Mundfish finally stepped into the limelight after nearly 8 years of work on Atomic Heart. The game is jaw-dropping in terms of beautiful vistas and scenery but the combat can certainly be brutal, especially on higher difficulties. Mannequins, robots, and Buraks will definitely keep you on your toes. Unless you check out our Advanced Tips and Tricks for Atomic Heart.
Atomic Heart – Advanced Tips And Tricks
Atomic Heart doesn’t skimp out on gameplay and battle mechanics. It’s worth the salt for the most part but it can become truly grueling if an onslaught of Mannequins jumps right in your face. But there’s a plethora of elements, skills, and polymer powers to pull out of your bag of tricks.
Starting off, Atomic Heart doesn’t really delve into the intricacies of gameplay and battle and you’re left to wonder what’s really in store for next. You’re basically left on your own to figure out the ins and outs of the gameplay mechanics. But with our advanced tips and tricks for Atomic Heart, you’re sure to learn the ropes to blaze through Facility 3826.
Use Ammunition Wisely
If you’ve played Metro 2033 or Exodus, you know that coming across Ammo is a bit of a drag. You need to really be conservative with your gunplay. Atomic Heart gets even scarcer with ammo, offering you only a few shotgun shells in the beginning. To make matters worse, you’re relegated with one shotgun shell in reserve when you first start off with the game. This makes you prone to use the axe as a primary weapon for most of your initial escapades in Facility 3286.
Sure, it’s fun to hack and slash mannequins with an axe or dismember the already dead workers of the facility. But initially, these Mannequins can pretty much clobber you. You need to be especially quick on your feet to overpower mannequins. And if they’re twos or threes, you’re gonna have a bad time as they certainly don’t shy away from getting up all in your business, inevitably caging you up.
I had the same problem too. I resorted to the axe to take out mannequins. But this can certainly be grueling and tiring in the long run. So, what can you do? Don’t be shy of using the Shotgun. But make sure you use it conscientiously. Shotguns can pretty much decimate a Mannequin with one headshot or two shots to the body.
You’ll most likely run into two mannequins at a time or even three. And that’s just three shots per mannequin, which is viable. As you play through the game, you’ll come across more and more shotgun shells. So don’t be stingy with your shotgun use. These crash dummies can certainly drain your health. And then you’ll have to resort to using health capsules which are as rare as ammo in Atomic Heart.
Inevitably, you’ll find more ammo along the way. You’ll also unlock more polymer powers the likes of the Shok which comes in handy for staggering enemies and unlocking doors. But until then, be careful how you use your ammo unless you’re going up against just one crash dummy.
Upgrade, Dismantle Upgrades, Craft Items With NORA
Those first moments with NORA are pretty unnerving with her sexually explicit personality but you can’t go wrong with her when it comes to upgrading your gear. You can tap into new weapon upgrades and level up your gameplay with Polymer upgrades.
But one thing you might have skipped is the inventory feature. You heard it right. You can use Nora to store any unnecessary weapons, components, and items. And if you’re not using any raw materials or components, you can dismantle them to craft new upgrades or unlock new skills.
It’s one of those things that players easily sleep on in Atomic Heart. And if you’re still pretty early in your playthrough, you should realize that Atomic Heart offers loads of exciting weapons and gear in the long run. You’ll always be scavenging for resources if you’re like me and think you’ll run out of resources eventually. And then you’ll end up with an excess of something, or everything. You never know.
Yellow Means Come Over Here
We all know that action adventure games tend to point us at secret or hidden locations with some goodies to uncover. But they’re far few between and coming across them is incredibly hard in Atomic Heart. Due to the overall dark and gritty atmosphere of the game. But keep your eyes peeled because you might spot hints of yellow. But it’s kind of hard to spot considering the yellow hue is faded.
That’s the game basically yelling at you come over here, climb me. It’s unlikely a vault or vantage point but a secret area with some well-needed resources, blueprints or recipes for a new gun or skill.
You’ll be in for a heck of a time because the game keeps you on your toes with those difficult platforming challenges. But the hassle is pretty much worth it. Especially if you’re a player that likes to get their hands on some well-needed gear for troubles ahead!
But Hidden Locations aren’t always yellow. You’ll find blotches of white on red awnings or they’ll be entirely unmarked. Exploration is deeply rewarding in Atomic Heart. I found myself obtaining two weapon blueprints in one go at the Vavilov Complex for just exploring one hidden section.
Platforming sequences are occasional but they can be pretty annoying and hard. We won’t deny it. You’ll run into platforming puzzles that can seriously kill you if attempted wrong. You’ll need to be patient. It’s pretty easy to notice platform puzzles as climbable objects are dowsed in yellow.
Now that you’ve climbed a pole, you have to make the jump to a platform. If you’re still reading, you might have missed a few of these platforms and fallen to your death, haven’t you? But if you think it all comes down to luck, you’re kind of wrong. While most jumps appear to theoretically work, you might have still ended up falling flat. If P-3 stretches out his hand as he’s about to jump onto a platform, that means you’re in the clear. You’ll make the jump safely.
