9 Prime Tips to Survive the E.M.M.I. In Metroid Dread

Struggling with the E.M.M.I.s in Metroid Dread? This guide will give you some tips to survive the E.M.M.I.: how they work, how to avoid them, and how to defeat them. Use these tips and you will have a much smoother experience with this amazing game.

9 Prime Tips To Survive The E.M.M.I. In Metroid Dread Cover

You’re not alone if you found Metroid Dread much harder than the previous installments in the series. And you’re definitely not alone if you felt that the E.M.M.I.s were the most difficult, and if not, the most annoying part of the game. While Nintendo’s second report touched on some of the mechanics of them, it didn’t make the experience less challenging. These 9 Tips to Survive the E.M.M.I. in Metroid Dread will surely let you beat them much quicker and give you a better experience of it. First, here’s a brief rundown of the E.M.M.I., and how they operate in general.

Note: This article will contain minor story spoilers.

WHAT THEY ARE

The E.M.M.I. are humanoid robots, sent to the planet ZDR (where Metroid Dread takes place) to investigate sightings of the X parasite. As Samus lands on ZDR to investigate as well, she soon realises that her supposed allies have turned into enemies, and now these deadly robots have turned against her.

HOW THEY WORK

They operate only within certain regions of the map, designated as “E.M.M.I. zones”. There is 1 E.M.M.I. in each level that you encounter (2 in the first one). Your normal weapons do no damage nor stun them, and will need the temporary Omega Cannon upgrade to defeat them. As such, you will have to avoid or hide from them if you don’t have this upgrade. They can detect you through 2 methods: sight and hearing. Their sightlines are always visible and should be avoided as much as possible. Their range of hearing is only visible when you make a sound when first entering their hearing range, or as you step out of it. When you make an audible noise, a yellow pulse will emerge from Samus.

They have 3 main modes of activity. First is the patrol mode, where their sightlines are coloured blue. This means the E.M.M.I. is on patrol and has not seen or heard you yet. Next is the investigation mode, where their sightlines are coloured yellow. The E.M.M.I. has heard you but not seen you, and is investigating the last known location of the sound. Lastly, there is the pursuit mode, where the sightlines are coloured red. The E.M.M.I. has seen you and is chasing after you. In this mode, the E.M.M.I. doors will close, and you can’t escape out of the zone.

Your only option is to run as far away from it as you can until it goes back into patrol mode. Also, E.M.M.I.s will not be stopped by any kind of breakable wall, so don’t feel too safe if you’re past one.

It was at that moment, Samus knew she'd screwed up

It was at that moment, Samus knew she’d screwed up

If caught by one, the E.M.M.I. will grab Samus, before killing her in one hit with a spike to her chest. Hopefully, you’ll be able to survive the E.M.M.I. with these tips.

1. USE THE MAP

Planning Your Route

E.M.M.I. zones can be daunting at first glance, given their size. Which is why you need to know where your goal is. Even if you have not downloaded the map data for the level yet, your map will always show the E.M.M.I. zone doors. Take advantage of this and plan your route. Head for the nearest exit if you can. If you hit a dead end, pause the game and recalculate. There is rarely anything to explore in E.M.M.I. zones, and even when there is, they’re much easier to explore once you’ve destroyed the E.M.M.I., so get out of there as soon as possible.

That's the goal, but if only I could reach it...

That’s the goal, but if only I could reach it…

Know Where It Is

There are many ways to figure out where an E.M.M.I. is and how close you are to it. They have visible sightlines and areas of hearing, and they constantly let out an ominous booping sound. But, the most surefire way to tell an E.M.M.I.’s whereabouts is through the big bright red dot on the map. If that dot appears on your map or minimap, stay alert. Be prepared to hide, avoid, and run if needed. 

Maybe I shouldn't go through this door...

