Shatterline tier list: the best characters for PvP and PvE

Our Shatterline tier list breaks down the best characters in this early stage of the game, whether you’re playing Versus PvP or Expeditions PvE

Shatterline tier list: the player holding an assault rifle in a cave

A Shatterline tier list to figure out who the best characters are at this early stage of the meta is incredibly important if you want to dominate the free-to-play FPS game. This hero shooter has eight characters, known as operatives, to choose from, each with their own unique abilities, along with some they share with others depending on the category they fall into.

A different approach is needed depending on which game mode you’re playing though, because the PvP Versus playlist is incredibly fast paced and has you test your mettle against other players online in a variety of objective-based. Meanwhile, Expeditions is PvE focused, fighting against both creatures and enemy soldiers alike as you complete objectives in a huge open-world map. It’s too early to tell whether this deserves a spot in our best free PC games list, but make sure you follow this Shatterline tier list if you’re playing this innovative shooter.

Shatterline PvP tier list table

Tier Character
S Orbit
A Strix, Mongoose
B Malva, Brisa, Ram
C Pill
D Kite

S Tier

Shatterline tier list: Orbit

Role: Trooper

Orbit doesn’t offer anything flashy on the face of it, but his abilities in PvP are uncontested. Troopers can’t climb like Recon characters can, nor can they boot down doors like those with Exo abilities, but their faster health regeneration is a passive that proves crucial in the middle of gunfights. They also have a faster bomb defusal time but, in the current iteration of the game, there doesn’t appear to be any modes which utilise bombs.

Orbit excels thanks to his spy drone, which hovers around and latches onto any enemies it sees, highlighting them through walls. If it’s destroyed, it deals damage to any nearby enemies too, and acts as a distraction for enemies so Orbit can challenge gunfights uncontested.

He also has the swarm grenade, which explodes into a bunch of homing insects targeting any players in the vicinity, which are very hard to avoid. His ultimate, crystalline injection, is his magnum opus though. Activate it within touching distance of an enemy and it will impale them for an insta-kill. On top of this, it provides a huge amount of armour, bolstering your health, so if you’re in a bind you can simply use it for healing purposes. The only downside is that you can’t sprint while the ult is active, but it matters little if you’re using it in the middle of the action anyway.

A Tier

Shatterline tier list: Strix

Role: Exo

As an Exo character, Strix can kick down certain marked doors on each map – and send movable objects like crates and vehicles much further – and she has a much faster sprint, though her weapon is holstered while charging. Strix’s wall grenade allows her to create barriers at will, at the perfect size to shoot over, while her crystalline grenade creates a small area of red crystals that slows and damages any enemies caught in the blast.

Neither of these abilities are quite worthy of A tier, but Strix’s ult is where she’s unstoppable. The M.556 Volcano is a “high speed six-barrel heavy machine gun” which absolutely decimates enemies, and its accuracy even at long distance is scary. Taking on a Strix with her ult active head-on is futile, as she can completely clear the path of any foes.

Shatterline tier list: Mongoose

Role: Trooper

The other Trooper character alongside Orbit, Mongoose is even more offensively focused. Bearing in mind the faster health regeneration, Mongoose is the closest character to a standard soldier; he has a frag grenade which deals “massive damage in a small area”, and a smoke grenade which does what it says on the tin. Very useful for objective-based modes, not so much for team deathmatch.

The R40 Supersling is Mongoose’s main selling point. A 40mm grenade launcher, it’s a weapon you’ve certainly seen before in other games, and it’s highly effective here at clearing enemies off the objective or firing them into a choke point with foes funnelling through. There’s nothing revolutionary here, but Mongoose offers the most familiar gameplay you’ll find and, as a result, is very well-rounded.

B Tier

Shatterline tier list: Malva

Role: Support

Malva is the first support operative on this list, which is a role synonymous with medic. Support characters only get one passive, but it’s a big one – any characters Malva revives come back with full health instantly. As long as you’re not reviving allies with enemies milling around everywhere who will instantly kill both you and your recently revived friend, it means they can get back into the action quicker. The only downside to this is that respawn times in most PvP modes aren’t very long at all, so reviving often isn’t worth it, and the animation to exit the revive takes a few extra seconds than is really necessary.

