In no particular order, heavy weapons, grenades, and super moves are all powerful weapons against vehicles. Sniper rifles can also instantly dispatch a driver, and this is a powerful method of securing an Interceptor in PvP.
However, turrets are custom-made to destroy other vehicles. Primary Weapons can deal meaningful damage to vehicles, particularly if multiple players focus fire, but try to avoid situations where you are fighting a vehicle in the open with a Primary Weapon.
If you spot a vehicle at long range and you have a clear shot, or if a vehicle is involved in a firefight with someone else, go ahead and open fire. Otherwise, seek cover, and avoid them. A vehicle can kill you only if you let it get you in its sights in the first place. In both PvP and PvE, about 10% of the damage that a vehicle takes bleeds through to the driver. Although it’s possible to kill a driver by shooting the vehicle, if you specifically want the driver dead, it’s a better idea to target them with a sniper rifle or other precision weapon.
Vehicle health is split up into thirds similar to how your health meter is, but unlike your health, vehicles only regenerate to the nearest third. This means that once a vehicle is heavily damaged and on fire, you know it’s going to blow soon no matter what you do. In these cases, getting out before it explodes is usually the wise course of action. If you don’t want to leave a vehicle for hostiles to pick up, jump out and destroy it yourself. When a Sparrow blows up, you are simply knocked off, but all other vehicles kill you when they explode! Vehicles deal blast damage when they explode, and it is possible to kill other nearby enemies by destroying a vehicle in their midst.
You can kill your opponents by ramming them. With your Sparrow, you must hit them directly and press Boost just before you impact. With the Pike, sideswipes or using a boost will do the trick. Sideswipes in particular are fairly easy to land if an enemy gets close to you. The Interceptor’s boost is sluggish, but it is very powerful—an Interceptor will destroy any Sparrow or Pike in a head-on collision. Two Interceptors boosting destroy each other, along with their pilots.
While on a Sparrow, Pike, or Interceptor, pressing and holding the Aim button allows you to use the vehicle’s boosters, speeding you up considerably. The Interceptor can boost for only a short time, but the Sparrow and Pike can cruise indefinitely at a higher speed after performing a boost.
Your Sparrow is unlocked early in the Story missions, and it is your primary means of fast travel around the planets (and on some larger PvP maps). Unlike other vehicles, Sparrows are equipment that is personal to you, so you can find and buy new Sparrows that have superior stats (and cooler paint jobs). Upgraded Sparrows have increased health, speed, and better air brake maneuverability. Legendary-quality Sparrows can outpace a Pike. With some hunting, you may even be able to find new colors for your engine contrails.
You can perform an air brake turn on the Sparrow by holding the trigger, aiming the camera where you want to go, and then releasing the trigger.
An agile Fallen combat craft
The Pike is a hover vehicle like the Sparrow, but it is armed with rapid-fire Arc cannons and has a built-in sideswipe ability. While on the Pike, hold the trigger to fire the cannons. They overheat after a moment, firing slowly. However, they can be recharged to full speed very quickly. Simply releasing and pressing the trigger is enough of a delay to get full speed barrages back. You can tap the Melee or Grenade buttons to strafe right or left. Use this maneuver to dodge incoming fire or smash nearby enemies on the ground.
In the air, strafing causes you to perform a barrel roll. Instead of air braking, you can perform a hard turn by turning in one direction and then using a strafe to kick the Pike around in a curving arc. The Pike has a small glass shield at the front that can occasionally protect you from a few incoming shots, but enemies can destroy it. Don’t expect it to save you from an accurate sniper in PvP.
A brutish Cabal war machine
The Interceptor is a rocket-armed hover vehicle. Sluggish and slow-moving compared to the Sparrow or Pike, it nonetheless has a powerful boost that you can use to ram and destroy lighter vehicles or enemies.
The Interceptor is armed with twin rocket launchers, and as they have no ammo limitations or cooldowns to worry about, you can bombard an area with them continuously. When you obtain an Interceptor, use it carefully, and you can go on long sprees in both PvE and PvP.
The Interceptor’s rockets fire in a left/right pattern from its twin mounts at the front. This is important because you can damage yourself with the blast from the rockets, and because shooting around cover is possible if you keep track of which rocket is loaded. There is no on-screen indicator of which rocket is loaded. Pay attention when you’re firing, and you can strafe in and out of cover to launch them around the edges.
The Interceptor has better frontal protection from snipers than the Pike, and it generally provides its rider with a bit more protection. When facing an Interceptor yourself, if you can’t snipe the driver, break out your super moves, heavy ammo, and grenades to take it down as quickly as possible.
A turret is a special “vehicle” only encountered on the Bastion and First Light Crucible maps in PvP.
Armed with twin rapid-fire rotary machineguns and protected by a frontal energy screen, they are a powerful anti-vehicle weapon.
Turrets wreck other vehicles, and while they are vulnerable to the Interceptor’s rocket fire (or the usual anti-vehicle tools), they can destroy Sparrows, Pikes, and Interceptors extremely quickly. The turret’s machineguns overheat if fired continuously for too long. Either fire in bursts, or expect a lengthy delay while they cool off. A small energy screen protects the turret’s operator. You can destroy the screen, but it regenerates after 15 seconds or so.