The Surge might feel familiar to players of games like Dark Souls, but it has enough differences that you can’t expect success by simply copying your strategies over from those games. If this is your first hardcore action RPG you might even feel overwhelmed with the relentless attacks of the game’s enemies.

We’ve put together a few tips after playing through The Surge, the kinds of tips we’d have liked on our first time through. Hopefully they make your journey a little bit smoother.

Remember to craft and upgrade gear

Targeting specific body parts during combat is essential for success in The Surge. It’s tempting to always attack unarmoured areas since they finish fights quickly, but relying too much on this (as I did for a while) will haunt you later on.

Especially when first exploring an area with new classes of enemies, you really want to attack their armour and perform finishing moves. This is the only way to get schematics for new armour pieces and weapons, and also the best way to get specific materials needed to craft and upgrade this gear.

Make sure you explore

Exploring your environment thoroughly is hugely important in The Surge. Aside from finding the path to progressing you can find new characters to interact with and super useful shortcuts.

It’s worth talking with characters and helping with their concerns. They often have their own stories happening alongside your own progress that you can follow along – and there are a few trophies attached as well.

Finding shortcuts is immensely useful. Shortcuts back to Operations can allow you to skip huge portions of an area each time you die, saving you the hassle of dealing with the same set of enemies again and making runs to difficult bosses more manageable.

Bait enemies out for one on one fights

Jumping into the middle of a group of enemies is one of the fastest ways to become overwhelmed and utterly destroyed. You’re way better off pulling individuals away from their groups and dealing with them 1v1 style.

The easiest way to do this is with the drone you acquire a short way into the game. This drone can fire a weak shot at a target, but even this weak shot should be enough to get that single enemy’s attention and make them run to you for a fight.

Learn to dodge effectively

To be successful in The Surge you need to learn how to avoid enemy assaults as well as you dish them back. You have the option to jump to avoid low attacks (L1 + Right Stick up), duck to avoid high ones (L1 + Right Stick down) or just dodge out of the way with a quick step (X button while moving).

To be successful with jumps and ducks you really need to be able to read enemy movements, and that’s pretty difficult. Muck up and you get hit. I found dodging attacks with a quick step the most reliable way to avoid attacks. You can mix up your dodges with attacks too which becomes essential later on to quickly deal damage and get out of the way.