Hunt: Showdown Guide: 50 Most Useful Hunt Showdown Tips and Tricks

Hunt Showdown Guide
Get a good look at your prey in Hunt: Showdown.

Outsmart Your Enemies With This Hunt Showdown Guide

In this article I have compiled the 50 most useful tips and tricks to outsmart your enemies in Hunt: Showdown.

This article has been designed as a beginners guide for new and inexperienced players who don’t know some of the basic tricks, tactics, and special things they can do in-game.

Hopefully the tips and tricks in this article will give you a leg up against more experienced players and make the game more accessible.

This chart shows how each ammo type loses its damage potential at different ranges, which is crucial to understand when engaged in long range gun battles.

Pre-Match Tips

Before you even enter a match, there is some important information you should be aware of. Making yourself aware of it before you start a match will help you to better pick and choose your fights, and when the SHTF you will have a knowledge base to draw from and react with.

The first subheading of this section deals with weapon stats and information. There are some basic things you should know about the weapons of Hunt: Showdown before you use them if you want to use them more effectively. Most of this information can be found readily in game, and the tips in this section are more focused on informing you about what to look for.

Pre-Match Weapons

  • Study the damage distance falloff chart above intensely. Pay attention to what type of ammo your gun uses, and then compare it to this chart to see how effective your chosen weapon is at different ranges. Learn this piece of information well, because it will determine when you chose to engage an enemy, and whether you should be more patient or aggressive.
  • Pictured below is the penetration distance falloff. This chart will help you determine when it is appropriate to shoot through a wall at an enemy, as well as how to choose cover, based on what weapon your enemy is using. A single engagement may be won or lost based on how well you chose your cover, and how well your shot penetrates your enemy’s cover.
  • Understanding the ammo types goes deeper than knowing the damage and penetration falloff. Shotgun ammo and regular bolts cause rending damage, which applies a steady health drain on the enemy in the form of a bleeding effect. Other bolts for crossbows have a few different types that cause different effect and/or have unique functions. Special ammo (for the Nitro Express Rifle) can only be found in small boxes hidden around the map. Some pistols use rifle ammo, and vice versa.
  • Understanding the different types of weapons is a basic piece of knowledge that will help streamline your loadouts and make youmore efficient at learning how to use different weapons. To make things simple, there are three categories of weapons which are: small, medium, and large, and then they are further subdivided into: rifles, shotguns, pistols, compact weapons, crossbows, and melee weapons. Each weapon type has different properties and is used for its own unique purpose.
  • To finish out these basic pre-match tips on weapons, here’s a useful practice. When building a loadout, equipping two weapons that share the same ammo type will combine their ammo pools. For example, the Winfield can load 16 rounds and has 22 in reserve. The Nagant Officer can load seven and has 21 in reserve. If you equip both weapons you will have a total of 43 compact ammo in reserve for both weapons, shared between the two. If you were to equip a machete instead of an Officer, your Winfield would only have a max of 22 rounds in reserve.

Next let’s talk about tools and consumables, things which are often overlooked by less experienced players and poorly understood by many in general. If you’re new, the quick rundown is that tools are devices (up to three, four with the frontiersman trait) that each have a unique function. Consumables are similar (allowing up to three, four with the packmule trait) except they are single use and can be generalized between throwables and injectables. With that out of the way, here are a few key piece of information to take in before you get into a match.

