DOOM Eternal is a violent and intense shooter. There are tons of weapons, special attacks, and finishers to utilize in order to vanquish the demonic legions attempting to destroy Earth as we know it. Prepare yourself for Hell with these tips in order to maximize your carnage and extinguish anything that dares to get in your way.
DOOM Eternal is much faster than 2016’s DOOM, with lots more options regarding speed and verticality. Instead of scrambling up ledges and using distance as a defense, you can bring the fight to the demons with a ballet of bullets and a fluidity that makes you feel appropriately superhuman. One of the most important additions to ensure your survival in the midst of dozens of hellspawn bearing down on you is the Dash.
Aside from the cannon fodder that are the slow-moving zombies, every creature you’ll face in DOOM Eternal wants to shoot or throw something at you. You’ll be smart to use the dash to both quickly strafe away from incoming projectiles and keep your distance away from any heavy fire, especially things like rockets which have splash damage. You can dash up to twice before having to recharge, but you can increase the speed of recharge with a Praetor Suit Upgrade called “Faster Dasher” and get an instant refill of dash from Glory Kills with “Hit and Run.” These upgrades should keep you moving quickly around each arena, which is important for the sake of your health and being able to move to ammo and powerups safely.
Armor seems plentiful, scattered around arenas and hallways, and of course, tucked away in secret rooms. That is, of course, until you need it in the middle of a fight. Flame Belch offers you an opportunity to get back some precious protection, by causing armored plates to spill from enemies that it lights on fire. In essence, it gives you almost a sense of invulnerability to attack monsters up-close and personal, as the damage you’re taking is being filled by the armor they’re spilling, all while delivering major damage directly to their face and weak points.
It’s even more efficient to use the Flame Belch on zombies, as they will stand there, dazed, spilling out ammo. This also carries the added bonus of their weaker attacks doing less damage as opposed to some of the larger foes, like the Mancubus or Arachnotron. That’s not to say that the bigger baddies won’t drop armor, but you’ll likely get less of a ratio of armor versus damage as they pummel you over and over.
When you’re on a rampage, a surefire way to kill that streak is to suddenly run out of ammo, but this is where the chainsaw can come in handy. You can save up fuel to cut down some of the larger demons, but if you need ammo to destroy what’s currently stalking you around the room, find an imp, zombie, or soldier, and put the ‘saw to them to regain a heavy helping of ammunition. You’ll almost always have a filled canister, as the chainsaw fills even without picking up gas cans.
The Super Shotgun has always been a force to be reckoned with, ever since the original DOOM. Two barrels of demon-slaying potential that allows you to run up to a demon’s face and rearrange it as you see fit. In DOOM Eternal, not only does it continue to be the go-to weapon, but it may just save your life.
A new addition to this weapon of kings is the Meat Hook, which is a grappling hook that allows you to attach the hook into an unsuspecting enemy and fling yourself in their general direction. The momentum from the motion of your hook retracting can be used to throw yourself at the demon, where you can use the Super Shotgun itself to fire a devastating round in its ugly face, or you can swing yourself past the demon to greater heights, or even just across the room, away from danger.
In the air, you may choose to grab a hold of a pole and swing yourself even higher, allowing you to look down upon your foes and perhaps even switch to another weapon such as the rocket launcher, and rain down fire from above. The Meat Hook is a very useful tool to gain unbelievable speed and height, but there’s another trick that can be combined with this weapon: the Chrono Strike rune.
Using the Chrono Strike rune is overall a good idea, as it gives you the ability to slow down time temporarily while aiming or using your secondary fire. When Chrono Strike is combined with the Meat Hook ability, though, you can now maneuver yourself with pinpoint accuracy to the exact trajectory you want to follow. Sailing past hordes of enemies in slow-motion not only gives you the freedom to pick who the next victim of your super shotgun blast is, but it helps you avoid most gunfire, since enemies aren’t able to keep up with your movements.
Glory Kills are gruesome execution melee kills that you can perform on any enemy that’s been staggered, which can tell by their flashing condition. Performing a glory kill will reward you with much-needed health, so a good method to get in and finish the job is to pull yourself close to the demon with the Meat Hook or dash into a crowd to execute them and then run past where they were to an open area. A good tactic to regain some health when distanced from the more powerful demons is to take a couple shots at smaller ones with the Heavy Cannon to stagger them and move in to kill them before the others catch up to you.
Performing a glory kill gives you a temporary invulnerability, so it’s wise to only use it when it makes sense, as pulling yourself into a pile of demons might not be worth the health recovery a glory kill provides. Cyberdemons, Hell Guards and Spider Masterminds can only be defeated with a glory kill, otherwise, they regain some health and continue to fight you. Be on the lookout for when these beasts begin to glow, and race in for the kill when you get an opening.
It never takes long for the demons to find where you thought you were cleverly hiding, and distance from them isn’t something you’ll be able to easily find in dire situations. Almost as important as hoarding ammo or armor, distance can be the difference between life and death just as often. If a group of demons are able to corner you, no amount of movement will save you from their torturous onslaught. Therefore, it’s best to take down enemies from afar; not only will you be able to focus some of your long-distance shots like a zoomed-in shot from the Heavy Cannon, but you can much easier dodge rockets and other projectiles.
Distance also gives you precious seconds to recoup: find some ammo, look for weak or staggered enemies to take out for ammo, health or armor, and look for pickups you might have missed your first run around. Time you aren’t being directly targeted with a battalion of bullets and fireballs is time that you are taking minimal damage. Don’t forget vertical movement is also a good way to avoid being attacked, even if it’s only temporary. Only a few enemies can fly, so the more time you spend sailing over their heads, the less time they have to draw a bead on you.
Putting It All Together
Knowing all these weapons and abilities will do nothing for you if you don’t put them into an effective pattern. Having a gameplay strategy loop with some backup options will not only get you used to the much faster and much frantic shooter play than you might be accustomed to, but will help you prioritize the swarm easier, too.
- Dash around to avoid heavy fire, then find a good spot to put some distance between the demons and yourself. Assess what exactly you are fighting and focus on weak points from a distance.
- Move in as you take some damage to Flame Belch and snag some armor from enemies, especially staggered bosses. As you move back out again, find a weaker enemy and chainsaw them for an ammo replenish.
- Use your Super Shotgun’s Meat Hook to move around larger enemies which will help provide you an opportunity to land strong weak points or face hits as you fly past or over them. Chrono Strike is a must for this, but if you prefer another equipped rune, it works mostly the same, but will require better timing from you in turn.
- Swing or double-jump yourself away from the bulk of the fight to reassess armor, health and ammo, in that order. Use the Chaingun or other heavy hitters to let loose on the biggest foes in the bunch first.
- Repeat. If you find yourself in a tight space, use grenades and lay thick on the Flame Belch as soon as it recharges to maximize the amount of armor dropping.
DOOM Eternal is a tough game, for sure. Even on the lowest difficulty setting, you will still find a challenge beyond most FPS titles on the market, and it’s only with determination and a bit of luck that you will prevail. Hopefully these tips put you on the right path to becoming the Doom Slayer that the prophecies foretold of, but it’s ultimately up to you to figure out your favorite weapon and strategy and decide what works best. Good luck and may your bullets forever fly true!