Tips for playing Atomic Heart

Tips for playing Atomic Heart

This article talks about what you need to know before starting to play Atomic Heart: weapons, elements, cassette modules, abilities, energy, resetting skill points, and other game mechanics. Atomic Heart is a unique game that not only uses the main gameplay formula familiar to anyone who played Bioshock or Wolfenstein, but also features several interesting solutions to update the setting. The first hours of the game are accompanied by tutorial prompts, but unfortunately, they cannot be re-read later. The article provides tips on what to do and what to avoid when exploring the post-apocalyptic world of Atomic Heart, which is an alternative version of the USSR.


Weapon types and elemental damage  

In Atomic Heart, weapons are divided into three categories: melee, ranged with regular ammunition, and ranged using energy. Weapons can be upgraded with various cassette modules that add elemental damage: fire, ice, or electricity. However, the cassettes quickly discharge and need to be changed often. Cassettes can be freely switched between weapons at any time and also used with melee weapons.

weapon examples
weapon examples

Some types of weapons have alternative firing modes or special attacks, but not all of them. For example, ballistic weapons do not have an alternative mode, but compensate for this with increased efficiency and the ability to deal high damage from a safe distance. Energy weapons do not require ammunition, but consume energy, which is generated over time or through abilities.

Ability combination

A combination of certain abilities and elemental effects can be the most effective in Atomic Heart. For example, you can use mass telekinesis to lift enemies into the air and then deal damage with the electric "Shocker" or freeze them with "Frostbite" while they're floating. However, you need to act quickly as enemies may start falling as soon as you switch your abilities. Additionally, you can use weapons with cassette or energy types to deal elemental damage to floating enemies without rushing.

Polymer throw can also be used in conjunction with "Shocker" or "Frostbite" to stun some enemies for a longer period of time or deal elemental damage. Although the game doesn't have a fire-based ability, you can ignite the polymer stream with weapons equipped with a fire cassette. After igniting the polymer, it will burn for some time and deal damage to everyone in the affected area (including you, so don't approach the fire). Electrifying the polymer will have a similar effect, and you can move freely on frozen polymer.

Keep an eye on energy

In Atomic Heart, energy is a key resource used as ammunition for energy weapons, and quickly depletes. Regular shots don't require much energy, but a special attack (charged with RMB) can deplete a large portion of it. The character gradually regains lost energy, but without special skills, it happens very slowly. Using melee weapons can help with energy recovery and increase the speed of its accumulation.

"Dominator" - one of the variants of energy weapons.

If you plan on using energy weapons, it is recommended to spend neuropolymer on upgrades from the "Character Energy" skill tree. You can increase the number of energy cells, increase the natural energy regeneration rate, and improve the amount of energy restored by melee attacks. Although there are a few skills that require energy, they are very few, so most skills are limited by cooldowns and can be used without risk.

Reset skills as often as needed

Atomic Heart offers more opportunities for experimenting with skills and abilities than many other games. In the game, you can use neuropolymer to unlock new skills and abilities at "Eleanor" terminals located throughout the world. Players should not worry about losing resources when changing characteristics, as all neuropolymer can be returned in full. You can activate and deactivate skills and abilities at your discretion, using the "Return" key (R key on PC).

The weapon crafting system in Atomic Heart also provides freedom for experimentation. You can create weapons, ammunition, and consumables using various materials such as metal parts, superconductors, and energy modules. You can disassemble any created items without any penalties and receive back all the resources spent, including upgrades. If you have too much ammunition or consumables, you can disassemble them to get back all the materials you invested in their creation.

Scan enemies to reveal weak spots and resistances

Scanning in Atomic Heart is a useful tool for navigation and detecting objects that can be seen through walls. Additionally, it helps to identify enemies and reveal their vulnerable spots and resistances. Like in other games such as Horizon, enemies in Atomic Heart have resistance to certain types of attacks and vulnerability to others. For example, robots are often vulnerable to electrical attacks while biological enemies are vulnerable to fire.

