Enter the shadow war
The Third World War is over: governments have fallen, economies have collapsed and the face of global politics has changed forever. As the world recovers from history's most devastating conflict, a secret new power struggle has already begun.
Three private armies have been employed to restore order: S.V.E.R., Raven and Valor. Officially, these Private Military Corporations (PMCs) are employed to keep the peace, yet the rewards for private military contracts are great and victory is expected at all costs.
Such is the competition between the three that a covert battle known as the Shadow War has turned them against each other. New recruits are joining this lucrative, bloody conflict every day... where do your loyalties lie?
Choose your faction
S.V.E.R. has roots in the Chechen Republic, but this ruthless Private Military Company (PMC) has also recruited heavily from China, India and Russia. With its unconventional dress code of hoods and hockey masks, S.V.E.R. may not be as technologically advanced as its rivals but it lives and dies by a strict code of fear, respect and honour.
Based in Austria, Raven is largely made up of German, French and Italian nationals and its interests lie in Europe. Precise and streamlined, Raven believes in its own superiority and strives for state-of-the-art perfection on the battlefield; its equipment is as cutting-edge as the business end of its knife.
Founded by a group of former US Army officers, Valor is based in Alaska and recruits its personnel from the US, British and Mexican Special Forces. Valor's operatives have been hardened through experience and have waged war on just about every type of terrain on Earth.
Know your targets
Before stepping onto the battlefield, you'll need to choose your preferred Private Military Company (PMC), create a character and get kitted out in the Armoury. MAG takes a flexible approach to character classes, allowing you to tool up with any combination of weapons, attachments, armour and gear.
Once you're happy with your arsenal, you can head to the Mission Deploy screen to see the current status of the Shadow War and select which of the four game types to jump into.
Suppression is a mission type designed for 64 players with just one thing in mind: take out the opposition. While this game type has no bearing on the Shadow War, it's a great way to earn XP and try out new weapons. Sabotage is a 64 player game type in which the attacking team tries to steal intelligence from a rival PMC's home turf. Satellite uplinks are the initial targets - secure these and you'll gain access to the communications hub.
In Acquisition missions, 128 players vie for control of weapons, ammo and fuel by attacking or defending supply vehicles. In a Domination mission, 256 players fight for total control of the battlefield. The attacking team must destroy the enemy's fuel facilities by blowing up their cooling towers and capturing their pump stations, while the defending team tries to hold them back.
Keep your friends close
In MAG, you're never alone. With up to 256 online players on the battlefield, you'll need to work with your teammates if you're going to succeed in the Shadow War.
To give you the best chance of completing objectives with military precision, each Private Military Corporation (PMC) is split into squads. A squad contains eight players, a platoon contains four squads (32 players) and a company contains four platoons (128 players). Each squad, platoon and company has a leader that has proved their worth and reached Level 15 or higher.
A Squad Leader can instruct his squad to focus on a particular task, completion of which earns bonus XP for all eight players. You can even earn XP by staying close to your squad mates and watching their backs, so it's important to communicate with each other and the best way to do that is to use a Wireless Headset.
If you think you have what it takes to lead men to victory and you have earnt your stripes by reaching Level 15 or higher, you can apply for a Squad Leader position at the start of each battle. Orchestrate a successful campaign and you'll earn leadership points; gain enough of these and you can put yourself forward for Platoon Leader. Eventually, after you've proved yourself to be a true salty dog, you can apply to be Officer in Charge of the entire company and be the one calling all the shots.