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Aug 22, 2013
  • The Showdown Effect

I made some posts on Reddit filled with tips that have gotten me to the final boss in one week of playing, and I am transcribing them here because this forum does not seem to have many advice posts.

First tip: this game rewards persistence and practice, so don't give up!

Disclaimer: the following tips are not authoritative, they are just things that worked for me. Your mileage may vary!


Knife / Shockblade

Just left click without holding the right mouse button when equipped with any gun and you'll stab with your knife instead. You always have this weapon, even though it isn't listed in your inventory. It takes 2 stabs to kill small mutants and you can do this safely by backing up while you stab at them. Don't try to stab things bigger than small mutants though because the damage you take from getting brushed by a big mutant or big zombie seems to be at least 5x as much as a small version. Small zombies also die in 2 stabs but their movement is more erratic and harder to time stabs against. You stab straight forward with your right arm, so keep that in mind while fighting as the mutants tend to run around you. Keep that arm pointed towards them, not to the left of them. You can eventually make a Shockblade that 1-shots small mutants and zombies, but by the time you have that (level 5) you won't be fighting very many weenies and the use will be limited. You may not want to bother, because the Shockblade does consume an inventory slot (though it works passively, you don't need to equip it to use it). Learn how to knife fight if you want to save a lot of ammo in the first few levels, but don't rely on this for anything bigger than a small mutant. The recipe for the Shockblade is a Microchip and a Taser.

AGL_1 (Adhesive Grenade Launcher)

Useful for 1-shotting big mutants (they look grey compared to the green small mutants and make stompy noises when they chase you). You can also blow open secret rooms with 2 AGL rounds instead of spending your RDX_250 plastic explosives. Save those for making Nailgun ammo and / or Cannon rounds. Note that the explosion caused is not very big and this weapon does not actually do a lot of damage. It really is a bottom tier gun so don't worry too much about hoarding ammo for it. It only has 1 upgrade (AGL_3) and that makes it shoot 3 rounds per firing, which is hard to aim and makes you waste ammo when using it to blow up secret walls. I skip that upgrade.


This is the worst video game shotgun ever, for a few different reasons. It just doesn't do enough damage per shot in the basic form to be very useful, and the damage falls off horribly against anything not directly in your face. For comparison, a large mutant dies in 4 knife stabs, 1 AGL round, or 2 perfectly aimed point blank shotgun shots. You really don't want to let a large mutant get close enough for either knifing or shotgunning since it won't one shot them, though it will knock them down. They'll get back up, just wait. This is a problem because any other weapon just lets you keep shooting them until they die, no chance of being fooled. You can eventually get a double shotgun through combining 2 of them and a Hardware, but even then it is lackluster because I believe it still only fires 1 burst at a time. If you check your ammo it only consumes 1 per shot (but you have a 20 shot magazine). The damage didn't seem any better either so it seems the whole point of the upgrade is the increased magazine, sort of like the Machine Gun 3200 Drum upgrade. If you have a Shotgun and ammo, feel free to blow up small mutants and zombies with it, just be careful because large mutants and huge zombies can be knocked down without dying. It is really a shame how much ammo you find for this in the last few levels that you'll never use :p

9mm Pistol / Autopistol / SMG

These are the weapons that use 9mm ammo. The SMG is the highest tier form, and you can upgrade from a 9mm pistol into an autogun, into an SMG if you have the Tubes and Hardware to spare. This is a viable approach if you don't like the Nailgun, or, really like Nailbombs. If you have room to keep 2 non-armor piercing guns with you, I recommend the SMG after the Minigun. You may as well drop a regular 9mm though if you need room, it won't do enough damage to matter later on.

Nailgun / Nailgun_2

The first Nailgun you craft is terrible, don't bother with it. Just try to find another Tube as fast as possible to upgrade this into the Nailgun_2, doubling its damage output over time (and ammo consumption). You can keep wasting Tubes making it shoot more nails at once, but you need those Tubes for more important things than a strictly early game weapon. All varieties of Nailgun are not really effective after the first 4 levels due to their range. You will be fighting enemies that have Autopistols, SMGs, and MG3200s, and they will eat you alive at medium / long range if you can't get behind cover. If you have your own MG3200 or SMG ready though you can just blow them away while they prepare to fire on you. Drop your Nailgun if you need room, it will have served its purpose getting you to level 4/5 without spending all your 9mm ammo.


It can reveal secrets in 2 shots like the AGL, and is equally lackluster in real fights. It does not upgrade into anything useful, and you can drop it if you need the inventory space later on. I have not tested this against Welders yet, but the item description claims it has armor piercing properties and those things are a waste of ammo from your more important guns.

Machine Gun 3200

The MG3200 is great for killing Huge Mutant Gunners, Guards, Red Guards, and Scientists. You could waste it on lesser enemies, but I don't recommend it. You can upgrade the magazine into a drum feed with 90 shots per reload, but it makes reloading take a very long time. If you luck out and find a Motor off a War Walker you can combine 4x MG3200 + a Motor to create a Minigun, which absolutely shreds monsters, even ones with Medium armor like Squids. Just watch your ammo count, don't hold the button down too long.

