The Tools Of War
There are a number of violent and grotesque ways to dispatch the Nazi hordes in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. But to do so efficiently, you'll need to learn the best perks and resources to have at your disposal. Perks in Wolfenstein are entirely dependent on how you play. As you complete certain objectives, like headshot kills, you'll automatically unlock perks that support one of three playstyles: Stealth, Mayhem, and Tactical. Weapon upgrades, on the other hand, are deliberate choices you can make when using upgrade parts, which you can find scattered around various levels and Eva's Hammer.
The New Colossus is not an easy game, and obtaining the right perks and weapon upgrades can give you a much-needed edge against the Nazi war machine. Here are some of our personal recommendations for what you should prioritize.
Be sure to check out our full review of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, along with our 10 Things We Wished We Knew guide before starting your Nazi-killing campaign. For more info on the sequel, head over to our guide on everything you need to know about the game, and along with our video on the History of Wolfenstein.
For more tips and guides on Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, head on over to our dedicated hub for all things treasure hunting and Nazi-slaying.
It's always a good decision to start a battle with a stealth approach. It's easy to get overwhelmed by enemies in this game, and getting overwhelmed by too many enemies often leads to death. Even if you take down one or two enemies before you're spotted, that’s two fewer enemies you'll have to deal with when the rest of them swarm you. And taking out the commanders, who can sound alarms and call for reinforcements, is even better.
Stealthily defeating enemies improves your crouching speed, which is an excellent perk when slinking past dangerous enemies who could turn and spot you at any time.
Dual Wield Kills
When stealth goes out the window, that usually means it's time to bring out the big guns. Dual-wielding is the best tactic to use in order to increase your firepower. All guns can be dual wielded and you can even mix and match them how you would like. Of course, this means that you can't aim down the sights, but who needs precision when you can spray and pray?
Racking up kills with weapons while dual wielding increases the amount of ammunition you can carry. This is especially useful later in the game when Blazkowicz is faced with a huge number of enemies and resources are scarce (or dangerous to get to).
Having more health is always a good thing. Picking up health items will overcharge your health past its soft ceiling of 50, but will continuously tick away until it gets back down to 50. Getting kills while your health is overcharged will improve the overcharge perk, which causes overcharged health to deplete more slowly. The best way to use this strategy is to get right into the action as soon as you pick up a health item.
Later in the game, you'll have the option to get a perk that stops the drain of overcharged health until you start to take damage. Combining these two perks makes for one powerful Blazkowicz.
Quick Commander Kills
Quick commander kills doesn't mean that you have to kill them up close with your ax. You can snipe them from a distance, but you have to kill them before they sound the alarm. Successfully earning quick commander kills increases your damage with suppressed weapons. Suppressed weapons are your best friend when attempting stealth, so concentrate on this perk early on. Eventually, your suppressed weapons will be able to take down enemies with a just a couple shots to the body.
If you're able to get in close and use a stealth takedown of a commander, that works too. Any way you can get a kill counts as long as it's before they sound the alarm.
It's always a good idea to aim high. Racking up headshots will increase the damage of all weapons while aiming down sights. You'll be faced with so many nazis that you'll likely strengthen this perk by accident. With all the bullets that fly around Wolfenstein II, a couple are bound to hit an enemy in the head.
It's easiest to earn headshots when you're entering an area with stealth. Aim your silenced pistol high and get an easy headshot on a stationary target. But if you're in a tough fight and need to get a better shot at dropping a tough enemy, upgrade the Sturmgewhr to attach scope for more accurate shots.
Later in the game, you'll have the option to choose one of three contraptions. Even later, you'll have the ability to earn all three and the perks that come with them. But for starters, you'll have to settle for just one. They don't tell you what perks come along with with these contraptions and some of the perks are actually more useful than the contraptions' abilities themselves.
Along with giving Blazkowicz the ability to squeeze through very tight quarters, the Constrictor Harness also silences his normal footsteps and temporarily slows time when enemies first spot him. The latter perk makes it easier to tell when you've been spotted and eliminate the threat before he alerts his comrades. These perks are fully unlocked as soon as you equip the contraption.
The Battle Walker contraption has its own set of useful perks. Not only does this device extend your legs so you can reach high and secret areas, but it comes with quick draw and adrenaline. Quick draw slows down time when accessing the weapon wheel. In a game where juggling weapons is a constant battle in itself, being able to take a breather while you make your selection is a very nice perk. Adrenaline strengthens the overcharge perk. All overcharged health is kept and doesn't start depleting until Blazkowicz starts taking damage.
These perks are fully unlocked as soon as you equip the contraption.
The Ram Shackles contraption turns BJ into a rugged battering ram. Once equipped, you are able to charge through weak walls and metal grates. This ability is enabled automatically and activates while sprinting. BJ can withstand explosive blasts thanks to one of the Ram Shackles' perks. Without them, explosions from fuel tanks or grenades knock you to the ground. And if you rely heavily on axe throws, definitely consider going with this contraption. It increases the range and speed of throws, which makes them more accurate when throwing at long distances.
The Ram Shackles are best suited for those who have high Mayhem perks. Other than the axe throw perk, they will help in high-intensity situations involving running and gunning against many enemies.
Key Weapon Upgrades
While most weapon upgrades come down to personal preference, there are a few must-owns for any Wolfenstein II playthrough. The silencer on the Pistole helps with any stealthy situation. Before this upgrade, you can only rely on axe throws and stealth takedowns up close. The silenced Pistole gives some much needed ranged attacks. If you’re looking for more firepower to drop enemies faster, just dual wield two of them.
The Marksman Scope turns the Sturmgewehr into a much more accurate killing machine than its default fully automatic mode. Dual wielding the fully automatic rifle can get unwieldy at times. The Marksman Scope changes its firing mode to semi-auto, making it accurate and manageable even when dual wielding. Moreover, the Sturmgewhr can be upgraded to have armor-piercing rounds, which are essential against heavily armored enemies.
The Schockhammer is a powerful shotgun on its own, but equipping the Rotor upgrade makes it one of the most powerful guns in the game. Rather than shooting one shot before the barrel rotates for the next shot, the Rotor upgrade fires three simultaneous shots from all the barrels. But be careful. It’s easy to burn through all your ammo quickly with this upgrade, especially when dual wielding. That’s why having the dual-wielding perk that allows you to carry more ammo is so crucial later in the game.