Scan the area to find dropped resources and loot boxes.
Scan the area to find dropped resources and loot boxes.

Effective use of knowledge about enemy vulnerabilities and resistances is particularly important when facing strong opponents such as bosses. Although the "Knowledge" section of the game journal provides information about different types of enemies, it does not include information about their vulnerabilities and resistances. The only way to learn about these details is to scan the enemy you are currently fighting or see on the screen.

Don't ignore the testing grounds

Testing polygons in Atomic Heart resemble game dungeons. As you explore the game world, you'll come across several polygons. To enter, you usually need to solve a puzzle, and inside you'll find even more difficult tasks and riddles. Although some of them can be frustrating, it's still worth taking the time to solve them because valuable items can be found inside the polygon.

You need to work hard to get into all the polygons.
You need to work hard to get into all the polygons.

Each polygon contains three chests, each containing one or two weapon upgrades. You can get general weapon modifications simply by exploring the world and opening discovered chests, but many of the best upgrades are hidden on polygons.

Think outside the box

In Atomic Heart, a large part of the game consists of solving puzzles and mini-games that can be inventive and enjoyable, but can also be frustrating and require unconventional thinking.

Riddle with ballerinas.
Riddle with ballerinas.

Environment puzzles are the most difficult of all, and sometimes solving them requires scanning the area to find hidden mechanisms and wires. Some puzzles contain platformer elements, but it's worth noting that sometimes platforms are used only to mislead you. The solutions to many puzzles are not obvious, so it is recommended to use all the available tools in the arsenal, including jump boost and Shockwave.

Don't rely on stealth

"Stealth" is not a primary gameplay element in Atomic Heart, and it is impossible to complete the game by only attacking from behind. There are many cameras in the game, such as "Daisies," and factory drones control open areas. In the authoritarian regime of the game universe, the player is monitored everywhere. The "Shocker" weapon can help to disable cameras for a short time, allowing for stealthy passage. But you can also destroy cameras, although this may attract robots.

It is important to keep an eye on the alarm level and hide if it increases. At alarm level "2," enemy capsules will appear near the player. Through the nearest control terminals, you can temporarily neutralize all enemies, towers, and cameras. By using the "Griffon," you can use ropes to quickly move through large areas of the map or bypass obstacles.

Don't try to kill everyone

When you make it to the surface from the Vavilov complex in Atomic Heart, you'll find that it's impossible to kill all the enemies. Repair drones will arrive from nearby nodes and restore destroyed robots, so there's no point in wasting ammo and time on endless fights. These same drones also repair cameras and can be dispatched from nearby factories. The hubs that send out drones are invulnerable and usually passive. If you attack them, they will instantly send out a squad of combat drones that can inflict significant damage.

Some organic enemies in the game can also generate new enemies, such as cultists who launch hostile shoots at regular intervals. To prevent new shoots from appearing, you need to destroy the cultists as soon as possible. It's also worth paying attention to escapes, as they can generate shoots that can infect nearby corpses and turn them into mutants.

Swim in polymer

The main part of the advanced technologies that can be found in Atomic Heart is based on the use of polymer. This exotic material serves as a power source for machines and allows the hero to unlock new abilities, although it also has other useful properties. Sometimes, while exploring the world, you may come across uncleaned polymer both outdoors and indoors, and the main character can literally swim through it.


Despite the fact that polymer may look threatening, it doesn't actually pose any danger, so use it freely to penetrate closed rooms and buildings. In addition, every time you encounter polymer in the wild, it's usually tied to some puzzle, and this material can help you reach hard-to-reach places. Once you're inside, you can exit the polymer at any time by simply pressing the dash button/key.

Finally, don't forget to enjoy the game and its fantastic world. Atomic Heart is a unique game that can captivate you for hours, so take your time and immerse yourself in every moment of the gameplay. Good luck on your adventure in Atomic Heart!

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