Days Gone’s open world can be harsh. Ammo and supplies are scarce, your favorite melee weapon might break at an inopportune time, and your trusty bike only has so much gas in it. But a little planning can make the difference between being torn to shreds by a horde of Freakers and getting out alive.
Read on for our tips on how to survive in Days Gone with our handy guide, and check out our review.
SKILLS & CAMPS
NERO Sites Are Invaluable
When you get the chance to clear a NERO research site or checkpoint, make it a priority because these sites have a special white crate containing a serum injector that lets you permanently upgrade a stat of your choice: health, stamina, or focus.
Stamina is important because it’s used in dodging and when you run away from encounters, and focus slows down time during combat after you unlock the focus skill (more on that later). The value of extra health is self-explanatory.
Before you grab a site’s serum, be sure to cut the loudspeakers at the top of the NERO trailers and the guard outposts. To open the trailer with the serum, the site’s power must first be restored with some gasoline, which you can always find nearby. Once the power’s on, a pre-recorded emergency message will start playing that attracts every zombie in the area. Therefore, it’s imperative to disable the loudspeakers buy cutting their cords before you enter the trailers. Follow the power lines to make sure you get them all – you don’t need to create a disturbance that attracts a Freaker horde. If you miss one, your best bet to shut it up quickly is shooting it from afar.
Spend Skill Points Wisely
Deacon levels up by his actions in the world (killing, hunting, completing missions, etc.), which grants him skill points. These can be put in three categories: Melee, Ranged, and Survival. Each of these has five tiers, with three skills in each tier.
Where do you start? First, you should get Melee/Tier 1/Field Repairs and Ranged/Tier 1/Focused Shot. The former lets you repair your melee weapon with scrap you find, and the latter lets you slow down time to line up your shots. We didn’t put many skill points in the Survival category at first because we didn’t find these skills immediately necessary, but the third Survival tier has the Catch Your Breath skill, which reduces cooldown on stamina recovery. You’re going to use stamina because it’s useful in getting distance from you and the fast Freakers, so you will eventually want this upgrade.
The rub is that to unlock the next tier of skills, you have to buy at least two skills of the tier you’re on. At some point, you’re going to have to spend points on skills you might not be in love with just to unlock the higher tiers and more desirable skills.
In the meantime, to help your stamina, we recommend Melee/Tier 2/Busted Lip, which regenerates stamina for every melee kill.
Once you unlock Ranged/Tier 3 you should get On the Move, which lets you reload a ranged weapon while sprinting. It’s a great and useful skill when a horde is chasing you.
Upgrade Your Guns Immediately
The guns are awful when you start out in Days Gone. When you uncover Ada Tucker’s camp, this is your first chance to acquire better weaponry. Run missions for the camp as much as you can so you gain enough trust to unlock the higher tiers of weaponry. Not only do most of these guns let you carry more ammo, they improve accuracy a great deal. Always Help Strangers
Strangers are an invaluable resource for earning camp trust or straight up hard cash for upgrades. If you see someone on the side of the road surrounded by Freakers, help them out and direct them to the survivor camp where more resources will do you the biggest favor.
Nitrous For NERO
To reach certain NERO Research sites and get their important serum injectors, you may have to jump over chasms. This can only be done if your bike’s engine is upgraded and you have nitrous.
Position Your Bike For A Quick Getaway
You never know when s— is going to hit the fan, so it’s best to be prepared for a quick getaway, especially when you take on a horde. Having your bike ready by pointing it in the right direction to speed up your escape can be the difference between life and death.
Always Fuel Up Before Leaving
Days Gone doesn’t have an overwhelming amount of side activities, but it has enough that you don’t want to be low on gas and get stranded if you decide to take a detour. You especially don’t want to run out if there are zombies on your tail. Before leaving camps or mission locations, either gas up at the bike mechanic or find a red gasoline canister. If you end up stranded, look for abandoned tow trucks – they often have gasoline canisters.
To save on gas and avoid making noise that could attract unwanted guests, we recommend coasting down hills when you can.
Burn Nests By Day
Freakers are nocturnal, so when you want to destroy their nests, do so during the day so it’s easier to get close enough to them for lobbing a Molotov. When you do, more zombies pour out of the enflamed nest than at night, but that’s when you just hop on your bike for a quick getaway.
Make The Most Of Your Inventory
If you come across objects like scrap or kerosene to scavenge, but you can’t pick them up because you’re already full up, craft items for your inventory so you can then collect the objects in the world.
Don’t Sweat Harvesting
Days Gone has a limited amount of resources, and most of the time scavenging doesn’t really move the meter. You are almost always flush with crafting materials given the low inventory caps. Harvesting meat, Freaker ears, or plants only earn you a small amount of trust and money from the camps.
Prepare For Horde Showdowns
Days Gone has several large hordes of Freakers that can immediately overwhelm you if you carelessly attract their attention. Before engaging these dangerous groups, make sure you have upgraded your weaponry/health/stamina and charted the environment. Do you see explosive barrels? Try to guide the horde that direction so you can take out a large chunk at once with well timed bullets. Also utilize choke points in the environment to bunch them up, slow them down, and make the vanguard an easier target.
Don’t Be Afraid To Run
Sometimes things don’t go as planned and the Freakers start to appear in numbers. If you are low on ammo, health, or supplies, don’t be afraid to run! You can always come back better equipped to clean up the mess.
Mark Enemies Before Attacking Camps
Like Far Cry, using binoculars to mark enemies in hostile camps is a smart move, especially if you prefer using stealth as your primary method of attack. When characters are marked you can see their alert states, which helps you know when you are about to draw the attention of the entire camp.
Keep Melee Weapons In Good Condition
Melee weapons are very fragile in Days Gone, and being caught without one can spell disaster, since shooting enemies up close with assault rifles or pistols can be tricky when they are coming en masse. Don’t be afraid to sacrifice some scrap to keep these weapons in good condition, because once they hit zero percent they cannot be put back together again.
Dodge & Attack
A good first move in a melee attack is a defensive one. Hit R1 to dodge, which not only lets you avoid your enemy’s attack, but also closes the distance to them to set you up your combo attack. Dodging is even a viable move for large enemies like bears or Breakers, and it will also dampen the flames you if you catch fire.
Turn On Your Flashlight
It’s not much, but in the darkness your flashlight will momentarily stun Freakers, giving you an extra second to strike.
Don’t Forget Your Attractors
It’s easy to reach for your guns or grenades when a fight is imminent, but your attractors – sound-emitting throwables that attract zombies – are also valuable. They can lead zombies elsewhere as well as congregate them so you can molotov them in a group. There’s even an attractor bomb you can craft that does it all for you. Similarly, it can also be useful to kill lone zombies who’ve wandered from the pack and use them as bait. Other zombies may feed on their remains if they come across them, allowing you to pick them off from afar with a bow or a gun with a silencer.
Down In The Dumpster
Zombies aren’t very smart, so they can easily be outwitted. If you see a dumpster you can get in it and the zombies will eventually lose interest and wander off – even if they’re chasing you.