This guide is specifically about the non-skill based factors which affect your Hunt: Showdown performance. Often times the decisions we make as players are just as important as our ability to aim or ADAD spam.
Guide to Strategy
There are many choices we make which affect our Hunt: Showdown performance, even some we don't realize. This guide will help identify those choices and give guidance in how to make the right choices.
This guide will not address skill-based factors of performance, such as Aim, special movements, map memorization or anything like that. It's possible to improve in those departments, but there are already guides for that.
Technically, your first choice is to choose your objective. Most players are going to be trying to gain as much XP as possible, usually by extracting the bounty or killing players, but your objective may be different!
Some players do special challenges, such as only using free hunters with their default loadout, or setting a Hunt dollar price cap on their loadout, or to complete a specific series of achievements while in game.
If your hunter is level 49, you may be trying to extract after only gaining a small amount of XP.
This guide will not apply to those types of objectives. We're focused on improving XP gains, PVP wins, and Bounty Extracts.
Also, this guide does not (necessarily) apply to Quickplay matches. Those are an entirely different beast. This guide is solely about Bounty Hunt gamemode.
There are some ways that your gameplay may be suffering because of external causes. I'll list a few of them here, but there are many:
- Using a controller instead of mouse & keyboard.
- Using speakers instead of a good quality headset.
- Not having a microphone.
- Playing with Low FPS / On older PCs (FPS < 60).
- Software issues (game crashes, freezes, system slowdowns, etc).
- Poor connection (Ping > 80 ms).
- Drowsiness (or other adverse physiological conditions).
If you have one or several of these external problems, your experience can suffer regardless of your skill level or strategies. Try your best to avoid or solve these issues, otherwise you're seriously handicapping yourself!
Controls and Settings
There are a few controls and settings which can greatly affect your Hunt:Showdown experience. (This is assuming that you're already using a mouse & keyboard)
FOV / Field of View
The default Field of View in this game is bad. It's important to be able to see the environment around you, so crank the FOV slider as high as it can go (110)
Playing with a low FOV can cause motion sickness, which can make your performance even worse. Even if you are skeptical, try it and you will never go back.
FPS / Ping Display
It's important to be able to see your FPS and Ping, to help identify when external problems may be affecting your game. This can be enabled in the Video options.
Crouch / Sprint / Ironsights
By default, Crouch and Sprint are both in the "Hold" configuration, meaning you need to hold down the key.
- I highly recommend putting "Crouch" controls into the "toggle" configuration.
- I also recommend putting "Ironsights" into the "toggle" configuration.
The "Sprint" controls could go either way, but I personally prefer "Hold"
I highly recommend using the Gunslinger control scheme. Being able to use ironsights is very important. It is a direct upgrade from the other control scheme to be frank.
- Ironsights give a small magnification
- Being able to both scope and hipfire with scoped rifles
- Being able to fire with 1 keypress when surprised, not 2
Don't settle for less-than-ideal control schemes. Customize them until you are comfortable with them and can reach all of them effortlessly.
Use the number keys to swap between weapons. You should be able to swap to weapons quickly under pressure, so memorize the position of your number keys relative to WASD.
Selecting your Team
Teamwork encompasses many aspects, but it begins with selecting your team.
There are many ways to play Bounty Hunt:
- Solo queue.
- Queue with premade group.
- Queue with 1 random.
- Queue with 2 randoms.
Each of them has their benefits, but here are some things to be aware of:
- Random partners will judge your Loadout and Prestige level harshly. Try not to take it personally.
- Premades will always be the best way to play (unless you're trying to meet new friends!).
- Use discord or another 3rd party VOIP software. It's simply the best way to play.
- Solo Queue is good for getting Steam Achievements or doing other challenges, or goofing off (but so is premades?).
Solo Queue is unfortunately never the best way to get max XP from your game. Even a totally belligerent random queue will give you XP from his zombie kills and has the potential to pick you up, even if he runs in an opposite direction as you.
