Prey: How to beat the game with only Human abilities
If you're a completionist finishing up your first full playthrough of Prey, you might be looking at the achievement list and asking yourself, “What's next?” Well, the answer of course is to structure your next playthrough to make the most out of your time and effort while you work towards Prey's many achievements. Specifically, we want to talk about the “Split Affinity” achievement, which requires that you complete the game once using exclusively human powers, and again using only Typhon powers.
Although this is far from an impossible feat, if you're a fan of all things Typhon you might be asking yourself how the heck you'll be able to manage without the glorious aid of Psychoshock, or Mimic, or any of the other fantastically useful abilities available thanks to your Typhon friends.
The pure human path is actually a lot simpler than you would think, as long as you're willing to focus on a few simple strategies to keep the Typhon from getting out of control, and to keep your innards inside where they aught to be. With the proper strategies in place, human powers lend themselves well to players that are good at traditional stealth and FPS games. Plan well, use your skills wisely, and if all else fails, run like hell.
Check out our Typhon-only guide for the second half of the Split Affinity achievement.
Getting Rolling, Maximizing the bang for your Buck
The biggest advantage you’ll have using only human skills revolves around your ability to maintain and generate a large amount of resources early on in the game, and maximize the effectiveness of these resources throughout your playthrough. This means you’ll want to grab the Physician I and Necropsy skills right off the bat, followed immediately by the Materials Expert skill.
Physician will give you a huge bonus to the effectiveness of your medkits, and should be upgraded to Physician II as soon as you increase your maximum health beyond the default 100 points. You should consider grabbing this relatively early to make the most of medical operators in the area and to help spread each medkit just a little bit further.
This will also keep you from going down to a single unlucky hit by some of the bigger baddies in the game like Technopaths, Telepaths, and Nightmares. The latter will be less of an issue, as Nightmares generally spawn as a result of Morgan venturing into the Typhon powers, so because you won’t be playing in their sandbox they should be extremely few and far between if they appear at all.
Necropsy will allow you to start stockpiling that sweet, sweet exotic material, so that once you get your hands on the Neuromod schematic you’ll be able to stock up on Neuromods for the more advanced, and appropriately more expensive skills.
Furthermore, be sure to invest in Materials Expert as soon as you have a few spare Neuromods, preferably before you make your first trip to a recycler. A twenty percent boost to recycling may not seem like much, but in the long run it adds up to a significant resource bonus.
Additionally, it’s important to remember that just because you have bonuses to resource gathering that you should never approach a situation assuming you have plenty of ammo. Prey balances resources on a razor blade, and the more ammo and medkits you burn through the more difficult the game becomes later on in the game.
So when things start to feel like the land of milk and honey, keep in mind that there are going to be times when you can’t find a recycler or a fabricator to save your soul, and you just used your last shotgun shell to blow away a greater mimic that decided to rip away half your health, so plan accordingly.
Guns and Ammo, Maximizing your Damage
One of the biggest advantages the human skill trees have compared to the Typhon is the ability to massively overhaul both your weapons, and your ability to deliver potent sneak attacks.
Without Typhon powers, weapons like the Stun Gun, the Shotgun, and the Gloo Cannon are going to be your bread and butter when it comes down to the brass tacks of dealing with Typhon. To that end, it’s important that you focus on giving them a boost as early as you can pull it off. So when you have spare Neuromods on hand, don’t be afraid to pick up the Firearms skill for a direct boost to your weapon damage, and the Gunsmith perk so that you can increase your weapon’s base stats.
If you have Leverage III or an extra Recycler Charge, you can find the plan for weapon modifications in the Hardware Labs beneath the large caged area where you get your hands on the jump jet. It’s worth picking up to max out your weapon damage early on, but if you’re a fan of exploration you’ll likely find plenty of mods either way.
As far as weapons go, the only weapon you should hold off on modding is the basic pistol. For clearing out small mimics the vanilla model is already effective on its own, especially if you take the Firearms skill, so it isn’t a huge advantage to spend resources maxing it out. Yet, this is mostly important because of the presence of an Artemis Golden Pistol hidden in a safe in the Crew Quarters. Once you get your hands on this bit of bling, which has a pretty significant default bonus to damage, you’ll regret spending weapon mod kits on a regular pistol.
