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Survivor Mercs » Operation Overhaul – Major Early Access Update #2

Report in for Operation Overhaul, Commanders!

Our second major Early Access update is all about incorporating your player feedback and laying the groundwork for the next level of game mechanics, systems, and more content updates.

Meet the Special Forces Units of M.E.G.A.-Corp.

Your enemies deployed new mini-bosses, the Special Forces Units, to each individual map.

These opponents use some new technology and borrow loadouts and patterns from the final bosses. Make sure to study them, and use your wits to outsmart them – and maybe even give them a taste of their own medicine.

You will face S.F.U. Peashooter, S.F.U. Sidewinder, and S.F.U. Fire Speedy in Desert Strike:

Intel reports that S.F.U. Charger, S.F.U. Buttload, and S.F.U. Spray And Pray were sighted in Arctic Storm:

S.F.U. Speedy Drone, S.F.U. Laser Star, and S.F.U. Overcharger were deployed to Waste Land:

Hogshead’s Brew Is Banging

A new Merc, Hogshead, is available to be recruited into your roster.
The mega-corporations took his brewery, he still handles some barrels, but now his brew has a bit more BANG to it!

More barrels with explosive contents have appeared on the maps following these events. Intel says, these barrels may be used to your advantage in battle.

Most Mercs received some further training to improve targeting and tactical positioning. Further training is necessary, but you will notice some improvements:

  • Hail switched her tactical approach to protecting you. She is now clearing the path ahead of you, or can specialize in providing 360° Covering Fire.
  • Priest is now circling you to provide more dynamic area coverage with her auras.
  • Many other Mercs received targeting practice and can now attack enemies in your direct vicinity without risking harming you.

Of course, with the appearance of Hogshead, you can obtain a new reward medal in the form of the MVP: Hogshead achievement.

Get Active, Commanders

Your scientists and engineers have achieved a major breakthrough: each Commander clone is now generated with a Dash ability by default.

Some Talent Traits will override the Dash genes or add to it. But your science crew is already working on more traits and modifications.
New control interfaces for the Commander clones also provide more control over the clones:

  • The Airforce General’s Airstrike is now an active ability with a individual upgrade paths. It overrides the Dash, but is clearing the path ahead of you with bombs.
  • The Quaker’s hammer can also be actively controlled and has upgrades to knock out the foes ahead of you.
  • The Ninja is using the regular Dash as a baseline but will deal additional damage to enemies.
Save Up!

Your Merc outfit is now supported by a new treasurer who optimized your Treasury. It now saves Blood Diamonds up to a cap instead of a percentage of your savings. The cap can be increased by upgrading the Treasury.

Unfortunately, your suppliers and Mercs caught wind and will ask for slightly higher prices.

But another research breakthrough allows you now to invest excess Blood Diamonds into your Commander clone for the next operation. BD that aren’t saved will be converted into XP at the start of your next run.

Death Is an Option

Your radio technicians have been busy and can now locate the remains of your last clone in each map. The next operation on that map will show you where to find the grave to try and recover the components you lost. Unfortunately, DNA will decompose, and whoever is burying the remains is taking the dropped diamonds as “pay”.

At least you can get the valuable components back! Just be aware of your Carry Capacity both when extracting and when defeating the final boss. Your HUD will display your current carry weight to quickly check if it is worth risking your squad to capture that next Loot Crate.

Loot, Loot, Loot

M.E.G.A. Corp. is now taking better care of defending the Loot Crates. They now offer more and better loot later in the operation and from defeating the S.F.U.s and bosses.

In turn, you can distinguish common from rare Components that cannot be bought. At the end of each operation that ends in a victory or extraction, you can be sure to know which items are safe to drop. This will now also be easier with a new option to move stacks of items between inventories if the stack holds 5 or more items.

Boss Changes

After defeating the Boss in a map, it drops its loot and an Extraction Point appears. Satisfy your inner loot goblin and pocket all the treasure, then leave the map whenever you’re ready.