The entire rest of this guide will assume that you are playing with some kind of team.
Playing with your Team
You should always be aware of your teammate's location and game condition, and be mindful of them. Try to be no further than 1 large building's distance away from your teammates, but not hiding behind the same piece of cover.
You can view your team's location in 2 ways:
- Looking at them through walls (with a blue outline).
- Opening the map.
Very rarely should you find yourself in a different compound from your teammate.
Your teammates game condition includes many things, namely:
- Equipped weapons.
- Health status (including being downed, on fire, missing healthbars, etc).
- Which enemies they are engaging.
- Out of Ammo or Reloading status.
- Advancing or Retreating.
Consider it your responsibility to know these things, especially the immediately observable ones. Your teammate's condition should affect how you play.
For random teams, it is not uncommon for there to be very little or no voice communication.
This is because Hunt: Showdown uses local Voice Chat, and other teams may be able to hear. It is not disrespectful for a teammate to not respond, and please be mindful of the possibility of other teams being nearby.
The pinging tool is widely used, both in premades and random queues. This allows you to point at whatever is under your crosshair and share it with your team only. Other teams cannot hear or see pings.
A double-clicked ping is a universal language for "Hunters Here" or otherwise "Something very important"
Being able to ping effectively and read pings can dramatically improve your experience.
Obviously, the most ideal form of communication is a 3rd party VOIP software, but can only be used with a premade group.
The strategy in Hunt: Showdown begins before the matchmaking queue even takes place. Your loadout will determine the upper limit of how effective you can be for your team.
There are many possible loadouts in Hunt: Showdown, but only a small subset of them are viable.
I define a viable loadout as being prepared for any possible encounter.
If there are any types of encounters for which your only plan is to avoid them, then your loadout is not viable.
Your loadout should be prepared for all of the following encounters:
- Close quarter battles with enemy Hunters.
- Long range firefights with enemy Hunters.
- Medium range encounters with enemy Hunters.
- Melee killing an Immolator.
- Melee killing an Armored.
- Killing lots of grunts.
- Killing a boss monster.
- Needing to Heal yourself.
Not all loadouts are created equal, and your loadout is expected to be better at one encounter than others, but there should never be an encounter for which you are completely unprepared.
You should be mindful of what Loadout your teammates are choosing, and ideally your Loadout will be better at a different encounter than theirs, but you should not plan on your teammate being able to help you in a particular encounter.
Your teammate having a scoped rifle is not an excuse to not bring a ranged weapon.
You should have a weapon which is effective at any possible engagement range. If you are ever in an encounter where you find yourself unable to contribute because of your weapons, you have failed to choose a viable loadout.
Bad Loadouts and Why
Combat Axe & Crossbow
All crossbows have a maximum effective range of 45. They are medium range weapons. They can be used in CQB in a pinch. The combat axe is a CQB weapon. There is no long range capability. You have only 1 immediately available shot before needing to reload.
Bomblance & Chain Pistol
The bomblance is a CQB weapon, and can be used badly at medium range. The chain pistol with fanning is also a CQB weapon, and can be used badly at medium range. Still better than Axe and crossbow though. 18 available shots.
Two pairs of pistols
Although tempting, dual wielded pistols are all CQB and Medium range weapons, even the Uppercut. Due to the inaccuracies from dual wielding, they cannot be effectively used at Long range.
Springfield Compact and Rival Handcannon
We're getting closer, but still not there. This loadout is OK for long range encounters and CQB, but will die in medium range encounters. 3 available shots.
Sparks and Pax
The Sparks is a great long range weapon, and the Pax is a serviceable medium range weapon. Neither is great at CQB without adding any traits... Survival in CQB is entirely dependent on hitting headshots (although some skilled players can do this, but I'm assuming you are a potato)
How to fix bad loadouts
This is the longest-range size 1 weapon in the game. If you equip a size 3 CQB weapon such as a shotgun, crossbow, or bomblance, this weapon is a must. It can also be made into an effective CQB weapon with fanning.
