Far Cry New Dawn may not be a huge revolution for the series, but it does introduce enough changes to its progression and unlock systems to keep players on their toes. Like the mutated animals running around Hope County, you’ll have to adapt your playstyle if you want to survive – luckily we’ve got some tips for what to focus on.
As in previous Far Cry games, your main focus will be taking down outposts, doing story missions and side activities, and looting everything in sight. However, here are some things to keep in mind as you get acquainted with this entry’s particular quirks and changes.
Be Ready For A Challenge
No, we’re not talking about New Dawn’s difficulty levels – rather, Challenges are simple achievement-style activities that you complete as you play the game, which will give you skill points to unlock perks. There are a number of very simple challenges that you can farm when you first start the game to build up a respectable pool of points. These include distracting enemies with rocks, crafting items, and killing a few enemies with the sawblade launcher, which is one of the first weapons you get in the game.
Get in the habit of periodically checking the list of challenges as you play to get a sense of what you’re close to completing and what you should focus on. A lot of challenges are kill-based, so regularly cycling out weapons will be surprisingly lucrative. Other activities like recruiting sidekicks and rescuing random citizens also net you skill points, so they’re worth the detour whenever they pop up.
To be frank, New Dawn’s selection of perks isn’t great – almost all of them are rehashes from previous games, and they are more quality-of-life upgrades than abilities you will actually get excited about. That said, here are some perks you should unlock sooner rather than later. The Binoculars are a must, as they allow you to tag enemies from a safe distance. The Safe/Lock Pick perk is also worth getting out of the way – you’ll come across numerous safes in Hope County that contain Titanium for crafting weapons, and you don’t want to backtrack or waste explosives to open them. After that I’d recommend unlocking your Third and Fourth weapon slots, and unlock the tiered Silent Takedown perks once you start running into higher level enemies.
Go On A Treasure Hunt
Treasure-hunt missions are back in New Dawn, and they offer the best bang for your buck in terms of rewards – usually they just involve a simple environmental puzzle and/or killing a few enemies (or rampaging bear), and offer up a bounty of crafting supplies and three perk points in return. They’re also pretty fun, so be sure to do them when they pop up, and talk to anyone who has the treasure-hunt icon over their head; they’ll clue you in on a nearby mission.
Silent But And Deadly:
Far Cry games have always encouraged players to try to stealthily complete outpost missions, and that’s doubly true in New Dawn. Outpost missions are your primary way of attaining ethanol, which is used for upgrading your home base. You’re going to need a LOT of ethanol over the game, so you’ll want to maximize your efforts by striving for two ethanol-soaked bonuses when you take down an outpost – one for completing the mission without setting off any alarms, and another for remaining completely undetected by the enemy.
The easiest way to do both is by unlocking silenced weapons, particularly a high-powered, silenced sniper rifle. You can disable alarms with a single shot, so lock in the no-alarms bonus while you’re still scouting out a camp, then do your best to take everyone else down unawares. Can’t get your hands on a silenced weapon? We’ve got you covered…
Now That’s A Knife!
Throwing knives are your best friend in the early part of New Dawn. The sawblade launcher is technically your first “silenced” weapon, but its ricocheting blades are unpredictable and can tip off enemies. It will be a while before you can unlock a silenced pistol, but the throwing knife is a powerful alternative – you’ll have to get a little closer, but it will take down most foes with a single hit and can often be retrieved from their corpses. Even if you do lose them, throwing knives are super cheap to craft and can be created at any time by opening up the weapon wheel.
Lather, Rinse, Repeat
Liberated outposts sport a new option in New Dawn – you can now scavenge them for extra ethanol, which effectively abandons the location and allows the enemies to move back in. These new enemies will be tougher, but kicking them out again offers even bigger rewards.
This new gameplay loop works well, but ramps up faster than you might expect, so don’t push any single outpost too high until you’ve got the weapons to deal the escalating problem. Unlocking the different tiers of the Silent Takedown perk will also help keep the challenge in check, and if the outpost is near a forest, don’t underestimate using animal bait to draw in some four-legged friends – a single bear can wipe out half an outpost by itself, and won’t count against the undetected bonus.
