Which character/weapon/equipment is the best? How do you win more and die less?
Guide to Basics
Alright, so the first choice you really have to make when starting the game is which character (or class) you want to play. I'm going to go over each one and then tell you who my top picks are:
- Access to the Minigun.
- 5 blocks of health.
- Passive healing of unbroken health blocks.
- Static barricade (shock fences).
- Short health regen and defense buff ability.
The most notable thing about Rosy is that she is the only character who can use the Minigun. A word of caution though: the Minigun isn't always the best thing to use. It does low damage despite its rate of fire until you grind out some upgrades for it. It's obviously not the most accurate, and you also have to manage an overheat meter and keep feeding it ammunition. When I play as Rosy, I tend to prefer using the Shotgun/Machine gun
Rosy does have high health, which makes her the tankiest character in the game, though honestly her abilities are pretty lackluster. The passive healing is negligible, and the static barricades are a little tricky and time consuming to deploy and utilize. Her regen/buff ability might save you in a pinch, but not always.
- Access to the Grenade Launcher.
- 2 blocks of health.
- Surprise attack awareness.
- Can highlight nearby enemies.
- Precision orbital laser.
Amir is the only character with access to the Grenade Launcher, and boy is it a doozy. It does massive damage to anything you point it at, but until you get upgrades for it, be prepared to deal with a slow rate of fire, and a slow reload. Also, you should probably be the guy calling in all the ammo drops, because you will make sure there is always ammo on the field.
To counter his grenade launcher, Amir has the lowest health pool in the game. His passive is almost unnoticeable, and his surveillance skill... just shows you that there are, as always, dinos near you. It might have a little bit of value to teams who are struggling however. The orbital laser is super cool and relatively powerful, yet hard to control and master.
- Can wield 2 Primary Weapons.
- 3 blocks of health.
- Dash/jump ability.
- Adrenaline mode?
Ortega can pretty much use any weapon in the game except for the Minigun and Grenade Launcher. This allows her to fill a more flexible combat role and still be a frontline competitor. Unless you're playing solo, it's easier to justify having her bring different supply drops or equipment.
Ortega has a respectable health pool, but foregoes an actual passive ability by being allowed to carry 2 Primary Weapons. She has incredible dodge/movement utility, and when paired with a high fire rate weapon and good aim, her combat high ability can turn you into an unstoppable force.
- Can take less aggro.
- 3 blocks of health.
- Satchel charges.
- Temporary "invisibility".
Jürgen would appear to be your sniper or backline support character, but he can actually make use of other Primary Weapons to get closer to the fight. As the case is with ortega, he can usually be more flexibly outfitted with a supply drop other than ammunition.
Somewhat to my surprise, I actually feel that Jürgen makes a better brawler than a sniper. His passive is really only useful if you aren't already drawing aggro, which is a bit of a bummer if you play him like I do. His satchel charges offer excellent damage, so I like to stay close to groups of enemies or bigger dinos to utilize them. In an emergency, you can use his Mask Scent ability to essentially drop all of your aggro, which works better than you would think even in close range. He might perform better in single player when paired with a properly modified Scout Rifle.
Each character really does have something to bring to the table for different people, but I'll just come out and say this: Amir and Ortega are the best.
I like Amir for one reason and one reason alone: Grenade launcher mayhem.
Ortega, on the other hand, undoubtedly has the highest skill ceiling in the game. She can bring 2 powerful weapons and is incredibly versatile, but that isn't even the best part. Her Dash ability has a very short cooldown (near immediate in Combat High) which is great for players who have a hard time staying alive as well as veterans who just love to dart around in combat or cover distance a little faster. Her Combat High ability is very powerful when used in the right hands, and with a Machine Gun or Shotgun with incendiary ammunition, can be sustained for an incredible amount of time. With time and experience, she can make short work of just about anything.
Weapons & Builds
This is where things start to get a little weird. There are several cool and totally viable weapons that you can make use of, but a couple of them can just break the game in their current state (October 18th, 2020). I'll tell you how they work as well as what the best perks to use on each one are, and then which weapons are my favorite:
Your typical shotgun, slow fire rate and high close range damage, although it can be converted to function a bit differently. Dragon's Breath rounds turn this thing into a whole different beast.
- Useful perks: Double tap, Penetrating Rounds, Sluggish, Focus, Emergency Resupply, Dragon's Breath, Under Pressure, Scythe.
