clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Surge 2 guide: 7 tips for beginners

How to do better, faster

If you buy something from a Polygon link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

The Surge 2 city combat Deck 13/Focus Home Interactive

If you’ve played The Surge from 2017 or any FromSoftware game from the last decade like Dark Souls, Bloodborne, Sekiro, you have a pretty good idea of what’s going on in The Surge 2. If you’re not familiar, The Surge 2 is a third-person action role-playing game with methodical combat and a punishing difficulty.

After our 15-hour adventure in the game, we’ve come up with a few tips for you to keep in mind as your start your journey into The Surge 2.

Bank your Scrap at Med Bays

The Surge 2 jungle area Deck 13/Focus Home Interactive

In The Surge 2, the mobile Med Bays around the world act like bonfires in Dark Souls. If you die, you’ll return to the last Med Bay you used. You also use Med Bays to upgrade your character and their gear.

The Surge 2’s universal currency is Scrap. You get it for basically everything you do, which usually includes killing enemies out in the world. When you die, you drop your Scrap. And if you die again on your way back to pick it up (or run out of time on the constantly ticking Scrap countdown clock), you’ll lose that Scrap forever.

Losing Scrap is no good, but there’s a great way to prevent this. If you have some Scrap on you, but it’s not enough to level up or buy an upgrade, you can bank it in the Med Bay by holding a button on your controller or keyboard (look for the mapping shortcuts on the bottom of the screen for “bank”). This will secure your Scrap inside the Med Bay. You’re free to cash it in and upgrade your character or your gear later.

It’s worth noting that the longer you go without dropping your Scrap or banking it, the more Scrap you’ll gain. Depending on your skill, you’ll need to weigh caution against profitability. But if you’re concerned going into an unknown area, bank your Scrap to keep it safe.

Always dismember body parts

Separating body parts from their original hosts is a signature mechanic in The Surge 2. When you square up with an enemy, you can choose to attack their left or right arm, left or right leg, torso, or head. If the body part that you target is equipped with armor or a weapon, you’ll get something great if you manage to cut it off.

When you’ve damaged a body part enough, you can spend some battery power to chop it off. Do that, and you’ll get some loot — and the loot you get depends on what item the enemy is wearing or holding.

That’s the most basic part of the system. When you want to upgrade, it gets more complicated. To upgrade your armor, you need pieces that correlate to the piece you’re upgrading. To upgrade your arms, for example, you need to chop off any enemy arms to get arm materials.

You need to be aware of the resources you have and the resources you need. Let your upgrade requirements dictate your combat choices, and you’ll be swimming in upgrade materials by the game’s end.

Enemy levels imply more than difficulty

The surge 2 player using a spear Deck 13/Focus Home Interactive

It can be really easy to get lost in The Surge 2. But if you’re confused about the quest you’re on, take a look at the levels above your enemies. If an enemy has a red number above them and seems too hard for you, chances are you’re in the wrong area.

We did the first two major quests out of order, and it led to a lot of frustration. Don’t be like us. If you’re fighting level fives when you were just fighting level threes a few minutes ago, it might be time to turn around and look elsewhere.

Pick a weapon and armor set early

Like we mentioned earlier, dismembering offers plenty of materials, but upgrading costs Scrap and materials together. It’s unwise to spend more than you need to.

Spend some time in the opening area trying out weapon types and armor perks. If you find something you like early, you can keep it with you for most of the game. It may sound like a boring way to play, but it’ll save you a lot of resources.

If you’re conservative at first and eventually get to a point in the game where you really want to switch it up, you’ll have the resources necessary to do it.

Take notes for shortcuts that you can’t reach

You’ll come across a lot of locations that you can’t immediately reach in The Surge 2. For those areas, you’ll need new items or abilities to get past an obstacle.

This isn’t occasional. It’s constant. So consider tracking these things outside of the game.

Note the item and location when you come across a zip line you cant use yet or a magnetically sealed door just out of reach. If you don’t take notes, you’ll end the game feeling like you missed a dozen chests you couldn’t remember the locations of.

Read the map on the loading screen

The Surge 2 map Deck 13/Focus Home Interactive via Polygon

The Surge 2 doesn’t have a traditional map. Instead, you can only see where you are through bulletin board maps posted around the city. Reading the map can be a bit difficult using the camera attached to your character.

But when you load into a new area, the same map takes over the screen, and it’s much easier to read. Study it. You won’t find any new secrets, but you will get a better idea of where you are and where you’re going if you study the map while you load.

Always go into a boss fight with Scrap

This might sound antithetical to banking your Scrap, but this helps a lot with bosses.

If you go into a boss with a small amount of Scrap and die, you’ll drop your Scrap on the ground. While it’s sitting on the ground waiting for you to pick it up, the Scrap bundle sends out a small healing pulse. And when you pick up the Scrap bundle, it heals you.

By wagering a small amount of Scrap, you can effectively get free, extra health every time you have to start a fight over. Just remember that the Scrap will disappear if you let it sit for too long or if you die without grabbing it.

This method works great as long as you bank a majority of your Scrap before the fight.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon