Guides

Pixel Boost: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

Wes Fenlon at

Twice a month Wes guides you through the hacks, tricks, and mods you'll need to run a classic PC game on Windows 7/8. Each Pixel Boost guide comes with a free side of 4K screenshots from the LPC celebrating the graphics of PC gaming's past. This week: Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast.

When it comes to Star Wars games, they don't make 'em like they used to. In the late 90s and early 2000s, the Dark Forces and Jedi Knight series married fun first-person action—full of iconic weapons and sound effects—with stories and characters from a larger fictional world. Kyle Katarn! Mara Jade! Luke Skywalker! They were all there, and the games they were in were good. After the first two Dark Forces, LucasArts handed the reigns to Raven Software, who amped up the lightsaber combat and multiplayer. All of the Jedi Knight games are available on Steam, so I relived my childhood Star Wars fandom with Jedi Outcast and took 25 4K screenshots in the process.

Dark Souls 2 beginners guide: how to stay alive (longer)

Ben Griffin at

Ben Griffin knows his Dark Souls 2. His veins don’t so much course with blood as Rouge Water, and his skeleton consists entirely of Homeward Bones. He sees the world through Cracked Red Eye Orbs. He feels it in his Soul Vessel and he processes it in his Petrified Lump. Who better in all of Drangleic, then, to guide you through its perilous first ten hours? If you want fewer reminders that ‘YOU DIED’, read on for 14 tips, tricks and secrets worth their weight in Gold Pine Resin.

The Elder Scrolls Online guide — 10 essential tips for your first character

PC Gamer at

The Elder Scrolls Online will feel familiar to both Elder Scrolls and MMO players, but not wholly—character building, for instance, uses a system adapted from both games. These tips will set you on a prosperous journey from level one to 10, with little time wasted and a character build you can be proud of.


Pixel Boost: Unreal Tournament 2004 at 4K

Wes Fenlon at

Twice a month Wes guides you through the hacks, tricks, and mods you'll need to run a classic PC game on Windows 7/8. Each Pixel Boost guide comes with a free side of 4K screenshots from the LPC celebrating the graphics of PC gaming's past. This week: Unreal Tournament 2004 turns 10.

Unreal Tournament 2004 turned a decade old in March. There's still nothing as thrillingly tense as an Instagib match on Facing Worlds, nothing as smooth and satisfying as snatching up a Flak Cannon and instantly turning someone into flying giblets with a spread of molten shrapnel. It's just as much fun as you remember, and the online scene still has active servers hosting fast-paced multiplayer matches today. Even better, Unreal Tournament 2004 installs and runs like a champion on modern Windows, and I've got 34 4K screenshots to prove it.

The 10 best Elder Scrolls Online addons, tweaks, and tools

Tyler Wilde at

The Elder Scrolls Online has been officially playable by the pre-ordering type since Sunday. Look for the first of our review impressions later this week, but for now, we expect most players will share this observation: the UI is too sparse. ESO seems ashamed of its MMO mechanics, hiding damage numbers and useful information such as experience gains.


Titanfall config guide: the best settings to maximize your effectiveness

PC Gamer at

Titanfall is out and thus begins the pursuit of finding best possible experience it can offer. This configuration and tweak guide will help you optimize the game for a better overall experience and to improve your competitive advantage. Bear in mind, users currently have no access to the developer console as Respawn likely intends to limit tweaking to create a similar experience for all users, so our ability to customize and optimize is more limited than with other Source games. Even so, there are lots of useful in-game and system tweaks that beat the default settings.


Titanfall guide: ten tips for battling through the beta

PC Gamer at

Now I’ve mastered the maps, unlocked the weapons and hit max rank in Titanfall’s beta, I’m ready to spill my secrets. Want to know how to stick to walls like Spider-Man? Or cut your Titan spawn time in half? Or do a jetpack-powered judo kick into someone’s silly face? Here are ten tips, covering everything from loadouts, to burn cards, to smarter movement and more deadly Titans.


How to configure Counter-Strike: GO for the maximum competitive advantage

PC Gamer at

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s surge in popularity over the past few months makes now a great time to join one of the most competitive multiplayer shooters on PC. This visual guide will teach you how to set up your game for the maximum competitive advantage. There’s no singular best practice, as a lot of configuration is personal preference, but there are tweaks you can make to graphics and network settings, keybindings, and more to help outplay the competition.


Rust guide: Surviving your first day

PC Gamer at

Welcome to a new day in Rust! Life is hard in the multiplayer survival game (read our alpha review to find out why it's worth playing), but with the right knowledge, you can at least make it through a day.

Which brings us to our first tip: Check the time. If sundown is approaching, consider quitting for 20 minutes and coming back at dawn. It's cheesy, but spending a night in the open without food or shelter puts you at a real disadvantage.


Three hidden nations from the Crusader Kings II to Europa Universalis IV save converter

T.J. Hafer at

Two weeks ago, we interviewed Paradox Development Studio on the new converter DLC that lets you import your version of medieval Europe from Crusader Kings II into Europa Univesalis IV. Now that the DLC is out, we went hunting for some of the less than historically accurate groups and nations that can be carried over. From Viking holy orders to a restored Roman Empire, here's how they pan out in EU4.


