Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond is finally releasing this week for PC VR on the Oculus Home store and Steam. I’ve spent most of the past five or so days digging into the campaign and playing multiplayer. I can’t render a verdict just yet, but I can tell you everything you need to know about multiplayer in Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond.
If you’re just interested in knowing what I think of the multiplayer and reading my hands-on impressions, you can read that here. The rest of this article is intended to round up all the details about the mode and give you the information you need to know.
Below we’ve rounded up all the info on Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond’s game modes, weapons, loadouts, character skins, progression system, multiplayer maps, bot functionality, how servers work, and whether or not to expect any post-launch support.
Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond Game Modes
Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond has five different game modes for multiplayer. When queuing up for a game you can either pick a specific mode to try and match for, or pick Quick Play to load into whatever is most readily available at the time. All modes hold up to 12 players with team games offering 6v6 matches.
This is exactly what it sounds like. Twelve players are plopped into a map with infinite respawns to try and get the most kills before the timer runs out. Default match length is five minutes.
This is exactly like Deathmatch but it’s two teams of six instead. Everything else is identical. A basic game mode, but it’s usually the most popular choice in any online shooter for good reason.
This one is pretty unique. On the surface it’s more or less just Deathmatch, however there is an interesting twist on the idea. Rather than just getting points for kills, every person in the match also has a timed explosive they can place on literally any surface. Once placed it starts a 30-second countdown. If you get any kills with your bomb (they have a huge explosion — if you can hear the timer ticking that means you’re in the blast zone) then you get lots of bonus points. You get bonus points for disarming other bombs as well.
This one works just like you’d expect if you’ve ever played Call of Duty before. There are three capture points across the map (A, B, and C) and you’re split into two teams of six. You need to capture and hold a position to gain points and the longer you hold it the more points you get. Holding multiple positions grants more points over time. You also get points for kills. This is the most tactical of the game modes and teams that actually work together well tend to have the most success.
Of all the game modes in Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, this one is by far my favorite. It’s basically just Deathmatch with everyone fighting for themselves, but the big twist is that there is a ring that will appear periodically for you to stand inside. If you get a kill while inside that ring it’s worth 5x as many points. Since you’re typically a sitting duck in the circle, each time someone dies in the ring a single-shot rocket launcher spawns on their body to aid whoever is in the circle. Pardon the pun, but this mode is truly a blast.
Weapons and Loadouts
There aren’t many guns to pick from in Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond multiplayer — only eight in fact — but luckily they all really and truly do feel different. As of this time each loadout only has that single primary weapon — there are no sidearms or pistols in multiplayer.
M1A1 SMG – Short range, high rate-of-fire. Very small and quick choice.
MP40 SMG – Submachine gun with slightly more reliable accuracy compared to the M1A1 but a slower rate of fire.
StG 44 – Automatic rifle with longer range but the rate of fire is slower than the comparable SMGs. A bit larger in terms of size by comparison.
Combat Shotgun – Pump-action shotgun with shells automatically loaded into the bottom once empty, but you must manually pump in between every shot. Great for close range with very high-damage.
Lever-Action Repeater – This rifle has excellent stopping power but reloading is a bit wonky with the way the lever works. Takes a bit of practice.
M1 Garand Rifle – Semi-auto rifle with an iconic ping chime as magazine ejects. Easy to reload quickly.
Gewehr 43 – Semi-auto rifle with reliable accuracy, it’s similar to the other semi-auto rifles on offer.
Gewehr 43 Scoped – This is the same as the previous gun, but it has a scope. In Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, scopes just take up your entire vision like a full-screen black screen and a scope circle in the middle — they’re not real VR scopes.
Secondary Loadout Choices:
When you choose a primary weapon during multiplayer you also get to choose secondary loadout options. This includes either three healthy syringes, a special contact-explosive Gammon Bomb grenade, or a standard frag grenade and a single healthy syringe.
Additionally, there are alternative weapons spread around every map. This includes different types of grenades, the occasional grenade launcher for instant-kills, and a few other goodies. You won’t be collecting power-ups or anything game-changing this way, but you should keep your eyes peeled for things that could grant a slight advantage in the moment.
Progressions and Character Skins
Unfortunately there is no real progression system at all in Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond’s multiplayer. There are no levels, or ranks, or anything to unlock by playing games. All guns are available from the very beginning without any option to tweak them.
At the time of this writing, the only unlockable contents are character skins which you earn by playing through the single-player campaign. Hopefully they consider at least adding weapon skins, if not more, later on.
There are ten total maps in Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond and they legitimately are all extremely well-designed. In many VR shooters you’ll find a lack of map variety, lack of verticality, and nothing feels organic or natural. Respawn did a great job here. I was particularly fond of the church and the overturned train on the snow level. Everything has a very distinct feel and they function well for each of the game modes.
Bots for Multiplayer
Thankfully Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond includes full bot support. This means if no one is online when you’re trying to play you can still play multiplayer matches because the game will auto-fill lobbies with bots. Alternatively, you can go into a private lobby and customize how many bots or players exist on each side. You could even set it up so you and a friend are playing against just bots and make it like a series of unofficial co-op missions.
However, it does not seem like there are any customization options for bots in terms of difficulty, what their loadouts are, their skins, etc. Perhaps that may be added in the future.
Dedicated Servers, Parties, and Private Matches
Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond utilizes dedicated servers so you shouldn’t have to worry about errors getting disconnected from hosts while playing. When you first join multiplayer matchmaking the game will automatically be set to “default” which will naturally result in whatever has the lowest ping. Beyond that you’ll see a list of specific dedicated server options for Asia, Australia, Europe, US East, and US West.
In the Multiplayer lobby you can also create a party by inviting people from your friends list. From there you can launch into a public game together, as a group, or into a private match. When arranging a private match you get a few options for tweaking game settings and of course you get to pick the map and mode.
So far there has been no indication of post-launch support plans for Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond for neither single player nor multiplayer. However, given Respawn’s history it’s entirely possible we could at least see new weapons or skins added, if not maps and game modes. Fingers crossed!
Check out more of our Medal of Honor coverage here.