So you just passed the Arsenal aptitude test and you think you’re ready to take to the battlefield? You might want to hold on a little bit, as there are a few things Daemon X Machina doesn’t expressly tell you that you should keep in mind before suiting up.
1. Keep your (optimal) distance to maximize damage.
If you dive into your Arsenal’s stats, you’ll find a load of information the game doesn’t explain to you. One of the most important though is your weapons’ effective and optimal ranges. The effective range of your weapon details at what distance your weapon will deal damage. Meanwhile, the optimal range describes the ideal distance from your target you’ll be for maximum damage.
To find these ranges, you’ll have to look at your weapons’ stats prior to battle. In battle, your distance to a target is located underneath its name as you target it, and you should see a clear and dramatic difference in battle damage when attacking from the optimal range.
2. You need to finish the campaign to replay story missions.
Daemon X Machina offers a ton of missions for you to complete. However, completed story missions can only be replayed after you finish the campaign. While playing through the campaign, you’ll find story missions have secret optional objectives that remain a mystery until you incidentally complete them. Don’t worry about finding and completing them all the first time around. You can come back after beating the campaign and figure them out at your own pace.
Also worth knowing is that the game seems to claim that Free Missions will come and go based on the availability of the other mercenaries; however, I don’t think I’ve ever lost the ability to play one. The mercenary partners that join you on these missions can change over time, but I can’t say I’ve ever been locked out.
3. Yellow barriers bring danger, and red barriers bring death.
Each mission is confined to a specific area on the map. You’ll know you’re close to the edge when you start seeing barriers. The first barrier you’ll see is a yellow one, triggering an area warning. You have a generous 20 seconds to return to the mission area, or else you immediately blow up.
The outer barrier is red, and this is the one you really want to be careful of. Crossing this barrier even for a moment results in instant death. While you should never independently come close to stepping outside of it, it’s entirely possible that an enemy can knock you across it.
These barriers can also be seen on the minimap, provided you’re close enough. While I can’t recall ever having a problem seeing the red barrier on the map, often the yellow one seems to get lost among the map’s other features, so your best bet would be to look for it in the environment itself.
4. There are two ways to grow your Arsenal parts collection.
The first way to accumulate parts is to loot items off the battlefield. Any time you come across a downed enemy Arsenal (be it AI or opposing mercenary), you can take an item from it. If you have the corresponding open space in your loadout, you’ll equip it immediately; otherwise, it gets sent to your base inventory. What isn’t clear is that some items appear with white text, while others appear with yellow text. The difference is that yellow items are ones you’ve never owned. So if you’re wanting to complete your part collection, go for the yellow ones.
The other main way to get new parts is to develop them in the factory. Developing a new part requires not only credits, but also a specific existing part. You can develop multiple items at the same time. Once in development, you’ll have to successfully complete a mission (any mission) and then return to the factory to claim the item(s). So pick an easy mission, kick some tail, and come back and enjoy your reward!
5. You can fully customize your HUD.
As a mech game, one of the defining features of Daemon X Machina is the ability to completely customize your Arsenal. This customization isn’t limited to just your Arsenal though. If you take a look through the game’s options, you’ll see that you can completely customize your HUD.
Each individual component of the HUD can be moved, resized, or outright deleted. Don’t like your health at the top of the screen? Move it to the bottom. Minimap too big? Shrink it. Don’t like the warnings popping up when you’re at low health? Turn them off entirely. While I personally didn’t have any problems with the default HUD, I think the amount of control you have over personalizing it is incredibly cool.
6. At least one mission can be completed in multiple ways.
There’s at least one mission, if not more, that can be completed two different ways. I won’t spoil which mission it is or what you have to do to get the other, but the outcomes were radically different. One path offered a long cutscene, providing a ton of story information, while the other path led to a brutal fight against three Arsenals by myself and just skipped the story stuff. This is the only mission I know of that lets you do this, but keep an eye out for more of these opportunities.
7. When all else fails, read the manual.
Don’t forget that the in-game manual exists. There’s a whole wealth of information in there that Daemon X Machina doesn’t come out and directly tell you. So if you have lingering questions, the manual should be your first stop along your quest to get some answers.
Now that you’ve successfully completed our Arsenal boot camp, you should be better prepared to take the fight to the enemy. Best of luck, soldier!
If you have questions or more advice, be sure to share them as well in the comments!