To say that Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodhunt is not just another battle royale is an understatement. The new title by developer Sharkmob pits 45 players in an intense PvPvE struggle to be the last vampire (or Kindread, canonically speaking) standing at the end of the match. Bloodhunt is not easy to play — it is mechanically demanding, fast-paced, and it rewards both strategic thinking and quick reflexes. On top of that, it has a number of mechanics that no other battle royale has, making for a deliciously layered experience once you’ve become accustomed to all of them. This beginners’ guide aims to help you do just that.
When you start Bloodhunt, you will instantly realize that you can slide if you hit Crouch while running, and that you can climb infinitely high if you hold Jump while moving against a wall. However, movement in the game has lots of additional mechanics and tricks to master. For example, landing from a rooftop usually results in a loud noise (especially if you land on a vehicle) and stuns you momentarily — that is unless you tap crouch just before landing.
If you are airborne while next to a wall, you will automatically begin to wall-slide, reducing your movement speed slightly. While sliding this way, you can instantly bounce away from the wall by tapping Jump. Note that wall movement, as fancy as it is, isn’t any faster than running on the ground, and it won’t protect you from enemies with good aim.
In Bloodhunt, it pays off to be sneaky, but being sneaky not as simple as just hiding around corners. The game has multiple detection mechanics that players should be wary of. For starters, it’s quite easy to make noise that would draw the attention of players. Breaking into stores and hitting cars with abilities or weapons triggers loud alarms, and any civilians who see you using weapons or attacking players or NPCs will run away from you and scream, giving away your location to anyone paying attention.
Worse yet, if a civilian sees you feed or use vampiric abilities, a Bloodhunt will be triggered — your character will be outlined in red, and players in the area will be able to see you through walls. The Bloodhunt wears off automatically after a while, assuming you manage to survive and avoid triggering it again.
Fear the Entity
The Entity is a secret organization dedicated to exterminating the Kindred. At the start of each match, the Entity-controlled areas will be marked on the pre-match screen as red crosses. These NPC enemies guard high-tier loot, and they are no joke — they can easily kill you, even in the late game. Note that Entity soldiers can spot players as long as they have a line of sight, even if the player is not under a Bloodhunt. If they spot you, they will always open fire, but they won’t chase you far.
In the endgame, Entity soldiers become more of a problem, as players are forced to fight in the open. Sometimes it pays off to run into an area controlled by Entity forces to escape from players, though that move could just as easily become a death sentence.
Read the Archetype tutorials – yes, really
Vampire: The Masquerade has a deep and complex lore, and a lot of it is reflected in how Bloodhunt plays. The vampiric abilities players use in the game each come from the background of their chosen Archetype and its clan. Some of them, like the Siren’s Kindred Charm, are not easy to figure out by just playing the game.
To get a good understanding of these abilities, you should spend the time to read the in-depth descriptions in the Journal. From Elysium, hit Escape, then Journal, then Tutorial, and then scroll down to Archetypes. This section explains Kindred abilities much better than the Archetype selection screen.
Improvise, adapt, overcome
Every moment you spend not fighting in Bloodhunt should be spent searching for other ways to get ahead. To make sure that you get to the late game with good gear and upgraded abilities, you should be constantly scanning for more loot and good blood. Heightened Senses is on a shockingly short cooldown, and can be used always, such as while executing players, feeding on NPCs, climbing, and even during those five seconds at the start of the match when no other actions are possible. Your vampire sonar is so good, it’s even available on the pre-match screen: place your pin on different areas of the map and watch for other players’ red dots every time the sonar pulses.
Weapons are found in Antique and Tailor Shops, and armor plates can be found at the back of police vans, among other places. Armor is not as much of a gamechanger as it is in games like Apex Legends, but it still helps to have an armor plate installed, and another in your inventory. In addition to finding the right weapons for your playstyle, make sure to feed on the right types of civilian NPCs to increase your health regeneration speed, melee damage, ability cooldown speed, and so on.
Allies in Elysium
Elysium is the Bloodhunt hub zone, a place to hang out with other players in between matches, practice your slide jumps, and absentmindedly spam emotes. While here, you can change your appearance, or read up on the game’s mechanics, lore, abilities, and weapons. You can also chat with the Kindred NPCs Maia, Kirill, and Custos, who will give you small quests to complete while in regular Bloodhunt matches.
As above, so below
The map of Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodhunt is based on Czechia’s capital of Prague. Like Hyper Scape, Bloodhunt’s urban setting lends the action a lot of verticality. While civilians and Entity forces stalk the streets, the rooftops belong to Kindread players alone. In effect, the game feels like it has a two-layer map. Most good loot and NPC blood is found on the streets, so it pays off to stay there during the early game. The rooftops are where you go hunting for other players in the later stages. There is loot here too, albeit not as much.
Rooftops naturally provide a good vantage point from which to search for enemies, but they are by no means safe — other players will specifically climb to the top to look for fights, so be ready for them.
Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodhunt follows the old rule that vampires cannot cross running water, and so you should avoid getting in the Vltava river at all costs. Even just touching it will kill you in a rather dramatic way.