Pre-Match Tools and Consumables

  • The spyglass and electric lantern are useless. There is rarely an instance when you will be so far away that you can't spot enemy hunters with your naked eye. Even if they were too far away to spot and you wanted to look at their gear and vector of movement, it still is not worth giving up a tool spot. The only niche use it has is if one player is a sniper and the other has a different loadout but wants to be their spotter. As for the lantern, the game never gets dark enough for it to be relevant, and actually it just gives your position away from across the swamp, so it ends up being a detriment.
  • Always have a fire bomb, either the standard or the hellfire. Fire is an immensely useful tool in this game, so useful that two of the game’s consumable item types are fire based. I will delve deeper into the power of fire later on in this section, but for now understand that you should always have either a standard fire bomb which is cheaper, or a hellfire which is more expensive but can cause explosive damage that can hurt enemies in its blast radius.
  • Always have a first aid kit. They have three uses per match, heal 50 point of health per use, and can be used to heal your teammate. It may not deliver the immediate health boost of a vitality shot but it has multiple uses and refill after every match. Coupled with the physician trait, it becomes almost indispensable during extended firefights and after deadly engagements.
  • The Butcher is extremely vulnerable to explosives, and can be killed by one big dynamite bundle. The trick is to have one partner light it while the other causes enough damage to get him to stoop, then throw it and run for the hills. Other explosives, like the frag bomb and dynamite stick, are also effective.
  • All dynamite consumables will explode on contact with a detonated concertina bomb. I have died twice this way, so don't think it won't happen to you. You can dismantle a concertina bomb with melee or explosives.
  • Explore, experiment, and find out how to use different tools in unique ways. After I realized that I could kill Armoreds quickly and easily with the flare pistol, I never stopped using it. The Quad Derringer is a surprisingly powerful and decently quiet auxiliary gun, good for dispatching hives and hordes of Grunts. The chaos bomb very rarely fails to fool enemy hunters into thinking that you are shooting at them, which is great for sneaky hunters who like to get their enemy’s flank. Mix and match, and really try everything, you’ll end up finding uses for items that will color your playstyle for the rest of your Hunt: Showdown experience.

The final subheading in our pre-match section is the map hintssection. These are general tips and tricks when exploring the two maps in Hunt that will help you avoid common missteps and get the drop on unwary foes quicker.

Pre-Match Map Hints

  • Fire is the most powerful tool in the game. Around the maps you will find yellow barrels that, when shot, will burst into flames and spread fire everywhere, often into oil pools that are usually located at choke points and key entrances. These pools will burn for a long time and are great for cutting off entrances as well as exits. There are hanging lanterns that, when shot while lit, will release fire over a large radius. These serve a similar purpose as the fire barrels, but are often located right next to doors, in hallways, and on street crossings. You can turn them off by pressing F when prompted, and I suggest you do. There are even lanterns on the ground that can be thrown to create pools of fire. Fire kills all enemies, besides the butcher, faster than just about anything else and requires far less skill or planning to use. It also kills downed players, which is one of the most important uses fire has. Be aware of the many uses of fire, and be wary of enemies who will use it against you, including some torch-wielding Grunts.
  • Be aware of explosive barrels, colored red to distinguish them from fire barrels. They can be extremely effective for dispatching enemy hunters who aren't paying attention, and they can get you just as easily. If you are defending the banishing area, I suggest you detonate all the barrels closest to you if you know that enemy hunters are nearby and you think they might rush you.
  • Most compounds have multiple levels going both, up two or more floors, and down into basement areas. These levels generally have multiple entrances or ways of accessing them, some of which are hidden. Thoroughly explore the compound you’re banishing in so that you know every angle your enemies can hit you at, and plan multiple routes of escape in your mind. Even experienced hunters will check all the familiar spots while they wait for the demon to banish, just to make sure.
  • Know how to identify audio cues from a distance. All living horses look approximately the same, and once you get good at identifying them you will be able to tell when a dead horse was once a living one, meaning that hunters passed through and killed it. Crows aren’t just on the ground, and can be found on fences, walls, roofs, and more. Snapping branches are large and obvious on the ground in the forest, while broken glass and tin cans are small and less obvious and usually found in compounds and specifically in doorways, hallways, and choke points where they are hard to avoid.
  • It is difficult to judge how deep water is just by looking at it. Deep water, which is waist deep, slows you down immensely and saps stamina. In deep water you are vulnerable to water devils and other hunters. It is also very loud to move through and generally offers no cover. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ruined an ambush by sloshing through the water, although I’d say it's probably about the same number of times I’ve gotten kills simply because the enemy hunters decided to wade into the swamp instead of sneak around. Avoid water in general, if you can.
  • Pay attention to doors and gates. In the early versions of Hunt basically all doors and gates were closed, so an open one meant that players had passed through. Things are not as simple now, but an open door or gate is generally a bad omen and extra caution should be taken.
  • Almost all clues have a guardian. This will take the form of one or more Grunts, hives, Hellhounds, or Armoreds, or one Meathead. Guardians are almost always of the same type i.e. one or two Armoreds, but rarely you may find hives or Armoreds coupled with Grunts.
  • On both maps every compound will have one or more bells. These are ringable and are good for creating loud, obvious distractions and/or sowing confusion. They will generally attract any nearby NPC enemies towards them and will let enemy hunters know that you have arrived and what your general direction is. They can be set off via explosives, gunshots, melee or by interacting with it via the F key. When set off with throwing knives or a silenced weapon, they can be useful for setting up ambushes and opening up flanks, as well as creating a distraction if you or your partner need some pressure taken off.

