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16 tips for getting started with Scavengers' clever spin on battle royale

Scavengers
(Image credit: Midwinter Entertainment)

Scavengers might look a lot like other games you've dumped dozens of hours into, but this isn't really a battle royale. Wrapping your head around how its points-based ranking system changes the flow of a match ain't easy for anyone conditioned to perfect their K/D ratio above all else. Sure, you've got weapons to loot, shields to upgrade, characters with unique tactical abilities, and circles slowly closing in on the map, but Scavengers is going to take some adjusting to. 

Because in Scavengers you've also got massive winter storms, Far Cry-style forts, and super deadly bears to worry about. We can help. Here's a bundle of essential Scavengers tips to make your early hours go much smoother. 

This isn't a kill-on-sight game

This one's at the top because it's the most important. Because Scavengers is a point-based game and you're gunning for the most data, not the most kills, avoiding firefights with other players is often as sound a tactic as breaking down another team's front door. 

With 60 players per match made up of teams of three, you're definitely going to bump into other players, so fighting the urge to engage immediately isn't easy. If you spot another team, consider how much time is left in the match, how much salvage you need (if any) to jump up the leaderboard, and choose whether an engagement is worth losing half your data or not. If you're desperate, go for it. If your team is sitting on a healthy pile of the stuff, talk it out. 

Don't run. Slide. 

Scavengers has a super generous, satisfying crouchslide that's often more efficient than sprinting, especially because it doesn't use up stamina. Crouch out of a sprint and you'll slide longer the more momentum you have. Slide down a hill and you'll basically slide as long as you have an incline, picking up speed along the way. Jump out of a slide and you do a cool flip. Do the cool flip. It's cool. 

You won't show up on anyone's minimap if you're crouching

Be sneaky! I hid in a tent for 10 minutes and got out on the dropship. Second place. A literal camper. Players within around 100 meters of you will ping red on the minimap if they're moving quickly, so stay low to sneak by or set up a perfect ambush. 

Bring a healer

Scavengers

(Image credit: Midwinter Entertainment)

Halden's big ball of healing is vital in dire situations, capable of bringing everyone back to full health in a few seconds and keeping 'em topped off for as long as the team stays inside its green aura. It's especially helpful in dropship standoffs. Sprint into a safe-ish corner and drop that sucker to basically guarantee a safe getaway. 

Survival > Winning

Again, get out of that BR mindset a little: being the last one alive isn't the true objective. Getting out with salvage and data is its own reward. Clean out NPC camps and clean up data objectives and a salvage packet will drop sooner or later. Get off the planet alive and you'll get to unpack that sucker in the crafting menu. It'll drop an assortment of materials—random, I think—to go towards unlocking new weapons, items, and skill modifiers for every explorer. It's basically a progression system that opens up new kit options for tweaking your playstyle and team comp. So even if you end up dead last on the leaderboard, as long as you get off with some salvage, that's a win. 

There's no fall damage

So go ahead, take the leap. 

If the number's ticking down on the map a team is there

Scavengers

(Image credit: Midwinter Entertainment)

Intel, baby. When you're planning the next salvage pit stop, scan for any nodes where the number is depleting. That means someone's sucking up all that good data. Now you know whether to avoid that location or stop by and say hello with all your guns. Again, avoid the natural battle royale impulse and restrain yourself if need be. 

Holster your weapon to sprint faster

Press X to put away your guns and move like the wind. If another team if running you down or a storm circle is on your tail, hitting top speed is vital. 

Know your shield colors

Shields are ranked by tiers, upgraded in the in-game crafting menu with enough salvage. In order of HP, from weakest to strongest, they rank green, blue, purple, and gold. Pay attention to the colored grid around potential victims and weigh your options. If you have the initiative, a blue shielder can take out a purple, but a greenie is probably toast. Those upper tiers are mushy.

Here's how the survival stuff works

Cold: Stay out in the open long enough and you'll get cold, noted by a meter near your health bar. As your cold status bar depletes, you'll build up a freezing status faster. Winter storms accelerate the process, so stay out of them if you can, or find cover and wait them out. Enter a freezing status and ice will begin to eat up your health bar. If it covers the whole thing, you're dead. Counter freezing by gathering near sources of warmth, like fires and torches, or find some thermal pads to stave off the cold for a bit wherever you are. 

Stamina: The yellow bar is your stamina, and it drains when performing melee attacks, sprinting, dodging, or jumping. Deplete your stamina bar and it'll chip away at your total available stamina, meaning you'll have a lower capacity overall for physical exertion. Keep an eye on it to avoid early exhaustion, and be sure to carry food or rations with you in order to replenish your max stamina. If you can't find any rations through salvage, hunting wildlife is a good go-to source for food. 

You can dodgeroll

Click the middle mouse button and you'll do the Dark Souls thing. It's mostly useful for resetting your position when fighting melee-based enemy NPCs, but a well-timed dodgeroll can also throw off your opponent in close proximity firefight. Don't forget it's there!

Last person alive? Run, hide, and wait for your buds to respawn.

Unless you're a tactics god and think you can avenge your teammates, it's best to book it. They'll be back in about a minute. There's no cap on how many times you can respawn as long as one teammate is alive, but you do lose half your data with every death. It stings, but you can definitely come back from the brink. 

I must emphasize that Letty's ability is a fus-roh-dah physics blast

It disables your opponents abilities for a few seconds, and sends them flying. It's good. Yell the thing when you do it. 

You can bank data at upload stations

Scavengers

(Image credit: Midwinter Entertainment)

If you're eliminated, you lose half your data, and if you don't make it off on the dropship, well, you're going home pretty much empty handed. Banking data gives your spot on the boards a foundation, and something to take back after the match even if you don't make it home. 

The bears are no joke

In the early game, a single hit from a bear can kill you, which makes them some pretty realistic bears. About time a game accurately depicts the power of the paw. 

The dropship is a guaranteed clusterfuck

Scavengers

(Image credit: Midwinter Entertainment)

When it arrives, the dropship doesn't take off for five whole minutes, so before boarding check your score. How starved are you for data? Play the dropship like a true scavenger if you're low on the leaderboard. Crouch and hide nearby, wait for other teams to whittle one another down then swoop in to clean up the scraps. If you're sitting pretty, play it more conservatively. You only need to escape to lock in your data score, so maybe find a nearby outpost to hide in and survey from. Sprint in at the last minute and pop some protection abilities to seal the deal. If others are creeping up the leaderboard while you wait, jump into the mess a bit earlier and see if you can pick off one or two players. 

Get 1,500 free chips (for now)

scavengers guide

(Image credit: Midwinter)

At least for this Early Access beta period, Scavengers developer Midwinter is giving players a free pack of 1,500 Chips (the in-game currency) in the shop menu. This is more than enough to purchase an extra explorer beyond the three you're first given, so definitely take a look at which explorer could be your new favorite, or save your resources for research grinding or other cosmetics.

James is PC Gamer’s bad boy, staying up late to cover Fortnite while cooking up radical ideas for the weekly livestream. He can still kickflip and swears a lot. You’ll find him somewhere in the west growing mushrooms and playing Dark Souls.