So I’ve seen a lot of threads pop up about monsters who have won every single game they’ve played and many hunters feeling that the monsters are too OP. Right now I think we simply don’t have enough information/time to really know if they really are overpowered at higher skill levels but one thing is for certain.
With the sheer number of people who have never lost as a monster this tells us not that they are the best players in the world but simply that it’s just a much easier learning curve for the monster than it is for the hunters. The Monster, though a bit unfamiliar, only has to rely on themselves. The hunters have to learn not only how their own abilities work but how to work with everyone else on their team. The skill ceiling however is very high for both monsters and hunters. As such they can be beaten, you just need to know what you’re doing and I’m here to help you with that.
As a hunter with a full group of friends I have never lost a single match to the monsters. We’ve had several of them say we were their first loss (and often second and third before they quit and played against someone else).
I’ve also experimented with playing without my friends or playing with only 1-2 of them. This lowered my win ratio to around 20/80 (no friends) and 60/40 (partial friends). The few times we had bots as opposed to random players we usually did even better. If you have no friends, make friends with people you meet in matchmaking, in real life, on the forums, or play the monster.
The basics of being a good hunter can be summed up in 7 simple rules.
Rule #1: Never go solo.
Rule #2: Cut off the monster, do not chase it.
Rule #3: Communicate & Coordinate. This is not a game for mimes.
Rule #4: Do not engage the monster until you are close enough to actually do something. Sending it into combat mode while you’re halfway across the map will just allow its stamina to regen faster and it will run away like a merry little fairy hopping from leaf to leaf. You will feel stupid.
Rule #5: Don’t kill the wildlife unless you want a perk from it. This just gives the monster free food. Though be sure to shoot anything that is incapacitating your team so you can free them. If you do kill a creature for its perk, make sure the entire team grabs it. This way the monster cannot simply come by and take it. Any perk the monster takes from creatures will be unavailable to the hunters as well.
Rule #6: Know your class, know your teammates’ classes, and know the monster. If you understand how everything works, you already have a great advantage.
Rule #7: This may seem obvious but aim for the head. It will take double damage. Quadruple damage if the medic has placed a weakspot on its head. Let that sink in for a moment. 4x damage. 4x. Damage. It is just as awesome as it sounds.
Let’s begin with an understanding of how the game works before we move onto the specifics of each class.
The trick really is in the coordination. You are not 4 mini-monsters as hunters. You are 4 parts of a single monster. Think of yourselves as limbs attached to the same body. Each has a job to do that no one else can and if you get incapacitated, it is going to be that much more dire for the rest of your team.
You really need to understand not only what your abilities are but the abilities of the rest of your team and when to use them. The more you understand the better you can consider your strategies and the overall capability of your team. Just as in real life, knowledge is power. Make sure to spend some time playing as the monsters as well so you know the ins and outs of how they work as you can only learn so much from being eaten by them.
None of this matters however if you don’t speak to each other. You could be the brightest, most tactical mind the world has ever known but if nobody on your team knows what you’re up to, it’s going to do you squat for good. If you aren’t communicating, you are losing. This is not a game designed for random pugs. You will be punished for not partying up with people you know and/or who communicate. Like it or not, this is specifically by design. If you have no friends who play, you don’t think you can make friends who play, and don’t walk to talk to people then you better get used to losing or playing the monster.
The monster doesn’t suffer downed penalties but its health doesn’t naturally regenerate either. So hurt the monster as much as humanly possible before it can phase up. Your goals in phase 1 & 2 are to keep pressure on it so it can’t stop to build up armor and to take down its health so that if it does somehow last to phase 3, it will not be at full strength. It is much easier to take off 50% of a phase 3 monster’s health than it is to take off 100% of it. They don’t return to full health after phasing up, though they can find a health regeneration perk on the wildlife. The same is true in reverse. The monster wants to incapacitate you as that will give you downed penalties which take away a chunk of your maximum health. (Except when revived by Lazarus’ device which does not incur a penalty). Once you have two downed penalties, being downed will kill you instantly for the rest of the match. The early game is a struggle back and forth to do more permanent health damage than your enemy and hopefully to kill them outright.
As mentioned above not every phase is equal. The monster gains power with each transformation. At phase 1 you have a massive advantage but a good monster can still win in this phase, it’s just incredibly difficult. At phase 2 expect a 50/50 chance of success and at Phase 3 it is the opposite of phase 1. You will be at a massive disadvantage but you can still win. The monster can also win at phase 3 by going after the generator but hitting the monster once will interrupt it momentarily since destroying the generator is a channeled action. If your team is half dead (like literally half of them are dead) don’t be afraid to poke the monster as it hits the generator until it gets fed up and comes after you and then you run like mad. Try to stay near the generator because the monster can get back to it a lot quicker than you can. This will stop it from destroying it and hopefully give your team time to get back in the game. Especially if you have some form of cloaking.