Maybe I shouldn’t go through this door…

2. HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT

After meeting the first two E.M.M.I.s, you will come across an upgrade called Phantom Cloak. This is an absolutely invaluable upgrade that turns you invisible, at the cost of Aeion and energy. First thing you should take note of is that you should not be too worried about draining your energy bars when in an E.M.M.I. zone. The E.M.M.I. will kill you in one hit no matter how much energy you have, so let the Phantom Cloak drain your energy if you’re in a sticky situation. Of course, there are hazards in the E.M.M.I. zones and some of their abilities can lower your energy in the later levels, but they’re of much less concern than being caught by the E.M.M.I. itself.

Can't catch what you can't see

Can’t catch what you can’t see

One important thing about the Phantom Cloak (and abilities that use Aeion in general) is that Aeion both depletes and recharges much faster if you’re moving. Conversely, staying put will cause your Aeion to last much longer, but will make it recharge much slower.

Also, even if you are cloaked, E.M.M.I.s will still notice you if they are in pursuit mode or you make physical contact with them, which is why picking the correct places to hide even when cloaked is important. There are two ways to make hiding from the E.M.M.I. a little easier: on Spider Magnet surfaces and in small nooks with your Morph Ball. 

Spider Samus

Once you gain both the Spider Magnet and Phantom Cloak ability, use this to get past the E.M.M.I.s. While they can climb on the walls and ceilings, having this ability gives you the option to jump onto a wall or ceiling to slip past them easily while cloaked. Just make sure that you press onto the ceiling with the left thumbstick when the E.M.M.I. is passing by on the floor, otherwise it will still make contact with you.

Don't. Make. A. Sound.

Don’t. Make. A. Sound.

No One Puts Samus In A Corner

When you gain the Morph Ball ability, be on the lookout for small nooks and crannies in the E.M.M.I. zones. Unlike with Spider Magnet surfaces, E.M.M.I.s are much more likely to just pass by without touching you if you’re hiding in one of these corners. Just be careful, because even when cloaked, Samus makes an audible sound whenever she goes in or comes out of Morph Ball mode.

No Samus here, just an invisible ball

No Samus here, just an invisible ball

3. TREAD LIGHTLY

Most likely, you’re going to spend most of your time in an E.M.M.I. zone a fair distance away from the E.M.M.I. So, one of the more likely ways that an E.M.M.I. will start to detect you is by their hearing, since its hearing radius is quite large. After hearing a sound from you, the E.M.M.I. will come over to investigate the place you last made a sound. Unfortunately for you, Samus is quite a loud person when she moves, and tends to make detectable noises if you’re not careful. There are, however, ways to avoid making noise, although none of them are perfect.

Phantom Cloak

The Phantom Cloak doesn’t just turn you invisible, it makes you walk much slower as well. This eliminates most of the sounds that Samus makes when moving around. Use this to stop the E.M.M.I. from hearing you if you are in its audible range. Take note of the slower movement speed, however. There are some gaps you just cannot jump across while cloaked because of your lowered speed. Also, some actions will still make noises even when cloaked, like going into Morph Ball mode or using your Grapple Beam.

1 Energy Part if you can spot Samus in this picture

1 Energy Part if you can spot Samus in this picture

Morph Ball

One of the essential upgrades you acquire is your Morph Ball. Unlike the cloak, it does not drain your energy or Aeion, and your movement speed is faster compared to walking while cloaked. Although, your jump will not be as high in Morph Ball mode, and not all the noises you make while moving are eliminated, although you do make considerably less noise.

*Nervous sweating*

*Nervous sweating*

Go Swimming

There will be several E.M.M.I. zones with areas submerged in water. While everyone hates water levels, this is a great strategy for reducing the noise you make. Much like the previous two methods, you make much less noise in water, but your movement speed is reduced as well. Also, getting caught in water (without the Gravity Suit upgrade) gives you a slightly longer Melee Counter window. It’s still incredibly short, however, so I wouldn’t depend on that.

Just two friends having a nice day at the pool

Just two friends having a nice day at the pool

4. SYSTEM BYPASS

When you’re cornered by an E.M.M.I. or if it’s blocking where you want to go, there are ways to avoid it. Make use of its hearing. Lure it somewhere appropriate and then use your Phantom Cloak to sneak past it. The E.M.M.I. zones may feel like a maze, but you can take advantage of places with multiple exits to run circles around it. If you’re feeling confident, wall jump or Flash Shift above it even when in pursuit mode.

