Quick tip: DOOM Eternal (and yes, you spell DOOM in all caps, otherwise you aren’t metal) isn’t exactly easy. If nothing else, it’s harder than DOOM (2016). The demons are more aggressive, you have far more in your fanny pack than when you were on Mars, and the experience is, overall, very different. While the core concept (rip and tear, until it is done) remains the same, how you do it will be altered. For example, the chainsaw is no longer a panic button, but instead the primary way for you to get ammo.
Because DOOM Eternal has changed the formula (for the better), I’ve put together this guide that will hopefully clear away the fog and help acclimate you to this new climate. I played through on Ultra-Violence, but what’s said here will likely help on the other difficulties. And yes, there are tips on how to fight the Marauder.
#1: Use Your Equipment
Guns don’t kill demons, equipment does. But also guns.
There’s no doubt that, after Daisy, Doomguy’s best friends are his guns. In DOOM (2016) you had equipment, but most players, myself included, didn’t bother with them much. Well, equipment is tired of being ignored and now demands your attention; and if you don’t, you’ll die. What a drama queen, right?
Ammo, health, and armor are all very scarce in DOOM Eternal. To keep your motor running, you’ll need to make use of your arsenal of equipment. As mentioned before, the chainsaw is no longer something you save for big demons you can’t handle. You have a max of 3 pips, and most demons take exactly 3, and fuel canisters are very scarce. Thankfully, the lower life-form demons (Imps, Zombies, etc.) take only 1, and your chainsaw automatically refills itself up to the first pip. In order to get most of the ammo you’ll use, you need to chainsaw these “fodder” demons. Health you still acquire best through Glory Kills, so get used to loosening the jar lid that is a Fodder demon’s unlife with a pot-shot or two, instead of blasting them into immediate chunks.
Armor is acquired thanks to another equipment piece: the Flame Belcher. When you inflame a demon, all damage you do to them is returned to you as armor shards. If they die while on fire, you’ll get even more – but don’t feel obligated. If you are close to death and that Mancubus isn’t, it’s okay to dose that jiggle-belly with some spicy-spray and chip some armor shards off him. He might not die, but neither will you.
Frag and frost grenades won’t help you gain resources, but they will help you stay alive. They replenish on their own, so they can be useful when the ammo is as low as the Fodder count. Frags are great against groups of smaller demons, but do fine against lumbering brutes. Frost grenades are best suited for the aforementioned lumbering brutes. Freeze them to either score some easy weakpoint hits or just to give yourself a chance to run away to (relative) safety.
#2: Fodder Demons are Vending Machines
Rainbow in the Dark
This ties in a lot to tip #1, but it’s so important it bears repeating. Early on most of what you’ll see are Fodder demons, so you wont internalize that they’re there for your benefit. When you see one, you need to think “Ah ha! There’s some [insert dwindling resource here]! Come here, you!” Fodder demons include: Zombies, Imps, soldiers, Gargoyles, Lost Souls, and Drones. Lost Souls aren’t effective sources of resources, and Drones are best dealt with with a headshot kill. However, the rest are great sources of ammo, armor, and health.
Once the game starts sending the, what it calls, Heavy and Super Heavy demons at you with more frequency, you will actually want to resist killing Fodder right away so you can get resources from them later. Every enclosed encounter will constantly spawn Fodder to the arena, but it’s nice to know where they are at any time. Gargoyles are a little hard to ignore, as they can actually be a threat if left unchecked.
#3: Learn Demon Weaknesses
Make ’em weak in the knees – and then saw through them.
The first handful of Heavy demons you’ll encounter will have a nice tutorial tip spelling out their weak points. Shoot the Revenant’s guns, lob a grenade into the Cacodemon’s mouth, etc. There are plenty of demons the game won’t guide you on – at least not in the tutorial screen. If you go into your Codex and look to the Demons section, every demon listed will have their weak points weaknesses spelled out. The Hell Knight, for example, loves to jump toward you and start swinging. With the chaingun, however, you can easily keep him at bay.
The Demon codex pages will also have general tips on how to deal with each and every demon you’ll come across. Learn these weaknesses, and start learning how to use each weapon you have, because each one has some targeted use against at least one demon. Prioritize using energy weapons against shields. Use the rocket launcher’s lock-on for evasive demons. Keep some lube on hand for when the Marauder shows up.
