Evolve is coming out on February 10, but there’s one more beta test lined up before release. Starting today for Xbox One owners, January 16 for PC players, and the 17th for PS4 owners, the open beta runs through Monday, January 19.
We at yourstandard.us have had several extended opportunities to go hands-on with Evolve at various press events over the past year, and we’ve had access to the current beta code for about a week. The game is a lot of fun, but it’s also deep and complex, and can be challenging for new players.
With hours and hours of the game under our belts, we’ve put our heads together to compile 50 tips, from basic strategy to specific advanced tactics, to help you get the most out of the Evolve open beta and to be ready to kick butt when the game launches in February.
1. Play the tutorials, both for Monster and Hunter. Not only do they offer valuable strategy tips, but you can earn XP and badge design emblems for completing the tutorials within a certain amount of time.
2. Early match encounters favor the Hunters, late match encounters favor the Monster. When players of roughly equal skill face off, it’s generally a good strategy for Hunters to press for fights against stage one monsters, and for monsters to press for fights once they’ve reached stage three.
3. Since late game fights favor monsters, sneaking around and escaping from combat are critical skills for winning as a Monster. Tracking and trapping the Monster are essential if the Hunters are going to win.
4. You can only have one bonus from killing an elite albino creature active at a time (they don’t stack), and the time remaining for your bonus will be visible in the upper right corner of your screen. Picking up a new bonus will replace whichever one you have active, so make sure the new one is better if you’re going to do it!
5. When playing in solo mode, don’t be afraid to adjust the difficulty on the fly. You can tweak a match until it feels just right, even if you’re in the middle of combat.
6. Evacuation matches follow this sequence: Match 1 will be Hunt, Match 2 will be a choice of Nest or Rescue, Matches 3 and 4 will be a choice between two of Hunt, Nest, or Rescue (with whichever type you just completed excluded), and Match 5 will be Defend.
7. Play solo to earn XP, unlock characters, and learn the ins and outs of each Hunter and Monster.
8. When playing solo, you can face-off against characters you haven’t yet unlocked. Practice against all the foes you will eventually face in a multiplayer game, so you know what to expect.
9. Certain abilities become more important in certain types of matches. Stealth abilities for the Monster are less useful in Defend, for example, since the Hunters will always have a good idea of where the Monster is coming from.
10. Winning matches in Evacuation provides the winning team with map-specific advantages in the following round. While not every advantage will matter in every fight, some are hugely important. You’ll know what the advantage is going into each match, so be ready for it!
As A Hunter
11. Aside from the core class skills (Personal Shield for Assault, Mobile Arena for Trapper, Healing Burst for Medic, and Cloaking Field for Support) all of the Hunters have distinct abilities. That means there are 40 Hunter abilities total to master — and that’s before anyDLC hunters!
12. Stick together. The Hunter classes are designed to support one another, and work best in conjunction. A lone Hunter, or even a pair, will have a very tough time against a Monster.
13. Hyde’s flamethrower does the most damage — and has the shortest range — of any Hunter weapon.
14. The Trapper’s Mobile Arena is the most important ability in the entire game. It’s the only ability which can completely cut off a Monster’s escape, and trapping a stage one or two monster provides the Hunters with an excellent chance of winning a match. The ability has a painful cooldown on it if you miss though, so practice proper timing!
15. When playing as a Hunter with AI bots on your team, you’re free to take control of other classes on the fly. It’s important to note, though, that you’ll only earn Character Mastery XP for the class you selected at the start of the match. In other words, if you selected Medic at the start but end up playing most of your match as Assault, you won’t be earning Character Mastery XP for the damage you do and the abilities you use as Assault.
16. If you are new to the game and playing Solo, make sure you keep your eye on Daisy, Maggie the Trapper’s pet trapjaw. Daisy will automatically seek out Monster tracks and will point you in the right direction of your prey. If you have no idea what you’re doing, watch Daisy.
