These implants are easy to get and provide versatile bonuses that will remain useful across many different playstyles.
This implant is available to all characters from the start. Can be used by MAXes and works in vehicles.
1) Increases hip fire crosshair Friend-Foe-Identification range from 10m to 60m.
This is great for new players, as it helps them to identify enemies and distinguish them from allies. It can also help find enemies in darkness or smoke.
2) Displays health bars of spotted enemies and vehicles within 500m.
Displayed bar refers to specifically player’s health. It does not take infantry shields or HA overshields into account.
This effect is especially useful when fighting vehicles, so you can prioritize weakened targets and monitor your damage output, and judge if it is worth to continue engaging.
First two components are from the old Enhanced Targeting implant, and you can watch Wrel’s video review of that part here.
3) Increases hold breath duration by 150% / 160% / 175% / 200% / 300%.
“Holding breath” refers to the mechanic of suppressing scope sway by pressing [Sprint] key for HS/NV scope and high-magnification sniper rifle scopes. Learn more about Hold Breath Mechanics.
This is the only component of the implant that improves with upgrades, but the bonus to Hold Breath duration is huge even at Rank 1. It’s totally possible for high-level snipers to play without this implant, but it can be very helpful to casual snipers and beginners.
Higher ranks of the implant can be great when it is possible to chain several shots together while using Semi Auto sniper rifle, or a Bolt Action rifle with Straight Pull Bolt attachment.
This implant is available to all characters from the start. Can be used by MAXes.
Provides 20% damage resistance after accepting a revive for 1.5 / 1.75 / 2.5 / 3.5 seconds.
It’s possible that damage resistance is also provided after (re)spawning.
This is great for new players that tend to die in bad spots, and accept revives without regard for consequences. It also can be useful in organized squadplay in point hold scenarios.
Tip: before accepting a revive, you can use Toggle HUD key (default “Ctrl + F10”) to see your corpse from above and judge if it is safe to accept the revive.
Rank 5 bonus: being revived instantly restores 200 shields for infantry and 500 health for MAX units.
Can be used by MAXes and works in vehicles.
Generates ammunition for all weapons, tools and vehicle weapons once every 120 / 110 / 90 / 75 / 60 seconds.
The amount of generated ammunition is equal to the amount you get from one tick of Engineer’s ammo pack or vehicle ammo tower. For most infantry weapons, this is equal to 1 magazine. Most vehicle weapons get more, equal to several magazines.
Ammo Printer generates ammo while cloaked.
When near or inside a vehicle that you own, Ammo Printer will generate ammunition for all vehicle’s weapons. However, printer will not generate ammunition for infantry equipment inside a vehicle, unless the player is in a rumble seat. In that case, printer will work for both the vehicle, and the player.
Countdown timer resets, when you:
- spawn a vehicle (but not when you enter a vehicle)
- exit a vehicle
- resupply or change loadouts at an infantry terminal
- accept a revive
Ammo Printer is great for lone wolf players and vehicle pilots. Tanks specifically tend to quickly run out of ammunition, and can take a while to get to an Ammo Tower.
Especially useful to Infiltrators, Light and Heavy Assaults to resupply ammunition for their tools.
Can’t be used by MAXes, works inside vehicles.
Restores 20 / 23 / 28 / 35 health per second. Regeneration starts 10 seconds after taking health damage. Rank 5 also instantly restores 50 health when you kill an enemy with a headshot.
- Taking shield damage or dealing damage does not interrupt regeneration process.
- Regeneration restores player’s health inside a vehicle, but it will do nothing for the vehicle itself (duh).
- Cloaked infiltrators cannot regenerate health.
- Regenerating full health takes 25 / 22 / 18 / 14 seconds.
A very popular convenience and longevity implant. It allows to forget about monitoring your health, and gives a way to restore health without relying on Med Kits or medics.
Especially great for lone wolf players, especially Light Assaults and Infiltrators that spend a lot of time away from their allies.
