Gameplay Tips and Tricks
It would probably be more productive for us to list the ‘Don’ts’, rather than the ‘Dos’, simply because this game has so many dynamics that are learned over time and experience and would take pages to write.
- Don’t run!
If you are heading to a specific area that you want to hunt, you can run until you get within 350 yards. But everytime you run you WILL spook everything within that area. And the higher level animals often don’t return.
The ATV will spook further to around 600 yards.
Being able to find good hunting in any area will be decreased every single time you tap that run button or start up that ATV.
And getting into the habit of running is extremely easy when one doesn’t develop the patience of properly approaching an area.
- Don’t develop bad habits!
Bad habits are very hard to break later on. These include clicking on everything to identify it. This can be unproductive for a few reasons. Learn to use your own eyes to identify tracks/signature early on to avoid developing that bad habit of being ‘click-happy’. Even though some missions will require it.
- Don’t ‘glass’ quickly !
Being patient will become your greatest asset. Most people never develop this skill. Glassing means using your scope or binoculars to scan for animals or sign. And because of that glowing outline that shows around animals when they’re ‘lit’, many people just quickly scan across broad areas hoping something will light up. Another of those bad habits!
It’s undoubtedly better to go to system>options>interface and turn off that ‘spotting outline’, so that you don’t become impatiently reliant on it, never developing the actual skill of finding what is really hiding in those woods.
- Don’t kill immediately upon new maps!
Animal spawning mechanics are one of those well-kept Dev secrets. But one thing that seems obvious to most of us is that, you need to open Need Zones onto your new map, without ‘pressuring’ them, or worse, killing that same individual you just used to put that zone on your map. Once you get zones on your map, and give them some time to become used by more animals, you WILL start seeing more animals of the species you opened the zone with in that area.
The fact that most new players will simply kill these animals right away is one of the main reasons they won’t see many animals in their maps.
New maps pretty much require putting unruined zones on your map.
- Don’t ignore Hunting Pressure!
When travelling the maps you must be aware of the purple to pink colored circles on your map that denote the degree of pressure applied in an area. Pinker implies more degree. It will not be productive to try to hunt in pressured areas, and it can take a few in-game days for them to recover. Don’t assume the lack of purple means that pressure has been removed. And be aware that you might be in an area you pressured previously that hadn’t yet recovered, even though there might not be any purple showing on the map.
- Don’t use inadequate ammo!
This will result in your having to endlessly track cripples, often only to find they stopped bleeding and leaving you in despair. Get within 150 yards and aim broadside, at least until you can get the more powerful weapons.
- Don’t neglect your Presence!
Every second you’re in their habitat, you are exposing yourself to their enhanced senses. Some more advanced than others, so know your prey. Be aware that they will far more often know you are there long before you know of them. If you go to the menu under hunter settings you can find a list that shows exactly how many animals you have spooked and what scared them. It’s eye opening.
In the bottom right corner of your HUD there is a horizontal line with a couple of icons representing how visible you are, how noisy you are, and which way the wind is blowing.
Ultimately you want that visibility line to either disappear, or be flat. When flat, you can look around without exposing yourself, but you cannot take one step without risk. When the line is gone, than you can take a step or two around without exposure but you still have to watch for that line to change as you move. Those hidden zones in bushes and trees are often not very large.
Being prone is tricky. Don’t assume you are always invisible or not making noise. Watch that meter everytime you move. And be aware that using the accelerated prone speed usually disabled your invisibility and increases your noise. And it’s very hard to crawl in slow speed once you get used to the faster.
Always know wind direction, and have it in your face or crossing your position. Trying to approach a hunting zone with the wind at your back is like ringing a loud bell as you go.
- Don’t ignore the Need Zone timing!
Expecting to find animals at a drink zone when it’s their time of day to be elsewhere is one of the biggest reasons that unaware hunters are seeing no animals.