Prey: How to beat the game with only Typhon abilities
The “Split Affinity” achievement for Prey requires you to take a specific side while tackling Talos I’s uniquely hostile environment – once while only using Human abilities and powers, and then once more while only taking advantage of Typhon powers.
Although at first glance Typhon powers may seem like the easier of the two options, the lack of dedicated crafting skills, hacking to offset turrets that identify you as Typhon, and the fact that you have to run through the entire title with base health and Psi values makes it a unique challenge requiring a PhD in space wizardry to pull off.
So let’s talk about some strategies and tips that’ll help you graduate, nail a fancy achievement, and get a glimpse of what it’s like to wield the power of the universe at the tips of your fingers.
Check out our Human-only guide for the second half of the Split Affinity achievement.
Finding the Essentials in a Powerless World
Getting rolling with a Psi run begins as a practice in patience more than anything else. You’re going to have quite a few Neuromods in your inventory as you progress, but you’ll need to hold off on using them for anything while you sprint through the opening acts of the game to snag your Psychoscope from Psychotronics.
Sprinting to your powers is definitely a worthwhile adventure if you think you’ve got a good handle on the weapons in the main game, but we advise sneaking as much as possible. Use the Gloo Cannon to make sure you have a chance to elevate yourself above the area to observe Phantom paths and Mimics while they’re unaware. It’ll make avoiding enemies entirely or ambushing them with a well-placed wrench or shotgun blast that much easier.
It's important to note that it’s entirely possible to just run past the bulk of the bad guys you encounter by spraying them down with Gloo and then sprinting past, and only using the shotgun to finish off enemies that are blocking your objective. But you’ll occasionally take some pretty significant hits, which is made more frightening by the fact that you don’t have any skills to increase the base effectiveness of your medkits, and medkits themselves are going to be pretty ineffective without the Physician skill.
Don’t let this lack of meds fool you into thinking that you’ll have to play a glass cannon the whole game. Later on you’ll have access to Typhon abilities that’ll effectively regenerate portions of your health, shield you from multiple hits, and increase your resistance significantly. So you’ll be able to take a hit and, unlike your friends doing a Human-only run, you’ll often walk away entirely unscathed.
Despite this, resources on this run are going to be a little scarce until you get yourself set up with the proper abilities and quest bonuses. This is mostly because you won’t have access to the skills that boost the size of your inventory, give you bonus to recycled materials, and you won’t be able to extract mimic tumors for extra organic and exotic material in a pinch.
As a result, looting near recyclers is twice as important as it is normally, because you’ll want to make a few extra trips to gather resources rather than leaving them to rot on the floor. If you get really desperate, don’t be afraid to take advantage of excess Recycler Charges by stacking up a large amount of excess junk in the area and recycling it all at once.
Nothing about this run prevents you from actively using the weapons from the base game, but because of your severely limited inventory it’s advisable that you stick to the ones you value the most and recycle any excess ammo for other weapons that you aren’t interested in using. Just remember that you still have them – the shotgun is still fantastic, Recycler Charges and Typhon Lures still make great traps and can be used in a pinch to save some precious Psi points, and your trusty pistol will sometimes be a better option to finish off an enemy than another Kinetic Blast.
Whether you plan to sprint through or take a more conservative approach, we suggest hitting a few places in the opening act just to make sure you’re fully kitted out before you hit Psychotronics and Hardware.
First off, before you even leave the Neuromod Division, be sure to drop by the Simulation Debriefing Lab to get your hands on a Psi Hypo schematic.
It’s one of the rooms right outside of Morgan’s simulated apartment at the beginning of the game. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see the strange operating chair and a computer identifying this as the location where they rip the Neuromods out of Morgan’s skull after each testing session. To the right you’ll also find a safe, which is one of the few in the game that doesn’t randomly change the combination.
If you look at the whiteboard to the left, you’ll notice the vague outline of a code in red marker, which should be enough to clue you in that the code is 5150. Pop open the safe and you’ll find the recipe to craft Psi Hypos, your handy-dandy purple syringe meant to refresh and restore your Psi points in a pinch.
If you’re really conservative with your power use and manage to explore most of the nooks and crannies around Talos I you may not need to craft a huge number of these, but it’s worth having when shit hits the fan and you burn through a lot of juice extremely fast.
