A lot of fuss was made about Biomutant‘s combat system — Experiment 101 and THQ Nordic even dedicated a whole trailer to it. And there was a whole bunch of talk about the kung-fu elements of the game (though it’s called Wung Fu in the game), which maybe let a lot of people to believe the combat here is melee-based (and I suppose it kind of is, though there are ranged builds and melee builds).

However, melee combat feels overwhelmingly punishing. When you get too close, enemies tend to interrupt your combos with ease. Getting close to an enemy usually means you’re going to get puked on with goo, picked up and smacked like you’re a baseball, or even one-hit-death-stomped by a giant fluffy rat.


And then there are the suicide bombers, who for some reason don’t take damage when they explode. Get too close to one of them and you’re toast.

And don’t even get me started on these jugheads:


You see a hulking figure riding a barrel, you know it’s time to run.

Melee combat in Biomutant is actually kind of a pain. Thankfully, I found a workaround — pumping everything I had into Luck and then using ranged weapons almost exclusively. This turns Biomutant into a looter-shooter instead of a kung-fu game, making it more playable and immensely more enjoyable.

I figured this out pretty early in my playthrough — I think I was maybe Level 7 or so when I started pumping every upgrade into Luck. Not only does this increase your crit chance (which is good because there’s actually no stat that affects ranged damage output), but it also gives you more loot, and I think even better loot (though it’s hard to say for sure on that latter point).

I’ve been playing RPGs for decades, and this is the first time in my life that I actually focused on Luck over everything else — and I’m kind of in love.


By the time I hit level cap (which is 50, by the way), my Luck stat was at 270, which grants me a 67% crit chance and a 94% loot chance. This means 2/3 of my hits are critical hits, and I almost never kill an enemy without it dropping something (and not just healing items, but gear and weapon parts too).

But even early in the game, the Luck was having a substantial impact. Maybe halfway through my first playthrough, I ended up stumbling upon a gun called the Sparkatron Hypicskromp, with bonkers good stats.

Biomutant - Sparkatron Hypicskromp

You can find this gun in the bunker in Suburbia, though you’ll have to beat the Schacky Trunkgnut to get the key (this is part of Moog’s questline). The Sparkatron Hypicskromp is so good that I’m still using it at level cap in New Game+. I have yet to find a better ranged weapon. Once I got this — paired with a high crit chance — I could just sort of keep my distance while spamming the R2 button, watching the enemies’ health melt away.

Because I’m constantly shooting at things, and constantly earning loot, Biomutant started to feel more like Borderlands than like any melee-style game. And it’s really, really fun to play this way.

While I have a whole lot of complaints about the combat in Biomutant, you can simply create a ranged build and mitigate most of the melee-combat headaches. Once I discovered this trick, combat started to feel fun and satisfying rather than frustrating and inconvenient. So even though the combat system is objectively flawed, the amount of choice you’re given means you have an alternative that actually works.

And for me, that mostly makes up for it. Mostly.

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