Horseback Combat Tips
How to Kill, Joust and Remain Seated
Below I’ve outlined some of the core tenets of a successful horseback riding career. Pay attention to these tips and you’ll nearly always arrive at the top of the leaderboard whenever you find a horse to ride.
- Use the Spear for maximum jousting potential. There are plenty of weapons that will make do when you’re jousting on horseback (which is by far the most powerful thing you can do while on a horse), but none of them can match the 10-cost Spear, thanks to its absolutely superb range. When you’re jousting, the damage values of the weapon don’t matter that much because it’s pretty much always an instant kill; and there are no attack times involved, so all you’re left with is the reach of the weapon. What’s more, the Spear is a fantastically powerful weapon for a footman as well as a rider, so you should feel no qualms about using it at all times during a Frontline match.
- Learn to control your momentum. Movement and velocity on horseback is different from movement on foot. All “W” and “S” do is change the speed of your horse; you don’t need to keep “W” held down in order to ride forwards. They’re toggles. And given that horses can get you into an awful lot of trouble if they get caught up on a fence or some other obstacle, it’s important to learn to throttle “S” and “W” on the fly in order to adjust your horse’s speed in order to make tighter corners and weave in and out of trouble well.
- Identify and analyse potential threats early on. You’re far from invincible on horseback. The only reason certain players feel invincible while riding a horse is because they’ve learnt to identify threats from afar and know when to commit to an attack and when to steer clear. Horses can cross distances very quickly, and most newer players will start their attacks far too late; but if you see an enemy winding up their swing while you’re still two dozen metres away, then you might want to think twice before committing to your attack in case they’re able to unhorse you or kill you altogether with that single attack.
- Leave time to recover, and learn when to ditch your horse. As I’ve mentioned previously, your horse cannot heal after sustaining damage, which means, though they may be very powerful creatures, they are also strangely fragile. Fortunately, you can heal, and if you take damage there’s absolutely nothing wrong with riding somewhere far out of danger and healing up before returning to the fray. And you should also pay constant attention to the health of your horse; if it’s on a sliver, then any attack that connects will unhorse you and most likely lead to your death. Often it’s a better idea to jump off your horse before this happens, and kill it so that a fresh, full-health horse will spawn as quickly as possible thereafter.
- Lighter-armoured horses have the advantage in 1v1 jousts. Often in Frontline matches you’ll find moments where a horseback rider from each team makes it their goal to kill the other. And horses are uniquely gifted at dealing with other horses, because the jousting mechanic allows you to deliver one swift killing blow to the rider – provided you get there first. The reach of your weapon plays a part, as – of course – does your accuracy. But the final criterion which you may not have known about is that more lightly-armoured horses will travel faster and therefore connect slightly quicker, giving them the advantage in jousts.
- Consider the Friendly perk. This 1-cost perk is extremely useful for horseback riders, particularly those not yet comfortable on a horse, because it limits the amount of damage you accidentally deal to your own team. Hopefully you’ll be able to refrain from jousting your teammates, but even running through a packed area can deliver some damage to your own kin. So, for the sake of your guilt and your teammates’ collective blood pressure, I’d strongly urge you to pick up the Friendly perk for your character.