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Planetside 2 Vehicle Certification Guide

Planetside 2 Vehicle Certification Guide by PyroPaul

A more in-depth look at the individual upgrades, their use, and if they are worth it.
Knowledge is the best weapon.

Note: Individual Taste and Play Style do play into what you find useful/want to use. Rather then trying to point out 'which is best' this is only intended to help you understand exactly what you are getting into and/or if it is worth it to your play style.

Fair warning.
It is lengthy.

Name may be slightly different in game.

Utility Slot:

IR Smoke
Ground Vehicles
Additional levels reduce the reuse timer.

This instantly breaks all 'locked on' and prevents you from being reacquired for 5 seconds. On top of this it deploys a cloud of smoke in close proximity to your tank making it tougher to visually target you for direct shots.

This ability is some what useful when engaging a large number of Heavy Assault troops ambushing you with lock on rockets and the visual obscurity can help you evade a shot. However the smoke screen produced is rather small in area of effect, thin in density, and evaporates very quickly (~1 second) taking any advantage you had with it.

Although it is named 'IR Smoke' implying that it should obscure IR or Thermal optics, it doesn't as both will see right through it as if it wasn't there.

Decoy Flares
Air Vehicles
Additional levels reduce the reuse timer.

Much like IR smoke, this breaks all 'locked on' and prevents you from being reacquired for 5 seconds. While it does produce a particle effect of a flare burst behind you, aside from breaking lock on, it doesn't do much else.

This can be near invaluable against Anti-Air ESF or HA, but it's usage is limited to only that as it provides no other benefit outside breaking lock on.

Fire Suppression System
Additional levels reduce the reuse timer.

If deployed While critically damaged (health flashing Red) it will instantly repair you for a rather decent chunk of health. If deployed while Not critically damaged (any other time) it does absolutely nothing.

I some what find this ability not very useful on most ground vehicles simply because the window of usage and the over all effect provided are sub par at best. In most cases, due to the high damage per shot of most anti-vehicle weapon, popping this may prove completely useless as it will overwhelm your health regardless of the repairs made. That said, i do tend to rock this on my Lighting tank load out.

On Air vehicles it can prove Very useful as any aircraft that is pushed into the red becomes sluggish in control and often loses altitude quickly. Unlike with Ground Vehicles where the common shot is high in damage but low in frequency which may overwhelm the potential repairs of FSS, the lower in damage but higher frequency of Anti-Air weapons means this not only has a larger window of Usage but extra utility in that it can make you survive situations where you normally would be scrap.

Ground Vehicles (specialized)
Additional Levels increase area of effect.

All Radar will highlight enemies on your mini map as red Blips when inside its detection range. The information does not provide you with any other information besides the red blips, and is updated every second or so providing you with limited tracking.

Radar itself is divided into 2 types:

Flash and ESF

Scout radar will do as above, but will provide its information to all players in proximity to the radar allowing for group awareness and team coordination. Generally each upgrade has a very large area of effect making it a great asset for outpost assaults where people can hide in one of many nooks and crannies.

Lighting, MBT, and Sunderer

Proximity radar will do as above, but will only provide its information to Players inside the vehicle it is attached to. This allows for better situational awareness of a vehicle and can help secondary gunners to spot possible surrounding threats that the driver may not notice. On the Lighting, it only provides its information to you. Initial levels of Proximity radar tend to be quiet small, but when fully upgraded it will give you blips nearly the size of your mini-map.

Ejection System
ESF and Liberator
Unlock Only

Exiting the Aircraft will cause you to not inherit its momentum nor take fall damage, thus providing you with a safe way out of burning aircraft that are high in the sky for every class that does not have a jet pack.

It is useful, but with its high cost (500 certs) and other utilities available, its presence is limited.

Turbo Boost
Flash and Liberator
Additional levels increase the rate of regeneration allowing it to be used more often.

This effectively gives you the afterburner effect seen on the ESF to the Flash and Liberator, allowing you a Massive burst of speed.

While this can be fun given the often sluggish nature of both vehicles, it comes with downsides. For the flash i often have trouble finding this utilities potential as i'll often end up killing myself due Misty Flipping off gradual bumps. For the Liberator there is much more utility as it effectively turns you into an ESF in function... although you still fly like a whale.

Vanguard Shield
Additional levels increase duration and decrease reuse timer.

This utility enables the Vanguard to activate an absorption shield that works in a very similar fashion to the default Heavy Assault ability. Damage is completely negated while the shield is up allowing the Vanguard to hold its ground in the face of overwhelming damage.

Many Vanguard drivers will tell you that this is a requirement because of how useful it is, and many Prowler and Magrider drivers will tell you that this is an OP thing and you should stay away unless if you're cheap.

Additional Levels increases the rate its fuel regenerates

Much like Turbo Boost, magburn will increase your speed for a period of time (doubling it for 3 seconds). This allows the Magrider to flee hostile situations or flanking enemies as well as allows the Magrider to Scale walls, zoom up cliff faces, and climb onto buildings.

Intentional or not, the Boost is really helpful for the lack of turret. Have to be careful though when attempting climbing because you can just as well flip yourself which insta kills your vehicle.

