Beginnger’s Guide To War Dust: Everything You Need To Know For This Battlefield Style VR Shooter

by Gabriel Moss • December 5th, 2018

If you’re new to (or just about to enter) War Dust, the massive 32 vs 32 player FPS by Stand Out: VR Battle Royale developer Raptor Lab, you might be thrown off by some things that aren’t immediately obvious. That said, War Dust is very simple in its current early access state despite a few non-intuitive elements to basic gameplay, which aren’t entirely spelled out for you as a new player.

You could always ask the other players in your squad for advice, but I’ve gone ahead and listed out some of the essential things you should know how to do in War Dust before you can expect to start dominating the enemy team.

Choose the Right Class

Each of War Dust’s 4 unique classes are varied in such a way that you’ll have a pretty different experience with each one.

  • Assault – Comes with your standard assault rifle, handgun and grenade combo. Extremely versatile and probably best for new players to start with.
  • Engineer – Has a rocket launcher and a handgun. The rocket launcher automatically reloads over time, and the initial one you get has a built-in target lock feature which you can use to take down helicopters and tanks
  • Support – Gets a submachine gun, a medi-kit, a placeable barricade and a grenade. Take note that this is the only class that can heal other players.
  • Sniper – Gets a sniper rifle, a handgun, and a smoke grenade.

Customize Your Loadout

You can slowly unlock additional tools and toys for each class as you gain XP and level them up. However, you do start off with a single additional option for both the Assault and the Support classes that offer you a very small sense of variation but also help you out in a big way.

The first thing you should do before playing either class is select the Red Dot sight as a default sight option. It makes shooting infinitely easier at the very beginning of your experience in War Dust and should pave the way to help you gain XP much faster.

Beyond that, there really isn’t much customization happening at the very beginning of the game. As you progress, and as the game receives more updates, that should hopefully change.

Spawn on Your Squadmates

War Dust is the type of game where you will ultimately spend the most time running around with your squad across its super large maps, jumping from point to point and defending or manning vehicles against members of the other team.

Spawning on your squadmates isn’t only a great way to give them a little bit of XP, it’s also pivotal for sticking together with your squad. If you haven’t played this type of large-scale conquest game before, squads are your lifeline and you’ll find it much simpler to succeed if you each work together to hone your unique abilities.

You Can Dual Wield

This isn’t so much a tip, as it is something you might want to be aware of for tight situations. Off the bat, you’ll want to aim down your sights as often as possible to conserve ammo and shoot more accurately. However, there might come a time when you’re surrounded by enemies in a very short range and you need to use as much firepower as you possibly can.

Luckily, recoil is practically non-existent in this current iteration of War Dust and you can fire weapons however you’d like to. From the hip, down the sights, or otherwise. Unless you’re playing Support (which only gets the SMG- no handgun), you can use both your primary and your handgun at the same time to quickly neutralize anybody who gets too close to your face before you have a chance to aim.

Climb Basically Everything

On the Oculus Rift, you can use your bottom and top facing buttons (A+B and Y+X) to “grip” an object and pull yourself up onto it. Using this function, you’re able to climb practically anything you’d be able to logically climb in real life. You can vault through windows, leap over barricades, even climb onto the back of somebody’s ATV and hold onto their shoulders while they ride.

Instead of pressing a button to hop onto a helicopter as a passenger, you will literally hoist yourself up into the interior and hold onto the grips of the miniguns. You can also use this function to climb ladders and climb up onto tanks as a passenger. I’ve even made a quick escape through a window using War Dust’s climb function, which felt pretty great in practice.

Practice Piloting Often

War Dust doesn’t really give you much time and space to learn its mechanics. You’re immediately thrust into battle, with the heat of battle set directly ahead of you. Luckily, the game gives you plenty of chances to fail, as spawn points and vehicles are plentiful across each map.

What you will benefit from spending a lot of time doing is trying and failing at driving and piloting vehicles in War Dust. I didn’t immediately understand it when I first picked it up, and I used the grip buttons too often while fiddling with the controls despite them ejecting me from my vehicle each time. That said, do not use the grip buttons once you’re in the driver’s (or pilot’s seat) unless you’re looking to exit your vehicle.

Everything important is controlled with the left and right triggers, and you actually will maneuver the vehicle around by moving your headset and controllers around. For example, you turn the helicopter around with your controllers like you’re pulling on a rudder.

Use Smooth Turning

I personally find it easier to do well in FPS games with smooth turning enabled, and this is because it gives me a more consistent spatial sense. Snap turning makes aiming jittery if you’re going for precision and you don’t always want to turn around in your physical space. That said, ignore this one if smooth turning makes you motion sick.

Reloading Handguns vs. Primary Weapons

Your handgun is probably the easiest weapon to reload in War Dust. This is because it (seems to) drop the clip on its own when it’s empty, and slide back on its own when you enter a new clip, making it simple and quick to reload.

On the other hand, every primary weapon except for the Engineer’s missile launcher might seem difficult to reload if you’re new to VR FPS games. When you’re using either an assault rifle or submachine gun, you will want to grip the magazine to remove it from its locked position. You will then need to insert a new magazine and pull the slider back on the weapon. For the sniper’s beginning rifle, the AWP, you will need to pull the bolt all the way back each time you fire.


War Dust is a grand-scale, 64 player VR FPS that you can now find in Early Access on Steam for $24.99. It’s currently quite underdeveloped in execution, but the core loop is fun if you’re willing to overlook polish. If you’re interested in seeing our livestream of War Dust gameplay, check it out here.

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