Killing Floor 2 may be limited in terms of what it has currently available –which is basically not much choice in terms of player classes, a single game mode, and only three stage. But what it has going for it is a very deep gameplay that offers a very solid game experience. And thanks to the multiplayer nature of the game, every single time you load up Killing Floor 2 will be a unique, dynamic, and challengingly organic thrill ride. Of course, it is hard to have fun when you have no clue as to what you have to do, so here’s our guide for anyone wanting to play Killing Floor 2. Continue Reading
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Early Access Guide: Surviving Killing Floor 2
There is a palpable sense of dread that hangs in the air once the sound of a chainsaw’s engine revving up starts echoing through the stage. Because it does not matter if you and your team just managed to efficiently paint the entire stage red with the blood and guts of unnumerable zeds (and we meant that literally), that iconic snarling engine can only mean one thing: a scrake has spawned and things are about to get incredibly dangerous. Welcome to Killing Floor 2, a multiplayer cooperative zombie-slaying FPS game that will have you cutting down waves and waves of mutated zombies and then trying to survive against much bigger monsters. But as we always say, it’s all fun and games until someone gets bludgeoned to death by a Fleshpound.
Understanding Killing Floor 2
If you have never, ever played the original Killing Floor and have yet to start playing Killing Floor 2, then read up. This guide here is your best bet to making it past the first couple of waves alive. And that right there is the first lesson of the game, in the Killing Floor, while the whole point is to get zeds to die, you should also expect to get killed yourself. It does not matter if you are completely new to FPS games or if you are a top tier player in Battlefield, CoD, or L4D, whatever other game is out there. While experience in FPS games will help, your new account has no levels (you start with level zero, not 1) and absolutely no perks. Even on a normal difficulty room, do not expect to make it through to the end.
The game is not unfair or impossible however. Keep playing enough and you will get better at dealing with zeds, understanding how the different guns work, and most importantly, learn how to play with other people. Learn to observe and you will become a better player. Since controls for the game also have some unique fucntions, your first few hours and days on this game will be spent getting acclimatized to timing parries, understanding the whole single-button weapon cycling for primaries, and other such features.
The Different Classes
One of the game’s first options to give you is a character class –you get to pick one to start with every game. We recommend finding one you’re comfortable with, master that, and then have a secondary class to specialize in. Of course, that’s a concern that’s meant for the late game. All you need to know right now is that there are a few classes to choose from and that this list will increase when the retail version of the game comes out.
Berserkers are, as most video game players are already used to, designed to soak up damage and then deliver a serious beatdown on zeds. This applies quite well on KF2 on many different levels. Just remember that with this class, perfecting your parry and knowing when to use ammunition on the sledgehammer (for explosive wallops) is the key to surviving. Later on, you will be able to semi-tank bosses (yes, parrying that chainsaw is completely doable). The best part about Berserkers is that they’re very cost effective.
The Commando is the typical run and gun class that is able to hold off small groups of enemies from a good distance. Their best asset is the ability to see hidden and cloaked zeds (which is a critical function in the game), this means that if you play with a microphone, you will be able to warn your team of any incoming threats (without a mic, just learn to type quick shortcut codes like FP –fleshpound, inc – incoming, etc).
The Support Specialist may sound like a weak support class, but it is actually a powerful unit. First off, it has a basic shotgun that deals great damage (better save your shells and backpedal a little so that you shoot at groups instead of individual targets). This class can resupply the entire team with free ammunition once per round (allowing everyone to save precious cash). And lastly, once you acquire the AA-12, you can start taking down bosses with just a clip or two (just use the starter gun on other targets to save ammo).
Lastly, there is the Medic –which like the support specialist, sounds like a puny class. It isn’t. Medic weapons can be used in one or two ways –shoot an enemy to deal damage and poison damage over time. Or shoot a team mate for a homing healing dart. If there are too many things going on at once, do not hesitate to lob a gas grenade into the mix. The explosion will deal damage to zeds, the blue gas will poison them, and any teammates caught in the radius will get healed (yes, the medicinal technology in this world is ridiculously awesome). Just be sure to understand who to prioritize with healing: commandos first, supports next, and then berserkers if they truly, really, need it.
