Strategies for having a relaxed game as a solo player in Hunt: Showdown.
How to Play Solo Easy
This guide aims to explain some strategies for casual solo play in Hunt: Showdown.
I’m not a very good player, but I am having fun. If you need a guide that lets you 360 noscope noobs for great internet points, look elsewhere. In this guide, we do casual. It’s the way I like to play, and I think it’s a style of playing the game that’s fairly accessible, fun and not too stressful. If you don’t like it, fair enough, go and do something else.
This guides deals with the Bounty Hunt mode. It is not applicable to the Quickplay mode. Any sections on fighting deal only with fighting against other Solos and Duos; if you play against Trios then fighting as a solo becomes very inadvisable.
This guide assumes that you have at least a little experience with the game, that you know its basic mechanics, and that you have levelled up your bloodline sufficiently to have access to some essential equipment. It also assumes that you can do math and that you know basic FPS tactics.
I will try not to waste your time, so let’s get to it.
This guide will explain step-by-step how to kit out your hunter, how to approach a round of Bounty Hunt, how to hopefully win it or else how to get out alive, and then how to spend your upgrade points.
I repeat: All advice in this guide is meant for solo play. Playing without a team. It’s you against the world.
There are two things to look for when recruiting new hunters: Health and Traits.
Health is simple – the more small bars or chunks a hunter has, the better. Big bars let you regenerate small wounds without needing to actively heal, but that’s really only relevant for fall damage and fighting monsters, and you can handle both of those easily. Small bars let you revive yourself with less permanent damage, which is far more important. So! Small bars good, big bars bad.
Level 2 and level 3 hunters you recruit will come with a few Traits. You can see which traits I consider valuable in the section on Traits. The important things to note here are that 1) some traits cost more points than others and 2) you can remove traits and get a refund for their cost minus one point. So you should either recruit hunters with good traits, or recruit hunters with expensive traits that you can then get a refund for, which you then invest into good traits.
Take note! This last point lets you customize a freshly recruited Hunter with a handful of important traits, so it’s very important to keep in mind.
Other than that, you get a free reshuffle of available recruits after each game, so check out the available hires after each round you play, and recruit that ones that have good health and good and/or expensive traits.
For guns, take whatever you like. No, seriously. Take what works well for you. You need to experiment a little. You will die in gunfights as you do so. Sooner or later you’ll figure out which guns let you actually make a stand and even win fights.
Below, I’ll quickly lay out my favorites, but that’s really subjective.
I generally favor medium-range loadouts. My shooting isn’t good enough for sniping duels, and I find that at very close range I tend to get best results by just going into melee.
First off, bring a rifle so you can defend yourself out in the open. Anything with decent range is good. I personally like the Vetterli Karabiner as a good generalist weapon, but almost anything works. Single-shot rifles like the Springfield can also be fine, but you need to play a little more carefully to work around the low rate of fire. If you have a scope, that’ll give you an advantage at long range, if you don’t then the rifle will be easier to use at short range. This should all be obvious. There are many rifles in the game; you’ll find one that works for you.
I would not generally recommend taking a shotgun as your primary weapon, but of course you can get that to work as well. It just leaves you somewhat naked in open areas, so I prefer not to.
I recommend the Scottfield Spitfire. It’s reasonably cheap, has good stats all around, and fires very quickly for a single-action revolver. Also looks good.
Secondary weapon If your hunter has Quartermaster:
Take a Romero Handcannon for your secondary, possibly the Romero Handcannon Hatchet variant.
Of all the two-slot weapons, and assuming that you cannot just land headshots on demand, the Romero Handcannon gives you the best odds of knocking out another hunter in one shot. Very often you really have to end a fight in one shot, or else it’s the other guy who lands a headshot or knocks you flat with his own shotgun. It only works at very short range, of course, but often enough that’s exactly the range at which you will fight.
Secondary weapon if your hunter has Fanning:
I’d say go with the Scottfield, ideally the Swift variant. It’s a decent pistol all around, and very pretty. It also has low hipfire spread, making fanning somewhat less unreliable. That said, I don’t recommend fanning – shotguns will kill you before you get your second shot off, and you’re likely to miss most of the time.
Extra loadout if your hunter has Ambidextrous:
Take a Scottfield Precision and two Scottfield Swift. The precision is decent up to medium range, though its damage is somewhat low, and the two Swifts are probably your best bet for getting anything out of dual-wielding. Dual-wielding and not bringing a rifle are not actually good ways to stay alive, but other hunters will be awed by your panache. It is not a very good loadout, but your corpse will be admired.