#4: Always Be Moving
Of course, you couldn’t just stand around picking your nose in DOOM (2016). You had to keep strafing and running around so you didn’t become a sitting duck for any fire balls or errant claw. However, DOOM Eternal really wants you to show off your acrobatic skills. It’s no longer enough to just duck and weave throughout an arena. You’ll need to make use of all the tools given to you, whether it be equipment, moves, or environmental objects to really stay alive.
The dash is probably your best shot at avoiding damage. You can dodge forward, backward, left, right, and in the air – twice! Jump/launch pads also make for great methods of creating some distance between you and some aggressive demons. Use your time in the air to get a look at the arena layout, seeing which demons are where and where the resource-refills are located. Once you acquire the meathook, you can even lock onto a demon and yank yourself toward them. This gives you far more movement control and, as an added bonus, opens the demon up for a nice double barrel hello. Master the super shotgun and you’ll even set demons on fire that you hook into, giving you lots of armor once they explode into meat chunks.
#5: Marauder Safety Tips
How to avoid 1-Up consumption in the workplace.
I’m sure a lot of folks will want some tips on how to deal with this rival character. While not the biggest demon, he is easily the most deadly. Like you, he comes equipped with a devastating arsenal, and he sure as shootin’ knows how to use it. DOOM Eternal will lay out a few tips when he first shows up, but just in case you missed them, here’s a recap. Do not stand too far or too close to him. Get too close and he’ll push you back with his own super shotgun. Stray too far and he’ll whip some wide energy beams to punish you. You have to stay mid-range from him, which is easier said than done. The Marauder isn’t afraid of getting in your face or moving back just so he has the option to attack.
What won’t work on him are grenades or super weapons, which include anything that can one-shot another demon. So don’t waste your precious BFG ammo testing that rule. All of your other guns will work, but by far the best is the super shotgun. Alternatively you can pull out the ballista with an arbalest mod. Charge a shot and hang onto it until his eyes flash. However, that one can be tricky as it shrinks your view of the battlefield and makes it harder to reacquire him when he strafes. Plus you open yourself to a Zombie attack, and that’s embarrassing.
That’s mostly stuff you already know, so here’s some tips learned in the field:
- Clear the field before you deal with him. Not entirely, though. Fodder demons will stick around, and even if you try to kill all of them, more will come. They’re not there to attack you, though (but they will if you let them). They’re there to help refill your ammo, health, and armor. The demons you do want to clear out are any Heavies or, god help you, Super Heavies. If the Marauder sees you paying attention to a demon you can’t saw in half with one fuel canister, he’ll break you in half.
- Don’t ignore the dog. His most annoying attack is the ghost dog. He’ll randomly summon this persistent pupper and as soon as he does, turn your attention to it. It’s fast and it hits hard, but it dies in one shot. It’s a glass cannon, and one you need to shatter ASAP.
- You can shoot the Marauder more than once! It’s true! After you manage to gun-parry him, you might be tempted to dash away; and if you’re low on resources, you should. If you’re sitting pretty, you have just enough time to unload another double-barrel blast to the chest (or wherever, don’t let me run your life). When using other guns, how many shots you get in varies, of course. This extra hit is the difference between a long fight and one half as long. When it comes to Marauder visits, you want them to be as short as possible. If you’re fast, maybe you can parry with the shotgun and quickly swap to the rocket launcher for a direct hit, but I haven’t tested it nor would I recommend it given how close he is.
- Stay calm and don’t panic. As soon as your have the arena cleared for you date, just keep him in your sights, even as he dash-strafes to check out the booty that’s going to fart on the Devil. If you need to run away and get health, go for it. He won’t tell anyone of your cowardice – because he’ll be dead!
#6: 1-Ups Respawn
“What is dead may never die.”
At first, it seems like you’ll be finishing DOOM Eternal with plenty of these ethereal green helmets. Right around the Mancubus you’ll think otherwise. For the uninitiated, 1-Ups act as revives. Rather than reloading at a checkpoint at death, you’ll come back with full health right where you died. Right where you died. So when you revive: move. There’s a DOOM Eternal mini-tip for you, free for charge. These become a valuable resource when it comes to the tougher fights, but a resource that dwindles sooner than you know.
