Dust 514 Beginner’s Guide – Dropsuits, Battlefinder, Leaderboards and Market

Developer CCP Games have released Dust 514, and like EVE Online, it’s pretty complicated for a First Person Shooter game. As a result, we’ve decided to compile this beginner’s guide for all of you who were thinking about getting into the game but were intimidated by the complexity.

This guide will cover the most important things you need to know about Dust 514 and I hope you will find it easy to understand, join me as I try to de-mystify this space age MMO shooter for you.

The basic premise of Dust 514 is that you’re a random mercenary for hire and are looking for work. The intro sequences and character creation isn’t too difficult so I’m going to skip that. The real confusion begins when you spawn into your Merc Quarters.

Dust 514 Beginner’s Guide

CCP has included a number of automated tutorials that can be accessed in the Merc Quarters and you can listen to them if you feel like it but they may go over your head.

To begin with, there are four stations you should see in the Merc Quarters, they are the:

  • Dropsuit Fitting
  • Battlefinder
  • Leaderboards
  • Marketplace

For now, we’re going to focus on the Battlefinder, Marketplace and the Dropsuit Fittings. We’re going to ignore the Leaderboards since that doesn’t concern you when you’re just starting out.

Dropsuit Fittings

First of all, let’s check out the Dropsuit Fittings, this is where you manage all of your battle suits. You start off with four default Dropsuits, one for each class (Assault, Scout, Heavy and Logisitics).

The Assault suit is your typical frontline all-rounder. The Scout is basically the sniper, the Heavy is a damage absorbing tank and the Logistics suits are medics.

When you select a dropsuit for editing you might be confused at the numerous things you see. Before anything else notice the number on the right that should say something like 0/150 and notice the item slots that are surrounding the model of the dropsuit in the center of the screen.

The number represents the CPU and below it is another (smaller) number called Powergrid. CPU and Powergrid basically determine the kind of equipment you can put into the item slots.

Suppose for example you have a Shotgun you want to equip, and the description of the shotgun says that it costs 50 CPU. This means that if you put it on your dropsuit the CPU rating will change to 50/150. You can only equip items within this max CPU.

Feel free to create a custom dropsuit and outfit it with weapons and tools of your choosing. Remember to stay within the limits of your CPU and Powergrid or you won’t be able to deploy!

Once you’re done playing with your wardrobe head on over to the Battlefinder console.


The Battlefinder is actually not that complicated since all the controls here are pretty easy to understand. There will be three tabs here with the other two being Mercenary and Corporation.

The Mercenary tab will always be empty unless CCP has an official event going on, and the Corporation tab will also be empty unless the corporation you’re working for has a battle scheduled.

In the main tab you can find instant battles consisting mainly of the following game types; Ambush and Skirmish.

Ambush is basically Team Deathmatch with a slight twist. Each team starts with a limited number of clones, and each time a player dies, this number goes down. The winner of the match is determined by which team loses all their clones or who has the most clones left alive at the end of 15 minutes.

In Skirmish both sides have a large MCC (Mobile Command Center) that continuously fire at each other, lowering their health steadily.

Players on the ground can capture Null cannons scattered throughout the battlefield that also fire at the opposing MCC in an effort to assist their own. In this way both teams hotly contest these points and the team that loses their MCC first loses the match.


Now we get to the thing that most new players will find the most confusing. Remember, the Marketplace is your friend, you cannot deploy without the marketplace.

In Dust 514, every time you are sent into the fray, it is actually a clone of you that is doing the footslogging, with real equipment. And when your clone dies, it’s dead, along with the equipment you put on it. This means that all of your equipment needs to be bought in bulk. Let me explain this with an example:

Suppose you outfit a dropsuit, then equip it and deploy only to get brained by an enemy sniper. You have just lost that dropsuit and everything on it. You now need a new dropsuit and new guns and new tools to deploy a second time.

This is not as alarming as it may seem, as everything in the marketplace is meant to be bought in bulk. You never buy one shotgun, you get fifty of them. You like the Caldari Assault suit? Get twenty of them. See that shield module? They’re 25% off if you buy a hundred (not really, but you get the point).


With all of that covered, we now move on to what might be the most important topic; Skills.

Dust 514 is an MMOFPS with some RPG elements after all. If you’ve already played a match or two then you might have noticed that in the end-game stats you gain ISK and SP. ISK is the game currency and SP (Skill Points) is the resource you spend to improve your skills.

You can check out the skills menu by going to the Neocom by pressing START then going to the Character menu, then the Skills menu. Here you are shown a list of all the skills you can learn depending on how much SP you’ve accumulated.

Leveling up these skills can do things like increasing your hacking speed or reducing recoil from weapons. For a more detailed look at the most important skills check out our Starter Skills guide here.


One last thing left to discuss now, and it’s a pretty short one; Vehicles. It is possible for you to call in vehicles to be airlifted to the battlefield to help turn the tide of the war. Similar to dropsuits, you can customize your vehicles from the Neocom and buy parts and modules for them from the Marketplace.

To call in a vehicle drop, press the right button on the d-pad. This will bring up an options menu listing vehicles. Choose your vehicle and confirm. A transport will then drop off your vehicle at your current location.

It’s that simple. Keep in mind however, that your vehicle can be destroyed, and so can its transport. You don’t want to call in that tank while the enemy can shoot it out of the sky with a rocket launcher.

That’s it for the Dust 514 beginner’s guide. Hope you found it helpful and if there is a section you are confused about, is lacking or feel should be in the guide, comment below and I will add it in as soon as I can.