Feature

Evolve Tips And Tricks

by Jeff Marchiafava on Feb 12, 2015 at 12:54 PM

Evolve is out in the wild, and players are already honing their monster-hunting/hunter-monstering skills. We've compiled a list of tips to make you a better player.

We know from Evolve's beta statistics that the monster and hunters are pretty evenly matched, but sometimes it may not feel that way. That's why we've compiled some helpful tips and observations to improve your early game.

Mind The Basics
Although some of these are covered in the tutorial, Evolve sports a number of smart design features that can be easily overlooked. As a hunter, your character automatically sprints when moving forward without firing (so stop tapping in the analog stick already!), and you can scale cliffs by holding in the jetpack button regardless of how much fuel you have left. Unlike most shooters, if you initiate a reload and then switch weapons, the reload continues in the background. This is vital for assault-class characters, who can switch back and forth between their primary and secondary weapons with only the briefest of pauses in their assault.

Monster players should keep in mind that Goliath's jump is dependent upon where you're aiming; if you're trying to get away from a squad of hunters, aim into the air to give your leap a long, life-saving arc. Goliath can also perform a more powerful melee smash by pressing the attack button while descending on a character from above.

Finally, don't forget you have a map! Playing effectively requires knowing where you are in the level – most environments have choke points and areas that are advantageous to one side or the other. Keep an eye on where you (and your potential teammates) are, and where your enemy might be headed. Which leads us to...

Don't Just Chase The Monster
If you simply follow the trail of footprints left by the monster, you're never going to catch it – monsters are faster than the hunters, and their smell ability makes it easy to time feedings and stay one step ahead. Instead, pay attention to the environmental cues and coordinate with your teammates to head the monster off (again, check the map!). Each trapper has his or her own way of helping to locate the monster, but so do a lot of other hunters; Bucket's UAV head can be invaluable for getting a bird's eye view of the environment, and Cabot's Dust Tagging ability can highlight the monster clear across the map. If you're crew is consistently underperforming in Hunt matches, it's probably because you're blindly following in the beast's footsteps. That, or your crew has a bigger problem...

Communication Is Key
The monster is a lone wolf – your success or defeat lies on your own hulking shoulders. For hunters, you need to work together, and that means communicating your intentions. Let your partners know when you need health or shielding, and when it makes sense to split up into pairs to cover more ground (an especially useful tactic in Nest mode). Even when you get stuck with random online players who sound like Matthew McConaughey's more-stoned younger brother, you can still communicate nonverbally by pressing the right analog stick to drop waypoint markers in the environment. These will even change colors depending on what you're highlighting: Yellow marks a location in the environment, orange highlights wildlife (point out those elite creatures to your squad mates!), and red waypoints mark the monster.

Evacuation Mode Is Where It's At
Hunt mode is the foundation that all of Evolve's gameplay is based on, but if you're only playing one-off skirmishes, you're missing out. Once you've got a basic understanding of the controls, focus your attention on Evacuation mode. These five-round pseudo campaigns provide a satisfying length (around 45 minutes) and introduce additional weight and variety to the 4v1 matchups.

To start, it's the only matchmaking option for playing Evolve's Rescue, Nest, and Defend modes, which are all arguably more interesting than Hunt mode. The winner of each round will also receive a unique bonus on the following map, including everything from teleportation devices to an A.I. minion fighting alongside the monster. The civilians you are saving or killing also carry over from one round to the next, and pay out a massive XP bonus at the end of the campaign. Finally, Evacuation mode offers an autobalance feature by default, which keeps matches as close as possible, ensuring you always have a chance to make a comeback.

Coming Up Next: Some tips and tricks for staying alive and leveling up...

Run For Your Life!
Being successful at Evolve requires knowing when to stand and fight, and knowing when not to. If you're the last hunter standing, don't martyr yourself by trying to stand up to the monster – your job as the sole survivor is to survive, not make a final offensive push. Use your abilities to stay alive long enough for reinforcements, whether it's the assault's personal shield, the support's cloaking field, or a mobility boost like Parnell and Caira feature. Sometimes this even means abandoning incapacitated teammates – if the monster is still in the area, there's no point in trying to help up a fallen friend if you're also going to get incapped in the process.