You’ll want a melee weapon. If your primary or secondary weapon has a bayonet or other melee attachment, or even is a melee weapon outright, then you can skip this. I personally like the Big Knife because it looks cool, but anything works here.
Another essential tool is the First-Aid Kit. It contains 150 HP and, like all tools, can be recharged at toolboxes. Very convenient for those cases when you want to heal up but can’t find a health kit nearby.
Everything else is less critical. A few items of note below:
The Choke Bomb is less critical for solo players than for teams since you’ll never need to extinguish a burning teammate, but it’s still useful for laying smokescreens that give away the position of any hunter that walks through them. Also, they instant-kill immolators.
Fusees and the Flare Pistol are great for instant-killing annoying monsters like Hives that you cannot melee, or Concertina Armoreds that you don’t want to melee, or just anything that you don’t have time to deal with but that needs to get out of your way. Just don’t try to use them on Immolators and Meatheads.
Traps are fun. You won’t have quite as much time to place traps as a solo as you would have in a team, since nobody’s watching your back, but they are still situationally useful. And fun. So much fun when another hunter steps into one. Great for securing your hidey-hole while you wait for the bounty to be banished.
I personally carry the following:
- One healing shot (vitality or regeneration) to help survive long-range gunfights
- One stamina shot to quickly run to extraction. This becomes unnecessary once you have the Magpie trait.
- A sticky bomb to quickly kill bosses and meatheads. Does not work on the Assassin.
- A Big Dynamite Bundle to very quickly kill bosses. Note that this only becomes viable once you have the Necromancer trait.
Traits are in the order in which you should get them. Most important ones come first.
Essential traits – must-have, in my opinion. Skip them at your peril.
Lets you revive yourself after at least 10 seconds of being downed
This is the central component of the relaxed solo play style. The ability to revive yourself is available only to solo players, and it makes all the difference.
You are fully healed when reviving yourself
This one makes the difference between reviving yourself one cherry-tap away from death, and reviving yourself ready to take on the world (minus one health chunk). Extremely important for any revives where enemy hunters are still around.
You can interact with clues and bounties from a distance
This opens up many strategic options that allow you to remain relatively safe, or in a strong position, reducing the need to expose yourself while hunting your bounty. Very, very useful.
You get regeneration, stamina and antidote buffs when claiming a bounty, and double the dark sight boost!
This trait costs one point, yet it does so much for you! Of course, it only does any of that when you claim the bounty. Magpie lets you grab the Bounty and immediately start running, laughing madly and not giving a ♥♥♥♥ about anything, right for the exit.
Gives you health and stamina boosts when picking up a clue
For three points this may not seem worthwhile, but oh trust me, it is. With this you can run from clue to clue, never stopping to rest, and maximize your odds of being the first to run into the boss. Very useful.
Reduces the range at which animals notice you
Very nice. Makes you give away your position less often.
- Aim-down-sight traits
Iron Repeater, Iron Sharpshooter, Iron Devastator, Deadeye Scopesmith, Marksman Scopesmith and Sniper Scopesmith all make it so that you remain in aim-down-sights when you cycle your gun, which helps with tracking your targets for follow-up shots and also increases your rate of fire. Pick the one that applies to your rifle of choice.
There is also the Steady Aim trait, which reduces sway over time for scopes. Might be nice to add here if you do use a scope.
This one only gets half a rank (don’t ask me how that works) because depending on your gun preferences, you may simply not need it, in which case you should obviously skip it. But if your gun loadout of choice requires quartermaster, then this is a good point to get it at.
Recommended traits – always good to have, but you can make do without.
- Gator Legs
Walk faster through water and make less noice while doing so
Often very handy for traversal. Of course you can also just minimize the time you spend in water, but not needing to do so is nice. Gator Legs is nice.
Less fall damage
Another traversal trait. This is great for solos especially because it lets you hide in high places, then suddenly jump out for an ambush or run away when the time is right.
Make less noise while climbing
Stealth is good. This makes it easier to play sneaky.
Make less noise when switching weapons
Same as above, stealth is good.
Good traits – good to have, but just not urgent.
- Hipfire traits
These are Fanning and Levering. Situationally strong, depends greatly on which guns you are using, but overall very unreliable.