Light up my world.

This is practically all of the general prematch knowledge you need to have a successful hunt. There is a lot of niche information that may only apply to a single unique situation, which if covered here could fill an entire book. What I’ve covered here are the most useful tips and tidbits of knowledge that will almost certainly mean the difference between success and failure. Now we move on to in-game information.

During the Match, Outside of Combat Tips

Everything covered in this section will deal with tactics and strategy, outside of combat during a match that will hopefully put you in the best possible position when you inevitably get into a gun battle.

The first thing you want to be aware of and practice as often as possible is your positioning and movement. How you move through the map and approach compounds, how to position yourself when approaching compounds, and how you are oriented in relation to your partner are all important things to consider.

Outside of Combat Positioning and Movement

  • One of the most important tips I can give you here is also one of the simplest and most overlooked; keep moving. Obviously you’ll need to stop every so often to get reoriented and make some observations, but you shouldn’t be stopped for any long period of time unless you expect to get into a fight and you’re certain that the enemy does NOT, I repeat, does NOT know or have any idea that you are nearby.
  • Switch between pacing fairly often. Don’t run everywhere because it makes a lot of noise, uses up stamina, attracts NPC enemies very easily, and makes it much more likely that you will run into hunters with your pants down. Running is good for making mad dashes across open space and getting you in between compounds, but it should be used sparingly. Walking is a good general pacing option, and crouching is great when you suspect that enemies are nearby, when setting up ambushes, or when trying to avoid audio cues and NPCs.
  • Keep a good distance from your partner. When traveling between compounds it is better to walk in a vertical line, with a pointman and a tailman. That way each hunter can help one another but still remain separate enough to flank and maneuver as individuals. When approaching a compound, it is better to space out in a horizontal line so that you and your partner can get a cross-fire on the compound and approach from two flanks.
  • When crouch moving, you still make noise. Granted the enemy has to be very close to hear it, you still want to be aware of how your noise affects your surroundings. You may think you are being quiet enough to sneak past a group of crows or a patrolling hive, but the reality is that you are making more noise than you think.
  • When other hunters are having a firefight between themselves, it usually pays to approach quietly and catch both parties by surprise. You get 2000 XP per player killed and the more PVP you engage in the better you get, so don’t be afraid to take on more than one team at a time. You may very well end up with 10-12,000 XP for it, if you play your cards right.

Eyes in the back of your head at all times.

Next I will cover situational awareness outside of combat. I cannot stress this enough;pay attention. Pay attention to every single sound, memorize it, get familiar with it. Get comfortable with the ambience and the idle NPC noises.

Learn to differentiate idle audio cue noises from trigger noises. Learn to tell different guns apart by sound, and learn how to estimate their distance and most likely vector of movement. These, and more, are crucial skills that keep you one step ahead of your enemy before you actually face off, and they give you the best chance of long term survival.