Trappers need to be particularly wary of the state of their crew. The mobile arena is invaluable for containing the monster within a confined area – but don't forget you're also trapping you and your teammates along with it. Too many times I've had an ally trapper "successfully" ensnare a max level monster when our crew is already on death's door, making it that much easier for the beast to pick us off. This is especially true in Nest mode, where the hunters' objective is to find and destroy the monster eggs spread out across the map. Unless the monster is a few health bars away from keeling over, there's no reason to force a showdown – if the beast is lurking in your vicinity, simply slip away and choose another egg as your target.

Live To Feed Another Day
On the other side of things, there are times when you'll want to tuck your monster tail between your legs and flee as well. Your armor can easily be recharged by eating wildlife in the environment. Your health – unless you feed on an elite Tyrant – cannot be recharged. Effective monster players will keep a close eye on their health, fighting with gusto until their armor is depleted, and then making their escape before taking permanent damage. This is especially important in Defend mode; it will likely take you multiple assaults to destroy each generator, so as soon as your armor is gone, go back to feeding and let your minions push the offensive.

It's also worth noting that while leveling up as the monster increases your health bar and power, it also depletes your armor. In some cases, it's better to take on the hunters as a fully armored stage-two monster than a freshly leveled stage-three monster.

Make The Most Of Your Environment
Evolve's maps feature a lot of verticality, which is vital for trapped monsters. If the hunters are hot on your tail, don't risk getting stuck in a confined location. Instead, lead your pursuers to an area with a lot of vertical depth. When the mobile arena goes up, climb and circle rocky cliffs and buildings. Doing so will force hunters to expend their jetpack fuel, slowing them down and leaving them unable to dodge your attacks. It will also split hunters up as they climb and descend (or get knocked down by your area-of-effect attacks), making them easier to pick off individually.

Level Up On Your Own Time
Evolve's leveling system sometimes requires jumping through hoops, such as stealth resurrecting characters as Lazarus. If your requirement is counterintuitive to your team's goals, do everyone a favor and complete it in a solo match. Not only will you avoid derailing the experience of your unlucky allies, but you'll also level up a lot faster. For damage-based challenges, play custom matches set to Defend mode – the constant showdowns will allow you to quickly blast through your goals. This is especially true for the monsters, who start the mode at stage three, which lets you max out three of your abilities.

Coming Up Next: Our comprehensive guide to picking the right hunter for the job...

Character Observations:
Choosing which character to play as largely comes down to personal play-style preferences, but there are some other factors to consider. Here's a rundown of some helpful observations for Evolve's hunters.

Assault Class:
All three assault class characters are capable of dishing out major damage, but your hunter of choice may depend on the mode you're playing. In addition to his two firearms, Markov has explosive arc mines which are perfect for defending the final optional objective in Hunt mode, and for protecting the generators in Defend mode. Parnell, on the other hand, has a super soldier ability, which is useful for chasing down the monster or hightailing it to eggs and civilians in their respective Nest and Rescue modes. For total damage, I tend to favor Hyde. His toxic grenades can serve a similar purpose as Markov's mines in Hunt and Defend, but they can also dish out proximity damage in Nest without having to be triggered. Hyde's flamethrower and minigun are also incredibly powerful, making a solid pick regardless of the match type.

Trapper Class:
It's no surprise that Maggie is the tier-one trapper, as she's the perfect choice for newbie hunters. Maggie's pet trapjaw will always have a bead on the monster, which is invaluable in Hunt mode. Daisy can also revive humans, a particularly helpful trait in Rescue mode – she'll often reach and revive civilians before the human players can even get to them. Griffin's sound spikes can be even more helpful for tracking the monster's movements, but effectively placing them requires more consideration on the part of the player. For Defend mode, I tend to go with Abe; his shotgun deals out significant damage to both close- and long-range enemies, his stasis grenades can drastically slow the movement of encroaching monsters and minions, and his tracking dart pistol can help keep an eye on fleeing monsters.

