Gameplay

Contents

VR Controller Mapping

Supported VR Controllers

HTC Vive Wand

HTC Vive Onward.png

Oculus Touch Controller

Oculus Touch Onward.png

Button / Action Mapping

Trigger

  • Firing-Hand

This button is used for firing your weapon and interacting with items.

  • Off-Hand

This button is used for interacting with items.

On the HTC Vive Wand this is your index finger button
On the Oculus Touch Controller this is your index finger button

Grip

  • Firing-Hand

This button is for grabbing/releasing your hand on the rifle, pistol or knife.

  • Off-Hand

This button is for stabilizing/releasing your hand on the rifle or pistol.

On the HTC Vive Wand this is your index finger button
On the Oculus Touch Controller this is your index finger button

Touchpad/Stick

  • Firing-Hand

This button is for interacting with your weapons magazines, the syringe and snap-turning if Front Facing is enabled

  • Off-Hand

This button is for walking/sprinting.

On the HTC Vive Wand this is your touchpad
On the Oculus Touch Controller this is your stick

Action Button

  • Firing-Hand

This button is for accessing or putting away your Tablet.

  • Off-Hand

This button is for bringing up the exit menu.

On the HTC Vive Wand this is your menu button (above the trackpad).
On the Oculus Touch Controller this is the B/Y button

Controls

Movement

Walking

Movement in Onward is done via moving your trackpad/stick of your Off-Hand in the direction you want to move. The angle/direction of your Off-Hand also influences the direction and speed of your movement.
If you selected Front Facing in the settings the trackpad/stick of your Firing-Hand will be used for snap turning.

Sprinting

To sprint, double click on the trackpad/stick of your Off-Hand and move in your desired direction.
To return to walking speed take your thumb off (capacitive touch) the trackpad/stick and then when you start moving again you will resume walking speed.
While holding a rifle or pistol you will need to point the weapon down towards the ground to sprint, and when you raise your weapon up into an aiming position, you will slow down. This has some side effects, in that sometimes it seems you’re not running at max speed because you do not have your weapon lowered enough.
The faster you move the louder your footsteps will be. You can reduce your speed by walking, by moving the trackpad/stick partially, or by crouching/crawling.
See Common Problems - Sprinting wiki page if you have issues sprinting.

Weapon and Item Manipulation

Rifles and Pistols

Rifles and Pistols are grabbed using the Firing-Hand grip button. All weapons have their accuracy increased and recoil decreased by firing with your Off-Hand stabilizing the gun. Firing a rifle with one hand is possible but the recoil is extreme.
Firing is done with your Firing-Hand trigger.
Barrel attachments like laser sight and flashlight can be toggled with trigger while touching the attachment.

Reloading


The mechanics for reloading a rifle or pistol can vary, but all follow a similar mechanism depending upon if it's a rifle or a pistol.

To reload your weapon, first you need to remove the magazine.

To eject a magazine from a rifle or pistol, press the Mag Release button by using your Firing-Hand to press down on the trackpad or pull down and press in on the stick.
All pistols and many rifles have the Drop Free Mag feature, so you when you press the Mag Release the magazine will drop out automatically. However, most Volk rifles do not have this feature, and require you to hold down the Mag Release button while removing the magazine with your Off-Hand and trigger button.
See the Weapons page to identify if a weapon has the Drop Free Mag feature.

Then grab a magazine with your Off-Hand trigger from your hip and insert it into your pistol/rifle. You then might need to cock the weapon on the weapon model, depending on some conditions outlined below.
To cock the weapon using your Off-Hand on the weapon model by pulling back the bolt handle/lever or pistol slide to chamber a round.
For weapons that have the Bolt Hold Open feature, you can simply press up on your Firing-Hand trackpad or press forward and press in on the stick to close the bolt. If you close the bolt on an empty magazine you will need to cock the weapon via the bolt handle/lever in order to fire.

Belt-fed LMGs require a more complicated reloading process that involves lifting the feed-tray cover from the rear by the rear sight posts, stringing the bullets in from the ammo drum, closing the feed-tray cover and pulling the cocking handle back.