Outside of Combat Situational Awareness

  • Visual awareness is the first and most easy to hone type of situational awareness. Keep your head on a swivel. I have purposely forced myself to play, and be highly accurate during gunfights, with a high DPI so that I can spin around and check my six at a moments notice. Continuously scan treelines and windows, observe open fields and roads between compounds, and eventually be capable of distinguishing Grunts and other NPC movements from player movements, even between slats and branches or other visually obstructing objects and at long distance. Learn how to spot live horses before they move or make noise simply by their 3D model. Learn how to see hives behind walls by looking for slight distortions that are created by her insect swarm. Visual awareness is a big key.
  • Auditory awareness takes time to develop but eventually it should feel like your ears are moving as dynamically with your player as your eyes are. That is to say, that no noise goes unnoticed. Playing with headphones is important because being able to determine the direction that a sound is coming is will practically decide whether you will be able to play this game or not. Learn every idle and aggressive noise that every NPC makes. Learn how to tell how far an enemy player is by the noise level of the audio cue they’ve set off. Learn how to determine what compound an enemy player will be in by what direction the audio cue is going off in and how far away it sounds. Learn how to keep an ear out for dying NPCs and horses, as players will try to kill them preemptively before they make a much louder noise. Keep your ears open at all times.
  • Look out for player clues such as: dead NPCs, open doors and gates, activated generators, unlit lamps, dead chickens or dogs in their cages, broken windows... the list goes on. As you play the game and learn what you can break, what you can open, what you can turn on and off, and what you can kill, you will learn how to look out for those traces in a match in order to determine if there are players nearby or who have passed by.
  • Each gun makes a unique sound that can distinguished even at long ranges. Learn how to tell them apart. This will be difficult for new players who don’t know what all the guns sound like, but the truth is that this hint involves long term information collection and there are no two ways around it, at least until the devs add a shooting range. You have to hear the gun being fired first to know what it sounds like, and this is usually done by your own hand but you can also observe what it sounds like when it is being used to shoot at you. You have to hear what it sounds like at different distances and then go and confirm that, yes, this is the same gun. It is a process, but it is a vital information gathering tool that you will be glad you nurtured.
  • Certain guns can be heard from across the map, others can only be heard from a few feet away. Determining the distance of gunshots is another vital skill that allows you to predict where the enemy might be, where they might be headed and then be able to approximate how long it will take them to get there. You can set up nasty ambushes this way, or come up from behind and stalk them. Being stalked is a very frightening thing to think about, and once you’ve stalked an enemy team across the map you will never be able to shake the feeling that you’re being watched by someone stalking you.

Now let's discuss communication. Hunt being a coop-focused multiplayer, the amount of pressure each player feels and the amount of trust they have to put into their teammate are immense, because there isn't a whole squad or platoon to back them up. It’s two guys in a swamp filled with monsters and murderers who have to hunt monsters and murder murderers and try to keep eachother alive.

The amount of teamplay and comradery are inspiring when you get into a match with a random stranger and you bond over a vicious gunfight in tight quarters where you both survived by the skin of your teeth. While there is the option to face teams as a solo or play the solo-only gamemode, every ounce of this game’s replay value rests in its team play, and in team play a silent teammate makes for a dead team.

Talk it out.

Outside of Combat Communication

  • The only in-game audio chat is a proximity chat that everyone within a certain radius can hear. It produces sound in a 3D space just like every other sound, so know when it is and isn't appropriate to use the proxy chat. The standard key for the proxy chat is the alt key, although if that is a bit awkward then rebinding it is the best option. Proxy chat should be used to alert your partner about NPC enemies you’ve spotted or heard, noises you heard (along with their bearing on the compass at the top of the screen), enemy players you’ve seen (along with bearing and description of their surroundings), and anything else vitally important. Friendly communication is encouraged because it promotes better teamwork.
  • The other form of communication is text based, and works as a proximity chat where you simply type into the in-game chat and anyone within range can read it. It doesnt give away your exact location but still alerts any player reading it that you’re in the area. This chat is best used when audio chat is too risky but important information still needs to be passed.
  • Using a third party communication app like Skype, Discord, or Teamspeak is a very effective means of communication. It allows you to communicate verbally without interruption, and it also makes it easier to play with friends. There is even a Hunt: ShowdownDiscord server with private rooms for two people to talk in without interference or interruption.
  • As an extra hint, and just to reiterate the theme of this section, communicate everything as often as you can. This game has a lot of stimuli and if you are keeping your spacing at a good length then it is likely that the distant horse you heard did not reach your partner’s ears. Do not ever be information shy, every scrap and morsel of information you have over your opponents gives you a tactical advantage before a firefight begins.

