Evolve Guide: Turtle Rock On Beginner’s Tips For Hunters

Meet the hunters

Evolve [official site] is Turtle Rock’s monster vs hunters asymmetric multiplayer title. Recently we’ve been more likely to talk about the game for its pre-order content shenanigans or its free-to-play progress promotion app but this time we’re focusing in on how the game actually works. To that end we’ve tracked down Phil Robb – Turtle Rock’s creative director – for a briefing on how each of the characters work. (This is entirely a selfless act and not just a way for Pip to get a tactical advantage over the rest of RPS, by the way.) Here are the fruits of our conversation:

This article focuses on the Hunters. If you’re looking for monster tips you’ll need our Monster guide which will be up soon.

Assault class guide

Assault class

“His job is damage – he’s the guy who gets up in the monster’s face and deals as much damage as he possibly can.”

According to Phil, monsters tend to ignore the assault player, knocking them out of the way and focusing on the squishier characters. The idea there is that the monster is hoping to reduce the number of personnel he’s dealing with as well as removing characters like the supports and medics which might be buffing or sustaining the assault player.

None of them have a great range on their weapons so being all up in the monster’s business is what you want, particularly with Hyde and his flamethrower. You’re also trying to distract the monster, tearing his or her attention away from the squishier members of your squad who will then be able to help protect you as you deal damage.

Markov is the first assault character you get to play and is, as you might expect, the most straightforward. His lightning gun locks on to its target so is good for beginners as well as being powerful against quicker monsters like Wraith where you’re trying to hit a rapidly moving target. Markov can also lay mines around the map so that skill will improve as your map awareness increases or as you gain experience against particular monsters. Generally you’re looking for choke points and places the monster will tend to head when you lay those at first though – mine-laying 101 stuff.

Parnell has a rocket launcher so can do a lot of damage but needs to aim so he’s trickier for new player and against more sprightly monsters. He does have super soldier serum on hand, though, which means that dosing up on that then getting a clips-worth of on-target rockets means you’ll have dealt a hefty amount of damage to your foe. There’s some obvious synergy with characters who can slow the monster – either with grenades or harpoons or tranquilisers – and make it easier to hit.

Hyde sits somewhere between Parnell and Markov. He can dish out damage but needs to be up close. He has that flamethrower so aiming isn’t as important, plus he’s also equipped with toxic grenades which poison the monster.

Trappers class guide

Trapper class

“The trapper is super important early game because the trapper is the one with the equipment to help find the monster. Once the trapper finds the monster it’s their job to hamper their movement in some way.”

All trappers have a mobile arena which is a small dome which descends over the monster like a glass cake protector. A stage one monster (that’s early game, before the monster has grown stronger and more dangerous) is likely to be running away as it’s more vulnerable. If you can pop a dome down on to of it and smack it around early you’re going to be giving yourself more of an advantage over the beast.

The first trapper you can access is Maggie. Well, Maggie and Daisy, her alien dog pet. Daisy’s ability is that she can sniff out the general direction of the monster if there are tracks or clues in the area. That means you’ll be heading in the right direction when you’re tracking your opponent. Maggie can also lay harpoon traps to hit and slow the monster. You’re allowed five of these on the map at any given time so you’ll need to be strategic when placing them. Phil recommends putting them on the rock pillars of maps. Monsters tend to go high, is his reasoning. Plus they’re harder to see before you activate them AND they’re good for snagging the Kraken who tends to be airborne.

Then there’s Griffin who lays a network of sound spikes which, if disturbed by the monster, register on the minimap. Phil recommends using them to divide the map in half so you can get a broad idea of where the monster is, or using them on common pinch points making them hard to avoid. Where Maggie is an active hunter, Griffin is more reactive. He also has a harpoon gun which he can use persistently to slow the monster.

Third is Abe. Abe is bad at finding the monster initially because he doesn’t really have anything in his kit for alerting you to its presence. What do does have is a tracking dart pistol. That means once you do find the monster you should be able to keep an eye on where it’s headed for long periods of time. You can also dart wildlife in the hope that the monster will eat it and activate the tracker. Abe also has stasis grenades which slow the monster and a shotgun which you can aim for longer in order to give better precision for targets who are further away.

Medics class guide

Medic class

“Their main job is keeping everyone healthy and in the fight.”

All of the medics have a burst heal ability but Val is probably the most straightforwardly medic-y of the characters. Her damage mechanic allows her to shoot an anti-material rifle which gives the monster a weak spot. Others can shoot that weak spot and do damage. She has a dart which tracks and tranquilises the monster so it gets slowed, although the tracking effect is far shorter than Abe’s dart. She also has a visible green healing beam which she aims at other hunters to restore health. The bean is a bit of a mixed blessing though – it lets the monster see exactly where Val is and target her. A tip for Val is to ready her dart when the trapper brings down the mini arena. That way the monster is slowed as well as being tracked when it can finally escape.

