A tale as old as time: you enter an unusually quiet game of Hunt Showdown, find and banish the boss without encountering any players, and then extract in peace. It’s odd, but it happens. An empty server is a blessing for new Hunt Showdown players working to overcome the game’s ridiculous learning curve, and an annoyance for everyone else.
Signs of an empty Hunt Showdown server
There are two loose tells of an empty server in Hunt Showdown. The first is a long queue time. If you have to wait forever to be put in a match, that means not a lot of players in your skill bracket are currently online, and thus you might load into a sparsely populated lobby, or a completely empty one. Interestingly, this is not always the case; sometimes your queue time is instant, but the server is empty still. So this is not the most reliable tell.
The second sign – which is also not a guarantee – is if your match starts immediately after the map loads. Normally, there is a delay before you can actually start moving, which indicates players are still loading into the map. If that delay is short or nonexistent, it could be a sign of fewer players loading in.
Once you’re loaded in, play like you normally do, and listen for sounds. Also look for the usual signs of players – , silenced horses, used supply and ammo boxes, unsealed clues (the inner circle will be dark), and so on.
The DIY empty Hunt Showdown server
You can make it more likely to join an empty server if that is your goal (so you can safely practice a loadout or a boss fight, for example). The first thing to do is to play fixed contracts, as they tend to draw less players than random ones, so their lobbies tend to be less populated.
The second is to play during your region’s downtimes: the time of day when fewer players in your time zone are online. Commonly, that would be mid-morning on a weekday.
How to play in empty servers
If you find yourself in an almost-certainly empty Hunt Showdown server, you should play the exact same way you normally play. Be quick and careful, follow the clues, and don’t assume you are alone even if all signs point to it. Those lightly populated servers are the favorite hunting grounds of dedicated campers, and they will wait for you at the extraction point or boss compound and catch you if you’re not careful.
Even if you actually are completely alone in an empty Hunt Showdown server, it never hurts to practice the stealth, speed, and caution that make for a successful hunt.