Heavy Rifle / 2x_Rifle

This is your earliest armor piercing gun so don't waste any shots on unarmored enemies (every enemy until the level 5 boss is unarmored). You can kill a lot of very nasty enemies with only a few shots of the 2x_Rifle (combine 2 Heavy Rifles), but it fires slowly. Don't miss. Heavy Rifle ammo is not exactly rare, but in level 6-7 you fight a LOT of armored enemies so it is bound to run low. Ammo drops seem to really thin out towards the end of the game.

Rifle_Hv / Mg_Hv

Not to be confused with the Heavy_Rifle, the Rifle_Hv uses depleted uranium rounds that have some armor piercing. Does less damage per shot than the 2x_Rifle, but it uses a different armor piercing ammo type, so definitely keep this on you. Use it for lesser armored enemies so you can save your 2x_Rifle for big bads like the laser squid and minigun snake robot. Just use a Hardware kit to turn the regular Rifle_Hv into a faster firing version with a bigger magazine (Mg_Hv). The other way to get an Mg_Hv is by upgrading an Mg3200 into the Mg_Hv. I wouldn't bother though, it is a waste of a Large Tube.


Freaking awesome, but make sure you save a microchip so you can upgrade its magazine size by 400% (!). Works great vs. armored enemies. Pick up all the tazers you find so you can take their batteries for your lasergun. This is a medium range weapon, don't try to snipe with it. You may not want to use it against Squids because of the limited range unless you're out of ammo with your other armor piercing guns.


RDX_250 / RDX_500

Basic timed explosive, press left click to drop under your feet, right click to aim and toss a short distance. The AOE on the 250 variety is not very large, but it will destroy secret walls in one use if you don't have AGL ammo to do it with. I find in the first 5 levels these are primarily useful for crafting Nailgun ammo (nails + 1x RDX_250). Combine 2x RDX_250 to make an RDX_500 charge, which is used in making Nailbombs, Canguns, and Panzerfausts, though I don't really recommend any of these things. Just dropping the RDX_250 / 500 while running away from groups of zombies gets the job done.

Consumable Items

Canned Meat (stacks to 4)

Very useful, and you find a stash of 4 cans on the first level every game. Each Canned Meat becomes an Empty Can when used, and restores 10 hp. Canned Meat, unlike Medkits, allows you to gain up to 150 hp (eat 5 of these at 100 hp). These bonus hp do not degrade over time, so scarf your cans as fast as possible to generate more Empty Cans. Canned Meat can be dropped by small / large mutants and small zombies.

Medkit25 (stacks to 3)

Found all over the place in every level after the first, these can be used either to heal yourself up to 100 hp, combined with RDX_250 to become a Stimulant, or you can use 2x Medkit25 in place of a Medkit50 along with 2 Microchips to create a Teleporter.

Medkit50 (stacks to 2)

Heals you for 50 hp if you consume it, but will not take you past 100 hp. A single Medkit50 + 2x Microchips will make a Teleporter, which heals you for 50 hp when you would have died, in addition to teleporting you to a potentially safer part of the level to reload your guns, craft some armor, and calm down for a few seconds ;)


Unfortunately I do not know a lot about these. I don't make them because they do not heal you and you sacrifice a Medkit25 for them. Suggestion to devs: make Stimulants heal you over the duration of the buff effect for 25 hp total. Something like 1 hp per second? I did not time the duration when I experimented with one. You can find these in secret rooms of later levels if you want to try it without making your own.

Crafting Items

Empty Cans (stacks to 4)

Empty Cans are important because 12 of them becomes 50 Armor for you. Every 6 empties can be turned into 1 plate, and 2x plates become Armor. You can have up to 100 armor, but each 2x plate recipe only awards 50. I recommend you focus your Empties on armor instead of bombs... survival is paramount in this game and you get plenty of guns for killing. However, you could also use your Empty Cans to make Canguns or Panzerfausts. I don't really recommended building either of these because Canguns hurt you when you use them, and Panzerfausts are easy to miss with, wasting your entire investment. The best use for Empty Cans outside of Plates for Armor that I've found is making Cannon ammo. I have not yet experimented much with this weapon, but it seems like a multi-shot Rocket Launcher equivalant. You find many, many plates in the late game (4x per secret area, and 2 secret areas like that in the last few levels) so you may want to try the Cannon out.

Tubes (stacks to 2)

The most precious crafting item in the game if you ask me. These are used to make the SMG, Nailgun (1-5), Detector, EN Detector and Power Legs. All of these are good items, and the Detectors are essentially required unless you like dying pointlessly. You will likely never see more than 1 Tube in any single level, though the game does seem to be allowed to place them randomly. For example, some games I find a Tube in level 1 on the ground in some rooms, but not always. You will never have enough Tubes! You can also make the AGL-3 and Teslacoil out of these, but I don't really recommend doing that because the AGL-3 is garbage and the Teslacoil is guaranteed in level 9.


