A basic, effective guide to meltdown

I felt like it was a good idea to make a meltdown guide that would be helpful for players of all skill and familiarity levels. I see a LOT of people playing this mode really incorrectly, and yes, there is always a more correct way than another. some ways may work some of the time, but that does not mean that they are the wisest ways.

at the beginning of the game, forget about killing players. at best, just keep them back. if even this becomes an issue where you are taking damage from your actual health pool, you are probably already too far up and need to think about retreating. the goal for the first many waves is to just kill your minions and, if possible, keep them from killing your minions as well. there is absolutely no reason for you to be going for player kills at level 1. bide your time and wait until you are stronger than your opponent. the goal in early meltdown is to never actually try to kill another player unless one of two conditions is present: they are out of position and overexteneded, or you are already significantly stronger than them. you get stronger than them by being smarter than them, not by trying to kill them initially. the more damage you take, the more you have to go back to base or go heal up at the healing station.

shards, gear, level, and buildables to support middle control is all that is important before you hit 250. you should take out their accelerators asap, but this is mainly for xp, and secondarily for the guy that overextends so he cant run away. it is NOT for you to be able to chase them into their turrets, spawn, or healing station at the beginning half of the game. if you have a marquis or some other ranged character that can snipe out their turret early on, then great, but that is more of another way of getting xp and being able to barely cross into their side of the map to kill the guy running away that overextended.

do NOT try to spawn trap minions at their accelerator whether it is down or not. it makes NO sense. you do not have an overshield from your shepherd, so you will take damage. the goal is to NEVER take damage while clearing minions. if you have middle control pre 250, that is all that matters. no need to stand at the accelerator taking damage from minions and ranged opponents. start getting some elite minions in to get to 250 incredibly fast.

once you start nearing 250, if you have done everythign i said prior to this, you will be outleveling your enemy, your gear will be ready, and you will be in a perfect position to then push up and take out their turrets, supply, etc., and just spawn trap them the rest of the game.

lane composition:
you need to have a rough idea of who will be in what lane at the beginning of the game, but you also need to be able to change depending upon where the enemy puts their 5th player, and the composition of both lanes. but the ideal situation is that you do not have to switch lanes at any point in the game, pre 250. you should have strong enough compostion to be able to support a lane independent of calling out for help from the other lane. you are robbing peter to pay paul if you do so.

EDIT 7/7:
So last night i was playing with one other friend. We got stuck in a game of meltdown that really neither of us has the desire to play anymore. We ran into a team of 2 and a team of 3, while we were the only group on our team. They were all level 100, all wearing master skins, etc. They had a miko, reyna, boldur, montana, caldarius. i was playing phoebe, while my friend was playing melka. the other team did as they should and put one tank in each lane, with one nut-hugging support on each. we really had nowhere near enough burst early on in this game to deal with a tank/support combo in a 2v2 situation in a lane. we couldnt even get in to clear the minions. so i told my friend that i wanted to try out this strat that i was talking about below in regards to lane stacking when you are terribly outmatched composition wise.

so we decided to abandon our lane entirely. we put all 5 players in one lane, leaving the miko/boldur/rotating caldarius that was on our lane. we flooded the other lane and wiped their reyna montana that the other lane was also having trouble doing anything about. it was 5v2, of course we wiped them. we cleared that lane, they resapwned, and it wasnt long before they pretty much all came back to the lane we had rotated to. at that point, me and my friend left that lane entirely, cleared the other lane of minions, then as they rotated over, the first two got killed before the slow tanks could get over and we just rotated back when they did.

this lane stacking is very effective against non 5 man premade teams. it would even confuse 5 mans, but ultimately would probably not work out that well long term. but it definitely served its purpose and the other team, with way better composition, rage quit within 10 minutes of the game


Good guide. I often end up on teams with legendaries and epics activated pre level 5 while I’ve already built 6-8 giant minions. Hopefully, as time goes on, there will be more understanding of just how important the objectives are!