Medic Class:
Val is Evolve's tier-one medic, and she's a solid pick for Hunt and Rescue modes. Her medgun can keep hunters and civilians in top shape from a safe distance, while her tranquilizer gun and sniper rifle are great for slowing the monster and making it vulnerable to your ally's attacks. However, Val can't do much damage on her own, limiting her usefulness in Nest and Defend modes. In those modes, I go with Caira; her dual combination napalm/healing grenade launcher can keep your allies on their feet while also dealing out a significant amount of pain. Her acceleration field ability also makes her a good choice for catching up to fleet-footed monsters in Hunt mode. At the other end of the spectrum is Lazarus. His resurrection ability may sound powerful, but it's only useful if your team is already losing, and it also makes him a primary target for monsters. Lazarus doesn't have a traditional healing item aside from the standard healing burst all medics have, making him even more limited. In short, unless your crew is really outfitted for stealth, you should avoid picking him.

Support Class:
Support is the most robust of the hunter classes. All three characters are solid choices. Hank's shield projector is helpful regardless of what mode you're playing, while his orbital barrage and laser cutter can deal out significant damage – there's really no bad mode for Hank. The same is true of Bucket. His sentry guns are great for guarding generators in Defend mode or the extraction point in Rescue mode. Bucket's UAV can be useful for tracking down the monster in Hunt mode, while his guided missile launcher deals enough damage to be viable in Nest mode. Finally, there's Cabot. The advanced support hunter's damage amplifier can make offing minions in Defend mode a breeze, and his rail cannon can shoot through enemies that are foolish enough to line up side by side while attacking the generator. The rail cannon also comes in handy for shooting fleeing monsters in Hunt, as does his dust tagging ability, which can facilitate spotting far-off foes.

Coming Up Next: An equally comprehensive guide to picking your monster abilities...

Playing The Monster:
Unlike the hunters, the monster player has a choice of what abilities to unlock and level up. While your choices once again come down to personal preferences, here are some suggestions to consider.

Goliath:
Evolve's hulking melee fighter doesn't have any flight abilities, which makes it more difficult to evade hunters. As such, I'd recommend putting at least one ability point in his Charge attack. Not only is it good for bowling over attacking hunters, but it can facilitate a quick getaway if you're out of stamina. I'd also go for Fire Breath, which blankets an area in flames and damages hunters for a short duration. That leaves Rock Throw and Leap Smash, both of which can hit multiple hunters if they're foolish enough to bunch up. I'd go for Leap Smash first, because they're less likely to see it coming, and it also gives Goliath more mobility, which is imperative for the grounded beast.

Kraken:
When I first started playing as Kraken, I favored Lightning Strike and Banshee Mines. It took a while to realize that I was actually far more lethal with his other two abilities. Aftershock is a powerful energy attack that can devastate multiple hunters when fully charged – all you have to do is swoop in, land in the center of a couple of unlucky humans, and let it rip. Vortex is not quite as powerful, but causes hunters to topple end over end when struck. Not only is this helpful for breaking up squads (preferably after hitting them with Aftershock), but the longer they're off the feet, the longer they can't fire at you. Kraken's other two abilities are still powerful, but have their drawbacks. Lightning Strike is incredibly powerful, but the buildup gives hunters plenty of warning to disperse, and the Banshee Mines are more useful for stymying pursuers when you're on the run.

Wraith:
Evolve's third monster doesn't have as big of a health pool, but her attacks are extra deadly. Putting at least one point into Decoy is always a necessity, as it gives you the ability to distract your opponents and either escape unnoticed or perform a sneak attack while still invisible. You'll also want to level up Warp Blast – it's kind of like Kraken's Aftershock attack, only you get to instantly warp to your target before pulling it off. Supernova lets Wraith unleash a flurry off attacks, which is great against turrets and generators, but less helpful against hunters – if you're using your abilities wisely, you likely won't need the extra punch to finish them off (it can be helpful for quickly killing of incapped hunters, however). Finally, Abduction is a mixed bag. If you're playing against a highly skilled team, abducting an enemy won't be that useful. If your opposing team is less competent, however, Abduction will allow you to silently pick off hunters and kill them in a secluded location, or drop them into the jaws of a hungry Tyrant.

For more on Evolve, read our review, watch our Test Chamber, or click on the banner below to learn about the development of the game.