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Abilities Primer

Brink Walkthrough and Guide

by CMBF  

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Abilities Primer

Abilities are a key element to building a character in Brink and are naturally the core difference between your medium body character and your friends -- you both have the same build, but different abilities, level and rank. 

This Primer is intended to allow you to become familiar with the abilities and how you acquire them, and also points out the abilities required for unlocking the related Achievements!

-- The Ability Menu --

From the Main Menu select the 4th option -- Characters & Weapons -- and from that sub-menu select -- Abilities -- to access the Abilities Menu to both review what you have, and what you can purchase.

The first thing you need to understand about this menu is that it requires you to navigate it!  There are actually five sub-menus under this screen, and unless you have changed them the default sub-menu you will see upon loading this screen is the Universal Abilities Menu.  If you were not aware that there were other menus then chances are you spent your star points on this one.  If you did no worries mate!  You can easily start over by selling all of the abilities that you purchased previously to get the points back and re-cast your abilities configuration!

To do that hit the Y- Button, and then the A-Button to confirm that you want to sell them.

Before we start listing abilities we should get very familiar with the controls for these menus.  Along the bottom of the screen you have several displays -- your Credit Balance, your current Rank, your current Level, your total XP count, and then the buttons you can use which are:

(Y) Sell All Abilities
(A) Buy an Item/Ability
(X) Map an Item/Ability to the Direction Pad
(B) Done

Using RB and LB (Right Bumper and Left Bumper) you can change between the Sub-Menus that are part of this Menu!  For the record, the following are the Menus available here, from left to right, starting on the left:

(1) Universal Abilities
(2) Soldier Abilities
(3) Medic Abilities
(4) Engineer Abilities
(5) Operative Abilities

On each of these sub-menus the abilities are listed -- organized by Rank.  Change to the Universal Abilities Menu now...  There are four columns of abilities here, in stacks of 3 except for the last column, which only has a single ability in it.

If you move all the way to the right side of the menu using the left joystick you will see that in the 4th column there is one selection --  Downed Fire -- and if you examine it closely you will see that in the upper right corner there is a star and the number 5.  That is not the price for this ability, it is the Rank Number, which as you can see, is Rank 5.

The Rank System in Brink is Level and XP based and requires the following:

Rank 1: 0 XP (Level 0 through 4) The Rank you begin playing as.
Rank 2: 15,250 XP (Level 5 through 9)
Rank 3: 60,750 XP (Level 10 through 14)
Rank 4: 148,000 XP (Level 15 through 19)
Rank 5: 300,000 XP (Level 20)

Rank 5 is the highest Rank, and only unlocks when you reach the highest Level..  Bearing in mind that when you play the game versus NPC characters (bots) they scape up to match YOUR Level, so being a high Level actually works against you for the most part, as it just makes it more difficult to defeat the NPC bots -- so with that in mind, if you are contemplating doing the challenges, or running through the missions, you really are better off using a new character! 

Ideally you are going to want to have a minimum of three characters in the game (but probably more) which consist of the two characters you will be leveling to Rank 5 for use in playing online against other players -- one for Security and one for the Resistance.  The third (or more) character will be one you actually try not to level too much, as it is the character(s) you will use to play through Campaign Mode -- whether solo or group -- to experience the story and unlock the Achievements that relate to Level and Rank.

Please read "Sneaky Strategies" for the details on how to easily rank-up while at the same time passively boosting a large number of the Achievements in the game.

-- The Abilities Selections --

As we covered above, the columns on the menu contain the icons for the abilities that apply to that class or your character in general, and each of the icons in the menu contains a gray shadowed picture that represents the ability, the ability name, and the Rank required in the upper right corner of the icon.

Any abilities that you have already purchased have their icons in the menu changed from the default light gray shadowed image to a very dark-gray version that, when you select it, turns a bright color of blue for its background field, with the image representing the ability being crisply defined in white accented black.

When you select an ability -- whether you own it or not -- on the bottom of the menu is a box in which the Description of the ability is displayed, with the actual cost of the ability listed in the upper right-hand corner.  The following example is typical of the display and information you will find within this structure:

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Column 1, Number 3: Supply Max Increase

Description: Supply Max Increase permanently increases your Supply Meter by one pip, which allows you one additional use of special abilities before you must wait for a recharge.

Cost: 01

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The listing tells you what the ability is, what Rank is required to obtain it, and what it costs.  The Description tells you what the ability will do for you in very simple terms. 

The following Ability Catalog provides you with all of the information that you need to become very familiar with the abilities available to you, and  will allow you to determine in advance which abilities you will work towards, and which you need.