Medkits are Malva’s grenades, which she can chuck on the floor for any allies to run over and heal. Her drone pinscher is a combat robot that attacks any enemies nearby – it doesn’t do loads of damage, but it does provide a distraction, much like Orbit’s spy drone, and can sometimes finish off enemies that are already weakened.

Her healing station ultimate is the biggest benefit here, as it provides a sizable area for teammates to stand inside and heal. It also reduces incoming damage by 20% for anybody standing inside. When you’re playing as a team and communicating with everyone, this can be a massive advantage in objective modes, especially Escort where you don’t want to stray too far from the wagon. If you’re not in sync with your teammates though, they won’t know you’re utilising it and it can often go to waste.

Shatterline tier list: Brisa

Role: Recon

Brisa is the first Recon character featured. These folks only get one passive ability too, which allows them to use a climbing hook to clamber up any walls with glowing arrows. This opens up a number of other routes and manoeuvrability options that other players can’t access without moving a crate or vehicle nearby to lift themselves up.

Brisa’s tactical cloak is your standard invisible-but-not-quite ability. If she was completely invisible, it’d be too overpowered, but as it stands, it’s still a little too easy to see her as there’s a translucent sheen instead. It does mean she doesn’t have the usual red outline other enemies do though.

Her glass mine is essentially a motion-activated trap, like a claymore or bouncing betty, but rather than just exploding, it traps enemies inside crystalline shards. This slowly deals damage while they’re stuck inside, so if you’re nearby you can pop round the corner and finish them off – but if they react quick enough, the shards can be destroyed, allowing them to escape.

Her ultimate, the crystalline rifle, is a bolt-action sniper rifle that guarantees a one-hit kill. What makes it special is the ammo, which allows for much easier collateral shots, because it has somewhat of a blast as it travels through the air that will catch enemies who are almost in the middle of your crosshair but not quite.

Shatterline tier list: Ram

Role: Exo

On the face of it, Ram definitely looks the most fun to play. The other Exo character, he’s described in-game as an “armoured juggernaut” and looks well suited to kicking doors down with his exosuit. His throwing axe is his grenade and while it’s very satisfying to one-hit kill enemies with it – and no doubt people will try the cross-map kills reminiscent of old Call of Duty games – it’s not an easy task to hit fast-moving enemies from any sort of distance.

Gravity strike is Ram’s other ability, which is fun to use as you yeet enemies off into the distance, but it’s very finicky. Too close and it won’t register, too far and it won’t reach them – you need to be the perfect distance away, which is about the same range as an effective shotgun blast.

Hyperdash, Ram’s ultimate, is essentially a jetpack that allows him to soar through the skies and create a devastating impact wherever he lands. It’s a lot of fun to use, especially when you get it right, but chances are you won’t be able to use the full potential of Hyperdash as you’ll be plucked out of the air by enemies if you fly for too long. It’s also too easy to get caught on the hitboxes of cars or walls that you think you’ll clear, but that end up getting in the way and stopping you in your tracks.

C Tier

Shatterline tier list: Pill

Role: Support

Pill, the other Support character, is the only operative in our C tier at the moment. The full health revival aspect remains useful and, rather than having medkits to throw down, Pill instead has a med drone that will automatically seek out a fallen ally to revive. No need to throw it with any accuracy – leave it to go off and do its own thing.

Pill’s grenade, stasis field, is largely useless in PvP though, because while it stops enemies dead in PvE, real players can still move slowly and shoot back when affected by stasis. His ultimate, the crystalline shotgun, is also one of the weakest in the game because, while it’s automatic, it’s still just a shotgun with limited range. If the run and gun playstyle suits you then you may fare better with Pill over Malva as he’s slightly more aggressive, but working in a team has a higher ceiling with the extra healing capabilities of Malva.

D Tier

Shatterline tier list: Kite

Role: Recon

Propping up the bottom of the tier list is Kite, because everything this balaclava-wearing Brit offers is underwhelming. In fact, his best perk is the ability to climb higher walls, which is something Brisa has too. Kicking things off is his mini wall grenade, which is a smaller version of Strix’s ability. Can be useful in a pinch, but it’s nowhere near as handy for blocking off paths and routes in objective modes.

