This section details general game mechanics
Invisibility is the core mechanic of the game that applies to all players while in a match. Matches start out with a three second countdown and during that period players are revealed until the countdown finishes. Player will remain invisible until a player uses, or is hit by a shot or ability (with Epi's ability being the exception), players bumping into one another, lightning, or interacting with dynamic objects that cause a stun effect/knock back.
Even though players are effectively sharing a screen (in online or local play), the invisibility mechanic allows for deep strategy and a variety of gameplay styles as you can keep your opponents guessing.
Note: The one exception to this is that being inside covered igloos during the above interactions will not reveal your location except when using Aether's, Phoebe's, or Carmen's ability.
There are a lot of visual queues in the game that either shows the general area of where players are at within a small tile radius or effects that indicate a players exact location while their still invisible. These are dividing into the following categories:
Bumping - If a player bumps into any block, wall tile, or cart in a map it will cause it to flash in that players color.
Surface Effects - Many surfaces found through different planets will cause different visual effects when a player walks over them. Sand and snow will leave footprints, tall grass and weeds will rustle, sand piles will disperse, water slashes, and all trigger wall switches will appear as if they are being pressed when one is stepped on.
Dynamic interactions - There are some dynamic objects that cause a visual queues to take place that gives a hint to the general position of where a player is or directly show their location and each are unique to how they give these hints. Security cameras are radius based, proximity gates are adjacent based, temple windows are line based, and teleporters direct location based.
The visual queues listed above keep the game dynamic, fun and flowing. These queues are how players leverage mistakes and lure unsuspecting opponents into traps.
One thing that is essential for trying to navigate where you or your opponents are located is listening to footsteps or other audio queues that are associated with soft revealing interactions. All sound effects are stereo-spatialized so that the sound of a players footsteps or other actions are heard in the left and right speakers (or headphones) to match the movements of their corresponding position on a horizontal plain. This intensity of the volume does not change however for vertical movement.
When players collide from any direction, whether it be from player moving into each other or overlap each others tiles via teleporter/portal there is a double stunning effect that occurs. First, there is a hard stun effect cause player to move to the center of one tile behind the direction they were facing when they bumped. Immediately after that point there is a soft stun effect that occurs for 0.75 seconds. During that duration, colliding into a player(s) again if they're are still soft stunned will not cause the same effect to occur.
The soft stun period allows players to move away to cover, rather than spamming the fire key hoping to hit it first.
Created when two projectiles collide. They are colored based on the impacting projectile color. The next shot will destroy a blast barrier. If not shot it will dissipate in 1 second. If a player is directly in front of one when it is created they are knock backed one tile and stunned for a short period. This effect will also causes shields to break if a player is standing directly in front of it. Timing your next shot to just miss the blast barrier as it dissipates is a key strategy in gun battles.
Blast Barriers help avoid infinite gun battles where players projectiles keep colliding and dissipating, they provide the players the option of continuing to fire and time the blast barrier to their advantage or to disengage and flank their opponent.
Stunning is a mechanic that hinders a players ability to do two or more actions and it is broken up into two different types. These types are called soft and hard stunning and all cases of each vary in length of the time that the effect lasts. To indicate that players are stunned there are stars that circulate above a hero's head.
Soft stun occurs when two players collide. A soft stun causes players to not be able to fire or use their hero ability but still allows movement during the duration of the stun. This provides time to run and/or re-position before attacking again. There are only two cases of this type of stun, one being when two players collide after they appear to be done spinning that ends up lasting for 0.75 seconds and the other being when a player kills Epi's phantom, which causes the real Epi to be under the effect for 0.5 seconds.
Hard stun completely stuns the player. They usually occur with a knock back and players will spin during the whole duration of one. The effect causes players to be unable to move, shot or use their ability.
The following conditions cause hard stun to occur:
- Interaction(s) with Epi's, Ronin's, Aether's and Proteus' ability, and a rare case with both Carmen's and Pheobe's ability.
- A Blast barrier being created very close to the player.
- Bumping into players until they move to the center of one tile behind the direction they were facing when they bumped.
- Some interactions with dynamic objects.
Using a hero's ability in quick succession causes a cooldown bar to show underneath a players character. While this bar is shown a player is unable to use their ability again until it disappears. The amount of time that takes is indicated by how fast it takes the bar to fill in the corresponding players color. This amount of time varies for each hero and if a player uses the ability again immediately after the bar disappears, the bar will show again but with double the duration time. This affect can stack upon itself. The bar will always be visible regardless of whether a player is in an igloo or vertically behind an object.
Players can move during the '3,2,1, Sneak' head start countdown. This gives players a chance to hide and find a good place to start the round.