Deathloop beginner's guide: Tips and tricks for breaking the loop

Deathloop (Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

Arkane Studios' Deathloop is here, and it's easily one of the best PC games out right now. Seasoned gamers will likely be able to jump into the murder mystery action without many issues, but inexperienced players or players who haven't played many immersive sims before will likely struggle a bit. Deathloop isn't necessarily a hard game overall, but there are parts of it that can get quite tough, especially if you aren't a veteran of Arkane Studios titles.

If you're struggling to progress or want some advice before you begin your adventure, don't worry; we're here with a handful of tips and tricks that will give you the edge you need to survive the dangers of Blackreef. Keep these strategies in mind as you attempt to assassinate all eight of the island's Visionaries, and you'll have a much smoother time trying to break Blackreef's time loop.

Try out different approaches

Source: Bethesda Softworks (Image credit: Source: Bethesda Softworks)

If you're having trouble getting through a particular area or killing a particular Visionary, one of the best things you can do is mix things up. You can make any playstyle work for every encounter in the game, but there are times where some are better than others. If you've been going in guns blazing and dying, try going in stealthily and picking off enemies one-by-one. If enemies in an area are so numerous that you can't sneak around without being spotted, see if you can throw bottles to get them to investigate the noise, then throw a grenade or two to take all of them out at once.

Don't be afraid to switch up your arsenal, either. Sometimes using different weapons, a different Slab (items that give you powers like invisibility), or a different combination of Trinkets (stat boosters for your weapons and character) can give you the advantage you need for a specific situation.

Infuse everything

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

In Deathloop, each time loop will reset your full inventory, including your weapons, Slabs, Slab Upgrades, and Trinkets. However, by collecting a resource called Residuum as you play through each of Blackreef's four areas each loop, you can "infuse" pieces of your gear before the next loop occurs so that they become permanent additions to your arsenal. This will help ensure that you come back stronger at the start of each loop, allowing you to traverse each level (and kill Visionaries) more efficiently.

Because of how useful infusion is, it's highly recommended to collect as much Residuum as you can (you can get it from glowing objects and the bodies of Visionaries) and infuse everything you pick up. This is because having a wide variety of gear at your disposal allows you to pick an optimized loadout for each mission or your preferred playstyle. For example, in missions where you won't be able to use your Slabs much, having Trinkets available that make you harder to detect or give you more health or damage resistance will help offset this weakness.

Don't underestimate hacking

Source: Bethesda Softworks (Image credit: Source: Bethesda Softworks)

During my first playthrough of Deathloop, I found that the most powerful piece of equipment was the Hackamajig. This tool is given to you at the start of the game, and it's capable of neutralizing security cameras, turning automated turrets to your side, disabling Slab nullification devices, and even opening electronically-locked doors and weapon caches.

It can be tempting to solely rely on your Slabs, weapons, and grenades, but, ultimately, the ability to make turrets your allies and give yourself easy escape routes with the Hackamajig made it my favorite part of Colt's kit. In an instance where I would have otherwise had to fight upwards of 20 enemies all by myself, hacking and repositioning a pair of turrets allowed me to easily take them out with the help of automated defenses. Don't underestimate hacking in Deathloop.

Try to kill Visionaries stealthily

Source: Bethesda Softworks (Image credit: Source: Bethesda Softworks)

While it's possible to kill all of the Visionaries with a direct combat approach, this can often be difficult since each of them have Slabs and powerful weapons of their own that make them considerably tough in firefights. Additionally, some of the Visionaries also activate dangerous environmental threats when directly attacked, and these threats will kill you if you aren't careful.

Therefore, we recommend trying to take each Visionary down the stealthy way before resorting to open combat. Killing them with machete assassinations or a couple of quick shotgun blasts to the head doesn't give them time to fight back or react to you, which is ideal.

Stack the deck against Julianna

Source: Bethesda Softworks (Image credit: Source: Bethesda Softworks)

As Deathloop's wild card, Julianna has the ability to invade you whenever you're in a level that has a Visionary in it. She usually spawns a short way away from your location, armed to the teeth with a few Slabs and some powerful weapons. She'll then make her way towards you, mocking you with jeers and insults as she attempts to stop you from breaking the time loop.

When Julianna shows up, the best thing to do is to get to some nearby high ground and have your best weapon and combat-enhancing Slab at the ready. Placing some proximity mines nearby is a good idea as well, though you won't be able to do this if you don't have any grenade charges left. If there are any security turrets nearby, you should also hack them and place them in the area so that Julianna isn't able to fight you without also being shredded by turret fire. By "stacking the deck" against Julianna like this, you'll make killing her much easier.

Note that if you're playing online and a player-controlled Julianna invades you, you'll have to get a little creative with turrets and mines. Place them in weird positions that people won't expect, or try and bait the invader into your traps by running away from them and towards your turrets and mines.

Any questions?

Did you find this guide helpful? Are there any questions you have about Deathloop, or are you looking for some additional advice? Let us know in the comments below. Deathloop is available for $60 on Windows PCs and PS5, and it's expected to launch on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S at some point in 2022 once timed PS5 exclusivity ends.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.