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Top 10 Tips for Deep Rock Survivor

You're on your own this time miner, but that's not a problem if you follow these tips.

The publishers behind Deep Rock Galactic have released their own take on Vampire Survivors. Whether you’re familiar or not with the franchise, we have some of the best tips for Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor to help you survive and return with pockets full of gold.

We’ll be assuming that you’re familiar with the bare basics of the genre. That way we can focus on tips unique to Deep Rock Survivor (yes, we shortened the name a bit).

Naturally, we’ll be updating this article as changes are made to the game. It’s still in early access and was released only a few days ago. It’s guaranteed that the developers will be making changes based on feedback, and we’ll do our best to keep you up to date with the latest tips.

I didn’t put the tips in any particular order of importance, however you will notice the tips start out more broad and move to the more niche.

Learn Each Weapon’s Targeting Behavior

Unlike some other auto-shooters, Deep Rock Survivor does NOT have a manual aim option for any of its weapons. Instead, each weapon has its own firing behavior and will target enemies based on this.

If you fail to account for your weapons’ behaviors, you’ll be left cursing and wondering why you’re not hitting your intended targets. All before you get swarmed to death.

That being said, not every weapon has a very good description for its behavior. Some are straight-forward and clear, such as the Deepcore GK2 that targets the closest enemy. Other weapons, namely every Grenade-type weapon, have only vague descriptions and rather inconsistent targeting.

While we hope that a future update will clarify the details for every weapon, the best approach currently is to just experiment and get a feel for them yourself. Luckily, every weapon is viable with the right upgrades, but everyone has their own preferences for their playstyle.

Complete Milestones to Unlock New Features

Most of the features (weapons, equipment, and classes) in Deep Rock Survivor are locked behind Milestones – various challenges that you typically need to complete in a single mission.

You’ll probably complete a majority of them just by naturally playing the game, but some of them require you to go out of your way to earn them. While these challenges could be completed by any Class, some naturally have an easier time.

For example, the “Dodge 100 times during a dive” challenge is best done on the Scout with the Recon class mod. If you haven’t unlocked the Recon class mod, hold off on attempting the challenge until you do so.

We expect this to become even more pronounced in the future when additional challenges are added. Also notably, you do NOT need to beat the mission after you complete the Milestone. As soon as you meet requirements, you can die and end the mission to get credit (just don’t manually quit).

Prioritize Unlocking Overclocks

Every weapon in Deep Rock Survivor has access to the Overclock system, which gives you the choice between two powerful upgrades whenever a weapon reaches level 6, 12, and 18 during a mission.

However, you have to unlock the Overclock system on each weapon first to gain access to it. Simply grab the weapon during a mission and level it (the weapon, not your overall level) up to 12 to permanently unlock Overclocks for said weapon in future runs.

You can do this on any mission, so we recommend you running Crystalline Caverns on Hazard 1 whenever you gain a new weapon. It’s by far the easiest mission, and you can effortlessly take Paint Job upgrades to speed up the weapon leveling even faster.

Weapons that haven’t had their Overclock system unlocked yet will have a warning/notification in the top left corner.

Once you’re done, feel free to die and get back to running higher difficulty missions with your now (potentially) stronger weapon.

Build Around a Specific Trait

This tip for Deep Rock Galactic requires you to gain some experience with the game first to properly utilize, but it’s important to keep in mind early on.

Each weapon has multiple traits assigned to it, such as Kinetic, Projectile, Throwable, etc. Ideally, you want your build during each mission to center around one or two common traits between your four weapons.

If you manage to do so, each potential upgrade you get from leveling up will generally be tied to that common trait. For example, the Engineer can focus his build entirely around the Construct trait. By taking four Construct-type weapons, he’ll be much more likely to get an upgrade like +10% Construct damage, which will also add more value than if he had only one Construct-type weapon.

Of course, you’ll have to first unlock enough weapons with said common trait type, but that’s inevitable for any player who doesn’t quit after a couple games.

Explore the Edges Early

While this tip isn’t crucial early on during low Hazard missions, a very important habit for Deep Rock Survivor players to get into is exploring the edges of the map first whenever they enter a stage.

You have a very limited time window before hordes of enemies start arriving, and you want to use that time to quickly and (somewhat) safely gather any resources.

Given that you’re effectively boxed in on one side at the edges of the map, you do not want to be around when massive swarms appear and cut off your escape routes. This is painfully true on higher Hazards, where the swarms are even larger, and you can barely afford to take one hit.

While this strategy won’t always work, it’s usually best to explore the edges early and work your way inwards in a spiral-like pattern. This should help you gather all the major resources (Gold, Nitra, and secondary objectives) while also giving you plenty of room to work with.

Weaponize the Resupply Pod

You’ll have the chance to call down a Resupply Pod in each stage that contains some (usually) helpful piece of equipment. While the equipment is valuable, the landing of the pod itself is even more useful in most cases.

Whatever enemy happens to be in a small radius around where the Resupply Pod lands is instantly killed. This applies to every enemy, even elites and stage bosses. The one exception is the Dreadnought at the very end of the mission, but even that loses 50% of its max health from being hit by the Resupply Pod.

And unlike its parent game, the dropping of the Resupply Pod does not hurt you in Deep Rock Survivor!

