This guide goes over both basic and advanced tecniques on how to 1v1 and 2v2 in Darwin Project.
Basics of Combat (General)
- Every player starts off with 600 HP, 100% heat and no Armor.
- Armor is essential for nearly any fight.
- The only weapons in your arsenal are the Axe (150 dmg per swing, upgradable through Axe sharpener) and the Bow and arrows (150 dmg per shot, 200 DMG per shot for Fire arrows).
Things to Avoid:
- Jumping: I see a lot of players do this. This game isn't Fortnite. By jumping you are just wasting your stamina (~35% each jump) and making your movement easier to predict. The only time you should jump is when axe fighting, and even then it's not something you should do often.
- Standing still: I hate having to put this in a guide, but it happens too often. Even if you are not in a fight, you should NEVER stay still. By standing still you are making yourself an easy targer for everyone and you are helping people who may be chasing you down.
- Constantly drawing the Bow: This game isn't Call of Duty. You aren't gaining anything by standing still with your bow drawn waiting for your opponent to magically cross your sights. Only draw your bow if you are shooting, and only if you have a clear shot at your opponent! (Even more so in duos, as if you hit your friend you're not only wasting arrows, but also making your friend vulnerable for a melee attack) As of the Customization Update, drawing the Bow also stops Stamina regeneration!
- Placing traps/turrets: Traps are one of the (if not the most) powerful items in Darwin Project. BUT that does not mean you should place them whenever you feel like it! By placing traps (even if you are behind cover) you are standing still and making noise, which your opponent can hear and use as an opportunity to attack. I've seen a lot of players screw themselves over for placing traps/turrets in an open area or with someone nearby
Things to Do:
- Keep an eye on your Stamina: Usually (if you dodge properly) you will rarely get hit by arrows if you are sprinting. The moment you lose stamina, though, your speed drastically drops and you become a way easier target to hit (even more so with those powerful Fire arrows!). This point goes hand in hand with the first of the previous list.
- Keep your movement unpredictable: Sprinting alone isn't going to make you invincible. The proper way to dodge is by keeping your movement random and making it harder for your opponent to track you. Usually this involves making sudden 90° turns, or stopping at random times to then start running in another direction.
- Try to predict your opponent's moves: This is almost as important as aiming. If your enemy is moving in straight lines or using the same tactics over and over you can to figure them out and try to outplay him. This skill requires a lot of game experience and knowledge of fighting mechanics to master, making this by far the hardest skill to master.
- Always pick up arrows: Many new players don't do this, but you should always try to pick up dropped arrows, as having that 1 more arrow in your quiver can be the difference between a win or a loss. As arrow pick up doesn't have an animation, don't be afraid to snatch arrows from the ground around you as you're fighting, just be careful not to activate any clues or Electronics in the vicinity.
Basics of Combat (1v1)
In a 1v1 situation you should always focus on your opponent. Losing sight of him can lead to a surprise attack or an easy escape. Try to ignore any impending zone closures or Nukes as this will almost certainly lead to the other player killing you.
You also need to be careful when looting your opponent's body as players might be have been drawn to your location by the fight. (Especially if you're low on health!)
Don't be afraid to run! If a fight isn't going your way, or the opponent has a substantial advantage, running away can often be your best bet for a win. You can use Deers to heal up or Medkits if you happen to find one. You can also get a chance to restore your armor.
BUT you should never try running away from someone if you know they have better movement skills (Power leap or Teleport) as that will probably get you killed as well, in that situation the best thing to do is hide in bushes or trees and wait out your opponent's move.
Basics of Combat (2v2)
If you're fighting with a friend you should keep two things in mind.
1) If you or your friend are low on health, you should retreat back and let the one with most HP hold the front line. If you or your friend die the opponent team will receive a huge heal (+300 HP) and you will be put in a 1v2 fight, which usually ends with defeat.
2) When engaging a team call out to your team member the name of an enemy and make a team effort to kill him. That way you make the fight a lot easier for yourself and cripple the enemy team into a likely defeat. (But never lose track of the other opponent)
You shoud also be aware of other team's positions (from house maps) and try to engage on any split teams, as you will always have the numerical advantage.
Advanced Combat (General)
Ok, now that you learned the basics of combat, we can move on to more difficult topics:
- Juking: A juke is basically baiting an opponent into committing to an axe swing that leads to him taking a hit. This is usually done by moving towards your enemy only to back when he's about to strike. If done correctly this will usually result in a succesful hit.
