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Evolve Beginner’s Tips – How to Play as a Hunter or a Monster

Evolve is here, and that means there’s opportunities for the Hunters to hunt, and for the creatures to feed and become more powerful. The asymmetrical multiplayer game pits 4 Hunters against a single Monster, and playing one type is entirely different from another.

For more help on Evolve, read our Unlocks Guide, Map Effects Guide and Elite Wildlife Buffs Guide.

Evolve Beginner’s Tips

For this reason, Evolve’s gameplay mechanics can feel unfamiliar even though they have close resemblance to first-person shooters. For instance, it’s not even a first-person shooter when you’re playing as a Monster.

Additionally, there are many other factors to consider when you start the game for the first time. This guide will help you cover the basics of Evolve, ranging from the game-modes that should get you started, to the basic essentials of understanding how Hunters and Monsters work.

Game Basics

In Evolve, you can either choose to play Multiplayer or Solo. The game is designed for online/co-op multiplayer overall, but if you’re looking for some alone-time, the Solo option is ever-available.

The Multiplayer menu will allow you to engage in skirmishes with other players connected to the gaming servers of Evolve, or create your own Custom game with a bunch of friends. You can choose to partake in the Skirmish or Evacuation type games.

Skirmish matches you with four other players in a game of Hunt. It cycles through the maps as you continue to play in the same mode.

Evacuation on the other hand is a game of five rounds which takes place in any one of the four game modes in Evolve. It is through this mode that you can choose to play co-op against AI or play custom PvP games.

While creating custom games, you can choose different values for variables such as Round Length, Strikes, Wildlife Population, and more.

If you’re looking to play against Bots for practice or just to kill time, then select Solo to play against or with computer-controlled characters. You have quite a few customizations that you can make to your game when playing Solo.

Additionally, you’ll also have the option to play the Goliath and Markov tutorials, which we recommend you try out to give yourself an idea of the different perspectives of playing a Monster or Hunter.

Character Selection

Once the role you are going to play is established during the start of the game, you will have the option of selecting your character. It is here where you select which Monster of Hunter you want to play.

For Hunters, you will also have an option to choose your skins if you have unlocked them (purely cosmetic). If you are playing as a Monster, you’ll have to choose the monster type, then invest 3 points into the 4 available abilities.

You will also then have the option to select certain perks for your character. Initially, only one perk will be available for each role – Level 3 Jump Height for Hunters and Level 3 Climb Speed for Monsters. Leveling up will unlock further perks, and there are 8 more perks to unlock in addition to the ones you start off with.

As you gain experience, you will begin to understand what kind of Hunter/Monster and perk combination works best for a specific mode and/or map. These initial decisions will end up playing as important a role as your skills on the battlefield.

Map and Terrain

The maps in Evolve are not static – they are ever-changing. The overall structure of the maps remains the same, but there are certain effects that are constantly happening which provide a strategic edge to either the Hunters or the lone Monster.

These effects come in various shapes. For example, clear weather would provide good visibility to Hunters, making it easier to spot Monsters.

Similarly, if the map is abundant with birds, they will fly away when the Monster approaches them, giving the Hunters an idea of its location. Other variables such as Sentry Guns, NPCs, and forcefields also greatly aid Hunters.

It’s not all in the favor of the monster killers though; there are certain variables that will greatly aid the Monster as well.

For example, there’s certain kinds of wildlife that could attack Hunters, giving the Monster a great opportunity to pounce on their prey. There could be plenty of corpses lying around for the Monster to feed on and evolve, and of course there’s always a chance of bad weather.

All these variables can be controlled and altered when creating a custom game, but are mostly random as far as the game-servers go.

Wildlife in the Evolve maps include strange creatures that Hunters and Monsters can interact with. These creatures come in all shapes and sizes, and also moods. Some are shy and will only attack when threatened, while others are all-out aggressive.

As a Hunter, you want to avoid them for the most part, especially if you are isolated from your remaining party.

If one does manage to attack you or a teammate, you’ll obviously have to start shooting, but this can lead to a chance for the Monster to know your position, and also attack your weakened party.

Additionally, leaving around corpses of wildlife will give the Monster free food, making the evolving process a lot easier. This obviously spells doom for the Hunters.

Normally, Monsters would have to catch and kill wildlife to feed on the corpses, but as a Hunter you won’t be doing your cause any good by making things easier for the beast.

Both Monsters and Hunters should keep an eye out for Elite Wildlife. These are certain creatures marked by a star icon. Killing them gives you a five-minute Buff, so it’s always a good idea to keep a lookout for these.

One of the most important parts of the terrain are bodies of water. Both Hunters and Monsters should memorize the general location of rivers and lakes, as they provide both benefits and negative effects.

When a Hunter moves through water, he/she cannot fire, moves slowly, and is prone to being attacked by a Monster or by Wildlife that lives near water (which is usually dangerous).

However, Water is extremely useful as it is the sole method of quickly extinguishing fire. A Hunter caught in a Goliath’s Fire Breath or a Monster suffering burns from a Flamethrower should always look to take a dip in the waters to prevent the DoT damage.