Yup, interesting little insights.

I kind of abandonned doing Meltdown because it had become… A mess.

Last I did, I found myself with guys that were clearly playing in team. 3x lvl 100 and one slightly lower. They literally NEVER got out of the right lane, full team deathmatch mode.
There was just one Tobby in the other lane, sitting behind his shield, sniping everything. Couldn’t dislodge him alone by cleverly getting in his back : as soon as he was attacked he would get actual help from his teammates.

Needless to say, we over-lost. [this was a little story just to show, again, how that dreaded Command rank doesn’t matter and shouldn’t have people leaving :p]

I think I might pin this in the competitive mp section…

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as you wish, master. you do so well. put me wherever you want

I run into problems at times when the enemy is very aggressive and I just can’t do a good enough job of punishing them for it (not a pro player, if you get my drift). So I end up having to give up the middle, at times making it difficult to get minion kills and wind up starved. Suggestions beyond “get better”?

Depends on who you’re playing as, really. General advice though, I’d say try to farm the large shards as much as possible. Starve the enemy team of shards, and go build some giant minions. Also, flank flank flank. If you can’t directly hold mid, then flank from up top where the large shards are. You have the advantage of the high ground and clear shots at the mid turret if they’ve built one. Shard starving them will also reduce their capacity to build those mid turrets. Your tactic in a more linear fashion would look like this - flank up top>attack minion wave and/or turret while ignoring enemy players>collect large shard if possible>retreat. Keep on the move repeating this hit and run style. If you’ve got communication up then co-ordinate your team mates to flank directly across from your position with a pincer maneuver. The downside to this tactic is your enemy should notice a pattern in where you/your team are appearing and attacking from, so you can expect any savvy enemy players to start camping up top in wait or you. When that happens, ignore them and just push straight down mid but still just take out the minion wave, and quick retreat.

Now, obviously this depends on your character’s skill set as to how effective these tactics are. OM is perfect in this situation between his napalm aoe 'nade for minion clearing and cloaking device for safe retreating. If you’re playing a melee character, then you’re going to have to be more aggressive, but still using pretty much the same tactics here. Instead of flanking up high, you’ll have to flank on the ground level by taking the stairs down on either the far right or far left, depending on what side of the map you’re on. Your first priority as melee would be to take out the turret first (if there is one) then sink your teeth into the minion wave before retreating. Again, if you can get that communication up and co-ordinate that pincer maneuver, having a ranged/projectile character flanking up top in the middle to help cover you will make a world of difference.

That’s just what I’d do anyway lol hope that helps some :sweat_smile:

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i am actually humbled by your posture. i feel like you’re a great player and it is humbling that you would ask me for advice. i run into the same problem sometimes if one of two conditions are present: i am playing with randos and they are not very good, or two: our composition is just not great vs their composition. the important thing is to remember that at least half the battle is a mental battle against the other team. those rush teams are playing checkers, while you have to play chess.

here’s what i do exactly in those situations, because sometimes i simply cannot get into the lane to finish off minions. i at least try to get shots on them in hopes that my teammates drop a random AOE on that first wave. i make sure i do not die no matter how hard that first push they make is, even if i cant kill a single one. if you have collected enough shards on the way out of spawn and you see that you cant effectively clear the wave, then plant the turret and get out while trying to get a shot or two on the wave. this will give you a little xp. then immediately turn around and collect the small shards on your side and this should get you up to at least 200 again so go build either the healing station or rebuild the accelerator they probably took out. chances are you killed a minion or two, then with those two quick buildables you should be halfway to level one off the first wave. even if you solo the first wave by yourself, you only get 75 pct of the way to level 2, worst case scenario, so youre not that far behind the enemy who probably shared the wave.