If you’re in a friendly territory that is lattice-connected to a captured Biolab, its health regeneration bonus will override Regeneration Implant of Rank 1 or 2, essentially making it useless.
Can be used by MAXes.
Increases the distance you can fall without taking damage to 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 75 meters. Increases lethal fall distance to 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 230 meters. Rank 5 also reduces collision damage from vehicles by 50%.
There are other ways to avoid fall damage, like jumping down on sloped surfaces, or using a Jump Pad or a Gravity Lift.
Safe Fall is normally equipped to boost player’s mobility, so he can jump down from heights without fear of injury. In that regard, even the first rank is usually powerful enough to completely forget about fall damage.
Safe Fall can be useful to novice Light Assaults who haven’t learned to properly manage Jet Pack energy yet. It can also make a Light Assault more stealthy, as he can jump down from a height without engaging his Jet Packs, which could give away his position.
At the moment, Safe Fall is nearly mandatory to use Light Assault’s Ambusher Jets effectively.
Safe Fall can also be used by ESF pilots as a substitute for Ejection Seat.
It’s hard to quantify how useful Rank 5 is. It’s supposed to make you harder to run over for vehicles, but without some in-game testing it’s hard to tell how effective it is in that role. However, even if that would 100% protect you from any run-over attempts, it would hardly justify spending ISO-4 on it, since statistically it happens so rarely that it doesn’t even matter.
Can be used by MAXes, works in vehicles.
1) Automatically spots mines and C4 within 16 / 18 / 21 / 25 / 35 meters.
This is great for flanking or breaching playstyles, as in both cases you will be more likely to encounter mines. Can help MAXes and vehicles avoid Tank Mines.
The implant is not a sure-fire way to never blow up on a mine, since the icon of a spotted explosive is small and easy to miss in the heat of combat.
At lower ranks, has limited usefulness to vehicles, as often your momentum will be too strong to stop or change direction in time, unless you consciously move slowly. Ranks 4-5 provide more than enough time, though.
2) Displays distance to objects under your crosshair within 500m.
This effect seems to be broken in ESFs.
Can be used to judge how high you need to aim with a long range Sniper Rifle or a tank cannon, if you create your own ballistic table. First column is distance, second column is the number of mildots you have to raise your aim by.
It is also nearly a necessity for Ballistic Crosshairs for dumbfire launchers.
Can also be used to judge if target is within your weapon’s lethal distance. For example, close range bolt action sniper rifle one-hit-kills on a headshot within 200m.
Can’t be used by MAXes.
Restores 175 / 200 / 250 / 325 health on a wielded melee kill. Rank 5 also restores 325 health on a sidearm kill.
- Your character model will have visible green effects when you receive healing.
- You have to actually kill the enemy with one of the specified items, just holding a knife your hands while enemy blows up on your mine will not trigger the healing.
- Vampire 5 will heal on a quick knife kill if you’re holding a sidearm (source).
- Doesn’t proc off teamkills.
- ASP interactions (source):
- Vampire 5 procs for sidearms equipped in primary weapon slot.
- Vampire 5 does not proc for primary weapons in secondary weapon slot.
This implant has an interesting synergy with Carapace implant, but without it, Vampire has questionable usefulness even for Stalker Infiltrators, kings of sidearm and melee kills. Most of the time, Regeneration implant will be better, as it doesn’t rely on kills to restore health, and doesn’t require you to go into combat without full health.
Crazy melee streaks with a wielded knife often end when you start taking damage anyway. You are simply unlikely to benefit from this implant.
Vampire only makes sense at maximum rank and in combination with other equipment (see: Gunslinger Loadout).
Passively increases sprint acceleration, deceleration, and recovery speed by 10% / 12% / 15% / 20%, and your hold-breath time recharges 50% / 65% / 80% / 100% faster.
Rank 5 Bonus: Additionally, you gain 10% increased sprint speed whenever you’ve been moving for longer than 6 seconds. This bonus is removed if you stop moving or fire a weapon.
- Sprint Speed bonus doesn’t stack with Adrenaline Pump.