You will find more of this than you know what to do with in the late game. It is used to build guns exclusively, so if you already have all your favorite guns you can ignore these and save your inventory space. Your first Hardware will likely be used to craft either the Nailgun-1 or an Autopistol on level 2.

Microchips (stacks to 4)

Use these to build your Detectors, upgrade your Lasgun's battery size, and build Teleporters. It also takes a Microchip to build Power Legs and the Magshield passive items. You will find oodles of these in the last half of the game so don't be shy about making Teleporters out of them.

Passive Items


A teleporter is essentially an extra life. When you would have died, you are instead teleported back to the level entrance (unless you're in a boss fight, then you go to the penalty box! hehe). You are also healed for 50hp, and retain all of your equipment and whatever Armor was not destroyed in the attack that (nearly) killed you. Carry at least one of these as soon as possible to prevent a silly game over! I have often found myself with 3 or more in later levels. Create Teleporters by combining a Medkit50 or 2x Medkit25 with 2x Microchips. You will have more than enough Microchips to make many Teleporters and not much else to use them on after your EN Detector is built. Teleporters are the only passive item in the game that can be consumed.


Build this as soon as possible, it will save you hp and ammo by helping you avoid pipe ambushes. Sometimes you won't have a choice but to walk into them to advance, but at least you'll know ahead of time and you can do something like place a meat trap and have a weapon ready to deal with a swarm of zombies. The recipe is a Microchip and a Tube, and you can find your first Microchip on level 3, which happens to be the first level to feature zombie ambushes!

EN Detector

The EN Detector shows you the location of any unseen enemies within a certain range of the player, but not the type of enemy. The EN Detector uses the original Detector + 1x Tube + 2x MChips. Get this fast unless you enjoy dying pointlessly when you could have known there was something behind that door / around that corner just waiting for you. You might not have the Microchips to finish this until level 4 or 5, though.


Nifty upgrade to your knife that lets you kill Small Mutants, Small Zombies, and Swarmbots in 1 hit. I do not recommend trying to knife Swarmbots... I usually skipped this item because of inventory space concerns, and because those types of enemies are just not that scary by the time you can build a Shockblade. You should have plenty of ammo in a crappy weapon like the Shotgun to deal with them by then.

Power Legs

This passive item makes you run more quickly, which can be great for avoiding all kinds of damage during fights. Unfortunately they require a Motor to be built, and if the secret bosses on level 3 or the regular bosses on level 5 don't drop a Motor for you, you won't find one naturally until level 8. A word of caution though... I have often tripped Swarmbot ambushes by running so fast through a corridor the Detector warning ring did not have time to appear :[ The recipe is 2x Tubes (so precious...), a microchip, and a Motor.


Really cool item that deflects some bullets before they can hit you. It does not stop ALL bullets, just some of them. Consider it like a bit of extra Armor against bullet-using enemies; nice to have, but certainly does not make you invinceble.


Black goo

As you run around the maps you will eventually see black goo with colors near the edge, sort of like an oil slick of doom. Don't touch it, you'll die instantly. Do lure small and large mutants into it! Zombies are harder, and don't even bother trying to lure large zombies, they're too dangerous to fool around with since they have a ranged attack and do tons of damage. Mutants are typically a waste of ammo though because knifing them and luring them into the black goo is so easy with a little practice. If there isn't any black goo around just hit big mutants with 1 AGL-1 shot and they're dead. You won't use the AGL-1 for much else anyway. Enemy item drops are NOT consumed by the goo, you just need to be VERY CAREFUL when picking them up. I have also had some limited success luring War Walkers (level 5 boss robots) into the goo in levels where they spawn as regular enemies, but this is very dangerous.


Once you build the Detector item you can see a white blinking circle that indicates the trigger radius of ambush pipes. These can spawn either small zombies (levels 3-6 and 9-10) or Swarmbots (7-10) depending on which chunk of the level the ambush is located in. Yes, both types of ambushes exist in levels 9 and 10. If you're really desperate for a Canned Meat / Empty Can you can trigger these on purpose and hope a zombie drops one! Be very careful though with the Swarmbots, they do a lot of damage very quickly and take more damage to kill than zombies, avoid spawning them if at all possible.


Heavy Destroyer Snake (level 6 boss)

The room you fight this thing in has lots of columns for you to hide behind. Just don't stop moving and you'll be ok. Armor piercing weapons like the 2x_Rifle work best, don't bother trying to kill this thing with regular weapons (SMG, Shotgun, etc...). Honestly I've fought this thing three times now and won every time, it was never even close. Try not to run too far away from it, or it will start shootings its miniguns (I think? hard to say). It seems like if you let it stay half a column behind you while running around the corners you can shoot it once with the 2x_Rifle then quickly turn the corners over and over until it dies without getting hurt hardly at all.

Heavy Laser Squidbot (appears in levels 7-10)

You can actually kill these things from outside the maximum range of their laser, and I suggest you do that! They are armored, but do not have an amazing amount of hp, so you can take them down with any armor piercing weapon as long as you are careful. Their eye laser is instant death if you have no Armor! Even with Armor it is nearly-instant death...

That is all for now, I will continue to update and expand this as I learn more about the game and have time to write.
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