Alien Swarm – Strategy Tips

This guide contains tips and information to improve your performance as a dedicated IAF marine. Pay attention soldier! Here you will learn tactics, equipment strategy, and weapons strategies. Various warfighter strategies are scattered throughout this guide, this page aims to collect all relevant entries in one easy to find location.

Tips to Games Strategy


A balanced squad with a variety of weapons and support items has the best chances of defeating the swarm.

A medic is possibly the most vital member of any squad. They can heal damage and cure infestations, which are otherwise death sentences for most marines. A medic can either dedicate themselves to healing by carrying both the medical gun and heal beacons, or they can opt to bring a weapon and either means of healing. While any marine can bring a healing kit, these can only be used once and are inferior to medic healing.

A tech is required for quite a few missions that feature hacking. They are also proficient at welding doors open or shut, setting up and dismantling sentry guns.

Officers and special weapons are never required for any mission. However, an officer’s leadership can boost the entire squad’s power, effectively adding a “fifth man” to the squad. Special weapons bring superior firepower to any encounter and make great point marines.

At least one marine should bring an ammo satchel. This becomes a requirement on tougher difficulty levels, as aliens gain more health and thus require more ammo to put down.

A few missions require an flamer to burn down biomass. The game will warn you if you attempt to start such a mission without a flamer.


Democracy has obvious flaws when reaction time is at a premium, such as when your squad is attacked by monstrous aliens who want to tear you limb from limb. It’s therefore a good idea to designate a leader who directs the squad’s movement so as to keep the squad working together with maximum efficiency. Whenever possible, this leader should be someone with previous game experience and who can use voice communication to pass on directions to the next objective, call for sentry guns to be erected, etc.

Friendly Fire

Always be mindful of every marine’s position and line of fire. While friendly fire incidents are not too worrisome on Easy/Normal, on Hard/Insane they result in unnecessary damage that needs to be healed, wasted ammo, and decreased damage output. One of the easiest ways to avoid friendly fire is to simply hug the walls. When two marines are moving together down a corridor, if both stay on their respective side, they can cross-fire down the corridor with very little risk of injuring each other.

Stay Together

The marines should act as a group, rather than scattering across the map and acting independently. Some areas (particularly the first half of Deima Surface Bridge) are particularly unforgiving of teams that split up and run in two or more directions at once.

If you are ever the only marine visible on your screen, then someone has done something very, very wrong, and you should immediately rejoin your team if at all possible. The Swarm aren’t going to take it easy on you because you’re alone.

Short, Controlled Bursts

Just because you can empty a magazine in five seconds, doesn’t mean you should. Wild, carefree spraying of bullets in sustained full-automatic fire is not only a colossal waste of ammunition, it’s a good way to wind up punching a few extra holes in your fellow marines.

Practice, in offline mode, firing controlled bursts of just a few rounds – for most enemies, 6-8 rounds from an Assault Rifle (half that many for an autogun or pistols) is probably going to be entirely sufficient to turn your target into green slimy giblets.

Jan Bonkoski
About Jan Bonkoski 823 Articles
A lifelong gamer Jan Bakowski, also known as Lazy Dice, was always interested in gaming and writing. He lives in Poland (Wrocław). His passion for games began with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64 back in 1998. Proud owner of Steam Deck, which has become his primary gaming platform. He’s been making guides since 2012. Sharing his gaming experience with other players has become not only his hobby but also his job.

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