Lazarus sucks at healing as the only way he has to keep people healthy is that burst heal all Medics have. His name should give away his main strength though. He can bring dead or incapacitated hunters back to life. He has a personal cloak so can go invisible as he sneaks towards bodies but using his resurrection glove pops the cloak so you’ll still need to be careful. Smart monsters also know to camp the bodies of Lazarus’ teammates as he’ll likely turn up to save them. Keep an eye out for monstrous lurkers. His gun works in a similar way to Val’s although it creates smaller weak spots instead of one big one – it combines well with projectiles like rocket launchers to do damage.

Caira is more aggressive – an angry doctor. She’s got napalm grenades which do damage what they hit and then then continue to burn so there’s a damage-over-time component. She’s also got an acceleration field which lets your hunters clump up and move a bit faster than the monster for a while. That’s useful at the start when you’re trying to mitigate the monster’s headstart as well as when trying to catch up or to escape. She also has healing grenades which mean she can also throw them at the floor by her feet and apply them to herself.

Support class guide

Support class

“It’s the Swiss army knife of the group. Their abilities vary but their gen theme is one of helping the team”

Every support has a cloaking field ability – like Lazarus’s but you can apply it to others. Hank is also equipped with a laser cutter which is a big rapid-fire laser gun. He has a shield gun which is kind of like Val’s heal except it cloaks the recipient instead of healing. It won’t run out til it has taken a certain amount of damage so you can use it to get someone like Hyde up close to the monster and keep him shielded a little from the inevitable attacks. Hank also has an orbital barrage which is a kind of air strike. It’s hard to hit with but if you sneak up on the monster and use it to get the first hit you can do a heap of damage. Other cool tricks are possible with this too. It won’t injure hunters, only throw them about a bit so you can aim it at yourself if a monster is in pursuit. Phil says he actually saw someone win the game that way in the beta phase.

Bucket is a robot with a laser-guided rocket launcher, He also has sentry drones which you can place around the map or save up and use in the mini arena. Phil and I were pondering placement and one idea we were kicking around was placing the sentries nearish to Griffin’s sound spikes. That way if a monster is sneaking so as to avoid the spikes it won’t be able to dodge the sentries and would either need to reveal himself or take damage. He also has a UAV capability which involves piloting a drone which pops off Bucket’s body. Obviously you’d need to put the body in a safe place while doing this or task another hunter with guarding you, but you can use the UAV to scout out the monster and – if you keep it in your crosshairs long enough – you can track it. It’s easier to do that in the mini arena as the monster can’t roam and dodge nearly as much.

Lastly there’s Cabot. Cabot’s great for helping the team find the monster. He has this cloud of radioactive dust he can call down which reveals all wildlife including the monster for 15 seconds. It’s great if you have a general idea where the monster might be but no specific intel. His own damage mostly comes from his rail gun which can actually shoot through walls. He also has a damage amplifier which applies a debuff to the monster doubling the amount of damage it takes from hits.

Phil finishes with an example combo:

Hyde, Abe and Bucket on same team gives you Hyde’s toxic grenades, Bucket’s sentries, Abe’s stasis grenades – “You’d have a slow monster choking on poison and getting shot by robots and – if Val was on the team – getting tranqed. That’s pure monster hell!”


  1. Thurgret says:

    This reads strangely like a promotional piece, complete with promotional images. Or something off a wiki. I guess it might just be the way it’s formatted? It’s neither an interview, nor a news piece, nor a preview or review, nor does it read like most RPS feature pieces – typically laden with opinion and humour. Was this Phil guy really just that dry?

    Oh no. First comment. Since I feel obliged to post something about the game now: €50 is far too much for something where whether I enjoy it or not appears to be dependent on if I have four friends who want to play it (I don’t – not at that price point) or serendipitous encounters with strangers.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      Yeah, this did feel awfully like a press release.

      • Premium User Badge

        Philippa Warr says:

        Tis the result of a conversation rather than a press release and I didn’t use any press releases in its creation either . Phil was well-versed in the characters’ abilities and how they could be used together and I felt newcomers could benefit from that. Studios will give media training to the people they send to these events and make sure they stay on message but the information still felt useful if you want a quick understanding of how characters work along with a couple of pointers as to how to start using them.

        • ThatFuzzyTiger says:

          “Stay on message”

          The Tiger feels a shiver run down the feline spine

          That’s three words you *never* want to hear, especially after reading the pair of Evolve articles. Brr.

        • ravencheek says:

          “make sure they stay on message”

          How exactly did they “make sure”? Maybe this article should have a disclaimer “This article has been made sure the studios agreed with the content and opinion”.

          I thought RPS was more developer/studio neutral than this, I guess every webpage has it’s price.

