Far Cry 5 beginner’s guide

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After numerous entries set in foreign and often exotic lands, Ubisoft’s Far Cry series takes American players closer to home — a fictional Montana county overrun by a doomsday cult called the Project at Eden’s Gate — in this last mainline entry before the upcoming Far Cry 6 takes us back to a more exotic local. Despite the change of setting, if you’ve played a Far Cry game, you probably know what you’re in for in Far Cry 5: Wide open spaces, dastardly evil, a mix of over-the-top action and realism. It’s essentially a hodgepodge of ideas and mechanics from previous entries, with some new stuff thrown in here and there. Still, whether you’re a series veteran or a first-time Far Cry player, there are some things you should know and do to restore order in Far Cry 5‘s Hope County.

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Definitely complete John’s region first

Far Cry 5 Liberated

Hope County is split into three regions, each one controlled by one of Joseph Seed’s underlings — John, Faith, and Jacob. Before your showdown with Joseph, you must liberate each region by completing a wide variety of missions. The game suggests you travel to John’s region early on, but you technically can do whatever you like. That said, we recommend starting with John. Jacob’s region requires the grappling hook, while Faith’s is crawling with not just regular cult members, but also rabid “angels” — cultists who have been drugged into acting like zombies. You’ll want to have purchased a health upgrade perk or two before wading into that bloodbath.

You can bounce around from region to region if you like, but we chose to complete them one by one for the most part.

Stuck on a story mission? Move on

Far Cry 5 Missions

A sizable number of story missions are technically optional. You will be thrust into and have to complete some of them, but many others can be skipped. Story missions accrue the most resistance points (usually 600, but sometimes 900), but you will also gain resistance points from liberating cult outposts, completing side missions, destroying cult property, and saving people from the cult. Do try and complete as many story missions as possible, but if you’re stuck on one, feel free to move on. We spent two frustrating hours trying to steal a cult tanker in John’s region only to accidentally blow it up or lose track of it every time. We eventually reached 13,000 resistance points and took down John without ever bringing that tanker back to Fall’s End.

Important perks to purchase

Far Cry 5 Perks

You’ll probably finish the game without accumulating enough perk points to acquire all 50 perks, but these perks should definitely be on your radar when you have points to spend:

  • Health boost 1-4: Increases health to 150, 200, 250, and, finally, 300 percent.
  • Grapple: It comes in handy and only costs one measly point.
  • Parachute: So you don’t die while walking off a cliff.
  • Additional holster: Lets you carry two long guns and a pistol.
  • Weapons collector: Lets you carry three long guns and a pistol.
  • Leadership: Unlocks a second squad slot.
  • Journey pack: Expands medkit storage from three to five.

Take the time to be stealthy at cult outposts

Far Cry 5 Stealth

At each cult outpost, there are two or three alarm towers. Each has speakers at the top of the pole and a yellow radio receiver at the bottom. If you run into an outpost guns blazing, one of the cultists will sound the alarm and call for reinforcements. But if you disable the alarms before being spotted, no backup cultists will come to help them. The alarms are always located around the perimeter of the main building. It doesn’t require expert stealth to disable them, but keep an eye on your visibility meter, which fills as you get closer to a cultist’s line of sight. Disabling the alarms means that you only have to deal with a handful of enemies instead of many more, which come successively in waves (often carried by trucks with mounted guns).

Consult your map, mark waypoints, travel fast

Far Cry 5 Map

The large, mountainous terrain of Hope County can get confusing to navigate. The roads wind in every direction, breaking off from concrete to gravel to dirt. It’s easy to get spun around and not realize that you’re trekking ground you’ve already covered. Be sure to check your map consistently, but also set waypoints — even when you have the flashing cursor on your compass pointing you in the direction of your next mission. When driving with a waypoint on, a stream of arrows point you in the right direction the whole way.

Also, don’t forget to fast travel. You won’t unlock a fast-travel spot every time you complete a mission, but you will unlock quite a few throughout each region. You can save time getting to your next mission by opening your map and fast-traveling to a spot

You can’t save ’em all, but you should save some

Far Cry 5 Drive

Eden’s Gate has inflicted its perverse might all across Hope County. The county is teeming with cultists — on roads, in the trees, in and around almost every building you discover. And when you encounter them, you’ll often find that the cultists have the folks of Hope County prisoner. You’ll frequently come across people on their knees, hands bound behind their back, with an armed cultist or two looming over them. Apart from an early story mission in John Seed’s region that asks you to save 14 civilians from the cult, you don’t technically have to save these random folks. You should save at least some of them, though. Once saved, civilians are a chatty bunch. Sometimes they reveal “Prepper Stash” locations — areas with stockpiles of weapons and cash — and other times they offer up side missions. You also get 50 resistance points for each hostage you free. While certainly not a lot, the points chip away at the 13,000 mark needed to face off with each region’s boss.