Oil Rig and PhenX had their weapon systems refitted. Intel suggests you learn how to use your newly gained Dash ability and try to beat these hulking machines with their own weapons. The new S.F.U.s are said to be good practice to train for the final boss encounters.

Traits & Gear

Your scientists improved the genome sequences for Traits, while your engineers tinkered with Gear. Both now have less negative trade-offs and partially offer more impactful bonuses. The unpredictable nature of these things still requires you to balance the benefits and trade-offs the more extreme the Trait or Gear upgrade levels become.

To test these advancements, you will be able to test new and replaced Traits which also affect your Dash ability. A positive side effect of the improved cloning equipment is the elimination of generally bad traits that hindered your sight and hearing.


Your engineers developed new Bunker Rooms as an answer to your enemies’ advancements in combat capacity:

  • a Weapons Lab allows you to increase the base damage of all your weaponry
  • the Zombie Ray is an experimental device to revive clones in the battlefield. It only works once during your operation, but upgrades to the room can greatly increase the HP that will be restored with a revival.

The overall advances allow you to build and upgrade Bunker Rooms with less individual components, significantly reducing the effort to shop or scavenge for the right items. Additionally, the bonuses from Room upgrades are more impactful overall.

Map Overhaul

After suffering significant losses on all fronts, M.E.G.A. Corp. massively increased presence in all maps. They changed their strategy and will now attack in 4 stages. If they cannot stop your advances in a stage, even with a S.F.U., the enemy will send upgraded units into battle.

You will now face new and potentially tougher enemies in each phase of your operation. The enemy also changed the composition of each army in each map. Prepare to change your tactics and squad setup to maximize your combat efficiency and counter the enemy forces. Intel gained some insights:

  • Desert Strike is defended primarily by strong and hard-hitting foes. Don’t let them get close or circle you.
  • Arctic Storm pits you against a variety of ranged enemies who prefer attacking at distance and reposition under pressure.
  • Prepare for fast-moving enemies, squadrons and swarms on Waste Land. It’s numbers over individual strength.

Intel highly recommends to call for Extraction in time and prepare for the stronger stages, using the advancements made in conjunction with improved Traits and higher-level Bunker room upgrades.

In response, the Extraction Point is appearing closer to your location. An improved HUD module also highlights the HP of your enemies so you can try and use that intel to break free when getting swarmed.

There are also reports of new enemy units, Medic & Technician. They are carrying MedKit and Magnet pickups. Be prepared to hunt them down as they try to keep a safe distance from your Commander.

Steam Deck Verified

The game is now officially verified for Steam Deck. That’s it for this section. Go have fun on the go!

Merry MerX-mas

Let’s not forget that the festive season is upon us!

You’ll find the bunker decorated for the holidays between Dec 18 and Dec 28.
Your Commanders wear festive outfits, and even M.E.G.A-Corp. is celebrating and decked out the maps.

