A Beginner’s Guide To Echo Arena On Oculus Quest

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Learn how to dominate the arena ahead of next weeks open beta.

Ready at Dawn’s fast-paced VR sports experience will soon arrive on Oculus Quest headsets in open beta, meaning a whole new wave of standalone players are about to try their hand in the arena for the first time. We’ve spent a good amount of time with the closed beta over the past few days, so we figured what better time than now to share what we’ve learned so far. The following are just a handful of tips you may hear your higher-level teammates screaming at you mid-match:

Those who’ve already spent some time with Echo Arena may find the tips and tricks we share today to be relatively obvious. This guide is for absolute beginners playing Echo Arena for the first time on Oculus Quest. All right, we cool? Cool. Without further ado, here is our guide to Echo Arena for absolute beginners.

Don’t skip the tutorial

First tip: don’t skip the tutorial. I know a lot of you are going to feel compelled to skip the intro portion and hop straight into the action, but the Echo Arena tutorial actually does a fantastic job of breaking down the core mechanics of the game. Here you learn how to manage your thrusters, how to break, and how to navigate around objects. It’s a great first introduction to the game that I highly recommend you take advantage of.

Take advantage of the lobby

The Echo VR lobby is one of the most impressive parts of the game. It’s filled with a bunch of fun objects to mess around with as well as a few practice rooms you can use to hone your skills. There’s a room dedicated entirely to practicing, punching, and blocking; an asymmetrical court perfect for practicing defense and offense; and a mini court, which offers a miniaturized version of a full Echo arena. Each of these areas are perfect for honing your skills before hopping straight into a match. Speaking of honing your skills, be sure to get comfortable moving in a weightless environment.

Get comfortable moving in zero-g

Get comfortable with slapping. Echo Arena is a zero-g game. By using the grip button on your touch controllers, you can grab onto objects and use them to propel yourself forward, backwards, any direction you’d like. Slapping, as some people refer to, is the art of quickly hitting your grip button while touching an object to propel yourself forward without stopping. It takes some getting used to at first, but once you’ve mastered the technique it’s a fantastic way of quickly moving through the environment using the objects around you. You can even shave off a few milliseconds by auto-grabbing objects ahead of time simply hold down your grip button before touching certain objects and you’ll automatically grab upon contact.

Practice banking

Another important technique, besides practicing your throwing—that’s an obvious one, is to learn banking. The Echo arena itself is filled with multiple objects perfect for ricocheting disk the disk. If you learn the angles and the positions of each in-game object, you can actually use them to bounce the disk in certain directions and even through the goal. Use the asymmetrical court and the mini court to practice your ricochets. Learn where the disk flies after hitting certain parts of certain objects. Once you start to memorize the patterns, you can begin use this navigate around enemies and obstructions.

Throw yourself using teammates & enemies

In addition to banking, you’ll also want to learn how to use teammates and enemies to propel yourself throughout the map. This comes in handy before the match even begins. At the start of each round players are presented with a handful of catapults which they can use to fire themselves into the arena. If you and your team enter the same catapult you can actually hold onto each other to form a human centipede-like creature and propel each other forward one-by-one. This is a great way of getting your hands on the disk before the enemy team or setting up early defensive positions. You can do this with two people, three people, even four. Once the action has started you can use your teammates as well as enemies to help propel yourself throughout the match quickly.

Learn how to fight

This actually leads into another important tip. Learn. To. Punch. Using the grip controls to make a fist. Players can actually incapacitate other enemies by punching them in the noggin. Once they’re dazed and confused, you then have the opportunity to use their body to throw yourself forward. Be careful, however, as players are capable of defending themselves. By making two fists and holding them close to each other in front of your face you actually form a shield capable of blocking punches; those who do punch the shield end up incapacitating themselves. So keep your head on a swivel, and time those punches correctly. When playing at a higher level, teams will often relegate a teammate as goalie. In those cases, I highly recommend incapacitating their defense before attempting a shot. Of course, the best way to do this is for a good-old slug to the face.

When in doubt, clear the disk

Also, and this is an important one, don’t be afraid to clear the disc. A lot of Echo Arena matches can quickly turn into a chaotic cluster fudge. If you ever find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the enemy team while on your teams’ side of the court, don’t be afraid to chuck that disk towards the opposite side of the arena. This allows you and your team some time to regroup and reposition before having to jump back into action.

And that pretty much wraps it up for the bare, bare, bare essentials! Again, anyone who’s already spent a couple rounds with the game we will feel as though a lot of his info is pretty obvious. This guide is for those brand new to the game. But what do you think? Are there any tips we missed you feel as though are important? Leave a comment below and maybe we’ll do a follow up!

Echo Arena launches on Oculus Quest in open beta May 5th.

Image Credit: VRScout / Ready at Dawn

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