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Hunt Showdown Tools Guide

A short guide giving some basic information on all the tools in the game, to help you make more informed decisions when making a loadout.

Hunt Showdown Tools Guide


You probably want a way to deal good melee damage, primarily for PvE but possibly for PvP as well. Throwing knives & axes, dedicated melees in weapon slots, and melee attachments for weapons can potentially replace the tool melee, but likely come with drawbacks of their own such as a higher stamina cost.

The Knuckle Knife

Stamina: 7 / 18
Damage: 58 / 92

The most well-rounded melee weapon. It can kill most enemies with one heavy attack, can kill an armored for 50 stamina with 2 lights & 2 heavies, and kills Immolators in the same time as Dusters for marginally less stamina (28 vs 30). It can kill enemy hunters with one heavy headshot, and it’s piercing damage so it can headshot them through their arms.

Its only weaknesses are its inability to oneshot hounds and its lack of the heavy knife’s strengths. Definitely a contender for the best tool melee alongside the heavy knife.

The Heavy Knife

Stamina: 15 / 25
Damage: 72 / 120

Its light attacks are slightly cheaper than the knuckle knife’s heavies, and can oneshot the same things the knuckle knife can. This allows it to be much better while exhausted. The heavy attacks can oneshot hounds, and are a wide sweeping attack that can kill several AI at once for better time & stamina efficiency. It can kill an armored slightly faster than the knuckle knife with only 2 heavies and 1 light, and while that’s more stamina at 65 the light could be done last while exhausted so it only requires 26 stamina. It’s also pretty good at clearing concertina.

Its only weaknesses are its inability to deal with Immolators, and it not having piercing damage so it might lose in a tool melee fight. But in my experience Immolators are almost never enough of a problem where buttstock bashes are insufficient, and I don’t remember the last time I got into a tool melee fight. Definitely a contender for the best tool melee alongside the knuckle knife.

The Dusters

Stamina: 5 / 10
Damage: 31 / 72

It has low damage and requires precise aim, but has a ton of stamina. It’s not useless like the knife, but it is a bit worse than the knuckle knife & heavy knife. If it could kill Immolators in 2 heavies or even 2 heavies & 1 light I could see it being useful as an anti-Immolator tool, but currently the knuckle knife is just as good if not better at killing Immolators.

The Knife

Stamina: 20 / 25
Damage: 52 / 105

I’m not aware of any situation in which the knife is actually better than the other options. Every other option uses much less stamina and either kills things in exactly the same time or faster. The closest comparison is the heavy knife, which is just a direct upgrade with more damage for less cost. The only advantage the knife has over the heavy knife is being able to headshot through arms, but the knuckle knife can do that too in addition to having much cheaper stamina costs & being able to TKO Immolators.

If its stamina costs were the same as the knuckle knife I could see it being useful, but as it is right now the only reason I’d bring it is if I loved a knife skin so much I’d pick a poor option just to see it.


Offensive tools are great for PvE, and potentially PvP as well. They range from nearly silent to more quiet than guns, allowing you to more efficiently kill and break things without letting the entire server know exactly where you are. Even if you have an aggressive playstyle that doesn’t favor hiding, avoiding unnecessary gunshots is very helpful in preventing ambushes by those who do favor hiding.

Throwing Axes

A thrown axe can oneshot grunts, hives, hounds, and armored with a bodyshot, and take a concertina armored out in 1 headshot or 2 bodyshots. You can throw your axes into a boss, then run up and start pulling them out while attacking him with a melee weapon. It’ll do pretty good damage while staggering him, allowing you to get out 2 or 3 heavy attacks before needing to retreat. It can also oneshot horses, twoshot water devils (retrieving the axes may prove difficult), oneshot hunters (not as easily as guns can), fight meatheads (somewhat slow & dangerous), and explode lanterns above kennels (which still makes a loud noise that can be heard from a compound or two away, but is much quieter than a gunshot).

The melee attack is similar to the heavy knife, being able to oneshot grunts & hives with lights while exhausted and being able to oneshot hounds & with Assailant cleave groups of enemies with the heavies. It has a very high stamina cost, however, so while you can freely swap to it while exhausted with the knuckle knife, if you’re bringing it in lieu of a melee weapon you’ll exhaust very easily, and need to make a decision of whether you want to throw your only melee weapon away when you’re down to your last axe.

Throwing Knives

Similar to the throwing axes, but harder to use. Hives & hounds require a headshot to be oneshot, bodyshots will either need two hits or one hit then the pull-out damage. Armored can be killed with two bodyshots + pullout, while concertina armored take 2 headshots or 3 bodyshots. Against bosses it can do the same pull-out while meleeing that the axes can do, but their lower damage make this slightly less effective when stamina is a concern. Due to the higher capacity of them ignoring stamina and only throwing is typically more effective than with axes. It can also oneshot horses, twoshot water devils (retrieving the knives may prove difficult), oneshot hunters (but only with a headshot, bodyshots deal 120), fight meatheads (somewhat slow & dangerous), and explode lanterns above kennels (which still makes a loud noise that can be heard from a compound or two away, but is much quieter than a gunshot).