Magazine that were not empty that were dropped on the ground can be picked back up and reused. You cannot share magazine with teammates.

Grenades


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To throw a grenade, remove it from your chest using the trigger button on your Firing-Hand controller. Pull the pin out of the grenade and then throw it. To do this, use the trigger button on your Off-Hand controller on the pin and release the trigger button while throwing.
Pulling the pin does not start the cooking process, but it assures that once you release the trigger or are downed/killed, the grenade will be let go from your hand. To start cooking the grenade, click down on the trackpad/stick.
To drop the grenade either release the trigger or click and release it, (this is determined by whether or not you had the trigger depressed when you started cooking the grenade); you have 5 seconds before it explodes.
You can cook any grenade, but cooking a smoke grenade will cause the smoke to start billowing in your hand and then create a trail when thrown. This makes for faster deployed smokes and opens up possibilities for proper smoke grenade rolling. If you prime the smoke and throw it, it will not deploy until it hits the ground.
See Grenades for more details on grenades.

Syringe

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Similar to grenades, in order to grab a medkit/syringe off your chest, use the trigger button. To administer a syringe, pull the trigger and push down on the trackpad/stick.
If you have a teammate that is down but still alive, you can revive them with a syringe. This does not restore hit points, as it merely revives them from off the ground. Meaning the next time they are injured in any way, they will die.
You can administer a syringe to yourself, but it does not restore hit points, only removing the gray vision from pain and preventing you from bleeding out.




Radio

Your mic is always open in this game. The mic that is selected is set by the recording device setting in the SteamVR settings page.
An open mic means that—while you’re in a lobby—everybody can hear you. Once the game starts your voice chat becomes proximity chat. This means that if people are near you and you talk they can hear you; the closer they get to you, the better you can be heard. Enemies and teammates can hear you and you cannot turn this off unless you mute your Vive mic altogether.
To communicate while far away from your team, use a either hand and reach to your Off-Hand shoulder and hold the trigger button. You will hear a click, and this means everybody can hear you on your team but w/ a little static, like you're talking over a radio. Followed by a beep when you let go.

Knife

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To grab the knife, use your Firing-Hand and click the grip button over your Off-Hand shoulder, like you are using your radio. This equips the knife, but for it to stab somebody you still must pull the trigger while stabbing.






Tablet

Map01.jpg

The tablet allows you to locate the objective as well as your teammates.
To grab your tablet, reach behind your head and press the Action Button with your Firing-Hand. You return the tablet in the same manner.
For those salty vets out there who remember, you can still pull the pad out of your tailbone if you reach deep enough.

The white dot is the objective and the green dots are your teammates. A yellow dot means a teammate is injured but not down, and a red dot means a teammate is either incapacitated or was downed and revived. No dot means that the teammate is dead. If you are near a teammate it will show their location on the map, but if you are at a distance it will show their direction until you’re close enough for them to show up on the mini map.



Night Vision

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If you have night vision equipped, you can toggle it on and off simply by bringing any hand to your forehead and using the trigger.







Spectating (NEW!)

VR Spectating

With update 1.1 of Onward, spectating was introduced! In non-competitive lobbies, once you have joined a team (and the round is in progress) you will find a set of VR goggles spawn on the table in front of you. To jump into VR spectating, simply pick them up and put them on your head! To get back out, reach up and pull them back off again (if you keep hold of the trigger when doing this they'll stay in your hand).
While you are spectating in VR, you can use the trackpads/thumbsticks on each hand to control your movement. As with the normal Onward movement it'll be based on controller rotation. With the addition of being able to point the controllers up and down to move on the Y axis. In VR spectating you'll be able to hear and communicate with dead members of your team. You can still hear living members but they won't hear you. Player names will illustrate where all the players in the match are, both friendly and enemy.

Desktop Spectating/Casting setup

When creating a private & competitive lobby you can now have the option to allow up to two desktop spectators in the match. They will be able to communicate with you from the back of the tent and have full view of the match, as with VR spectating. This person will have a lot more control over what they can see and the UI has been set up to mimic a typical casting setup, intended to help support the competitive community and make the game a lot more watchable.

