Killzone Mercenary hits PlayStation Vita September 10th. We already invested several hours into Sony’s intense first person shooter, and have some advanced tips to go along with our recently published beginner’s guide. Definitely keep these hints in mind once you master the basics.

VAN-Guards

You don’t need VAN-Guards to beat Killzone Mercenary, but these dangerous pieces of equipment make doing so a heck of a lot easier.

That said, VAN-Guards let you pack a more serious punch in the game while conserving precious ammo. To view the eight available VAN-Guards, you’ll need to track down and access an Arms Dealer crate. You can only equip one VAN-Guard at a time, and once activated (just tap the icon on the left side of the screen), you’ll pulverize enemies until the VAN-Guard runs out of energy, whereupon which you wait until it recharges.

On that note, the full list includes:

Manty’s Engine: A remote controlled, covert killing machine. Lightly armored, but deadly, this small device has free flight capabilities.

Porcupine: Shoulder mounted homing missile system. Lock on, fire and forget.

Sky Fury: Death from above.  Decimate enemy forces from orbit with a series of high-precision particle beam blasts.

Arc Missile: Dual function drone can operate as an escort or be fired in direction of facing.  Discharges incapacitating, Arc electricity at targets within range.

Ghost: Personal stealth camouflage system that effectively cloaks the operator while not engaged in combat.

Vultur: Aerial drone that scans the battlefield and pinpoints the location of enemy targets and equipment on your HUD and radar.

X3-JMR: Deployable electronics jammer. Disables the enemy’s comms and equipment, preventing them from calling for support.

Carapace: Protective shield that absorbs damage from virtually any ballistic weapon for a short period of time. Deactivates when returning fire.

Van-Guard Capsules

You’ll occasionally see a Van-Guard capsule land onto the battlefield. Accessing it gives you a single-use Van-Guard. Our advice? Use it whenever possible, as it may turn the proverbial tide and prevent you from spending cash in the armory.

Replay Levels

Replay previously completed missions to earn more Vektan Dollars. If you want a more difficult challenge, tap Select Contract from the main menu, select the desired mission and then one of three tabs: Precision, Covert or Demolition. Each comes with a unique set of challenges and rewards. 

Precision objectives, for example, may involve scoring 25 headshots with a specific weapon, completing the mission in 20 minutes or killing a mounted gunner with a frag grenade. Similarly, Demolition may ask you to get a Multi Kill or destroy a drop ship.

Even better, the reward increases depending on the difficulty you select, from Recruit (the easiest) to Trooper and finally, Veteran.

Collect Intel

Each mission contains six pieces of intel for you to collect. First, you must locate each one, then successfully complete a hacking mini game within a set amount of time, or an interrogation. Collect all six pieces of intel in a level to receive three Valor cards.

Hacking works like this: the game presents two or more hexagons filled with a certain amount of triangles, and you must match at least two triangles per hexagon from the options provided on the left and right sides of the screen. A mistake chops precious seconds off the clock, so you need to be both accurate and fast.

To interrogate, you’ll need to locate a captain (they appear on the mini map) and kill him with a melee attack.  The stealthier you are, the better, since you don’t want to attract attention. Remember, you’ll need to complete a series of touchscreen swipes to interrogate, instead of the usual one required to melee kill an enemy soldier.

The Valor System

Killzone Mercenary issues a card every 24 hours that represents your earning potential, with an ace being the highest, and two the lowest; the card changes daily. The more cards you collect in both single and multiplayer (retrieved from people you kill), the better chance you have of making hands (four of a kind, flush) and scoring bonus cash.

Customize Your Load Out

After reaching an Arms Dealer crate, tweak your load out however you wish, using items you may or may not have purchased. This includes Armor, Primary Weapon, Secondary Weapon, Equipment (think grenades) and Van-Guard.

When customizing, consider the current situation. Close quarters? Go with a shotgun in the secondary slot. Snipers? Equip a sniper rifle. You won’t get stuck with weapons for long, as there’s usually a crate nearby.

Ammo and Van-Guard Resupply

You don’t always have to scavenge for ammo. While visiting Blackjack, look for the Resupply Ammo + Equipment and Van-Guard Systems tabs.

Killzone Mercenary arrives on PlayStation Vita September 10th.