Siege Mode (anchored mode)
Additional levels increases the rate of reload.

Siege mode deploys the Prowler making it completely immobile. In exchange, the rate of all weapon reload is increased allowing for more shells to be put on target in a smaller window of time.

I personally find this ability very useful as one of the major problem with ground tanks is the lack of traction which results in the momentum added from the main gun's recoil causing you to slide on the ground. With this you are locked in place allowing for a higher degree of accuracy.

however, you are Immobile while this happens, and it takes a second to deploy and undeploy, so using this wisely is key, or else you'll find yourself helpless while an engineer is dropping AT mines on your hood.


Nanite Auto Repair
Additional Levels increase rate of repair and decrease wait time before it initiates.

This ability passively repairs a portion of damage every 5 seconds and is only deactivated if any damage is taken, which it then will delay several seconds before reactivating. The degree of repair is different for each vehicle so be sure to check exactly how much is repaired and if it is actually worth getting.

For the MBT and most other ground vehicles this ability tends to be a poor choice simply because you have the ability to jump out and do it yourself. not only is this rewarded with experience, but much faster.

For aircraft on the other hand this ability is fairly useful as it can remove the need for you to land and risk getting caught on the ground as well as doesn't require you to be an Engineer. Sporting this as a Light Assault can entirely remove the need for the Ejection System utility.

Vehicle Stealth
additional levels increase time it takes for enemies to lock on to you

when equipped vehicle stealth automatically makes you not appear on the mini map to enemies via proximity or radar and makes it take longer for enemies to lock on to you with lock on weapons. You are, however, still quiet visable if the enemy sees you, you'll still appear on the map if some one spots you, and you'll still make just as much noise as you usually do.

While some claim it being useful, i just don't see it personally. This is mostly because i don't pay much attention to my Mini-map when tracking vehicles, instead i use visual and audio cues to hunt them down.

Mine Guard
Ground vehicles
Additional levels reduce damage by added amounts

Mine guard does as it says... guards you from mines... by reducing the damage done by them. Many MBT and Sundy drivers state this as mandatory as a rogue engineer with a handful of mines can ninja you otherwise.

Tanks (MBT and Lighting)
Unlock Only

Armor reduces the damage taken from impacts. Different types of armor have set conditions on exactly what type of damage it mitigates, so be sure to read into it before buying.

Tank are split into different 'facings'

Which facing is used is calculated by the impacts relation position of the Main body. This means, if you're turret is pointed side ways, and a shot from behind catches the tip of your barrel it is calculated as 'Rear' damage.

For ground vehicles this is something of a big debate as to wither or not armor plating is useful. The reason for this is because the damage reduction is usually 5-10% which simply isn't that much to compensate for the amount of damage that is done through the normal Anti-Tank means.

That said, the advantages and disadvantages of each:

Reinforced Top Armor.
This reduces damage from impacts that hit the top of your vehicle. Although technically if you position your tank correctly on a hill side other tanks can trigger top armor, the most common thing that triggers Top armor is aircraft.

I find this one of the more useful armor types because If an ESF is pounding you from an angle you can't target them back at, then any extra bit of life is welcomed. Also due to the fact that most Aircraft weapons, unlike ground weapons, deal lower individual values of damage at a higher intensity you can actually add quiet a few shots of life.

However, Most skilled ESF pilots will attack you at an angle that triggers a different armor facing besides 'top' and every other type of attack this armor has absolutely no effect on.

Reinforced Side Armor.
This reduces impacts that hit the Side. This armor often has the highest statistical chance of acctually being hit due to the high amount of surface area. This makes it the most commonly seen armor type in the game.

I find this armor type very useful due to the large chance of it acctually taking a hit. Although some may say its damage reduction is too low, in most cases it will add an extra round into your side of life which is welcomed in most tank conflicts.

Reinforced Front Armor
Reduces Impacts that hit the Front. Probably the biggest example of the debate mentioned above. Mostly this is because of its very low damage mitigation value (5%). Even with the additional frontal armor tanks have by default its added effect often barely adds one extra shell of absorption.

And some vehicles may find, against Vanguard AP rounds, it doesn't add anything. The overflow damage will still overwhelm the damage reduction, resulting in a dead you in the same number of rounds.

Composite Armor
Aircraft only (ESF/Liberator)
Additional levels increase the level of resistance.

Reduces damage from Flak and Small Arms fire.

Much like Ground Armor, it's over all effectiveness is argued. While clearly more useful due to it reducing the damage from flak. On aircraft such as the Liberator which doesn't take damage from infantry small arms fire, its second effect is more or less useless.

Combat Chassis
Ground vehicles
Additional levels increase the strength

Combat Chassis increases the general agility of the vehicle allowing for sharper turns, quicker breaks, and better traction. While this will increase your ability to get into position and properly point at the enemy, it will also make your 'get up and move' more difficult.

Shifting momentum from turn and breaks can cause you to spin out if not properly handled, and you may find yourself getting physically stuck because you climbed into a place where you can't get back out of.

