Hunt: Showdown – Best Value Loadouts Guide

I’ve been playing Hunt for about 3.5 years now and logged well over 2,500 hours in it. In that time, I’ve played every single weapon in the game (some much more than others) and so I thought I’d write a short guide as to which loadouts I think are the best “value”. Make no mistake, these are not “meta” loadouts, as I believe that Hunt is pretty well balanced, and matches are won by playstyle, skill and tactical decisions, rather than by weapon choice.

Guide to Best Value Loadouts

Foreword

In this guide I will go through my top three loadouts that I think are the best value for your hard earned Hunt Dollar. They are not expensive builds and can win matches against much more expensive loadouts with a bit of practice.

I will not cover playstyles, as that’s a topic all by itself, but as a general rule you want to engage your enemies at a distance where your weapons have the advantage. That means get up close if you’re using a shotgun and stay at range if using a rifle.

In my opinion, a good loadout should always try to have as much range covered as possible. Taking a Crown & King with a Nagant Officer is a poor choice because you cannot use two different weapons at the same in close quarters, and you are handicapping yourself if forced to engage at range. Instead, pairing a Crown and King with a CC pistol is a much better choice due to its improved effective range, and damage per shot over the Officer. At range you don’t require such a high fire rate. Instead, damage per shot, effective range and (to some extent) muzzle velocity are much more effective.

Note that with the game still being in active development, things can change. Therefore I will update this guide if, as and when necessary.

Loadout 1 – Winfield with Hand Crossbow

  • Main: Winfield M1873C ($41) with high velocity rounds ($60).
  • Secondary: Hand Crossbow (£30) with half regular bolts half poison bolts ($25).
  • Tools (Duos): Dusters ($15), Alert Trip Mines ($30), Medkit ($30), Choke bombs ($25).
  • Tools (Solo): Dusters ($15), Poison Trip Mines ($30), Medkit ($30), Concertina Trip Mines ($90).
  • Consumables: Weak antidote shot ($30), Weak vitality shot ($20), (your choice), (your choice).

Cost (Main and Secondary only): $156

Strengths

  • Strong mid-range and close-range PvP performance.
  • Great value.
  • Very effective and quiet against bosses and AI.
  • No need to lead shots.
  • Upgrading your Winfield to the Swift variant and taking the Levering trait improves performance when just outside hand crossbow kill range (or following up a miss with your bolt).

Weaknesses

  • Poor performance against targets >50m away.
  • Reliant solely on special ammo.
  • Weak penetration ability.

The Winfield might be one of the cheapest weapons and available from bloodline level 1, but in my opinion, it’s one of the best weapons in the game. It has a reputation for being a “headshot clicker” due to it having the least amount of sway of any weapon in the game, it’s high rate of fire (even without levering), very little recoil, and a magazine that can be topped up quickly. It also has decent iron sights, making aiming easy. All this means you won’t really have any advantage taking a pistol as a sidearm, so instead I think you’re best off taking the hand crossbow.

The hand crossbow is an exceptionally versatile weapon – the first advantage being that it allows you to easily and silently take out AI from a safe distance, including bosses (all but the spider and hives are vulnerable to poison, so use regular bolts on those).

This means you can progress through compounds much more quickly and quietly than you could otherwise, and you can significantly reduce the length of most boss fights (which is when you’re fairly vulnerable to ambush from other hunters). Because you don’t need to get within melee range of bosses, it has the advantage of making boss fights safer, especially when using your antidote shot, as you lead bosses through the poison clouds.

However the hand crossbow also has one final trick up its sleeve: it’s exceptionally deadly when used against other hunters in close quarters. It’s perhaps less forgiving than a shotgun, but it’s still a one hit kill if you hit the head or chest, and even if you don’t kill your opponent, they will be inflicted with bleed (forcing them to hide away and bandage). Becoming effective in PvP with this weapon takes some skill and getting used to, but put in the time and you will be rewarded with some satisfying kills! If you take the bolt thrower trait, you’ll significantly increase its fire rate too.

Recommended traits, specific to this loadout (in order of preference)

Levering will help you cover that niche range that’s just outside hand crossbow kill range, only just behind Levering would be Bolt Thrower, which will speed up how fast you can move through compounds, and give you a better chance if you miss your initial shot on an enemy hunter, Iron Repeater can be useful, but only if you do not need to move after firing (i.e. an enemy running away at mid or long range).