Desktop controls

Enter/Return - Swap between tent/freeroam
Tab - Show/hide scoreboard
CTRL & (ALPHA) 0 - 9 - Store current freecam position and rotation
(ALPHA) 0 - 9 - Back to stored freecam position and rotation
(KEYPAD) 1 - 5 for team 1, CTRL & (KEYPAD) 1 - 5 for team 2 - jump to player on each team (use dots to see at a glance who is alive/dead/downed). If no keypad is available, ALT & alpha numbers, or CTRL & ALT & alpha numbers
(KEYPAD) Minus(-) - Cycle through alive players in team 1. If no other alive players it'll stay on same one
(KEYPAD) Plus(+) - Cycle through alive players in team 2. If no other alive players it'll stay on same one
Left Arrow - "Tune in" to Team 1's voice chat (sliders will revert back to previous position after release)
Right Arrow - "Tune in" to Team 2's voice chat (sliders will revert back to previous position after release)
WASD & QE - Freecam movement and height
Shift & CTRL - Speed up and slow down freecam movement
T - Push to talk (hold to have your voice broadcasted to all players in the loadout tent)
Space - Show mouse & UI controls (hold to interact with UI)
M - Small/large map
V - Show/hide player names & outlines
Once mouse is visible, you can click the spectate cams along the bottom to spectate each player. Or click the map to toggle between corner and fullscreen. Single click takes you back to freecam. You can also click the orange & blue team names along the top in freeroam to edit the team names (just start typing).





Health and Damage

Health and Damage

Players start out with 30 hp. If you equip Body Armor it has its own 26hp that only prevents damage done to the upper torso. Any damage done over 26 damage to the body armor gains the locational damage modifier listed below. IE 3 shots from a 10 damage weapon will do 30 damage, which is 4 more than the body armor can handle. This surplus 4 damage takes the 2.3x multiplier so it delivers 9.2 damage to the player.
Guns do a varying amount of damage, but with the exception of pistols and bolt-action sniper rifles they are fairly comparable. See the Weapons page for more details. Weapon damage stats are also affected by a damage multiplier. The damage multiplier is based on the location that is hit, see the chart below.

Damage Modifier Multiplier Notes
Limb Shot 1.34x
Upper Chest Shot 2.3x While your body armor still has HP the Upper Chest Shot multiplier is not applied.
Lower Chest Shot 2.0x
Head Shot 6.00x
Penetratable Object Reduction -0.25x Penetrable objects like wooden fences/pallets/market stands reduce the potential damage by 25% per layer. The 3rd layer stops the bullet completely

Knives are blocked by body armor but instantly kill, even a limb hit. Grenades always deal 20 damage to targets if hit, but the explosion can be blocked by objects or other people.
If a player has 30 hp remaining, the player is alive and healthy. These players will appear as a green dot on the maps of teammates.
With 11-20 hp remaining, the player's screen will turn a little grey and-after 2.5 minutes without being treated with a syringe—they will bleed out and be sent back to the lobby. Player will appear as a yellow dot on the map.
With 10 or less hp remaining, the player will go down when they become this injured, but able to be revived with a syringe; much like with 20 hp or less remaining, they too will bleed out after 2.5 minutes. Will appear as a red dot on the map, even after being revived, since being revived brings you back at 10 hp.
With 0 hp remaining, the player is dead and will be sent back to the lobby. Will disappear from the map.
Syringes do not restore HP, they merely revive players and remove the bleed out effect.

Suppression

Suppression.jpg

Suppression is the dark, dimming, visual effect that is experienced when you are being fired at, when you are near someone who is firing, or when you are near a fragmentation grenade when it goes off. The rate of fire and proximity to the gun/bullet impacts/grenade explosion will influence the intensity of the dimming. This effect is temporary and will fade over several seconds. This is different from—but similar to—the screen graying/dimming effect of being injured by a weapon.
Suppression in the game is a very powerful tool. While it does no actual damage to the player, it does cause major panic as you know someone is shooting at you.
When you hear bullets hitting near you and you see your view darken down, you know you are being suppressed and being shot at. It's best to take cover quickly or be killed.
Suppression can also be used while trying to keep the enemy at bay when you are advancing on a target. A good team will use an LMG gunner for suppression and call outs.
It is important to take note of suppression while near teammates, since you will often suppress each other while shooting at enemy players.
This effect is unrelated to the suppressor attachment.



