Atomic Heart tips and tricks to survive the robot apocalypse

Our Atomic Heart tips and tricks are essential for finding your feet in Facility 3826 and surviving the onslaught of synthetic and organic creations.

Atomic Heart tips: A worker in Facility 3826 is dragged off by twisting robotic wires, as Major P3 clings to his arm.

If you’re in dire need of some useful Atomic Heart tips and tricks, we don’t blame you. There’s a lot going on in Mundfish’s alt-history Soviet romp, especially when you’re let loose in the open world. If you’re struggling to upgrade weapons, find key items, or halt endless waves of enemies, we’ve got the remedy for you.

While Atomic Heart does contain a tutorial to help you get to grips with the mechanics, there are plenty of systems that go unexplained. That’s where our Atomic Heart tips and tricks come in. Each one will stand you in good stead while making your way through the FPS game for the first time, and could save your life when you’re in dire straits. Here are all the Atomic Heart tips and tricks for beginners.

Atomic Heart tips: The interior of a lab in Facility 3826 as shown through the scanner, which highlights enemies and loot scattered throughout the building.

Don’t underestimate your scanner

The scanner may not be the most glamorous tool at your disposal, but it’s undeniably the most useful. It can penetrate through walls to pick out interactable objects – including loot chests, chirpers, and quest items – and also detect any enemies in the immediate vicinity, imbuing them with a red aura. The scanner can also ascertain their strengths and weaknesses, as well as what materials you can expect to receive for defeating them. If you’re exploring an area for the first time, your scanner should be your first port of call.

Craft and equip cartridges

It’s easy to forget about Atomic Heart cartridges, but these single-use consumables are the quickest way to dish out elemental damage on the fly. Fire cartridges are indispensable against Plyusch and other mutants of its ilk, so we recommend keeping a few in your backpack at all times. Cryo cartridges grant you the ability to freeze enemies without having to give up an active skill slot, and you don’t need to wait around for your Volt cooldown when you’ve got electrified bullets on hand.

Atomic Heart tips: The disassembly menu, with pistol ammo selected showing the crafting materials you can receive by breaking them down.

Disassemble items for additional resources

There’s no point holding on to ammo for Atomic Heart weapons you’ll never use, so don’t be afraid to disassemble them. Items can provide crafting materials of all rarities, so if you’re saving up for a particular weapon or consumable and you find you’re a few materials short, it’s well worth checking to see if you’ve got anything going spare in your backpack that you can break down and repurpose.

Disassemble weapons if you’re not having fun

On a similar note, don’t be too precious about your weapons. Atomic Heart gives you the freedom to switch up your loadout at your leisure, returning the resources spent to craft and upgrade them at no penalty. Take advantage of that to experiment with everything the game gives you, and don’t be afraid to disassemble your arsenal in order to craft a beefier weapon to respond to Atomic Heart bosses. After all, you can always break it back down to parts again later.

Unlock special attacks by upgrading attachments

You can apply an assortment of buffs to your weapons by upgrading their attachments, and some are more bespoke than others. Special attacks are unique to each weapon, and they can breathe new life into their performance by imbuing them with new effects. Perhaps you’d like to apply an area-of-effect stun to robot foes while wielding your energy pistol, or inflict a brutal knockdown finishing move with your axe? Special attacks offer all this and more, so be sure to look for the weapon attachments that include them.

Atomic Heart tips: The skills menu with the Neuro-Compression Tactical Backpack skill displayed, which increases the backpack's capacity through compression rate upgrades.

Unlock bag space skills first

There are plenty of Atomic Heart skills to unlock, and it’s easy to jump straight into upgrading your elemental or telekinetic powers. However, limited bag space can seriously hold you back from kitting out your loadout with larger weapons and their dedicated ammo. Avoid putting a crimp on your damage output by investing the neuropolymer to expand it via the Character skills tree.

Let the environment do the work for you

There’s no limit to the number of ways you can meet your end in Facility 3826, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work it in your favour. Non-autonomous robots don’t differentiate between friend or foe, and can inflict some serious damage to hostile enemies. You can also quickly put space between yourself and a group by leaping over tables and low walls, forcing them to go the long way around while you pick them off from a distance.

Farm resources in the open world

Are you running low on crafting materials? It might be tempting to make a beeline for your latest objective, but there are plenty of resources to be scavenged in the expansive open-world game. You can explore abandoned buildings for loot crates, or cause havoc on purpose to attract enemies that drop the resources you need to your location. You can also find a number of Testing Grounds on the Atomic Heart map, which serve as optional dungeons that hold rare materials, blueprints, and more.

Atomic Heart tips: The HAWK relay's terminal a small hut mounted on the edge of a dock.

Disable the HAWK relay to stop respawns

Pchelas can repair destroyed robots at a rapid rate, so it’s easy to get stuck fighting mobs of endlessly respawning enemies in one position for an extended period of time. You can remedy this by hacking into the HAWK relay overseeing the neural network and disabling all cameras and other robots in the area. Unlocking the HAWK relay involves ascending the connected security tower and hacking into a nearby camera, but once you’ve done it, you can navigate the open world at your leisure.

Look for a weak spot

Most enemies in Atomic Heart have a weak point that deals a significant amount of bonus damage when targeted, and occasionally inflicts a temporary stun effect. You can identify weak spots by their distinct neon glow, which varies in colour depending on the enemy. Try to take aim at these points as much as possible, especially when going up against bosses.

These Atomic Heart tips and tricks are all you need for surviving to see the Atomic Heart endings. Our guide to how long is Atomic Heart can also provide some sense of how much time you can expect to spend in Facility 3826. Be sure to keep the Atomic Heart ballerina puzzle solution to hand while you’re at the Theatre, as well as our list of the best PC games for something to play after the credits roll.

Developer Mundfish has come under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks after it was alleged that the Russian government stands to gain financially from the release of Atomic Heart. This is due to the fact that investors involved in financing Mundfish include GEM Capital, an investment fund whose founder has ties to Gazprom and VTB Bank, both of which are majority-owned by the Russian state.

Further, Mundfish is partnering with VK (formerly Mail.RU) for the Russian release of Atomic Heart, evading sanctions on Steam. VK is also majority-owned by the Russian state through Gazprombank, and Mundfish’s CEO is a former Creative Director at Mail.RU.

With Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, many players are choosing to boycott the game in protest and donate money to organisations like The Ukraine Crisis Appeal, International Rescue Committee, and the British Red Cross.