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- 1 Playing Matches
- 2 Team setup
- 3 Character tactics
- 4 Against Hunter tactics
Read the Beginner's Guide first.
Decoding Cipher Machines
Finishing all five ciphers as soon as possible is key to winning a match. Deciding when to decode together is important and not always a bad thing. After all, finishing a cipher in fifty seconds (30 seconds quicker) is definitely advantageous. However, if two people are decoding one cipher together, they will complete two ciphers in one minute and forty seconds. Decoding separately will get those same two ciphers done in one minute and twenty seconds.
Which ciphers you pick can also determine the success of the game. Certain ciphers are safe and others are unsafe, which can make kiting easier or harder. Familiarising yourself with the maps will help you determine the best spots.
Avoiding the Hunter
Avoiding the hunter early in-game can put you out of situations where you have to kite and allow you to decode. While it is not mandatory to completely memorize spawn points, more experienced players have an idea of spawn points. You can view and learn the spawn points through Single Training Mode.
Pallet dropping and vaulting alert the hunter of where you are. Self Deception is a good talent for a beginner to have so the hunter is not alerted when you miss calibrations. If you are going to vault over something, make sure you are walking or crouching so the hunter does not receive a noise notification.
Looping is one of the best ways to help your team. It takes the pressure off of them and allows them to finish ciphers. However, your style of looping will constantly be changing depending on who the hunter is. Being aware of what traits and talents the hunter has is also important.
Early game, positioning yourself at a cipher near a good loop can help the chase last longer.
Practice looping and always aim for at least 60 seconds. It is a huge inconvenience to your team if no ciphers have popped and you are already down.
It's advised you carry Broken Windows and Knee Jerk Reflex, which gives you a boost after vaulting a pallet/window. Use the speed boost to transition to your next kiting route to give you a better kiting environment.
Decoding Cipher Machines
Decoding together when there are only one or two ciphers left is always something to consider late game. It will allow you to finish quicker and activate Borrowed Time for those who have it.
Having the message “Cipher machine primed!” in your list will tell your team that the last cipher is incredibly close to finishing and will encourage rescues or simply pick up a teammate that has been knocked down. “Focus on decoding!” is typically your cue to pop the cipher when there is one left.
Refrain from leaving the cipher if it is primed and no one is there to finish it. Wait for someone else to come if you want to go in for a save. Timing is key to popping ciphers, and too early or too late will make it completely useless.
Most Survivors carry Borrowed Time so that they can be healed should a Hunter chase them when there is one cipher left. By popping the last cipher while the Hunter is recharging from an attack, the incapacitated Survivor will regain health and be able to continue kiting.
Interacting with the Hunter
Attempting to perform rescues while the Hunter has Detention can be difficult. Be especially reluctant to rescue someone if the rest of your team is alive and at the Exit Gate. A three-person escape is still a win, while a failed rescue will result in a draw. Reading the situation is important and your decisions will vary between each game.
- Rescuing should be left to rescuers and decoders should be left to decode. If you have a primary Rescuer in your team, it is their duty to save. Otherwise, supports or kiters can also rescue, but it is riskier to allow a decoder to rescue.
- Upon chairing, a meter fills up. If the Survivor is rescued before the half mark (marked by a thin red line), they are chaired a second time before being sent off. If the Survivor is rescued after the half mark, the Survivor will be sent off upon the next chair. Try to stall for time, and to rescue just before the meter reaches half. Rescuing too early would mean less time for others to decode. However, it is always safer to be in the vicinity and prepare to rescue. Running from a far distance and estimating the time might result in a rescue after the half.
- Rescuers should always carry Tide Turner and be willing to body block. Tide Turner helps waste Hunter’s time and body blocking gives the other person a better chance to escape. Read the situation, if there are no pallets or windows nearby (nothing to help the rescued person kite better), there is no point in body blocking as they would be hit immediately afterward as well. Instead, if they have been rescued before half-mark, let them get hit to relocate to a better area, then save and body block them.