17. If two or more Hunters have died in a conflict with a Monster, it’s time to consider splitting up and running away. While it might be possible to revive your downed comrades and turn the tide of the fight, if you can keep yourself alive for a couple of minutes the dead Hunters will be able to respawn from the dropship. That’s often the best plan, depending on your match objectives and time remaining.
18. Cabot’s Damage Amplifier ability will stack with other damage multipliers, such as the weak points created by a Medic’s sniper rifle. Coordinate abilities to allow Assault to do massive damage in no time.
19. Ciara’s grenades (both offensive and healing) mean she excels on maps with plenty of tunnels and enclosed spaces. Defend maps almost always have a few spots where she can shine.
20. No matter which Monster the Hunters are facing, minion monsters in Defend and monsters spawned from eggs in Nest will be Goliaths. Be ready for them.
21. In Rescue matches, the medic is more important than ever. Survivors need to be revived before they can join the team and start running for the evacuation point, and they need to be kept alive long enough to actually evacuate. Fortunately, all of the Medic’s healing abilities work on survivors.
22. Hank’s Energy Shield has a much longer range than you might expect. If you can see one of your teammates, chances are you can reach them with the shield and help keep them alive.
23. When Val’s Medgun and Hank’s Energy Shield are both targeted on the same Hunter, that Hunter will be extremely difficult for the Monster to take down. Try it on an Assault character with their Personal Shield up for maximum impact. Talk about tanking!
24. When playing as Hank, look for opportunities to get the most out of your massively-damaging Orbital Barrage. A tranquilized or harpooned Monster will have a difficult time dodging the damage.
25. Markov’s Lightning Gun chain attacks tightly packed enemies, which makes it extra useful in Defend matches, against a Monster and minions.
26. Mines, harpoon traps, and other placeable items can be used to guard strategic locations on a map. In Defend matches, these skills are more important than ever, since the path of the monster and its minions is much more predictable than on the standard maps.
27. Parnell’s Super Soldier ability boosts his movement and firing speed at the expense of some of his health. Coordination with the Medic is key to ensure the ability doesn’t backfire.
28. Keep an eye on your jetpack fuel.You’ll be seriously hampered if you need to move quickly to avoid (or chase down) the Monster and find yourself running on empty.
29. Bucket’s UAV ability really shines during the end game of a Hunt match. The Hunters can camp out and prepare to defend the final objective, and Bucket can scout around the map and follow the Monster every step of the way, eliminating any possible surprise attack.
30. Bucket’s Sentry Guns both deal damage and help alert you to the presence of a lurking monster — a powerful combination. They can be used to guard chokepoints or important map locations, but they can also be useful as surprises in random locations, keeping the Monster on its toes. This is especially true in Rescue maps, where distracting and delaying the Monster is key.
31. In the right hands, Lazarus is an extremely powerful Hunter. He changes the arithmetic of conflict in Evolve by being able to bring Hunters back after they have died, even if the revive window has passed. Combined with his personal cloak ability, Lazarus can stalk the edges of a fight, moving from one downed Hunter to the next, keeping the team alive without needing to put himself in danger to revive a dying comrade.
32. When facing the flying abilities of Kraken, be aware of which abilities can hinder its movement. Harpoons are great for this.
As The Monster
33. Be aware of your tracks. Sneaking, jumping, or doubling back can be effective means to keep the Hunters off your trail. You can also leave obvious tracks which lead right into an ambush!
34. Don’t be afraid to use your abilities to kill prey monsters. The cooldowns on Monster abilities aren’t that long, so it’s rarely a concern that you’ll be caught without a key ability when you’re attacked by Hunters. Save yourself some valuable time on your quest for stage three, and kill your food with damage dealing abilities rather than melee attacks.
35. Manage your armor and health bars carefully. Feeding is the only way you can replenish your armor, and health cannot be regained at all outside of evolving (unless you luck into finding a specific bonus from elite prey, or you have the unlockable health regeneration perk equipped). If a fight isn’t going your way, get out of there before you lose too much health, and focus on rebuilding your armor for the next encounter.