The listings are separated by sub-menu, and are listed by Column, then Column Position, starting at the top and working down in each column, so for example the ability Supply Max Increase is listed as C1P3 -- Column 1, Position 3 -- while the ability "Battle Hardened" which is right above it, is listed as C1P2, and "Grenade Shooting" at the top of the column is C1P1.  That is a nice basic system that is applied consistently and should be very easy for you to follow!  If we refer to an ability in the game and we say Sub-Menu 3, Column 2, Position 2 then you know we are talking about the ability "Transfer Supplies" in the Medic Sub-Menu, right?

(1)  Abilities Catalog: Universal Abilities

(C1P1) Grenade Shooting -- Rank 1 / Cost = 1
Grenade shooting allows you to shoot your Frag Grenades mid-flight. giving you more control over when and where they will explode (if your aim is right).

Related Achievement: (A05) Great shot kid! One in a million (10GP)

(C1P2) Battle Hardened -- Rank 1 / Cost = 1
Battle hardened permanently increases your Life meter by one pip, allowing you to withstand a small amount of additional damage.

(C1P3) Supply Max Increase -- Rank 1 / Cost = 1
Supply Max Increase permanently increases your Supply meter by one pip, which allows you one additional use special abilities before you must wait for a recharge.

(C2P1) Combat Intuition -- Rank 1 / Cost = 1
Combat Intuition allows you to sense if an unseen enemy is aiming at you.  You will only get the warning if the enemy is NOT on your Radar, and if their crosshairs are directly on you.

(C2P2) Sprinting Grenade -- Rank 1 / Cost = 1
Sprinting Grenade lets you cook and throw Grenades without interrupting your sprint.

(C2P3) Sprinting Reload -- Rank 1 / Cost = 1
Sprinting Reload lets you reload your weapons while sprinting.

(C3P1) Sense of Perspective -- Rank 1 / Cost = 1
Sense of Perspective snaps your view to a 3rd person perspective while you capture Command Posts or Build/Repair stationary objectives as an Engineer.  Instead of being able to move while doing these lengthy actions, you will be able to spin your camera around to watch for enemies from all angles.

(C3P2) Resupply Rate Increase -- Rank 3 / Cost = 1
Resupply Rate Increase boosts the recharge rate of your Supply meter for all classes, shaving several seconds off the normal recharge rate for each pip.

(C3P3) Silent Running -- Rank 4 / Cost = 1
Silent Running makes you move completely silently.  Normally, your movement noise will make you appear on your enemy's radar from a large distance, but with this, you will not appear at all until you are within striking distance.

(C4P1) Downed Fire -- Rank 5 / Cost = 1
Downed Fire lets you shoot even when you are incapacitated, but only with your backup weapon, and only after an initial delay.  You will have almost no Health while incapacitated, making it easy for enemies to finish you, so it's less likely that a Medic will be able to revive you.


(2)  Abilities Catalog: Soldier Abilities

(C1P1) Standard Soldier Kit -- Rank 0 / Cost = Free
Soldiers complete Destruction objectives using the HE Charge, and can resupply their teammates' ammo, as well as their own.  Soldiers also carry Molotov Cocktails by default, giving them more grenade power than any other class.

(C1P2) Molotov Cocktail -- Rank 0 / Cost = Free
Molotov Cocktails explode on impact, burning everything in their blast area.  There is a Cooldown period between successive uses.  This is a part of the standard Soldier Kit, and can be re-mapped on this screen.

(C1P3) Armor Piercing Ammo -- Rank 2 / Cost = 1
Armor Piercing Ammo upgrades the ammunition you supply yourself with, making it 100% effective against enemies who have the Kevlar Armor buff.  However you cannot supply your teammates with the upgraded ammo, only yourself.
(C2P1) Flashbang Grenades -- Rank 2 / Cost = 1
Flashbang Grenades temporarily blind enemy players who see them detonate.  Teammates who see them will only see a brief flash, unless you are playing in a Friendly Fire enabled match, in which case they can be blinded too.  There is a Cooldown period between successive uses.

(C2P2) Grenade Mastery -- Rank 2 / Cost = 1
Grenade Mastery speeds up your grenade recharge timer, allowing you to throw standard Frag Grenades more often, as long as you remain a Soldier.  Note, this does not affect the cooldown period of specialty grenades.

(C2P3) Scavenge -- Rank 2 / Cost = 1
Scavenge the equipment of dead enemies by interacting with them to refill your Supply meter.

(C3P1) Kevlar Vest -- Rank 3 / Cost = 1
Kevlar Vest increases your damage resistance while you are a Soldier.  Enemies equipped with Armor Piercing rounds can still do full damage to you.