First-aid-kits heal 100 instead of 50 HP
Highly situational. Often you will not have time to bandage up, so it can’t help you. And in other places you’ll have all the time in the world so it doesn’t hurt to just bandage twice or even look for a health kit in the world. But sometimes you don’t have a health shot, and you do have just enough time to use your first aid kit once, and then you’ll be happy to have Doctor.
- Everything else
All the traits are useful somehow. If you want one of them, go and get them!
Tides of Shadows event traits
The Tides of Shadows event has some special traits you may want. I’ll cut this very short, however:
- Play until you have one of the event trait points to spend.
- Look for one of the event supply wagons in the world.
- Pledge yourself to the Primal Pact. By far the most useful for a solo player.
- Get the Instinct trait, which gives your Dark Sight a reddish particle effect when hunters are nearby. Extremely useful!
- Earn more event trait points.
- Get the Relentless trait, which makes it so that you don’t lose a health chunk when being downed. Synergizes very nicely with Necromancer and Resilient. It’s a so-called Burn Trait, however, so it’s lost after one use and you’ll want to reacquire it.
Alright. Your hunter is recruited, equipped and hopefully has some decent traits. Maybe he already survived a few rounds. Let’s go into another round of Bounty Hunt. I recommend playing only against Duos, since that will give you decent odds of being able to turn a fight in your favor, but if you want to be more sneaky and less shooty then you can try playing against Trios.
Start the round. Survive the loading screen. You are now in the Bayou.
First off, check your map. Memorize the extraction points. See which bosses there are. If one of them is the Butcher or Scrapbeak and he’s not on the other end of the map, you want that guy. The Spider is doable. The Assassin is bad news, try to avoid that guy. Now check your darksight. Find the closest clue. Reload your gun if it can hold any more rounds. Wait for the match to start. Then run towards the first clue like crazy.
Moving between Compounds
Be fast, or be quiet, or be both. Avoid noise traps like animals, don’t pick any fights that you don’t have to unless they’re in your way and going around would take too long, always stay close to cover and concealement, avoid areas without cover, and don’t waste any time. If you trigger a noise trap, then don’t ♥♥♥♥ around, you already stopped being quiet, everyone knows where you are, kill everything that moves and run away, then start being quiet again.
Approaching a Compound
Do you have the Instinct trait? If so, regularly enter Dark Sight. If everything is normal, then just go grab the clue and move on. But if you see floating orange embers, then at least one other hunter is nearby. It’s Ambush Time! Go to the relevant section.
Do you have the Serpent trait? If so, get close enough to the clue to interact with it via Serpent, find a good hiding place, and grab the clue and move on.
If you don’t have either Trait, then try to make it to the clue as quickly and quietly as you can. When you get close enough, you might see either white or reddish sparks flying off of it. White means you’re alone. Red means you are not. Red means it’s Ambush Time! And go to the relevant section. The red sparks are also accompanied by a very distinct audio cue that you might hear long before you see the clue, so pay attention to that. But if the clue is white and all is well, then just grab it and move on.
Other hunters are nearby! Maybe your Instinct trait told you so, maybe the clue in the compound made weird noises and emitted red sparks, or maybe you just plain heard or saw other hunters. In any case, you now know that you are not alone.
What you do not know, however, is whether they know the same. They might have noticed you or not. You’ll never know until they start shooting. So let’s not waste much time; your priority right now is to turn this 1vs2 into a 1vs1. You have two options:
- Be methodical. Try to find a good location for yourself – someplace high up, with a good field of fire, lots of cover, and at least one escape route. At the same time, keep track of where the others are. If they happen to pass by explosive barrels, and you happen to have incendiary ammo or a flare pistol or a rapid-fire gun, you might try blowing them up. If they walk into a dead end, consider blasting them with a well-cooked grenade or dynamite. If they walk out into the open, shoot them. If they walk into your hiding place, shoot and/or stab them. In any case, proceed to the Gunfight! section.
- Be very quick. Run them over. Get them before they realize what’s happening. This is only viable at short range, so ready your shotgun or knife. In any case, proceed directly to the Gunfight! section.
