Discover what makes Hunt: Showdown unique and understand its different quirks with these tips for beginners and veterans alike.
Hunt: Showdown is an unusual game - part competitive shooter, and part an Evolve or Monster Hunter-like PvE shooter with a persistent world.
I say persistent, because much like Escape from Tarkov, your character and the loot you earn in a match will all vanish forever if you die. You don’t just lose a round, you lose a character you’ve been levelling up and decking out for days or weeks.
This makes every round incredibly tense, as the stakes are as high as you’re going to get from a game like this. But Hunt: Showdown also has a number of other mechanics under the surface that it doesn’t communicate very well, or at all. All of these factors make Hunt: Showdown one of the best, unique shooters we've played in a while.
Here I’ll break down some that you’ll need to escape alive.
Keep track of how many players you killed
A typical Hunt: Showdown match can only have a maximum of twelve players. You may not immediately run into other players like you would in PUBG or Fortnite, but you’re going to inevitably come across some in your search for the monster.
Everyone will be heading towards the same point, after all, and your paths will intersect. Unlike other last man standing games, there’s no counter that’ll constantly remind you of the number of remaining players. This is by design, as it ratchets up the tension as the match goes on, especially in the Banishing phase where you wait to collect a token from the defeated boss and everyone is alerted to you doing so.
Because of this, you need to try to keep a mental note of how many players your team killed during the round. You may be surprised to see that you killed most of the server, or even all other players, making the end-game a breeze. It’s great to go into the Banishing phase knowing you only have, say, two other players to worry about.
Understanding enemy proximity near clues
If a clue glows red when you look at it in dark sight, that means there’s another human somewhere nearby. Obviously this knowledge should change your approach, but there’s another thing to keep in mind. Once you’ve interacted with a clue, it breaks the seal. If you reach a clue and there’s a broken seal, that means someone has already been here. If it’s red and the seal is not broken, someone is nearby and coming for the same clue.
How to open barricaded doors
We’ve all been there - you’re trying to escape some terror and you run for a door, only to find it is barricaded shut. If you find a window, you can shoot the barricade clear from the other side, opening up a path. This is also handy for clearing an escape route in a building that you’re planning to raid. You can also break doors down by damaging them, either with bullets or by using a massive sledgehammer or any other melee weapon found in the open world - that’s the most efficient method. It’s also worth noting that you open doors more quietly when crouched compared to opening them while standing. You can also sprint and melee doors to open them quickly and bumrush a compound.
Don’t always go for the nearest extraction point
The mind games in Hunt: Showdown start after the Banishing process is concluded. It’s at this point you (and your teammate) will need to take the loot and head to any one of the extraction points around the map and claim the win.
There’s almost always an extraction point closer to where you fought the boss, and it may make sense to head there as soon as you’re done for a speedy getaway. Sometimes, though, you may not want to do that.
Endgame often involves waiting in the bushes for one team to finish off the monster, ambushing them, and taking their hard-earned loot before extracting. If you can predict where the enemy is going to extract from, you can camp an exit, or even better, set up an ambush at the extraction point itself.
In these situations, it’s worth going the long way around to an extraction point that’s a bit farther than the closest one. This will confuse anyone camping outside waiting for you to come out of a certain gate or follow a certain road.
Often, compounds where boss fights take place are bigger than two people could realistically cover without revealing themselves. So campers tend to go all-in watching the exit closest to the nearest extraction point.
Also, camping an extraction point is totally a thing in Hunt: Showdown. Plan accordingly.
Battling over the extraction zone
Once you have your bounty, or if you’re running out of health and want to keep your character alive, it’s time to extract. You can see all the extraction points marked like doorways around the edge of the map. You need to make it to these zones and survive inside of them while a timer ticks down.
Sometimes you will come under attack from campers or other players trying to extract. If any of them enter the extraction zone it freezes your extraction. You also can not extract if your partner is downed - you have to revive them first. Obviously this can work in your favour, since you can down one enemy on a team and camp their body to prevent their teammate from leaving. Remember, you must extract before the map timer ticks down or you lose your character.
Just like with the bleeding status effect, you can hold interact to pull sticky bombs out of your body. Just be sure to move away once it drops to the floor.