All Additions, Fixes, Adjustments & Improvements

  • Dying on a map leaves behind a grave objective you can capture in the next run to recover your loot.
  • Defeated Bosses now drop their loot and allow you to extract manually.
  • Your Carry Capacity now determines also how much loot you can take with you after defeating a Boss.
  • Excess Blood Diamonds are no longer lost but converted into XP for your next run.
  • All Commanders have a default active Dash ability to become invulnerable for a short time, evade enemies, and knock them back.
  • Ninja Trait adds damage to the Dash ability.
  • Airforce General overrides Dash with active, upgradeable Airstrike ability.
  • Quaker overrides Dash ability with active, upgradeable Hammer ability.
  • Increased base view range, removed or reduced various view range trade-offs and negative view-range Traits.
  • Removed “colorblind” and “deaf” Traits.
  • Improved the post-process effect for Nocturnal
  • Commander attributes show more relevant information.
  • Drill Sergeant Trait has higher crit chance bonus.
  • Added multiple new Traits for all three categories.
  • One-Man Army has more sensible upgrades.
  • Loot Crate objectives drop more and rarer loot at later stages in a run.
  • Changed Treasury to save a fixed amount of BD instead of a %. Upgrade it to increase the cap.
  • Added Zombie Ray room to enable reviving your Commander during a run. Upgrade it to restore more HP on revival.
  • Adjusted the upgrade requirements and level caps for all rooms to provide more impactful bonuses per upgrade level and reduce the initial grind.
  • Added Weapons Lab room to upgrade all base damage.
  • Gym upgrades also add Dash charges and increase Dash recharge rate.
  • Changed Genome Lab to be a pre-built room.
  • Communications room does now also provide an Objective Reveal Range bonus.
  • Gear items have no trade-offs at level 1. Upgrading them during a run adds increasing trade-offs with more impactful bonuses.
  • Adjusted all Gear items’ bonuses and trade-offs.
  • Mini-bosses are now introduced with a short animation, and their defeat is highlighted. Commander is invulnerable during these animations.
  • Bosses and mini-bosses explode more satisfyingly and knock enemies away.
  • Removed PhenX platform collision with Mercs to allow them to attack the boss more reliably.
  • GriftLift uses a better enemy spawner for the minidrones.
  • Added Sidewinder mini-boss firing a homing-missile.
  • Added Overcharger mini-boss, a tougher variant of Charger.
  • Added Buttload mini-boss, shooting explosive barrels.
  • Added Speedy Drone mini-boss with a fast-charge melee attack.
  • Added Fiery Speedy mini-boss using a fire DoT attack.
  • Added Laser Star mini-boss firing rotating laser beams.
  • Adjusted Peashooter, Spray-And-Pray, and Charger mini-bosses.
  • Added various new, stronger enemy variants for later stages in operations.
  • All enemy HP and damage values were adjusted to align with the rebalanced maps to increase challenge over time and align with more impactful upgrades and bonuses.
  • Deathball enemies move and shoot faster, keep distance.
  • Peashooter enemies shoot consistently and keep distance.
  • SprayAndPray enemies shoot consistently and keep distance.
  • Toasty enemies shoot faster and keep distance.
  • Added HP bars to enemies. They appear once an enemy is damaged.
  • Slightly increased shooting range for Objective Sentries.
  • Added Medic & Technician enemies to provide MedKit and Magnet powerups more consistently.
  • Enemies spawn in more varied formations and less predictable.
  • Status effects stack correctly and are displayed on the mini-bosses’ HP bar in HUD.
  • Unlock Conditions can now track individual mini-bosses (and enemy types for future content).
  • All maps have unique mini-bosses and enemy waves, making them more distinct from one another.
  • Adjusted the map modifiers for each map to reduce their number and increase their effect.
  • Updated the Waste Land theme music.
  • Added more Explosive Barrels to the maps.
  • Explosive Barrels can be kicked around by dashing into them.
  • Kicked Explosive Barrels no longer damage you, only enemies.
  • Components are classified as rare and common and appear visually distinct as pickups and in UI.
  • Increased default stack size for Screws.
  • Added Hogshead as a new Merc with individual skill trees and weapon (Explosive Barrels).
  • Curveball does not target enemies out of reach as often.
  • Priest circles the Commander constantly and her damage scales correctly with damage upgrades.
  • Hail aims and shoots in your movement direction by default. Covering Fire switches her pattern to shoot in a 360° pattern.
  • All Mercs were adjusted to be more effective against the new enemies, and to provide more relevant skill upgrade bonuses.
  • Mercs teleport to your Commander inside the Boss Arena to prevent locking them out.
  • Merc unlocks show their portrait instead of their in-game sprite.
  • “Bump” effect on HP bars is less pronounced.
  • Improved scrolling behavior in various UI lists.
  • “Abort Operation” does now ask for confirmation and no longer ends the run directly.
  • Moved Early Access notice into the rotation in the header of menus.
  • Reduced screen shake from the Overdrive powerup.
  • Added a popup to move stacks of items between inventories.
  • Investing into research in Genome Lab is now bound to a direct action on gamepads (no scrolling required).
  • Improved visuals and layout for various UI elements and menus.
  • Added more icons for unlocks or Commander attributes.
  • Bound Active Abilities to multiple inputs for mouse, keyboard and gamepad.
  • Improved gamepad navigation in multiple UIs.
  • Relabeled “Join Discord” button in Pause menu to “Report Bug”, leading to the correct channel on Discord.
  • Navigation buttons in Operations menu are now aligned with the Select button, same as in Clone Bay menu.
  • Tabs for map details in Operations menu are now on top for improved readability.
  • Improved the visibility of the “Extraction Available” hint.
  • Improved the upgrade stats display for various Gear and Mercs
  • Added X-mas season content and variants to display between Dec 18 to Dec 28.
  • Changed the unlock conditions for most Gear, maps, and Mercs to align with the rebalanced gameplay.
  • Added three new Achievements: MVP Hogshead, Clutch Escape, and Dig Detour.
  • Improved collision for various objects to prevent clipping or getting stuck.
  • Improved reliability of invulnerability window after capturing an objective.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented you from ending the run after defeating the Boss.
  • Fixed a bug that may cause powerups to not trigger correctly when collecting it while another one is active.
  • Fixed some animations in Bunker and UIs not playing correctly.
  • Fixed skill tree container in Barracks sometimes acting strange.
  • Fixed “Unlocked” checkbox alignment in various menus.
  • Fixed settings syncing across devices, breaking your local settings e.g. between Steam Deck & PC.
  • Fixed an issue where Resume button was not working properly in Pause menu.
  • Fixed few instances of projectiles and enemies being bound to frame rate, negatively impacting gameplay on weaker machines.
  • Fixed some translation errors or missing translations for ZH in various UIs.
  • Fixed some text size and text overflow issues in menus and UI elements.
  • Fixed the calculation for some modifiers from Traits & Gear not applying in the correct order.
  • Fixed an issue that caused some enemies to block your Commander dash and insta-kill you.
  • Fixed a glitch that made flares at objectives flicker.
  • Fixed Shredder’s Auto-Shotgun not granting an upgrade at level 5.
  • Fixed bug where Clank’s turrets weren’t shooting at certain enemies.
Moving Forward

