, its major drawback is that it limits the Pathfinder to an area around the flag stand, which is not the position where a light defense is most useful. Rage works best in conjunction with Egocentric or Lightweight.
- Safe Fall: Used most often by cappers attempting very high routes which would normally sustain fall damage, or by a capper running "bounce" routes that bounce off a map feature like a rock or wall to redirect themselves towards the flag stand.
- Secondary Perks
- Egocentric: This is the safe standard for the Pathfinder. Egocentric allows pathfinders to perform multiple Impact Nitron and Spinfusor jumps in a row, essentially making it the fastest class in the game. Egocentric is a good choice for all Pathfinder styles.
- Quick Draw: Best used when playing a defensive role, quick draw allows pathfinders to more easily duel incoming offense and increase their overall DPS.
- Lightweight: Another perk made for chasing, lightweight allows a Pathfinder to traverse the entirety of smaller maps (e.g., Arx Novena, Sunstar, Dry Dock, Crossfire) in the air from a single thrust/nitron combo. It is not suggested for capping as the health regeneration delay means a capper will be low on health when hitting the flag stand unless they decide to increase their setup time dramatically.