Understanding how ravens work
Flocks of ravens will take flight if you get near them in Hunt: Showdown and you can use this mechanic to pinpoint an enemy location. That’s because ravens will always fly away from what triggered them, giving you an angle on whatever disturbed them. Be careful, though, because pro players will sometimes purposely trigger ravens in the opposite direction by tossing a throwable to their other side.
You’ll never have enough ammo to kill everything and everyone
One of the limitations Hunt: Showdown imposes on players that become clear early on is how limited your ammo capacity is. Between your two main weapons, assuming you’re even running with two, you’ll have something like 30 bullets.
You can see how many bullets each weapon holds by switching to it. For this reason, it’s best to only use firearms sparingly.
Instead of using a gun, consider relying on your melee weapons, whether it be the secondary knife or the proper machete, to dispose of fodder enemies. Most smaller NPCs die in one or two hits, so it’s not too much of a problem.
It obviously goes without saying that you should also conserve your ammo when engaging other players. Saving ammo also helps you start the boss fight quicker, without having to run around looking to top up first.
Don’t forget to resupply after the boss fight
Even if you’ve been saving up your ammo for the boss fight, you’re very likely going to run out of ammo mid-fight. In boss rooms, there are usually universal ammo boxes that can supply all weapons on you once, before they’re depleted.
You’ll also find shotgun cartridges and bullet packs lying around in some spots. Make sure to always top up when you can, especially after you’re done killing the boss.
You don’t want to be caught with your pants down if other players get into the boss room to kill you, or if they’re waiting outside in ambush. Realising you only have two bullets left as you’re being shot at is not fun in any game, and it’s even more so here.
Inside the various compounds you’ll also find healing kits that can be used once, just like the ammo supply boxes.
Speaking of supplies, there are multiple supply points around the map that you can use in your journey. They’re marked by the carriage icon on the mini map, so look out for those if you can’t find enough ammo indoors.
We all know that headshots are the best shots for when you want to murder the undead. Still, this is a game where being quiet is your best advantage. That means it’s often better to avoid mobs altogether. One way to make avoidance easier is to cripple enemies by attacking the legs. This works on most enemy types, including the hulking meatheads, and requires you to slash at the legs with a melee weapon. This will cause them to walk slowly, allowing you to slink off into the night.
How to deal with dog and chicken coops
One of the most important things to keep in mind in Hunt: Showdown is how much noise you are making. You should avoid flocks of ravens, hanging chains, and glass bottles smashed on the floor. Stay crouched and move slowly when approaching other players to get the drop on them.
Dog and chicken cages are like Hunt: Showdown’s alarm system. Get near any that are occupied and the animals will make noise, alerting any other players to your position. One good tip for understanding these cages from a distance is to notice whether the cages are red or greyed out - red means occupied and grey means they’re empty and safe to pass. If they are full, you can toss a lantern into the middle of the coop to clear it out quietly. The lantern hanging above the kennel can also be destroyed with bullets, crossbow bolts, and throwing knives. The last two are obviously the quietest options.
How to silently finish off injured horses
As well as dogs and chickens, there are dying horses littered around the map of this messed up world. When you get near, they will cry out in pain, alerting anyone around you. You can obviously mercy kill them by shooting the head, but you’re better off using throwing knives to kill them quietly. You can also throw a lantern at the head, though if you miss the lantern will shatter and set the horse on fire, making even more noise.
How to deal with immolators
Immolators are one of the biggest pains in the arse to fight in Hunt: Showdown if you don’t understand how they work. You have to rewire your brain. Don’t shoot them, because shooting them or attacking with bladed weapons causes them to, well, immolate. That means they can easily inflict fire damage on you. You’re better off using a blunt weapon or bashing them with your gun to kill them more safely. If you’re at a good distance, you can also purposely ignite them with a bullet and wait for them to burn out. It takes around 30 seconds, so make sure you are well away. You can also lure them into water to put their fires out.
Bullet penetration and damage dropoff
There’s no bullet drop in Hunt: Showdown, but there are some things to take into consideration. For example, bullets are not hit scan here. If an enemy is running at a distance, you need to lead them and shoot where they will be when the projectile arrives. The further away they are, the less damage your shots will do. You can also penetrate wood with all long guns, and some high calibre weapons can penetrate metal sheets. The closer you are, the better.
You can find bear traps and trip mines out in the world and you should use them to hinder other hunters. Just place them by any entryways. You can also combine bear traps and trip wires by first placing a tripwire and then placing bear traps beneath it.