Tribes: Ascend is a free-to-play multiplayer shooter, designed to be played primarily from a first-person perspective. The player can choose to switch to a third-person view if he so wishes. As part of the Tribes series, it gives the player the ability to ski on slopes and fly using the equipped jet pack. The premise of the game is rather simple and it features two different factions introduced for the first time in Starsiege: Tribes (Blood Eagle and Diamond Sword), fighting for the victory. Four multiplayer modes are available since the release of the game: Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Arena and Capture and Hold.
In Team Deathmatch, the first faction that reaches 100 kills wins the match. The kill count is doubled for the faction that is holding the flag. In Capture the Flag, the two teams must steal each other's flags and bring them back to their own base. The match ends when a team has captured five flags or when reaching the 25-minute limit. Capture and Hold pits the two factions fighting for the control of several points. Every five seconds, each team is awarded one victory point per dominated control point. The first team that reaches a preset number of victory points wins. The Arena mode is similar to Team Deathmatch, but the maximum number of players is limited to five per team. The teams have 25 respawns, which are wasted every time someone dies, plus one more life per player, once there are no more respawns. First team to deplete all their lives loses.
At the beginning of every match, the player chooses one class out of nine. The classes have unique weapons and equipment. Upgrades for these can be bought in exchange for XP that you earn at the end of every match or for real money. During the match, a player earns credits for killing or wounding enemies, completing objectives, repairing turrets and other structures, etc. Using these credits he can purchase and deploy combat vehicles, inventory stations, tactical strikes, orbital strikes, and so on.