        • ThatFuzzyTiger says:

          If I had to take a guess, staying on message involved the gentle use of a cattle prod…

          *Feline grin*

    • kevinspell says:

      Lol, before reading the comments I was actually looking on top an bottom of the article for something like “paid promotion”.

      • Baines says:

        Yes, it is kind of funny that RPS runs two articles that read like paid advertising. (Even if they aren’t.)

        In comparison, Destructoid ran article explaining why their Evolve review isn’t live. (Answer: Destructoid decided to wait to play it on the real servers.) Kotaku ran a piece that tries to break down what the different versions of the game give you, and a fairly positive “impressions” piece. And IGN, who I’d most expect to run paid advertising, just ran a first impressions piece and said that their final review would be held off for the same reason that Destructoid gave.

      • theigor says:

        I did literally the same thing

      • Christian says:

        Same here, I looked as well; doesn’t feel like something from RPS..
        I’d have expected some insights from actually having played the game.

  2. Faxanadu says:

    The amount of hype this game is getting is A: making me super grumpy about how NS2 never got this kinda attention even tho it’s got similar stuff B: making me super grumpy because no way it’ll live up to all the hype. So I’m superduper grumpy now. *grumpycat.png*

    • RichSG says:

      Yeah I was into NS2 for a while too, they are similar aren’t they?

      I think the problem with NS2 was that it was really difficult to be a casual player – it was so reliant on teamwork that playing on public servers was a huge gamble – maybe 50/50 – as to whether you’d get a good, competitive game or not. If you didn’t, it’d be rubbish and over really quickly. Given also that you had to wait 10-15mins between games made it even more annoying. It’ll be interesting to see how Evolve pans out, and if it has the same issues.

      • MrUnimport says:

        In my limited experience, the same issues are present, and exacerbated by the low playercount: if the monster doesn’t know what they’re doing, that’s one entire side not up to scratch. I think a lot of people were rather turned off by early alpha matches just because they were fighting monsters who didn’t know how to be monsters or hunters who didn’t know how to hunt. In particular I remember one rather devastating beatdown we received from an AI monster, our team escaping certain doom by a hair as a player connected to the game and the monster abruptly became sluggish and confused.

    • Al Bobo says:

      I played NS2 about 500 hours and I can say that both it and Evolve are very good games. Evolve’s basics are easier to grasp, though.

    • Asurmen says:

      NS2 and this are nothing alike.

  3. Brosecutor says:

    Played the beta and formed my opinion. Call me when this game is five bucks or less.

  4. Stinkfinger75 says:

    Does anyone know if this game has controller support on PC?

  5. kevinspell says:

    Well it turns out my Steam backlog does have a positive side to it. It makes me not care about any new games I have any suspicions about. Why should I buy a game with more DLC than I can track when I own so many great games I haven’t played yet…

  6. KirbyEvan says:

    I wanted to enjoy this game, but a mixture of obviously overpowered paid DLC characters and poor balance all around really took away a lot of my excitement for the game.

    That and the sheer amount of DLC that’s in the game at launch when it’s already severely missing content.

    • Deadly Sinner says:

      Actually, the game was incredibly balanced, even with the acknowledgement that the Wraith needed some work. The win ratio was 51.5% hunters to 48.5% monsters.

      I’m not sure how you could possibly know whether the DLC characters will be “obviously” overpowered or not, since we don’t actually know the first thing about them.

      • KirbyEvan says:

        My first glimpse of the DLC was when they locked the extremely overpowered Wraith class behind a pre-order paywall in the beta.

        I can only imagine the same thing in the full game.

        • Al Bobo says:

          They nerfed Wraith since it had over 70% win ratio in beta. Kraken had similar numbers in alpha, but after tweaking it now sits around 50%. DLC is for different playstyles, not OP autowin characters.

  7. lowprices says:

    A curious game. The only way to win is to not pre-order.

  8. ravencheek says:

    It’s not a preview article, it’s not a “wot I think”, it’s not a news piece, it’s not an opinion-gument, it’s not an RPS article as it’s void of any sarcasm, wit or humour….

    Has this been written while the person was under duress?

    • Hex says:

      I was wondering the same thing. It reeks of passive aggression.

  9. McBeak says:

    I don’t mean to be a prude, but there’s a lot of grammatical errors in this piece. Just FYI. I’m not hatin’, and I’m definitely no expert. I’m just saying they’re very noticeable in this one.

  10. fish99 says:

    I watched a stream of Jesse Cox playing this with the devs the other day, and it just didn’t do anything for me. I don’t see where the variety comes from to stop it getting boring inside a couple of weeks.

  11. Alegis says:

    Evolve Guide: Turtle Rock On Beginner’s Tips For Monsters:

    Step 1:

    Buy the Super Monster for 15 USD on the in-game shop.
    Or buy a season pass for 25 USD and think of all the savings!

  12. T-wester says:

    Rock Paper Shotgun Feature Class Add