This guide explores which levels you should start with in order to have the best experience with GTFO.
What are these Rundown things?
A Rundown in GTFO is a collection of levels all released at the same time. They’re a bit like mini-campaigns. They contain multiple levels of varied difficulty, with difficulty increasing as you go deeper through the tiers.
Previously in GTFO’s development, when a new Rundown was released, the old Rundown would be removed, so only one Rundown was accessible at a time. This was the case for the original releases of Rundowns 1-6, none of these original rundowns are accessible to play.
Rundown 7, the most recent original Rundown to be released, is still available. After its release, the developers began rereleasing the old rundowns as “alternate” versions. These rereleases have received minor changes, but are generally faithful to their original counterparts. Noticeably though, this means that new mechanics, new objectives, and new enemies that were only introduced later in GTFO’s development will not appear in the earlier alternate Rundowns. These rereleases, as well as Rundown 7, are all still available to play, which means there are a lot more levels to choose from when starting the game! Navigating this choice is what this guide is about.
So where should I start?
Regardless of the experience you are looking for in this game, I can firmly recommend starting with Rundown 7 A1.
- Is the easiest level currently in the game.
- Contains checkpoints, which helps ease through tougher sections.
- Does a good job of introducing the terminal, which is an important mechanic for all levels.
- Exposes the player to the game’s story.
- With Settings > Audio > Dialogue Volume you can turn down the volume of the narration.
- The terminal on which to input the RECYCLE_GROUP_7A42 command is in Zone 44, to the west.
After R7A1, I believe there are two good routes to consider:
- For player’s that want to dive right in to everything the game has to offer, including all of the mechanics, objectives, enemy types, and meatier story elements. I can recommend continuing with Rundown 7. New mechanics and enemies will be introduced quite quickly, ~1 per level, ensuring that the player is always facing a fresh challenge. However, the levels ramp in duration and difficulty quite quickly, you may rapidly start looking at multi-hour commitments for your level attempts.
- For player’s that are looking to play through every level in the order that they were released, I can recommend playing through Rundown 1 next. This will mean meeting new enemies and mechanics very slowly. It may take you 30+ hours to meet the first mini-boss (which isn’t introduced until Rundown 3). Earlier Rundowns also do not contain checkpoints, meaning if you wipe at the final hurdle, you will have to replay the entire level (which may be a 1hr+ time commitment – though in general, levels in earlier Rundowns tend to be shorter than those in later Rundowns).
Depending on which route you take, below there a couple further tips to hopefully ease you through the next few levels.
If you choose to continue with Rundown 7, then R7B1 will be the next level to complete.
- Contains the gentlest introduction to two new enemy types.
- Some of the sections in this level have a lot of verticality, so the map, which is 2D, isn’t particularly helpful – for this level, the exits to each of these zones is just on the opposite side of where you enter.
Rundown 7 also contains missions with Secondary and/or Overload objectives, in addition to the Main objective. For missions that contains both a Secondary and Overload, completing them both within a single run counts as a Prisoner Efficiency completion for that level. The Secondary/Overload often add a high amount of difficulty to the mission, but they are optional.
If you choose to jump back to Rundown 1, then R1A1 will be the next level to complete.
- Contains a new enemy type.
- Zone 51 is a resource zone, you can hit up this zone before attempting the class IV alarm.
Other General Advice
- It is perfectly acceptable to jump around between the different Rundowns, you don’t need to commit to beating one before moving on to another! Getting stuck on on a high tier level? Jump to a lower tier in a different Rundown! You’ll continue to learn new skills and grow as a player.
- You can still get completion credit even if you haven’t unlocked a level yet. Don’t be afraid to join in on a level you’re not up to yet!
- Don’t be afraid to restart a level, even if you have a checkpoint. Instead of restarting many times from a compromised checkpoint, your newfound map knowledge may ensure that you get back to the checkpoint in an even better position.
- Try out all the different guns and melee weapons! The weapon balance is good enough that you’re not going to significantly hamper your chances by taking “bad” guns, so experiment and find out which ones you enjoy!