try to rinse and repeat if you can get in on the next wave and clear. if not, then that means that there is probably a mismatch on the other lane in your favor. even if you have to stack one lane and all but abandon one lane for a wave or three, you wont be that far behind. at least then you can for sure get levels in one lane assisting in minion kills and possibly a player overextending into a lane that you would have 3-4 players in. remember, you can always go back to that lane. even if you leave that lane alone for a few waves and make sure you’re all getting xp and shards in one lane, you will not be falling that far behind. eventually the other team will start to rotate over to where their team is being outnumbered. that is when you rotate back for easier clears in the lane you started in. you sometimes have to essentially just play the bait game. teams that rush player kills early on are very predictable. they run in packs. avoid that mess until you hit a spike. the score can be 200 to 75, as long as you are leveling nothing else matters at that point. you can make up and pre 250 deficit in no time flat by just having hard control over one lane, while being mindful of their push into your thumper once they get closer to 250. if you time it right, you will be strong enough to fend them off when they try to push your turret. all it takes is to catch two of them slipping and the game will start to sway in your favor


Thanks for the kind words, and I wish that were true, but it isn’t. There’s a difference between understanding the mechanics of how games work and having an understanding of basic strategy and implementing those things in a practical way. It’s also an entirely different matter to be able to sit back and analyze a situation thoughtfully and being able to adjust on the fly as conditions change moment to moment.

Appreciate the advice from both you and @shinobido101

I’ve noticed recently that my map awareness has improved. I think I’ve gotten better at knowing when to break off pursuit. Perhaps the next step now is getting a better feel for when it would be advantageous to swap lanes early so I don’t wind up under-leveled. I am guilty of feeling like it is imperative I hold the lane no matter what, but I definitely see what you’re getting at.

lane stacking is very effective, short term. technically, you could all sit in one lane and not even fall behind. you cant win that way, but it definitely allows you to make up some room. you will guaranteed get the xp for the wave clear, perhaps pop off a quick buildable and kill an accelerator. that is exactly one level. if you build one thing, get one shot on each minion of a wave, and destroy one buildable of the enemy, it equals exactly one level of xp early on.

That’s handy to know.

It’s a nice beginners guide, but honestly, I think this is not the best way to play to play for advanced players on Meltdown. Even Better, I am pretty convinced me and my 3 men party will pretty much always beat teams who play like you describe.

I posted this today

I think it shows many of the points you made in the OP

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how so? be specific. just general, “my team could beat that” isn’t really contributing anything other than maybe contributing to an argument. im always open to suggestion. if you’re referring to the lane stacking info, that is just a way to shake the match up to confuse an enemy that feels very confident in what it is already doing effectively. mainly when you’re solo or with not so great players. but the OP information is solid.

most definitely. you won that game essentially with just strong middle control. you only really killed players that were out of position. you controlled the game objectively

Lol I started rolling with the minions as Attikus (Never occurred to me to get the over shield) and I’m routinely doing amazing with him now. Most minion kills and respectable K/D. Clear and run early, then clear and stomp the enemies later lol

thank you for that. this comment is incredibly fulfilling for me. i really want to help players to beat the guys that rush player kills early and play this game like cod. they know the stuff i am trying to help people with here, they are just usually trying to take advantage of certain compositions and player combos in lanes and stun abilities. they run right past their minion wave into me and my teammates who are patiently waiting with an overshield, minion fire to support us, and a turret to slow them down. idk why, but it seems like rath and galilea are the worst offenders lol

Gearbox really needs to change the scoreboard to put minion kills and assists first then buildables, then deaths, then player kills and assists last. The composite score tally needs to reflect this, too.

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They are making changes to include those kind of things and things like healing into the score


Something my buddy and I were just talking about the other night. I don’t know how many times a really good Miko has swung the tide of a match and on the scoreboard looks like they never contributed if you quickly glance over score.
Or that one player who went all out minion stomping/turret building. On the scoreboard they don’t look impressive but those of us who know how big of a contribution it is, despite your score, appreciate it!