Recommended Weapon Upgrade Paths

Replace your Winfield C variant with a Winfield Swift, but only if you have the Levering trait. This will sacrifice a tiny bit of accuracy for much more sustained fire when you’re out of hand crossbow instant-kill range, you missed your shot with the hand crossbow and your opponent is alerted to your position, or your opponent is moving erratically, making landing a hit from the hand crossbow much harder. With the Swift variant’s speedy reload, you’ll not have to sacrifice much in the way of reload speed either.

Loadout 2 – Romero with CC Pistol

  • Main: Romero 77 ($66) with regular buckshot.
  • Secondary: Caldwell Conversion Pistol ($55) with FMJ rounds ($50).
  • Tools (Duos): Knife ($30), Throwing knives ($40), Medkit ($30), Choke Bombs ($25).
  • Tools (Solo): Knife ($30), Throwing Knives ($40), Medkit ($30), Alert Trip Mines ($30).
  • Consumables: Weak vitality shot ($20), Flashbomb ($47), (your choice), (your choice).

Cost (Main and Secondary only): $171

Strengths

  • Very strong close range PvP performance.
  • The Romero outranges any other buckshot shotgun.
  • Great value.
  • Great penetration ability.

Weaknesses

  • Poor long range performance.
  • Failure to kill in one shot at close range will likely end in your death.
  • CC Pistol requires you to lead shots at mid-range.

Despite being available very early on, the Romero is a formidable shotgun. It has the longest instant kill range of any shotgun in the game and is extremely cheap. Provided you can hit your opponent square on and therefore, kill, you’re equal to all other shotgun users, and in some cases you even have the advantage thanks to the Romero’s range.

The trade-off is that you must kill with your one and only shot!

Couple this with a Caldwell Conversion Pistol with FMJ rounds and you can hold your own at mid-range. The Caldwell is cheaper than the Pax, Scottfield and Uppercut (which would also be decent alternatives to this sidearm). The Caldwell has less recoil and less sway than the other pistols, making it much easier to aim too.

FMJ rounds reduce damage drop off at range and also gives the sidearm much improved penetration, to help you get some tasty wallbang kills. Muzzle velocity is pretty poor so you will have to practice leading your shots, but you should try to reserve even needing to use your sidearm at all, as you should be trying to get into shotgun range of your enemies instead.

Finally, I recommend taking a flash bomb, as this will be particularly useful with this loadout in close quarters and throwing knives are your go-to for dealing with AI silently at range.

Recommended traits, specific to this loadout (in order of preference)

Lightfoot is a priority to help you traverse obstacles quietly. Poacher is a super cheap trait and will help you quietly disarm any traps that might be covering entrances to a building, as you sneak up on your prey. Whispersmith is a cheap trait too, and could provide some valuable utility when near to your enemies.

Recommended Weapon Upgrade Paths

Upgrade your sidearm to an Uppercut to get greater damage per shot at mid-range, but note that the Uppercut suffers from much greater sway and has a much lower ammo pool. It’s also considerably more expensive, reducing the value of this loadout significantly. The Pax and Scottfield are also decent alternatives.

Seriously consider upgrading your Romero to its talon variant and then swapping out the knife for dusters. This build then makes you much more effective at dealing with immolators and armoureds. Furthermore, if you fail to kill an enemy hunter with a single shot from your Romero, you can always attempt a quick kill with the talon blade if you’re close enough.

For a small extra cost, strongly consider taking some slugs with you. Usually half slugs, half buckshot works well with the Romero, keeping your buckshot loaded if in extremely close quarters, and your slugs loaded if you think you require a little more range. This gives the build even greater flexibility. A Romero loaded with slugs make it the longest-range shotgun in the game bar none but will require somewhat more precise aiming.

