Doom: Tips for Surviving Hell

The new Doom is here, and it's a hell of a good time. But unlike many other games in its genre, Doom actually is your father's shooter — meaning that new fans may have to get used to its unforgivingly old-school sense of challenge.

Trying to play Id Software's demon-killing simulator like it's Call of Duty or Halo will likely leave you bleeding out in the depths of hell, but we're here to help. If you're looking to dominate in multiplayer or simply want to get the most out of the game's rich campaign, here are our tips for playing Doom.

Find Your Sweet Spot

Doom is relentlessly fast, meaning it's extra-important to make sure you feel comfortable with your controls and display settings. Head to Settings > Controller (or mouse and keyboard for PC players) to adjust buttons and aim sensitivity until you've found a sweet spot. If you're playing on a controller, you may want to experiment with the "Strafe" control scheme, which allows you to jump and aim without having to take your thumbs off the thumbsticks.

If you feel like too many enemies are getting the jump on you, head to Settings > Video to make your field of view wider.

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Keep Moving!

Whether you're playing solo or online, it's imperative that you stay on the move in Doom. The game's enemies often attack you from all angles (with no shortage of fiery long-range projectiles), meaning that standing still is pretty much begging for death. Same goes for multiplayer, where you'll be faced with human opponents that are just as blazingly fast as you.

Doom isn't a shooter that lets you recover health by simply hiding in a corner, meaning you'll have to get used to sprinting through each map in pursuit of crucial health and ammo pickups. Speaking of which...

Items Matter

While you're wading your way through demons or enemy marines, you should always be on the lookout for the many items scattered throughout each battlefield. Blue boxes recover your health, green items give you protective armor, and yellow pickups contain ammo — which isn't exactly given out like candy in Doom. Considering how fast your health can drain, you should always aim to have some degree of armor on — particularly on higher difficulty settings or when trying to take down other human players.

When in Doubt, Glory Kill

Doom's brutally satisfying Glory Kills aren't just fun to do, they also recover some of your health. When you see an enemy glowing blue or orange, don't hesitate to tap the melee button to rip their heads apart in exchange for some vitality. This is especially handy if you find yourself trapped in an area with limited health pickups. You can also Glory Kill your multiplayer opponents to add insult to injury, but doing so will leave you extremely vulnerable to the enemy team.

Respect the Chainsaw

Another great tool for escaping certain death is the chainsaw, which you'll acquire early in the campaign. Chainsaws can kill most of Doom's enemies in a single blow, and your executions will be rewarded with extra ammo. The chainsaw runs on fuel containers, so be sure to keep an eye open for those on each map.

Explore (and Kill) Everything

Doom's campaign levels are jam-packed with fun secrets, and you'll be missing out on some of the coolest bits of the game of you simply speed to the finish. Check the in-game map often — areas you haven't explored yet will be greyed-out, and many of the game's collectibles will be clearly marked for you. Checking every nook and cranny will earn you important armor and weapon upgrades, as well as pieces of lore, classic Doom levels and even some adorable action figures.

You should also aim to kill as many demons as humanly possible. Doom utilizes a five-star combat rating system for each level; you can track your progress at the top right of the screen, and can get your rating up by simply doing lots of killing. You'll get some sweet weapon upgrade points for your efforts.

Don't Be a Lone Wolf in Multiplayer

You won't get very far in team-based shooters by going off on your own, and Doom's multiplayer is no exception. You can track your allies easily by following the colored markers over their heads, which will be blue or red depending on your team. Even better, you'll see a special icon over any teammate that has temporarily morphed into a demon, making it easy to join up with them and assist with their hellish assault. And whenever the enemy team has a demon of their own, sticking together will make it much easier to take them down.

Build a Balanced Loadout

As you progress through multiplayer, you'll unlock more guns and the ability to build your own loadout (two weapons, one grenade). It's best to have one long-range and one short-range weapon on hand — the shotgun, chaingun and burst rifle are useful up close, while the heavy assault rifle, vortex rifle and rocket launcher are a few examples of weapons best used from a distance. Feel free to experiment with different grenade types; the frag grenade offers good damage, the siphon grenade lets you steal enemy health and the personal teleporter lets you escape enemy fire in a pinch.

Master Every Map

Remember how I said items matter? That's doubly true in multiplayer, where other skilled players will constantly be trying to kill you. As you play each map, try to memorize where each health, armor and ammo pickup is — it could mean the difference between losing the match and surviving long enough to make the game-winning kill. If you're looking for more advice on Doom multiplayer, check out this excellent Reddit thread from user burros_killer.

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Michael Andronico

Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.