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A beginner’s guide to Far Cry New Dawn’s postapocalyptic Hope County

Far Cry New Dawn beginner's guide

Far Cry New Dawn will feel pretty familiar to those who have played previous entries in the series. Especially Far Cry 5, as it uses a modified version of the same map. But while the gunplay and general objectives aren’t anything radically new, the way you progress through the story is fairly different.

Beginner’s guide to Far Cry New Dawn

With an emphasis on crafting, side content, and repeating tasks at harder levels, New Dawn presents some new challenges for even series veterans. To help you get a handle of this reborn vision of Hope County, we’ve put together a beginner’s guide with 10 tips and tricks that should help you have the explosive good time you desire when playing a Far Cry game.

Side content is optional, but not really

Side content | Far Cry New Dawn Beginner's Guide

Open world games are brimming with optional activities for players to discover through exploration. Far Cry New Dawn is no different. Go off the beaten path and it’s easy to stumble upon an outpost, a small location with parts, or even a side mission. Some of these optional pieces of content get marked as you make progress. But we strongly advise that you take some time between story missions to complete the optional content.

You really do need to explore for new items, complete challenges, rack up perk points, and liberate outposts in order to do well in New Dawn‘s postapocalyptic world. Staying solely or even largely on the critical path makes the difficult spikes extremely hard to handle.

Check out the challenges list

Challenges List | Far Cry New Dawn Beginner's Guide

Open up the menu and check out the challenges list. You’ll gradually unlock new challenges throughout the game, but many are available from the jump. These are the things you need to do in order to earn perk points. Some involve getting kills with specific gun classes, others are related to missions such as outposts and expeditions, and a bunch are somewhat random.

Without knowing what to work towards, you may not earn perk points as frequently as you really need to. For instance, if you fall in love with one gun and that’s all you use, you’re going to miss out on some valuable early game perk points.

Perks you should unlock ASAP

Best perks | Far Cry New Dawn Beginner's Guide

There are 30 perks in New Dawn, some of which can be further upgraded by spending more perk points. Not all of them are as important as others. Here’s a list of perks we think you should try to get first:

  • Grapple: Lets you use grapple points to climb. Needed for main missions.
  • Skydiver: Unlocks wingsuit
  • Repair Torch: Repairs vehicles, but more importantly cracks safes
  • Covert: Makes you more stealthy, less noisy
  • Advanced Takedowns: Lets you stealth takedown rank two enemies
  • Expert Takedowns: Lets you stealth takedown rank three enemies
  • Well-Armed: Third weapon slot
  • Heavily Armed: Fourth weapon slot
  • More Medkits: Increases the number of medkits you can carry (can be further leveled)
  • More Light Ammo: Increases light ammo capacity
  • More Heavy Ammo: Increases heavy ammo capacity

Scavenging for materials is a full-time job

Scavenging for materials | Far Cry New Dawn Beginner's Guide

Far Cry games always have some light crafting for certain weapons, medkits, and the like. New Dawn, however, revolves around crafting. You should always be on the lookout for materials. Everything you craft requires at least two materials, but some, such as weapons, requires four different materials. Here’s a list of important materials to look out for.

  • Ethanol: Upgrades facilities in Prosperity
  • Duct Tape: Crafts weapons and vehicles
  • Components: Crafts weapons and vehicles
  • Gear: Crafts weapons
  • Spring: Crafts vehicles
  • Titanium: Crafts weapons and vehicles
  • Circuit Board: Crafts weapons and vehicles
  • Carbon Fiber: Crafts weapons and vehicles
  • Copper: Crafts ammunition and consumables
  • Yucca: Heals guns for hire
  • Bougainvillea: Heals guns for hire and crafts medkits
  • Cistanche: Crafts medkits
  • Meat: Crafts bait, medkits and heals Fangs for Hire

You’ll find the herbs for medkits just walking around. Weapon and vehicle crafting gear can often be found at outposts, Treasure Hunts, and side missions. Also make sure to check your map for “locations” — icons that tell you what type of material you’ll find at that spot.

Stealth is rewarded at outposts

Stealth at outposts | Far Cry New Dawn Beginner's Guide

Liberating outposts has been a central aspect of the series for a while now. Like other Far Cry games, the outposts have alarms that set off if you’re spotted. These alarms call in reinforcements, and they are typically more powerful than the regular baddies that are already there. It’s beneficial to go in quietly and disable the alarms so backup cannot be called. This is especially helpful when you’re clearing out the high-rank outposts. You’ll also be rewarded with additional ethanol for liberating outposts without raising the alarm.

Scavenge outposts, but know what you’re up against

Scavenge outposts | Far Cry New Dawn Beginner's Guide

Each of the ten outposts in New Dawn can be “scavenged” twice. This means that a set of stronger enemies will re-occupy the outpost, and you’ll have to liberate it all over again. Each outpost has three ranks: one, two, and three. Here’s the thing. Outposts are quite challenging if you don’t have matching rank gear. And in the beginning, you won’t have the gear capable of taking on tougher ranks.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t scavenge the outposts you liberate. Ethanol is the only way to upgrade Prosperity’s facilities and create better gear. Scavenging an outpost rewards you with ethanol (and re-taking it earns you even more). So there’s no harm in scavenging an outpost even when you aren’t quite ready to take on the next challenge. In fact, it’s beneficial to do so.

Gun ranks really do matter

Gun ranks | Far Cry New Dawn Beginner's Guide

Though touched on briefly already, we cannot overstate how important gun ranks actually are. Split into four tiers — rank one, two, three, and elite — you need to have the right equipment for the job. You can certainly take down rank two enemies with rank one gear; it just takes much longer. But when you start facing rank three enemies, namely bosses?

Well, you better have some rank three and even elite gear. For this reason, we heartily recommend focusing your early upgrades on getting your workbench to level three. This way you can start saving materials for rank three and elite gear.

Upgrade Expeditions facility for fast travel

Upgrade expeditions | Far Cry New Dawn Beginner's Guide

Expeditions are a new mission type in New Dawn, which takes you out of Hope County by helicopter for a handful of heist missions. Expeditions net you some nice rewards, but what you should really be focused on is upgrading the facility to at least level two. The level two upgrade unlocks fast travel to a wide variety of locations throughout Hope County.

Craft medkits, throwables before the battle

Craft medkits and throwables | Far Cry New Dawn Beginner's Guide

You can craft medkits and throwables such as grenades and Molotovs straight from the weapon wheel. It’s fairly convenient but it can still be distracting to deal with the crafting process during a firefight. Before heading into a mission, outpost, or area littered with Highwaymen, check your inventory and make sure you’re fully stocked on medkits and the important throwables (read: explosive).

Hunting is worth your time

Hunting is worth it | Far Cry New Dawn Beginner's Guide

In Far Cry 5, you didn’t really need to hunt at all. It was an option, sure, but not one that felt particularly important. In New Dawn, however, hunting really pays its dividends. Animal skins can be traded for crafting materials for guns and vehicles. You’ll typically get more materials for each skin than you’ll find in an area. If you see an animal, it’s best to try to take it down. Animal skins can be traded for materials at the workbench.

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Steven Petite
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Steven is a writer from Northeast Ohio currently based in Louisiana. He writes about video games and books, and consumes…
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