Scan Scan Scan!
One of the first abilities you’re given in Atomic Heart is the scanner which is by far the most useful tool in the game.
The Scanner in Atomic Heart is vital when it comes to finding hidden loot, containers, and tracking enemies and objects. But it’s a bit finicky and hard to get used to, especially if you’re in a hurry. The Scanner won’t work as intended if you’re always on the move as it can miss enemies and loot behind doors.
It won’t quickly pick up everything behind a wall or room. So, you need to stop and smell the roses. What we mean is that you need to wait for a second or two and come to a standstill to accurately see what’s hidden from the naked eye. You’ll miss out on loads of important information, so keep the scanner going for a second or two and you’ll be good to go.
Where the Scanner actually shines is discovering loot. As you already know, NORA needs some resources and polymer to upgrade your weapons and polymer powers, so make sure to scan for loot indicated by the light blue hue in the scanner. When you’re done looting, Scan again in case you missed anything.
One thing you might have missed out on is the fact that the scanner can reveal loads of information about enemies that are visible on your screen. You get access to vital information like Resistance to abilities and weapons, their weak points, and what resources you can recover from their remains.
Focus on Polymer Powers and Weapons
Considering ammo is precious and scarce, you’ll heavily need to rely on polymer powers and melee weapons for the majority of your playthrough. What’s good about Polymer Powers and melee weapons is that they only use a bit of your energy that can be regenerated after a cooldown period.
In your first few hours, you should opt for a Dominator and Electro setup with some Axe upgrades to ease things up a bit. And when you’re comfortable enough using your Polymer Powers and have an idea of the cooldown period, feel free to switch things up a notch and go for a build that suits you best.
Electro is a pretty good ranged weapon to look into. As stated previously, ammo is a point of contention in Atomic Heart and while Electro is a ranged weapon, it doesn’t use any ammo. Electro operated on a charged meter that has a really low cooldown period.
Base Electro kills larger enemies like Mannequins/Androids in 6 Hits. That’s 3 Hits for Pcehla and 4 for a Vatrushka.
The point is, Electro basically offers infinite ammo so long as you let it recharge during encounters. You’ll have a better gameplay experience if you keep on upgrading electro instead of wasting resources on resource-consuming weapons. But then again, you can dismantle your upgrades, which is a pretty big plus in Atomic Heart.
And then there’s the dominator. It’s pretty much the bigger brother of Electro. It uses Charle’s energy and creates high-density energy pulses to put enemies out of commission. You’ll acquire it later on in the game. Max out the rifle’s stats as soon as you can.
Look Into More Polymer Powers and Mix Things Up
After you get used to the basics of Polymer Powers, you should step things up a notch and go for better Polymer Powers. What we have in mind is Frostbite. It temporarily freezes enemies in their tracks.
This makes for decent breathing room considering enemies are pretty fast and agile in Atomic Heart and don’t mind getting all in your face. Frostbite initially slows enemies down and then encases them in ice. The damage done is so-so but makes for some really versatile follow-up attacks. You could easily put them out of their misery or deal with other enemies while your encased enemy thaws out.
Mass Telekinesis is another viable Polymeric Power. While it doesn’t do any damage directly, Mass Telekinesis stops enemies in their tracks and launches them in the air, leaving them vulnerable to any follow-up attacks. You could upgrade Mass Telekinesis to unlock the Smash attack. It works great to create some breathing room, crowd control, and any follow-up attacks you have in mind.
Polymeric Jet launches the game’s iconic Polymer directly at your opponents. It’s gooey, messy, and weird. But it acts like a buff for any follow-up polymer attacks. You can intensify either Shok or Frostbite after an initial spray down of some good ol’ Polymer.
And last in our Polymer Powers is Shok. You’re handed Shok at the beginning of the game for free. Although it seems a bit underwhelming at first, it’ll become a staple in your arsenal. And even if you want to unequip it, you can’t. You can trigger doors, devices, and stagger enemies with Shok and further look to upgrade it.
Invest In One Polymer Power At A Time
While there are loads of polymer powers and skill trees to look into in Atomic Heart. You shouldn’t spread out your resources all willy-nilly. Instead, find a Polymer Power that works best for you. Melee weapons and Guns are your go-to source of damage in Atomic Heart, but you’d be surprised how devastating Polymer Powers can become once fully upgraded.
It makes sense to fully upgrade one skill tree at a time. For once, carry all your eggs in one basket. You can only equip two Polymer Powers at once. Don’t spread out your resources. It isn’t worth it.
Now, Atomic Heart doesn’t seem like a Stealth-based game but it’s viable. There are some downsides to a stealthy approach because it won’t always be effective in the long run. The game gives you no indicators if an enemy notices you and before you know it, a mannequin is already bolting toward you at mach speed.
Then there’s the absence of a peek option to look past corners to get a better angle and view of your surroundings. Enemies are pretty unpredictable and turn around any second. There’s no real silent weapon or Polymer Power that can give you the upper hand in a stealthy situation. But you can save up on loads of ammo this way if you manage to nail a stealth-based approach.