With that, we close out the in-game, pre combat section. We have arrived at our final section, the combat section. If the meat and potatoes of this game is information gathering, then the PVP is the sweet dessert. It is the reward for a hunt well done, or a punishment for poor planning, and as with everything else there’s a dash of luck thrown in. You were lucky that the enemy didn't hear you while you crept inside the compound they were defending. You were unlucky when you took their bounty only to run into an ambush set up right outside the compound by two hunters more patient than you. However, that feeling of coming out on top in a really brutal firefight is one of the best feelings you can have, and truly feels like a reward for putting up with some of the more tedious parts of Hunt: Showdown.

Combat Tips

Combat in Hunt is brutally short when you think you're prepared, and brutally long when you know you’re not. Never underestimate the possibility of a lucky headshot, and never overestimate the lethality of your chosen weapon. It’s all about how well you know how to handle your gun versus how well your enemy knows how to handle theirs. What that entails, however, goes beyond being accurate. It’s about when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em. When to rush and when to run. When to elevate and when to dive down. When to push and when to pull. It’s all a tricky balancing act, and it's also the most exhilarating and heart-pounding part of this game.

Without further ado,let's start with the first subheading;positioning and moving. All the subheadings in this section will be the same as the ones in the above section, but the information will change drastically. During PVP game stops being about information gathering and transitions into information application.


Combat Positioning and Movement

  • In general you should always fire and move. Specifically, take a shot or two...even three if you feel you have a good bead on your target, and then change angles. If this means a long, drastic change it is better than staying in one spot. Changing angles, especially in conjunction with your partner, will confuse and intimidate most enemy hunters. It will make it harder for them to get follow up shots on you and potentially put you on their flank.
  • It is always a good idea to “slice the pie” when turning a corner in a tight building, and especially useful when storming an occupied building. If you aren't familiar with the phrase, “slice the pie” means to cut around a corner in a circular fashion while aiming down your sights so that any enemy waiting around the corner is immediately in your line of fire. It is usually best to butt up against the outside wall opposite the corner that will be at your back when you slice the pie into the building, in order to see if anyone is waiting on that side, so you don't get shot in the back. Then, slice into the building slowly and be ready to fire or back out quickly if you see an enemy.
  • When firing out of a window, do not stand right in the window frame. You will almost certainly get shot, and will likely get killed. Stay back a few feet, just far enough so that you can see the vectors of approach. When you want to aim far to the left or right of the frame, move in a half circle around the frame. Don'tstay in the window too long, don't stand still and don't stick the barrel of your gun out of the window.
  • Know when to move and when to stay still. In general, you want to keep moving, but if you expect that you can surprise an incoming enemy by staying still and keeping quiet, or if you're using a silenced weapon and you don’t want to draw attention to your hiding spot, don’t move. If you’re in a gunfight in the swamp, keep moving. If you are assaulting a building or compound, keep moving. If you are defending a compound, only move to cover your enemy’s attack vectors. If you are inside a building and the enemy only has one attack vector, don't move unless a bomb is being lit. If you pay attention, this will be easy to learn.
  • When under fire, it is usually a good idea to run directly towards or away in a serpentine pattern. Running across a field of fire is generally a bad idea unless you are dashing from cover to cover.
  • Change stances often. Switch from crouch to stand irregularly while being shot at in order to avoid headshots. Formost players, headshots will be rare and often will only be a fluke if you are moving from side to side. Some players never miss a headshot.
  • Never stay behind cover for too long when engaged in a firefight. Most cover in Hunt consists of thin wooden or sheet metal walls, which can easily be penetrated by most large guns. You also become a target for bombs.

Always on the prowl.

