Surprised to see a new Far Cry game out so soon after Far Cry 5? Don’t be. This latest installment of the series is something of a reskin of its predecessor, painting over it with a post-apocalyptic veneer to deliver a new-ish experience set about twenty years later. In Far Cry New Dawn, you’ll meet a mixture of folks new and old, from the villainous Twins to the New Eden cult and the various families and characters that make up Hope County. As you find out what’s become of them since the bombs fell, your main goal is to build up a settlement for survivors and protect and upgrade it as the game goes on. To do so, you will need to take over several enemy outposts, gather fuel, and build up a personal arsenal to take on the Highway. Here are some tips about what to expect out there—and how to get an edge before hopping in.
Far Cry New Dawn is considered a full sequel to Far Cry 5, and as such, it’s the same map, but with the added decay from a few decades of post-apocalyptic neglect. It’s also a bit smaller than the original, clipping the game’s location to only a portion of Hope County. You’ll definitely revisit some old familiar places, but they’ll be much different from how you remember.
At a certain point, you may ask yourself, “How do I fast travel?” The feature is not automatically available in the game. For that, you will have to travel to Prosperity and upgrade one of the benches, marked Expeditions, near the back of the settlement. Upgrading it once, with Fuel, will unlock most nearby locations for fast travel, and upgrading it twice will unlock them all.
As with other games in the series, key regions within the environment are home to specific native species, which are marked on the map after they are first encountered (or a wildlife warning sign is spotted). In Far Cry New Dawn there is also now an Elite version of each animal, which are marked with a yellow crown and provide a hefty additional challenge. Each seem to have a unique weak point, and you’ll definitely need to find it in order to make much more than a dent. Killing them becomes substantially easier once at least the third tier of weapons has been unlocked at your crafting table in Prosperity. Once they’ve been defeated, their skins and pelts can be used to make one unique item in the weapons crafting station—but if you accidentally sell it, don’t worry, there is more than one spawn point for each animal.
The game’s checklist says that there are 30 different outposts to conquer, but actually there’s about ten or twelve. The catch is that they can be repeated, at an additional challenge, for more Fuel. Since Fuel is necessary for upgrading your home base Prosperity (which in turn is necessary to progress the game) you’ll want to complete all three rounds at each outpost. And be sure to stock up on ammo and your strongest weapons before you do so—each enemy will be tougher and have a hefty bonus to their health, and an Elite fighter (similar to the Elite animals) will close out the round if additional waves are called. For the second and third rounds of each outpost, I recommend using Nana as a companion, as she’s an exceptionally strong sniper, or The Judge, as they have masterful aim with the bow and are completely silent.
In past installments of Far Cry, you could gather red, yellow and blue plants and create syringes on the fly, each with their own unique effects, including predator repellent, speed booster and an eagle eye mixture that would highlight all nearby enemies. While in Far Cry New Dawn plants can still be picked from the landscape and used to revive fallen companions, you can no longer craft boosters as you go, nor can you use them for performance enhancement—except for medkits, which can still be made on the fly in your weapon wheel menu. Plan on using your binoculars to spot and mark enemies, and otherwise rely only on your own skills to get by. Oh, and keep an eye out for some new perks in your menu once you reach a key point in the main storyline; some of them will make a few missions towards the end of the game much easier.
Whereas Far Cry games once had some pretty decent weapon and tactic options for taking down outposts the stealthy way, between the limited choice in bows and the lack of Eagle Eye syringe, it’s just not much of an option in Far Cry New Dawn. For example, none of the bows have a crossaim or zoom, and initially they can only carry twelve arrows. Most of the sniper rifles are far too loud and many of the outposts also have too much sprawl and too little cover to get up close and personal. In the first several hours of the game, it’s just not fun or satisfying to attempt a full undetected outpost takeover.
If you do choose to try, however, keep in mind that the best bow can’t be unlocked until the third tier of weapons are available at the weapons crafting table, which cannot be achieved until the second tier of improvements has been reached in Prosperity, and that will require collecting Fuel and making upgrades to the many crafting stations. There is a +50 Fuel bonus for taking an outpost undetected, and later in the game it becomes much easier once The Judge, a champion bow sniper, has been obtained as a companion. Once you’ve been bestowed with Eden’s Gift you will also be able to purchase a special perk that will temporarily make you invisible— however, along with these other points, don’t count on being able to do any of these early on in the game.
Holly Green is the assistant editor of Paste Games and a reporter and semiprofessional photographer. She is also the author of Fry Scores: An Unofficial Guide To Video Game Grub. You can find her work at Gamasutra, Polygon, Unwinnable, and other videogame news publications.