Wait For That Crate
As you’re exploring the world, you’ll frequently be alerted about nearby supply drops. These are giant smoking crates that parachute out of the sky with loads of goodies. While your battle-royale-fueled instinct may be to dash in and fight any enemies for the loot, you don’t really have to – more often than not, the enemy forces will simply leave after a little while, or get distracted by freedom fighters/roving animals. Shooting everyone obviously works too, but if you’re low on ammo or find yourself under-leveled for the enemies at hand, just give them a minute to get bored.
Find What You Need
Here are a few simple UI tips that might come in handy. If you zoom all the way out on the world map, you’ll get a full rundown of your campaign and side activity progress, along with a handy list of how to earn specific resources. Every location you visit will also have a cache of certain crafting components, and its icon on the main map will tell you how many you’ve found, or display a green checkmark if you’ve already looted everything. Finally, enemy bodies will show up as a small “x” on your compass if you haven’t looted them yet, so be sure to spin in a few circles after completing an outpost to see if you’re leaving any valuable corpse loot on the table.
Get A Big Gun
As noted earlier, the most efficient way to play through New Dawn is a mostly stealth-oriented approach that favors silenced rifles and pistols (and a bow, of course). However, there are times, particularly in story missions, where you need to gun down a lot of high-level enemies. In these cases, a light machine gun is your best friend.
I overlooked light machine guns for most of my playthrough because their bullet damage is far below other weapons – even the most powerful LMG pales in comparison to many of the starting weapons. Then I stopped being stupid and factored in their ridiculous rate of fire, and it all made sense.
Higher-level enemies pack massive health bars and armor that can completely mitigate your stealth-oriented weapons and leave you vulnerable when multiple foes are bearing down on you. A solid LMG, on the other hand, will whittle down their defenses like a hot knife through butter. My personal favorite is the Blunderbuss, a tier-four LMG that’s loud enough to alert an entire army to your presence – but will still cut them all down fast enough to avoid backup.
While we’re on the subject of high-end weapon unlocks, I am a little torn about strategy: I crafted very few weapons until I was able to max out my weapon bench, then mostly focused on tier-four weapons. This will definitely save you a ton of components, and in turn limit the amount of grinding you need to do. However, weapon challenges are also tier-based, so you’ll earn more perks if you use a lot of tier-two and tier-three weapons as well. If you want to spend a lot of time in New Dawn and don’t mind some grinding, feel free to get crafting earlier – otherwise, save your resources for the big guns, and make sure to have something with a high rate of fire when you reach Act III.
I might be listing this entry last, but it’s one of the first things you should do. If you’re a solo player, you’ll be happy to know that NPC sidekicks return in New Dawn. These characters lend a helping hand as you explore the world, and each sports a unique ability and different weapon type. The first NPC sidekick you unlock is Carmina, and while she plays a major role in New Dawn’s story, she’s worse than useless on the battlefield – in my experience, Carmina would frequently alert enemies to our presence by getting spotted out in the open and/or firing off her assault rifle. That along with her habit of endlessly repeating the same few dialogue lines might be enough to turn you off of playing with a sidekick completely, but that would be a HUGE mistake.
That’s because you would be missing out on Timber, the best darn doggo a silent protagonist could ever hope for. You’ll unlock Timber’s side mission early in the game, and the sooner you complete it, the better. Timber is a huge help in New Dawn; he serves a scouting role, and will automatically identify nearby enemies, even if they’re in buildings – I can’t count the number of times he’s saved me from a tricky foe I missed while scouting out a location. He also seems virtually undetectable in his own right – apparently bad guys don’t care if a pooch is wandering around their base. Unless he starts barking at guard dogs, which he totally will because that’s what dogs do!
Timber will also pick up weapons and items off of dead bodies and chase off pesky wildlife eyeing you for their next meal. Should you get yourself killed, Timber will even revive you by running (well, sauntering more often than not) up and licking you awake – and you won’t have to put up with some sassy quip like other NPCs are prone to repeating. I am not exaggerating when I say Timber is one of my favorite things about New Dawn, so just do yourself a favor and track him down as soon as you can.