36. Be careful when choosing a spot to evolve! Try not to do it out in the open, and if you can make your way to a remote, high location before entering your cocoon, you’ll be much better off.
37. Use your smell radar constantly. There’s no real cooldown on the ability, and it provides you critical information about the location of food and Hunters in the surrounding area. Use the downtime which comes with feeding to check the area all around you with your radar, especially if you’re preparing to evolve.
38. Don’t overlook the importance of evolving in Nest and Rescue matches. You would need to get very lucky indeed to win against four Hunters as a stage one monster — and even at stage two it can be a real challenge. In Nest and Rescue matches, you’ll do best to ignore the Hunters at the start and just focus on evolving to stage 3 as quickly as possible. Plenty of Nest matches can go the Monster’s way with only one or two eggs remaining undestroyed. Avoiding conflict with the Hunters until your Monster is fully evolved and then provide an insurmountable defense.
39. If you don’t have the element of surprise on your side (for example in Defend matches or when going for the end-game objective in Hunt) then you should take your time to maximize your armor. Picking up powerups from albino prey monsters before a big fight is also smart.
40. Don’t be afraid to destroy an egg yourself in Nest, to spawn a minion Monster. Winning Nest matches as the Monster is all about delaying and distracting the Hunters, and a baby Goliath can be an excellent tool to serve those ends.
41. If you manage to kill a few Hunters in a fight but can’t wipe them all out, keep your eye on the skies for the approaching ship, which will drop off the respawned Hunters. You can either attack the Hunters as soon as they land or use your knowledge of where they are dropped off to press your advantage elsewhere on the map.
42. When confronting a group of Hunters, killing the Medic is priority number one. Once the Medic is down (and make sure she’s dead, not just down and waiting to be revived as soon as you turn your back), Assault is often a good second target. If you can kill both of those Hunters, you’ll have a much easier time mopping up the Trapper and Support.
43. If you’re facing off against Maggie in the Trapper role, don’t neglect her pet trapjaw Daisy. She can revive fallen Hunters, so make sure to keep her away from enemies you’re trying to kill all the way.
44. Though it’s usually best to avoid an early fight, if the Hunters are foolish enough to become separated you shouldn’t be afraid to take advantage of the opportunity. On their own, none of the Hunters (except perhaps Assault) are a threat to a stage one Monster.
45. Poison gas clouds which can be created on maps in Evacuation mode thanks to a Monster victory in the previous match. The clouds will damage Hunters, and can make for a nice safe place to evolve.
46. As discussed in detail in our hands-on introduction to Wraith, the Decoy ability is critical for keeping the fragile Monster alive if she’s unlucky enough to get stuck in the Mobile Arena. Pop the Decoy and hide as best you can, and repeat until the walls come down!
47. Don’t forget you can eat Hunters after you kill them, to gain armor and points towards your next evolution. Humans don’t provide a ton of energy when compared to bigger prey, but it’s a fun bit of “insult to injury” to eat your foes after killing them.
48. When assigning points to abilities, keep in mind the specific goal of the match you are playing, and how you plan to win. A Wraith built to kill survivors in Rescue is a different beast than one supporting its minions in Defend.
49. While your goal in Defend is ultimately to destroy the objectives, it’s usually best to let your minions handle the bulk of that particular task. You’ll be better off distracting and damaging the Hunters and allowing your minions to proceed with minimal interference.
Here’s Turtle Rock’s Chris Ashton talking about the development of the game in an interview from December:
50. Don’t waste any food in Defend matches! Food is more limited in Defend then in other match types. Food = armor, and since you start Defend matches at stage three, you won’t be gaining any additional health through evolution. If you’re careless and find yourself with no armor and no food in a given section of the map, you’ll end up sacrificing portions of your precious health bar in any fight.
There! If you’ve read all those you’ll be well on your way to mastering the tricky beast that is Evolve. Happy hunting!
Will you be participating in the Evolve open beta? Let us know in the comments!