5. COUNTER TIMINGS

Let me first start off by saying that you should avoid being caught by the E.M.M.I. as much as possible. But, when you do get caught, you are usually given 2 chances to Melee Counter it to escape. Once when it tries to grab you, the next when it tries to stab you. Much like other enemies, you can Melee Counter when the attack flashes yellow. Unlike other enemies, however, this is extremely difficult to pull off. Even ADAM tells you your chances of escaping are miniscule.

The timing window is a split-second long, and the timing of the attack is inconsistent. Unless you’re a professional speedrunner, practicing the Melee Counter timings will not be fruitful. So only use it as a last resort.

And Adam said it was impossible

And Adam said it was impossible

That being said, pulling it off will give you a much needed second chance of getting away from the enemy by sliding under it when stunned. Personally, I find that hitting X right before I think the attack will happen has better success, rather than waiting for the flash and inevitably being too slow to press it.

6. KNOW YOUR ENE.M.M.I.

One of the most essential tips to survive the E.M.M.I. is knowing what each individual one does. Each E.M.M.I. will be different from the next, introducing new abilities. They will not come as too much of a surprise, as the game introduces the enemy’s abilities during their cutscenes. Take note of this, along with any other special mechanics within the E.M.M.I. zones, and it will put you at an advantage.

Damaged E.M.M.I. (Artaria)

This is your tutorial E.M.M.I., which means it will be fairly easy. Take this moment to learn the E.M.M.I.’s movements and mechanics. If you want, start getting a feel for the difficulty of the counter timings.

And here we see a wild E.M.M.I. stalking its prey

And here we see a wild E.M.M.I. stalking its prey

White E.M.M.I. (Artaria)

The White E.M.M.I. will be your first real encounter with them. This thing moves fast, and the zone is more of a maze to get through than the first one. Practice how to survive the E.M.M.I. using the tips from this guide. Also, this enemy cannot go through smaller tunnels due to its larger faceplate (as seen from its cutscenes), so use that to your advantage. This challenge will be the first of many to come.

Grandma, what a big faceplate you have!

Grandma, what a big faceplate you have!

Green E.M.M.I. (Cataris)

The Green E.M.M.I. is not that much different from the previous one, except for its noticeably smaller faceplate. This allows it to go through small tunnels. All future E.M.M.I.s will be able to do this. Use your other abilities to avoid this enemy instead, and remember to practice.

Looks kind of cute actually

Looks kind of cute actually

Yellow E.M.M.I. (Dairon)

The Yellow E.M.M.I. is when they start to gain special abilities unique to each of them. This one can now charge at you at high speeds, making running from it a much more difficult task. In the E.M.M.I. zone, however, there will be special doors that close when you step on a yellow sensor. The E.M.M.I., fortunately, cannot charge through or up these walls, so you can use them to put some much needed distance between you and them.

Even deadly robots need their zoomies

Even deadly robots need their zoomies

Blue E.M.M.I. (Ghavoran)

You will meet Purple E.M.M.I. first in a cutscene, before Quiet Robe powers down all the E.M.M.I.s including the Blue one. But, this doesn’t make for great gameplay, so they are reactivated soon after. The Blue E.M.M.I. is able to temporarily freeze anything within its sightlines, so avoid it at all costs. Being frozen makes you an easy target for this E.M.M.I. Try to mash buttons out of the frozen state if you do get frozen. You will also take damage when getting frozen, so make sure you have some energy left. However, its sightlines are much narrower compared to the previous E.M.M.I.s.

That's pretty... cool

That’s pretty… cool

Purple E.M.M.I. (Ferenia)

The Purple E.M.M.I. will be one of the hardest ones to face. Not only can it see through walls, but when it does see you, it will shoot a purple orb (which also goes through walls) that stuns you if it hits. Be aware of that sightline, even when you think you’re safe, and dodge the purple orbs it shoots. It also has a near-infinite hearing range. Its sightlines are much narrower, but it can see much further. Use your Phantom Cloak as much as you can to avoid alerting it. After getting the Omega Cannon, you’ll be transported to a special room in the E.M.M.I. zone which serves as a test of all the abilities you’ve gained so far.

