Ready to learn escape- how to start

TC made Surge nearly unbearable due to speedrunners. It’s potentially the most challenging hive in the game.

Yeah, not a fan of how speedrunners have somewhat ruined the map and it’s reputation.

Would be a good place to put the stopping power mutator lol.

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So worked my way up to Incog on the daily hive today with anchor. Cards are as follows:

Adrenaline Junkie
Bolotok bandolier
Bloody shot
Barrier battery
Crazy tough

Any changes needed to be made there?

I would maybe use the big barrier skill instead of Barrier Battery because it’s ridiculous how much it gets upsized especially at level 6.

The rest seems fine to me.

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I’d suggest Harness Energy in place of Barrier Battery. Harness Energy is so good for providing stim for yourself and team mates.

The Ambush (the current daily Hive) is very much a team effort and needs someone disciplined enough to watch the rear for Juvies. It can be a very easy Hive if someone does this, but becomes unnecessarily hard as Juvies can overrun you, and the enemy stopping power from gunfire can really slow you down if they close you down close to the front line. If your rear guard can hold them off further back, then that would be ideal.

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Yeah I was pretty much the rear gunner as I didn’t know the map as well as the randoms I was with. One small issue playing with randoms is they often quit after one failure.

Simply being a ‘bodyguard’ for teammates can do a lot to help. And yeah, the quitting sucks. Which is why I personally really only do custom Escape with a friend.

Love your tips! You pretty much covered the most important stuff. Thank you!

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As frustrating as public lobbies are, I found that playing with randomers has made me a better Escape player. Sometimes it feels like you’re hitting your head against a wall because some players are really poor; and lack of communication doesn’t help either.

I think alot of it is because with randomers, you’re kinda forced to take the initiative so you become a more proactive player. Back in the day when I wasn’t that into Escape, I’d play with a couple of friends who would essentially carry me for the most part and I found myself becoming quite passive and reliant on them giving me instructions which wasn’t helping me.

More recently I’ve been helping a couple of less skilled and less experienced friends master Hives, and they’re basically where I was back in Operation 1 - quite passive, reliant on me micromanaging their every move, telling them exactly what to do. In a way it’s frustrating for me because they’ve been playing the game long enough to know what to do. But within the social dynamics of the group, they kinda sit back because it’s what they tend to do within our social circle.

Also I use tac-com alot to watch other players. Partly because what they do informs what I will do next; and also sometimes just to watch good players so I can learn as well.


No problem! Glad it is appreciated. Sadly there is IMO a real lack of Escape tips and guides out there so I figured that I would contribute what I can. I tried to think of the basics any beginner could use instead of the same lame ‘farm Surge’ stuff.

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You bring up a good point. I can see how playing with randoms could encourage you to step up to the plate and take the lead. Being completely carried doesn’t always really teach like it does having to actually things oneself.

Me and my friend will constantly actively discuss strats depending on the hive, classes used, and rolls. Convenient for us but unfortunately not all people get to experience that.

And yeah, Tac-Com is good for so many things. Watching/keeping track of teammates, seeing marked enemies through walls, observing teammate health and Ult charge, etc. Definitely encourage people to use it often to check on things.

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Yeah, I tend to “default” to this mode when I play random games, well at least on the “easier” hives. I’ll just play bodyguard with Brawler, Nomad, or Infiltrator usually. Typically, there’ll be a competent enough Marksman or Tactician that we can get by on Master with just me bodyguarding them. The exceptions are the “more difficult” hives such as The Split, Onslaught, Gatekeepers, Last Stand, etc. where I’m forced to take a more active role and be the one playing the Marksman, Tactician, or sometimes Gunner. But probably 90% of hives I get by just fine playing bodyguard.

Not only that, often the “ammo sharing” technique veterans recommend doesn’t pan out when playing with randoms without mics, so I think it would be more straightforward for beginners to avoid the ammo micromanagement aspect and favor non-ammo dependent classes at least until they’re more comfortable in Escape.

Another bonus not depending on any weapon or ammo as well as playing a “tankier,” more survivable class is it makes you a perfect candidate to “backpack” copies of teams’ weapons as a sort of “plan B” backup if things go awry in the first act. Having someone to do this can be the difference between success and failure. This actually came into play last night on Ambush when the team died but I retrieved the longshot, so our Marksman could carry on with the killing spree in the second act. I may not have gotten the glory, as he took MVP, but I have to think my bodyguarding/backpacking role ended up being most critical to our success. Otherwise, he’d have had to make due with the Embars dropped by drones at that big final encounter.

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Same. Even in my regular team I’ve always been the ‘bodyguard’ or ‘shock trooper’ as they call me lol. Since Operation 4 buffed the Longshot enough to allow all classes to 1-shot active headshot kill all helmet-less drone types, I now also serve as a sniper with the rest of the team.

CQC/tanky characters really are great for saving ammo and being self-sufficient. The ammo-sharing micro-management tip is not the most important thing as far as basics go, which is why I listed it last on my initial post here in this thread. More of a thing for coordinated teams and randoms with mics or that actually type lol. I’ve had it happen.

And right! Backpacking backup weapons for dependent classes is another great thing about CQC/tank characters. Not to mention you can still support snipe if one of those is a Longshot.

