A Quick and Dirty Explanation Of The Different ESFs

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A Quick and Dirty Explanation Of The Different ESFs

From the beginning of time (Planetside time) new pilots have pondered one thing when beginning their perilous journey into Ace Stardom.

Which Plane Should I fly?

Here I am going to try and ease the woe’s of the new pilot community with an explanation of the pro’s/con’s/differences of each ESF, but first I should explain what ESF means.

ESF (Empire Specific Fighter): The 1-seater Jet/Heli Hybrid that covers the skies of Auraxis.

Auraxis: The planet that the game resides on. All continents are part of Auraxis.

Okay, now that I have that cleared up lets begin.


The ESF is a bit of an oddity when it comes to Aircraft. The closest real life comparison I could give you is it handles like an ultra nimble Harrier Jet or F-35. The shining difference that sets these aircraft apart from other games you may have played is the “Reverse Maneuver.” This allows the plane to fly backwards while maintaining aim on the target. This is the single most important skill for new pilots to master when beginning their road to Acedom, and what makes Planetside 2 so much fun! I won’t cover exactly how to perform the Reverse Maneuver here, but will do so in a future post.

Now on to the main event the ESFs!


The Mosquito (Terran Republic)


The Mosquito (Codenamed Mossie) is the ESF of the Terran Republic. It’s fast, small, and agile but lacks significant firepower. I find the Mossie to be the easiest of the three to fly when starting to fly.


  • Fastest Top Speed
  • Smallest overall hit box
  • Largest Magazine Size (Read you can miss more)
  • Moderate Maneuverability
  • Quiet


  • Lacks significant Firepower. Weakest of the guns to compensate for the largest mag size.
  • Afterburners are relatively weak
  • Weakest (IMHO) Anti Infantry Nosegun


  • The Mossie is the middle of the road ESF that has a great balance in all aspects. Very good for the new pilot, and those that want to do a little bit of everything.

The Scythe (Vanu Sovereignty)


The Scythe is the ESF of the Vanu Sovereignty (Or the Purple Spandex Clan). The Scythe is thin like a pancake and has extremely accurate weapons.


  • Extremely small side profile hit box
  • Most Accurate Weapons
  • Shoots Lasers (okay not really a pro, but it’s cool! Pew Pew)
  • Can stop on a dime and has a great hover mode
  • Very Quiet


  • Top and Bottom hit box is large like a pancake. This makes it an easier target for ground Anti Air
  • Middle of the road top speed.
  • Weak Afterburner
  • No Visual cue to know when you are ready to do the reverse maneuver.


  • Considered the best 1v1 ESF winning almost exclusively in hover duel tournaments, but is balanced in live server situations. Good for pilots who understand the reverse maneuver and like to shoot disco balls.


The Reaver (New Conglomerate)


The Reaver is the ESF for the Freedom Fighting NC. They Scream for a cup of lib-er-tea as they blast their powerful weapons and AirHammer Shotguns.


  • Highest DPS weapons
  • Strongest Afterburners
  • Best Reverse Maneuver
  • Fighting For Freedom


  • Biggest Overall Hitbox
  • Slowest Top Speed (W/O Afterburner)
  • Loudest of the Three
  • Hardest to Maneuver


  • The Reaver is a tough shell to crack and probably the hardest of the three to get used to. If you can learn to harness the power of its weapons and afterburners (especially in group play) you can become a force to be reckoned with. Advanced pilots will get the most out of the Reaver.

Well there you have it. This is just a basic overview and is subject to change as the devs tweak the game throughout the beta. I will post many more intricate analyses on the three aircraft in the future.

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