Let’s be honest. Dandelion Cameras are definitely a pain in the rear. They call in any enemies in the vicinity if you’re spotted. The game suggests you distract them by throwing objects. You can blast them with your ranged weaponry and put them out of commission but only for a while.
Those pesky bean-shaped Pchela robots will inevitably come around and repair any decimated Dandelion Cameras. You could try to intervene during the repair process, but Repair Pchelas might start shooting laser beams at you. You can kill one, but it’s pretty pointless in the grand scheme of things. As they’re endless and they’ll eventually repair the damn Dandelion Camera.
Blue Pcehlas have to come near you to deal any damage but Yellow Pchelas are equipped with laser beams and fly higher than your average Pchela. You’ll have to use Electro to destroy them.
Your best bet is to use Shok to temporarily disable Dandelion Cameras. Shok disables Dandelion cameras for half a minute at best. Just use your basic Polymer Power and quickly move past that location to evade any unwarranted encounters.
So let’s say you trigger a Dandelion Camera. Your Alarm Level will be bumped up to Level 1, kind of like GTA. Enemies will hone in your vicinity. While this seems like a good tactic to rake up some resources and neuropolymer from enemies, you’d be damned as you might end up wasting more resources than collecting them in the aftermath.
If you start fighting enemies in the line of sight of a Dandelion Camera, the Alarm Level will be bumped up to 2. This is pretty much game over for you as you can’t stop the onslaught of enemies that are approaching you.
Play it wisely, use Shok and disable Dandelion cameras and wait it out till your Alarm Level drops down to 0 Again. Once it does, hop back into action.
Nobody really talks about this but, Atomic Heart can really be challenging. The game is pretty punishing if you die. And you’ll die a couple of times during your playthrough. So, how can you work around this? Save the game frequently!
I can’t imagine the number of times I’ve died in the game by curiously running into a Burak, a laser, or going into a boss fight unprepared and I’ve regretted not saving beforehand. So don’t make the same mistake as me. Save the game as much as you can.
Fortunately, you’ll come across save stations more frequently than you’d normally see in a videogame.
If the game points at you in one direction. Go somewhere else and explore the living hell out of it. Atomic Heart pretty much embraces this statement and it doesn’t disappoint with the generous sprinkling of optional dungeons, areas, and secret locations you can discover and explore.
You can find loads of testing grounds with some formidable enemies in your wake, but after a decent hack n’ slash session, you’ll get some well-needed loot. Think weapon mods and neuropolymer to upgrade your weapons and Polymer Powers. You can’t go wrong with exploring Facility 3826 because the game ultimately rewards you for exploration.
Atomic Heart’s advanced tips and tricks don’t end here. This will be a pretty important read if you skipped out on those small prompts you get at the beginning of the game. Combat is pretty challenging in Atomic Heart and it’s pretty punishing and even more if you die.
Dodge as much as you can, your life depends on it. You can dodge by pressing either circle or B on consoles. Enemies are pretty erratic and unpredictable. They can quickly eat away at your health. You get a brief red prompt before an enemy performs a powerful attack. Use dodge right before it, or else P-3 will down to his feet.
You can further upgrade dodge with NORA’s help. Sleazeball is a pretty viable skill to add to your arsenal because you might dodge one Power Surge Attack but a second enemy might connect with a light attack and before you know it, you’re cornered and dead. Sleazeball basically makes you invincible for the duration of the attack, preventing you from getting damaged by a second enemy.
The next upgrade on your list should be Second Wind. Now Second Wind is essential to add to your roster of Skills. Because it allows you to dodge a second time after your initial Dodge.
Don’t Get Cornered
I’ve already mentioned it a couple of times now. You’ll find yourself getting cornered. Enemies will unapologetically bolt at you like you stole from them. They’ll pressure you to back off. And before you know it, you’re fighting off the back foot.
This becomes cumbersome considering you can find yourself getting stuck in small objects and terrain, or enemies blocking your pathway. So keep your eyes open and always find an exit point to escape enemies. Although this seems like a clunky combat issue on part of the developers, it makes for a more challenging experience and keeps you on your toes.
Master Melee Weapons Too
Don’t go relying on Electro and staving off Melee Weapons. While Electro is useful for the better part of the game, considering ammo is scarce, you’d be stupid to leave Melee Weapons out of the equation.
Melee Weapons like baseball bats, bludgeons, knives, and the axe are given to you pretty early on in the game and it would be pretty unwise of you to not kit them out and master their fundamentals.
Note: Attacking fast opponents like mannequins and mutants will incapacitate them, preventing them from running toward you at full speed. Something most players miss considering the horrors of combat in Atomic Heart.
You’re here to enjoy the game and get better at it, right? Not to just beat the game and call it a day.
That’s a wrap for our Advanced Tips and Tricks for Atomic Heart. Which aren’t as advanced as you’d expect. The game has the basic tropes of any Action Adventure. But not to take away too much credit, it does pack a punch in the combat department.