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As a human thrown into the mix against Aliens with claws, jaws and acid for blood and Predators with powers of invisibility, laser guns and super strength, you’d be forgiven for feeling a little vulnerable. The truth is – you are. If you want to survive as a Marine you’ll need to make best use of your equipment and weaponry.
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Motion Tracker – This is your best friend when it comes to identifying enemies who are masters of camouflage and stealth. The beeping will become more frenetic as the enemy speeds up on approach and your heart rate is liable to match the increase. There are a couple of important things to remember when using the Motion Tracker:
- stationary enemies will disappear from the sensor
- the approaching enemy may be above or below you
- it only covers 180 degrees in front of you
Torch – You will be working in some dingy, poorly lit locations so your torch is vital unless you want to walk right into a curled up Xenomorph stuck to the wall ahead. Your Motion Tracker is just the first line of alarm, make sure you scan the area with your torch as you progress.
Flares – These are especially useful if you engage a group of enemies in the dark. Your torch can’t cover everywhere so throw a couple of flares down so you can see what you are dealing with.
Stims – You can regenerate your health with a stim but injecting leaves you vulnerable so pick your moment carefully. Your health bar is split into three blocks and while a partially lost block will regenerate over time a completely lost block will not so that’s when you should use a stim.
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You can find out details on all of the weaponry in the game in our Aliens vs Predator Weapons Guide. The Marine has a pistol as the default weapon but it really is only suitable as a last resort. The Smartgun is the heaviest weapon at your disposal and it automatically targets enemies so you just fire. The problem is ammunition is limited and it takes up two weapon slots so when it runs out you’re in trouble.
Your best bet is to go for a Pulse Rifle and a Scoped Rifle, Shotgun or a Flamethrower. The Pulse Rifle has a grenade launcher as secondary fire which is very useful against tough opponents (just be sure not to fire it when the target is too close or you’ll blow yourself up). The Scoped Rifle is powerful and it helps you identify enemies at distance and line up the most damaging head shots. The Flamethrower is best for torching eggs and Facehuggers. The Shotgun is awesome at close range but watch out for acid splash back.
You also have a block and a melee attack which shoves back the enemy. You can pull this off using middle mouse but at close range you are the weakest so it is best to try and keep your distance. Use Q to sprint away and keep the distance so you can fire from range but remember Aliens are horribly fast!
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Enemies: Aliens, Predators and Combat Androids
In general, whatever your weapon is, always aim for the head. Even the triple tap secondary fire on the pistol is effective if you aim for the head. The one exception to this is the Combat Androids who function quite well without heads. For more on the arms check out our Aliens vs Predator Weapon Guide.
You’ll encounter Aliens in the Marine Campaign that are perfectly camouflaged on the wall so always proceed with caution in the Hive. Remember that your Motion Tracker has no indication of height so the approaching enemy could be above or below you. When Aliens approach it is best to back pedal and fire. If they charge you then try to side step when they get close. Shoot any explosive canisters or tanks in the area to damage Aliens as they pass by.
In multiplayer it is even tougher to fight against Aliens and you’ll find they frequently flank you and pull off kills from behind. Fight back to back with your team mates or against a wall to avoid being blindsided. Co-ordinating fire with a friend helps you out down Xenomorphs fast.
Seeing Predators before it is too late is your big challenge here. We’re all familiar with the cloaking device effect so if you see any rippling ahead then fire. You can also watch out for the laser sight which precedes a Plasma Caster blast. You won’t have much Predator contact in the campaign but you’ll come up against them frequently in multiplayer.
Predators are a great deal tougher than you in melee combat so keep your distance and aim for the head. If they do get in close then the Shotgun is your best bet. If you can keep them at range then use the Scoped Rifle. Remember that they can heal themselves so if you do some damage - don’t let them escape - follow it up immediately and finish them off.
You’ll encounter these guys in the campaign and they can be a pain. Since they can operate without heads you should aim for the legs to put them down and don’t stop firing until they’re neutralised. Once dead they are liable to explode so keep your distance. The best weapons for spotting and despatching them are the Scoped Rifle or if you get up close use the Shotgun.
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In game terms the Marine role in Aliens vs Predator is by far the easiest to get into. As a Marine you’ll play pretty standard first-person shooter tactics and the controls should be instantly familiar and very easy to get to grips with. Advance slowly, stay alert and be ready to strafe and shoot at all times. You should also make use of sentry guns wherever possible and remember to watch your back.