Nagant Officer / Dolche / Bornheim
Single action pistols simply do not cut it for CQB battle. If you equip a full-sized rifle, you simply must have a double-action or autoloading pistol. (or...)
Spring Field Compact / Mosin Nagant Obrez
These are both long-range size 2 weapons. They come in several varieties each. The Mosin has added medium-range capability, but at the cost of ammunition pool (must resupply more frequently) They are useful for...
This allows you to take a compact rifle with a size 3 CQB weapon, or to take a compact shotgun with a size 3 bolt action rifle, or take dual pistols with a full sized rifle. Quartermaster will improve any build with the exception of Fanning builds. Quartermaster and Fanning cannot both be benefited from using the same loadout.
Although breech-loading rifles often have longer ranges and higher damage than bolt actions, they sacrifice medium-range capability. The Karabiner, Mosin Nagant, and Lebel can cover Long and Medium ranges, allowing you to use your other slot for a dedicated CQB weapon.
The lever action rifle is a purpose-built Medium Range weapon. It leaves much to be desired at both Long and CQB ranges. Taking the levering skill makes it serviceable in CQB, leaving your last weapon slot available for Long range. Works well with Quartermaster.
Doesn't really need to be said, but Fanning adds CQB capability to single-action revolvers.
Believe it or not, many people forget to bring a blunt weapon to be able to kill Immolators, or any melee weapon at all.
An immolator can be reliably killed with a full-sized rifle buttstock, or with knuckle dusters. They shouldn't be killed with Axes, Sabres, Knives, or Bayonets.
An Armored can be reliably killed with a knife or bayonet, but not with dusters or a buttstock. (such is the duality of Hunt)
And don't ever forget to bring a Medkit and at least 1 Health shot.
Different game-states require different approaches to movement. I can't think of a better way to name them, so deal with it.
When there is no chance or no reason to believe that another group is nearby, then your movement can be basically unrestricted. You can climb ladders, vault over low walls, sprint, melee attack enemies, and shoot silent weapons. Strongly avoid shooting loud weapons, as this will attract hunter attention and greatly decrease your chances of surprising another group. (You will be surprised instead)
Even in Green Condition, you still need to be aware of your surroundings. If you do not keep aware of your surroundings, you may miss key indicators or clues to the presence of other teams nearby.
The game starts in Green Condition.
When you have observed signs that other players may be less than 1 compound away, your movement should become more conservative. Hearing non-distant gunshots, hearing crows, hearing sprinting, or simply approaching a new compound, these should all move to Amber condition. Avoid sprinting, avoid aggroing enemies, avoid animals. Do not shoot any weapons. Avoid melee killing. Crouching is not required, but may be useful to avoid aggroing enemies.
If there is another spawn point on the other side of your 1st compound, you should enter the compound in Amber Condition.
Be even more aware of your surroundings than Green Condition. Check the horizon with scopes.
For whatever reason, you will sometimes find yourself in very close proximity to another team when they are not aware of your location (especially if you are approaching a banishing bounty).
This condition requires the utmost of care. Generally speaking, whichever player becomes sighted first under this condition will lose the impending PVP encounter.
Crouching is required. Do no aggro any enemies. Do not reload weapons or equip any noisy weapons like molotovs.
Try to stay in Red Condition until you have a good shot on the enemy. Getting the first kill will greatly increased your chance of wiping the enemy team.
Moving as a Team
You should always move as a team. Do not move onto another compound without your teammates unless there is some exceptional circumstance.
Try to be aware of what condition your teammates are in. If your teammates are sneaking or moving slowly, assess your surroundings to see why they are doing that.
Keep in mind, just because your teammate is somewhere nearby doesn't mean it's safe to sprint there. They may have crouched past an enemy which you will aggro by running or sprinting.