Just to add as well, the new problem that has come about (understandably so) is that the lobby page is flooded with the same hives on any given day. Today it’s Corruption; yesterday it was Lethal Engagements; the day before was The Ambush…

If we had a bundle of Hives dropped on the same day with a week deadline at least there’ll be more variation. It just makes it annoying trying to find something a bit different to play when everyone is focused on the daily hive.

As a noob, I’ve noticed that too. So to learn I am going to concentrate on the weekly and work my way up. But yeah still it’s mostly daily lobbies. I find it probably more fun, certainly for me more nerve wracking than horde when I play with non randoms, with randoms it’s far worse than horde. Few people have staying power to shrug it off and go again with a better plan.

I’ve finished 15 maps now at some level and 3 on masters when I’ve been shown the way with some of the gurus from here. Oh and as per the advice on here, which I keep referring too, I’m working on Anchor to start.

One question I’m a bit embarrassed to ask, how do people slash drones from the front and then finish them.

Hit B twice then hold it, will cause a stun attack that staggers Drones and DBs and allows you to execute them. I would exercise caution around the DBs as they’ll sometimes hit back doing it, and make sure to only try it with Elites if you have Stim and/or are certain you’ll manage to stun them with the third hit or they’ll knock you silly because they don’t get staggered by any melee attack unless they do a lot of damage to them.


It shouldn’t be embarrassing. The “melee combo” wasn’t something I caught on to immediately either. AFAIK, it isn’t officially explained in the game, or at least wasn’t for a good while. I don’t think I used the move regularly until I’d already been doing Master Clock runs for awhile and had noticed others doing it. I’m still not 100% confident whenever I do it, lol. It’s something I still need improvement on as a player. As others said, it is much more reliable against the weaker drone types (imagos, snipers, hammerbursts). I know for Grenadiers a good strat is to wait in between shots. Tbh, I typically won’t chance it against non low-tier drones most of the time though, just to be safe and not embarrass myself in front of the team, lol. I’d rather throw a flash at them and meatshield if possible. If you still have a flash in on hand when you do this against a grenadier I know it replenishes your flashes, not sure if the same trick works against other types of drone though. Best bet is to use Nomad and Boltok stun them first, use Blademaster and bleed them with a quick one-two and roll-away, or double-tackle with the Brawler. Those methods are much more reliable ways of dealing with them by melee, although obviously not possible if you opt for one of the glass-cannon classes. So it would be beneficial to practice melee combo-ing.


No problem! I had know idea comboing was even a thing until after I had already finished the campaign at launch. But anyway, that trick is all part of something called Close Cover Combat. I’ll copy paste the related section of an earlier post to save you the trouble of scrolling up:

#1 : Learn how to melee combo drones and DBs with what TC calls ‘Close Cover Combat’. Basically, this involves trying to stun the above enemy types into allowing you to either execute or meatshield them. Mantle kicks, cover yanks, and of course the 3-hit melee combo (tap B, tap, B, then hold B to stun them) all are part of this. Allows you to save ammo, defend yourself in a pinch, and essentially instant kill drones and DBs.

Note that this does require a bit of studying on how the enemies behave. You will want to carefully work your way in close enough without getting shot, and wait for the enemies to either take cover or reload. For Grenadiers, wait for them to get close enough and then bait them into wasting a shot, which will give you an opening to rush them and then combo them.

Also, note that all Elite types of drones (Claws, Embars, Overkills, and Torque Bows) will NOT flinch from the first 2 melee swipes in the combo and will just try to punch you back before you can hit the last melee to stun them. For these enemies, it is best to wait for them to reload, or mantle kick/cover yank them.

It is typically better to meatshield drones if possible. Unless playing as Veteran, Nomad, or Inflitrator where executions have benefits, it is always safer to meatshield because it is faster, can be quickly dropped by switching weapons, and the body will briefly protect you. An advanced trick is to combo and meatshield a drone, bait the next into shooting off the body out of your your hands, and instantly start comboing them too. Note that DeeBees CANNOT be meatshielded, only executed.

Lastly, Flashbang grenades are your best friend in Close Cover Combat. Any stunned drone or DB can be instantly executed or meatshielded after hitting them with a flash. Not to mention, these awesome grenades open up a free opportunity to do lots of damage to bigger enemies such as Scions, DR -1s, and Pouncers. Elite Grenadiers will give you a free Flashbang grenade when you meatshield them. Allowing you to easily chain flashing and meatshielding when there are multiple.

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It won’t still give you a flash if you used your last one, will it? I’m not sure but I thought it was only working when I had two flashes (and used up the one to flash him). Will the same trick work with the other types of grenades as well, even though obviously not as useful as flashes? (e.g., hunters with smokes, Elites with shocks).

All Elite variants give you their corresponding grenade when you meatshield them irrespective of whether you’re empty or not, so it doesn’t matter if you use your last one on them.

If you have a non-corresponding grenade then you won’t replenish it unless you’re completely out of them.

E.g.: if you have 2 Flashbangs and use one to flash and stun a Grenadier Elite then you’ll replenish the one you threw and still have 2 afterwards.

If you have 2 flashbangs and stun and meatshield an Elite Drone, you wouldn’t take their Shock Grenade as you still have 1 Flashbang remaining.

However if you had 1 Flashbang and flashed and meatshield ed an Elite Drone then you will have used your 1 Flash but will pick up a Shock from the Elite Drone instead.