Scavengers has only been out for a few days, but the game’s competitive meta has already taken shape. In the frozen, desolate wasteland that is Scavengers’ Earth, the biggest threat is still other people. To be clear, winning in this game is strictly about PvP. Downing enemy players lets you steal their data, and fully eliminating teams is the surest way to climb the endgame score screen. Even if you choose to focus on data collection and try your hardest to avoid other players, you will still have to get on the extraction ship at the end, where conflict is unavoidable. For that reason, the primary quality that determines each Explorer’s value in Scavengers is how strong they are in PvP.
S tier – Jae and Tarik
Jae has quickly become many players’ favorite Explorer to be and least favorite to fight against. The combination of his Overshield and brutal melee weapon gives Jae the ability to sweep an entire enemy team by himself. His halberd can kill enemy players with two to three hits in most situations and is basically the only weapon you would even need to clear compounds. It’s also silent, keeping you off the enemy radar while using it. The final reason Jae is so dominant in Scavengers at the moment is that stim packs are craftable after you unlock them in the research system, allowing Jae players to get in melee range with enemies any time they want.
Tarik is the designated sniper in Scavengers, and the game’s map design gives him a major edge over other Explorers. With wide-open space sprawling in every direction, Tarik can always get the jump on enemy players and either kill them outright or severely damage them at the start of the fight. Worse yet, he doesn’t need to finish off enemies, as just wasting their resources and keeping them from moving in the open can sometimes be a death sentence. Once he’s on the extraction ship, Tarik can secure entrances with his Stun Trap.
A tier – Valora, Halden and Cruz
Valora can be S-tier if played well and supported by a coordinated team. Her bubble shield is a superior version of Gibraltar’s shield in Apex Legends, protecting her from enemy fire and the effects of the storm and letting her fire back from inside it. This ability lets Valora and her squad initiate fire fights with enemies with an advantage, or safely heal up and revive if pinned in the open. If enemies charge inside the bubble, they are as good as dead: Valora’s powerful shotgun is devastating in close range, hence its name.
Halden is one of the easiest Explorers to play, and while he doesn’t have any flashy tricks up his sleeve, he protects his team and performs well in fights against other players. His class weapon is decent at close and mid-range, and his curative aura ability restores HP to players inside it, and instantly revives downed squadmates. It’s almost impossible to play Halden wrong or fail to get value out of him.
Cruz is in this group not for his PvP potential (he doesn’t have any) but for the incredible competitive edge his ability provides to his squad. The speed boost from Tailwind lets Cruz and his squad pull off wide flanks, close in on snipers, third party unfortunate enemies, and make a safe getaway if things go south. The ability pairs especially well with Valora and Jae, who need to close the gap to their enemies to be effective quickly. Out of combat, Tailwind lets Cruz and his teammates travel swiftly from compound to compound without a vehicle, and outrun the storm circle.
B tier – Letty and Kali
Letty is saddled with the worst type of ability in any game – the ability to cancel other players’ abilities. The majority of playable space in Scavengers is open and flat, which gives Letty very few options to use EMP Blast in any meaningful way. In theory, she could push people out of the extraction ship, but unless she does it exactly one second before the end of the match, it wouldn’t achieve much. She can also shut down Jae away if she catches him on the charge, but that just spends her ability to stop his. All in all, Letty is an underwhelming Explorer in her current state.
Kali is not quite as bad as Letty, but she simply doesn’t have anything to let her compete with other Explorers in Scavengers. Her Heartseeker can be handy for stealth play, but it isn’t nearly as strong as other class weapons like Tarik’s Longstriker or Valora’s Devastator. Her Active Camo ability can ensure her own survival, and as long as she’s alive, her teammates can respawn as well; it also lets her board the extraction ship relatively safely. However, once on the ship, Kali has no way to protect her squad or deal with enemy Explorers. In short, she is good at making it to the end of the game but pretty bad at actually winning.