For Aliens: Dark Descent playersm this guide provides tips and tricks for everyone else starting out, while trying not to drop any story spoilers.
Crew management on the Otago
- If a soldier is tired but also in the medbay, don’t use a doctor for them, they’ll get some rest while they heal up, unless you’re going to the next day anyway, then use up any doctor charges you got.
- I’m personally prioritizing the traits which prevent them from getting tired, fix their own trauma and remove bad traits, this just cuts down on all the headache-inducing mechanics.
- Psychiatry removes 2 pips per day, so don’t bother putting a marine in the psych ward if they only got 1 point of trauma, unless again you got a spot free anyway and you’re going to progress the day.
Maps are persistent
- Just remember, everything is persistent, so if you had to rush out of the map and you had to leave your sentries behind, just come back to pick them up another day, they’re not lost forever.
- Same goes for a room you might’ve walked passed, but you don’t have a hacker or marine with smart trait, you can always come back for this room if you so desire, I usually wouldn’t bother unless there’s still several rooms / buildings unexplored however, cause wasting an entire day on 1 medkit, 1 tools and 1-2 ammo (which won’t carry over) isn’t worth the cost (spending days has downsides, can’t say which without spoiling too much).
Weapons and upgrades
- From what I’ve seen all classes get the revolver as their secondary weapon which unlocks when you promote a private to a class, while it has half the clip size, it CAN roll up to 3 damage per hit instead of 1, however the damage rolls are 1-3, so it can be argued that the starting pistol is more ammo efficient for marines that haven’t leveled yet, but once you added 1 or 2 levels of accuracy I’d consider giving them the revolver instead.
- The Smart Gun is probably something people will unlock just for nostalgia, but the true benefits are in the upgrades that come with it for the class, you can deploy it as an improvised turret (your marine will use it’s secondary weapon) and improve the effects of slowdown in the suppression cone.
- The biggest must-have in my opinion though is the sniper for the recon, because that has a silencer upgrade on the recon itself, so this allows you to essentially get rid of pesky patrols without alerting anyone or anything, this doesn’t even warn nearby enemy right next to the target.
This therefor allows you to stay out of being spotted a lot easier, thereby reducing stress buildup and aggression building, it also just allows you to dispatch them without needing to go around or letting them pass.
- This one is rather simple, just don’t bring any resources and I mean it.
You’re going to find so many resources on the map as they’re huge and everytime you come to a location it starts of peaceful so you have enough time to loot and fill up your bags, also every map I’ve done so far has at least 1-2 turrets or provides them if you’re about to run into some ♥♥♥♥.
What this does is allow you to take more with you back to the Otago and build up supplies for missions that you are struggling with (so that you have some backup items incase you gotta redeploy), the only exception to this could be a medkit or 1 sentry, a medkit incase you get messed up before you find the first few (don’t use medkits unless you got a wound) and sentry because they are refilled for free if you bring them back to the Otago so it’s essentially free bullets when you have to shoot anyway.
- Ammo is a special case because there’s no limit to how much you can pickup in a mission, but it also doesn’t go back with you to the Otago, so you actually shouldn’t be grabbing up too much ammo, because you want there to be ammo on the map incase you gotta make a 2nd or 3rd trip and those new squads might new ammo as well, try to limit yourself to 6-8 mags in reserve, this is where the generic ammo pouches upgrade comes in very useful, because it starts you off with 1 extra mag instead of just increase capacity, reducing the need to consume ammo on the map.
- Finally, you should your command points, these can really save you in so many situations AND save you ammunition.
A horde coming through your small door chokepoint? Drop a napalm pool in it so they’ll have to walk through fire and not just your bullets.
A runner in your face? Don’t risk your marine getting it’s arm torn off, shotgun the bastard.
A boss not in melee range yet? Use this oppertunity to launch a grenade at it and inflict severe damage.
- Command points are an infinite resource, use it as such, just try to keep always have 1 point left whenever possible for nasty surprises, I usually don’t deploy sensors for example unless I’m at 3 or higher.
- don’t have much to say on the research stuff, I never really bother bringing them, the statis grenade slow enemies, but I use suppression to slow enemies, I guess it could be useful against bosses, so you don’t to spend a command point on suppression, but usually if there’s bosses (outside of story encounters) you’re already in medium or high aggression and it’s time to get out soon.
The extraction device just pisses me off, I feel like that should be a medic ability, not something you gotta research and then spend xeno points on to have available in a mission that might not even have any facehuggers.
The armor one is the only one I’ve bothered using, because while you can heal marines with a first aid kit, they’ll still need to go to the doctor for proper recovery when back on the ship, armor prevents this so is superior to health even though it can’t be restored.
- If you’re spotted and they’re already coming for you, your first instinct would be to pull back and setup a defensive perimeter or try to stay clear from the hunt.
This actually hurts you however, because you’re going to be building up stress for your marines and aggression on the enemy anyway.
So what you should actually be doing is changing your mentality to: “I’m spotted anyway, I should get as much done as possible” especially going into new rooms and whatnot, cause let’s say there’s a bunch of facehuggers, it doesn’t matter now if they spotted you cause you’re spotted already anyway.
So while it is initially bad, during the time you should consider yourself immune to spotting and use this to push to through areas where you’d otherwise rather not get spotted.
- The exception to the above is when you enter a new aggression level and you’ll get a wave headed towards you after a 30 second timer.
Use this time to setup a defensive position, preferably with a single chokepoint or long sightlines and set 1 marine on suppressing fire on where they are coming from.
- For the aggression level waves you can actually prepare, because as you go through the map you should be placing motion sensors (especially on spawn points), these will stay there permanently even if you leave the map and come back, this allows you to monitor where enemies are spawning and more importantly where the aggression wave is coming from, so you know what direction to cover.
- What also helps with providing yourself a safe space is NOT opening all doors, some doors will be locked but you can go around, if you let this room on the side of your main path only let 1 of it’s doors unlocked instead of both you have a nice room you can run into and lockdown for either safe haven and rest or use as a defensive position with natural chokepoint, the reason you want to do this is because welded doors will be attacked and broken, while locked doors won’t so essentially count as walls that you can unlock when you actually need them.
- Remember that your ARC has a gun on it and is not just a transport, if you have motion trackers placed around the compound and see a patrol heading your way, send the ARC to the nearest ARC point and it will blast them before they even reach you, also if you’re going to enter a building make sure you leave the ARC covering the entrance, so you don’t get any unwelcome visitors from behind and you have a point of strength to retreat to.
- Aliens: Dark Descent Ironman & Nightmare Mode Tips
- Aliens: Dark Descent How To Survive Nightmare
- Aliens: Dark Descent Save Game – Tutorial Skip
- Aliens: Dark Descent How to Reduce Crash & Increase Performance