Diabotical is a fast-paced arena shooter that is very similar in gameplay and mechanics to the Quake franchise that’s free on the Epic Games Store. If you’re new to the Quake series, however, you may be unfamiliar with the weapons and powerups available in the game and how they’re best used on the fly. Diabotical can be a very punishing shooter to inexperienced players, so learning which weapons to prioritize retrieving and controlling is key.
The melee weapon has an extremely short range but can be used to knock back opponents and deal some quick damage. The only weapon that requires no ammo, it can land 50 damage per hit along with 250 knockback. You’ll always have this weapon in your loadout, and it is best used to knock enemies away who get too close, or for finishing off that last bit of damage in a close-range fight.
The machine gun is the standard starting weapon. Along with melee, it is the only weapon you will spawn with when playing a game mode requiring weapon pickups. It can be useful at all ranges for chipping some damage away from opponents, though stronger weapons on the map will certainly be more useful in most situations. The machine gun is best used as a last resort or just to take away a quick bit of health when the enemy is already heavily weakened.
The blaster shoots balls of hot plasma toward your enemies and can be very efficient in delivering high damage per second. With splash damage and knockback, this weapon is great for doing some serious damage to an unsuspecting enemy, as long as you can hit your shots. The Blaster’s accuracy is not the best, especially when enemy bots are moving quickly around the map. This weapon can also be used to jump small walls, as it does have enough splash damage to give you a “rocket jump.” This simply means if you shoot it at your feet while jumping, you will go higher.
Have you played any Doom or any Quake games? If so, you’ve basically used the Super Shotgun. This gun deals incredible close-range damage but lacks any mid to long-range damage. The falloff at any distance is great, but in a close-quarters combat scenario, the Super Shotgun will kill in 1-3 hits depending on the health of your opponent. This is also a great weapon for finishing off a weakened opponent with a point-blank shot.
Dealing 100 damage on a direct hit, the rocket launcher is one of the three most useful weapons in the game. Use it for movement by blasting the ground for a rocket jump, or shoot it at a nearby wall to bounce yourself in the opposite direction. The rocket launcher has a splash radius of 125u and splash damage ranging from 5 to 95 damage depending on the amount of the explosion that makes contact with the enemy. Make note of the location of this weapon on each map, as you will always want this weapon to be a part of your path as you make your away around collecting things on each respawn.
If you’ve played the Quake franchise, the Shaft is the Lightning Gun. The LG has been a Quake staple for as long as its existence, and the Shaft is no different for Diabotical. The Shaft shoots a beam of light directly out of the weapon, dealing massive damage at medium to close range. This weapon has knock back and an incredibly fast rate of fire, and is best used at the start of an engagement to deal massive damage quickly. Tracking a fast moving enemy with the Shaft’s beam can be tricky, but the best players will be able to Shaft someone and immediately follow it up with a rocket launcher or PNCR shot.
Point’N’Click Rifle (PNCR)
The third member of the Holy Trinity of Quake, the PNCR is the equivalent to Quake’s Railgun. It is a hitscan long range weapon that hits instantly when shot, and heavily rewards accuracy. It can be tricky to hit players with very fast movement, but using the PNCR at a long range or even to finish off a weak opponent can be highly effective. Dealing 70 base damage per hit and a max damage of 100, the knock back combines with the damage to make this one of the best weapons in the game. Combine with the Shaft or rocket launcher to maximize damage per second.
This weapon fires bouncing grenades in a lobbing arc, dealing massive damage on a direct hit as well as decent damage on the splash. If an enemy is sitting in a small room, especially grouped with their teammates, this weapon will be perfect for flooding the room with grenades and killing everyone. With 100 damage on a direct hit and up to 125 DPS, the grenade launcher is a niche weapon that can be highly effective if used in the right situations. Massive knockback and splash damage make this one of the most powerful weapons in the game at close to mid-range.
Similar to the PNCR, the crossbow is a long range weapon good for high damage output with a single accurate shot. Though unlike the PNCR, the crossbow bolt arcs toward your opponent, meaning your aim must compensate based on distance. Deal 70-90 range per shot, and pick up a second crossbow to upgrade it to a PNCR. Since there is already a powerful precision weapon, the developers chose to make the crossbow the un-upgraded version of the powerful sniper weapon.
Power-ups are items that spawn on the map during a match and any one person can pick it up and receive the benefits. Listen for the announcement of the power-up spawning, because it is well worth it for your team to prioritize retrieving these items.
This power-up allows you to passively regenerate 5 health every second and any damage you deal to enemies heals you for 50% of the damage dealt. The Siphonator also allows you to friendly fire your teammates and heal them for 50% of the weapon damage. If you’ve picked up this power-up, limit yourself to 1v1 fights to make sure you have a significant advantage over your opponents, and seek out teammates who are low on health to help them get back to 100%. This power-up lasts 30 seconds, so move quickly and make sure to be ready when it appears on the map for the first time.
This one is defensive like the Siphonator, but doesn’t provide health or armor. Instead, the vanguard reduces the user’s damage taken by 50%, and eliminates self-damage. This means when wielding this power-up, it is best practice to rush the enemy team and take as much damage as you can. You’ll certainly be able to take any 1v1 fights, but taking that damage for your teammates during a multi-person fight is extremely valuable. Carrying the MacGuffin across the map and racking up those coins while using the vanguard isn’t a bad idea either. The Siphonator last for a total of 30 seconds after pickup.
This power-up gives the user a triple damage boost to all weapons. It lasts for 30 seconds and triples all damage output, so get in as many fights as you possibly can as quickly as possible. The PNCR and rocket launcher are usually single-hit kills if your opponents do not have mega armor or health.
Being named after the game title, you know this is going to be a good one. The Diabotical power-up provides the user with quadruple damage for 30 seconds. Heavy metal music plays as you traverse the map, leaving dead bodies in your path. Enemy players can easily find your location as they can hear the music as well, but will fall quite quickly to any of your weapons since you have 4X damage. This power-up, while valuable, will also put a massive target on your head as everyone in the match wants the quad. Use this power-up to move around the map as quickly as possible, killing as many people as you can find before the time runs out.