- Trap-checking: When you're chasing someone be careful of traps they may have placed. If you swing your axe at a spot where a trap has been placed will break it entirely, rendering your opponent vulnerable for an attack. Trap-checking consists of swinging your axe in the air where you think a trap has been hidden. Never chase an opponent into an house without trap-checking!
- Traps: A well placed trap can make a losing fight a complete success. Traps not only stun your enemy for quite a long time, but they also reveal them to you for ~60 seconds. While the opponent is stunned you can take your time to line up a headshot, even behind cover, or making a quick escape. Be careful of how you place traps, though, as more experienced players will trap-check the most common spots. You can also escape traps by using Skills such as Teleport or Power Leap.
- Parrying: Darwin as a game is all about predictions. If you can read when your opponent is about to attack you can succesfully parry any ability (except Turret) with a well-timed axe swing. You can parry axes (sending both players flying in opposite directions), arrows (with very strict timing) and snowballs (which get sent back to the enemy), and negate all damage. Parrying as a tecnique is very hard to master, as it requires strict timing and enemy prediction. You can easily wait out an arrow parry if you see it coming, just by delaying your shot.
This game isn't only about combat, as the outcome of a battle can be decided even before it starts, just by looking at the players' equipment.
The most powerful Skills at the moment are, in random order:
- Teleport: Almost mandatory (along with Power leap), can be used as a tool for fight initiation, escape, or just movement tool. It has 100m range and a cooldown of 60s.
- Turret: Combined with Smoke bombs or if placed in strategic spots can give you the edge you need to win a fight, or act as a distraction. It has ~30m range and a cooldown of 60s, shooting 3 shots every 3s for a total of 50 damage each.
- Power leap: Can be used as a substitute or complement to Teleport, as they both act similarly. Launches you in the air, dealing splash damage where you land. It has 30m of range and a 45s cooldown.
- Camo: Really effective tool to get a free hit before the fight starts, and can work well mid-fight to make the opponent lose track of you. This works well with a high level Axe sharpener and Fire arrows. Works poorly against experienced / veteran players. It has 15s duration and a 60s cooldown.
Controversial skills (debatable utility):
- Radar: Tracks down players and clues. Can be useful while hunting, but rarely gives you the edge needed to win a fight. 15s duration, 150m range, 60s cooldown.
- Invincibility: As good as it sounds on paper, it can (and will) backfire. The increased knockback is a major drawback, so much so that I find this Skill to be more effective for fleeing rather than engaging. It has 10s duration and 60s cooldown.
- Arena: If used correctly can prevent players from escaping, but can also prevent you from running if the fight turns around. The same player chasing effect can be easily achieved with teleport, without making a huge bubble for everyone to turn their eyes to. Finds it's only use in Duos, to isolate players and force enemies into a 1v1 / 1v2.
- Detector: Worse version of Radar, featuring trap detection. I don't see any other reason you would want this, other than trap paranoia. 20s duration, 150m range, 45s cooldown.
The most useful Items are, in random order:
- Traps: Every trap behaves in a similar way, taking time to deploy and catching unaware players off guard. Really solid and powerful offensive and defensive tool. (Rigged chest not included).
- Snowballs: It's always good to carry some around, since they cost nothing and provide great utility: from killing Deers to destroying Turrets to a disorientation tool against players to a way to extinguish your or an enemy's campfire.
- Gliders: They provide the only disposable mobility in the game, and work wonders when used after Teleport or Power leap.
- Smoke bombs: Can be useful to flee a losing fight, or just to sneak up on tracked enemies or place a sneaky turret. Upon activation they remove the "Tracked" mark from a player.
The most powerful Upgrades are, in random order:
- Cloaks: Runner Cloak, which gives you increased Stamina; Revenge Cloak, which reveals enemies that hit you.
- Boots: Hunter/Speed boots are both really good, with Speed Boots being more widely useful.
- Axe: Axe Sharpener gives a huge damage boost to your Axe, but costs a lot of precious resources better invested in other upgrades/armor, otherwise Lumberjack is great for harvesting.
- Arrows: This choice is up to your playstyle/skill, if you can hit shots reliably you should go for Fire Arrows, or Berserk Arrows. Otherwise you should probably pick the default Arrows as they give you a good early game headstart.