Planetside 2 uses a class system for character progression and abilities. Each class has their own certification tree, and all can pursue the Squad Leader certification. Some weapons and abilities are only available to specific classes. Each class can carry a primary weapon, a secondary weapon, a tool, and has access to class-specific explosives.
- Main article: Infiltrator
The Infiltrator is the only class with access to sniper rifles and cloaking technology. They have the lowest survivability of any class in open combat, but when used to full effect can eliminate soft targets and capture strategic objectives using either the element of surprise or precision shooting.
- Main article: Light Assault
The Light Assault class is the most mobile of all classes, utilizing jump-jet technology to move around the battlefield with unrivaled speed and agility. They also have a wide array of weaponry and can choose from the largest selection of explosives.
- Main Article: Combat Medic
The Combat Medic is the only class with access to healing grenades and field rebirth technology, Combat Medics are responsible not only for their own lives, but the lives of their squadmates as well. With access to a versatile range of weapons and grenades, Combat Medics function as ideal squad members and flexible all-around soldiers.
- Main Article: Engineer
The Engineer is one of the most versatile classes, with access not only to several weapons, but specialized explosives as well. Using their Advanced Construction Engine, Engineers are able to perform field repairs on friendly mechanical units and deploy anti-infantry or anti-vehicle turrets to strengthen positional defenses.
- Main Article: Heavy Assault
The Heavy Assault is the only class capable of bringing LMGs and each empire's heavy weapons to bear on the enemy. They are also the only class capable of carrying missile launchers. Thanks to their Reinforced Exo-Suit armor and personal shield system, Heavy Assault troopers have high damage tolerance and a talent for front-line combat. These attributes mean Heavy Assault is the backbone of any fighting force.
- Main Article: Mechanized Assault Exo-Suit
The Mechanized Assault Exo-Suit (MAX) is the class with the heaviest armor and weaponry, at the cost of reduced versatility and mobility. Capable of equipping one modular weapon on each arm, MAX units bring unrivaled firepower.