The largest barrier to people playing Crossout heli mode is they don’t build good helicopters and don’t use good weapons.
First, to build good helicopters a few things must be kept in mind:
There are two rotors, Petrel and Hummingbird. 1 Petrel equals about 4 Hummingbirds. Petrels allow sharp turns while Hummingbirds do not. This means that when two builds are circling each other to shoot eachother, the single Petrel powered craft always wins because it can turn much sharper than the Hummingbird craft. Don’t ever use Hummingbirds.
Sharp turning leads to a loss of altitude, meaning that you can fly down very quickly, by turning your rotors too much. This can lead to flips and crashes. But, flying down and hitting the ground is not a bad thing particularly if you are losing your air battle. Unlike real flying, there is no penalty for crashing into the ground at max speed.
Use movement parts! Helicopters that can drive do much better than helicopters that strictly fly. That is because they can use ground cover to play with, they can follow builds into undergorund areas, they can capture bases better and they are usually still in business if the rotor gets shot off. I think that Gerrida is by far the best movement part, as it still works and moves you around even if two or three of them get shot off in your air battle. Other notable movement parts are Hermits, Goliath tracks which double as armor, and Icarus IV hovers. I don’t like hovers or omni wheels for air battles as they have movement problems when some of them get shot off.
Don’t use art builds. The problem with art builds is that they tend to add Hummingbirds to your build. Also, they all undermount the weapons and space them far apart. This is not good because undermounting is bad for the firing angles and because gun spacing makes them hard to aim targets together. The upshot is that art builds lose close air battles because the guns are hard to shoot.
Use Omamori, cloak, Flock, engine, radars and generator. In air battles, modules are your friend and they often make or break the game. In air battles, raw damage is not as important as getting a jump on your opponent, fleeing bad situations and avoiding homing missile spam. I have seen Aegis builds work quite well in the format as well.
So, what I’m envisioning is a small 1000 HP box with a cab, a Petrel on top, 4 movement parts and loaded down with as many weapons, Seals, Shivers and modules as you can cram onto it. This is what wins.
Speaking of Weapons:
Punishers/ Nothungs/ Aspects. These machine guns are great for degunning and de rotoring opponents. They have low spread, decent range and are hitscan.
Parsers. These give massive burst hitscan damage at decent range. This is a winning combo for Crossout helis.
Arbiters. These work for the same reasons as the others machine guns work. charge em up and shoot something.
Trombone. There are some guys on Xbox that have 6 or so Trombones all fused for turn speed with 3 on each trigger. He doesn’t need to aim so he jukes all over the place and just keeps Trombones coming until eventually you blow up. This many Trombone shots will overwhelm a cloak, a Flock and whatever other anti rocket gear you have and Trombones, unlike Hurricanes cannot be dodged and do not miss. In addition, when you have a Trombone player on your team, he is a great support player, as he is setting up an opponent for huge damage from a conventional MG/ Starfall player. You just follow him around then hit whatever he lights up.
Starfall. The huge splash and quick turn speed make Starfall the only autocannon to make S-Tier. Use with a Harpy for much better splash.
Athena. These are great in air wars but after the mechanics nerf it is harder for an Athena to land all the shots. Athenas are S-.
Destructor. These do well, but are relatively short range and you have to hold the beam onto a target to get the damage. These are great guns but have more drawbacks than the S tier guns.
Cyclones. Cyclones are great as the huge durability does well. Use two Cyclones with two Seals and a Harpy. These are not as effective as Starfalls.
Hurricanes. Hurricane Hadron builds work well if the Hurricanes are fused for turn speed. These reload fast enough to overwhelm a cloak, but too many shots miss, Hurricanes are too easy to dodge and a hurricane is generally just machine gun/Parser/Starfall/Athena/Trombone food. These should be avoided.
Stillwind/Whirlwind. These hit hard but the spread while moving problems makes them hard to land.
Crickets. These generally miss, but a load of crickets can one shot a build. It would be intersting to try dummy rockets with a spider cab in heli games.
People are not having as much fun in heli mode as they could because they use innefficient builds and or bad guns. Get yourself some S-tier guns, a load of modules and a little box spider build and you will be heli warring with the best of them.