Do you like zombies or zombie-esque equivalents?
Do you enjoy using such delightful weapons as a fully automatic shotgun, a hunting crossbow, a chainsaw, or a flamethrower?
Do you like a game to be challenging, to feel some pride and accomplishment when you emerge victorious?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, Killing Floor might be just the game you’re looking for.
Stretch your legs in single player survival
This is part one of a multipart guide that serves as an introduction towards laying some ground work. Future instalments will look more in-depth at the individual perks and monsters in terms of strategy and counters, but for now there are some basics that will go a long way to helping your gameplay.
Your first instinct after getting the game up and running might be to go online; after all Killing Floor is touted as a co-op shooter. Despite this, my first piece of advice is going to be to ignore that instinct unless you’ve got a friend or two that can help walk you through those first couple of playthroughs. Playing the single player serves a multitude of training purposes, which will come in handy later.
Playing each map at least once or twice gives you some working familiarity with things like spawn and trader locations, the overall flow of the level, and locations that are both good and bad in terms of potential defence value (more on this later).
Playing by yourself, you’ll also get to experiment without pissing anyone else off. You can develop each perk to the second or third level and use that experience to decide what you might like.
Likewise, playing alone will help you learn enemy behaviour and experience significant screw-ups without costing anyone but yourself the match. Some groups are more lenient than others, but no one wants to be the neophyte that drags down the entire group and snatches defeat from the jaws of victory.
Entry-level entrails-evicting strategies
There are some basic things that everyone should know going in. There might be some overlap with later entries, but you need to believe me when I tell you the following: every Zed is dangerous in this game. Even the most basic enemy, the Clot, can become more than a nuisance if they grab you at the wrong time or place. Anything more than a Clot a lot more dangerous and needs immediate attention: even the second most common mob, the Gorefast, can kill you quicker than you can ever imagine if you give it the chance. This leads to the two most basic strategies that come to bear in the game.
Run-and-Gun: This is probably what you’re going to be doing on most of the single player excursions in order to promote map familiarity and because it’s a more viable strategy. Being constantly on the move forces the specimens to come to you. There are some things to be mindful of: enemies can and will spawn ahead of your current location, so you can’t be surprised if you round a corner with a handful of enemies following you only to find three or four more right in front of you cutting off a potential escape avenue. And of course running into a dead end is often a fatal mistake, so you need to always have an out or a viable means of escape. Classes that are more suited to the run-and-gun are ones that are faster, like the Medic or Berserker, or ones that have massive close range power such as Support Specialist or Commando.
Area Holding: This one is my preferred method for groups, at least when you’re playing with a group that you know and can communicate well with. Let’s take the West London map for example. The tunnel on the far end from the church you spawn near is an ideal location to bunker down and hold the wave of specimens off. Of course you need a degree of co-ordination with everyone on this type of strategy, since if anyone point breaks then everyone is in danger of getting screwed. All classes have legitimate places within this strategy, but that would involve going into more detail here than is necessary for a starting guide.
Take your A-game online
Once you’ve gotten some familiarity with maps, perks, and enemies then you’re ready to head online. With that in mind if you already have a clan server or a place where friends who play the game frequently gather then that’s all the better. There are some things that you should know in the meantime, though.
In general if you’re popping into a random game, play your strongest perk. Also, unless you are highly competent and can hold your own on higher difficulties stick to normal for the most part until you get a couple of perks to higher levels. I speak here from experience from the other side: a level one commando dropping into a server that is running a game on hard is doing no one a favour. I don’t care how good you are at other titles; this game can and will murder your ass. If someone with a low level perk can prove me wrong then that’s a pleasant surprise, but trust me when I say it doesn’t happen often.
Knowing some general etiquette helps. If you’re coming in then asking for money isn’t wrong, but remember that other people have their own stuff to buy, and some people might not want to give you a lot of the ol’dosh until you can prove that you’re at least halfway competent. Some classes are more likely to give than others: Berserkers are quite self-sufficient and since they don’t use ammo they can generally throw some money around when needed. Still, don’t expect that spamming the “I need some money” dialogue option will get you anything but people pissed off at your behaviour.
Certain classes are better equipped to handle the bigger threats. For the love of god if a Sharpshooter says that he’s got an incoming Fleshpound, don’t be dumb and enrage it with a shotgun blast or grenade. You’re helping no one and might have just gotten yourself or a couple of team-mates killed. So know when to back off.
Learn to use the voice commands or even better the actual in game chat. Some servers and clans will also have things like Vent, TeamSpeak, or other chat programs that they use. Sometimes these are passworded, but often speaking if you’re looking to become a regular and don’t spam garbage (unless it’s encouraged) then they’ll generally be happy to give you the password.
You’re not Sylvester Stallone
The last thing I’ll say for now is by far the most important thing, which is why it gets to stand alone: it’s a phenomenon that the group I plays with calls “Ramboing”. It’s one thing if everyone on the server seems to have agreed to go off by themselves or in small groups, letting them run and gun and dividing the workload.
What is not acceptable though is when the group is locking down an area and you or anyone else decides to just mosey out by yourself for god knows what reason. Going Rambo is something that can be done by some steadfast classes, but it’s never recommended and almost always a good way to both get yourself killed and royally piss people off. People that keep going Rambo even after dying and being warned not to do it again get unceremoniously kicked; people that do it and then bitch about it and then money-beg get banned.
So seriously, just don’t do it. There’s a difference if you’re just popping your head out of the area you guys are holding, or scouting out a little farther as the group runs and guns, but abandoning your team because you’re more worried about your kill count than actually making sure everyone gets through the wave is just a dick move.
With that we conclude the basics of getting into Killing Floor. Now read Part 2 of this Killing Floor guide, which covers specimens and how to beat them.
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