Knowing the map is going to help tremendously. Learning what the routes are, where the food is, what perks are where, etc. Don’t forget to open your map from time to time. If you see some birds flying in the corner of the map you can often figure out where the monster will likely go based on what the surrounding terrain looks like. Then you can split into two groups to head it off/herd it where you want it and drop the thunder dome. You need to be close by though, you don’t want to have two groups at completely opposite ends of the map from each other.
When tracking the monster be aware it may not leave footprints if it’s sneaking, leaping, or running through water. It may also lead false tracks to throw you off the trail and double back. However startled birds, carrion, and other such wildlife will tell you where it is. Use these to try to get ahead of the monster. You know where it was just a moment ago so from there use your map and your wits to try to figure out where it will be going and meet it there. Splitting into two teams can help a lot here as you can have usually cover the likely directions it will go between the two and dome it. Keep in mind it likes to hide and people have a bad habit of not looking up. The monster, with its great climbing ability, will often hide on high ground where you aren’t normally going to look (or sometimes down in a cave) while it sniffs around and waits for you to pass by. If you don’t know where it is and you don’t want to check a specific spot because it would be a pain, that is likely exactly where it is.
Spot. Whenever you see the monster hit Q (I don’t know the controller button for it) to spot the monster. A dot will appear on the screen and the map where you spotted. Yellow means it’s not a direct spot, Red means it is the monster itself. It is very useful not only for showing where the monster is but also where i is headed. This is not a replacement for communication nor is it something you can skip over if you are communicating. It goes hand in hand with it.
Movement is the last important piece of general information I can think of off the top of my head. If you double tap jump you will do a quick burst/dodge in the direction you are moving (including up). This is good for getting around the map quickly and for dodging attacks. This uses up some of your jetpack fuel so you can’t use it non-stop. Speaking of fuel if you are out of fuel you can still climb walls just by pressing against them, facing them, and holding down jump. It will be slow but it’s better than falling all the way back down to the ground.
Cliffs are not often your friend as Hunters. While you can get up and down them, it is by far easier for the Monster to do so than you. If you are in a place filled with tall cliffs and high walls and such you probably do not want to fight the monster there as you’re going to be at a disadvantage. It can just continually jump up and down the cliffs and waste all your fuel/slow you down considerably. It can also knock your teammates off the side and separate you very easily. You can win in these kinds of locations and make use of them for yourselves and at times it will be more worthwhile to fight it there than to let it get away but keep in mind that the monster will be flying all over the place like Spiderman.
Now I may not be able to guide you through every scenario you’re ever going to run into but I can at least explain more or less what you can/should be doing as each class.
Every role is important. Even Assault. I see many people choosing assault thinking, “I have little responsibility playing this class. I can just pew pew pew.” You couldn’t be more wrong. You are the main source of damage for your team. Short of Hank’s orbital, you are going to do more damage than the rest of your team combined. No I’m not exaggerating. If you are not doing your job properly, your team will most likely lose. Make use of your lightning gun/flamethrower whenever the monster is close enough to use it. If you’re not close enough, get close enough. Jetpack up into the sky if you have to. They are the most powerful things you have in your arsenal. I’ve seen many assaults just using their rifle when the monster is 5 yards away and that’s not helping anyone. Aim for the weak spots the medic puts up, especially if its on the monster’s head as the head already takes 2x damage but now with weakspots it will take up to 4x.
Your special ability lets you be completely invulnerable to damage. Use it to deflect big hits. If they’re small hits/the monster is only after you for a second, the medic can take care of you. If the monster is focusing you/about to hit you with something really big, now is the time. If you are Markov and have mines those are great for making a sort of make shift barrier or retreat spot for when the monster is chasing someone. It may not deter it but it will actively hurt it for pursuing anyone who is near them. Hyde’s poison grenade is great for forcing the monster to move/leave a certain position alone. It may look like fart gas but it won’t hurt your own team so feel free to just waft right in there.
You are the key to making sure the monster doesn’t overpower your team. You are the one who shortens the time the monster is wanting to fight by quickly taking down its armor and health. The less armor it has, the less it wants to stay near you. Your job is to burn it down as quickly as humanly possible and ideally to take out chunks of its health. If you are doing your job right the monster is going to be actively afraid of you.
The medic is my preferred class. It has way more responsibilities than simply healing. You also have to create weak points on the monster. These will allow your group to do way more damage to it and should be applied whenever you have the opportunity but not at the expense of saving someone’s life. As mentioned earlier, aim for the head. The monster will take tremendous damage from headshots with a weakspot on it. If you see the monster barreling down on the assault and he hasn’t used his shield yet, this is a good time to land some sniper shots or tranqs if you’re Val.