It’s very simple. If you can turn the 1vs2 into a 1vs1, perhaps by landing a headshot, or because one of them was wounded, or because he was slow and let you put multiple rounds into him, then it’s a fair fight. If you fail to do that and your opponents start outflanking you, then you should consider retreating along a path with good concealement. If no such path exists, then you may be better off making a stand. If you have laid traps, those might help. Try moving through the compound to catch them by surprise. Always reposition after shooting. Avoid areas that are visible from outside the compound, because a third team will show up sooner or later.
If you win, yay! It was exciting! Experience points for you! If you lose, congratulations you’re dead. Let’s hope you learned something. Proceed to the Revival section.
In other news, if you play against Trios, then you should always retreat as soon as you can. By all means, kill when it seems safe to do so, but never stick around longer than necessary. You can’t realistically turn a 1vs3 into a fair fight.
This section only works for solo players with the Necromancer trait.
So you’re dead. Maybe someone punched you in the face. Maybe you got shot in the gut. Maybe you bled out, burnt to death, or succumbed to poison. Maybe a dog ate you. Maybe you’ve been blown into a million pieces by an explosion. Alright. It happens. Take a break.
Now, do you have the Necromancer trait? If so, hold on for a moment. There’s a button on your screen that lets you just get back up. It activates 10 seconds after you died. But listen closely! Are there hunters still moving around you? If so, it may be be better to wait until they’re gone. Unless you can hear them busy themselves in a firefight, in which case they’re probably too distracted to stand guard over your corpse.
Speaking of, there are several dangers when reviving yourself:
- Hunters standing guard, ready to shoot you. The longer you wait before reviving yourself, the less likely this becomes. Your odds of surviving this increase astronomically with the Resilience trait, which makes you heal up fully (minus missing health chunks) when reviving. Note that you do still lose a health chunk every time you are downed.
- Traps placed right under you. Nothing you can do but power through it – just patch yourself back up ASAP, and try not to trigger any more traps after getting up.
- Hunters taking your guns and shooting away all your ammo, then giving the guns back. Nothing you can do here – be prepared to whip out your knife once you’re back on your feet.
- Fire. Ouchie. Fire sucks. Fire means you can’t wait too long before reviving yourself, or else you’ll get up without even fewer health chunks, so even the Resilience trait can’t help you much anymore. If you’re on fire, then no matter what you do, it’s a gamble. Good luck. Get up too early and you get shot by the guy who just set you on fire. Wait too long and you risk losing another health chunk. Try to die in water, I guess, or pop a smoke bomb on you before you die? The Salveskin trait can buy you extra time here. Sooner or later you’ll have to get up, and hopefully whoever tried to burn you is already gone. In my opinion it’s best to wait until your first health chunk is almost burned, then get up and put out the fire. At the worst, you’ll get shot and you lose another chunk. But if you stay down to burn longer, you also lose it, so better take your chances and get up, Solo! Nobody’s coming to rescue you!
No matter what, it’s risky. You get several tries, but there is no guarantee that the players who downed you aren’t sticking around to make sure you stay in the ground. They usually don’t, having better things to do, but some people just are cruel like that. Just be thankful when people neither burn nor camp your corpse, and try to pay it forward by being nice to the next guy you kill.
It helps, by the way, to keep a large distance from other players. In a long-range firefight you may be able to revive yourself before your opponents even manage to reach your corpse, so all the dangers above don’t come into play.
But the only way to be truly safe is not do get downed in the first place.
Argh, others got to the bounty before you could! They’ve started the banishing, and now you only have a few minutes to get your things in order. Quickly ask yourself some questions:
- Do you want to run in, guns blazing, and try to kill whoever is doing the banishing before it is finished? If so, do that. It’s risky, but it’ll surely be exciting. Proceed to the Gunfight! section.
- Do you think it’s another Solo who banished the boss? If so, sneak in close and proceed to the Banishment section. The Solo will always leave one of the two bounty marks for you to grab.
- Do you have the Serpent trait and you think it’s a Duo that killed and banished the boss, say, because you saw them, or you heard many different kinds of guns being fired? If so, then also proceed to the Banishment section, but keep in mind that if the others both pick up a bounty mark as soon as the Banishment is complete, then there is little you can do.
- You don’t think you have any realistic odds of grabbing a bounty mark before the others do, and it’s too late to stop them, but you still want to pick a fight. Well, make your best guess as to where they’ll extract to, and set up an ambush either en route or near the extraction point. This is risky business no matter how you go about it, so don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t work out, and be ready to just retreat and extract.
