With the start of the Moon Serpent event last week, Hunt: Confrontation Developer Crytek has announced that it has reached an all-time high of 38,802 concurrent players on Steam. Hunt can be a very unforgiving game that intimidates new players, but my recent experience learning the ins and outs was one of the most gripping experiences I’ve had in a long time.
There’s a lot going on in the game, but with a few pointers, you can be well on your way to coping in the infested Bayou of Hunt.
WHAT IS HUNT: SHOWDOWN?
Every game of Hunt drops groups of one to three people onto a large map, each trying to hunt down target boss monsters (one or two depending on the map) to kill and extract them with their bounty. In order to pinpoint the location of these creatures, players find clues scattered throughout the level. Find three clues and the location of the monster is placed on your map. During your hunt, you will come into conflict with other monsters of different threat levels, as well as other groups of players vying for the same bounty as you. Once the boss is killed, players must banish it before the bounty becomes available. Banishing places a marker on everyone’s map so everyone knows your location is a place of interest. When bounties are available after banishment, they must be brought to an extraction point. While you hold a bounty, everyone will be able to follow you around the map. The bounty is dropped on death, so a mix of speed and caution is required for a successful extraction.
Before entering a match, you’ll equip your character (recruited from a pool of randomly generated characters or ones you’ve purchased) with a variety of weapons and tools to give you a fighting chance . If your character dies in a match, they’re gone forever, with whatever gear they had. If they survive, you’ll earn upgrade points that can be spent on abilities, allowing you to tailor your upgrades to your preferred playstyle. Even though there is permadeath for your characters, there is a series of unlocks where you will progress with the experience gained from each hunt, unlocking new weapons and upgrades for you to use. Using specific weapons will also unlock variants of the gun, as well as different ammo types. There are also a few bonuses available daily, allowing you to get quick rewards for gaining a certain amount of experience in a day. Even if you end up getting killed in your mission (which will happen often), there’s always room for improvement.
TIPS FOR BEGINNERS
1) SOUND IS KEY
Hunt: Confrontation is an incredibly boring game. The silence of the Louisiana bayou of the 1890s can be shattered by the barking of hellhounds or the crackle of a gunshot, so learning not only to make less noise but to follow audio cues effectively is the key. one of the greatest components of the game.
When taking out simple enemies, try to use silenced weapons (bows, melee, or silenced weapons) to avoid alerting other players to your presence. Also keep your eyes on the surroundings, as objects like birds, glass or horses will make noise and could spoil your approach.
At the same time, be sure to listen to those things as well. The sound design of this game is amazing and best experienced with a pair of headphones so you can pick up directions from the source of the sound. One of the most satisfying moments I’ve had in the game was when I paid attention to the sound cues perfectly and effectively remained quiet. I was crawling through the woods and heard ducks flying away. I knew ducks meant water, so I started going to the nearby river, only to hear someone stepping in the water. I could tell by sound there were two of them, so I hid in a remote bush with my bow. Suddenly I heard bees buzzing, which meant they were fighting a hive creature, and one of them fell down to heal itself. I dropped it quietly from my hiding place and drew my bow again. The dead player’s partner didn’t know where I was since I used a bow, so he approached his dead friend to try to revive him, giving me the opportunity to take him out as well. It was not about me being better in a duel, just being careful and finding the best way to keep my advantage over my opponents.
2) LEARN THE TOOLS OF THE TRADE
As you progress, the number of tools you have can become overwhelming. These break down into weapons, tools, and consumables, and it’s important to find a loadout that works for you. Weapons come in a variety of pistols, shotguns, and rifles, all well balanced with different ammo capacity, reload rate, damage, and effective range. Personally, I try to make sure they complement each other so I’m ready for any situation. You probably want to have at least one silenced weapon, so you can take out NPC enemies without drawing attention, and you probably don’t want both weapons single-shot, because reloading is dangerous in a quick gunfight . . The same goes for distance or near. Don’t stick to the same weapons all the time, try them all out to see which combos work best for you while continuing to unlock more.
Tools and consumables can also make or break a match. Despite the fact that you can find med kits throughout the level, you don’t want to enter a game without at least some form of healing item when you’re stuck and injured. Other important gear can be melee items (great for taking out small monsters without wasting precious ammo), explosives which can be used for high damage or area control, and decoy weapons which can be used to imitate a player’s sound to keep your opponent guessing where you are. Keep shuffling them to make sure you continue unlocking progress, as some of the higher level tools can be extremely useful.
3) KNOW YOUR ENEMY
The creatures scattered around the world look more like environmental hazards than difficult encounters, but that doesn’t mean they’re a breeze. The standard grunts are pretty easy to deal with, while the more advanced creatures definitely require thought about how you approach them, so learning the right strategies is important. Being prepared with the right information is key to going through them easily, so educate yourself. The meatheads “see” through the leeches that follow them. The hive’s head is on the side of its body. And whatever you do, don’t stab an Immolator, instead use something blunt like brass knuckles.
Bosses are a little tougher, but still manageable as long as you know the best approach for each. Once you find their lair, you’re in for some of the longest and most drawn out fights Hunt has to offer, so make sure you’ve stocked up. There will be equipment around the hideout to provide free healing, ammo, or explosives, but you’ll always want to go ready. There’s a wonderful in-game Monster Handbook that unlocks as you play, full of intriguing stories and information about strengths and weaknesses, so be sure to check it out. ‘eye. Remember to keep your head on a swivel while fighting the boss; this may be when another group decides to try and take you out while you’re distracted.
4) KNOW WHEN TO CUT AND RUN
The ultimate goal of any mission is to find the boss, kill it, and extract it with its bounty (known as scavenging), but that’s not the only thing that will earn you experience points. Every clue you find, every enemy you pick up, and every hunter you kill will earn you XP. Dying means you only keep half the points, so sometimes if you’ve killed a hunter or two and caught a few clues, it might be wise to just head to the extraction point and make some progress, especially if another group is already banishing the boss you followed.
5) DEATH IS INEVITABLE
In Hunt, death can occur quickly and suddenly. It can be very frustrating to lose a hunter who has a lot of upgrades, but try not to get too hung up on anything in Hunt. There’s always a pool of new hunters waiting for you, and using the starter loadout on a new hunter can give you a good chance to try out weapons that might have previously gotten lost in the shuffle for you. Also use every death as a learning opportunity. On the death screen, you can click a button to see exactly where your opponent killed you from, which can teach you different angles and areas to look out for next time. It’s usually worth observing your killer to see how others play the game.
These tips will give you a good starting point, but the best advice is to just play and learn. There is no better teacher in this game than simple experience. I’m not traditionally someone who plays a lot of multiplayer shooters, but I feel like I’m getting better bit by bit with each game, making better tactical decisions and improving my reflexes.