Loadout 3 – Springfield with Nagant Officer

  • Main: Springfield ($38) with half dum-dum rounds ($25), half regular rounds
  • Secondary: Nagant Officer ($96) with regular rounds
  • Tools (Duos): Knife ($30), Throwing knives ($40), Medkit ($30), Choke Bombs ($25)
  • Tools (Solo): Knife ($30), Throwing Knives ($40), Medkit ($30), Alert Trip Mines ($30)
  • Consumables: Weak vitality shot ($20), Dynamite Stick ($18), (your choice), (your choice)

Cost (Main and Secondary only): $159

Strengths

  • Strong initial hit and bleed damage.
  • Strong performance at mid-long range.
  • Great value.
  • Decent rate of fire and reasonable penetration ability (with regular rounds).

Weaknesses

  • Poor close range performance.
  • Outperformed at long range by more expensive rifles, such as the Sparks LRR.
  • Dum-dum round’s bleed effect is harder to follow up on at long range, limiting you to regular rounds at that range.

The Springfield is a somewhat overlooked weapon in Hunt. Sure it’s not the best weapon in the game by far, but it is very accurate, super cheap, has great ironsights, has the fastest reload of all single shot rifles in the game, and the Springfield’s dum-dum rounds are more effective than any other weapon’s dum-dum rounds.

Where this build really shines is at mid-long range, so try to engage in fights at that range. Hit your opponent and it will cause pretty heavy bleeding on them, meaning you can quickly push up to finish them off with your Nagant Officer (or troll them until they bleed out!), as it will take your opponent a while to stop the bleeding. With its reasonably strong initial shot damage, your enemies won’t have much time to decide if they should try and kill you before they bleed out, or stop the bleeding – leaving themselves vulnerable for several seconds.

Furthermore, if you miss at mid-long range, the Springfield helps you out by being fast to reload. Be aware that at longer ranges however, the Springfield starts to show its limitations. Medium ammo has a greater damage drop off at longer ranges compared to long ammo, and at that range you’re not going to be able to make a follow up shot with your pistol to kill / pressure enemies who are bleeding (effectively somewhat negating the effectiveness of dum-dum ammo). However, it’s fairly easy to keep fights to the mid-long range, so try to do this wherever possible.

The Nagant Officer is possibly the best close range sidearm in the game. It has a great rate of fire, 7 rounds in its barrel, pretty good accuracy, all whilst maintaining a two hit kill ability. It’s not going to trump shotguns, bows, crossbows, fanning or levering users at close range, but it can certainly hold its own. It’s also perfect for a spam of follow up shots on a hunter inflicted by your Springfield’s dum-dum ammo. The Scottfield Spitfire, Caldwell New Army and Bornheim / Bornheim Extended offer viable alternatives to the Officer, but I still find the Officer to be the best. Consider taking the brawler version to increase your effectiveness at dealing with immolators.

You “could” take a hand crossbow, but doing so limits you to two shots in total before needing to reload both weapons. I’d argue that’s not a strong position to be in.

Recommended traits, specific to this loadout (in order of preference)

Quartermaster or fanning. Quartermaster is preferable because it’s a few points cheaper than Fanning and means you can then take a small shotgun. Load the shotgun with slugs and you become effective at pretty much all but long range. Fanning’s ok, but is a bit too inaccurate and is less reliable than a shotgun in close quarters.

Recommended Weapon Upgrade Paths

Replace your Springfield with a Sparks LRR and take half poison rounds and half regular. The Sparks is a direct upgrade to the Springfield in all areas at long range, but is more expensive (albeit not actually “expensive” full stop).

You’ll lose the bleed rounds, but with poison rounds of the Sparks, if you hit an opponent at reasonably close range, they’ll be poisoned and have just 1hp left, without being able to recover for several seconds. Possibly not quite as effective as dum-dum rounds, but enough to cause panic and time to get in that follow up shot! Sure the Sparks has a longer reload time, but at long range, that isn’t really going to count for much.

Using the Sparks’ regular rounds at long range makes you much more effective than the Springfield at that distance because long ammo > medium ammo.

Taking the Sparks with a slugs shotgun is going to be an extremely strong loadout but will be somewhat costly. If you go down this route, I’d recommend the Spectre Compact, or the Caldwell Rival Handcannon.

Summary

So there we have it, the three best value loadouts in the game (in my opinion). If I had to pick one of these three as being the very best value, I’d probably choose loadout 1. The Winfield paired with the hand crossbow is just such astonishingly good value. This nets you a fantastic headshotting machine combined with silent, deadly close quarters utility, all for a tiny price tag.

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.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*