(C3P2) Extra Magazine -- Rank 3 / Cost = 1
Extra Magazine allows you to increase the total ammo capacity of your teammates (or yourself) by an extra magazine's worth.  Subsequent resupply by Soldiers will fill up ammo to the increased limit.

(C3P3) Frag Blast -- Rank 4 / Cost = 1
Frag Blast increases the blast radius of your Frag Grenades but not their damage.  This bonus does not appear to Grenade Launcher ammunition, only standard Frags.

(C4P1) Grenade Damage -- Rank 4 / Cost = 1
Grenade Damage increases the damage of your Frag Grenades but not their blast radius.  This bonus does not appear to Grenade Launcher ammunition, only standard Frags.

(C4P2) Satchel Charges -- Rank 5 / Cost = 1
Satchel Charges are remote control bombs plantable on any flat surface.  You can place up to three and detonate them simultaneously by pressing RB (with the ability selected), or individually by interacting with them from a distance.  Enemy fire can destroy them, so try not to plant them in obvious places.

Related Achievement: (A08) It's a trap! (10GP)

(3)  Abilities Catalog: Medic Abilities

(C1P1) Standard Medic Kit  -- Rank 0 / Cost = Free
Medics can buff their teammates' health one pip above the normal maximum, and return incapacitated teammates to action by throwing them a Revive Syringe.  They can also Heal and Revive Escort Objective VIP's.

(C1P2) Adrenaline Boost -- Rank 2 / Cost = 1
Adrenaline Boost lets you buff a teammate so they ignore all damage for a short period.  When the effect (indicated by a golden outline) wears off they'll receive all the damage they ignored, all at once.  There is a long cooldown before you can re-use the ability, and you can't self-administer it.

(C1P3) Increase Supplies -- Rank 2 / Cost = 1
Increase Supplies increases the length of your Supply meter by one pip, but only as long as you remain a Medic.

(C2P1) Metabolism -- Rank 2 / Cost = 1
Metabolism lets you make a teammates health regenerate at a faster rate than normal.  The effect remains until they die.  You cannot administer this buff to yourself.

(C2P2) Transfer Supplies -- Rank 2 / Cost = 1
Transfer Supplies lets you refill a teammate's Supply meter at the cost of your own.  If you select this ability you will see interaction prompts on teammates who are low on supplies.

Related Achievement: (A22) T'is better to give than receive (10GP)

(C2P3) Improved Increase Supplies -- Rank 3 / Cost = 1
If you already have Increase Supplies, Improved Increase Supplies will further increase your Supply meter, but only as long as you remain a Medic.

(C3P1) Speed Boost -- Rank 3 / Cost = 1
Speed Boost lets you increase a teammate's sprint speed for a short period.  You cannot administer this buff to yourself.

(C3P2) Improved Life Buff -- Rank 4 / Cost = 1
Improved Life Buff lets you increase a teammate's health by two pips, instead of the normal one pip.

(C3P3) Self Resurrection -- Rank 4 / Cost = 1
Self Resurrection allows you to Revive yourself when Incapacitated.  There is a very long cooldown period between successive uses.

(C4P1) Lazarus Grenade -- Rank 5 / Cost = 1
The Lazarus Grenade is an experimental pharmaceutical aerosol bomb, letting you Revive all incapacitated teammates within its healing cloud.  There is a cooldown period between successive uses.

(4)  Abilities Catalog: Engineer Abilities

(C1P1) Standard Engineer Kit -- Rank 0 / Cost = Free
Engineers can complete Construction and Repair Objectives, disarm enemy HE Charges, remove enemy Hackboxes, and buff their teammates' weapon damage.  They can also plant landmines that are hidden to the enemy.

(C1P2) Landmine -- Rank 0 / Cost = Free
Part of the Standard Engineer Kit, this lets you plant a mine on flat surfaces.  Plant a new one, and the old one is removed.  Your mine's status is shown in the HUD at the bottom left.  Enemies cannot see these mines unless spotted by their Operatives.  You can re-map the mine on this screen.

(C1P3) Extra Kevlar -- Rank 2 / Cost = 1
Extra Kevlar allows you to give your teammates additional armor protection that lasts until they die.  You cannot administer this buff to yourself, or to a Soldier who already has the Kevlar Ability.

(C2P1) Gear Head -- Rank 2 / Cost = 1
Gear Head increases how fast you can build and repair Turrets, Deploy Mines, and build MG nests.

(C2P2) Nerves of Steel -- Rank 2 / Cost = 1
Nerves of Steel increases the speed at which you can disarm enemy explosives.

(C2P3) Light Turret -- Rank 2 / Cost = 1
This lets you plant a light Turret on flat surfaces.  It only scans a small area, but once it acquires a target it will turn 360 degrees to track it.  Its status is shown on the HUD at the bottom left; if damaged any friendly Engineer can repair it.  If you place a new Turret, the old one will disappear.

(C3P1) Command Post Upgrade -- Rank 3 / Cost = 1
Command Post Upgrade allows you to upgrade any Health or Supply Command Post to double its effect on the entire team.  This is accomplished by accessing the Command Post Wheel for an extended period of time.  During this process, a progress meter will appear on the screen.

Related Achievement: (A14) Pump up the volume! (10GP)

(C3P2) Medium Turret -- Rank 3 / Cost = 1
This lets you plant a more powerful auto-turret which will detect and fire at any enemies.  You cannot purchase this ability without first purchasing Light Turret.

(C3P3) Improved Weapon Buff -- Rank 4 / Cost = 1
Improved Weapon Buff allows you to even further increase your teammate's weapon damage.

(C4P1) Extra Landmine -- Rank 4 / Cost = 1
Extra Landmines allows you to have two mines active at once.

C4P2) Gatling Turret -- Rank 5 / Cost = 1
This lets you plant a Gatling auto-turret which will detect and fire at any enemies.  You cannot purchase this ability without first purchasing Light Turret and Medium Turret.

(5)  Abilities Catalog: Operative Abilities

(C1P1) Standard Operative Kit -- Rank 0 / Cost = Free
Operatives can complete Hack Objectives, spot enemy landmines by Iron Sighting over them, and disguise themselves as Downed enemies.  Disguise lasts until you interact with an objective, fire a weapon, or are hit by an enemy Homing Beacon.

(C1P2) Firewall Command Post -- Rank 2 / Cost = 1
Firewall Command Post makes it take longer for an enemy to capture your team's Health or Supply Command Post.   This is accomplished by accessing the Command Post wheel for an extended period of time.  During this process, a progress meter will appear on the screen.

(C1P3) Homing Beacon -- Rank 2 / Cost = 1
Homing Beacon allows you to place a red outline on an enemy by Iron Sighting them for several seconds.  This will allow the enemy to be seen by all your teammates, even through walls.  The outline only lasts for a few seconds.  Homing Beacon also allows you to reveal enemy operatives in disguise.

(C2P1) Comms Hack -- Rank 2 / Cost = 1
Comm Hack lets you extract technical intel from incapacitated enemies.  If successful, every enemy's location will be shown on your and your teammate's radars, giving your team a huge advantage.  The effect will only last for a brief time.

(C2P2) Sticky Bomb -- Rank 2 / Cost = 1
Sticky Bomb lets you throw a powerful grenade which sticks to any enemy it touches and can only be removed by their teammates.  Enemies can destroy the Sticky Grenade by shooting at it while still on the ground.  There is a cooldown period between successive uses.

(C2P3) Caltrop Grenades -- Rank 3 / Cost = 1
Caltrop Grenades scatter sharp spikes which damage enemies who cross over them, unless they move slowly.  The valtrops will not hurt teammates, and will remain in the world for the length of the cooldown period.

(C3P1) Hack Turret -- Rank 3 / Cost = 1
Hack Turret lets you reprogram an enemy turret to become a friendly turret, owned by you.  Approach the enemy turret from behind to improve your chances of hacking it.

(C3P2) Control Turret -- Rank 4 / Cost = 1
Control Turret allows you to take remote First Person control of friendly turrets.  To initiate remote control, first place the device on the turret, and then interact with it from a distance.

(C3P3) Cortex Bomb -- Rank 4 / Cost = 1
The Cortex Bomb is a surgically implanted explosive charge that can be detonated when you are incapacitated, eliminating any enemies nearby.

Related Achievement: (A01) A bit of a headache (5GP)

(C4P1) EMP Grenades -- Rank 5 / Cost = 1
EMP Grenades temporarily disable enemy turrets, mines, and radars.  They also slow down the progress of enemy Hacks and HE charges.  There is a cooldown period between successive uses.

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Comments for Abilities Primer

2 comments, latest first.
Sep 1st 2014 CMBF
You follow the story and the quests.
ID #443230
Aug 27th 2014 Guest
How do you get the higher abilities after you get to Rank 5? Pyro mines, Area-effect health regenerator, Drones, and more that are shown when you unlock Rank 5 but are not shown available on the abilities charts?
ID #441600