Your next stop is just a short hop away in the main foyer of the Neuromod Division, where you’ll want to grab the Gloo Cannon and immediately use it to make your way up to the second floor balcony. There, you can snag a Disruptor Stun Gun with a bit of ammo. Early on this weapon is essential for taking out or stunning robotic enemies, and even without upgrades it performs well all the way through the game if you’re not interested in wasting the Psi points to waste a robot with powers.
Finally, just in case you don’t have the pre-order DLC for the Margrave, you’re going to need to get your hands on a shotgun ASAP. Once you arrive in the Lobby, head straight to the security hallway on the first floor in the southwest corner of the map.
Normally, the door at the end of the hallway is locked, but if you look up and to the left at the beginning of the hallway you’ll notice a set of large yellow pipes you can climb on to. Follow the pipes to a small maintenance shaft and you’ll drop down into The Lobby’s security office.
Inside, you should find a huge bundle of loot in the safe – which you can unlock with the code from the book on the desk – as well as a shotgun in the gun rack.
Also, make sure you look to the left of the security desk to net four extra Neuromods for the low, low price of free.
With these supplies in hand you should be more than prepared to rush the story to Psychotronics.
Scanning for SCIENCE!
With the Psychoscope firmly strapped to your noggin, your next goal is to dump as many points into powers as possible, which requires you to start up the ol’ scanner, even if it kills you.
Psychotronics should net you plenty of chances to scan Phantoms and Mimics, and you should find a Voltaic Phantom in a testing area not far ahead, so be sure to take a long look at his assets with your new toy before you fill him with Gloo and shotgun shells. Similarly, there are several opportunities to scan the Weaver in the center of the room as you trigger the tests throughout the area, which is a great chance to get a jumpstart on the research for Backlash I.
Of course, this is where things get a little complicated, because after this point many of the enemies will vary depending on your playthrough, but investing in Kinetic Blast, Mimic, and Electrostatic Burst are usually a fantastic start.
Kinetic Blast gives you a solid DPS-based attack right out of the gate, and it does enough AoE to cover multiple mimics or phantoms. It also serves as a similar utility skill as Leverage – the force of the blast can often be used to throw or at least inch boxes far enough out of the way that you can access areas normally blocked by debris.
Similarly, Mimic allows you to easily explore many of the nooks and crannies hidden throughout Talos I, which is important to keep your supply lines clear while you travel throughout the station. Especially considering you won’t have Hacking, Repair, or Leverage to help you brute force your way past obstacles.
Mimic serves as an interesting beast simply because it’s such an odd gameplay concept for a modern shooter. You can use it to hide, yes, but you can also use it to sneak around. Keeping eyes on a coffee cup as it rolls across the floor makes detection a lot more difficult.
Additionally, if you aren’t moving enemies struggle to find you at all, making it a perfect method to deal with large, difficult enemies when coupled with the seemingly impossible-to-trace powers available in the Typhon tree.
One of our favorite tactics with Mimic as a skill is to transform into something innocuous in the area, then lightly roll out into the open. Then use Psi Hypos to top off your energy while steadily beating the hell out of the enemies with a combination of Psychoshock and Electrostatic Burst.
Surprisingly, you can rip through even dangerous enemies like Technopaths and Telepaths without ever taking damage, because by all accounts they think you’re just a deck of records. They’ll even occasionally knock you out of the way as they run by, none the wiser.
Electrostatic Burst is also important here because it gives you both an additional stun and a powerful new weapon against robotic enemies like Turrets and rogue Operators. It also has a third purpose, but one that can make things a little bit terrifying, which we’ll get into a little later.
Keep in mind that these three skills will likely put you over the edge for Turrets, which will now identify you as a Typhon and open fire. Without hacking, your only choice is to take these turrets out any way you see fit. Usually a single Electrostatic Burst will do most of the work. If not outright killing it, it’ll give you a chance to run up and fold it up into a nice little box while it’s still stunned.
With these powers in hand you should be able to clear most of Psychotronics and make your way back to the Lobby.
Make sure to take advantage of the Science Operators in the area to top off your Psi points before you leave. These handy little guys can be found spread throughout many areas in the station, offering a free fill-up on your Psi points. Similarly, Medical Operators will fill up your Health, and Engineering Operators will fix up your suit, so keep an eye out for their triangular stations as much as possible.
Once you’re back in the Lobby you should follow our guide to getting your hands on the Neuromod Schematic as soon as you can. Follow the strategy we laid out in the guide, or transform into a small object and keep blasting the Technopath with Electrostatic Burst until it pops like a blueberry.
