'Prey' Enemies Tips: Nightmare, Technopath And Telepath Strategies

Prey will release on May 5 for PS4, Xbox One and PC
Prey will release on May 5 for PS4, Xbox One and PC Bethesda

Prey enemies are not to be trifled with. It isn’t a game that’s full of guns and ammo and health; there’s no built-in counterattack system either. Flaming enemies don’t crumple in water, and it doesn’t take more than a few hits for anything to kill you. So playing Prey can get awfully frustrating if you find yourself facing a major enemy with no clue how to take it down. Don’t worry. We’ve got a bunch of enemy tips for you that should help you with the toughest foe. Just remember that running is always an option, too. Sometimes you don’t have the firepower to win a fight against a Nightmare or Technopath outright. But good prep and clever planning can go a long way in Prey . Here’s our best tips for dealing with Nightmares, Technopaths, Telepaths and Phantoms.

Prey Enemy Tips: Nightmare

Nightmares are a, uh, nightmare to fight.
Nightmares are a, uh, nightmare to fight. Creative Commons

Let’s start with the biggest, baddest Prey enemy first: the Nightmare. Perfectly named, these towering typhon are every inch your greatest fear. Even more intimidating is the countdown timer that starts when you encounter one that lets you know the Nightmare is actively hunting you, making escape feel all but certain. If you want less nightmares in your game avoid installing Typhon ability mods. After putting in three mods Nightmares spawn with far more regularity.

So how do you deal with a Nightmare in Prey ? As with all major enemies check your inventory. If you have the Q-beam and ~150 ammo you are off to a good start. No Q-beam? Then what does your recycler charge and nullwave transmitter count look like? You’ll need quite a few, so if you’ve only got three or less of either you’re not gonna do much but make it mad. Kinetic Blast is the best neuromod power to use against them, and psychoshock can make up for a lack of nullwave transmitters. I didn’t try out any of the decoy-making powers to distract it, but apparently the power that lets you make your own phantoms from dead people can help too.

Assuming you’re well-armed, taking down a Nightmare is still a risky move. They tend to spawn in larger, open areas so think about using stealth to gain a height advantage and then rain down as much punishment as you can while its back is turned. Keep moving, one hit is almost always enough to kill you, and try to use the Nightmare’s size against it. It can’t fit into tight space easily so look for quick escape routes in low hallways or maintenance tunnels.

That’s your tactic for running and hiding, too. I encountered one in the Arboretum when I had almost nothing in terms of ammo, so I had to hide. But scurrying into a maintenance tunnel and then GLOOing the entrance shut did the trick. I managed to kill the first Nightmare I found, in the Talos 1 Lobby, but I had a lot of Q-Beam ammo and two turrets helping me out. Fighting it is a lot like running from it. Use corners and blind spots to your advantage and run soon after your first hit lands. It’s all about moving.

Prey Enemy Tips: Technopath

Technopaths are NASTY enemies. They’re basically big, electric Telepaths that can take control of turrets and operators as well as zap you with powerful attacks from a long distance. They have a big health bar too, meaning you’re going to need a good bit of ammo to take them down. As usual, the Q-Beam is great but you need to prioritize that ammo. Remember, the Q-Beam does not need to go to completion to be effective. When you see it turn a bar green that’s like a handicap. You drop the health to the point of that green bar with regular attacks and the enemy still blows up. So if your Q-Beam ammo is low you can slug it out with more conventional weapons; the key to beating Technopaths is to knock out their powers and keep them disabled.

You should start with any turrets or operators the Technopath has running defense. EMP grenades will disable them immediately, or muck them up with a GLOO gun. If you can, hack the turrets to reprogram them and get them on your side. You’ll also want to get those nullwave transmitters going to take out its psi attacks. Once it’s stunned, GLOO it up to slow it down so it doesn’t hover away then unload on it with whatever you have. Once it recovers its powers, stun and repeat.

This is a good time to invest in the Backlash ability if you haven’t already. It’s like a one-time shield but makes a big difference, especially if you’re careful and sneak attack the Technopath first. You can get a nice opening salvo in, then absorb its first counterattack while you reload and reposition.

Prey Enemies Tips: Telepath

You will look this confidently badass for approximately 1% of your combat time in Prey.
You will look this confidently badass for approximately 1% of your combat time in Prey. Arkane Studios

Similar to tEchnopaths, Telepaths are big, floating monstrosities that take a hefty amount of damage to bring down. Plus, they mind-control nearby humans which means you can find yourself surrounded by enemies you didn’t know were there. Although initially very intimidating I actually found telepaths to be the most manageable of the big enemy types covered so far, if only because they’re a bit predictable.

