|“||Time to earn your paycheck, team. We got a doozy of a swarm on the way.||„|
|~ Mission Control|
A Swarm is an event which occur in some missions. It involves a brief period where enemy spawn rates are massively increased, tasking the Dwarves with clearing out the oncoming waves until all threats are eliminated.
A Swarm is broken up into three phases. In the first phase Mission Control will issue a warning to the Dwarves that a Swarm is currently imminent. This phase lasts approximately 20 seconds to give players a chance to prepare by forming a position and establishing defences.
The second phase is the Swarm proper; enemies will burrow out of the ground and proceed to attack the dwarves. In a Swarm enemies will spawn in significantly increased numbers and often in tighter groups. The majority of a Swarm will be comprised of varying species of Glyphids and Macteras (and their regional variants where applicable) but Swarms can also bring out uncommon region-specific foes such as Q'Ronar Shellbacks and Nayaka Trawlers. A Swarm's second phase will persist until the vast majority of enemies have been killed, or enough time passes naturally.
The third phase is the ending of the Swarm, which will be announced by Mission Control. When this happens no further enemies will spawn except for those who were already present before the announcement of the end of the Swarm. Once these last few stragglers are dealt with, enemy spawn rates are reduced back to normal. Often times no further enemies will spawn for a brief moment, giving players a chance to recuperate.
Unique Swarm Types
Some Swarms can have unique properties, spawning only certain kinds of enemies. These special Swarms will be identified by Mission Control.
- Glyphid Grunt Swarm: This swarm will consist almost entirely of Glyphid Grunts. Grunt Slashers and Grunt Guards are also common sightings.
- Glyphid Swarmer Swarm: This Swarm will feature many Glyphid Swarmers. Spawn numbers are significantly increased during this swarm to compensate for the easy-to-kill nature of the Swarmers.
- Glyphid Praetorian Swarm: In this Swarm, you will face off against many Glyphid Praetorians. Spawn numbers are slightly lower than the average swarm, as Praetorians are tougher than the average enemy. Often, they are accompanied by a Glyphid Oppressor, as well.
- Mactera Swarm: This Swarm summons Mactera enemies almost exclusively. This includes Mactera Spawn, Mactera Grabbers and Mactera Goo Bombers, though the latter two are not as common. Glyphids and other enemies can still spawn, but they are less common.
- Dreadnought Attack: Though not technically a Swarm, this event is conducted in the same way. Mission Control will announce the incoming threat of a Glyphid Dreadnought. These Dreadnoughts behave exactly the same way as the ones found in Elimination missions.
Unique Swarm Triggers
Asides from happening at random during a mission, some Swarms can be triggered through unique events or player action.
- Egg Hunts: Breaking an Egg free has a chance of triggering a Swarm. This is detrimental to the flow of the mission as several Swarms can be triggered at once by breaking out multiple Eggs, causing Swarms to stack on top of one another.
- Point Extraction: Swarms in this mission type do not have a warning from Mission Control before they occur, as Point Extraction caves tend to be smaller than the average mission. This makes them significantly more dangerous to unprepared players.
Tips to Survive a Swarm
- Try to dig in into an area which has minimal entry points to force the creatures to funnel in through chokepoints, which are easier to defend. Hiding in a tunnel is much easier than being out in the open.
- However, you will need some amount of room to move around, since standing in place trying to fend off a swarm is extremely difficult on Hazard 3 and above due to the sheer amount of creatures, and can be a death sentence during Solo missions. The cave generation does not grant many ideal spots to defend, so you will likely have to make do with what you have.
- Open areas may be a better strategy for Solo missions in particular, due to having lots of space to kite creatures around in order to avoid getting surrounded.
- Do not dig out any blockages of Compressed Dirt; you will only open another pathway for enemies to crawl through.
- Take time to ensure all your weapons are fully loaded before the Swarm commences.
- If you're fast enough, it's possible to call a Resupply Drop and refill from it before the Swarm can commence properly, but this requires a quick response when Mission Control announces a Swarm.
- Exploit your surroundings depending on the mission's biome - drop stalactites onto enemies in the Salt Pits, stand near a heating Oasis in the Glacial Strata, or lure foes through Electrocrystals in the Crystalline Caverns.
- Clear out extra space for your allies with your Reinforced Power Drills, or create an artificial chokepoint by digging a dead-end tunnel and then a room for all the team. In this case, make sure that you can easily make a way out if a Glyphid Bulk Detonator or Glyphid Oppressor shows up.
- The Driller's primary weapons – the CRSPR Flamethrower and Cryo Cannon – are excellent crowd control tools and essential for surviving Swarms. The former is better to use against weaker enemies such as Glyphid Grunts and Glyphid Swarmers, while the latter is excellent at softening up large enemies like Glyphid Praetorians.
- Neurotoxin Grenades can flood a huge area with gas that damages enemies but not Dwarves. It can also be ignited to create a huge fiery explosion (though this will damage teammates).
- Set up your Sentry Guns immediately upon Mission Control's announcement of a Swarm. Try to put them in places which cover the most ground. If you have the Gemini System modification, you can set up two Sentries to cover two different chokepoints.
- During Egg Hunts, you may want to set up your Sentries before mining out an Egg, in case it triggers a Swarm. If you want to conserve ammo, you can set them up partially beforehand, then if a Swarm is announced, fully deploy the Sentries (otherwise, they can be recalled).
- When a Swarm is in progress, refill your Sentries' ammo often.
- The Breach Cutter and Deepcore 40mm PGL are excellent for quickly killing tightly clustered enemies.
- Proximity Mines are excellent ambush tools to throw into chokepoints and deny enemy progress. They deal high damage and cover a wide radius, and they have plenty of time to arm themselves in the warning phase.
- Platform Guns with the Repellant Additive modification can be used to force grounded enemies through certain pathways. Place some down on the floor and leave a small gap as the only means of entry through a narrow hallway.
- Even if one doesn't have Repellant Additive, the Platform Gun can still be used to seal up small holes by firing many platforms into the same spot, which gives the enemies fewer points to approach from.
- In a pinch, you can throw a L.U.R.E. to distract some of the creatures, allowing them to be killed easily or buying yourself some time to resupply or heal.
- Make sure you have plenty of Shield Generators ready to use when a Swarm is announced. They may be vital to your team's survival, especially on higher difficulties.
- If you have time and the space, set up a zipline to hang from and shoot down on enemies with. With good positioning, you can hang from the zipline and never be targeted by enemies.
- Cluster and Incendiary Grenades are excellent to use in Swarms due to their massive explosive ranges, but try to avoid harming your teammates in the process.
- Do not let your Minigun overheat during a Swarm. Switching to your secondary for reduced firepower is a far more preferable alternative than having no firepower at all.
- When a Swarm is announced, make sure to fire a couple flares from your Flare Gun into the walls to ensure clear vision during the event. Keep firing flares as needed, as fighting in the dark puts you and your team at a major disadvantage.
- Your crowd control abilities are mediocre compared to the other Dwarves. Focus down key targets with your precision weapons during a Swarm. Choose enemies like Glyphid Wardens and Glyphid Acid Spitters, to soften up the rest of the Swarm for your allies.
- Pheromone Canisters are great for distracting enemies. Their large radius can cause many Glyphids to attack each other and cluster up in tight groups, making them very vulnerable to explosive attacks from other Dwarves.
- The IFG can be thrown into tight corridors which forces enemies to run through it, slowing them down and making them more vulnerable.