Tribes: Ascend

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Tribes: Ascend
Tribes Ascend logo.png
Developer(s) Hi-Rez Studios
Publisher(s) Hi-Rez Studios
Series Tribes
Engine Unreal Engine 3 (modified)
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) April 12, 2012
Genre(s) First-person shooter
Mode(s) Multiplayer

Tribes: Ascend is a free-to-play multiplayer-only first-person shooter and part of the Tribes franchise. It is developed by Hi-Rez Studios and is currently available as a download for Microsoft Windows. Aspects from previous Tribes games such as jetpacks and skiing are featured in the game.[1] The game was released on April 12, 2012.[2] On Feb 14, 2013 HiRez released a Game of The Year Edition, which unlocks all classes, weapons, equipment, and perks in a single package.[3][4] As of July 2013 Hi-Rez has ceased further development on Tribes: Ascend to focus on other upcoming titles.


The player is in Temple Ruins map using the Light Spinfusor weapon.

Loadouts and Classes[edit]

Tribes: Ascend features a class-based loadout system. Each loadout specifies what type of armor the player has, along with what weapons and items they carry. Each loadout supports two in-hand weapons, a set of belt items such as grenades or mines and a pack. There are three possible sizes of armor to choose: light, medium and heavy, with three loadouts in each weight group (for a total of nine). Players can select which loadout to use either when first joining a game, respawning, or at an inventory station. Loadouts may be acquired either through an upfront payment, or through playing the game and earning experience points, which can be used to purchase classes, weapons, perks, and upgrades.[5] Paid-for loadouts are available to the user immediately, while those who unlock them through playtime have a much longer wait. Upgrades to armor, weapons and perks are unlocked based on how much you use them in-game, but can also be purchased by experience points. Players are given three free classes: the Pathfinder, Soldier, and Juggernaut, when they first start playing the game, each wearing light, medium and heavy armor respectively.[6]

Hi-Rez also sells cosmetic items such as player skins, along with boosters that allow players to gain experience points at a faster rate. Players earn in-match credits during matches for killing enemies, repairing structures or capturing objectives. Credits are then used to buy vehicles, supply drops, Tactical and Orbital strikes and base upgrades.[7]

On February 22, 2012, the game entered open beta. Arena 5v5 was added and Rabbit was disabled during this phase of the beta, though would later return as a private server option.[8]


Players earn credits that can be spent during a match on either tactical strikes, larger orbital strikes, or vehicles. There are three vehicles available for purchase.

  • Grav Cycle - A cheap and basic vehicle. It is quick and fragile and fires a salvo of explosive rounds with a long reload time. It can seat two players. The passenger can use their infantry weapons.
  • Shrike - The Shrike is an aerial fighter that can take more damage than a Grav Cycle. It fires a smaller salvo that does slightly more damage per hit and with a larger AOE, mostly for ground targets. It lacks anti-air weaponry but can compensate by "running over" infantry in mid-air.
  • Beowulf - The Beowulf is a heavily armed and armored tank. It seats two, with the gunner manning a topside machine gun. Its large size and slow speed makes it relatively easy to hit, but it is also cheap enough to replace indefinitely.

Game modes and maps[edit]

Hi-Rez Studios released Capture the Flag, Team Deathmatch, Rabbit (only available in private servers), Arena, and Capture & Hold game modes.[9] While some maps have retained the classic nature of the Tribes franchise with large open areas and base structures, others have a more urban feel to them, featuring buildings and streets. The map Katabatic, which originally appeared in Tribes 2, has been remade in Tribes: Ascend,[9] along with a revamped version of Broadside called Crossfire. The Twinfusor Update released in late July 2012 added two new capture-the-flag maps called Permafrost and Dangerous Crossing.

Ranking system[edit]

The ranking system is a vanity reward for players and also serves a functional purpose for the in-game queue system. Each level of a rank has a unique rank title and insignia. Players begin as a rank 1 ("Recruit") and earn ranks as they play the game. Each players' current rank insignia is displayed next to their name on the in-game scoreboard. Rank title and insignia are shown to an enemy player that you have recently killed (displayed on the kill-cam screen). A summary report of rank experience earned is displayed on the post-match scoreboard screen at the end of each map. An experience bar is also displayed and grows in a horizontal direction as rank experience accrues.

Player performance (e.g., highest position on the scoreboard, highest amount of earned points) does not increase the amount of rank experience that is earned because rank experience is earned on a time basis (time spent playing the game). However earning badges (achievements in the game with a set objective, example: "Marksman I" requires you to hit 50 headshots) does increase the rank experience earned. The amount of rank experience that is earned from badges is unconfirmed and unknown.[citation needed] Rank experience is not modified by purchasable Boost (+100% experience) or the VIP bonus (+50%) which was awarded to players in the beta who purchased Tribes gold currency and/or Tribes Boost.[10] However, Boost and VIP both affect Badge experience, but it's unconfirmed and unknown whether this consequentially affects the rank experience that is earned from an earned Badge.

Arena game type requires a mild amount of familiarity with the game, so players may only queue for an Arena game when they have attained rank 7 ("Squad Leader").


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 87.94% (17 reviews) [16]
Metacritic 87/100 (28 reviews) [17]
Review scores
Publication Score
PC Gamer 88/100[11]
EuroGamer 10/10[12]
IGN 9/10[13]
GameSpot 8/10[14]
Edge Magazine 9/10[15]

Tribes Ascend was met with critical acclaim, with IGN giving the game a 9/10 rating.[13] It has a Metacritic rating of 87, and a user score of 76.[18]

However, while Tribes: Ascend received global praise, the Tribes community has been increasingly upset with the developers, Hi-Rez Studios. As Hi-Rez continues to make questionable decisions, neglect important bugs, blatant misbehavior of community managers without reprimand,[19] and prioritize their newer game SMITE, the community has dwindled. This is attributed to the lack of updates.[20][21] hotfixes and tournaments and because of increasingly common issues with the servers[22] (provided by Internap) where players experience extremely high/unstable ping and where the servers crash at the end of a map.

Hi-Rez made the controversial move of removing their forums on August 6th 2013 with less than 24 hour notice, moving to various social media platforms such as Reddit for use as their official forums.[23] [24] The initial post regarding this action has long been removed by Hi-Rez from their official blog but searches for the text provided appear on various sites with the same content and discussion. This action however was not done with the notification of moderators of preexisting communities such as r/Tribes and r/Smite. All content of the old forums were deemed lost, including critiques and suggestions on how Hi-Rez could go about fixing their image and Tribes: Ascend itself. While Hi-Rez launched an official forum for SMITE in March of 2014, they have not made one for Tribes: Ascend as of December 2014.[25]

In an AMA interview, now eSports Czar HirezBart admits that joking with the community about the condition of servers was a mistake. Yet considers the work done Hi-Rez by and large was always orientated towards growing the community. [26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lahti, Evan (11 March 2011). "Shazbot! Tribes: Ascend announced. Multiplayer-only, coming this year, has trailer". PC Gamer. Future Publishing. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "Tribes: Ascend Launches Today as Free-To-Play". 
  3. ^ "Tribes: Ascend Game of The Year Edition Now LIVE". Retrieved 2013-08-21. 
  4. ^ "Tribes: Ascend on Steam". 2012-06-27. Retrieved 2013-08-21. 
  5. ^ HiRezTodd (29 June 2011). "Why Loadouts?". Hi-Rez Studios. Retrieved 14 March 2012. 
  6. ^ "Yak Cast 50 Interview with Todd Harris from Hi-Rez Studios". Yak Cast (Podcast). WordPress. August 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  7. ^ ClevverGames (29 August 2011). Tribes: Ascend Hands On Demo With Todd Harris - PAX Prime 2011. YouTube. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  8. ^ "Tribes Ascend Entering Open Beta". IGN. Retrieved 2013-08-21. 
  9. ^ a b obsidiafr (21 August 2011). Tribes Ascend - Interview vidéo avec Todd Harris - Gamescom 2011. YouTube. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  10. ^ Hi-Rez Studios (16 November 2011). "Nov. 10, 2011: Tribes Closed Beta Version 0.1.523 Patch Notes". Hi-Rez Studios. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  11. ^ Lahti, Evan (2012-04-12). "Tribes: Ascend review". Retrieved 2014-04-14. 
  12. ^ Stanton, Rich (2012-04-12). "Tribes Ascend Review". Retrieved 2012-04-14. 
  13. ^ a b Stanton, Rich (2012-04-19). "Tribes Ascend Review". Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  14. ^ Stanton, Rich (2012-04-19). "Tribes Ascend Review". Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  15. ^ Stanton, Rich (2012-04-19). "Tribes Ascend Review". Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  16. ^ "Tribes: Ascend". Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  17. ^ "Tribes: Ascend". Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  18. ^ "Tribes: Ascend for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-08-21. 
  19. ^ "Should we ban Hirez employee accounts from /r/tribes". 
  20. ^ "Is This The End For Tribes Ascend?". 
  21. ^ "Hi-Rez On Tribes’ Failings And Future, Tribes Ascend 2". 
  22. ^ "The Tribes: Ascend servers have been fucked up for almost a year now. The time for excuses and "were looking into it" responses has passed, Hi-Rez.". 
  23. ^ "official forums will close within 24 hours from this post!". 
  24. ^ "Hirez is closing down their official forum and focusing on reddit, youtube etc". 
  25. ^ Official Smite Forums, Hi-Rez Communication and the Like
  26. ^

External links[edit]