So, the first thing you need to do when you run into a Telepath is disable the humans its controlling. Often, they’re patrolling the area you’re in before you see the telepath. You can dispose of them the messy, violent way but I prefer to use the disruptor stun gun to immobilize them. Not only is there an achievement for “saving” 50 humans from the telepaths but it also helps you sneak up on it, which is even more important.

Once you take out all the humans you can around the telepath, now you need to set a trap. If you don’t have any nullwave transmitters or the psychoshock power then do NOT mess with a telepath. It’s psi attacks are very powerful and track you so they’re hard to avoid. You can’t circle strafe your way around a telepath while shooting a pistol at it for very long.

So the best thing to do when faced with a Telepath in Prey is to lure it to a trap. That can either mean a bunch of turrets set up, or into a low hallway where you can unload on it or, if the environment permits it, somewhere you can shoot red oxygen lines and hit it with fire. Telepaths hate fire. If you have the Superthermal power, use it. If not, there’s quite a few opportunities to create burn damage if you know what to look for. Typhon lures are great for Telepaths too. You can lead it into a corner where there’s a few flammable targets and set it all off.

Again, you HAVE to keep the psi powers disabled or this thing will wreck you. You want at least three nullwave transmitters to feel safe, but if you can do suitable damage then two can help you get the job done. Obviously, Q-Beam attacks are great but I’ve taken down three telepaths so far without a Q-Beam. Once you disable its psi powers it will try to run, so GLOO it a little bit to slow it down as it runs away.

Prey Enemies Tips: Phantom (Etheric, Thermal And Voltaic Too)

Phantom’s are the foot soldiers of Prey . Yes, Mimics are more common but they just give you a jump scare and generally annoy you. A little caution and two pistol bullets will solve 99% of your Mimic troubles. But Phantoms, hoo boy, they can go either way. Sometimes you catch one off guard and make short work of it, other times it’s one of the advanced Phantom types that has crazy powers to contend with. So, how do you deal with the Phantoms in Prey ?

Let’s start with easy, run-of-the-mill Phantoms. They have a pretty nasty psi attack, so if you’re bullish on nullwave transmitters consider using one here. But, as with all things in Prey , using an item now means not having it later. So if you get startled by a Phantom and panic and waste it with a bunch of sloppy shotgun shots you might want to reload and try a calmer approach. Most Phantoms can be handled with a good sneak attack from the GLOO cannon followed by three or four pistol shots, then more GLOO then more pistol. Sometimes Phantoms fall on the ground but aren’t dead, a good chance to get extra shots in. Keep some distance to make strafing those psi attacks easier and you should be OK.

The other Phantom types though. Damn. They can be really, really tough.

The easiest of the bunch is the Etheric Phantom. It has a psi attack too, and can use the Phantom Shift ability to make a copy of itself. The decoy lasts for a few seconds, which doesn’t sound like much, but can be enough to absorb precious bullets before going. If you can spare the nullwave transmitter, do it. But I’d say try to take it out with as little ammo as possible first, just make sure to quicksave before the encounter. Without its ppsi abilities it's just like any other Phantom so GLOO it and gun it and move on. Be careful not to step too close to the body after it dies, they ooze some kind of damaging purple plasma. When you kill one just savor the victory for a few seconds before walking over it. You earned it.

The Voltaic Phantom, like the Technopath, can shoot electrical attacks at you. Stealth and containment are key, so sneak up on one if you can. EMPs and nullwave transmitters disrupt its special powers, but don’t get in too close. The electrical field causes weapons to malfunction. If you’re in close use a shotgun, but take a step back if you’re using the GLOO cannon or Q-Beam. The stun gun obviously does nothing against it, but conventional weapons are effective. So are turrets, from a distance. I like to use Backlash to protect myself from Voltaic Phantoms. They’re flashy and fast and distracting. After the initial sneak attack they can be hard to follow and having some protection against a counterattack can be a literal lifesaver.

Finally, we have the Thermal Phantom. It’s a big flaming monster that is as scary as it sounds. The toughest of all the Phantoms these things can be devastating to deal with, especially if you’re low on ammo. Don’t be afraid to pull out all the stops for this guy, including the Q-Beam. They’re fast and have a big AoE fire attack, so keep moving. I’m talking like hit it once or twice and run and hit it once or twice and run again. GLOO slows it down, but doesn’t hold very long. Nullwave transmitters will prevent the AoE attack for a few moments, and recycler charges will hurt it, but not kill it, if you use just one. The Kinetic Blast attack is effective too, but don’t stand still and go toe-to-toe with it. Turrets will distract it and absorb the first attack, but that’s about it. Don’t bother repairing them in combat you’ll be dead before you’re done.

That’s it for our Prey enemies tips guide. We didn’t get to everything here, but these are the most common, most challenging foes we faced so far. Have additional tips and strategies? Let us know in the comments.

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