- My build: Sluggish, Dragon's Breath.
Fast, frivolous, and fun. Chews through ammo and overheats, but it does alright. Low damage output can be compensated with perks. Accuracy can be increased by holding down your aim button.
- Useful Perks: Zero Waste, Scraping the Barrel, Auto-Rotator, Thermal Rerouting, Backdraught.
- My Build: Scraping the Barrel, Thermal Rerouting, Backdraught.
Your first new sidearm! Oh boy! It's exactly what you'd expect. High fire rate, moderate-ish damage, and constant reloads. It's still got some viability though.
- Useful Perks: Extended Mag, Deep Pockets, Holster Helper, Weakness Exploitation, Shock Rounds, Rock-Steady.
- My Build: Survival Instincts, Weakness Exploitation, Shock Rounds, Rock-Steady.
The SMGs big brother! Higher damage, lower fire rate, but you're still reloading frequently. It can do some really neat things though. Important to stay on target.
- Useful Perks: Weapon Drilling, Target Bias, Slugshot, High Velocity Rounds, Rock-Steady.
- My Build: Extended Mag, Target Bias, Slugshot.
Your starter sidearm. It can still be made to be quite powerful. Important to use at close range.
- Useful Perks: Extended Mag, Holster Helper, Fully Automatic, CQC-Honed, Target Bias, Burst Fire?
- My Build: Extended Mag, Fully Automatic, CQC-Honed.
It's different than the Assault Rifle! Higher damage, higher fire rate, and less accurate! Important to stay on target, unless you have Smart Ammo!
- Useful Perks: Extended Mag, Sluggish, Penetrating Rounds, High Velocity Rounds, Target Bias, Rock-Steady, Smart Ammo.
- My Build: Penetrating Rounds, Target Bias, Smart Ammo.
Ah, yes, a scoped rifle in a game where everything is rushing you. It can kill the little things quickly, and bigger things if you can land every shot! The Crit tree is far easier to use in single player than multiplayer in my opinion.
- Useful Perks: Weapon Drilling, Resourcefulness, From The Shadows, Ghost, Deadly Efficiency, Iron Sight, Performance Incentive, Unflinching.
- My Build: Resourcefulness, Iron Sight, Performance Incentive, Unflinching.
Boom, boom-boom, boom-boom-boom. In all seriousness, it's devastating in the right hands, and pitiful in the wrong ones. Keep ammo nearby.
- Useful Perks: Weapon Drilling, Volley, Zero Waste, Impact Detonator, Hair Trigger.
- My Build: Weapon Drilling, Volley, Impact Detonator, Hair Trigger.
A great concept, and definitely cool in theory, yet it's rate of fire is very inconsistent. Reasonable damage and nice accuracy with some interesting perks, but it's honestly hard to use.
- Useful Perks: All of them, except for the sight upgrades in my opinion.
- My Build: Weakness Exploitation, Lead Poisoning, Black Widow, Infectious, Double Tap.
It's a revolver, which immediately qualifies it as amazing in my eyes. Fortunately, it's got the performance to match. Practically a pocket Scout Rifle in terms of damage but with a better fire rate, quicker handling, and a good reload speed. Accuracy is recommended. Did I mention that the Revolver is a Revolver?
- Useful Perks: All of them, except for the sight upgrades in my opinion.
- My Build: Zero Waste, Resourcefulness, Snap Shot, Hair Trigger.
One could argue that Idle Hands is essential, but that's a matter of preference.
All of the weapons are viable enough, but a few clearly shine brighter, and 2 of them are potentially game breaking.
Top Primary Weapons: Shotgun, Assault Rifle, Machine Gun, Grenade Launcher.
The Assault Rifle and the Machine Gun are both great for their rate of fire, but with the Slugshot or Smart Ammo perks respectively, the weapons really start to outperform others.
The Shotgun and the Grenade Launcher are just... absurd. The Grenade Launcher, when supplied with plenty of ammunition and utilizing Impact Detonator/Hair Trigger perks will just obliterate everything you point it at. Surprisingly though, the Shotgun with the Dragon's Breath perk can potentially kill the non-Tyrannosaurus dinos faster, and when you unload incendiary rounds into a crowd of dinos, or just use them as area denial, they will absolutely wreak havoc.
- Top Sidearm: Revolver
- The Revolver is a Revolver.
