Battle royale, survival, tactical – genres just aren’t as simple as they used to be. Scavengers is the latest shooter in the new age of genre mashups, and its online looting, shooting, and data snatching is already drawing plenty of interest. If you’re feeling a little lost, we’ll guide you through the snowstorm of mechanics to explain exactly what you’ll be doing in Scavengers, and whether the game is right for you.
Scavengers: the basics
Scavengers is a free-to-play, third-person shooter which sees you facing off against other players and groups of NPCs. It’s currently in early access, available on Steam and the Epic Games Store.
Each round of the game sees up to 60 players (split into teams of three) drop into an expansive, snowy map. First on the agenda is scavenging for supplies and weapons to keep your squad alive. So far, so battle royale. But the aim here isn’t necessarily to eliminate everyone else in the arena. In Scavengers, your main objective is to collect (and escape alive with) Data Points and other gear. These Data Points can be harvested from other players, or by taking on NPC outposts around the map. The more Data Points on offer, the tougher the resistance you can expect to face. Make it out with the most Data and you'll win, regardless of who else manages to extract.
Similar to games like Escape from Tarkov, or Hunt Showdown, Scavengers is very much building off the battle royale framework to craft its very own thing.
Scavengers story and NPCs
Yes, Scavengers has a story, though you shouldn’t expect it to pop up much in any given game. The moon has been destroyed, and the aftereffects saw frost cover the Earth's surface. As if that wasn't bad enough, it also unleashed a virus that created monstrous mutants across the globe. The last refuge of advanced human civilization fled to an off-world sanctuary, but with numbers dwindling, it’s time to return. As one of the few teams assigned to return to Earth by your AI guardian Mother, you’ll need to fight for resources before you’re able to return.
As a result of all that catastrophe, Scavengers’ map doesn’t feature many friends faces. Enemy NPCs can include wildlife, mutants, and marauders who live off pillaging anything they can find. NPC outposts range from small shacks to heavily-armed forts, meaning you need to build up equipment before risking a fight for the rarest loot. Oh, and the other teams being sent down to Earth? They’re not your friends either. Put simply, you’ll want to keep any guns you find or craft at the ready.
Players and NPCs aren’t your only enemy in Scavengers; the planet itself is pretty hostile, too. Stay out in the cold and you’ll begin to freeze, with ice slowly gobbling up your health bar until you’re killed outright. You’ll need to stop by fires or hold onto torches and thermal pads to keep yourself fighting fit.
Stamina for dodging, sprinting and melee swinging is another area that needs careful management. Overexert yourself and you’ll permanently reduce your maximum stamina, requiring a quick munch on some food to restore it. Raiding houses can offer an easy source, but hunting wildlife will provide the sustenance you’re after as well.
Did we mention the massive, biting storms which roll across the map bringing increased threats? Good luck fighting when you can barely see five feet in front of your face.
Classes and equipment
Scavengers is also a class-based shooter, with distinct characters offering specific talents, abilities, and signature weapons. Both characters and powers can be unlocked and upgraded over time using the resources you carry out from each match, meaning your Scavenger will grow more powerful the more you play. As such, the frosty slopes can prove particularly unwelcoming for newcomers. Similarly, resources allow you to craft equipment and blueprints for your loadout, allowing you to drop into each game with an edge.
The majority of progress happens in-game, however, as you level up from engaging in fights and securing loot. Each level earned offers the chance to boost attributes like health, shields, or stamina. Collect enough resources and you can craft your character’s signature weapon for an extra burst of firepower.
It all comes down to the dropship
At the end of each Scavengers round, a large dropship touches down in the final ring. It sticks around for five minutes before the match concludes, and you’ll need to be onboard if you want to extract with your goods. While roomy, the dropship interior is laid out like a miniature arena, which means entering too early is a huge risk. Most teams will want to dive in during the last few seconds to minimize the chance of losing it all right as the bell tolls.
And finally, Scavengers' strangest-yet-most-promising feature is ScavLab. Currently little more than a tech potential, the engine for Scavengers is capable of supporting 9,000 players in a single server, all interacting with the same grand event. So far this has only been shown off in brief tests which saw players facing monstrous hordes of mutants, but the tech is seriously impressive stuff that could lead to gigantic events to outshine Fortnite's end-of-season shows.
Like these? You'll probably enjoy Scavengers
Battle royale games as a whole: It goes without saying, really. Dive into an arena with a large number of other players, gather gear, and fight for survival.
Apex Legends: Scavengers includes an incredibly satisfying knee-slide and a range of mobility options to keep gunfights mobile.
Escape From Tarkov: You'll still be gathering gear and attempting to make an exit, but Scavengers is far, far less punishing than Tarkov. If you want to play the game primarily in PvE, that's a real possibility here.
Outriders: Grab two friends and blast through waves of monsters. Only here you'll also have other players to watch out for.
Where to download and play Scavengers
Interested to give the game a go? Scavengers is available for PC in early access on Steam and the Epic Game Store.