With all of this in mind, it’s very much worth taking a couple hits to successfully lure a group of problematic enemies into the Resupply Pod circle’s center to instantly kill them off. Especially if it’s a group of elite enemies, as you’ll instantly gain a massive surge of EXP from their deaths.

On higher Hazards, mastering this technique will be crucial to killing off the stage’s boss(es) in a timely manner before the swarm grows too strong. You’ll have to get really good with the timing and kiting to avoid taking too much damage, but it’s absolutely worth it.

Mine Strategically and Carefully

One thing we’ve noticed from watching other players is that a lot of them do not mine with a plan. While the various rocks/walls do serve as an obstacle to you, they also serve as obstacles to most of your enemies.

The majority of enemies in Deep Rock Survivor are basic (alien) bugs that can only take existing paths to reach you. As such, if you dig a one-way path into a group of rocks, you can effectively funnel most of your enemies into that one entry way.

However, most players dig haphazardly and end up accidentally creating a small gap in the rocks where the bugs can get in from a different direction. At that point, you would have to bail on your tunnel and try to find the least cluttered area to escape from.

If you can manage to avoid that mistake, you can effectively direct the enemies into attacking you from a single direction. Besides making it easier to kill them, you can also funnel enemies away from your future exit point in the rocks.

Obviously, this doesn’t work against flying enemies. Some larger enemies can also mine through the rocks themselves to reach you, but even then, you can at least control the direction they approach you from.

And trust us, at the higher hazards, you’ll need every advantage and moment of relief that you can get.

Exploit the Exploders

You’ll quickly become well acquainted with the orange, glowing Exploders in Deep Rock Survivor. These little guys are out for your blood, detonating whenever they die or get close enough to you.

While Exploders can deal a significant amount of damage to you, they also deal damage to their fellow bugs! Thanks to that, you can use a couple Exploders to wipe out huge chunks of a swarm.

To do so, you’ll want to let a couple Exploders spawn and group up near each by kiting them around a bit. Ideally, said group of Exploders will also be surrounded by large bulky enemies that are tougher to kill (and drop more EXP).

At this point, to reliably cause a massive chain reaction, you’ll want to detonate at least two Exploders near each other. Although you can just deal enough damage to trigger them, it’s much more reliable to just dip in-and-out of their trigger radius.

Out of all our tips for Deep Rock Survivor, you’ll probably be using this one the most. It’s incredibly difficult to control the swarms without exploiting the Exploders against them. If you can’t manage them properly, you won’t stand a chance in higher Hazard missions.

Just be careful to make sure that you have enough room to avoid being caught up in the resulting explosions. We’ve accidentally wiped ourselves out a couple times trying to eliminate three swarms worth of enemies at once.

Also note that Exploders can destroy terrain with their explosion. It’s sometimes worth detonating an isolated Exploder just to quickly clear a path or mine a mineral deposit.

Prioritize Pickup Radius Upgrades

This Deep Rock Survivor tip is more of a case-by-case one, but in general, any upgrades to your Pickup Radius should be prioritized.

Unless it’s the very final boss, it doesn’t matter how many kills you can get if you don’t get any EXP for them. Without that EXP, you’re not going to level up your weapons/stats enough to deal with the increasingly stronger swarms.

Unfortunately, said swarms also tend to be large and fast enough to block you from safely grabbing the EXP dropped by their fallen brethren. Then you’re stuck in an awkward dance of trying to circle around them to try and grab those clusters of EXP that are just out of reach.

Luckily, with enough Pickup Radius upgrades, you can instantly grab all that dropped EXP without having to pause for even a single moment while running away.

In general, we recommend you grab Pickup Radius upgrades whenever they’re available until you reach around 300% for it. At that point, almost nothing should be out of your reach.

Of course, there will be moments when there’s a different upgrade that’s too good to pass up. We don’t expect you to give up a Legendary upgrade to your main weapon for a Common Pickup buff. But Pickup Radius upgrades will go a long way to ensuring you become stronger much faster.

Don’t Get Greedy

Out of all of our Deep Rock Survivor tips, this will be the hardest one to adhere to. It’s easy to fall into the mindset that you need to perfectly maximize your gains from each stage and leave nothing behind.

Unfortunately, you only have so much time in each stage. Either the swarm becomes too big to handle or you accidentally kill the boss earlier than you planned. Regardless, you’ll have to cut your losses and move on to the Drop Pod at some point or you’ll fail the mission.

Easier said than done.

We can’t count the number of times we missed the Drop Pod by a mere second because we were trying to collect all the massive clusters of EXP that were sitting around or thought we could mine one more cluster of Nitra before leaving.

We also fall prey to the idea that we need to save the Resupply Pod’s instant kill for the boss. That way we can keep farming EXP for as long as possible to gain advantage on later stages. Only for reality to hit us with a swarm too massive to survive long enough for the Resupply Pod to land.

Other times, we give up upgrades that would benefit our survival for the sake of more damage, thinking that we’re careful enough to not need that extra health. Only for us to die moments later from taking one too many hits.

You get the picture. Don’t be too greedy. You don’t need to perfectly sweep the map. You don’t need to have the ultimate instant-death build. You don’t need to grab the Resupply Pod if you have only 5 seconds to get to the soon-to-be-leaving Drop Pod.

Cut your loses and move on. In 98% of cases, you will be fine without an upgrade or two. Complete the mission and get back alive – that’s your main goal.

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