Variety is very important in shooter-type games, and there is no better way of varying gameplay than by changing the game type. Game types impose rules on the current match that effect how you play and what you have to do in order to win. Loadout has a good selection of match types that although are based off of the generic types used in most shooting games, they have had twists added into them that make them unique.
You are presented with 3 choices when it comes to finding a game using the matchmaker in Loadout: Casual, Competitive, and Custom. Here is an overview of each choice:
This is where most of the action is at. Games here follow a simple set of rules and usually last a short period of time, making them great for a quick play. Matches you play under casual mode can have one of the following game types:
- Death Snatch
Note that currently you cannot queue for a specific game type, instead you are presented with 2 random choices in each game lobby on which players can vote on. It has been promised by the developers that specific queuing is coming*, but alas it's not here yet!
You can choose to play casual mode in two ways: against humans or against bots (computer controlled enemies). While the majority of the players choose to play against real opponents, bots can be a good way to get a hang of the game especially if you don't play a lot of shooters.
The maximum number of players per game here is 8.
For more serious play you have competitive mode, where games last much longer and have more complex rules. Only one game type is available here and that is Annihilation. Note that if you leave in the middle of a competitive game you will not be allowed to join a new one until your earlier game has finished; you are allowed to join the game you left however. The maximum number of players here is also 8.
Competitive mode has 3 sub-sections: ranked, exhibition, and practice, but only exhibition is currently available. I assume that ranked mode will utilize ladders while practice mode will utilize bots.
This mode is not yet available but I assume it will allow you to setup games against opponents of your choosing. Games here will support 8 players on each side*; that's double what is normally available.
Let us now look briefly at each game type available in the game (click on the name for a more detailed look):
A variation of the "king of the hill" game type found in other games. Several points will exist on the map but only one of them will be active at any given time. Active points can be captured to increase your team's score, making them the goal of this game type.
Similar to the classic "team deathmatch" but with an extra objective. Here the aim is not simply to kill the enemy players, but also to collect their Blutonium Vials which are dropped upon death.
A collection style game type, here the objective is to collect the Blutonium Crystals which are scattered around the map and deposit them into one of the stations. Only the designated collector can actually pick up these crystals, which is chosen at random. A mix of offense and defense is required here, making this game type very tactical.
My favorite Loadout game type, this take on the classical "capture the flag" mode will have you use a giant hammer instead of a flag. The objective is still the same: transport the hammer from the enemy's base back to yours, with the difference being that you can smash enemy players using said hammer for extra points.
The latest game type to be added into the game, Domination is similar to Blitz in that control points are involved, but it differs because all of the control points are active at the same time. The more control points you own, the more score you accumulate, but how you actually go about these control points is quite tricky. You can split your team and try to capture all of them, or you can band together and try to capture only a few.
Annihilation is the only game type currently available in Loadout that has multiple objectives. Here you can:
- Capture the enemy's hammer similar to Jackhammer
- Capture the control points scattered around the map similar to Blitz
- Kill enemies and collect their vials, similar to Death Snatch
You also have three upgrade stations available in Annihilation that you can use to boost your character's performance, such as damage or armor. All in all Annihilation is a fun mix of the other game types while also adding some extra, new things such as the upgrade stations.
Some other things I would like to mention are regions and parties. The region you select will determine which server you use to play the game, greatly effecting your overall experience. Selecting the closest server will result in a lower ping and a better experience, while selecting a far-away server will increase your ping, giving you a laggy, frustrating game.
You can change your region by going into the game's options and then clicking on the "Game" tab. The region drop down list will show you all of the regions plus their respective ping; always select the region with the lowest ping which is Europe in my case:
Parties give you the means by which you can play with your friends. Here is how you create a party in Loadout:
- Select the match mode you want to play such as Casual or Competitive
- Click on the "Create a Party" button found in the lower right corner of the screen
- From here you can invite any of your Steam friends that have Loadout installed
A final tip: if you need a quick summary of the current match type in-game, simply hit the "Show Scoreboard" key which by default is TAB. This will not only show you the current game's score, but also an objective summary at the side.
*Sourced from Loadout's Feature Roadmap