Once you've decided on who to play as and which weapons to bring, the last remaining question is what equipment you should use. Well, allow me to break it down for you:
- Bouncer Mine: Basically a bouncing betty. Place it down, walk a dino into it, and he will go boom.
- Shock Grenade: Supposedly slows dinos down, but relatively ineffective when you actually need to use a throwable.
- Cluster Grenade: A grenade that turns into a bunch of smaller Frag Grenades and covers a wider area.
- Frag Grenade: Yep, it's a Frag Grenade.
- Incendiary Grenade: Does excellent fire damage and denies an area for several seconds.
- Ammo Pack: Drops an ammo box for you to pick up. Can be useful if you're soloing and not using Ammo Drop as your Supply Drop.
I tend to gravitate towards either the Cluster Grenade or the Incendiary Grenade. The Cluster Grenade will usually reach more enemies and do fairly substantial damage in a panicked state, but the Incendiary Grenade will absolutely demolish things in a small area. If you're using the Equipment Drop as your Supply Drop it's pretty viable to just spam Incendiary Grenades everywhere and constantly resupply. They will also really help to eliminate large dinos or their spawn nests.
After a brief delay, drops an airstrike on a moderately sized area. It does respectable damage but it's over quickly.
Deploys Ammo Packs for you to refill your weapons with.
After a brief delay, drops several Bouncer Mines over a moderately sized area. Does very good damage and since all of the mines generally do not go off immediately, it is more sustainable than the Air Strike.
Deploys a Thumper Station which will draw aggro, and then knock things over, occasionally killing a few of the weaker creatures.
Deploys Equipment Packs for you to refill your Grenades & Health Stims with.
Deploys a Heal Station that will... heal you. Probably only useful for players who tend to be less survivable.
When it comes to Supply Drops, you have to consider how many people will be playing. In a team, it's pretty typical to bring the Ammo Drop and Equipment Drop, and if you have a third player I would recommend you to bring Mine Seeding.
If you are playing solo, the logical choice would be to bring the Ammo Drop, however... that may not be necessary. If you're good at conserving your ammunition, it is very sustainable to rely on Mine Seeding to carry you through an entire session, provided that you are good at dodging and constantly stay mobile.
Strategies & Survival
In this section, I'll try to give you some tips and tricks to stay alive, deal more damage, and hopefully have more fun.
First and foremost, it's important to recognize that you will typically be under constant attack from dinos. This is less true in the lowest threat level areas. With that being said, here are some things you can do to minimize your damage taken.
- Remain constantly mobile.
- Learn to use the dodge function effectively.
- Run laps around dinos or zigzag.
- Choose weapons that have status effects.
- Synergize your equipment choices with your weapon choices.
- Remember to utilize melee attacks.
- Use your Supply Drops to damage dinos.
When it comes to fighting larger dinos, side strafing/dodging is key. They all tend to charge forwards at you, so you should step to the side. If you want to take them down quickly, use either my Shotgun or Grenade Launcher build, and you will make very short work of an otherwise lengthy engagement.
Fall damage is something to keep in mind as well. A short-mid length fall will not hurt you but it will stumble you momentarily. After a certain point though, a fall will instantly down you. Usually in an instance where you take a substantial enough fall for that to happen, there aren't immediately any dinos near you so you can somewhat safely revive. This makes jumping off of cliffs to get to a different area a somewhat risk free maneuver.
If you would like to get more stars on the rating system for missions, venture into other zones before extracting and complete various world objectives. This will increase your research score which is valuable in its own right for upgrading weapons, and getting more stars on a mission will give you better and rarer rewards.
Speaking of rarer rewards, if you're looking for dino parts and can't seem to find them, they will likely only drop from dinos in higher threat areas or by getting higher stars on a mission rating. Keep that in mind when grinding for weapon upgrades.
It definitely pays to stay in missions for the long haul to rack up more research points and rewards, but if you need a quick XP stimulus for that next level, consider going on a speedrun. I recommend the mission Vestige, in which you need to gather T-Rex eggs. The main objective can be completed rather quickly, and you can rack up several kills or a quick T-Rex kill whilst you're in the nest. For this mission, I usually bring along my Shotgun, Revolver, and the Mine Seeding supply drop for some added security, although you could also bring the Thumper to keep things off of you while you raid the nest for eggs!