The Surge – Basic Beginner’s Guide

Many people new to the game will get steamrolled because they do not understand the basic mechanics required to progress well. This is a spoiler free guide that explains some of those mechanics.


You will have two choices to start with, heavy (goliath) or light (lynx) build. The choices do not really matter; both sets are available in the starting area. The enemies near the start wear lynx armor and a few enemies closer to the end of the section wear goliath.


Armor can be crafted from 3 schematics, a head, arm, body and leg. You need to craft two arms and two legs one head and one body.

The starting choice only gets an arm and a leg and schematics to craft the other arm and leg. When they are received those pieces should be equipped immediately through the inventory.

Schematics are picked up automatically when cutting off armor body parts. Once you have a schematic you can craft that armor type. The inventory interface will show if you have fully crafted each schematic type.

Combat / Targeting

Combat will typically involve targeting an enemy and/or a body part and dealing enough damage to where the enemy is either killed or the part can be severed. Missing schematics can be collected by targeting enemies that have armor for that body part. New weapons are not crafted. They are collected directly from the enemy, usually by targeting the right arm. If you already have the weapon or schematic then you will collect crafting materials based on the level of the weapon or armor.

Targeting can be done on an enemy basis and then per body part after that. When selecting an enemy you will get a glimpse of their armor. You can either choose a piece of armor (in gold) if you need crafting material or schematics or soft body (in blue) if you just want to put the enemy down. Targeting armor will do the least amount of damage. Soft body will do the most. Just selecting the enemy will do an intermediate amount, so even if an enemy is fully armored you can do more damage by not selecting any body part.

Severing Body Parts

Once a part receives enough damage it can be cut off. This involves being close to the enemy and hitting the action button. You can continue attacking/staggering while holding the select button. The enemy will live until the cutting animation completes. The exception is if they are burning. They are not invulnerable to fire damage and may die during the cutting process.

The select action can be interrupted either by attack or movement away from the player. Once the select action completes the player will become invulnerable during the cutting animation. Enemies may drop either scrap piles, a weapon and/or body part. The scrap piles are stored in inventory and may be turned into scrap later. The weapon is turned into weapon crafting material and the body parts are turned into crafting material for that specific body part.

Cutting armor is good when crafting material is desired, otherwise it may be simpler to just target soft body parts. Each body part can withstand a certain amount of damage. An armored chest will withstand a tremendous amount of damage. These blueprints are the hardest to collect. The head can take the least amount of damage, and an attack from behind can easily kill an enemy without giving an opportunity to sever the part.

Player Progression

The player progression in the game is largely based on their rig. Rigs have core power and implant slots and can mount armor. Armor and most things put into a slot will use core power. Core power can be increased by using scraps. This is the leveling mechanism used by the game. By default it will have 4 implant slots unlocked. The other 4 will unlock once level 15, 25, 35 and 45 are reached. The starting rig will have 8 slots. Later a 12 slot rig will be unlocked and then a 16 slot rig. Each playthrough after will unlock an additional slot to a maximum of 20.

Core power will have to be increased in order to mount a full set of armor. Without any plugins it will take 15-19 power to wear a full set of armor. In addition every implant will typically require some core power to be used. If not enough is available then either core power can be leveled up or implants can be changed or armor can be swapped to free up some space.

Suggested Progression for Beginners

  • Equip starting two armor pieces and implants.
  • Collect scrap/materials to craft other two pieces (arm/leg).
  • Level up core until second arm & leg can be equipped.
  • Collect head and chest blueprints and scrap/materials until these can be crafted.
  • Level up core until head and chest can be equipped.
  • Level up core until all slots unlocked.
  • In new areas collect new schematics, weapons and upgrade materials.
  • Craft and/or upgrade everything.


The best area to farm is always going to be the one you just completed, assuming you are able to reliably take out enemies. When collecting scrap there is a multiplier based on the number of executions performed.

This starts at 100% and can increase to 300%. There are also implants that will increase the amount of scrap collected. There are also buffs that can occur. An endurance buff will typically start at the 200% level and an energy buff will become common at 300%. These buffs last a very long time and can be reactivated with new body parts severed.

The scrap multiplier is reset by dying or going to the medbay. The upgrade station will not reset the multiplier, however it will cause all enemies to respawn. This allows farming to continue in an uninterrupted fashion.

Written by Jiminator.

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