Tips for playing Evolve: Stage 2


Smells swell
A tap of the right mouse button engages the monster’s mega-nostrils, granting an olfactory burst of intel. It highlights nearby animals, hunters, and briefly displays your footprint trail to help discern where your foolish pursuers will close in from. Sniffed organics will also show through walls and structures, handy for clever-girl ambushes and keeping tabs on pesky hunters. Smelling is free, low cooldown, and a vital tool for a master monster. Spam it.

The need to feed
Always be on the move to seek out herds of animals to fill your belly and your armor bar. Chomping on prey also adds progress toward evolving to the monster’s second or third stage—which, as subtly urged by the game’s name, is kind of a big deal. Evolving bulks up your armor and health pools while bestowing three additional points to enhance your abilities. If you’re not bringing down nature’s wrath on the hunters, you should be stuffing your face with animals. Some creatures carry helpful temporary buffs such as bonus poison damage for attacks or faster climbing speed; look for an animal with a shaft of light above it to spot one. Stay mobile and stop sparingly—you move much faster than the hunters, so use that to your advantage as you comb the map for food.

Looks delicious.

Bot up to skill up
The foundation of a good monster player is a sturdy grasp of the monster’s lumbering movement. 

Using your slowly recharging traversal jumps—a mighty spacebar leap that covers significant ground—and knowing when to withhold them for juking out of a dome or rocketing to the next animal pack is just as important as chaining well-aimed attacks. Fire up a bot round or two as a warmup before queuing for a live match. The bots are uncannily adept at tracking and zeroing in on your position, and their dodgy behavior during combat is enough of an approximation of human players to help touch up climbing paths, feeding circuits, and evading fire. 

The Goliath is a superb starting monster. Their straightforward moveset emphasizes huge leaps and bullish charges, so they boast an excellently forgiving beginner’s experience. The Kraken is a fun, but more fragile alternative—the attack helicopter of Evolve, their traversals keep them hovering to rain down lightning strikes and bomb blasts on ground targets.

Total dome-ination
As the monster, getting domed is inevitable. You’ll be committed to combat, but that shouldn’t panic. The sheer power of the monster holds sway over the battle’s momentum and flow, and your control of the monster tips the opening gambit in your favor. When domed, avoid barging into the hunters and flailing mindlessly. While catching multiple hunters in an area-of-effect attack is always a bonus, you’ll want to constantly take stock of where each hunter type sits in relation to your movements and shift priorities accordingly.

Goliath just wants a hug.

Always try going for the Medic first; KOing them removes the ability to heal your incoming damage and greatly helps your odds. The Support should be your secondary target for their ability to shield and provide buffs to other hunters—you might need to make their your top priority if they’re focusing the Medic, as the latter will simply outlast your damage if a Support wingmans them. Of less importance is the Assault, but don’t shrug them off entirely—their substantial damage output will continually chew through your armor and health. The Trapper is more of an annoyance than an immediate threat, as they’ll harpoon you and slow your momentum but deal little direct damage. Make sure to turn and attack the harpoon cables whenever they sting into your hide.

Plan for the scan A popular hunter tactic at the start of a round is to immediately fire off a planet scan to draw a bead on your location. Since the monster moves quite fast, you shouldn’t feel discouraged when the scan notice pops up on your screen—as long as you keep moving. The scanner may have somewhat dimmed the effectiveness of stealthily creeping around the map, but you can still misdirect the hunters with some clever footwork. Try timing your bluff near the end of a scan’s duration: stomp off in one direction to create a footprint trail, then crouch and double back right when the scan ceases. The hunters will soon catch on to your shenanigans as they follow your trail, but with luck, you can set up an ambush from behind or the side for a strong alpha strike.

Omri Petitte

Omri Petitte is a former PC Gamer associate editor and long-time freelance writer covering news and reviews. If you spot his name, it probably means you're reading about some kind of first-person shooter. Why yes, he would like to talk to you about Battlefield. Do you have a few days?