Hunter Basics

Basic Movement
As a Hunter, one of the most fundamental parts of your job will be to constantly move around, searching every nook and corner for the Monster. There quite a number of ways to get around, and any person with the slightest of exposure to FPS games will get a hang of Evolve’s general mechanics.

However, there are a few things that sets Evolve apart from most first-person shooters. First and foremost is the Dropship mechanism.

Monsters will always get a 30-second head start in the map, after which Hunters will be spawned via Dropships. These Dropships are also closely tied with respawning of Hunters.

Every time a Hunter dies, he/she must wait for the next dropship to arrive. The standard time between dropship arrivals is 2-minutes, except for in Defend mode, where dropships are more frequent.

The second important element that is unique to Evolve is the Jetpack. Each Hunter is equipped with a Jet Pack that allows them to boost themselves higher and further through the air. This is a great way of getting around, but Jet Packs have limited fuel, which is displayed on your HUD.

The most sensible use of Jet Packs is reaching difficult areas, and more importantly evading/chasing Monsters. Additionally, you can also perform maneuvers like Jet Dodge or Jet Thrust.

For dodging, simply double tap the Jump button while pressing right, left, or down to perform a dodge in that direction. Doing this while pressing forward is called a Jet Thrust, which can be very useful when chasing a Monster.

Hunting the Monster
As a Hunter, obviously the most important part of your job is the hunt itself. When you get deployed on the map, it’s quite unlikely that you would get immediate knowledge of the Monster’s whereabouts.

The real problems start to arise when you actually give the Monster enough time to scan the map and evolve to higher stages. The longer it takes to find the Monster, the more troubles you’ll run into.

The terrain and environment may work against you and the Wildlife could make your time miserable. What’s worse is that a completely evolved and nearly unstoppable Monster will be waiting in the shadows to pounce on you.

For this reason, right when you drop down into the map, you need to use everything in your disposal to get an idea of where the Monster could be. As soon as you are on terra firma, look around to find any monster tracks on the ground.

However, do not rely exclusively on tracks. Monsters cover ground much faster than Hunters, so you will never truly catch up if you just chase the tracks.

Additionally, Monsters are much more mobile – they can climb a top different locations, sneak around, and wade through water. You should split your group into two and scan the environment for clues.

Look for corpses and fallen trees, or flying birds from a distance. All these little indications give away the Monster’s location.

You should also take into account that sometimes Wildlife fights each other, which can produce corpses, so like tracks, none of the clues are guaranteed, but taking all of them into account can really help your cause of finding the beast.

There are four different classes for Hunters. Each Hunter class has a set of skills and weapons that can be used to damage and trap monsters, and also to aid allies.

Although Evolve is primarily asymmetrical, the mixture of the Monster’s immense strength and abilities and the environment make for a tough challenge, which requires players to master their classes.

Four buttons select each of the four abilities. Some are used instantly, while others are selected, and then require another button to be pressed in order to be used.

You can see which abilities you have on your HUD on the bottom right corner, with the blue ones being available, while the greyed out ones will be on cool-down. In addition to equipment, each class has their own specific skills.

The Assault class has a Personal Shield, the Trapper a Mobile Arena, the Medic has Healing Burst, while the Support has a Cloaking Field.

Once you have chosen your class and character, you’ll have the option of choosing Perks to assist you on the battlefield. At that start, only the Jump Height perk is available for the Hunters. After that, 8 more perks are unlocked as you level up.

Perks really depend on your play-style and what you feel would best compliment your strengths.

Strikes and Revival
When a Hunter’s health is fully depleted, he/she will go on the ground and begin to bleed out. This is represented by a skull icon. While in this bleeding out mode, Lazarus can bring a downed Hunter back to life. If that is not possible, the Hunter will die and only respawn when the next Dropship arrives.

Any Hunter can revive a downed player by holding down the Reload/Revive button near him/her. However, Medics tend to do with much quicker. You can also use a handgun while downed, and can take aid of cloaking or shields.

There is a huge penalty to this revival method though. Each time a Hunter is downed and then revived, he/she takes a health penalty called a Strike. This lowers the player’s maximum health by 25%. A second strike reduces it by 50%.

For this third knockout, there is no bleeding out – the Hunter dies straight away and must wait for the next dropship. Strikes are permanent unless removed by a Medbay map effect. The only exception for this is in Defend in which you will not get a strike if you are not revived.

Note that Lazarus has the unique ability to revive a downed player without any penalty strike.

Monsters Basics

Moving About
Playing as the Monster is insanely fun, but it’s not for the faint-hearted. Monsters usually fall to intense pressure from Hunters, because unlike the beasts who need to feed and evolve, the mercenaries only have one object: to take you out.

The best thing about playing as a Monster is that you’ll be able to move around much quicker than Hunters. The Goliath is the slowest of the lot, but still has enough mobility to cover the area faster than Hunters.

