Melee is woven seamlessly into combat in Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodhunt, with every player carrying a melee weapon in addition to their two ranged weapons. In fact, melee weapons are not just a last resort option like they would be in most other shooter games, but are an equally powerful alternative to guns. Players who dedicate themselves to a melee playstyle can win matches easily. This guide will go through everything you need to know about melee in Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodhunt, including all melee weapons and abilities, the best ways to use them, and their interactions with the game’s Archetypes and Perks.
Melee basics and tips
Melee weapons in Bloodhunt all share the following advantages: they are silent, they don’t require ammo, they are easy to use, and 50% of all melee damage inflicted on enemy players or Entity soldiers is returned as HP. This last aspect allows certain Archetypes to go toe to toe with enemies using powerful firearms and still come out on top.
To build a dedicated melee playstyle, you need to lock in the right vampire and give them the best tools for the job. Pick the Brujah Vandal Archetype, and select either Choleric or Warrior as your Perk; the former gives you two stacks of Choleric blood at the start of the match, while the latter trades out your starting Pistol for a Spiked Bat. On the pre-match map screen, select a spawn location near an Antique shop: that’s where you find melee weapons. At the start of the match, hunt down civilians with Choleric Resonant Blood: it increases your melee damage output, up to 50% bonus damage at three stacks.
Best melee weapons in Bloodhunt
There are four melee weapons in Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodhunt, and while they all feel almost the same to use, they are vastly different in their effectiveness. At the bottom of the power curve is the Spiked Bat: it deals 55 damage per swing and is automatically given to players who respawn in a Bloodhunt match. Next up is the Fire Axe, which swings a little slower than the Spiked Bat, but deals 70 damage per hit, which means that while it has the same DPS, it is much burstier. Being able to down opponents with one less swing makes a big difference, which is why the Fire Axe is noticeably better than the Spiked Bat.
Stronger than both is the Scourge Blades, a pair of long daggers (or perhaps short swords) with serrated edges. The Scourge Blades deal 30 damage per hit and swing at a furiously fast rate, boasting higher DPS than the Fire Axe. They come with a built-in dash: pressing the alt-fire key or button with the Scourge Blades equipped makes the player character charge forward, passing through and damaging enemies. This is exceptionally useful when trying to use melee in higher skill Bloodhunt lobbies, where players are more adept at keeping their distance.
Finally, we have the Katana, which is either the best melee weapon in Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodhunt, or is tied for the title with the Scourge Blades, depending on your perspective. The Katana deals 70 damage per hit and has a decent swing rate, tying with the Scourge Blades for the highest melee DPS. Its special ability is Deflection: holding the alt-fire key or button blocks incoming projectiles, and even sends them back at your attacker if they are close enough. As most Bloodhunt players are aware of this ability and will simply stop firing when you activate it, its best use case is to allow you to get closer without taking damage. You can also use it to safely reach cover if you find yourself under fire in the open.
Best melee Archetypes in Bloodhunt
The Brujah Vandal is the best Archetype you can use for a dedicated melee playstyle, as their entire kit revolves around charging up to enemies and engaging them face to face. They have two movement abilities with which to close the gap, and their Adrenaline Rush passive ability reduces the damage they take while enemies are nearby. Their Archetype ability, Earth Shock, temporarily immobilizes struck players, giving you a couple of free hits before they can even attempt to disengage.
The Ventrue Enforcer is another Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodhunt Archetype that can be very powerful in melee. Enforcers can use their Flesh of Marble ability to safely switch to a melee weapon mid-combat, and their Unyielding Charge ability to move in for the kill. Their Subjugating Presence passive ability is also perfect for melee because it slows down nearby enemies. However, Ventrue Enforcers cannot pick the Choleric or Warrior perks, which makes them slightly inferior to Vandals in the melee department, at least in the early game.
Finally, if you struggle to deal with melee users, there are a couple of Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodhunt Archetypes you can use to give yourself some edge. The Brujah Brute can use its ability to push players back, denying them their entire playstyle and possibly infuriating them. The Enforcer is also quite good at dealing with melee attackers, as it passively slows them down on the approach, and can silence their special weapon abilities with Unyielding Charge.