Mission Objectives

There are two gamemodes in Onward, Uplink and Escort. Uplink can be played on all maps but Escort is only available on Downfall1/2, Quarantine1/2 and Bazaar.

Uplink

Uplink is the original mission mode for Onward. The two different teams, Volk and MARSOC, have different ways to score points. Players switch teams between rounds for some variety. Each match plays to 4 points.

  • Volk Objective

When playing on the Volk team, the two ways to win the round are to either eliminate the entire Marsoc team, or to allow the time to run out. The Volk team loses if they all die or if the Marsoc team completes their objective. Both of these successful outcomes yield 1 point for the team.

  • MARSOC Objective

When playing on the Marsoc team, the two ways to win the round are to either eliminate the entire Volk team, or to complete the objective. The Marsoc team loses if they all die of if time runs out. Winning by eliminating the entire Volk team yields 1 round point while successfully hacking the uplink awards the team 2 round points instead of 1.

To hack the uplink, Marsoc needs to locate the satellite dish, get near it, and input the uplink code. To find the dish, follow the large white dot on the tablet. Once within a few feet of the dish, a Marsoc player will be given the option to "Send Uplink". To complete the objective, the player will need to select the "Send Uplink" option and input the 7-digit code—which can be found under "Code" from the tablet's map screen—before clicking "Send". Unlike the "Send Uplink" button, the "Code" button is always available, meaning that a Marsoc player can memorize the code at any time. Also, if a player has entered part of the code but wishes to verify the rest of the numbers, he can move between the various screens without having to restart the code-entering process.

Escort

Escort is the second mission mode that was released for Onward. The two different teams, Volk and MARSOC, have different ways to score points. Players switch teams between rounds for some variety and in addition, a random MARSOC player is chosen to be the VIP for that round. Each match plays to 4 points.

  • Volk Objective

When playing on the Volk team there are three ways to win. If Volk is able to eliminate the VIP, Volk wins and gets 1 point regardless of the number of remaining MARSOC players left. If the timer runs out before the VIP has successfully reached an extraction smoke, Volk wins and gets 1 point.

  • MARSOC Objective

MARSOCs main objective is to get the VIP to an extraction smoke point, which yields 1 point. Additionally MARSOC can score 1 point by eliminating the entire Volk team.

Competitive Vs Non-competitive

What is a competitive lobby?

Onward allows you to check a box during lobby creation to mark the server as "competitive". Only Uplink and Escort gamemodes can be played during competitive lobbies. Marking a lobby as competitive will move the lobby to the end of the lobby list when searching for games and show a "are you sure you want to join" prompt when attempting to join the lobby to dissuade newer players from accidentally joining.

These are intended to be created and played by the higher skilled players in order to separate them from newer players, as the skill gap can end up being frustrating for players who are new to the game. Currently the only difference between a competitive lobby and a non-competitive lobby functionally is a) the lack of VR spectating in the tent, b) the round reset rule (see below) and c) the inclusion of spectating slots specifically for mouse & keyboard controlled desktop spectators/casters (currently only available for private competitive games).

The developers have expressed interest in providing gameplay differences between competitive and non-competitive lobbies in the future, in order to create a more balanced and fair platform for competitive players.

Round reset rule

In a competitive lobby, is it possible for a team to force a re-do of a round near the start. This is implemented to help smooth the process when players may spawn in or experience a bug in the first ~20 seconds of a game. In order to activate this ruling, all of the players on a team need to quit/return to tent/suicide/teamkill. When the rule has been applied, an in-game round end message will indicate this, all players will be returned to the tent and the scores, teams, spawn points and objective placements should remain the same. Players can then continue to play the round as normal.