Tranquilizers are incredibly important. They slow the monster down and highlight it, making it visible even through walls briefly. Hitting them again refreshes the duration if it has not already ran out. For Goliath it is slowed to a walk which means you can simply back away and most of its attacks will miss unless it uses a traversal skill. For the Kraken It also makes flying much more difficult and since it doesn’t have traversal skills, it’s going to be much easier to keep up with if you keep it tranq’d. Remember that most of the time you are going to be the #1 enemy the monster is going to want to murder. Exceptions exist (such as it rushing the trapper if it wants out of the dome) but be prepared to get your face pounded because it’s going to happen. At this point you should hope your team is ready to lay the hurt on the monster to scare it off of you. The more dangerous it is for it to target/burst you down, the less likely it will be to kill you as it may not be worth the cost.
Be aware that as Val whenever you use your healing gun you are creating a direct trail from whoever you are healing straight back to you. Line of sight also matters tremendously here because if you cannot see them, you cannot heal them. The medgun has a very good range to it though so don’t be afraid to keep a bit of distance. Your heal burst is your only reliable way of healing yourself but it also heals your teammates. Don’t be afraid to use it, though ideally you rarely want to jump directly in front of the monster to kamikaze heal somebody with it. It has its moments certainly but it is a very risky move.
Lazarus has plenty of tricks of his own with his ability to raise people from the dead and his silenced rapid fire sniper. Since you lack a healing gun more of your attention will be focused on your sniper rifle. The monster won’t know where you’re shooting from and you will be creating a wealth of weakpoints. Again, same as above, your heal burst is very useful to everyone around you. With the Lazarus Device you can bring someone back from the dead (or incap) as long as you get to them within 60 seconds of death (provided the monster hasn’t eaten the corpse). This also works on wildlife so if you kill one of the elite perk monsters and take the perk, revive it so the monster has to fight for its food instead of getting a free 3 course meal from your work.
Use your cloak, it is your best friend, but it will not help you if you are on fire as the monster can simply following the orange glowing ball of flames. It is useful not only for sneaking in to res somebody but also for getting out of dodge whenever the monster turns its sights towards you. Don’t get closer to the battle than you have to, your strength is that the monster can’t easily locate you, keep it that way. I’m not saying don’t get close to heal burst but be very careful about it and try to get places the monster is not going to simply turn around and spot you. Or be far enough away that if it does, by the time it gets to you you are already cloaked and somewhere else. The monster can sniff you out and currently there is no reason for the monster not to spam sniff 24/7 in combat with you guys so…yeah. There’s that. You never want to be overly far from your group though because you will need to retreat to them for protection when the monster decides it’s sick of your crap.
Trap. The. Monster. Seriously, that is your main job. I’ve had trappers complain about the low damage of their weapons as they ignore all other functions of their job and just try to COD the monster to death. It’s not going to work, stop it. Should you shoot the monster? Yes. Should you always be shooting the monster? Of course not, that would be stupid. You have more ways to track and immobilize the monster than anybody else on the team. That is the power you bring. As Maggie lay down and spread out your harpoon traps but realize they take a couple seconds to activate and are very easily broken. You can have up to 5 of these on the ground at any given time, that is more than enough to make any monster player really angry. Placing more than 5 will replace the oldest ones first. Against a competent monster all you’re doing is interrupting their current action for a moment but that can be more than enough to save somebody. Same principal for Griffin’s harpoon gun and I actually like that one better. It feels a bit more reliable.
On the subject of traps though keep in mind monsters (and wildlife) can break the turrets themselves so place them carefully. They have a good range. Griffin’s sensors are invaluable. They cover a massive range and you can drop 5 of them (as with any other item you can place on the ground). It will tell you where the monster is and where it is going. Think of it like a radar because that is exactly what it is. If you’re in a dome fight with a monster drop one to make it harder for it to just jump and hide behind rocks. Maggie’s pet Daisy, and I have been saying this for months, is incredibly useful. Do not underestimate her. Not only does she count as a living member if everyone else is dead, she can also revive downed players by licking their faces. Sure her breath smells bad but it’s better than death. She can always point you in the direction of the monster but she is going to follow its tracks rather than cut it off. You must use her in conjunction with your map and reasoning skills to cut the monster off. If you chase its path you will never catch it. Whenever you split up into groups of two you should always be in the direction you think it will go/it will get herded to so you can drop the thunder dome.