Combat Situational Awareness

  • Be aware of any NPC enemies nearby at all times. Firefights are often cut short by unaware players who were attacked by a pack of Hellhounds, an angry hive, a horde of Grunts or an Armored that they ignored or didn’t see. If you suddenly become engaged in a firefight and you are aware of several nearby mobs, try to break the line of fire between you and the enemy hunter so that you can dispatch mobs. Dispatch mobs before setting up an ambush, and when setting up a defensive position clear it of any mobs.
  • Listen closely to your enemy’s gunfire to determine their loadout. This will help you determine how to approach them. An enemy with a Mosin might be a challenge at long range for a player with a Winfield. If you don't know what your enemy’s sidearm is, then rushing through adequate concealment only to find an Uppercut with fanning in your face will come as a sore reminder that more information is better.
  • Be hyper aware of noise. Often, firefights will have an initial engagement phase followed by a rapid movement phase and then will have a settling phase while the teams try to relocate one another. Listen to every crack and rustle, listen to how mobs and audio cues react (as audio cues have a pre-trigger warning noise before they go off), listen for weapon changing sounds and fuse sounds, and listen for reloading noises. Almost every action in this game makes a noise. In the heat of combat you may be using your eyes to look for any sign of movement, but as you get better at this game you will find that your ears are as open and as sensitive to stimuli as your eyes.
  • Learn to recognize cover versus concealment. Most wood and sheet metal can stop pistols at medium to close range, but most rifles can penetrate most cover and if you are able to identify an enemy’s gun by its sound then you should be able to recognize what you can use as cover and what will only work as concealment. The difference is that you can sit behind cover while being shot at and not die.
  • This last tip is a general piece of advice that can be applied to any match in general. Never assume that you are alone. Never assume that you are the only person/team in the lobby, never assume that you are the only one in a compound, never assume that you are the only one heading to a particular compound. Never assume that you are alone. If you are careless, you will die frequently because you went tromping and stomping and a patient team waited for you to run right past them so they could shoot you in the back.

Combat Communication

  • Callout everything, except when preparing an ambush or when it is otherwise necessary for your survival to be quiet. Callout every gunshot and its bearing, every audio cue, every mob attack or death noise, every time you see a player. During combat this will help you to keep track of enemy positions when you lose sight of them, help coordinate fire, and keep you and your partner from getting flanked.
  • When making a callout, be brief and to the point. If you hear a gunshot, “shot at [bearing]” will do, and then add what gun it is or what you think it might be if you aren't being directly shot at. If you see an enemy hunter, “hunter at [bearing + very brief description of surroundings (i.e. left of the bridge in front of the big tree)]” works perfectly. Don’t worry about your partner having to triangulate your bearing callout. He can either look at you and figure it out or simply use the description you provided. Colors, landmarks, and basic directions like left or right coupled with bearings and the subject of the callout (hunter, dead grunt, crows, etc.) will always be better than long, choppy, drawn out descriptions.
  • Always keep your partner updated with where you are, preferably in relation to them. Keep them updated with your immediate movement plans, as well. If you plan to rush, or flank, or pull back, let your partner know.
  • Let your partner know where the enemy is in relation to you, especially when you have new information. You won't always be right next to your partner, so keeping your partner up to date on where the enemy is, what floor they’re on, their bearing, and their vector of movement is always useful, provided you know this information.
  • Don’t be afraid to request information from your partner. Ask and you shall receive. If you need to know where your partner is, where they enemy is in relation to them, whether or not they heard what you heard, or if they’re cool with your planned actions you need to ask them. A partner that withholds information is a massive liability.

Lend a helping hand.

And with that we conclude the 50 most useful tips and tricks to outsmart your enemies in Hunt: Showdown. I have covered the most useful basic information and hints and I have also included some discreet information that experienced players may appreciate. Hunt is a complex game and I know that there is more to cover than this, but for now this is the best of the most basic information I could distill for new and experienced players alike. Good luck, and happy hunting!

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Hailing from the Empire State, Brian knows what the big time is all about. From gaming, to telling stories; he's done it all in the city of dreams, and he's here to tell you all about it.
Gamer Since: 2010
Favorite Genre: PVP
Currently Playing: Mortal Kombat 11
Top 3 Favorite Games:Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Mortal Kombat X, Grand Theft Auto V

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Number_One_AB's picture

Number_One_AB 4 years 7 months ago

Thank you Brian for taking the time to put together such a cohesive, informative guide without filler content! I just bought this game, and without a doubt, the benefit of your information and experiences will save me many hours of rookie mistakes. Cheers from the UK bro, it really is a wicked piece of effort.