Normally, we would recommend tackling this earlier in your playthrough to maximize your available abilities at any given time, but in this case it represents a chance to gather a valuable scan of a Technopath now that you have the Psychoscope. That should pave the way to the Remote Manipulation Skill as well as eventually Machine Mind and further ranks of Electrostatic Burst.
At this point, you should be able to manage most Typhon using the skills on hand, but it’s important that before you head further you take some time to explore and stock up on as many supplies as possible using your new skills. Use Mimic to squeeze through blocked doorways, blast obstacles out of the way with Kinetic Blast, and in general do your best to find and recycle as much loot as you can.
The Big Ones, Skills to Save your Life
With these tools in hand you should be all set to begin your journey through the G.U.T.S., which opens up the potential that you’re soon to run into several of the bigger, meaner, and much more dangerous Typhon.
Coincidentally, these are also the Typhon you need to absolutely make sure you scan, and now that you’ve begun pouring points into Typhon powers things are about to get a bit harder. The Typhon for some reason consider Morgan a kind of virus, and the deeper he ventures into their network of powers the more powerful Typhon he’ll encounter.
Luckily, this means you’ll have plenty of chances to scan these Typhon to nab their more powerful skills, but as you can tell it’s a bit of a double-edged sword. Eventually, you’ll randomly begin to encounter Nightmares, which are the Typhon’s version of a white blood cell, here to kick ass, take names, and wipe Morgan’s viral body across the floor.
Nightmares are bigger, stronger, faster, and have more devastating attacks than nearly any other Typhon, and they’re relentless at tracking the player. Take solace in the fact that early on in the game you can usually avoid them long enough for a timer to expire, after which they’ll go away, and be grateful that it won’t be long until you can absolutely destroy them in turn.
Short of Nightmares, Greater Mimics are the easiest of the beasts you’re soon to encounter and scanning these tougher, faster Mimics will net you both access to higher levels of Mimic and the first tier of Regeneration.
You should do your best to snag Regeneration as quickly as possible because it offers a light, passive healing effect every time you take damage. It’s not much at first, but later on it’ll restore 25 points, or a quarter of your health, a few seconds after you take a hit. It saves a hell of a lot of medkits, and in the long run it’ll keep your health above a minimum bar so that you’re less likely to get oneshotted before you can activate an important power to save your life.
The crux of the issue is that Regeneration II can only be learned by scanning Nightmares. Not an impossible task, but one that is best done from a distance. If you have a Typhon Lure, it’s best to toss it before you start the scan. Otherwise the Nightmare is likely to come sniffing around before you’re finished.
Fortunately, scanning Nightmares as well as Weavers also gives you access to Backlash, which you should consider adding to your roster as quickly as possible.
Backlash creates an energy shield that will absorb a set number of hits, allowing you to get punted across the room by Nightmares and Phantoms alike and still come back swinging. It’s like a get out of jail free card that lets you walk away from a deadly encounter with your intestines intact. At the first tier, Backlash will only block one attack, but by tier three you’ll be able to survive three hits in a row from even the beefiest of bad guys.
Regeneration and Backlash are two of the most essential powers you should nab to extend your general survivability. Later on, it’s worth it to invest in some of the skills that grant you resistance to different energy types as well. But for now, Regeneration will help keep you topped off after small tussles that would normally whittle down your health and your medkits, while Backlash will give you enough armor to rip apart larger enemies without getting absolutely destroyed.
As far as offense goes, your biggest asset is easily the Psychoshock power, which you can snag by scanning Telepaths. There are at least two that spawn in Crew Quarters, one in the Cafeteria and another in the gymnasium. You’ll also often find them protecting Weavers and they’re likely to spawn in the Lobby anytime you return after completing a few chunks of the main questline.
Psychoshock is so good because not only does it disrupt any Typhon ability to use its powers, but because it also tears out a ridiculous chunk of health for a tiny overall Psi cost. If you nail an enemy that isn’t aware of your presence, you can deal over 100 damage and disable their strongest abilities with a single attack that, with the proper Psychoscope mods, costs less that 25 Psi points.
Its only downfall is the fact that it only targets a single enemy at a time rather than a large AoE like Kinetic Blast, but the fact that it basically functions as a cheap, single target Nullwave Transmitter more than makes up for the difference.
The best part is that it’s effective on anything and everything Typhon related, and will allow you to even the playing field immediately. This power is a must have for any Typhon power run, because it takes away some of the most threatening aspects of the most threatening enemies.