There is literally a ton of ways to play the game, and you will certainly develop your own style over time. Still, there are a few very basic yet surprisingly not quite intuitive rules that players should remember (and thus make this your foundation for whatever play style you will have later on.
First off, know your gun –specifically, learn how it shoots, how it recoils, how it reloads, and more. Almost all gun have various shooting modes (single fire, semi automatic, and full automatic). Since ammunition is incredibly limited in the game, wasting shots is a big sin in the long run. Learn to shoot properly and with as few bullets as possible. Reload times should always be considered too, since the time you spend reloading makes you slower during the animation, it is best to know when you are actually safe enough to be reloading that gun.
The next thing you learn is melee – almost all zeds will charge up to you and hit you with their fists, claws, tails, or whatnot. And having a way to fight back without wasting ammunition is important. This is where melee comes in. Learn to direct your attacks by combining the movement keys with the swing of your weapon. Also close quarters combat is best mastered with the understanding of parrying. Any melee weapon can be used to parry –even the medic’s little scalpel.
Lastly, try to familiarize yourself with the stages –there is no shortcut to this. While you can review maps, the best thing is to actually play the game often enough to understand the little routes and passages that you can take and that the zeds will certainly go through. There is a more complex application of this knowledge (which results in the team being able to somehow manipulate the location of enemy spawns), but that requires plenty of practice.
Now that you have a basic idea of how to fight, here is what you are up against: mutant zombies. In the game, they are called zeds, and zeds come in a variety of packages. We will not waste time dissecting every single zed’s little details in the game, but we will cover how to effective kill and survive having to fight them. And as a general rule that applies to all zeds: pop the head when you can. It may not instantly kill some of the tougher ones, but it sure cripples them.
Clots, Cysts, and Slashers are all the same type of zed: the fodder. These guys are reasonably weak and takes only a single well placed shot to the noggin to be disposed of. To differentiate the three, the Clots are the basic ones, the Cysts move even slightly slower, and the Slashers are the fast ones with claws. They are not dangerous until there is a huge horde of them.
Crawlers are a lot like Slashers, except that they have spider arms on their backs. They also hunt in groups so never expect to just run into one. If you see a crawler, expect to see more.
Gorefasts are armed with a crowbar like weapon on their arms, are fast, and tends to chase after their targets. Do not waste bullets shooting the body on this one, go for the head and that will stop it from being able to run at all and allow you to dispatch it more quickly and safely.
Stalkers are hard to deal with unless you have a commando in the party. They use full body invisibility and then attack you with fancy kicks and punches out of a martial arts movie (making them hard to hit with melee as well). To spot these zombie ladies, keep an eye out for the telltale shimmering effect when they walk, you can also hear them since they giggle a lot.
Bloats are huge tanker zeds armed with meat cleavers. To fight these, keep your distance and keep shooting the head. Do note that Tubbies tend to act as distractions while other zeds will try circling around to surround you. Also, these fat zombies will try to spit (or vomit) acid on you and your teammates.
Husks are armed with long ranged fireball shooting weapons –making them perfect targets for commandos and medics as they will not get close enough for the berserkers or specialists to prioritize. A shot or two to the head is a good way to quickly remove these threats from picking off your team through fireball potshots.
Sirens are more dangerous than Husks since their attacks will ignore armor. You can literally hear them when they are present in a round and they should be priority targets for commandos.
Scarkes are large boss type enemies that can easily be identified by the giant chainsaw that is attached to their arm. Once you see one, do not panic and carefully back away while still dealing with the other enemies in a stage. Prematurely shooting a scrake on your own will make it perform rushing attacks that are hard to avoid. Teams should focus on clearing as much of the wave as they can and then work together to bring a scrake down. Be warned that a single scrake can make quick work of a lone player. The sound of the chainsaw will play when they spawn.
Fullpounds are larger and tougher than scrakes, but they are also a little bit more predictable as they do not have those crazy bum rush attacks. What they are however, is extremely tough and they will try to wallop you with their weaponized arms the moment you get within range. A loud roar can be heard once a fleshpound spawns in the map –though they may not immediately attack you as they are just as likely to attack other zeds if the team stays out of sight.
Finally, we have Hans Volter, which is the real ‘final boss’ of the Early Access version of KF2. This guy is a big zed mutant wearing nothing but pants. He is armed with a large variety of weapons and when his health is halfway down, he will start draining the life from players he can grab. Fighting this guy is not easy, so players should work together to quickly bring down the HP of this boss.
