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The Ascent tips: live longer and level up with our guide

The Ascent
(Image credit: Curve Digital)

If you're looking for some The Ascent tips to make your dystopian future life easier then we have a few pointers here. Whether it's leveling up, getting more money, or perfecting your combat moves, we've got some ideas here to guide you through this ruthless twin stick shooter. 

1. Know when to use cover and when to ditch it

the ascent tips

(Image credit: Curve)

While you can enhance yourself and your gear to become incredibly powerful in The Ascent you're still basically human somewhere under all that chrome, and can still die. The game's gun play is built around feeling like a cover shooter, but your enemies are quite mobile and dodging is often the better option. You'll be able to position yourself better as a rule, both to track enemies as they reposition, and to lead opponents past exploding hazards that can do the work for you. 

2. Prepare to die (and use it)

You're probably going top die a lot at the start as you fight to level up and accumulate better gear. While it might feel frustrating, don't sweat it as you'll be getting valuable XP along the way. As you learn the ropes and slowly progress your character just accept that death is just a part... of living, and eventually you'll work your way up to surviving whatever the game can throw at you. 

3. Check and change your equipment to find what works

the ascent tips

(Image credit: Curve)

You gain a lot of gear as you play from enemy drops and it's easy to miss it among all the noise, screaming and blood. In the quieter, less killy moments make sure to dip into your inventory and see if you have anything that might help you out. It's worth swapping things out and experimenting generally as well just to see if anything works for you or give you some different options. You've got a couple of gun slots to equip, as well as a different grenade types, so mix it up and see what works for you. 

4. Don't overlook the Hydraulic Slam augmentation, or augs in general

The Hydraulic Slam augmentation is the first upgrade you unlock as an introduction to using augs and managing their energy requirements. While it's easy to overlook it, either because you're not a punchy person or just rushing to see what other options you can unlock, don't pass it up. It's a powerful attack with an area of effect ability that tackle big enemies and help with crowd control when you need to clear some space. It'll certainly help you out early game while you grind for other options. Whatever augs you pick use them as much as you can. 

5. Explore away from objective markers to find more stuff

the ascent tips

(Image credit: Curve)

While it's easy to head straight for your goals, especially while battling waves of enemies, take some time to poke around any corners you can find. Some areas have a lot of nooks and crannies tucked away where you can find crates, money, health and other useful items. A lot of these can be easy to miss when attacks and objectives draw you in a certain direction. Especially when areas off the path appear abandoned or shutdown. Like checking your gear when it's quiet, make sure to explore in between fights to make sure you don't miss a trick. 

6. Talk to all the NPCs in populated areas

the ascent tips

(Image credit: Curve)

When you're not fighting you'll be wandering around a city full of people to chat to, with missions and side quests you can take on. Grab them all as it'll help you level up, get better gear and gradually make the main missions and bosses easier. If you're struggling with a task, or the required level is too high, grab some secondary objectives and grind  for some XP to level up or cash to buy better gear. 

7. Keep a few weapon types and options back so you have a range of damage types

the ascent tips

(Image credit: Curve)

Upgrading weapons is a big part of progressing but it's worth both keeping some older weapons back, as well as the resources you need to upgrade things. Certain enemies are weaker to specific damage types, especially bosses and bigger dangers. Keeping back some still valid guns with different effects, or the resources to upgrade things when you know what you need, might help you with a tough fight. 

8. Do bounties and sell guns to earn cash

You can tick off bounties by killing specific marked enemies that are usually tougher and harder to kill. Then you can hand them into bartenders to claim payment. You'll also collect a lot of guns over time so remember to sell duplicates and lower level gear you don't need any more for even more money.

Leon Hurley

I'm currently GamesRadar's guides coordinator, which means I've had a hand in producing or writing all of the guide and tips content on the site. I also write reviews, previews and features, and do video. Previously I worked for Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine and website.  I'm a big fan of open world games, horror, and narrative adventures.