The Kraken can fly around which really gives it added mobility. The Wraith is just a mean bugger who moves fast and is absolutely merciless. All the Monsters can also climb talk objects quickly.

Note that once you evolve, your Monster’s size also becomes significantly larger, which allows you to climb even taller areas. Monsters also leave a lot in their way, especially in the form of footprints. Each monster has a different kind of footprint.

However, you can sneak, which makes you move slower, but prevents the formation of footprints. While sneaking doesn’t work well with every Monster, it is a nice way of finding hiding spots for evolving.

While sneaking, there is a chance for you to pounce on a nearby Hunter who is unaware of your presence. A red reticule will show up, and after you pounce, you can land attack after attack on the pinned victim till he/she is dead.

The only way a pounce can be interrupted is if another Hunter attacks you or if you press the Sneak button again. As mentioned above, the Kraken has the ability to fly. Each monster actually has a special movement that takes up Stamina.

The Goliath can perform Leaps, the Kraken performs Airbursts, and the Wraith does rapid Warps.

Tracking the Hunters
As the Monster, you will be the one dictating the pace of the game. You can choose to go all-out by revealing yourself to the Hunters, but that is hardly ever the wiser choice. Instead, try to pace the game according to your own needs.

In order to do this, you’ll need to be aware of the Hunters’ locations. The special Smell ability for the monsters allows you to identify different creatures in the world.

Blue indicates edible corpses, Red indicates Hunters and birds, Yellow indicates small sized predators, Orange indicates medium-sized predators, and Green shows Nest Eggs and Hatched Goliaths.

While evolving, it is important to constantly use your Smell ability to have an idea of your surroundings, so you can feed on wildlife and evolve quickly. Tracking the Hunters is most important when you are evolving.

Evolving takes a good amount of time, especially since you have to level up your abilities. For this reason, you will have to find a spot where you are sure that Hunters will not be able to find you for at least ten to fifteen seconds.

Monster Types
The three available Monsters at the release of the game are vastly different from one another. The Goliath is physically the most resilient, with the most armor potential and highest health.

However, it is also by far the slowest, and has the most difficulty evading attacks or getting away from Hunters. The Kraken is nicely poised in between, with a mix of decent health and armor.

It is not as resilient as the Goliath, nor as fast and deadly as the Wraith, but is certainly the most versatile. The Wraith is physically the weakest of the lot, but offensively the most powerful.

She is also the most mobile, as her warping allows her to cover a lot of ground very quickly. A Stage 3 evolved Wraith will have as much health as a Stage 2 Goliath or Kraken, but her offense will allow you to wipe the floor with Hunters.

Each monster has 4 abilities, and you get 3 points initially to spend. Each ability can be leveled a maximum of three times, so you can even choose to acquire a single ability at the start but max it out.

Every time you evolve, you will get three additional points to spend on your abilities, making your Monster more powerful.


  • Charge – Rush forward at high speed, causing damage and knockback.
  • Fire Breath – Spits a jet of liquid flame that does damage to Hunters for a short time.
  • Leap Smash – Powerful jump attack that deals splash damage when Goliath lands.
  • Rock Throw – Rip a huge boulder from the ground and launch it at an enemy.


  • Aftershock – Emits an energetic burst that chains electricity to nearby foes.
  • Banshee Mines – Charged orbs that home in on nearby foes and deal explosive damage.
  • Lightning Strike – A devastating ranged blast that never needs to strike twice.
  • Vortex – A moving wall of elemental energy that knocks back enemies from afar.


  • Abduction – Quickly warp to a target, dealing damage before grabbing it and warping back out, taking the target with you.
  • Decoy – Activate a cloak while summoning a Decoy to attack the Hunters.
  • Warp Blast – Warp to a point before emitting a blast of energy that deals damage to nearby enemies.
  • Supernova – Unleashing a shroud of nebula energy. Wraith does bonus damage while inside the area.

With the exception of the Defend mode, as a Monster you will start off at Stage 1 evolution. In order to evolve to Stage 3, you will need to fill your Evolve meter. This is a blue meter that appears when you harvest corpses of Wildlife and even Hunters.

Note that feeding on corpses also gives you shields, which deplete completely after you evolve. This is the most common and easiest method of filling the meter, but there are also other methods.

You can also fill the meter by killing Hunters, and then further fill it by feeding on dead Hunter corpses (you cannot feed on downed Hunters). Once the meter is full, you will need to find a safe spot to evolve.

Evolving takes time, and you will also have the level-up menu where you can spend additional points on your abilities to make them more powerful. Make sure that you find a place that Hunters will not search for the next twenty seconds or so before evolving there.

As with Hunters, Monsters also have their own perks. At the start, you will only have the Climbing Speed perk. However, as you level up, you will unlock 8 additional perks. These perks are of wide variety and can greatly help you on the battlefield.

They can range from increasing your Feeding Speed to improving your Smell ability, and more. The Perks you want to choose are purely subjective, and should be done according to the map, your Monster, and also your personal strengths and weaknesses.