- Certain hunters might carry Trump Card, which allows them to change their trait in-game. Be wary of this. Just because the hunter had Blink at the beginning of the match does not mean they can’t teleport to your Exit Gate. A prompt will appear if the Hunter uses Trump Card.
- Basement saves are not usually successful, so carrying Tide Turner will help the chaired person out of the basement and hopefully make the next rescue easier. If rescued from the basement, try to create as much distance between you and the basement to avoid another basement rescue.
- Bait hits from the hunter before rescuing so they hit the chair. Their recovery time allows you to free the chaired person.
- Know when to vault windows and throw pallets. Certain areas are very unsafe and allow the hunter easy access to you if you choose to vault over something. Wait for a moment and read the hunter’s movements.
It starts in the hall. Usually, too many similar survivors are weaker than a variant setup.
Also, keep in mind that a skilled player will select a Hunter and a Trait that will help counter the Survivor's perks.
In high tier rank matches, Coordinator or Mercenary are commonly used as rescuing roles. For them, the Tide Turner talent is selected to allow teammates a 20-second invincibility time when they either rescue or are rescued from the rocket chair.
One example: Seer, Mechanic, Perfumer, Coordinator
Seer and Perfumer are decoding and containing (looping) the hunter, as they both have abilities that allow them to loop the hunter for a long period of time, and they possess no debuffs in decoding (except Perfumer, but only when she misses a calibration). The mechanic's main role is to decode (given her 125% decoding speed). A tactic used by Mechanic is to quickly decode a cipher machine at the beginning of the match, then control your robot. That way, even if the mechanic is placed on the rocket chair, her robot is still decoding at 125% speed. The coordinator's role is to rescue the survivors given her ability to stun the hunter with her flare gun. However, refrain she should refrain from using her flare gun during rescues earlier on in the game since she can only use it once.
If you play as a Gardener and you break chairs, you are putting your team in a dangerous position for three reasons.
1: Every time you break a chair, you alert the hunter of your position.
2: You are not decoding. Your teammates are depending on you to decode as fast as possible, especially if they are kiting the hunter for 60 seconds.
3: Broken chairs may not necessarily help yourself, or a team member who is kiting the hunter. For one, the hunter can fix rocket chairs. The hunter can also carry the talent [Hindsight], which increases their attack recovery speed by 6% if you break more than 2 chairs, and this effect can multiply for every chair broken after that.
- He can find 3 password pages in the map, each page can decode 50% of cipher machines quickly.
- Try to use your password pages before accelerated decoding to maximize its use.
- He does not have kiting debuffs, unlike other decoders. This makes him slightly more viable for kiting.
- Spawn the doll early in the match (Doll 125% decoding power > normal survivor)
- 1st priority of decoding in a safe place, other roles must give the decoder to mechanics
- Do not ever use your doll to rescue, unless the door is open and you are guaranteed to escape.
- Your doll being hit will inform the Hunter of your location.
- Rescue only when 2 or more survivors are injured/chaired. Some mechanics carry Tide Turner.
The Mind's Eye
- Fastest decoder in the game, but is rather slow at vaulting over windows and pallets and has very limited vision.
- It is recommended that you do not play The Mind’s Eye unless you are familiar with the map.
- Use echo immediately. This will allow your teammates to position themselves/prepare to kite if the hunter is near them. If the hunter uses headphones, they can hear the direction of your ability so beware.
- The best Mind's Eye users will never see hunter for the entire game.
- Be prepared to kite and get tunneled as The Mind's Eye. As you are the fastest decoder, a good hunter will try to find you first.
- Do not rescue unless you're the only one uninjured or if you're near the chair and you know that the cipher is primed. Stick to decoding ciphers whenever you can!
- Broken Windows is important for Mind’s Eye players as the kiting support is needed.
- Most experienced Mind's Eye players bring Great Power as well to increase pallet stun.