Killing Floor 2 is not designed to be a solo game –yes, it is possible for a super skilled player to be able to finish all the waves alone on Hell on Earth difficulty, but that is a rare and super duper slow occurrence if there ever was one. The point of the game is play with your team. It does not matter if you all have the same class or use different ones, the point is to actually be able to have people you can trust to cover your back as well as you would cover theirs.
First off, communicate. Communicating is the key to communication, so either type on the keyboard or use that microphone (the game has an excellent voice chat function). People tend to work well when directed what to do, and those who are familiar with the game shouldnot hesitate to step up to the role of a leader.
Share what you got. This is not an intuitive function and is something that players have to learn. Most FPS games may allow you to drop a weapon or two for others, but in KF2, you can share money. Money is not an easy commodity to come by, and if you happen to be playing a class that is thrifty by nature (like a berserker), then do not hesitate to give your extra funds to players with higher-cost classes like the medic. Remember that as a team game, your overall strength as a group matters and hoarding cash will net you nothing as you cannot carry it over to other games.
Do not die carelessly –there is no way to get revived when you die in the middle of the round. If this happens, it is up to the rest of the team to carry the round without you. Once the next round starts, you will respawn but be stripped of previously earned cash and weapons –which means that even if you are back, you will not be as effective as you were before you died. Granted that there is really no way to avoid dying if the enemy manages to outsmart you, but some players end up making it very easy for the zeds to do their work –which is not just bad for the round, but is also a very demoralizing thing for the entire team.
Do not let the team die. Once you start playing the game and learn to observe, it will be easy to spot teammates in need of help (or sometimes they will literally be communicating to everyone that they literally need help). In moments like these, give that much needed help. A dead teammate is one less ally helping kill zeds and a quarter more zeds for everyone in the team to deal with. Plus the weapon and cash penalty will make that teammate weaker. If a teammate does die (and it happens), do not hesitate to share some of your money with them.
Learn to defend good spots, even if there are many conflicting opinions on where a “good spot” is on any map. The key is that at some point in the game, a good team will be able to stumble upon a place they can control –once this spot is found, it is good for everyone to watch over the different possible passageways and weld some of the doors shut. Just remember that no matter how good that spot is, the entire team will need to move away carefully once the scrakes and fleshounds arrive.
Things to Remember
Manage your money wisely. The game will award you with a little bit of money for performing certain actions. This means killing zombies, healing teammates, and of course, finishing entire waves. This also means that being careless can waste you precious cash –excessively using ammunition or buying the wrong weapon can set your progress back by entire waves. Also, once you have an optimum loadout of weapons, share the extra money as it will not do you any good. This is particularly true when a boss wave is coming and someone in the team does not have a good gun.
Learn the various perks. Each class has its own perks –like the Berserker’s ability to soak damage and buff up their melee attacks. And so they each will behave differently on the stage –you cannot expect a medic to play the same way as a commando would. Knowing how your teammates will behave will allow you to complement their actions instead of getting in each other’s way.
Hans Volter is very dangerous. Short of a support specialist with full armor, HP and several clips of AA12 shells to unload, there is no point getting near this boss. Even berserkers will have to go for some hit and run tactics (preferably, with a nearby safe spot to run into) when dealing with this guy. Most importantly, do not make this boss chase you through narrow pathways and closed off areas –this will not only get you killed, but it will make him harder for the team to deal with. It is always best to force Hans into an open space where most of his attacks will be a lot less effective.
This May All Change One Day
Since Killing Floor 2 is still in early access, some of the features, maps, weapons, perks, and more may be changed or updated in order to balance the game. Balance is going to be definitely tweaked with the introduction not only of new perks and classes, but also with the new zeds that will be brought in later on.
One of the things that will not change however, is the basics. KF2 will always be focused on team based strategy and that will apply to the Matriarch zed and the martial artist class and whatever else is coming. So aside from making use of the early access to get used to the game, use it to also understand other players better. Some long, high difficulty matches can be won even without a single person saying a single word to each other as long as the team plays conscientiously. It is not an easy thing to pull off, but having a good grasp of how the game plays and how to best support the team is often enough to deal with even the toughest challenges that the game can throw at you.