Although sneaking around doesn’t fit perfectly into everyone’s playstyle, if you’re even remotely a fan of skulking it can be a heck of a good way to either avoid costly, dangerous encounters altogether, or to get a sweet one-shot shotgun kill on even the beefiest Phantoms.
It’s important to note that you can get a sneak attack with almost anything, including Leverage, so if you’re really desperate for ammo remember that you can beat an unsuspecting phantom to death using a well thrown console or chair.
For light skulking, the first tier of Sneak is all you'll really need, and this also unlocks the ability to invest Neuromods in a 300-percent bonus damage to sneak attacks. The first sneak bonus is plenty for pulling off the occasional one-shot kill, but if this playstyle appeals to you don't be afraid to pour a significant number of Neuromods into muffling your footsteps while running or sprinting. This is especially valuable if you find the Psychoscope upgrade that identifies hidden mimics for you, making it a simple task to turn the tables on Talos I’s slimiest vermin.
It’s also worth stating that once stealth is off the table you should attempt to Gloo or Stun an enemy before you directly engage. A stunned enemy takes significant bonus damage and it makes them much easier to hit.
Failing that, this is also where the Human’s only Psi ability comes into play. Accuracy is important in Prey just like any other game, so if you have the extra mods be sure to invest in Combat Focus. Not only does this skill give you the ability to slow time temporarily, but you’ll also get a significant boost to damage and to stamina while it’s active.
It’s perfect for nailing fast moving mimics with the wrench, piling on a massive amount of damage with the pistol or the Q-Beam, or even just for giving yourself a few seconds to think right before things get crazy.
Securing All Fronts
As we mentioned in our original Tips and Tricks article, investing in securing an area is almost always worth the time and energy it takes to carefully place some turrets or mines.
It’s important to note that every single in-game grenade can be placed on a surface as a highly versatile mine, which will remain active even after you leave the area. My personal favorite wombo combo is to place a Typhon Lure and a Recycler Charge side-by-side at a key junction. If a Typhon gets close enough to trigger the mines, the Typhon Lure will temporarily hold its attention long enough for the Recycler Charge to rip it apart.
This same concept can be applied to most if not all of your throwable traps. A Recycler Charge and an EMP would wreck any electronic enemies or similarly stun most enemies so they’re stuck in place while the Recycler Charge detonates.
Traps and turrets might not be able to wipe out an army, but turrets especially are an example of free damage and potentially free kills right out of the gate. In the very least they’ll thin out the herd before you have to deal with them. As a result, if you know an area that enemies are likely to spawn or that you know you’re going to need to go through, it’s worth it to spend some time setting up a few turrets to keep the area safe and clear.
Early game the default turrets are perfect for taking down most enemies, and will usually only be overwhelmed by three or four Typhon in a large group. Late game, you should definitely invest in Repair II to fortify your turrets. A fortified turret has a massively boosted health pool, and can dish out a hell of a lot of damage before going down, enough to take down even some of the beefiest enemies on Talos I if you’re around to run support.
If turrets seem like your home run swing, you can actually snag the schematic to build your own pretty early on – provided you’re willing to spend some Neuromods on Hacking III that is. Once you have access to the Talos I Exterior you can float up to the Cargo Bay Hull Breach and hack the safe inside to get your hands on a nearly unlimited supply of machinegun-toting robotic buddies.
The Golden Rule
It’s important to remember that when you’re playing using only Human skills and shit hits the fan, you have an almost ridiculous ability to outpace most of your enemies. Late game, some of the most valuable survival skills are Mobility I and II, but even without them Morgan can book it faster than most Typhon, especially if you coat them in Gloo or toss the odd EMP grenade down first.
Unlike someone who use Typhon powers, there’s virtually no reason to confront most enemies. You have absolutely no need to even scan them aside from figuring out the most basic weaknesses. Although Typhon do drop Exotic Material, it’s not essential and it’s much easier to gather Exotic by picking off the lone enemy rather than confronting an entire army.
So when all else fails, just run. Take a step back, place some traps, spawn some turrets, do whatever you have to, but when you get ambushed by overwhelming odds it’s occasionally best to simply focus on escaping rather than trying to turn the tides of war.
When you get out alive, you’ll have a chance to reevaluate whether it’s worth it to sink the resources into wiping out the competition or whether you should sneak or sprint past instead.