So maybe you got your clues and they led you to the boss. Or maybe you just stumbled across the boss by accident. Perhaps other players got there first, you heard all the noise, and then you went in and killed them and now you need to kill the boss. In any case, here’s how you take down those big guys as painlessly as possible.
First off, make sure there are no other hunters nearby. If there are, then those guys are your priority, and not the boss. Back off, wait for them to engage the boss, then proceed to the Ambush Time! section. But now let’s talk slaying.
If you don’t have the Necromancer trait:
Throw a sticky bomb at the boss. If you have two, then throw both. Then run away so they don’t explode near you. Come back when they’ve blown up. Finish off the boss by oil lamp, gunfire or more explosives.
If you do have the Necromancer trait:
Wait until you see the white in the boss’ eyes. Grab your Big Dynamite Bundle. Light the fuse. Stay close to the boss. Shout that god is great, then turn both yourself and the boss into a million pieces of thin, red paste smeared all over the compound walls.
Now, if you’ve been careless and there actually were other hunters nearby, good job, you’re dead, surrounded, trapped, probably about to be set on fire, and you lost out on the banishment.
But if not, then congratulations! Pull yourself together from your atomized state by clicking that Revive button, walk over to the boss and banish it. Presto, you’re healthy again as if you had never set off seven sticks of dynamite in your face.
Oh, and if the boss is the Assassin? Don’t bother. It’s too risky. Let others do the heavy lifting for you. Or just extract. You don’t need to bring home a bounty in every run.
So the boss is dead and being banished.
Now, if you have the Serpent trait, find a good hiding place nearby, within Serpenting range of the bounty, and with a good escape route towards an extraction point. Hide there. Place traps if you have them, but try not to draw attention. Remember where you need to point your Dark Sight to serpent up the bounty, so you don’t waste valuable seconds once the banishment is complete.
If you don’t have the Serpent trait, then consider either calling it a day and extracting now, or stay near the bounty. If you do stay, place all the traps at your disposal, throw choke bombs to create noise traps, throw poison grenades and concertina to make it even more difficult for other hunters to approach, and make sure not to expose yourself to any outside viewers. If you are seen, you’ll get shot.
If you don’t have the Magpie trait, then shortly before the banishment is complete you should inject your regeneration and stamina shots to help you reach the extraction point.
And that’s it. If you managed to claim the bounty, continue to the Extraction section.
So you’ve claimed the bounty. Do a quick 360° in Dark sight to find out where enemy hunters might be, then run in the opposite direction from them. Since you have a stamina boost either from the Magpie trait or from the Stamina Shot you injected previously, it’ll be impossible for anyone to catch up with you.
This also means that you may consider running to the furthest-away extraction point instead of to the closest one, since the closest is most likely to have ambushers sitting on it. But running all the way through the map increases your odds of stumbling across other hunters by accident, and it gives other hunters more time to check the map, track your movements, and possibly head you off if they’re in a convenient position.
No matter which extraction point you run towards, there is no guarantee that you’ll make it there without a fight. But the faster you are, the lower the odds of needing to fight become.
Don’t bother picking a fight with any pursuers. Don’t let them slow you down. When you have the bounty, everyone knows where you are and everyone wants a piece of you – stealth is worthless now, fighting is extremely risky, speed is your only strength.
The only situation in which you should make a stand and fight, while carrying the bounty, is if your opponents are very close and there is no cover nearby to run through. In other words, when running away would give them a clear shot at your back. In this case, go back to the Gunfight! section.
When you approach an extraction point, be sure to use your Boosted Dark Sight to check for ambushers. If there are any, turn 90° and run to another extraction point. Don’t give them what they want.
If you made it to an extraction point, keep periodically scanning your surroundings with Dark Sight. If enemy hunters approach, immediately throw everything you have at them – grenades, choke bombs, flares, gunfire. Anything to slow them down. Try to keep them from interrupting your extraction.
If they do make it close enough to stop your extraction, but they are careful about it and don’t come closer than they need to, then run away to another extraction point. Most people do not expect this. But if they try to truly try to rush you and they don’t give you any space, well, yours is but to do and die. Try to kill them before they kill you. Good luck.
But most of the time you’ll be faster than them, and you’ll extract unimpeded. Good job! That’s money for gear and XP for more traits!
Tl;dr: Traits make all the difference. A solo hunter without the right traits is one mistake away from death. A solo hunter with the right traits still needs to play well to win, but can afford to make many more mistakes on the way.