Biomutant, an ambitious yet messy RPG-cum-ASPCA advertisement, is full to the brim with mechanics. Though the combat system doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel, it’s saddled by enough quirks that, yeah, it may take some getting used to, even for seasoned players of action games. The following advice should help.
You can change the difficulty setting in Biomutant at any time. Throughout the tutorial and first few missions, you likely won’t have decent gear or a surplus of healing items and may get your ass handed to you as a result. Playing on easy until you stock up a bit might be a good option. (Bonus: This will also give you a chance to get a hang of the movement, which is a bit floatier than your typical action game.) Once things become a cakewalk, kick the difficulty back up.
You never have to worry about ammo in Biomutant as it’s unlimited. You do, however, have to worry about reloading, a process is tied to a several-second cooldown. But, by unlocking the Perfect Reload perk, you can skip the cooldown. As you near an empty clip, you’ll get the option to tap the right bumper (on Xbox) to instantly reload.
The Dead-Eye class starts with this perk. Everyone else will have to unlock it for three skill points. (You can find it under your “general” perks.) It should be among the first you snag, as it’s enormously helpful in combat.
There’s also no reason for you to let up on shooting. For one, your guns are essentially on auto-target, so you can (and should) constantly deal damage while keeping distance from some of the scarier enemies, and many special abilities are tied to your firearm. The more often you shoot, the more often you’ll be able to use those moves.
Special moves are the bread and butter of Biomutant’s combat system, not just because they’re powerful in their own right (they are) but also because they can put you into a heightened state that allows you to deal some serious damage. By pulling off three different special attacks in a row, you can activate “Super Wung-Fu” by tapping the right and left bumpers.
While in “Super Wung-Fu,” time slows down, and you have about ten seconds to perform attacks from a “Super Wung-Fu” moveset. (No need to memorize; it’ll show up on the right side of the screen.) These attacks are significantly more powerful than your standard fare, to the point where you can take out a mini-boss with just two or three. Think of it like a reverse of the stagger meter from Final Fantasy VII Remake (and other similar games).
Each weapon type—one-handed slash, two-handed slash, tribe weapons, and so on—has two special attacks, which you’ll need to unlock. But, instead of burning precious skill points on special attacks—when those same skill points could be better utilized for perks—focus instead of swapping between weapons on the fly. The math here is simple: By switching up your weapons every time you pull off a special attack, you’ll be able to perform more overall, allowing you to activate “Super Wung-Fu” more frequently.
I’m not sure if this is a bug or by design, but I’ve often found that my consumables wheel—that’s where health items live—will shift loadouts without warning. Check it every so often to make sure that the health items you want on hand are actually on hand.
Biomutant offers two types of special abilities: psi-powers (unlocked with psi-points) and biogenetics (unlocked with bio points). You can tie these moves to a secondary ability wheel, activated with the right trigger. In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to forget they exist. Don’t, as they’re extraordinarily powerful. One converts enemies to your side for a moment. Another allows you to instantly dash to an enemy (and deal some damage, too).
Psi-powers are gated off by morality. If you’re at a high enough “light” aura, Freeze is arguably the best investment. Biomutant loves to swarm you with overwhelming throngs of irradiated ferret monsters but doesn’t offer many tools for crowd management, so the ability to momentarily freeze everyone is a godsend.
Shortly after Biomutant’s tutorial, you’ll start “The Tribe War” mission. You can align with a faction based on morality. (Short version: the Myriad want to save the world while the Jagni want to destroy it.) Or you can align yourself based on the “tribe weapon,” a unique weapon that’s generally more powerful than most stuff you can find in the wild.
Go with the Jagni, and you’ll get a staff. The Myriad, meanwhile, will give you a boomerang. Both are terrific, so you’ll want to get one or the other as soon as possible. Just note that, whoever you choose, you’ll spark some serious ramifications for the endgame. No pressure, right?