- Lawyer can still kite because the trait calls "Heart of Steel" makes invulnerable to Terror Shocks.
- He can use the map to know where are the teammates, the hunters, but you should use the map carefully as it runs out quickly.
- Set up a connection early game.
- Usually, Prisoners are paired with other decoders (in higher tiers) as the Prisoner does not have a very large decoding buff. He can enable other decoders to decode two machines at one safe spot using his connection.
- The Prisoner does not have kiting debuffs and can charge stuns, making him more viable for kiting.
-1st line rescuer in small maps
-Often, if not always, used in high-tier matches.
-Able to shoot the Hunter
Shoot the Hunter when they are carrying a Survivor. The ballooned Survivor is immediately freed from Hunter's grasp onto the ground. Shooting the Hunter will also leave them stunned for a few seconds. Be careful with this tactic, however, for the Hunter can counter this by releasing the Survivor when they see you rushing their direction with a gun.
Only shoot when you have a CLEAR aim, without any walls or obstacles potentially blocking your bullet and wasting your shot.
Get time for yourself or for another Survivor to run away.
Shoot while the match is at an early stage to avoided the Hunter leveling up with their skill.
- If needed, switch places on a chair with a rescued Survivor. The coordinator stays quite long in the chair, which gives time to others for decoding.
-1st line rescuer in large maps
-Can take two or more hits to be knocked down since he has delayed damage effect.
-Run away from rocket chairs when hit twice with your ability.
-Sometimes used in high-tier matches
- Requires good controls and no lag.
- His ability to stun hunters and rescue survivors from balloons makes him a good rescuer and kiter. It is recommended for the Forward to carry [Tide Turner] as well.
-Use rugby for going near the pallet if the hunter is chasing you, for better kite but don't waste too much energy. If possible, always make a U-turn and stun the hunter when you rescue off the survivor from the rocket chair
- When you create an illusion change direction, immediately. It is even better if you can create the illusion right before a corner or a wall or some kind of other obstacles.
- When played correctly, the Magician's illusion can block the attack of the hunter.
- Be aware of your weakness. The Magician takes longer to rescue when chaired and requires a good rescuer to go for the rescue. Be sure to bring broken windows as to not get downed too quickly and make your team rescue you early game.
-Now commonly banned in legendary match.
- Always try to look at the hunter whenever you're kiting. The best way to gain owls is running around the carousel in Moonlit River Park, and especially constantly staring at a certain hunter (Geisha).
-The Seer can see the hunter(s) for five seconds after the game begins.
- Very strong kiter if perfume is used correctly
- Occasionally acts as 2nd line rescuer
- Will raise Hunter's presence point, making it extremely difficult for another kiter to kite later on.
- Good Times to Use Her Perfume
Before jumping from a height
Before vaulting a window
Right before a Hunter lands a blow on you
- An old kiter, not commonly seen nowadays with another strong character(s)
- Sometimes used in high-tier matches
- Sadly, dazing the hunter usually doesn't work. It is very easy to defend against it as a Hunter
- Thief's moonwalking is best when the Hunter is Geisha.
-Even though the Thief’s flashlight is a very unaffected item, he can also work as a supporter character, as his chest-opening buff allows him and other survivors (Lucky Guys, especially) to go through chests much more quickly.
-Best for decoding and rescuing
-Not used often
-Music box can help speed up the process of opening the gate and speeding up cipher machines
-Works very well as a kiter, especially on elevated maps.
-Best to use music box:
When rescuing (Slow setting to slow the hunter)
Opening the gate
- Create a portal as an escape route if the hunter appears.
- Use your portals on wide 'walls' or on large objects to make the portal tunnel as long as you can.
- Before rescuing, make sure to have at least TWO portals ready, you never know.
