It’s been a week since The Finals finally arrived on PS5 and Xbox, and complaints surrounding class balance have already poured in. While Heavy enjoyers have been running rampant, Light has been lamented by many as redundant following nerfs at launch. However, we reckon players are doing a disservice to Light’s potential, and need to spend more time getting to grips with the shooter’s unique gameplay loop than complaining online.
At its core, Light is a high-risk, high-reward class in The Finals. It’s incredibly squishy in return for bonkers mobility, stealth, and close-quarters prowess, so must be piloted differently to Medium and Heavy. Your role in one of the best free shooting games is not to frag in the same way that Wraith from Apex Legends or Jett from Valorant do – it’s to be as disruptive as possible to the enemy teams while seeking assassination opportunities on their Contestants. The reason you’re not winning a 1v1 against a Heavy isn’t that the class sucks, it’s because in a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors Light is Scissors and Heavy is Rock. Let’s expand on that.
Light is a tremendously important class in The Finals for several reasons. In an ideal setup, your team composition will consist of a mixture of all three classes. Heavy offers frontline, in-built terrain destruction, and heavy firepower. Medium offers general DPS and healing for the frontline. Light offers disruption – be it through stunning players or deleting defensive utility with Glitch Grenades – and seeks to assassinate Mediums pocketing their Heavies like Mercy pocketing Pharah in Overwatch 2. It’s a delicate balance, and while players haven’t quite worked out the optimal way to play around different comp setups yet, that’s more of an issue with game knowledge and tactical awareness than innate class weakness.
Take this example from ‘Upstairs_Lecture9548’ over on Reddit. The player utilizes their kit to its fullest potential, going sicko mode on anyone that dares get in range of the objective. Granted, you may argue that a Heavy can achieve a similar result with less effort, but realistically as soon as a couple of Mediums start beaming it it’ll soon go down. Once you’re in on a Heavy, you’re not getting out, whereas a skilled Light player can pick and choose their engagements more readily.
The skill ceiling for Light is that much higher, and as players get to grips with The Finals’ combat triangle and learn to master each class that ceiling will only become more pronounced. If you’re trying to improve your Light proficiency, check out these helpful tips from ‘Staycation’.
One final tidbit of handy info is that, while we’ve highlighted Heavy’s ability to destroy buildings and other terrain in The Finals, it turns out Embark has baked a few extra ways other classes can get in on the action into The Finals’ maps. If you’re a Light player looking for other ways to disrupt bunkered-down teams outside of your Glitch Grenades, there you have it. With so much tactical variety, it’s no wonder The Finals has quickly established itself as one of the best PS5 games and best Xbox games out there.
Although we’ve rebuffed many of the common criticisms of Light, we do concede that its regen speed feels a little too low right now, and realistically if there is one stat that is worthy of a buff, it’s that. Having to wait ten seconds for regen to kick in after being hit with a stiff breeze feels awful, and continuously shuts Light players down for long periods throughout a match. Dropping it by a couple of seconds would allow them to have greater agency, be it through exploits like Upstairs_Lecture9548’s, or simply running in 1v3 and dying more often – they’ll learn, eventually.
Of course, we don’t have the data to back up Light’s performance, and our thoughts on balance are purely anecdotal. Additionally, Embark Studios has shown that it knows what it’s doing with one of the best FPS games around so far, so maybe we just need to get good, too.