As you may have already noticed I’m totally all over Alien:Isolation game. I think the game is totally awesome. But surviving there is hard. So here are some tips on how to make your life on the Sevastopol space station a bit easier. I’ll list more stuff when I observe effective methods.
ALIEN SURVIVAL FOR DUMMIES
Last update: 2016/01/30
– Don’t play using Hard mode. It’s not challenging at all, in fact it feels stupid because alien knows exactly where you are no matter what you do and it’s really annoying and cheap because you can clearly see it’s scripted to know all that. Play with Medium difficulty which is still very challenging, alien actually wanders off or goes into the vents for a short time, you can actually leave its area and gain some extra space and time. It just feels more realistic and simply better.
– Disable music. While it makes some great atmosphere at the beginning, it gets in the way badly when you’re trying to track alien or other enemies through sound. Best motion tracker are your ears. Use them.
– When picking up a maintenance jack for the first time, pick it up first and then use the recorder next to the corpse holding maintenance jack. Playing the recording first and picking maintenance jack during playback will cause the game to lockup. It’s repeatable and reproducable bug, at least it hapepned 3 times in a row for me until i switched the order of doing things. Then it worked fine.
– When randomly encountering a weird noise when moving your mouse around (usually after aiming with the flamethrower), sort of like you’re carrying 20 bottles of flamethrower fuel on your belt, switch to a revolver and aim around with it for few seconds. The weird noise should go away. It’s a bug with flamethrower fuel noise when moving it around.
SNEAKING / HIDING / TRACKING ENEMIES
– Be aware of your surroundings, especially escape routes and hiding places for current room, one room back and for the upcoming one. You don’t want to be retreating into a dead end… Plan ahead and try to remember where you’ve seen hiding places as you walk through the rooms.
– Ceiling vents, if possible, try to walk around them and not underneath them. When alien is waiting, you’ll see the slime dripping from it and you’ll also hear heavy breathing of the alien. It’s best to always walk around the ceiling vents just to be sure.
– Never walk or run when alien is in the room. This will give you away and you won’t be able to outrun it because it’s way faster than you are. In fact don’t run at all unless you’re running away from a synthetic and you know there is no alien around…
– Place yourself into the alien shoes. So to speak. If you’re about to hide under a bench or a desk, imagine yourself from the alien perspective if it would be able to see you. Because sometimes you might think you’re hiding well, but you’re in fact very much visible. Staying out of its entire field of vision is the best way to hide.
– Don’t stay in one hiding place for too long. Alien tends to roam into the room, scout it and then leave for a short time. Take this as advantage and try to sneak into a next hiding place before it returns.
– You can track alien through listening to heavy footsteps (like walking barefoot flat on ceramic tiles). If you hear them, hide. You’ll also hear a distinctive noise when it jumps inside a vent (or out) and you can also track it through footsteps inside the vents. They have more echo and you’ll also hear a lot of metallic noise in footsteps.
– Stay away from main corridors if possible. Use vents or side corridors to progress. Avoid large open spaces without any chance to hide. The same reason why rats always move along walls in real life.
– When you’re hiding in a locker or those tiny closets and alien spots you inside, hold RMB (Right Mouse Button) to hold breath and press back key to lean backwards. Be aware that holding breath for too long will hurt you (health), but letting it go too soon will give you away. Game will notify you when you have to press RMB and lean back. You just have to do it quickly. In fact I tend to lean back even if the game doesn’t require me to do so. I somehow feel safer that way 😀
– You can also hide from alien out in the open, just make sure the object you’re hiding behind covers nearly your entire screen. If you can’t see alien, it won’t be able to see you either. But if you can clearly see it while hiding (without poking the head out), it will also see you. Been able to hide this way quite few times in the medical sector behind some chairs.
– Hiding in a floor vents doesn’t seem to help much despite not moving at all or making any noises. Which is odd, like the designers intentionally left out ground vents as valid hiding places. Now you know, if you have to pick between locker and ground vent, take the locker…
– Alien will investigate the origin of loud noises. So, if you fire the gun, alien will investigate the location where you fired the gun. If you know alien is around and you do have to fire a gun, make sure you will leave the area and hide as quick as possible. This can also be used to eliminate other humans. Either by provoking them to fire weapons at you or by doing it yourself near them and then hiding. You can also use “Noisemaker” device to attract alien exactly where you want it by throwing the device or to distract it and make your escape route easier.
– Areas where people or synthetics are patrolling are rarely visited by the alien unless if you or humans provoke its appearance. It’s often better to get around humans silently and you will also avoid alien at the same time. Once provoked, it will continuously roam the level, so plan ahead if you want to go full stealth or deal with alien once you clear out humans. You can gather some more resources from humans this way, but will require a lot more hiding in the long run…
– Synthetics are slow and you can outrun them. And just like humans, if you run out of their field of view and hide, they will eventually give up. Just keep listening to their chatter (monologues), to see when this happens. Synthetics and humans will also not chase you inside vents, so use them to evade humans and those emotionless creeps that way.
