Ticks vary in appearance. Ticks that are encountered in the campaign have balloon-like heads which are made up of red hexagons, perforated with recessed dot-like lights. In multiplayer, ticks' heads are six-sided, in the rough shape of a triangular prism, and painted more red over the rest of their bodies.
A Tick resembles a flat disk that, when thrown, deploys legs and what appears to be a head. In the campaign, Ticks will crawl towards any nearby enemies before detonating. In multiplayer, Ticks will seek out nearby enemy pilot's, and will not detonate for AI units. After getting close enough to a target, Ticks will become immobilized for a few seconds before detonating. During this time period, they will glow orange.
In the Titanfall 2 campaign, Ticks appear as supporting forces alongside other IMC troops. During the mission Blood and Rust, Ticks will be airdropped into a large pump regulation chamber via Goblin. Like Plasma Drones, Ticks can be deployed by a Specialist, and can also be deployed en-masse by a Reaper. Ticks can occasionally be found in the missions as Ordnance, with four refillable charges.
Ticks in Titanfall 2 multiplayer are equipable as a Boost, unlocked by default and can be activated at 65% Core meter. When activated, the Tick will not replace your Ordinance but does have two charges available.
- While an exploding tick is immobilized, it is possible to escape, however, the explosion size is rather large so it is often advisable to find cover instead of simply running away.
- Shooting a tick primes its explosive payload, causing it stop moving and detonate after a few seconds. A second hit may cause them to detonate prematurely. Thus, packs of ticks may be destroyed via fratricide, but only at medium to long range.
- Ticks will remain around the area they were thrown until a pilot enters it, for this reason, it is often prudent to deploy Ticks in a chokepoint to increase the likelihood of them finding a target.
- A Tick that cannot find a target will explode after a while, dealing no damage.
- There are two Tick models in the game. A round sphere-like model used by enemies in the Campaign, and a triangular, bright red model used in multiplayer (for Pilots) and as ordnance for Cooper (picked up from fallen enemies and found lying around).
- Ticks were likely developed by the IMC due to the effectiveness of the Suicide Spectre.
- At least in Titanfall 2's multiplayer, activated player Ticks can be caught in Ion's Vortex Shield, but will soon explode, still dealing damage to the Titan.
- In Titanfall 2, if an enemy (Pilot's) Tick is thrown at Ion's Vortex Shield before it is activated, (meaning before it lands), then once Ion releases, shooting back the player's Tick, it will be on Ion's side.