Beginners Guide to Evolve

With the recent announcement that Turtle Rock Studio's Evolve will be shifting to a free to play model we figured now would be an ideal time to provide budding, would be hunters a few handy tips to increase their chances of survival in the 4v1 (or 1v4) battle royale.

Tips for Playing a Hunter

Play To Your Class

If Battlefield is about playing the objective, Evolve is about playing to your class.

Watch those instructional videos that load before each new character, the roster gives you 20 total hunters to choose from. Know what each ability/weapon does, and learn when they’re most useful, and USE them. Don’t just shoot at the monster if that’s not what your class is most skilled at. Sometimes the medic needs a shield and sometimes your party needs a speed boost. Learn it. Live it. Love it. (There's a motivational book in there somewhere).

Familiarise Yourself With All Four Classes

Regardless of your chosen class, you’ll play better if you know everyone’s role within a battle, and can take advantage of their skills. So, for instance, if Val the medic has marked weak points with her sniper, be sure to recognize the markings and fire at them for increased damage. If you’re a medic and a support class is shielding a character, try healing someone else. And so on. Common sense is key.

Stick With Your Team

But try to keep the pace up. Don’t dwell on bigger monsters just because they’re in your face. Run away from them, and keep moving.

For The Love Of God, Follow Daisy

Why does no one follow Daisy? Why pick Maggie if you won’t use her abilities to your team’s advantage? Her ability to track a monster can swing a fight early and should not be overlooked.

Drop The Dome When The Monster is Close

While we’re on the subject of trappers, please drop the dome when the team is circled around the monster trying to fight it. This is your job. You chose this path in life, and now you have to see it through. 

Lift The Dome If You Missed

And, for that matter, if you happen to have missed the monster in your dome, you can always hit the same button to lift said dome instead of keeping your teammates trapped in there while the monster scurries off. Dome awareness is key.

Know Where To Stand And When To Jump

Movement as a hunter is incredibly important. Your jetpack has limited fuel, and the monster is a lot faster and jumps and climbs around a lot easier than you. Pick your position depending on your class:

Medic: stay back and elevated.

Trapper: you’re running out first, but you should stay alive to keep the dome up and lay out traps and harpoons around the monster, circling around it so it doesn’t see you to target you.

Assault: you’re tough, but don’t forget about your jetpack. Try to stay grounded and focus on side-jumping away when the monster is coming for a frontal attack.

Support: you can adopt a variety of these methods depending on which aspect you’re focusing on (damage or actual support).

Remember To Dodge

Jetpacks are great for reaching high places, but don’t forget you can double-tap to dodge left, right, forward and backward.

Watch Out For The Damn Wildlife…

Learn to recognise the plants that will trap you and try to jump over and around the bigger animals unless they have got a buff you feel you need. 

…But Mostly Ignore It

Don’t kill too many lesser creatures if you don’t have to. It wastes time and leaves delicious, free corpses around for the monster to feed on and expedite his way to evolution.

OK, Don’t Ignore ALL the Wildlife

Some enemies drop buffs that your whole team can use to power up. You can recognise those enemies by the little red cross indicated above them. Those buffs can be super useful. 200% on jetpack refill speed? Sign me up.

Don’t Be Shy

I haven’t noticed a ton of people being chatty while I play Evolve. The game is about coordination, and there’s only so much you can figure out without direct communication from players, ongoing discussion during the match is key, without it there is a fair chance you will end up monster fodder.

Use Your Markers

Spam markers when you’ve seen the monster go in a certain direction, even when it’s trapped in a dome. It’s easy to lose track of the beast, and just because you have it trapped doesn’t mean everyone’s seen what corner of the dome it’s at.

Know When To Quit And When To Chase

If you’re the last hunter alive, RUN AWAY. You’ll want to wait until your teammates respawn before you attempt to tackle the monster. That said, at the start of the match, you should be full-force chasing after the monster in it's more vulnerable state. Don’t waste your jetpack fuel on long jumps in this scenario. Double-jump your way to forward bursts.

Pay Attention To Broken Trees, Etc. Especially If You Don’t Have Maggie On Your Team

When you’ve got the Maggie/Daisy duo, it’s easy to track the monster. But if you don’t, you won’t be able to locate it as quickly, so keep an eye out for broken trees, the birds that have landed at the monster’s feeding site, its tracks, and the birds that fly out when a monster has disturbed it. Think like an actual hunter.