The melee attack is almost useless without Assailant, but with Assailant it becomes as powerful as the knife. I don’t think it’s worth it, but you might like it.

Knives VS Axes

Throwing axes are much easier to use, especially against (concertina) armored & bosses, and a good melee weapon baseline without perks, but you only have 2/3 of them and resupplies give 1. Throwing knives have a capacity of 6/7 and resupplies give all of them, allowing you to be more liberal with them such as not caring so much about losing 1 to a kennel or 2 to a water devil. I don’t think either of them are better, they’re both very powerful.

The Derringer

It’s a gun in the tool slot. Not a very good gun, but a gun nonetheless. Its shots are quieter than other firearms, being heard at similar distances to lanterns exploding, so it can take out AI or lanterns a little less loudly than guns would. The main use of the derringer is PvP, unlike the other offensive tools which are mainly PvE. While its stats may pale in comparison to guns in your main slots, it does have decent damage with a decent firerate, as long as they’re rather close to you since the damage falls off very quickly. Can be very useful on builds that might run out of loaded shots quickly (e.g. bomb lance + revolver) or have very slow rates of fire (e.g. double long ammo).

The Flare Gun / Fusees

It can easily oneshot any AI regardless of where you hit them (other than Immolators, Meatheads, and Water Devils) as well as instantly detonating explosive barrels, but it’s consumed on use and requires resupply unlike throwing knives & axes which can (usually) be picked up where they landed. The flare gun is easier to use and has more range, but has less ammo than fusees. I don’t really like either of them, but they’re not bad.

Tricks & Traps

The Choke Bomb

Many players underutilize choke bombs, only using them to extinguish a burning teammate. In addition to that, they’re great area denial tools. Anyone entering their rather long-lasting field will suffer constant aimpunch making aiming nearly impossible, as well as coughing a lot revealing their position. You can use it to block off entrances/exits, use it to block peeks like windows, use it to stifle revives (it’s a lot harder to revive someone if you start coughing, and even if they do get up now they’re both coughing for a long time), use it to extinguish Butcher’s hook if you still struggle with fighting him (don’t forget to turn the lanterns off, he can re-ignite the hook), anything you can think of.

Also, upon initial detonation it will extinguish fires in a larger area than the lingering field, so with proper placement you can put a teammate out without needing either of you to cough when you go to revive.

Decoy Fuses

It looks and sounds like a bomb, but isn’t one. You can safely run where it lands because it doesn’t explode, and you get 3/4 of them for a single tool slot which gets resupplied at toolboxes. Its best use is throwing it to get people to start running to either help you push in or try to shoot them as they run away from their cover. If they’re still alive after you’ve thrown one decoy fuse, you could try throwing a real bomb and seeing if they die to it thinking it’s another. You could even have a loadout full of bombs and decoy fuses with Frontiersman if you want to be silly, but that wouldn’t be very effective.

Concertina, Poison, and Alert Mines

Not much to say about them, they’re pretty self-explanatory. I don’t like them, but they can get some good mileage. The only things worth noting are that you might want to try placing them in unexpected spots like the middle of the road (as they’re less likely to be seen than expected spots like doorways), the alert mines can instantly detonate barrels if placed next to them, and the concertina & poison mines will probably oneshot someone who steps into them if placed together.

Blankfire Decoys

You can try to make people look the wrong direction with these, or lure groups of players into each-other. I find it to be less reliably helpful than other options, but it can be pretty good. It can also instantly detonate barrels.


You can lure the AI with these, but I’m not sure how helpful that is.

Basically Mandatory & Basically Useless

The Medkit

Unless you really know what you’re doing and have a really specific and esoteric plan, you want a medkit.

The Headlamp

It’s really good at letting everyone see you easily. If you’re in close range and shine it at someone it might make it harder for them to see, but it’s really unreliable and not worth bringing.

The Spyglass

Greatly outclassed by other tools. It’s not worthless, but it’s not worth bringing.

Suggested Loadouts

I find the most success with a tool melee, a medkit, an offensive tool, and choke bombs. If I have melee damage handled in my weapon slots I’ll replace the tool melee with decoy fuses.

Example loadouts:

Anything: Heavy Knife, Medkit, Throwing Knives, Choke Bombs
Anything: Knuckle Knife, Medkit, Throwing Axes, Choke Bombs
Melee In Guns: Decoy Fuses, Medkit, Throwing Knives, Choke Bombs
CQC Lacking: Knuckle/Heavy Knife, Medkit, Derringer, Choke Bombs

If I were to use traps I’d probably swap out the offensive tool first, then the choke bombs second if I really wanted to bring them. The tool melee would be a great things to get rid of if possible.

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Written by Cheggf

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