Another area that APB‘s tutorial completely failed to address is the Enforcers’ ability to make arrests. It wasn’t for hours after I finished the tutorial, and through a combination of reading the forums and trial-and-error, that I figured out how.
Arresting is the single largest difference between Enforcers and Criminals. Instead of killing your opponent, Enforcers can opt to subdue Criminal using non-lethal weaponry, bringing in a captive target for more prestige and money. It’s a high-risk, high-reward playstyle that can not only be very fun, but also very effective. While arrested, Criminals are out of the game for additional, and Enforcers receive higher monetary and prestige rewards from arresting an opponent than from killing them.
However, players using Less-Than-Lethal weaponry have purposefully chosen to decrease their damage output for delayed gratification, and effective arrests require a level of teamwork often not found in a pick-up group.
Making An Arrest
There are two parts to arresting a criminal: first you need to stun your opponent, then you need actually cuff him.
The first step requires that you 1) equip a Less Than Lethal weapon, and 2) use it to inflict enough stamina damage that your opponent falls to the ground, stunned. There are two handy ways to tell that your opponent has been incapacitated – he crouches down on one knee, waving his empty hands around, but even better is the fact that the chat window will announce you have stunned someone. This is particularly handy if if you’re lobbing stun grenades around corners or onto roofs.
While stunned, your opponent is temporarily disoriented and incapacitated, but this state doesn’t last forever. To cement the arrest, you must approach the downed criminal from behind and interact with them using the ‘F’ key.
Once the interaction circle is filled, your opponent will kneel, their hands cuffed behind their back. For the purposes of VIP and bounty missions, at this point the Criminal is considered ‘dead’ and ticks off a life from their team’s total. However, they stay in this position for several more seconds, then disappear to respawn. On the whole, arrests seem to at least effectively double a Criminal’s respawn time.
But be careful! While in the act of handcuffing the criminal you are completely exposed, in the same way you would be while interacting with a mission objective. Worse, it’s a mission objective that, if not completed in a speedy manner, will stand back up and shoot you. Furthermore, even though the criminal is considered ‘dead’ for the purposes of the mission, enemy team members can still come up and try to pick the locks to free their teammate, effectively allowing their team member to immediately ‘respawn’ next to them.
Like I said, high-risk, high-reward.
Weapons and Equipment
There are several different types of LTL weapons, both primary and secondary, to choose from. For your convience, here’s a brief overview of how and when LTL weapons and equipment unlock:
- PIG (secondary): Inspector – Rank 1
- Stun Grenades: Defender – Rank 1
- CCG (primary): Ty Durant Contact – Rank 3
- TG-8 (secondary): Defender – Rank 3
- Cuffmate Mk II: Defender – Rank 4
- NL9 (primary): Defender – Rank 6
- Cuffmate Mk III: Defender – Rank 7
- NL9 ‘Higgins’: Defender – Rank 9
- O-PGL 79 CD: Defender – Rank 10
- CCG ‘Po-Po’: Defender -Rank 12
- Cuffmate Mk IV: Defender – Rank 13
Note that the ‘Inspector’ rank is leveled through the ‘Detective’ role (missions completed), and the ‘Defender’ rank through the ‘Vigilante’ role (arrests made). Confusing, I know.
In all likelihood, the first LTL weapon you’ll acquire is the Stabba – PIG. It unlocks for purchase once you obtain Inspector – Rank 1 (Detective role). The range and clip size of the PIG are abysmal, but it makes up for this by packing a massive debilitating shock – if both shots from the PIG connect, your opponent is almost certainly going down, doubly so if they’ve already taken some damage. Despite its limitations, it’s a solid choice for an LTL backup to a lethal weapon.
The Stabba – CCG is unlocked when you achieve a personal contact rank of 3 with Ty Durrant, a Praetorian contact in the Financial district. The firing rate and clip size are better than the PIG, but each shot does less damage. It’s a fine weapon with fairly good accuracy and moderate range, but its shots don’t hit as hard. The first LTL primary you acquire, using the CCG will definitely lock you into an LTL-focused play style. This is really for the diehards who know what they’re doing (or want to learn the hard way).
A blend of the the PIG and the CCG, the TG-8 unlocks at Defender – Rank 3 (Vigilante role), which is rumored to be around 50 arrests. It has a larger clips size and a faster firing rate than the PIG, but its stamina damage is slightly reduced. In some critical areas it’s better than the CCG, but has a shorter range than its primary big brother.
