Neural Simulation Spotlight: Katya

Tips and tricks to help you outfox this sly assassin.

A former member of Checker Squad and external security expert for Yggdrasil Enterprises. She is a dangerous assassin who prefers to wield a crossbow as she attacks targets from unexpected angles.

Katya is an enemy that first appears in Fogbound Dream as kind of a mini-boss because Will Anderson ended up really stealing the show. But she got promoted to full boss status for the first week of reworked Neural Sim, and she is definitely one of the bosses of all time. Evasive and slippery, she can be very annoying to deal with, even to those that are well-prepared.

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Attacks and Behaviour

Throughout the fight, Katya will constantly teleport around the map, including before attacks.


It’s very annoying.

Moveset Roulette

Katya has four main attacks, but some are more common than others. This is very important because the rarer ones are extremely desirable to get, so make sure you don’t waste those good attack rolls doing something stupid.

Jump Shot (Common)

Katya jumps into the air and disappears from the arena, turning invulnerable and firing an explosive arrow at you that staggers on hit. At higher difficulty levels, three arrows will be shot in a fan pattern. This attack is very telegraphed, so you should be able to anticipate it and dodge in time.

Arrow Rain (Common)

Katya disappears from the arena, turning invulnerable and sending out two paths of arrows that rain down on either side of you. At higher difficulty levels, a third path will be added between the two existing ones, forcing you to move out of its area of effect. Move sideways to the path of the arrows to get out as quickly as possible.

Strafe Shot (Uncommon)

Katya strafes left and right while firing arrows at you in a fan pattern. They’re not very difficult to dodge, but you shouldn’t waste mental capacity doing so because this is a great window where Katya is moving in a predictable way, which lets you deal damage to her effectively.

Standard Shot (RARE)

Trying to get footage of this was like hunting for Bigfoot. Yes, I had to wait two and a half minutes before Katya finally did this attack.

Katya crouches down and rapidly fires arrows at you. This attack does hurt, but that doesn’t matter because this is the one attack where she ACTUALLY SITS STILL AND DOESN’T MOVE OR TELEPORT. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT TO CAVE HER SKULL IN. At higher difficulty levels, she spends more time in this attack, which is supposed to make the fight harder? Yeah, uh. No. It actually means more time for you to do damage without Katya zooming around the map like Tinkerbell after six Red Bulls. If you find that you can’t eat the damage without dying, try to peek around the right side of the pillars in the arena (without actually using the in-game cover function) to still deal damage while having the pillar block her shots.

Phase 2

At higher difficulty levels, Katya has an HP trigger once you’ve taken her down to 65% of her health. She’ll go invulnerable and fire rings of arrow rain that converge on your location.

After this, she enters “phase 2” which is in quotes because she still has the exact same move set as phase 1, with only one difference:

Whenever she teleports, a homing arrow will be fired towards you that explodes on contact and staggers. It can be hard to spot if you’re focusing on Katya, so be careful about that.


Ever heard of the definition of insanity?

Once you get your aim down well enough to be able to track Katya through her frequent teleports and learn how to deal with her attacks, getting a good score really comes down to patience and being willing to reset for good attack RNG. A lot. It’s really not a complex fight once you learn her moveset, and all of her attacks are highly telegraphed.

Her attacks being highly telegraphed does provide some amount of predictability. Whenever Katya leaves the arena to perform an invulnerability attack, she always returns at the same spot where she left, which means you can pre-aim to where she’ll be and tag her as soon as she comes back. This is especially useful for taking advantage of her HP trigger attack as well.

At lower difficulty levels, you can actually stagger and knock back Katya (and she’s actually the only boss where you can do that), but that quirk goes away once you hit Difficulty V, so try not to rely on it too much. If you play on mobile or with a controller, you can also take advantage of the built-in aim assist to quickly lock onto her (you can do this with basically every enemy in the game, but it’s especially useful against Katya).

Team Building

Katya is actually quite squishy as far as Sim bosses go, so bursting her down quickly is not just viable, but the recommended strategy as the faster you kill her, the less time she has to roll bad RNG and perform one of her two invulnerability attacks. Yao - Winter Solstice and Cherno - Enigma are both great for this. Katya - Blue Bolt is a funny mirror matchup, but can be difficult to pull off if you’re not doing absurd amounts of DPS due to her arrows not being hitscan. Meanwhile, Coronet is actually not too terrible due to her good initial burst and Katya’s low health pool reducing the number of reloads that she needs to do. Marian - Swift’s ability to lock onto enemies also makes her a comfy pick.

Bringing some source of Slow to Katya will make your experience much less painful. Acacia - Redacted is still the go-to source for this, though Tess - The Magician’s support skill can also apply Slow when used in conjunction with some source of Chaos damage. For example, Mauxir - Shadow Ka’s support skill, which also provides a much-appreciated stationary target for you to attack. A word of warning: Katya’s invuln attacks will end the duration of Mauxir’s support skill prematurely and put it on a full cooldown, so pairing it with a Slow or bursting Katya extremely hard while the dummy’s up (or both) will be important to getting value out of it.