Craft before entering mission areas

Far Cry 5 Weapons

Nothing is more annoying than entering a building littered with cultists only to realize that you are all out of molotov cocktails to set them ablaze. To craft items, simply open your weapon wheel (L1 on PlayStation 4, LB on Xbox One) and hold the PS4’s triangle (Y on Xbox One) over items that can be crafted. We’re mainly talking explosives — proximity mines, remote detonated explosives, and Molotovs. Crafting doesn’t take very long and it can become a quicker process with a perk. When you have feverish cultists and deranged “angels” swarming around you, simply tossing a premade explosive ensures that you can keep your eyes on the action instead of the weapon wheel.

Don’t forget to loot bodies

Each time you down an enemy, you can loot their body by getting close and pressing the PS4’s square (X on Xbox One). You’ll always get ammo, usually some crafting materials, and some spare cash. If you loot consistently, you should always be flush with ammunition and crafting supplies to make explosives.

You shouldn’t need to buy ammunition from shops. The only necessary items we bought were medkits from time to time.

Almost always travel with a squad

Far Cry 5 Lion

Throughout your adventure, you’ll unlock nine specialists who will eagerly stand by your side during missions. You’ll also find civilians willing to work with you for a fee (you can hire up to three at a time). While regular civilians and specialists serve the same purpose, we found no real reason to bring on hired guns rather than the specialists. The basic benefit of having a helper at your side is that it lessens your workload and diverts some attention off of you. We found that when entering story mission areas or cult outposts, it was extremely beneficial to have a human sidekick on foot with us, because when you’re out of health, they can run over and revive you (which they do quickly and efficiently). Your preference of companion may vary based on your play style, though.

Here are the nine specialists:

  • Grace Armstrong: Sniper
  • Jess Black: Bow attacks
  • Sharky Boshaw: Explosive attacks
  • Hurk Drubman Jr: Homing rockets that shoot down planes and blow up land vehicles
  • Nick Rye: Pilot of a plane equipped with bombs
  • Adelaide Drubman: Air support via chopper, can also deliver a chopper to you
  • Boomer (dog): Tags enemies for you, occasionally fetches weapons from dead cultists
  • Peaches (cougar): Silently takes down enemies, remains hidden in grass
  • Cheeseburger (bear): Mauls cultists, forces attention on himself

We stuck with Jess Black in the early going since she moves quietly and uses a bow to stealthily dispose of enemies. You can spend six perk points on the Leadership perk, which lets you travel with two allies at a time. We recommend utilizing the second slot for an ally who specializes in taking down enemy aircraft. After you liberate one section of Hope County, lots of activity occurs overhead. Planes and choppers circle the air trying to find you. Assign Adelaide, Hurk, or Nick to your second slot to take care of the aerial attacks. We found that Adelaide takes out aircraft quicker than Nick from up above, but Hurk can also heal you when you’re down. So it’s a personal choice, but one that saves you from having to carry around a rocket launcher of your own.

Your crew members are allotted to either left or right on the D-pad. Although they are reasonably capable without being provided with many directions, you can direct them to travel to a specific location by pushing their designated button.

Hunting and fishing aren’t really necessary

Far Cry 5 Bear

Hunting and fishing are two activities that aren’t really necessary when unlocking Cheeseburger. There are only a few missions that require them. You can exchange bear, wolverine, deer, moose, and other animal skins for money, but unless an animal is charging at you, destroying them isn’t honestly worth the ammo. It usually takes more ammunition to kill an animal than a cultist, and the financial prizes are moderate.

Headshots

Far Cry 5 Review

This one seems apparent. Pointing at the head always defeats foes quicker in first-person shooters, but when you’re dealing with different kinds of opponents, in particular, headshots are the most beneficial. VIP Cultists (these characters have red cursors floating above their heads) endure more shots than the ordinary enemy, and blasting a clip into their stomachs sometimes isn’t sufficient to overcome them. Maybe you’ve taken several well-placed shots to the head. Well, in that case, that’s a much different story. Similarly, the angels in Faith’s region behave like zombies, and the promptest way to keep them from seemingly resurrecting is to shoot a bullet through their brains.

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