Hunt Showdown is one of the most unique multiplayer games currently in circulation. From Crytek, the same team that brought us Crysis, it’s a beautifully atmospheric shooter that brandishes a swamp-soaked middle finger to the rest of the battle royale genre.
It also happens to be one of the toughest, most unforgiving games of its type. Death will come fast and often as you attempt to decipher unfamiliar gameplay concepts and trudge along a steep learning curve.
If you’re now to the game, or perhaps returning after a lengthy hiatus, here are some quickfire Hunt Showdown tips to get you up to speed.
1. Learn how the game flows
Whether riding solo, in a pair, or as part of a trio, you’ll be dropped into one Showdown’s Bayou-themed maps, ready for battle. Where most battle royale games try to push teams towards a focal point by using a shrinking perimeter, Hunt Showdown has you tracking down monsters.
You’re a bounty hunter tasked with gathering clues before confronting your target, an AI-controlled boss that other players are also wanting to kill. Each match hosts at least one bounty and you’ll need to activate three clues to find them. This is done by using Darksight and following the glowing blue lights/embers.
A quick note: when using Darksight in proximity of a clue, if the bounty icon flashes white, there are other hunters nearby…
Once you’ve gathered enough clues it’s time to kill your bounty. Right now there are four unique monsters, each with their own attacks and behaviour patterns you’ll memorise over time. Upon defeating your target, you’ll then need to start the banishment ritual, hunkering down until it finishes. When this reaches 100% you can grab the bounty token and head to an extraction point marked on the map.
Instead of killing the monster and claiming the bounty, another option is to let another team do it for you, then kill them during the banishment phase or as they hightail to the extraction point. That said, a team who kills and claims the bounty will have an advantage thanks to their enhanced Darksight, allowing them to spot enemy hunters using temporary X-ray vision.
2. Beginner loadouts
One of Hunt’s many nuances is the finite gear available to players and the expendable nature of hunters themselves. Die during a match and your hunter is gone forever, along with any weapons and items they were carrying. One of the easiest Hunt Showdown tips to remember is that you’ll cycle through dozens, if not hundreds, of hunters during your time playing.
This can be a real hurdle for miserly players who like to hoard their resources. However, in Hunt: Showdown you need to be generous with the amount of Hunt Dollars you’re spending between matches. You don’t need to break the bank either, with equipment and hunters being relatively cheap.
You don’t need to be a walking arsenal, either. While it’s true that some guns are more efficient than others, firepower will always come second to your skillful steady aim, positioning, and awareness. Besides, when starting out, many of the game’s advanced weapons are off limits until you level up.
So, what items of gear would we class as essentials? Firstly, get yourself a melee weapon. Whether it’s a pair of dusters or a humble hunting knife, this is what you should be using to kill grunts and most other AI-controlled enemies roaming the bayou.
First aid kits are a must too. You should also invest in some bombs, including molotovs and a stick of dynamite. Spreading fire can be useful for causing chaos during gunfights and burning the bodies of enemy bounty hunters (this prevents them from being revived). Dynamite can not only cause a mass amount of damage, it’s a great tool for breaching doors and routing hunters from defensive positions.
Try to experiment with other tools as this will help you find a loadout you’ll want to run with every match. More advanced favourites of ours include trip mines and choke bombs.
What about weapons? Any rifle/pistol combo should suffice in those first dozen or so matches as more loadout options eventually open up. As you unlock more guns (also collecting them out on the battlefield) this should give you a feel for what you feel most comfortable using.
3. Silence is your strongest weapon
Hunt Showdown boasts the best sound design in the multiplayer shooter space. A headset is mandatory if you’re serious about extracting bounties and tracking enemy hunters. The game’s maps are littered with sound traps that can give away your location, from squawking crows and broken glass to tin rooftops.
It’s a feature that works both ways, helping to locate enemies but giving away your position if you’re not careful enough. Creating too much noise gives the other teams an opportunity to ambush you, not to mention alert any nearby NPCs.
4. Melee, melee, melee
Which brings us to our next point: avoid shooting your guns at all costs: nothing highlights where you and your team are quicker or clearer than gunfire. You can dispose of most AI-controlled enemies with a single heavy knife attack, without causing a commotion. Although you’d be missing out on easy XP, fleeing from NPCs is also a good option.
Even when it comes to the bounty boss fights themselves, keep those guns holstered. Once you’ve learned the attack patterns of a bounty, you’ll be able to take them on using the heavy melee weapons strewn about the map including pitchforks, sledgehammers, and axes. A couple of blows from these will do huge damage, though you’ll need to retreat to safety while your stamina replenishes.
It sounds wild but guns should only really be used in PvP battles against other human players. Not only will this make you harder to detect, you’ll also go into any firefight with a full ammo stash.
5. Work towards something
Perhaps the most important of our Hunt Showdown tips. Even once you’ve nailed the game flow and have a few extractions under your belt, setting milestones should be your next focus. This is important because the game doesn’t overtly push you towards unlocking advanced gear that can help refine your hunter playstyle.
Career unlocks come from XP earned in each and every match. However, you should also focus on the Book of Weapons which can be found in the main menu. From bolt-action rifles to molotovs, using items and scoring kills can unlock more powerful variants later down the line.
If you don’t fancy paying for DLC, you should also try scraping together enough Blood Bonds to buy your first legendary hunter or weapon.
Those are our Hunt Showdown tips for new players starting out. And we’re only scratching the surface. What makes this game such a unique experience is the number of unfamiliar concepts and systems that mesh together. We’ll be exploring these in more depth in future. For more on Crytek’s bounty-hunting shooter, see our Hunt Showdown review.