High Speed Frame
Ground Vehicles
Additional levels increase the strength

High speed chassis increases the top speed and acceleration allowing you not only out run targets and get places faster, but also get to places not normally accessible, as your increased momentum can carry you further up a steeper incline then normal speed. Its capability of doing so better or worse then Combat Chassis is yet to be fully explored yet.

High speed Turns may feel slugish and you can possibly drift with lighter vehicles which carries its own risk. And stopping on a dime becomes a bit more difficult.

Power Chassis
Additional levels increase the strength

The Power Chassis gives your flash extra traction and handling giving your nimble little ATV the ability to off road more controllable and climb up and get to places other vehicles normally can't. I some times find this disorienting because i Mistyflip like mad with this thing... probably because i'm pushing it too hard.

this can be great for rogue bombers, snipers, and others that like going off on their own as you can use paths less traveled and attack from angles people wouldn't normally think of.

Dogfighting Airframe
additional levels increase strength

Increases turn (Yaw), Roll, and Agility.

Intended to increase the responsive nature of your ESF as well as intense maneuvers, having this fully upgraded can allow you to out bank, roll, and generally out maneuver enemies in the air letting you get them in your sights more often and getting them off your tail better.

The only real negative of this over the other air frames is the general lack of speed you have, While not as apparent on the Mossie or Scythe, on the Reaver Dogfighting, while it increases your ability to aim at people, simply doesn't allow you the speed to get and stay behind people like the Racer or Hover frames do.

Hover Stability Airframe
additional level increases strength

This improves Hover, Air Breaks, and Vertical Thrust.

When maxed out the ESF will near hover much like the Liberator or Galaxy does when stopped in the air. when attack vectoring, (going at a downward angle and using vertical thrust so you go forward faster) you can attain speeds which can rival certain levels of the Racer Speed Airframe.

Many people swear by this, and state that it improves their dog fighting capabilities better then the dogfighting frame. I am willing to say that it is primarily due to Vert Thrust and Air Breaks as it allows you to shift your momentum more easily.

Racer Speed Airframe
Additional level increases strength

This increases the aircraft cruising speed and max speed if afterburner is equipped.

the increase in speed is quiet nice and with afterburners you can out run missile locks, however for most aircraft it doesn't effect your control nor your momentum and you'll some times find yourself speeding into the ground or cliff face, especially on the slow moving beast such as the liberator which has less responsive controls and a lot more weight behind it.

Precision Airframe (Bomber/Air drop)
Liberator, Galaxy
additional level increases strength

Improves Break, Turn, and Roll.

And on the slow and sluggish heavy aircraft, this added agility can give your the responsive agility of an ESF allowing for more precise pathing. However, it won't cancel your momentum so doing high flying dare devil acts are not advised unless if you want to become quick friends with the Soil.

This is really great for high fliers which generally use their aircraft for air drops or bombardments mostly because the added altitude gives you the ability to utilize its turn and roll capabilities with out getting intimate with the ground.

High-G Airframe
Liberator, Galaxy
additional level increases strength

Improves Vertical Thrust, Pitch, and Agility.

Much like with the ESF, you can Attack Vector with this, allowing you the ability to attain higher then normal speeds, and with the added pitch and agility getting your crosshairs on target while maintaining a certain degree of speed is easier.

This is more favored to Attack aircraft and may not be very helpful with the high altitude style most Lib and Gal pilots are akin to. However it is useful for direct attacks, so Solo Lib pilots and Gal pilots that land on the ground will find this frame very advantageous.

Sunderer Specific.
Not a big sundy driver myself so i haven't gotten or explored all of these things yet so some of these are a bit of theory crafting.

The most widely used Utility upgrade for the sundy in the game... This makes the sunderer a deployable respawn station for you and your team, complete with its own weapon resupply station. The utility of this for both rogue lone wolves and team oriented outfits. This is a near Mandatory purchase for your character.

Smoke Screen
Much like the IR smoke for the tank, however unlike the tank where additional levels decrease reuse timer, the Sundy Smoke increases the duration of the 'No Lock on' effect. I suppose this can be useful if running a gauntlet of Lock on HA... but when is the last time you ran into a mass of Lock on HA?

Negative Shield
This allows the Sunderer the ability to pass thru shields that would normally stop it for a short period of time. a great Siege breaker or Surprise Attack utility. However, given the fact that it takes up the same slot as S-AMS and what it actually enables is often considered 'Suicidal' its deployment on the field is rare.

Makes for great laughs and road-kills in Tech Plant and Amp Station sieges where infantry starts to mass at the inner shield gates thinking that it is impenetrable while still up.

Blockade Armor
Armor plating... But for All sides! I find it useful for S-AMS because anything that helps your immobile spawn station survive longer is welcomed.

Proximity Repair System
This repairs all allied vehicles in close proximity to the sunderer. Good for vehicle heavy outfits, but it takes a job away from the engineers... i suppose it is good while on the move to top off all your tanks...

Vehicle Ammo Dispenser
This resupplies the ammo of all allied vehicles in close proximity to the sunderer. Awesome for vehicle heavy attacking outfits because ammo is often what stops your rush because Resupply towers while in enemy territory tend to be in short supply.

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