It’s worth noting that most Typhon react aggressively to having their powers silenced, and will usually immediately close in for some down and dirty melee combat. Fortunately, the shotgun is tailored perfectly for dealing with this, and if all else fails switch to Electrostatic Burst, your Stun Gun, or the Gloo Cannon to slow their roll so you can take them apart with the wrench or another weapon.
With these three powers in hand, the rest of your skill points are largely based on player preference.
If you prefer to let others do the work for you, it’s really hard to go wrong with Mindjack and Machine Mind. Simply Mimic a nearby item or hide in a nice cozy vent somewhere and use either skill to convert an enemy to your side and watch the sparks fly. This also couples well with Phantom Genesis if you have a spare corpse lying around, adding a third party to the mix to really get things rolling.
It’s worth mentioning that Nightmares can also be affected by Mindjack, so if there’s ever one in the center of a large group of enemies you really can’t go wrong converting it for dramatic irony alone. The fact that it rips through other Typhon like a hot knife through butter is just a bonus.
If you’re a fan of traps, Superthermal allows you to effectively place fire-based trip mines at will – first only one, but up to three by the time you max it out. These traps are persistent between areas as long as you don’t exceed your limit, which makes them an excellent complement to Typhon Lures, Recycler Charges, and pretty much anything else you feel like pairing them up with.
As far as mobility goes, it’s important to note that you can get a huge boost up to hard to reach areas if you transform into an item and then cast Lift Field or Kinetic Blast nearby. Just keep in mind that the damage from the latter can be significant if you aren’t prepared for it, so consider casting Backlash first if you’re low on health.
Staying Hydrated, Drinking the Psychic Waters
So with all this talk about powers and somewhat scarce resources, you might find yourself feeling just a little nervous about the status of your stock of Psi Hypos.
If you find yourself using powers constantly to fight off every threat, you’re going to burn through a lot of Psi points extremely fast. And without bonuses to the potency of your average Psi Hypo like you have while playing using Human skills, you’re going to burn through them extremely fast.
Part of preventing this is diligent looting, and doing your best to balance the use of your powers with your supply of ammo and the occasional whack from your wrench. You’ll even find Psi Hypos on most Phantoms after you knock ‘em on the noggin a few times.
Yet this really doesn’t solve the overall problem – there just aren’t enough Psi Hypos to go around, even if you craft them. Part of that is meant to keep things balanced and keep you desperately searching for resources, it’s definitely meant to be one of the driving forces behind surviving on Talos I as a whole.
Yet there’s a quest that takes away a lot of the desperate need for Psi Hypos by flooding the water supply with the same chemical that makes your favorite purple needles so potent.
The quest is called “Psychic Waters” and it’s possibly the only quest that’s absolutely essential for pulling off a Typhon run without a hitch, because it makes every water source restore 50 Psi points per sip in addition to the single precious health point it normally restores.
As you might remember, there are more than a few water sources to drink from on Talos I. This means that on nearly every level you’ll be able to find a source of infinite Psi points just a single sip away.
To get started, you’ll need to make your way to Life Support, which you can only access after clearing the elevator in the Arboretum. So once you have a good stockpile of powers, race up the G.U.T.S. following the main quest and take out the Technopath controlling the lift.
Head down into Life Support proper and immediately hang a right through the small maintenance hatch beside the barrier before all the Gloo and bodies. Inside, head left a few feet and immediately look to the right. It’s extremely dark so you might need your flashlight or Psychoscope to see, but you should find the body of Tobias Frost along with a vial of strange fluid and a transcribe.
Listen to the audio and you’ll receive the quest prompt. Your goal is the water treatment facility, so head down the stairs, being mindful of the Mimics and the Phantoms in the area, and follow the signs as well as your quest marker down the grav lift.
Clear out the corrupted operators in the area and then head down the hall directly across from the lift. You’ll find your path blocked by an unpowered door, but if you look straight up you’ll notice a small maintenance hatch dimly lit above you.
Take advantage of the numerous vents and pipes in the area to make your way up to the hatch, and then drop down into the treatment center proper.
Take care of the Phantoms in the area and make your way back to the locked doors at the entrance. To the left you should see a small power console. Flicking it on will power all the doors in the area, and from there all you need to do is make your way up the catwalks and through the various labs to your quest objective.
Inject the serum into the water supply and, like magic, you’ll be able to find clean, tangy Psi juice coming out of any and every tap on the station. Just don’t think about the long term effect on the population and you should be fine.