- Her Portals Are Useful in Late Game due to the fact they can teleport when used at a correct time
-She is better partnered with a doctor due to their healing buffs which can alter the game
-Her main weakness is her portals also take a lot of time and she can't kite as she has a kiting debuff
-She also is slower by 10% when decoding which makes her preferably a rescuer over a decoder
- Dancer is a great survivor which is capable of all sorts of kiting and also can act as a decoder. Dancer was a kiter before the new update where her Decoding debuff has been removed
- She has 2 main types of music boxes The Slow box is preferably better when you get distance from a hunter. It is also best to use it from a building behind the survivor caught. Ex: Leo’s Memory Use The Slow Box on the wall behind the chair on the little shack. Her Buff “Duets” make her immune to the slowing effect which guarantees a possibly long kiting time
- Her Fast Box is Preferably Used for a Decoder :(Mechanic, Mind’s Eye) to make use of their fast decoding speed which if added by the fast music box can rush a cipher easy in the first 5 minutes.
- Her Skills are preferably better to be used on a building that has a large space that can be advantageous for her box. A Great Way to make an easy win is As soon as the fifth cipher pops, put a slow music box on the center of the place your standing.Since you aren't affected by slow music you can easily escape even if the hunter teleports, blinks, or has detention. Her Main Map is The Moonlit River Map where space is large and wide which is an advantage for her kiting abilities.
- Rarely used in high-tier matches
- Use Doctor and First Aid talents.
- You can heal yourself, so go and rescue others from chairs. Especially from hunters who love camping.
-The Doctor is capable of healing the smallest of damage, which makes her a good counter against hunters like the Soul Weaver or The Photographer.
Against Hunter tactics
Photographer - Joseph
Joseph is a hunter that can take photos of the survivors and enter the Mirror World. The Mirror World lasts about 60 seconds and Joseph can walk faster when he is inside. When the Mirror World ends, all ciphers will lose half of the progress made on them during the time the Mirror World lasted.
One strategy is to hide at the beginning of the match and wait for Joseph to take a photo, then go to a cipher that was nowhere near your spawn point. If you are found decoding in the Mirror World, Joseph will either terror shock and chair you in the Mirror World (leaving you incapacitated when it ends) or leave the Mirror World and terror shock you in real life.
If you are chaired in the Mirror World, immediately leave and go to a corner of the map/good hiding place and heal yourself. You can also try and find a teammate, but hiding allows everyone to keep decoding. You can heal yourself past the limit by equipping Exit Path.
- Doctor is a good counter against the Photographer (She can heal you past being a one-shot)
Remember that Joseph is very good at making the game last longer. It is important to focus on hiding or avoiding him early game to avoid being injured or chaired.
Wu Chang - White Guard/Black Guard
Wu Chang is a hunter that carries an umbrella (allows him to teleport to where it landed) and can change between the White Guard and Black Guard. White Guard has a longer recovery time but has a longer hit-box. Black Guard has a shorter recovery time, but with a shorter hit-box.
Black Guard has access to a bell once his presence reaches a certain point. When in a chase, watch behind you and observe Wu Chang to avoid stepping on the blue path that comes from his bell. A calibration will appear on your screen if you step on the blue path. If you fail these calibrations twice, you will start to walk in the opposite direction of where you want to go. Avoiding the bell is essential to keeping distance, since, regardless of whether you missed the calibration or not, you will fall to the ground for a second and allow Wu Chang to catch up to you.
White Guard can attempt to siphon your soul once his presence has reached a certain point. This allows Wu Chang to fly over to you, closing whatever distance you had. Wu Chang must be very close to you to actually siphon your soul. It takes around five seconds to do and will prompt hallucinations of multiple Wu Changs trying to hit you. These Wu Changs do no harm but may confuse you and allow the real Wu Chang to hit you. Once your soul has been siphoned, you will also be unable to interact with other people (making rescues impossible). White Guard’s longer recovery time allows for keeping distance, but keep in mind White Guard’s hitbox is larger and Wu Chang can simply move his camera and follow you if you try and juke him.