Remote mine is essentially just C4. Throw it down on a surface then manually detonate it. This means you need to pay attention to it at all times to see when an enemy is near, encouraging a much slower style of play. Finally, his ultimate is the crystalline revolver, which one-hit kills enemies while also leaving a trace of deadly energy along its path, but it’s not a hitscan weapon, which means the bullet itself has travel time and you need to account for where your enemy will be if you’re shooting at them from any sort of distance.

Shatterline PvE tier list table

Now you know what every operative can do in Shatterline, how do they fare in the PvE mode? The Expeditions mode is vastly different because AI enemies always gun it straight for you and act like a horde, so utilising different abilities here is vital.

Tier Character
S Malva, Strix
A Pill, Mongoose
B Brisa, Ram
C Orbit
D Kite

S Tier

Malva features as the very best of the best here because Expeditions can get seriously tough if the contamination level rises too high or you’re not working as a coherent team. Having a capable healer is an absolute must, so whoever is playing Malva needs to be dishing out medkits left, right, and centre, while tactically placing her healing station wherever players need it the most.

Strix is also very useful in PvE as an offensive character, because she’s excellent at dealing with large groups of enemies. Her wall grenade and crystalline grenade can slow down incoming foes with ease. Her minigun is the best at dealing with groups of even tougher enemies, because it mows them down like there’s no tomorrow. There’s also a number of hidden supply drops behind doors that need to be kicked down by an Exo character in PvE, so Strix is useful on that front too.

A Tier

Pill might not be very useful in PvP, but in PvE he’s a great shout. His med drone is just as useful as it can revive any fallen allies when the fighting gets especially dicey without Pill having to manually revive them, and his shotgun ultimate is better as enemies will charge at you, getting into closer range. His stasis field grenades are much more effective here too, because enemies are stopped in their tracks, as if they’re frozen in time.

Mongoose is just as strong here, because he’s the simplest of characters. His frag grenade clears groups of enemies, his smoke grenade acts as cover for you to bypass any foes you’re struggling to take on – or it can act as a distraction – and his grenade launcher is even more effective at just dealing ridiculous damage to huge groups of enemies or elites.

B Tier

Brisa’s ultimate sniper rifle isn’t the most useful in PvE because it’s a little slow and unwieldy, but it still packs a punch and it’s much easier to activate the collateral effect with enemies that are packed in tightly together. Her tactical cloak is effectively completely invisible to AI foes though, so you can use it to either flank behind away from your squad, or hightail it out of a sticky situation. The glass mine is also great if you can see enemies charging at you and you need to slow them down. You’ll find some extra loot in places only Recon characters can reach as well, so that ability comes in handy.

Ram is pretty much the same here as in PvP. It’s much easier to connect throwing axes with enemy heads because AI enemies are much more predictable in their movement, but the gravity strike still has the same drawbacks in being hard to connect. Thanks to PvE being a much better place to find huge groups of enemies, hyperdash can be used for much better theatrics and multikills. Much like Strix, the exo kick is an added bonus for more loot.

C Tier

Orbit may be the best PvP character by far, but he’s much less useful in PvE. His spy drone is completely pointless because AI enemies don’t have the tendency to hide or play tactically, so that’s one ability gone out of the window. His swarm grenade will net you kills, but it’s a little slow compared to something simple like Mongoose’s frag grenade. Meanwhile, the crystalline injection is much more useful for preventing death than getting kills, because you ideally want to be shooting enemies before they get within range of the spikes.

D Tier

Kite is at the very bottom once again, and for mainly the same reasons as in PvP. His mini wall grenade is much less useful than Strix’s and, while his remote mine is easier to get kills with as you throw it into a big group and detonate it, there’s no reason you can’t do that with Mongoose’s frag grenades. The crystalline revolver is at least somewhat useful because enemies will often be hit by the residue crystalline effect, but it’s not worth picking him for.

Now you know all about the best characters to play with our Shatterline tier list, why not read up on the best free Steam games? There’s plenty of choice there if you eventually get tired of Shatterline but don’t want to fork out any money.