It’s almost three and a half years since the last proper installment in Ubisoft Montreal’s open-world shooter series (sorry, the saber-tooth tiger-hunting throwback that was Far Cry Primal doesn’t count). But that wait has totally been worth it with Far Cry 5. Almost everything you loved about the previous two games - including the combat, line-of-sight stealth and hunting - have returned, while the new setting of Hope Country provides a captivating character all in itself.
However, it can be a little daunting when facing all those cultists and the dangerous Heralds - especially when you’re dropped into the middle of a world full of religious fanatics, grizzly bears and drugged-up wolves. So here are some our top tips for surviving (and thriving ) in Far Cry 5.
Loot every cultist you kill
In the first ten hours of Far Cry 5, cash can be a little tough to get hold of, so you’ll need to scavenge for whatever you can. It’s wise to loot the body of every enemy you take down. They’ll usually have a few dollars on them and a raft of ammo to replenish your stores.
Bodies that have yet to be looted will have shimmer to them that will disappear once you’ve pilfered their poor remains. You’ll also automatically pick up ammo from dropped weapons if you’re carrying a similar type of gun, so it pays to run across corpses if you’re running low on bullets mid-gunfight.
Never pass up a Prepper Stash
Prepper Stashes are some of the most important one-off resource dumps in the game and are spread out far across Hope County. Signified by a light blue diamond symbol, you’ll usually need to find some form of clue to initiate a quest - this will sometimes be a note left in a house, or from an NPC in the world.
NPCs with Prepper Stash quests tied to them will have the diamond symbol above their head. You’ll then be given a location to reach on the map - these are usually hidden up high or in an underground bunker. Use the notes or the clues given to you by a given NPC to find each one and loot their cash/perk/ammo filled goodies.
Complete challenges for Perks (then choose the right ones)
As you might expect, Far Cry 5 has a skill tree and its unique abilities and buffs are available via Perk points. To get these either raid Prepper Stashes or complete the myriad in-game Challenges. These challenges range from kills with a certain weapon, to distance traveled by wingsuit, and they’re designed in such a way to ensure you’re constantly earning more through play. Once you’ve stocked up, it’s time to invest them.
For us, we found the following ideal for surviving in Hope County: Harvest Master (double loot from plants and animals), Parachute, Wingsuit, Journey Pack (hold more items), Additional Holster (unlocks a third weapon holster), Nimble Fingers (faster crafting) and Locksmith.
Focus on unlocking specialists straight away
There’s a big focus on co-op in Far Cry 5, both in the sense of another player joining you for the ride and in the use of AI-controlled partners. The tougher, more versatile of these NPCs are known as Specialists and they’re unlocked via completing specific, location-based challenges.
There are nine in total, with three located in each of the three regions of the map. All nine can be found and unlocked from the start of the game, and each one can be called in to assist with tough outposts and story missions. Each one has unique skills which range from flying planes to covert sniping, but they all come with a cool down time after use.
Take out Cult Outposts to create fast travel points
Hope County is huge, and while there's an abundance of cars to commandeer to get you around faster, nothing beats zipping around via the power of fast travel. To establish these points (represented as blue markers on your map), you’ll need to kill every enemy in a designated outpost.
Using your camera viewfinder (press ‘up’ on the D-pad) to identify every enemy prior to taking one down is key, but beware, some use heavies, flamethrowers and helicopters/attack planes in their defense so use cover and interiors wisely. When an outpost is cleared it’ll be filled with friendly NPCs, as well as shops and potential additional missions.
Use bows and melee to increase your cash from animal skins
Sadly, the rewarding hunting/crafting feedback loop from the previous two games has been dropped for Far Cry 5, but that doesn’t mean hunting is gone completely. There’s an entire ecosystem of wildlife native to Montana and they’re a great way to make money on the side.
There aren’t symbols on the map to denote the general location of a species now, instead you’ll need to look out for sign posts while exploring (a small white circle should appear when you’re close to one). Remember, use bows and melee hits (a baseball bat or spade can be helpful here) as bullet-ridden corpses yields less cash when sold at a shop.
Relax (and earn some pennies) by fishing
Fishing mini-games might be a trope at this stage in video games, but that hasn’t stopped Ubisoft Montreal adding a pretty realistic casting, reeling and catching simulation model. You’ll need to buy a fishing rod from one of the many shops across Hope County (look out for a green symbol with a white gun motif) - you’ll find them on the far-right tab at the very bottom.
Find a nice quiet watering hole (preferably away from a road as cultists regularly pass by), press L1/LB then R1/RB to bring up the Utility Wheel. Now hold R2/RT to build momentum, then let go to cast the line into the water. Try and use L2/LT to wiggle the line and catch a bite!
Collect Off The Hook Fishing magazines to find the best sites
While the map of Far Cry 5 is open from the start (and free of radio towers bar one ironic inclusion during the tutorial), not every element of the world will be present on the map. You’ll need to seek out collectibles to flesh it out, such as the Off The Hook fishing magazines littered around Hope County.
These are broken up into categories based on the different types of fish you can catch in the game (including Trout, Sturgeon, Salmon and Bass), and each one will pick out a river or watering hole to find them. You can even sell this at a shop once you’ve collected them - don’t worry, the info on your map will remain if you do.
Raise resistance in one region at a time
With Far Cry 5’s map open from the very beginning, it’s tempting to zoom across the entirety of Hope County completing missions in a haphazard order. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you, but focusing your attention on one of the three regions at a time will pay dividends in the long run. Not least because when your resistance meter is very high in one region, it'll feel like a breath of fresh air when you move into another region where you're less hunted.
New weapons and items will be unlocked and added to shops as you complete missions in a given area, while destroying Cult property, clearing out outposts and completing side-missions will speed up the process. It’ll also increase Resistance activity in a given area (and decrease the number of cultists), as well as providing a good way to stockpile Perk points.
Always keep stocked with Homeopathics
Homeopathics are Far Cry 5’s consumables, including pills that provide stat buffs for a short time (including The Fast, The Furious, Ultimate Hunter and Ultimate Survivor). As with previous entries, you’ll need to collect resources across Hope County, so raid houses for items such as Bliss Oil and the myriad plants growing across each regions verdant locales.
Raiding houses and outposts is a great way to stock up on these items, as well as looting the corpses of fallen cultists. For plants and other fauna, head out into the wilds and you should come across most ingredients. These naturally-occurring resources aren’t as abundant as previous games, so keep your eyes peeled.