Scrolls guide: How to play Mojang's card combat game

Jake Godin at

If you’ve bought beta access to Scrolls, then you’ve no doubt figured out that it’s a card-based battle game. For anyone new to the genre, learning how to play can be slightly disorienting. We’ve assembled this beginner’s guide to alleviate that confusion, a list of essential knowledge that’ll help you start without worrying about getting waffle stomped.


A comprehensive comparison of Dota 2 and League of Legends

Ben Kim at

MOBA games have been around for a long time, but Dota 2 and League of Legends are the first to regularly pull numbers like the 329,977 concurrent users on Dota 2 and the supposed "Over 500,000 peak concurrent players every day on just the EU West" server of League of Legends.

You'd think that with the sheer popularity of MOBA games, they'd be easy to break into, but that's usually not the case. Fortunately, this guide is here to help! We've written up a huge wall of pictures and text that explain the basic concepts that are common to both games as well as the overarching differences.

Already a veteran, but looking to make the switch to LoL or Dota? Find out just what makes the two games so incredibly different.


Civilization V's new civilization abilities and unique units, and how to use them

T.J. Hafer at

Civilization V: Brave New World is bringing nine brave, new civilizations to the table. We've had a look at seven of them in the recent preview build, and have compiled info on all of their unique abilities, units, and buildings. I've also thrown in my impressions as a Civ V veteran regarding how to best play as each, so you can start plotting your future world domination.


Learn to control pets with Dota 2's Lone Druid

Josh Augustine at

This week, we're taking a look at how to effectively control a pet and use it to its full potential in Dota 2. It's not just fanboy rage fueling Dota 2 players who insist their game be labeled as an ARTS instead of a MOBA—there are some very distinct RTS elements that have evolved with the game since it's early days as an RTS mod, including how pet handling functions. Let's break down the mechanics and see how we can use them to our advantage.


How to ward the map in League of Legends with Teemo

Josh Augustine at

We love games like Dota 2, League of Legends, and Smite, but the myriad skills needed to master their complex gameplay can scare new players away. That’s why we occasionally pick a key skill and teach you how to master it, using a character that particularly excels at or relies on that skill in-game.

We've activated League of Legends expert and former Senior Editor Josh Augustine to tackle the science (and art) of wards—the consumable items that you drop to illuminate LoL's ever-present fog of war. No one is better at warding the map than the little scout Teemo, who can toss down his own sight-granting mushrooms in addition to ordinary wards.

Team Fortress 2 guide - conquering Mann vs Machine's expert mode

Elliot Metson at

Mann vs Machine is Team Fortress 2’s robot-slaying, wave-based, co-op game-mode. Though both TF2 and the MvM mode are free, those looking for a little extra challenge can buy tickets to access its advanced difficulty Mann Up missions. Designed for skilled players and well-coordinated teams, Mann Up's toughest tour of duty is Operation Gear Grinder - sure to test the mettle of the most hardened bot-bashing TF2 crews. It's hard. Very hard. In this guide I’m going to take you through some tips for dealing with each of Gear Grinder's missions, suggest team set-ups and lay out the loadouts you should be using if you want a chance at snagging the operation's ultimate reward: a diamond botkiller weapon.


Skill School: How to last hit with Dota 2's Sniper

Josh Augustine at

We love games like Dota 2, League of Legends, and Smite, but the myriad skills needed to master their complex gameplay can scare new players away. That’s why, twice a month, we pick a key skill and teach you how to master it, using a character that particularly excels at or relies on that skill in-game.

This week, we’re tackling the most basic and rewarding skill, last hitting NPC creeps. And there's no better hero to learn the ropes with than Dota 2’s long-range, kill-master Sniper.

Tidehunter guide - Dota 2 Hero College

Cassandra Khaw at

"Who needs a big brain when you've got teeth like mine?"

That line, plucked from Tidehunter's stable of bassy, boastful voice-over, tells you everything you need to know about him. The disenchanted former champion of the Sunken Isles is big, green and—relative to certain other Heroes—straightforward enough to play with your brain turned off. He’s a mana-efficient, no-frills initiator and a loveable lug all-around.

Read on for a full walkthrough of Tidehunter's skills, items, and strategies.

League of Legends launch guide: Syndra the Dark Sovereign

Josh Augustine at

Every two weeks, Riot Games adds a new champion to League of Legends roster. The first few days of a champion’s release are a crazy, wonderful time of mayhem and mass-deaths. We make sure you have the advantage with our launch guides, tested on the field of battle, that break down strengths and weaknesses and give you our veteran tips for the new champ.

Syndra the Dark Sovereign, releasing this week, is kind of crazy. According to her official lore, she’s a magical prodigy that craves power and will do anything to get it. She also murdered her loving mentor who was an old monk, which is pretty messed up. That's only the beginning of her madness.

Guild Wars 2 PvP guide: getting started on the road to victory

Chris Thursten at

There's more to being successful in Guild Wars 2 PvP than mastery of your class: it's just as important to know how the maps work, how to earn points quickly, when to push and when to back off. I've played a lot of PvP over the course of beta and I recently spoke ArenaNet about the techniques that will help good teams to stand out. Below you'll find general tips and techniques as well as overviews of each of the three maps that will be available when Guild Wars 2 launches.

These are principles that apply to every PvPer, regardless of profession or build. They apply whether you're playing with an organised team on voice chat or jumping in with strangers.