– When hiding underneath the desks, make sure you always pick the narrow path around the desk that is preferably facing a wall and not the wide one facing open room space. This will force alien to indeed get closer to you, but will also force it to look down at the desk and not you from the side, giving you a safer place to hide..
– Moving is allowed during alien’s presence, but only out of its field of vision and only in crouch stance. Use this when you have to play a cat and mouse around a desk, closet or a large pillar in the room.
DEALING WITH ENEMIES
– Don’t bother attacking alien with weapons other than explosives and fire. They have no real effect on it.
– Never attack synthetics with maintenance jack, from behind or head on, because they will always block your strikes eventually. First EMP or Stun prod them and then hammer them down in peace.
– Maintenance synthetics dressed in orange hazmat suits are highly resistant to stun prod, EMP or fire. Don’t waste those resources on them. Either outrun them or use Pipe bomb. If you can pack them nicely together you can do extra damage with a single pipe bomb. Shotgun seems to work OK against them as well. Face shot is the best option.
– Avoid human enemies if possible or take them down silently using maintenance jack. Revolver is easy, but makes a lot of noise and bullets aren’t that easy to come by.
– Molotov can be thrown or placed on the ground (which makes it proximity triggered). This way you can scare away an alien when it’s already hunting you and you have no chance to hide yourself. Or by using proximity sensor to secure room entrances or vents. When enemy gets close, the molotov will detonate. Alien will retreat for a short time, so make use of that time well.
– Be aware that alien attacked by the flamethrower needs a clear escape path, otherwise it will jump you and then escape. So, when trying to fight it off with a flamethrower, make sure the vent is not between you and the alien, because your flamethrower will prevent it from escaping and you’ll consume more fuel because it will stand there for longer than it would otherwise, trying to figure out how to escape. If needed, try to back off and give it space for it to jump inside the vent.
– Resources, while your carrying capacity is limited, don’t leave resources behind you. If your inventory is full, craft some items that you think will be useful. This will give you useful items and you’ll free up inventory to carry more stuff as you go along.
– In addition to your inventory, you can also store components in a construction screen. Just open up a construction menu and move some components to the construction fields. Even if you don’t finish creating the device, you will clear up your main inventory, allowing you to pick up more stuff. Components will wait in that screen till you finish construction. However, do this carefully since you can’t seem to be able to move components back to the main inventory.
– You can only carry 3 of each crafted devices plus have a 4th prepared in a crafting screen. You can carry 6 medpacks and have 7th prepared in the crafting screen.
– Flares can be used as a cheap distraction for the alien. Toss it the other way and alien will usually chase it if it sees it. There are plenty of flares around. They aren’t as effective as Noisemaker but still.
– Don’t use motion tracker if you don’t have to, because believe it or not, alien can hear it beeping. That also includes when you’re hiding in lockers. Use your ears instead at that time until alien leaves the immediate vicinity and then you can re-deploy motion tracker if needed.
– Motion tracker doesn’t work well inside vents (metal vents cause interference).
– When using tracker, slow moving or stationary dots are usually synthetics and humans. Very fast moving dot is the alien.
– Deploy motion tracker and spin for 360° around your own axis to perform a full space “radar” sweep. You might catch something you’d otherwise miss by pointing it to one direction only.
– When you see a glowing square near a wall (that is placed at around 45° angle), pick it up. It will reveal a larger part of the map in your player map menu without actually exploring the level. You can usually find them when you leave elevators or in general at the level starts.
– Molotov and flamethrower can be used as a free illumination when holding it in a hand (RMB). Illumination range is not great, but it lights up the area well enough to see a lot better than without any aid. Be aware that alien can see the molotov/flamethrower flame, so put it away when hiding under the desk…
– Don’t bother using portable radios to form some sort of distraction. I thought they’ll do something since they make noise, but alien did not react to it in any way. To my suprise, Working Joe’s did react to them.
– Knocking off chairs and other small items doesn’t seem to affect alien. Still, try to move around stuff if possible just for the sake of realism 😉
– Use emergency override buttons next to the doors to lock them for a short time and block alien from reaching you. This will give you short time of absolute safety in some closed rooms.
– Use flamethrower in short bursts to conserve fuel.
– When you see a dead synthetic on the ground that you can’t search like you can other bodies, beware, it will most likely jump you by surprise and you’ll have to fight it off and lose tiny bit of health. Stay away from them or prepare in advance to fight it off fast. Maybe you can even shock it with Stun prod in advance, haven’t tried that yet though…
– Closed alien eggs will spawn facehuggers if you get too close. Already open eggs are safe.