If you’ve heard a Criminal complaining about LTL weapons, chance are he’s complaining about the NL9. Unlocked at Defender – Rank 6 (400 arrests!), the NL9 has less range than the CCG, but it makes up for it in stopping power. Its largest limitation is its slow rate of fire – make your shots count!
You receive stun grenades in the mail after having achieved Defender – Rank 1 (12 arrests). They are very useful in softening up a target, or stunning a target that has already taken some damage.
A very useful piece of equipment are the Cuffmate series of upgrades. The first version available unlocks at Defender – Rank 4, and reduces the time require for arrests by 20%. Each subsequent upgrade reduces the arrest time by another 10%, to a maximum of 40% quicker at Cuffmate IV. It is unclear if these bonuses stack.
At much higher Defender ranks, upgraded primary weapons and a stun grenade launcher open up. But by that point, you wouldn’t really be a beginner or need this guide, would you?
For your edification, here is a side-by-side comparison of the LTL secondaries:
And of the two initial primaries:
Choosing a weapon layout is personal preference. The most effective playing set-up I’ve seen is a lethal primary with a PIG as a weapon of last resort. This said, a NL9 with stun grenades and a lethal secondary can be very fun, though extremely frustrating at times.
Tips and Tricks: Enforcers
LTL weapons are shorter ranger than their lethal counterparts, and when the arrest phase is factored in, they take much longer to get a ‘kill’, too. The best way to get stun and stay alive is to approach your opponent from the side or rear. Obviously, this is alot easier to pull off if you’re using…
Getting a successful arrest gets harder the more Criminals are on the enemy team. Actively communicate with your team, letting them know what you’re doing so they can effectively watch your back.
If you have a LTL primary, your damage output against cars is very, very poor. If you’re the only team member carrying a LTL, then drive (this also means you should pick up medium-sized objectives). If you’re running a team of LTLers, then at least one of you should have heavy-hitting anti-car weapon.
Use An Arrested Criminal As Bait
A kneeling, arrested Criminal is very tantalizing bait. I’ve sometimes found it useful to wait behind a corner and let a Crim come and try to free his downed buddy. Stun the interloper, or just skip the formalities and gun him down.
And If All Else Fails, Kill Them
Sometimes you stun a Criminal, but the fight is too hot to let you safetly approach them, or sometimes a whole group of Crims stands around an arrested Crim. Or sometimes the crim was stunned with his back to a wall. Regardless of the particulars, sometimes it’s in your teams best interest to kill a defenseless target. They game warns that there are negative consequences for ‘dishonorable’ killings, but I’ve not noticed any significant fallout from killing a stunned Criminal. I guess your Prestige might fall, in the same way , but I don’t know.
The bottom line: sometimes it’s easier to bring them in dead than alive.
Tips and Tricks: Criminals
At Least You’re Alive…
The official forums are filled with Criminals complaining about how overpowered LTL weapons are. Remember this: at least you’re still alive. A successful arrest depends on alot of skill and alot of luck. If your teammates can run interference for long enough to prevent the the Enforcer from clicking the cuffs, the cops have just wasted a bunch of time and not gotten a kill. Frustrate them at every turn.
… And Hopefully Your Teammates Will Keep You That Way
Good teamwork can shutdown a LTL-centric team. Keep your backs covered and run interference for the debilitated. But remember, once the cuffs are on, your teammate…
“He’s no good to me dead.”
… is for all practical purposes dead; all freeing them will do is give them an instant respawn beside you. Don’t hesitate to kill both the Enforcer and your buddy; if your fellow Crim dies in the shootout, at least he’s respawning that much faster, without you wasting time fiddling with the locks.
Don’t Let The Cops Bait You
Once your friend is arrested, they’re ‘dead’ for the purpose of the mission. Sure, you can try to free them – but don’t be baited in to be killed or arrested yourself. Instead, use your stunned teammate as bait – shoot the Enforcer in the back as he tries to make an arrest.
Like I’ve said, LTL weapons are fun, but very taxing and effort heavy. Their use is a personal decisions – if it sounds like fun, give it a shot, but don’t live or die by the principle of a good arrest. At least the LTL weaponry is really cheap, making experimentation easier.