In the melee only challenge, the team must complete the missions without using any weapon or equipment that is capable of inflicting damage.
- All weapons are forbidden, except:
- Damaging weapons are only allowed when they are needed to burn Biomass or destroy explosive barrels in order to finish the level. Harming enemies with them is not allowed.
- Only equipment that cannot inflict damage is allowed:
- The hacked turret in Rydberg Reactor is not allowed.
One of the most effective strategies in melee only is freezing. Main equipment are the Freeze Sentry as well as the Freeze Grenades. Basically the team contains of 1-2 Medics, 1 Tech and 1 Officer or Special Weapons. The Freeze Sentry is probably the best method to fight back enemies while the Tech hacks a console or defends a position. Freeze Grenades are perfect for escaping a critical situation or freezing a Shieldbug to attack his back.
Another popular equipment in melee only is the Power Fist. The Power Fist passively doubles the damage dealt by the marines Melee attack. Combined with the two characters with a Melee Damage Bonus skill, Vegas and Jaeger, it helps to keep control over the hostile masses. With this combination it is possible to kill a Drone even on a higher Difficulty level with a single hit.
Blocking is a quite tricky technique to defeat the enemies. Basically the Freeze Sentry is used, but not in their original function. With this technique the marine tries to block the aliens by deploying the sentry in their path and cancelling the building sequence right after it has started. This strategy makes sure that the swarm doesn't surround you. Moreover the aliens get partly separated and therefore are easier to defeat. Overall this is especially useful for saving up some ammunition.
- There are several ways of completing a mission without shooting weapons although they seem to be needed.
In the mission Cargo Elevator the marines normally have to shoot explosives near the "bridge" in order to pass this obstacle.
- Mortarbugs as well as Rangers can detonate explosives with their attacks. In the Insane Difficulty there is a Mortarbug near to the bridge obstacle. It is possible to draw his attention and let his attacks blast the explosives.
- There is a chance of knocking away the steel plate, which serves as bridge later on and pass this obstacle when attacking the plate with melee attacks.
Such techniques are essential for the melee only challenge for providing another free weapon space that can be used e.g. for another Freeze Sentry or Heal Beacon.