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Far Cry 5

Far Cry 5 - A beginner's guide to Hope County

Surviving the Cult made easier.

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We've been playing Far Cry 5 for just over a week now and as hordes of players jump into Ubisoft's latest explosive sandbox from Ubisoft some of you may benefit from some pointers and a few helpful tips. And so, without further ado, here is our guide on how to prepare for the end of days in Hope County, Montana.

Find Prepper Stashes early on

One of our favourite parts of Far Cry 5 was the puzzle riddles known as prepper stashes. These caches of goodies not only offered up valuable crafting materials and ammunition but more importantly each contains three perk points (in the form of magazines). Some of them are climbing challenges, others involve finding keys, some require a bit of ingenuity or a well-placed sniper shot, while others involve a bit of combat. Regardless of what you need to do in order to access the loot, it is worth it and we'd recommend heading to these places as soon as you discover them through talking to locals or stumbling onto them, as these extra perk points will make all the difference in the world when you take on more combat-oriented challenges.

Keep an eye on the Challenges

Even if the prepper stashes are a great way to earn perk points, the main way in which you earn them is by completing challenges. These reward all sorts of behaviour in the game from skinning various animals and catching fish, to killing enemies in various ways. If you employ a varied playstyle you'll unlock most through normal play, but it's worth looking at them and seeing if you have some quick ones that can unlock that next perk you need. Switching up your companions regularly will also see you finish the companion challenges quickly.

Use your perk points wisely

As most of the skill tree is open right from the start you've got plenty to choose from. We'd focus on survivability, damage dealing, and stealth, at least to begin with. So make sure you unlock the health perks as soon as you can, along with the ones for specific weapon categories, the ones you tend to use a lot. The stealth perks are also a good choice as it will make taking over outposts a lot easier.

One part of the skill tree that was disappointing to us was the section for the companions. The only thing you can do here is to allow them to return more quickly after they've perished. This is hardly worth four perk points compared to what you can unlock with them elsewhere in the tree, and it's not like you'll be on your own if a companion dies (outside of the very start of the game).

Far Cry 5

John is a good place to start, but mix things up...

As you set off from Dutch's island you're told John's region and Fall's End is a good place to start, and it is. However, we'd suggest you don't stay there and finish John's section in one go, but that you travel around a bit and that you're aware of the resistance level in each region. It may be a good idea to play through the first resistance levels of Faith's and Jacob's regions before unlocking the third one in John's region, as you will have beefed up your character as a result, making those pesky Chosen ones in planes easier to deal with.

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Scout ahead and target the biggest threats

Taking on Outposts is a big part of the Far Cry 5 experience and you'll want to approach these in stealth mode and scout ahead with your binoculars. Are there snipers? Heavies? VIPs? Who do you need to take out in order to disable the alarms? These are questions to ask and answer before sneaking into camp. We suggest using a silenced sniper or bow to take out snipers who might spot you, while you may want to get closer to other dangerous enemies and perform a takedown. Remember that you need to disable both alarm boxes or they'll be able to call for reinforcements, but even if you've been spotted you can make a dash for the second alarm box and disable that if it's not too far away. It takes a little time, leaving you vulnerable, but if you're not too exposed it's worth the risk to avoid more enemies pouring in.

If you fail and the alarms sound it's not the end of the world. Listen to your spotter and you'll know what direction they're coming from, and typically they arrive in trucks, meaning there's an opportunity to take them out in groups with a rocket launcher or well-aimed grenade lob. If you let them disperse, things could get hairy.

Choose the right companion for your playstyle and the situation

The guns and fangs for hire are for the most part there to add a bit of flavour to the experience, but if used wisely they can make your life a lot easier in Far Cry 5. Make sure you match up with a companion who augments your playstyle. If you want to take on an Outpost with stealth, then go with Peaches (stealth takedowns) or potentially Boomer (who'll help you spot enemies). If you want to draw fire away from yourself, then Cheeseburger is a great choice. For aerial threats go with Nick, and if you want to cause mayhem on the ground Adelaide is a great choice. Grace can be valuable support as a sniper. Jess is good on a hunt, but also if you want to remain stealthy and maintain range. Hurk and Sharkey are perhaps not as useful but can be fun to have along if you're just engaging with open-world stuff.

We made sure to unlock the companions early on in each region as those missions offered a great deal of fun and variation, and this also means that you'll soon earn those perk points through the companion challenges.

Far Cry 5

When stealth fails, go loud

Your default playstyle should probably be to use stealth, but it's not like your doomed when that fails. There's plenty of firepower on offer and when you go loud you'll want to go loud all the way. As usual, you need to pick up a weapon from an enemy or unlock it in order to have access to it in stores, so we suggest you make sure to pick up the first rocket launcher an enemy drops. It'll be your friend throughout the game. There's a wealth of explosive weapons, the RAT-4 became a favourite later on, but Molotov cocktails, remote and proximity explosions, pipe bombs, and grenades are also available. And remember that you can craft some of these directly in your weapons wheel, so you're typically carrying a tremendous amount of explosive power with you at all times. Your environment is also full of explosive elementsm, ranging from the infamous red barrels to smaller gas canisters, bliss canisters, and vehicles.

Remember to shop for new weapons and add-ons

The unlock system for weapons in Far Cry is a bit different than elsewhere. You'll unlock weapons by picking them, making them available in the shop, where you also purchase add-ons and customise them. Some weapons unlock through progression. It's always a good idea to see what's available, and we tended to add red dot sights to most weapons along with a bigger magazine. If you're face to face with a heavy it's a nice thing to know that your clip will be enough to take him down even if you're aiming for the body.

Take a friend with you

Far Cry 5 offers a pretty seamless co-op experience, and if you've got a friend who also owns the game, you can invite them to join you in Montana for some quality two-player adventuring. The extra pair of hands will certainly come in handy, but make sure you're on the same page when it comes to tactics; there's no point one of you playing stealthily if the other one runs straight in and starts blowing shit up without a second thought. Also, it's worth noting that while you do earn experience for your character when playing co-op, it's only the host who retains their overall progression of the story, so don't jump into a friends game if you're looking to advance the narrative yourself.

Hopefully those pointers will help you find your footing in the hostile world of Hope County.

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