Far Cry Primal Dos and Don’ts

Far Cry Primal is finally here, bringing an open-ended Stone Age adventure to PS4 and Xbox One (and PC on March 1). Its prehistoric land of Oros is big, beautiful, and filled with lurking dangers and interesting things to do – and if you’d like to face them armed with helpful knowledge, we’ve put together some quick tips designed to give you a leg up on the early stages of the game.

DO…

…Grab as much as you can carry. Your loot bag in Far Cry Primal works a little differently from those in previous Far Cry games. Instead of giving you finite, all-purpose item slots, your pack holds a set amount of each item type, so harvesting a bunch of alder wood won’t mean less space for your north cedar, much less your bloody hunks of meat. With that in mind, always grab whatever you can. You are, after all, crafting your own weapons and ammunition, and you never know when you’ll need raw materials.

…Scout ahead. Your friend the owl replaces the cameras and binoculars from earlier Far Cry games, and it’s much more useful. Whenever you’re about to attack an outpost or suspect a lot of enemies are nearby, send out your owl to do some scouting. Any enemies it spots will become visible to you even through walls, giving you a huge edge whether you’re planning to take them out stealthily or go in swinging — you can even use it to direct your predator companion into battle. Additionally, upgrading your owl skills enables it to kill a single enemy (after which there’s a brief cooldown period before you can summon it again) or drop bombs to do a little damage before you close in.

…Be sneaky if you can. Getting spotted by enemies can often mean being surrounded by angry archers and spear-throwers, or worse, facing hordes of reinforcements. Unless you’ve somehow evolved an immunity to pointy sticks (PROTIP: you haven’t), you may want to stay unseen initially. Crouching in tall vegetation is a great way to avoid detection by enemies, and the sound of thrown rocks will misdirect and lure them as you set them up for a silent takedown. Headshots are also a great way to drop enemies quickly and quietly – just be sure you don’t miss, or you may alert everyone nearby.

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…Use hunter vision often. Takkar has a gift that no previous Far Cry hero had without the help of drugs: the ability to see useful objects, helpful clues, and trails left by wounded animals with the push of a button. Yes, hunter vision turns the world gray and yellow, but if you’re scouting for materials, prey or hidden enemies, being able to instantly throw your surroundings into sharp relief can often mean the difference between survival and death.

…Bend fire to your advantage Fire is one of the most potent and versatile tools you’ll wield in Far Cry Primal. Setting a weapon on fire can light your way, scare away predators, and inflict horrendous damage against enemies. It can also clear some obstructions out your way or panic rival tribesmen. And when you’re in the cold north, a fiery club or spear will keep you from freezing to death. Just be sure to keep a ready stock of animal fat on hand, and you’ll be able to set fire to anything.

…Learn to use your beasts effectively. You’ll command a variety of animals in Far Cry Primal, and each has a specific talent beyond its size and strength. Dholes can fetch items for you, while wolves are adept at bringing down tough or fast prey. Lions and jaguars are great at staying undetected when you’re trying to be stealthy, and the really big predators, like bears and sabretooth tigers, are tanks in combat and can be ridden for faster travel.

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…Recruit Wogah as soon as you can. After Far Cry Primal’s opening missions, you’ll be tasked with going out into the world and finding three specific Wenja who can teach you new skills: Karoosh the warrior, Jayma the hunter and Wogah the crafter. They’re all important, but Wogah should be your first priority. Not only does he grant you the ability to make cool new items, but his introductory mission gives you Wogah’s Claw, a grappling hook that opens up previously inaccessible chunks of the map for exploration, and gives you alternate ways to infiltrate some enemy outposts. Also, if you unlock the ability to tame apex predators before visiting Wogah, you may come out of the encounter with a pet sabretooth tiger, which will keep most other predators at bay.

DON’T…

…Be reckless with your life. This may seem obvious, but throwing yourself at an objective and dying repeatedly isn’t a sound strategy here. While you’ll come back to life every time, the resources you used on your last attempt won’t, and if you can’t readily scavenge supplies nearby, you may eventually find yourself facing the decision to flee or to keep fighting your enemies without any help from healing items, ammo refills, or active beasts. Be observant, be cautious, and remember that throwing your life away means the stuff you used up trying to stay alive went to waste.

…Ignore the side missions. I know. I know. You want to jump straight to the story. But remember what your central goal is here: You’re trying to rebuild the Wenja tribe. You’ll need to hit certain population thresholds before you can upgrade your village’s huts and unlock new stuff, and a bigger population means more loot in your daily stash. So keep an eye out for any Wenja in need. Sometimes, all it takes is a few arrows in a few Udam heads to add a valuable new resident or two to your village.

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…Pass up a chance to take an outpost. If you’re in a hurry to get somewhere, stomping into an enemy settlement and killing everyone in it might seem like a hassle. Even so, the value of having a handy respawn or fast-travel point can’t be understated. Distances in Oros tend to be bigger than they look on the map.

…Be afraid of the dark. Nights in Oros are filled with hungry animals and hidden dangers, but most of those can be warded off with a few swings of a flaming club (or a powerful animal sidekick, if you have one). The benefits outweigh the risks, however; not only are certain animals only available to hunt at night, but darkness is an excellent cover if you’re planning to stealthily attack an Udam or Izila settlement.

…Keep your pet around if you’re trying to tame a weaker one. Taming animals is easy, so long as you’ve unlocked them on your skill tree: Just toss out some bait, approach them while they’re eating it and hold down a button to make them yours. This can be a little trickier if you’ve already got a bigger animal with you, however. If your companion is higher up on the food chain than the beast you’re trying to recruit, your buddy may attack or scare off your prospect before you can even throw out bait for it. Sending away your current critter leaves you much more vulnerable, but it’s worth the risk to quickly add another fuzzy buddy to your growing squad of animal helpers.

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…Hold back against bosses As the menus for crafting and skill development reveal, you can eventually recruit one character each from your rival tribes, the Udam and Izila. Here’s the catch (and possibly a mild spoiler): They aren’t friendly when you first meet them. In fact, they show up as bosses lording over Udam and Izila fortresses, and once you see their names show up next to their health bars on screen, you might be driven to find ways to dispatch them nonlethally. The good news is that you don’t have to; once you’ve taken their fortresses, they’ll come back to your village no matter what, and they’ll bring new story missions with them.

For more on Far Cry Primal, check out these stories:

Far Cry’s Deadliest Hunts

Far Cry Primal – How to Create a Stone Age Soundtrack

Far Cry Primal Developer Q&A Part 1 – Creating the Unexpected