Predator: Hunting Grounds: How to win as the Predator and the marines

As we noted in our official review, Illfonic’s new 4v1 multiplayer title Predator: Hunting Grounds doesn’t quite nail the tense cat-and-mouse feel it was going for, though it can still be fun under the right conditions. Both the single Predator player and the four-player fireteam of marines have their own unique win conditions and potential strategies for meeting those conditions, and when those two conflicting paths inevitably collide, chaos ensues.

In this guide we’ll outline some helpful tips, strategies, and pointers for maximizing your odds of winning as both the Predator and the four-man marine squad. Predator: Hunting Grounds is sadly not the most well-balanced competitive game out there, but that doesn’t mean you can’t tip the odds in your favor with a little proper planning.

Winning as the Marines

Honestly, given Predator: Hunting Grounds’ current state of gameplay balancing, the four-player marine squad (referred to in-game as ‘Voodoo Squad’) actually has the advantage when it comes to winning matches. Not only do they outnumber the Predator, in most cases they can outgun it too. The Predator relies heavily on stealth, ambush attacks, and melee combat, which means that if the marines get a bead on it or catch it out in the open, they can unload with little fear of retaliation.

Still, the Predator isn’t a foe who should be underestimated, so if you’re playing as the Voodoo Squad marines you should go into every match expecting to face a highly skilled opponent. Your goal as the marines is to move through the jungle and complete a series of objectives before getting to the choppa’ so you can exfiltrate. Attempting to complete these objectives will put you in the crosshairs of a local force of enemy AI soldiers, and of course you’ll also need to keep a constant eye out for the Predator player who’s likely watching you from up in the trees.

Thankfully, time is also on your side. Each match in Predator: Hunting Grounds has a fixed 15-minute timer that’s constantly ticking down, but that timer is actually more of a detriment to the Predator than to Voodoo Squad. The timer’s presence means there’s virtually no incentive for the four-player marines team to ever stand still.

Since the best strategy for the marines is to always be rushing towards the next objective, that means they get to set the pace of the match, with the Predator player having to constantly play catch-up. The Predator will inevitably make their move, but more often than not it will be because they feel they have to do something just to slow you down, and their desperation will always play to your advantage. 

As long as the Voodoo Squad players stick together, take down enemy AI soldiers as needed, and cover each other during the exfiltration stage, their odds of winning will remain consistently high. However, there are a few specific actions you as a marine player can take to bump your squad’s chances of winning up even higher:

  • Carefully manage your inventory of healing items and grenades since you only have a very limited number of each. Given the Predator’s speed and agility, grenades are often better used to clear out packs of clumped up AI soldiers.
  • Cover yourself in mud whenever the opportunity presents itself as it will temporarily hide you from the Predator’s thermal vision (plus you’ll also get a little bonus XP). You can initiate the mud covering process by looking down at a valid piece of terrain and holding the presented button prompt.
  • Manage your sprinting stamina carefully, you don’t want to run out and leave yourself exposed to a Predator sneak attack, especially during the final sprint to the chopper.
  • If you hear the Predator’s iconic “clicking hiss,” that means it’s nearby. If you have keen eyes you might spot the telltale shimmer of its active invisibility cloak up in the trees. Also, watch out for red laser sight that appears whenever the Predator aims its plasma caster.
  • Each marine player only gets one life per match so be sure to revive your downed teammates when able.
  • If you’re playing with a dedicated group of friends and you have access to multiple marine classes, synergize as much as you can. The basic Assault class is good for reviving downed teammates whereas the Recon and Scout can flank enemies with ease, be they AI soldiers or Predators. The Support is the slowest of the bunch but it also has bonus ammo reserves and can chuck grenades for days thanks to its four tactical gear slots.

Winning as the Predator

Despite being a super agile death-dealer who can turn invisible and hone in on their prey using thermal vision, you’ll actually have your work cut out for you if you’re hoping to routinely win Predator: Hunting Grounds matches as the Predator. Unlike in the iconic ‘80s movie upon which Hunting Grounds is based, the four-player marine fireteam knows you’re coming, and you can bet they’ll be keeping a wary eye on the tree branches above them as they progress through their mission goals.

It doesn’t help that there are a number of other factors working against the Predator player as well. The AI-controlled enemy soldiers who stand in direct opposition of the four-player squad will gladly attack you as well, and their extremely shoddy AI programming means you can forget about using advanced tactics like baiting a far away group of soldiers into attacking and overwhelming the four-player fireteam.

What’s worse, there’s never really a point where the four-player squad is forced to split up, which means your odds of being able to pounce on a solitary player who’s separated from the group are quite slim. Given their superior firepower and the fact that they can attack you at range, simply trying to bum-rush the entire enemy squad isn’t a viable tactic either, even when you’re playing as the tanky Berserker Predator class.

Once you locate the four-player fireteam, one of the best strategies is to just winnow them down as much as you can while staying safe up in the trees. Keep your cloak up (while keeping an eye on your energy reserves), take pot-shots with your plasma caster when you have a good shot, and then flit over to some nearby trees so the enemy players can’t get a bead on you. If you can harass them while they’re busy dealing with the enemy AI soldiers, so much the better.

If one of the enemy players is downed and you’re feeling bold, you can use them as bait to damage and potentially down any of their allies who move in to try and revive them. Your plasma caster does some AoE damage, making downed players an excellent focal point to aim at. You can also perform your AoE leaping slam attack if you want to get in close and go to town with your melee weapons. Just be careful as there sadly isn’t any sort of lock-on system for the Predator’s melee strikes, which means you might end up flailing at nothing but empty air if you mis-time your swings.

The best time to crank up the aggression is both shortly before and during the final stage of the match when the four-player fireteam needs to sprint over to the evac chopper. By this point the enemy players have hopefully expended most of their supplies and ammunition, making them more vulnerable to sudden melee ambushes. If you notice one player is moving too far ahead or lagging behind, by all means leap down and attack them, preferably from behind.

The Predator technically “loses” the match if even one marine player manages to get on the chopper, but there is one last desperate gambit you can play if it looks like the marines are going to escape. If the Predator’s health is completely drained they can trigger their signature self-destruct sequence, blowing them up after a brief timer countdown and killing all nearby enemies in the process.

The marine players can sprint away to avoid the blast or disarm the bomb by succeeding at a symbol-based matching puzzle, but if it looks like you’re going to lose anyways, the self-destruct route at least provides the match with a thrilling climax. Some other tips which can help you win as the Predator include the following:

  • Your thermal vision is good not only for spotting enemy players and AI soldiers but also their footprints. This can help you locate the four-player squad more quickly since their footprints will show you where they’re headed.
  • If the enemy players spot you when you’re up in the trees, use your leap to create some distance and disappear into the jungle foliage.
  • If the enemy players are inside a building, shoot your plasma caster at them while remaining outside. The AoE damage is bound to hurt them a bit and they won’t be able to fully retaliate unless they come outside and expose themselves.
  • Your bladed gauntlet and other melee weapons can inflict some serious damage, but you shouldn’t always be attacking enemy players with the goal of downing/killing them. If you can ambush a player from behind, take some solid chunks out of their health, and escape before their buddies show up to support them, that’s a small yet meaningful victory in and of itself.
  • Be careful if an enemy player does manage to damage you since the Predator’s neon green blood splatter can give away your position if you try to flee and/or flank around for another follow-up attack.
  • If an enemy player strays too close to an explosive red barrel, you can use your plasma caster to detonate it from afar, inflicting some serious damage and potentially downing them in the process.

Predator: Hunting Grounds is available now for PlayStation 4 and PC.