When you start playing Evolve, you'll probably suck. Even as you get better, you'll still run into players who also suck. It can be frustrating. So, let's skip the learning through trial by (sometimes literal) fire, and get ahead of the curve.
Tips For Playing A Hunter
Play To Your Class
If Battlefield is about playing the objective, Evolve is about playing to your class.
Watch those instructional videos that load before each new character. Know what each ability/weapon does, and learn when they're most useful, and USE them. Don't just shoot at the monster if that's not what your class is most skilled at. Sometimes the medic needs a shield and sometimes your party needs a speed boost. Learn it. Live it. Love it.
Familiarise Yourself With All Four Classes
Regardless of your chosen class, you'll play better if you know everyone's role, and can take advantage of their skills. So, for instance, if Val the medic has marked weak points with her sniper, be sure to recognise the markings and fire at them. If you're a medic and a support class is shielding a character, try healing someone else. And so on.
Stick With Your Team
But try to keep the pace up. Don't dwell on bigger monsters just because they're in your face. Run away from them, and keep moving.
For The Love Of God, Follow Daisy
Why does no one follow Daisy? Why pick Maggie if you won't use her abilities to your team's advantage?
Drop The Dome When The Monster is Close
While we're on the subject of trappers, please drop the dome when the team is circled around the monster trying to fight it. This is your job. You chose this path in life, and now you have to see it through.
Lift The Dome If You Missed
And, for that matter, if you happen to have missed the monster in your dome, you can always hit the same button to lift the dome instead of keeping your teammates trapped in there while the monster scurries off.
Know Where To Stand And When To Jump
Movement as a hunter is incredibly important. Your jetpack has limited fuel, and the monster is a lot faster and jumps and climbs around a lot easier than you. Pick your position depending on your class:
Medic: stay back and elevated.
Trapper: you're running out first, but you should stay alive to keep the dome up and lay out traps and harpoons around the monster, circling around it so it doesn't see you to target you.
Assault: you're tough, but don't forget about your jetpack. Try to stay grounded and focus on side-jumping away when the monster is coming for a frontal attack.
Support: you can adopt a variety of these methods depending on which aspect you're focusing on (damage or actual support).
Remember To Dodge
Jetpacks are great for reaching high places, but don't forget you can double-tap to dodge left, right, forward and backward.
Watch Out For The Damn Wildlife...
Learn to recognise the plants that will trap you and try to jump over and around the bigger animals unless they have got a buff you feel you need.
...But Mostly Ignore It
Don't kill too many lesser creatures if you don't have to. It wastes time and leaves delicious, free corpses around for the monster to feed on.
OK, Don't Ignore ALL the Wildlife
Some enemies drop buffs that your whole team can use to power up. You can recognise those enemies by the little red cross indicated above them. Those buffs can be super useful. 200% on jetpack refill speed? Yes please.
Don't Be Shy
I haven't noticed a ton of people being chatty while I play Evolve. The game is about coordination, and there's only so much you can figure out without direct communication from players.
Use Your Markers
Spam markers when you've seen the monster go in a certain direction, even when it's trapped in a dome. It's easy to lose track of the beast, and just because you have it trapped doesn't mean everyone's seen what corner of the dome it's at.
Know When To Quit And When To Chase
If you're the last hunter alive, RUN AWAY. You'll want to wait until your teammates respawn before you tackle the monster. That said, at the start of the match, you should be full-force chasing after the monster. Don't waste your jetpack fuel on long jumps in this scenario. Double-jump your way to forward bursts.
Pay Attention To Broken Trees, Etc. Especially If You Don't Have Maggie On Your Team
When you've got the Maggie/Daisy duo, it's easy to track the monster. But if you don't, you won't be able to locate it as quickly, so keep an eye out for broken trees, the birds that have landed at the monster's feeding site, its tracks, and the birds that fly out when a monster has disturbed it. Think like an actual hunter.
In Evacuation, Don't Play The Objective; Always Be On The Hunt
In Evacuation, you run through 5 missions with different objectives — like kill a bunch of eggs, or rescue a bunch of survivors. This won't fit every team's style, but I've found it more effective to skip the objective and continue to hunt the monster down. Regardless, you'll always end up in a match against the monster, as he attempts to either kill the survivors you're rescuing or camp the eggs you're smashing etc. So why not be more ready for the fight? It's stupidly easy for the monster to do something like kill the survivors you just spent time picking up off the floor, so it seems more effective to just hunt after the monster and win the match that way. Which, frankly, speaks volumes to the balance and fun of the game's additional modes outside of just Hunt.
Tips For Playing The Monster
Practice The Monster Class On Your Own First
Don't just jump into multiplayer matches as the monster. You'll likely get overwhelmed, especially if you're up against a practiced team of hunters. There are three types of monsters; try them all out solo against non-judgemental AI where you can figure out your abilities and your strategies across all three of your stages of evolution. That way, you can get used to the map, too.
Fight On Your Terms
If you're stage 1, you're vulnerable. Your armour and health aren't nearly high enough and your strength not nearly strong enough. If you get trapped, try to make them run around chasing you. Take them up on cliffs, push them off and away from you. Hide around corners or in bushes. If you can sense you're going to get trapped soon, try to find an arena you're more comfortable with, i.e. one with lots of cliffs and bushes or even a big creature that might distract them from you.
It can be tempting to run off quickly and evolve to stage 2, but if you're caught with your pants down, the hunters can do some serious damage while you're busy selecting abilities to upgrade. Find a high cliff, hidden around a bend, and hopefully you've created some distance between you and the hunters to evolve safely from there.
There's no limit to how frequently you can sniff out your surroundings, so do it often. It will reveal hazardous wildlife, edible wildlife, and the hunters in your proximity.
Take Out The Medic or Trapper First
The hunters cannot survive without the medic, and the medic usually has low enough shields and health that they will go down fairly fast. Then, you won't have to deal with a pest who keeps reversing all the damage you're doing.
Take Out The Trapper To Escape
If you're trapped and need to make a getaway, like when you're at stage 1, you can bring down the dome by bringing down the trapper.
Play Evacuation To Level Up Quicker
You'll get bonus experience points for completing missions. This goes for hunters, too, but I find it more pressing for the monster class.
Keep The Map Open To Spot Potential Pathways
This one is useful for either side, but I find it most prudent when playing as a monster. You'll want to run in a direction that's got a longer length of land for you to make some distance between you and the hunters, and to find enough wildlife to feed off of. Don't walk into a corner and end up circling around when you realised you went towards a dead end.
Always Sneak, Unless Maggie Is On The Hunting Team
Why give them tracks to lead them straight to you? Though, I've seen some monsters try to use their own tracks against the hunters, misleading them to believe they have gone in one direction when they actually stealthed backwards into another. Seems like a time-waster to me, though, without getting much in return. Stealth will also help you avoid the map's natural inhabitants that would otherwise attack you, and let you walk around birds without disturbing them and thereby giving away your position.
Always Stealth Attack To Feed
You'll automatically pounce to pin a target and slash at it until it dies, without having to do much on your end.
Like the Hunters, Go For The Creatures With Buffs
They can do wondrous things like increase your damage output or make you faster, etc. They're like temporary perks.
Lastly, I found a neat roundup on Reddit of various facts about the game that might come in handy in understanding how things work. It's worth perusing, but they're things you'll come to understand naturally after a few hours of play, too. Got your own tips? Share them below and I'll update this post with any gems that you or I discover through further play.