If you’re facing a mission that you just can’t get through, and you don’t want to turn down the difficulty, but you don’t mind cheesing the system, consider revisiting older levels! No other secret will respawn in a level, but 1-Ups do. It’s very easy to just boot up Hell on Earth and stock up. Additionally, if you’ve been finding the cheat codes, you can use some or all of them to make the farm easier. Will this make you better at the game? No. Will it make it easier to deal with Marauders, bosses, slayer gates, and other tough situations? Yes.
#7: Lost? Look for Green
The needle on Doomguy’s compass points to G.
While the game will mark on your map and compass where your objective is, it won’t tell you how to get there. And that’s fine! You want to explore, right? Problem is, being unsure of the path forward is common. The environments, while beautifully designed, can be hard to navigate. So, what should you do when you aren’t sure of where to go? Look for green lights!
Throughout the world, whenever DOOM Eternal wants to show you where to go, but not be totally explicit about it, it’ll put green lights near the path. Candles, lights, lamps, etc. These are meant to catch your eye and tell you “Go here!” Now, they won’t act as runway lights. They are there to tell you where to start moving toward, but you still have to explore from there. This becomes apparent when dealing with scaleable walls. These walls too easily blend in with the environment, so the only tip I can give there is to say look for the walls that are more lightly colored than the rest of the building/fleshy protrusion that’s oozing pus.
#8: Study the Secret Rooms
“Secret, secret. I got a secret.”
DOOM Eternal is very generous with its secrets. There’s more of them than in 2016 and they’re more easily spotted. However, even though you can see the secret, doesn’t mean you can get it. Yet. Very often those giant, floating, rotating question marks are contained in a room you can look into. Not always very well, but well enough. If you can see inside the room, you can use that to your advantage.
Peek inside the rooms with secrets and see if you can notice any vents on either the ceiling or floor. If you do, then look around your environment for where that vent shaft might lead from. If a secret is on a high ledge, look for monkey bars and/or scaleable walls. You can also look at your map, and see if there’s any floors above or below that secret room. If so, you may need to go to those rooms in order to reach the secret room. Especially look for those big cartoony cracks in the wall. If you see one of those, then you know that the way in is through the room adjoining it.
#9: Read the Codex
Make your brain as big as your biceps.
This one won’t help you survive the demons, but it will help you survive the story. For all its perfect features, DOOM Eternal’s plot is its biggest stumble. You can finish the game and have some idea of what’s going on, but you won’t have the full picture. Motivations will be unknown, locations will be confusing, lines will be baffling. If all you care about is “Doomguy hates demons. He kills them,” then you’ll do fine, but for everyone else: read your codex!
Littered throughout the world are torn pages of information. Of all the secrets, they’re the easiest to find, if you can even call them secrets (they’re a collectible, at least, toward map completion). Not only should you collect and read them, but you should read them as soon as you find them. Seriously. Often, the pages you find give context to the location you’re in. It’s better to continue on with all the knowledge available rather than go “Oooh, that’s what that was,” after you finish the level and do some reading. The story of Doomguy and the world of Urdak are especially important to read up on.
#10: Kill this Troll
Did someone just put down the big, blue, “Come Kill Me” sign?
The greatest trick the Devil ever played was the Carcass. More important than everything else said in this list, it’s this: Kill the Carcass. This 5’3” high pile of buttholes will ruin your day. He’s not the most dangerous demon you’ll face. Not by far. He has very little he can throw at you. He only has one thing: his buzzing blue wall of “you mad?” He’ll put it in front of himself, he’ll put it in front of other demons, he’ll put it in front of you as you’re trying to escape. The only time this works to your advantage is when he’s fool enough to plop it in front of himself. When that happens, whip out the plasma rifle and lay into the wall until it breaks and fills that grinning ghoul with shards upon shards of “gg ez.”
This creepazoid is a menace. If he’s around, prioritize him. Seriously. Even if there’s a Baron of Hell stomping around, you must kill the Carcass first. He seems to know exactly when you’re going to shoot a rocket and will put a wall in front of it. The same goes for any other powerful projectile. Even the BFG. Oh, the heartbreak of a wasted BFG shot. All the while he’s got that damn grin on his head that looks like a thumb. He’s an Internet troll on mechanized legs with an LOL 9000 gun. Put him out of his, and your, misery.