The dome is pretty massive this time around so it’s very easy to catch the monster in it if you are close to it. Once you do that however you are public enemy #1. Don’t run from your group, run near (not at) them, specifically near the Assault. You likely don’t want to charge your medic and give the monster an easy 2 for 1 and you don’t want to be so close to your teammates that it can hit multiple people with area of effect abilities. You also don’t want to run away and make it so no one else can reach it, especially the short range powerhouse that is your assault. Letting the monster send you flying away from the group and splitting all of you up is the worst thing you can let happen. Your main job though: Slow it down. That should be priority 1. That doesn’t mean to ignore damage though. Damaging it is good but it is your secondary goal, such as when you already have traps in place/you can’t do much else at the moment/etc. Even you can do respectable damage if you hit the weakpoints (2x damage), the head (2x damage), or weak spots on the head (4x damage).
I have yet to ever have someone play Bucket in any of my matches so I don’t know much about him. If you have any information you can spare feel free to tell me and I will add it in here. Until then this will be focused on Hank. Hank is probably the single most useful person on your team. That doesn’t mean he can carry your team, he can’t, but you can think of him as the survival knife of the team. He can shield you guys from damage, he can do absolutely massive damage to the monster (orbital strike), and he can cloak the entire team. He may not be the best at any one thing but he is really good at a little bit of everything. What you do as Hank is largely going to depend on what is going on around you which makes him a hard fellow to write a guide for. While you can shield your teammates from harm, you shouldn’t always shield them as it will run out of juice and have to recharge. Save it for big hits, let your medic take care of the minor/consistent stuff. The big hits are what is going to cause the medic the most trouble. Keep in mind the medic’s self-heals are not terribly reliable (it’s on a cooldown), so if you see them getting pounded, they would adore you forever if you shield them.
You possess the second highest damage per second of your entire team. Use it. Your chain gun is a respectable weapon but as always aim for the head if you can hit it (and weak spots). Especially weak spots on the head. Your orbital strike is on a long enough cooldown that you likely won’t be using it more than once per engagement but it is extremely potent. If combined with a medic’s sniper weak points you will be taking huge chunks out of the monster’s health/armor. As such it works not only as a weapon but also a deterrent. Is the monster about to down someone (like your medic) and you don’t have your shield charged? Drop the bombs right onto your teammate like a giant fiery explosion of love. They may bounce around a bit but they’ll be fine.
The monster on the other hand is not going to want to stick around in that mess. This can also be used to get the monster to back off of downed people. Be careful about how you use it though since the monster can simply move out of it. If it doesn’t look like the monster is going to hold still (it takes a moment to activate) there is little point in dropping it. If you can get the trapper to immobilize the monster and then drop the orbital on its head, it is going to take some serious hurt. Ideally though you want to do health damage with the orbital. If you take out most of its shields it may just run and hide until the dome drops then rush off and simply restock on armor and come back. That’s not to say you shouldn’t use it if the monster has armor but if the situation presents itself to drop it on a shieldless/low shield monster by waiting a few extra moments, do so.
This brings us to your final ability which all support characters share, your group cloak. Provided you aren’t teamed up with trigger happy morons who see the monster all the way across the map, shout “THERE!” and start shooting, this will allow you not only to sneak out of bad situations but to sneak into range of the monster without it being savvy to your presence (again unless it’s spamming sniff in which case…well…that’s that). You can use this to rush over to people about to be downed so the monster doesn’t know if that last hit really took them out, where they landed if they are downed, etc and now you can revive them. It can also be used to get the trapper in close to drop the dome or to stage a retreat when things are going bad. It has many applicable uses but of course if you are on fire, it’s not going to do you any good. Make liberal use of this thing but be sure to communicate with your team what your plan with it is.
A few final notes:
Every game is going to turn out differently based on your classes, perks, maps, and enemy. If you’re playing against the same foe multiple times though, do not get predictable. Change your strategies, change your patrol methods, change your classes even if you have to. Don’t give them the luxury of knowing what you’re going to do. Though by all means you can let them think they do.
There is a lot more I could cover here as this really only scratches the surface of things but this is already long enough to be a short story. I didn’t go over specifically how to counter each monster’s abilities because this is more of a guide to playing the Hunters and while dealing with the monsters is a large part of that, the strategies a monster could employ and the way it might use its abilities would warrant a whole other post as long as this one. By learning how to play the hunters you will stand a much greater chance of success when facing any of the monsters the game throws at you. You will understand what abilities can be used to counter the given situations you are in as they happen instead of relying only on one strategy and hoping it works. When you’ve practiced these things enough to get a real handle on them you’ll see how much easier it becomes with good teamwork and you will naturally learn the rest on your own without that annoying feeling of standing no chance.
When finally the monster hits the ground dead and experiences what could very possibly be its first taste of defeat,
Clementine the Monster will remember that.
If you feel I left out anything important, feel free to let me know and I’ll add it in when I have time.
Good luck Hunters!