If you’ve played either the Crim or Enforcer Tutorial, you know it’s pretty lacking – you run around and learn what different things the ‘F’ button gets to do, and that’s it. Many of the neatest things – along with some of the most critical information – is completely left out of the Tutorial. This guide is the first step in an attempt to rectify that.
Leveling & Unlocks
There isn’t much in the way of classic ‘levels’ in APB, but there are several hierarchies that you can level through – some on a per-session basis, and some permanently for your character.
This guide heavily draws on character information you can find on your “Character Info” screen, by default brought with the ‘J’ button. Familiarize yourself with this screen – it has alot of good information in it!
First off, there is your Threat Level. Your Threat Level is a measure of how ‘good’ a player you are, determined by your total win-loss record. This goes up with more kills and mission victories, and goes down if you lose and die alot. Threat Level does not modify rewards; its only bearing is on the auto-matchmaking system, and to let other players know your relative skill level. The Threat Level is responsible for the rank images you see beside players’ names; your own Threat Level is shown beside your name in the upper left-hand corner of the screen, and by the symbol in the upper left-hand corner of your
Character Info->Character Tab. There are 15 Threat Levels in total, depicted through a rather unintuitive progression of symbols. The best chart I’ve seen is from Phader of the SPPD; I’ve included his chart below.
The next measure of your character is your Prestige/Notoriety. This is measured by the vertical bar gauge and the five stars in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. Based on your actions, this goes up and down over the course of your play session; Criminals gain Notoriety by committing crime and killing, Enforcers by fighting crime and killing criminals. As you’ve no doubt repeatedly been told, Enforcers lose Prestige when they run over pedestrians!
The higher your P/N, the better the rewards you receive on missions – but the more likely back-up is to be called against you. At the maximum level of P/N 5, your become visible on everyone’s map and minimap, a bounty is placed on your head, and you’re fair game for anyone to kill. That said, you gain the ability to fire back; this means an Enforcer at Prestige 5 can suddenly kill any Criminal in the instance, and a Criminal can go trigger happy on everyone. Criminals can kill Notoriety 5 Criminals and claim the bounty, but Enforcers who kill other Enforcers are heavily penalized.
Next is your player Rating – this is the number beside the capital “R” on you Character Info screen. Rating is the closet thing to a ‘real’ leveling system in APB; it is theoretically a measure of how far you’ve progressed in the game. Your Rating goes up with pretty much anything you do – gaining standing with mission givers, unlocking achievements, advancing roles, you name it. Rating is important because it determines what sort of weapons and equipment you can use. This is almost never a problem, as by the time you’ve unlocked the other requirements for a weapons (faction standing, for instance), your Rating is much higher. That said, check the Rating of an item before buying it off of the Marketplace – you could accidently buy better gear than you can equip, especially if you’ve just started a low-level toon!
Last but not least, there’s Organization/Contact Rank. This is increased by running missions; win or lose, you’ll increase your standing with the Contact that gave you the mission, and the Organization that contact works for. You also increase organizational rank by doing things like returning stolen cars/ dropping off stolen goods, or killing members of the opposite side. Enforcer’s arrests net more money and rank increase than a straight up kill, but they’re also more effort and more prone to going terribly wrong.
One of the immediate perks of rank are the weapon unlocks you achieve. Every other rank, and sometimes every rank, you gain the ability to purchase a new primary and secondary weapon. Furthermore, other weapons can be unlocked from specific contacts. For instance, I was able to purchase the Less Than Lethal Stabba – CCG from any Praetorian vendor after achieving a personal contact rank of 3 with Ty Durrant. Also, when you max out a contact – and sometimes at 50% rank, too – they’ll mail you an upgraded weapon. Pretty sweet deal, all things said.
Unfortunately, it can be pretty hit or miss knowing which things you can unlock. There’s a fledgling guide here, but there still lots of questions to be answered – like I didn’t know I could get the LTL Stabba from Ty Durrant till it was available. Go figure.
But that’s not the end of it, not exactly. Additional items are unlocked through completing Achievements and leveling up Roles.
The idea of Achievements is very straight forward – fulfill the requirements of the achievement (multiple times, if necessary) and you’ll unlock it. Unfortunately, it isn’t exactly clear how many times you have to perform some actions.
Not significantly different are Roles, which in practice are like ranked Achievements acquired through normal game actions; Criminals and Enforcers have different Roles. Many equipment unlocks – and most of the LTL weaponry – are dependent on the rank of one of your roles.
However, the naming conventions of Roles are a little more complicated than they should be – for instance, in the above example, the “Reinforcement” role unlocks the “Wingman” rank. This is really confusing for players who have yet to achieve a level in a specific role. For instance, I don’t know what rank the “Munitions Specialist” provides, because I’ve yet to level it once – just haven’t dropped those resupplies enough!
So that’s it. There are alot of different ways to progress through the game, and unlocks are dependent on sometimes clear, sometimes hidden requirements. Players are bit by bit figuring out what items require what prerequisites, but many items are still an unknown. In the mean time, go out, experiment, and have fun.