Is... is it dead?

Is… is it dead?

Red E.M.M.I. (Hanubia)

You will encounter the Red E.M.M.I. upon entering a room in Hanubia that isn’t designated as an E.M.M.I zone. There is no escaping from this E.M.M.I. It will try to grab you but the game will automatically Melee Counter for you. Still a very intense scene, though.

Haha, I'm in danger!

Haha, I’m in danger!

E.M.M.I. Zone Hazards

There are 2 other main hazards in the E.M.M.I. zones that can make stealth a lot harder: the first is a slow, flying robot that patrols around the area. While mostly passive, this drone will damage you if you make contact with it, detaching you from any Spider Magnet surfaces and kicking you out of Phantom Cloak.

That doesn't look that bad

That doesn’t look that bad

The other hazard is a mine that jumps into the air and explodes loudly if you get too near it. It has a large explosion radius, and will make a sound loud enough for the E.M.M.I. to hear at any range. You can avoid this easily by passing by it with your Phantom Cloak on.

That looks bad

That looks bad

As a bonus, for both these hazards, if you dispatch of them with a quick missile, they both award a large amount of items. They are especially useful if you’re running low on ammo or energy and are unconfident in your Melee Counter skills.

7. FIND THE CENTRAL UNIT

Defeating the Central Unit is the key to obtaining a temporary Omega Cannon upgrade, usually the only thing that can kill an E.M.M.I. The position of the Central Unit is always indicated on your map when you enter an E.M.M.I. zone, so be on the lookout for it. Don’t make it your first priority, since your goal is to get out as quickly as possible.

The Central Unit itself is a pretty enemy easy to defeat, simply throw missiles and charged shots at it until it breaks and dies while avoiding a few projectiles. Once you defeat it and obtain the Omega Cannon, however, the E.M.M.I. for that level will immediately start pursuing you once you’re out of the room, so be prepared to run.

My face when I wake up in bed and smell bacon

My face when I wake up in bed and smell bacon

8. AIM AT THE HEAD

Once you have the Omega Cannon, the E.M.M.I. will not stop pursuit until it is defeated. For most E.M.M.I.s, you need to use the Omega Stream (Free Aim with L and hold Y to fire) to overheat its faceplate to destroy it first. It will slow down significantly if you’re hitting your mark. Then, you’ll use the Omega Blaster (Free Aim with L and hold R to charge before pressing Y to fire) to shoot its exposed core. The E.M.M.I.’s core will flash blue if you’re aiming directly at it.

Pew pew pew!

Pew pew pew!

The Omega Stream requires steady hits, otherwise it recovers quickly, and the Omega Blaster takes a while to charge up. In both situations, finding a long corridor to lure the E.M.M.I into is extremely valuable. Destroy its faceplate, then run or jump over it and find another long corridor to finish it off. This ensures that you have more time to aim your shots, while giving you some wiggle room if you happen to miss. If you’re feeling courageous and the corridor is long enough, you can try doing both consecutively.

That's cutting it a bit close

That’s cutting it a bit close

9. DON’T PANIC

The checkpoints around the E.M.M.I. zones are very generous. If you die from an E.M.M.I., you’ll get sent back to where you entered the zone. If you die after getting the Omega Cannon, you’ll just get sent back to the Central Unit room. But this doesn’t mean that you can just run in recklessly. Plan your routes, otherwise you’ll be running around without purpose. When you see or get seen by an E.M.M.I., don’t just run. Think about where you’re running to and if there’s a way to hide/slip past it.

When you have the Omega Cannon, keep calm. The E.M.M.I. slows down if you’re hitting its faceplate with the Omega Stream. When its core is exposed, it will start to walk slowly on its two legs if it’s on the same level as you, giving you ample time to charge your Omega Blaster.

Metroid Dread-All E.M.M.I encounter and fight scene

That concludes the tips to survive the E.M.M.I. in Metroid Dread, and I hope you find that it helps with your frustrations in this amazing game.

(Video by The Game Show.)

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