It's very unwise and rude to Sprint directly up to a teammate which is sneaking and hiding in cover. Any nearby zombies will follow you to them, and any hunters will be looking directly at the two of you.
There are dominant strategies to fighting AI enemies. I will share them here:
Immolators have one of the highest detection radii of all the enemies in the game. They are also some of the most annoying to deal with. Thus, special care must be taken to avoid aggro'ing them.
When moving around the world, do not sprint whenever you can see or hear an immolator nearby. Running may be fine, but crouching may be necessary at certain distances.
This also applies to other special enemies such as hives and hellhounds.
Immolators can be defeated by 4 heavy attacks from either the Dusters or a size 3 buttstock. Avoid using sharp weapons, or shooting.
The Hive is an enemy best avoided. They make a great deal of noise when aggro'd and release a hard to avoid attack. Aggro'ing a hive will most likely reveal your position to any nearby hunters less than a compound away, which is bad.
Hives can be dealt with using silent weapons, but avoidance is preferable when possible.
Bosses / Bounties
Bosses are best dealt with using environmental melee weapons such as the Axe and Sledgehammer. Bosses cannot leave their lair, and you can take advantage of this by attacking them and then retreating outside.
Bosses suffer a small stun after being hit by a heavy melee attack, but this cannot be done multiple times in succession. This can be abused by attacking a boss, retreating, and letting stamina recharge, all without taking any damage from the boss.
It is not advised to try to hit the boss multiple times in a row, as they will not be stunned by subsequent hits and you will take damage. Stick to the above strategy and you won't get downed by the AI boss and need to be picked up by your laughing teammates.
It's also not advised to wander far from the entrance to the lair. If you do this, you may be in an unfavorable position when enemy hunters eventually show up.
It's also not advised to use loud weapons to kill the boss. Prolonged shooting attracts hunters. You are better off killing the boss silently and having a lair to hide in than getting caught off guard while the boss is still alive.
When the shooting starts, all of your attention should go toward PVP until the threat is gone.
Disengage any boss monsters if you are fighting them, and temporarily suspend any searches for ammo, clues, or other things.
Do whatever you need to do to get to a position of cover, reach your optimal weapon range. Try to expose yourself to as few enemies at a time as possible to minimize the amount of incoming fire.
Try to coordinate your attacks with your teammates, you should attack together. If your teammates are in combat first, go and try to help them. If you are taking fire first, you should take cover and alert your teammates (and hope they come help you instead of hiding).
Generally speaking, whoever is taking fire should be focused on taking cover and evading, and team members who aren't taking fire should be firing at the enemy.
Movement while in Combat
Movement while in combat is different than outside of combat. Try to always be aware of the enemy position or likely enemy positions, and position yourself to have cover from those locations.
Sprinting is OK when you have been spotted, or when you are moving from cover to cover. Crouching is recommended when you have gone undetected for a while.
When you are inevitably shot, it is important to sprint for cover.
Do not try to heal yourself while retreating!
Healing items slow you down below the speed of normal walking, and make you a very easy target. Only begin healing once you are behind cover, and preferably when you have a teammate covering you.
You should never be completely still. Try to strafe back and forth frequently to avoid getting headshot by a sniper.
When your Teammates are Down
Reviving your teammates should be a high priority on your list of things to do, but your own safety comes first. If you go down, you won't be picking up anybody.
Before you attempt to revive your teammates, you need to make sure the area is clear of hunters. Hunters will definitely watch downed hunters. Either kill the enemy hunters, or evade/hide until they move on to other things.
If you must revive your teammate while still in combat, try to do so as discreetly as possible. Do not sprint up to your teammate, that's a good way to get killed.
Sometimes there is no correct decision when a teammate is burning and the enemy hunters outnumber you or refuse to leave. Trying to challenge them or retreating are both options.
Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor. That is to say, retreating can sometimes be the best option.
Recognizing the decisions you make in-game and thinking them through can greatly improve your performance.