Traversing the sprawling maps of The Cycle: Frontier silently and speedily is key to being successful. As you would often be advised in other extraction shooter games, you need to move as quickly as you can, and as silently as possible. That way you can cover a lot of ground, get your loot, and make it to the evacuation site safely. This guide will cover stealth and speed movement mechanics in The Cycle: Frontier to help you move faster and remain undetected.
Movement in The Cycle: Frontier
There are two basic rules players can internalize in order to move quickly around Fortuna III: hold a fast movement weapon and avoid animations. The first is fairly simple but more important than you may suspect. Different weapons in The Cycle: Frontier affect your movement speed differently, with SMGs, pistols, and melee weapons letting you move at maximum speed. Conversely, having a DMR or heavy weapon equipped will slow you down considerably. Weapons affect every type of movement: walking, sprinting, crouch-walking, and walking while aiming down sights.
What that means is that whether you are pushing an opponent, stalking them silently, or simply roaming the map, you should have a pistol or an SMG equipped. When deploying, make sure said pistol or SMG is in your primary slot, which would make you automatically swap to it after interacting with objects or healing. While this may sound limiting, remember that the Bulldog and Hammer are considered pistols, even though one is a shotgun and the other is essentially a sniper rifle. Both will allow you to zip around at maximum speed. Whatever your second weapon may be, prioritize swap speed attachments to ensure you can quickly switch to it for when you aren’t in the optimal range for pistols or SMGs.
The second rule to fast movement in The Cycle: Frontier is less crucial, but encoding it into your gameplay will really help you move around quickly and safely. There are multiple movement types in the game which kill your momentum, lock you into a short animation, and sometimes make noise. Those are mantling, sliding, and dropping from too high. For example, if you fall from any ledge that is higher than 15 feet or so, your character will make a loud grunt, drop to their knees, and spend almost a second staggering back up to their feet. You may think that a surprise cliff jump would give you an edge in combat, but it may actually doom you.
Similarly, sliding and mantling over climbable objects in The Cycle: Frontier makes noise and turns you into an incredibly easy target. You should avoid these actions in favor of more conventional movement when you can; for example, run around an object instead of climbing over it, unless you really have no other way to pass by it. This is a no-brainer when you are caught up in a gunfight, but it’s also helpful in general, as it keeps you quiet and makes you a harder target for any sneaky campers sizing you up from the bushes.
Stealth in The Cycle: Frontier
Not making noise is even more important in The Cycle: Frontier than moving quickly. As our wise forefathers in Escape From Tarkov say, “stealth is wealth.” Luckily, The Cycle: Frontier gives you every opportunity to remain undetectably quiet, as long as you keep track of a few simple rules. First, watch your Stamina bar. When it drops to around the 25% mark, your character begins to breathe heavily, and can’t catch their breath for a few good seconds. Simply play as if your stamina bar is a quarter shorter, and never let yourself get the fits. This heavy breathing sound is much louder than you perceive it to be, and other players can hear it from really far away.
The same sensory discrepancy actually applies to a number of sounds in The Cycle: Frontier. The crunching of rubble under your feet around certain water features may sound stressfully loud, but it’s next to inaudible to other players. Conversely, the noise you make when running, mining, opening containers, calling the evac ship, and swinging your melee weapon is much louder than it feels, and other players can hear you doing these things from really far away. Other interaction sounds such as swapping weapons or healing are less noisy, but still audible within a certain radius around you.
With the risks of loud movement considered, you may be tempted to buy a Tactical Shield, which increases your maximum Stamina: we advise against it. In the current build of The Cycle: Frontier, Tac Shields have lower damage resistance, which makes them a liability despite the Stamina buff. Just watch your Stamina bar and you will be OK.
Another source of noise in The Cycle: Frontier is encumbrance. The more loot you stuff in your backpack, the janglier it gets. This noise value isn’t tied to the overall weight of the items in your backpack but rather the percentage of its capacity they take up, and the noise maxes out around the 80% mark. For example, if you have more than 200 pounds of loot in a 250-capacity backpack, you will be louder when walking and running, and make slightly more noise when landing from heights.
On a final note, be wary of aggroing creatures around the map of The Cycle: Frontier, as their voices are also pretty loud. You can sneak by most monsters by simply not sprinting close to them, but ambient birds will be triggered from really far away even if you are just walking. The only way to avoid alarming birds is by spotting them while you’re a good distance away and crouch-walking through their trigger range. At that point, you may want to consider simply running past and triggering them anyway; it will save you a lot of time.