This update marks our second major update for the Early Access of Survivor Mercs.

We still have a lot more updates on our roadmap, and we’re going to share the details for the next updates with you Soon™.

Some things are already in progress, but didn’t make it into this update yet:

  • Armor System: upgrade your Commander’s Armor attribute to mitigate or even ignore some damage. Armored enemies can shield their allies from your low-penetrating shots and force you to adjust your tactics to defeat them.
  • Airlift: use a Safe Box to extract part of your loot instead of leaving the operation.
  • Status Effects UI: Commander and enemies show more clearly what certain status effects they are currently affected by.
  • Enemy Field Manual: an overview of all enemies with some insightful information about them once you encountered them.
  • Genome Lab 2.0: new & improved system to research Traits without the randomness
  • Clone Bay 2.0: configure your Commander clones’ Traits by spending DNA

This update also laid the groundwork for more synergies between Mercs, Gear, Traits, and other game systems. The loot rarity system will also play a bigger role in the future, stay tuned for the upcoming announcements around these features.

We appreciate every one of you who is already supporting us in this early stage of the Early Access.

Please don’t forget that the game is still under development.

Even after this update there are still some rough edges and bugs you may encounter. The balancing is a constantly ongoing process, and will change especially with the upcoming systems.

Some things may still not be very well-explained. This is part of an overall UI improvement we will try to ship in parts over the next updates.

We hope this update proves our dedication to listening to you and building Survivor Mercs into an outstanding game. Please, help us grow the community with a positive review and participate in the development by leaving your feedback, insights, and ideas on our Discord server.

Let’s make a great game, together ❤

Lock, load, and loot, Commanders – and enjoy the festive holidays with your loved ones. All the best for you and Happy New Year 2024!