The Ball Launcher is the big orange gun that you get when you pick up the ball in BR. You can’t get it in any other Game Mode. Mastery of this weapon is essential to the success of any BR game, unless you plan on never touching the ball, but that’s silly. You’ll have to learn how shoot and pass, as well as when to do it. There are only basic tactics here, so for complete strategies, you’ll have to wait for me to finish the “Game Modes” section.
Ball Launcher – Primary Fire Mode
It launches the ball in a long, flat arc. Once the ball is shot, the weapon disappears. It will reappear next time you pick up the ball. When you do pick up the ball, the Ball Launcher will replace ALL of your other weapons – i.e. you can’t fire any of them while you have the ball. Additionally, you will be surrounded by yellow circling lines which make you stick out a lot. You can’t drop the Ball Launcher, so if you want to get rid of it, shoot the ball. If you have a team-mate locked on, the ball will home in on him once shot.
Damage vs. People: N/A
Damage vs. Vehicles: N/A
Rate of Fire: N/A
Ammo per Shot: 1
Max. Ammo: 1
Recharge Time: N/A
Special Features: projectile; affected by gravity; team-safe; does no damage; 30 second fuse; bounces off everything; cannot be dropped; homing; unlimited turning curve; can lock on*; regenerates user health**
*It can get a lock on a team-mate by means of the Secondary Fire Mode. **Your health will regenerate at the rate of 6 points per second for as long as you have the gun, or until you reach 100 health.
Ball Launcher – Secondary Fire Mode
It locks on the team-mate that is closest to your crosshair and marks him with an orange circle. Next time you shoot, the ball will attempt to seek out the team-mate you locked on. The ball itself will not miss, but if it encounters a wall it will fall to the ground. If the ball encounters a team-mate (other than the one you locked on) or an enemy, that player will pick up the ball and receive the Ball Launcher. If you want to lock on another team-mate, just put your crosshair on him and lock on again. Once you get a lock on, a soft “beep” will play. If you try to lock on while no team-mates are in sight, a hard “beep” will play and you will not get a lock on. Additionally, if you had locked on someone before that, you will lose lock after it. You can’t get lock through wall or at great distances.
Proper use of the Ball Launcher is key to victory in BR. And by “proper use” I don’t mean trying to tackle the entire defending team, like they do in football, because in football the player usually ends up with half a dozen guys lying on his back. Remember, you CANNOT run past the enemies and expect to survive. Another thing NOT to do is shoot the ball high and far, hoping that you or a team-mate will pick it up further on, or at least retake it on enemy territory. If the enemies are organized, they will pass the ball all the way back and even past you. More important than gaining ground is having the ball in your team’s possession. Yet another thing not to do is shoot the ball in hard-to-reach places and trying to follow it with the Translocator. It takes a full 5 seconds for it to recharge after you shoot the ball and by that time you’re either dead or the ball has been stolen. Or both.
What you DO want to do is pass. When you find yourself surrounded by enemies, or when you see an open team-mate far ahead, just pass the ball (make sure to lock on first to avoid missing). Of course, you need to make sure you have a clean shot – there must be no obstacles in the way, such as walls, hills, enemies, and the team-mate you’re passing to needs to be open (not swarmed by enemies). After that, teleport somewhere far ahead and wait for a pass. In that case, make sure YOU are open. If you need to get to an inaccessible place, just pass to someone who is already there. If no-one is there, pass to someone around you, then teleport there and wait for a pass.
Alternatively, you can ask someone with a charged Translocator to go there and then pass to him. A very good tactic for when you have the ball is to actually draw the enemy team towards you. When they start to swarm you, start running back toward your base. If the whole enemy team (or at least most of it) follows you, that’ll give your team-mates a chance to get behind the enemy team. When you see someone like that open, IMMEDIATELY pass. That way, your ball carrier will have a clear way in front of him, and the enemies will be forced to chase him rather than intercept and ambush him.
If everything else fails, THEN you can do one of the things I said not to do. Shoot the ball far ahead or shoot it in a hard to reach place. Since you’re already done for, you might as well buy your team some time, rather than just drop the ball in your enemy’s hands. It certainly is better than trying to run through 10 angry people with Rocket Launchers and Flak Cannons.
In case you find yourself alone with the ball, facing a few opponents that you feel you can beat with your weapons, there’s something else you can do. Simply shoot the ball at one of your enemies. That way you’ll regain access to your weapons, and if you do it right, one of the enemies will pick up the ball and lose his own weapons for a second. Then you can simply blast all the enemies and pick up the ball again. Be careful, though, as there are many things that can go wrong. Your enemy could pass the ball back to you, or simply, causing you to lose time switching weapons. Or he could simply speed towards your base and get too far to be dealt with efficiently. Only use this tactic if no other course of action is available. (Thanks to Dale)