The Closed Beta for Dauntless kicks off later today, unleashing a new wave of slayers into the Shattered Isles. So, to help make their first steps be as painless as possible, I’ve put together a few helpful tips to ensure they are ready to take down the behemoths, and not end up as a puddle of blood on the ground.

Not sure how to fight? Hold down Tab

If you ever forget what your combos are, or just want a reminder of what your weapon can do, hold down the Tab key. This will bring up an image that gives you all of that information. Just one piece of advice – the arrow means that you need to hold down a direction key/movement thumbstick as well as the corresponding attack button (which isn’t made clear in the images.) Knowing this will save you a lot of hassle and frustration.

Choose the weapon that matches your playstyle

The tutorial will force you to slay your first target, a Gnasher, with a Sword. It’s a great all-rounder that provides decent damage and mobility, but some of you might prefer quicker hit-and-run tactics, or landing fewer but more powerful blows. That’s why I recommend replaying the first hunt a few times to try out the other weapons (by pressing L on your keyboard.)

As previously mentioned, the Sword is the best all-rounder. While not the quickest or the most powerful, it can keep up a steady amount of damage and allow you to move around your target much better than you would with an Axe or Hammer. Its special ability provides increased damage for a short time. Just charge up your gauge by hitting the behemoth, and then unleash it when the time is right.

The Axe packs the biggest punch on average, dealing the most damage per blow. Its special ability allows them to charge up a swing for even more hurt, but it comes at the cost of very low mobility whilst doing so. Basically, if you’re the kind of player who knows when to strike with the big hits, the Axe is for you.

The Chain Blades offer the best mobility in the game. As well as providing some mid-range attacks, they allow players to hurl themselves towards the target or disengage with a backflip, provided they have the resources to do so. Their attacks are fast and furious, making them a great way to keep up a steady amount of damage. The trade-off here is that their damage is lower than the rest, but in the right hands the Chain Blades can get the job done.

Finally, the Hammer is part maul, part shotgun (and all awesome, in my humble opinion.) It doesn’t quite have the damage of the axe, but it can pack a wallop if you time the combos right. It also has the unique feature of being able to rocket-jump into the fray, landing an overhead swing that can launch into a combo. Finally, it can fire off a close-range blast (which, if done at the end of the combo, does huge damage.) The downside to the Hammer is that it needs reloading after four blasts, and its slow combos can leave its user incredibly vulnerable.

Learn to use your weapon

While this might seem like obvious advice, in Dauntless it’s important to know the strengths and limitations of your weapon. Each one has its own swing speed and reach, and mastering them will give you the best chance of landing your hits.

Don’t spam your attacks

I can’t stress this enough – don’t hammer your attack buttons, even if you’re panicking. There’s a small window of opportunity to continue a combo, something you’ll pick up with practice, but spamming attacks means you can’t move or evade. Because behemoths can turn their attention to you in the blink of an eye, you’ll not want to be mid-attack when you could have rolled to safety. So – once more so we’re sure the point is hammered home – don’t spam your attacks!

Manage your stamina

Between sprinting, dodging, and in some cases unleashing certain attacks, you’ll blow through your stamina very quickly. Even when you’ve upgraded your gear to grant bonus stamina you may find yourself gassed during hectic moments. While this links back to learning to use your weapon effectively, you should always keep enough stamina to do an emergency dodge. If you do find yourself running on empty, walk away from the fight for a moment, get some back, then re-enter the fray.

Study your enemy

Now, this is yet another one that sounds obvious, but it’s very important to study the behemoths of Dauntless. Specifically, you want to know how they attack, the speed they move, and the tells they give before unleashing hell. It’s why, to begin with, I would suggest watching them instead of hitting them, or if you’re with a veteran player watching when they move from danger. It may take time to copy them, but at least you’ll know what you’re supposed to be doing.

Learn when to stun (aka boop that snoop)

To begin with, you’ll want to wait for the right opportunity to strike a behemoth. Eventually, you’ll get braver and want to create opportunities, and in the case of Shrikes and Embermanes there will be many chances to do so. If you hit them as they charge towards a player (the gliding attack of a Shrike or the Embermane’s full on charge) you’ll knock them over in the same way you would when breaking a part of their body. They won’t be done for long, but it should be long enough to get in one full combo you otherwise wouldn’t have had the chance to.

The best weapons to do this are Chain Blades and the Hammer’s shotgun, but well-timed Sword and Axe hits will boop the snoop just as well.

Watch your positioning

It’s true that when you’re all after a specific piece of break loot you’ll all want to be mauling away at the same piece of a behemoth, but as a general rule you’ll want to space out from your fellow players. There are two reasons for this; the first is that you can’t move through other players, so getting in the way of someone else could scupper a combo from landing or, even worse, stop them from escaping a hit they would have dodged. The second reason is that if a behemoth decides to change targets they’ll be less likely to hit multiple players. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but so long as you watch your positioning you and your team should be fine in the long run.

Gather materials (but watch out for flares)

While killing behemoths and winning Aether Cores will provide many of the materials you need to make your gear, you’ll still need to gather items across the islands you visit. Things like ore, aether flux, and ram leather are needed for weapons and armour. Meanwhile, berries and plants are needed for healing potions and trinkets like Revive Talismans.

Just remember – keep an eye out for flares from your fellow slayers, as this will signal that they’ve found the behemoth. Likewise, if you find one as you are gathering resources, shoot up a flare to let your team know. Once everyone arrives the gathering will need to stop, and the slaying to commence.

Stock up before heading out

There are a number of quests that explain the different types of consumables you can make in the hub of Ramsgate, but always make sure you have enough on you before heading out. The last thing you want is to release you only have one or two healing potions as you start fighting, so ensure you have crafted plenty of the items you regularly use before searching for a hunt.

Low on health? Use an Aether Rift

If things are getting hairy and you’ve blown through your potions – or, adversely, if you don’t want to use a potion but your health need topping up – be sure to head over to the Aether Rift near to where the behemoth is. They provide a small heal that can be the difference between staying in the fight and needing to be revived. Just remember, there are only a limited number of uses of the Aether Rifts, so try not to be greedy in case another slayer needs an emergency top-up later.

Take your time, and have fun!

Yes, I’ve thrown a lot of advice at you above, but the simple truth is this – take your time, practice your moves, and the rest will follow. If you need help or extra advice most other players are willing to help you out. Just be sure to help out others in return, and you’ll get all that sweet loot eventually.

Well, RNG gods depending.

And that’s all of my sage advice, but what about yours? If you’ve got some pearls of wisdom be sure to share them in the comments, and I’ll add them – along with a credit – at the bottom of the article!