In Evacuation, Don’t Play The Objective; Always Be On The Hunt

In Evacuation, you run through 5 missions with different objectives — like kill a bunch of monster eggs, or rescue a group of survivors. This won’t fit every team’s style, but I’ve found it more effective to skip the objective and continue to hunt the monster down. Regardless, you’ll always end up in a match against the monster, as he attempts to either kill the survivors you’re rescuing or camp the eggs you’re attempting to destroy. So why not be more ready for the fight? It’s stupidly easy for the monster to do something like kill the survivors you just spent time picking up off the floor, so it seems more effective to just hunt after the monster and win the match that way. Which, frankly, speaks volumes to the balance and fun of the game’s additional modes outside of Hunt.

Tips for Playing The Monster

Practice The Monster Class On Your Own First

Don’t just jump into multiplayer matches as the monster. You’ll likely get overwhelmed, especially if you’re up against a practiced team of hunters. There are five types of monsters; try them all out solo against non-judgmental AI where you can figure out your abilities and your strategies across all three of your stages of evolution. That way, you can not only determine which monster suits your play style but  also get used to the map, too.

Fight On Your Terms

If you’re stage 1, you’re vulnerable, keep that very much at the front of your mind. Your armour and health aren’t nearly high enough and your strength not nearly strong enough. If you get trapped, try to make them run around chasing you. Take them up on cliffs, push them off and away from you. Hide around corners or in bushes. If you can sense you’re going to get trapped soon, try to find an arena you’re more comfortable with, i.e. one with lots of cliffs and bushes or even a big creature that might distract them from you. In the early stages there is a very fine line between fight or flight.

Evolve Safely

It can be tempting to run off quickly and evolve to stage 2, but if you’re caught with your pants down, the hunters can do some serious damage while you’re busy selecting abilities to upgrade. Take your time to get yourself to a safe vantage point, find a high cliff, hidden around a bend, and hopefully you’ve created some distance between you and the hunters to evolve safely from there. 

Sniff Often

There’s no limit to how frequently you can sniff out your surroundings, so do it often. It will reveal hazardous wildlife, edible wildlife, and the hunters in your proximity. Very underrated trait.

Take Out The Medic or Trapper First

The hunters cannot survive without the medic, and the medic usually has low enough shields and health that they will go down fairly fast. Then, you won’t have to deal with a pest who keeps reversing all the damage you’re doing.

Take Out The Trapper To Escape

If you’re trapped and need to make a getaway, like when you’re still stuck in the lowly stage 1, you can bring down the dome by bringing down the trapper.

Play Evacuation To Level Up Quicker

You’ll get bonus experience points for completing missions. This goes for hunters, too, but I find it more pressing for the monster class.

Keep The Map Open To Spot Potential Pathways

This one is useful for either side, but I find it most prudent when playing as a monster. Study the map and keep the key choke points in your mind. You’ll want to run in a direction that’s got a longer stretch of land for you to put some distance between yourself and the hunters, and to find enough wildlife to feed on. Don’t walk into a corner and end up circling around when you realised you went towards a dead end.

Always Sneak, Unless Maggie Is On The Hunting Team

Why give them tracks to lead them straight to you? Though, I’ve seen some monsters try to use their own tracks against the hunters, misleading them to believe they have gone in one direction when they actually stealthed backwards into another, a tactic I have used infrequently with decent levels of success. Stealth will also help you avoid the map’s natural inhabitants that would otherwise attack you, and let you walk around birds without disturbing them and thereby giving away your position.

Always Stealth Attack To Feed

You’ll automatically pounce to pin a target and slash at it until it dies, without having to do much on your end. 

Like the Hunters, Go For The Creatures With Buffs

They can do wondrous things like increase your damage output or make you move about the map faster, etc. They’re like temporary perks.

Evolve was a game that was well received, with very positive reviews throughout the community. Longevity was it's initial downfall with players dropping off after only a month or so of game time. 

Here's hoping with the move to free to play Evolve builds a long lasting community of players. See you all on the battlefield.