If you're looking for a free-to-play game like Escape from Tarkov, you're going to want to check out The Cycle: Frontier. This "extraction shooter" features an interesting mix of PvPvE gameplay and a ton of missions to complete. Our The Cycle: Frontier guides will help get you started!
The Cycle: Frontier Guides
- General Guides
- Dead Drop Locations
- Material Locations
The Cycle: Frontier Starter Guide
Our The Cycle: Frontier Starter Guide will help you with your first steps in the game, but keep in mind -- this is just a basic beginner's guide to help you get started. There's a fair amount to learn here!
Completing the Tutorial Simulation
Your first moments in the game will take place in a simulated tutorial. This is good for helping you get to know the basics and it shouldn't be too difficult to complete if you have any experience with first-person shooters.
Use this time to familiarize yourself with the game's controls and make adjustments where necessary -- you don't want to be tweaking your settings when your character is in actual danger.
The Tutorial is Very Different from the Actual Game
The tutorial gives you a good idea of the gameplay, but you won't get a true understanding of what The Cycle: Frontier is like until you've done a few raids. Here are the major differences:
- It will take you several hours of grinding Faction Points to unlock the cool guns you used in the tutorial.
- Enemy players will be in the map -- sometimes before you've landed. In some cases, you can die right as your Drop Pod lands.
- You can group up with friends -- but other people can group up, too.
- Some areas will be far more dangerous, and they'll have NPC enemies that you'll have a difficult time killing (if you can kill them at all).
Your First Real Raid
Once you've completed the tutorial, it's time for your first real raid! Don't just buy some random guns and dive in, though -- keep these tips in mind:
Start Small (and Cheap).
You'll have some nice Uncommon (green) items in your inventory when you start the game. Don't take those with you for your first run. Instead, take one of the guns, one box of ammo, and some healing items. Equip a Common (white) Armor, Helmet, and Backpack. If you lose, you'll want to lose small.
As you're getting ready to Deploy for the Raid, you'll have the option to buy Insurance for some of your items. Buy it. It is always worth it -- while you have to spend some money for the insurance, you'll get much more in return if you die.
Insured items will keep their Insurance indefinitely as long as you don't modify your weapons -- you only need to do it once. If you die with an Insured item on you, you'll receive the appropriate payout at the Insurance Package Storage in your Quarters' Income Generators.
Don't skimp on Insurance. If you can't afford it, you should do a few runs of Raiding on a budget -- a topic I'll address shortly.
Don't Mess With Storms
Storms can be deadly. You should Extract if you can. If you can't make it in time, you should take shelter inside of a cave or building ASAP.
Mind, I'm not talking about the dangers of low visibility -- Storms are an environmental hazard, too. You can be damaged by lightning and it can even kill you if you take a direct hit. If you can't make it to an Extraction Point, take shelter until the Storm passes or you'll be in serious trouble.
Drop Locations Are Random
Unlike Escape from Tarkov, you can't pick your Drop Location in The Cycle: Frontier. You can land pretty much anywhere on the map. Unfortunately, that means that sometimes you'll be far away from your intended objective.
The longer you're in a Raid, the greater the chances you'll encounter another player, a Storm, or some other nasty situation. Go to your objectives first if that was your intended goal when you were dropping in and worry about looting after you get the important stuff done.
Loot is (Somewhat) Random, Too
The Cycle: Frontier randomizes its Loot to a degree, so you shouldn't expect to find the same stuff in the exact same place every time. Moreover, you may join a game that is already in progress -- there's always the chance that an area you're exploring has already been picked clean, even if you've just landed.
If you can't find what you're looking for, don't fret! Move on to the next location or Extract. It doesn't cost anything to drop down to the planet. Don't be afraid to cut your losses and leave early -- it's much better than dying.
The Cycle Ratting: Raiding on a Budget
Sometimes you're broke. Sometimes you don't want to risk your last set of good gear. That's when you should go for an economical Raid, sometimes referred to as "ratting."
Here's what I would recommend as the bare minimum of equipment for Ratting:
- Small Backpack - K 600
- Shield - K 450
- Helmet - K 380
- K-28 - K 760
- 250 Light Ammo - K 460
- 5 Weak Stim - K 450
- Insurance - K 438
- Total Cost - K 3,538
Don't attempt to fight players, even if you get the drop on them -- the name of the game here is to stay quiet and stay out of the way. Use your K-28 Pistol only if you absolutely need to. Your main focus should be collecting loot that you can sell.
Progressing Faction Missions and Jobs
The best guns are the guns from the various Factions, but you won't be able to buy them right away -- you're going to have to increase your Faction Points with one of the game's Factions to gain the ability to purchase them. You'll also gain access to more challenging -- and more rewarding -- Jobs.
While there's a certain appeal to killing enemy players and getting Loot, don't neglect the Missions that you get at the start of the game. Advancing your Faction Points to Level 3 will open up access to Jobs and give you even more opportunities for earning money.
How to Increase Your Faction Points (FP) in The Cycle: Frontier
There are three ways to increase Faction Points (FP) in The Cycle: Frontier:
- Completing Missions
- Completing Jobs (once you've reached Level 3 and unlocked them)
- Selling items to a Faction's Shop
- Note: Not all items will increase your Faction Points -- pay attention to the price before selling!
The Cycle: Frontier F.A.Q.
What is The Cycle: Frontier?
The Cycle: Frontier is a PvPvE "Extraction Shooter" set on the world of Fortuna III. This world is filled with alien life, dangerous storms, and hostile Prospectors -- if you're good (and a little lucky), you'll be able to find some valuable items and escape back to space!
Is The Cycle: Frontier Multiplayer?
Yes, The Cycle: Frontier is multiplayer. It is an online-only PvPvE game.
Is The Cycle: Frontier an Epic Games Store Exclusive?
No, The Cycle: Frontier is no longer an Epic Games Store exclusive. The game launched on Steam on June 8, 2022.
Is The Cycle: Frontier Free-to-Play?
Yes, The Cycle: Frontier is free-to-play.
Is The Cycle: Frontier P2W?
No, The Cycle: Frontier is not pay-to-win (P2W). The starter packs will give you some additional guns and equipment to start your adventure, but most of these items can be acquired after a few hours of gameplay.
Can You Survive Storms in The Cycle: Frontier?
Yes, you can survive Storms in The Cycle: Frontier. If you take shelter in a cave or in a building, you'll be able to avoid getting hit by Lightning.
How Do I Sell Items in The Cycle: Frontier?
You can sell items in The Cycle: Frontier by visiting one of the Faction Shops and clicking the "Sell" button at the top of the screen.
How Do I Equip Attachments in The Cycle: Frontier?
You can equip attachments in The Cycle: Frontier by middle-clicking on a gun.