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Anthem Javelin classes explained - best loadouts, how to unlock new Javelins, switch Javelins and more

Builds, abilities and loadouts for all four Anthem classes.

Anthem Javelins come in four varieties, or classes: the Colossus, Storm, Interceptor, and Ranger.

You'll have to unlock new ones over time in the full game - the question of how to unlock Javelins in Anthem is answered further down this page too - so choosing your class, and your build for it, is a pretty big decision. Or at least it is early on.

Here on this page we'll run through all four Javelin classes in Anthem, detailing their possibile Javelin class abilities and loadouts, and we'll also link out to our four Javelin class guides, with a dedicated page for each, featuring in-depth builds and strategies, listed down below.

On this page:

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Anthem Javelins and Classes explained

As you'll already know, there are four 'classes', or Javelins, in Anthem, each with a unique style of play.

In terms of usuable features in combat, each Javelin carries two weapons, and then comes equipped with five other 'abilities': two main gear slots, plus a melee ability, an ultimate, and a support ability slot. To give you an overview of all of those, here's a fantastic infographic from the community, made by redditor FireDragon04:

Image credit: FireDragon04 on reddit - see link above.

They also have a unique Combo Effect, that's different and unique for each class. We explain these, and Combos in general, in a lot more detail over in our dedicated Anthem Combos, Primers and Detonators guide, but in brief: using Combos is going to be your primary means of dealing out major damage, and getting the most out of them is going to make a big difference to your chances of success.

Whoever detonates a Combo (you can detonate your own, or your squad mates can combine to prime or detonate each other's Combos), is the player who activates the bonus Combo effect for their class. So for example if you, a Colossus, prime a target with a Flamethrower ability, and your ally, a Ranger, detonates it with a Seeking Missile ability, then it's the Ranger class' unique Combo effect that gets activated.

Finally, on top of all those active abilities and effects, there are Components. These are effectively a set of 'passive' modifiers you can equip your Javelin with, that offer all kinds of bonuses, from massively increased health and shields to larger magazine sizes, specific damage-type bonuses, and more. You unlock more slots of for these as you progress through the Pilot Levels by earning XP, up to the total of six slots available at the Level 30 cap.

So, in order to get the absolute most out of your Javelin build and that class of Javelin, you want to consider everything that's available to you: the weapons, the Javelin's feel and style of play, the various gear and abilities you can equip, and that bonus Combo effect exclusive to each class. Get a good, complimentary build together that gets the most out of all of these and you'll be flying.

Anthem Javelin class guides - the best Anthem Javelin build for each

Now we've had some more time with the game - and the fantastically dedicated community has too - we know a lot more about each class and the potential for their respective optimal builds.

These will obviously evolve and change over time, but for now here are our four dedicated class guides, detailing all of the available abilities for each class, as well as some unique strategies and our advice for the best builds for each that we've discovered so far.

Anthem class guides and best builds:

How to unlock new Javelins and change or switch Javelins in Anthem

The situation for unlocking Javelins in the full Anthem game is different, and simpler, than it was in those pre-launch demos you might have already played.

How to unlock Javelins and get new Javelins in Anthem

You'll start the game in a standard Ranger suit, as a new recruit getting to grips with your loadout in a kind of prologue mission.

Once you complete that tutorial-like introduction to the game however, you'll get your first choice of suit, and you can pick any one of the four. Interestingly, the plan seemed to have originally been to fix you in a Ranger suit from the off, but developer BioWare changed this to the current free-choice situation, to make the Ranger feel less like a 'default' option.

Here's the Javelin Unlock screen.

How to unlock new Javelin suits in Anthem

To unlock a second Javelin, you need to reach a specific Pilot Level - Pilot Level is what goes up when you earn experience from standard play, and you get various rewards for reaching certain levels. Here's a list of the levels where you'll get a new Javelin unlock:

  • Level 2 - Unlock a Javelin of your choice
  • Level 8 - Unlock a Javelin of your choice
  • Level 16 - Unlock a Javelin of your choice
  • Level 26 - Unlock a Javelin of your choice

In brief, levelling up your pilot is done by earning XP for simply playing the game - completing missions, killing enemies, ticking off daily, weekly and monthly challenges, and so on. You come out of the introductory mission in that starter Ranger suit at level 2, hence that first choice of Javelin, and then it's that start of your six-level grind to Level 8 for your next!

Once you hit the right level for a new Javelin, go to the Fort Tarsis hub and simply head to the Forge - a little computer terminal just on the right hand side of the platform where your suit is resting - and on hitting that Level - say Level 8 - the first screen you'll be met with is the 'Javelin Unlock' screen, where you can make your choice.

How to change Javelin in Anthem

Changing Javelins once you've unlocked them is thankfully nice and simple.

After you've hit Level 8, 16 or 26 and unlocked a new Javelin in the Forge, the next screen you're taken to in the Forge is your Loadout screen, where you do the usual selection of gear and weapons. (This is always the screen you see when you boot up the Forge regardless.)

The Loadout Screen in the Forge.

Simply press Triangle / Y / R (for PlayStation / Xbox / PC), as prompted in the bottom-left of the Loadout screen, which will take you to the Javelins page.

From here, you can then select your Javelin of choice, and exit out to get playing. Note that we encountered the odd bug where visual changes, or Javelin changes, weren't registered after exiting the Forge - if you look at your suit on the podium and notice that it hasn't changed after you made your tweaks, simply go back into the Forge and exit again, and it should then change properly out in Fort Tarsis.

The Javelin Screen in the Forge.

Worth knowing as well: you can actually have up to five different builds, or 'Loadouts', for each Javelin stored in the Forge, for quickly hopping between them, which is great if you want to have, say, two builds for your Colossus: one for self-Comboing in solo play and one for coordinated Combing with your teammates in squads, for instance. Or if you just want to experiment!

That's all for our classes guide for now, but be sure to check back over time as the community gets stuck into the game and the most optimal builds begin to evolve. Otherwise, for a list of all the other Anthem explain pages we have like this, head over to our main Anthem guide and walkthrough hub page.