- It is currently unclear whether you specifically have to sprint for 6 seconds to gain bonus speed, or any kind of movement would count. To test.
- MAX units cannot equip.
Several in-game tests have been performed in VR to gauge implant’s usefulness:
Test 1: Short Sprint – 95m run
- Baseline: 14.7 seconds from start to finish
- Only Pump: ~13.3 seconds
- Only Athlete: 13.9 seconds
- Athlete + Pump: 13.3 seconds
Baseline sprint speed is 6.32 m/sec, without taking acceleration time into account, so while sprinting it takes Athlete 6 * 6.32 = ~38m for bonus sprint speed to kick in.
Test 2: Long March – 795m run
- Pump only: 1:51.8
- Athlete only: 1:52.4
- Pump and Athlete 1:51.1
Test 3 – Sprint Recovery Reduction
While sprinting, I measured time from the moment mouse click is registered and until ammo cost is applied due to a shot being fired.
Without Athlete, Jaguar fired in 0.317 seconds after the mouse click, while with Athlete it fired after 0.25 seconds.
Please note that 0.017 seconds is time between frames (I’m recording at 60 FPS), so this is the margin for error for my testing method. Overall, as description states, with Athlete you can fire out of sprint up to 20% earlier.
Test 4 – Sprint Acceleration
Judging from quick subjective observations, this effect is mostly placebo, and sprint acceleration itself lasts AT MOST less than a second, and the implant’s reduction – as stated – is only 20%.
It is my overall opinion that Athlete, like ASC, looks amazing on paper, but doesn’t actually do much in actual game situations, especially compared to competition, be it Pump or other implants.
Of course, you can combine Pump with Athlete, and get your “Nanoweave” from Symbiote, but arguably the price is too great.
Kills while wielding a sidearm increase reload speed by 15% / 17% / 20% / 25% / for 2 / 2.25 / 2.75 / 3.5 seconds. Rank 5: your weapon swap times are reduced by 50% for the same duration.
The reload speed bonus lasts long enough for you to reload your sidearm after the kill, swap back to primary weapon, and start reloading it as well.
Most weapons take 2-4 seconds to reload, and less than a second to swap to, so on average this implant ill be saving you about a second worth of time each “activation”.
In general, this seems like a highly specific and situational implant. To benefit from it, not only you have to specifically kill an enemy with a sidearm, but actually engage the next enemy during a very specific timeframe.
Overall, it’s hard to recommend, even to stalkers who rely on sidearm kills. It’s just not worth the implant slot, since most sidearms take less than 2 seconds to reload anyway.
To test: does it make you throw grenades or quick knife faster?
While riding in an exposed vehicle seat or using a MANA turret, you receive an additional 30% / 33% / 40% / 50% maximum shield health. Rank 5: additionally, squadmates in vehicles within 50 meters of you also receive this benefit at 20% shield strength.
- Useful for Wraith Flash, as engaging from rumble seats of other vehicles is usually not effective.
- Could have some potential usefulness for Harasser gunners switching to rumble seat for repairs.
MAX only. Killing enemy MAX units will restore 500 / 550 / 650 / 800 health. Rank 5: killing a MAX within 5 meters of you will restore an additional 200 health.
Useful, but unreliable implant, since you have to specifically kill the enemy MAX yourself in order to trigger the bonus.
Your shield recharge delay is passively reduced by 0.5 / 0.6 / 0.75 / 1 seconds. In addition, whenever you are reduced below 40% health, your sprint speed is increased by 20% for 3 / 3.5 / 4.5 / 6 seconds. Rank 5: also increases Reload Speed by 15% for the same duration.
- It’s safe to assume sprint speed bonus doesn’t stack with Adrenaline Pump.
- “40% health” specifically refers to Health, the green bar, and does not take shields into account.
- There is a 12 second cooldown on this implant’s effects.
This implant provides a small, but universal boost, especially when used in combination with other mechanics that affect shields, such as:
- Playing Engineer
- Using Advanced Shield Capacitor
- Using Bionics implant