Thanks to the open world setting of the latest Metro instalment, there are a ton of Metro Exodus map locations to discover and if you don't know what you're looking for then you could miss out on some of the best things in the game. Each of The Volga, Caspian, and Taiga areas are stacked with cool side missions or story elements that you can accidentally breeze straight past, not to mention some essential gear items that can really aid your survival.
That's why we've put together this guide to the best Metro Exodus map locations, so you don't miss out on any of the good stuff. The Volga, Caspian, and Taiga maps all serve as hubs in Metro Exodus with plenty of objectives and gear to find, so we've flagged up all the things you don't want to miss if you want to get the full experience from the game. Naturally, there may be mild spoilers ahead for things you could otherwise discover on your own, but we've kept them to a minimum so as not to intrude on the story.
Check out our top Metro Exodus tips in the video below:
Use your binoculars to get the best out of the map
Quick tip before you go anywhere: use your binoculars to look around regularly. You get them shortly after meeting the engineer Krest on the crane to look at various landmarks he calls out. Anywhere worth visiting will make a clicking noise as you look over it. If you hold that position and zoom in you should hear a whir and see a map icon appear indicating an area has been marked to your map. If you don’t get the noise and icon, try zooming in and out and gently moving around the area of the click. It’s worth doing this regularly as new viewpoints will let you see different locations, and even right up to the end of a chapter you can still discover new places.
What do the icons mean?
There are only four icons to really worry about on the Metro Exodus map: the big white cross is your next main objective, a green building is a safehouse (with a workbench to fix and craft gear, and a bed to change the time of day), while a red hazard skull and bones indicates enemies and, more importantly, gear to salvage. These will all be question marks until you visit them, at which point a compass marker will appear on screen to show the map has updated.
The Volga’s characterised by its swampy watery areas and the need to use a boat to get around. The important thing is it’s possible to find a number of hugely useful upgrades and gadgets right at the start if you know where to look. As a rule the last boat you used will appear on the map but you can find others. Because of the dangerous mutant shrimp and a giant catfish, the water can be dangerous so it’s worth sticking close to the shore in the boat so you can disembark quickly if you need to.
Here's what you need to keep an eye out for:
- Sniper scope and compass - You’ll find a crashed plane here with a sniper scope and, more importantly, a compass that will always point towards your next objective.
- Kalash rifle upgrades - There’s a tiny outpost here where you’ll find some good Kalash rifle upgrades early on to increase damage and stability.
- Ammo carrying upgrade and Tsar Fish room Key - There are some prisoners here you can rescue who will give you a key to access the room below (point 4) where you can find the night vision goggles. There’s also Ammo Pouches upstairs that let you carry more bullets.
- Night vision goggles - The night vision goggles here you can access early via the key from the prisoners you find at 3 above, or you can get them as part of the mission to get the railcar after you kill the Tsar Fish.
- Gas mask upgrades - There’s a small shack here full of fungus and spiders where you can find the Extended Filter, an upgrade that makes your gas mask filters last longer.
- Throwable ammo upgrade - This gas station has a few bandits to take out. Kill them and explore inside to find the throwing weapon harness which lets you carry more knives, grenades and molotov cocktails.
- Metal detector - There’s a metal detector here that will help you locate resources if you equip it to your bracer. Look for a broken down crane and it’ll be in a small rusted house in front of that. You’ll have to break the lock off to get inside.
- Kalash rifle upgrades - There are some ruined buildings here that are basically pillars and beams. Look for some ramps and shipping crates that take you up to one of the beams and follow it around to find a ladder and an outpost. You’ll find a Kalash heavy stock, and long barrel and compensator for a big damage and accuracy boost.
- Kalash rifle suppressor - The safehouse here has a Kalash suppressor barrel if you want some full auto silenced fun (it’ll cut damage and range but alert less people). There’s also another sniper scope if you haven't already got one.
- Teddy bear - If you want to find the teddy bear for one of the side missions it’s on top of a big cylindrical gas tower here. Be careful because there’s a lot of radiation.
- Guitar - If you want to recover the guitar for one of the side missions you’ll find it here atop a tower filled with bandits. There’s also a prisoner you can release.
- Battery upgrade - There’s a Charge Controller here that will extend your battery life. You’ll find a large building with electrically sealed doors and a smaller shed with a generator. There’s a gas can around the back of the shed you can use to power up the doors and open them to retrieve the battery upgrade from… somewhere interesting.
The Yamantau section of the game is basically a linear story beat with no open world elements. However, you can grab a night vision scope here. Just keep an eye out for a Kalash on a table near a yellow junction box that lets you turn all the lights off. You’ll also get the Gatling Gun but that’s impossible to miss as it’s part of a small boss encounter.
The Caspian area is a large open sea bed turned desert. You’ll want to visit Alyosha as soon you start (the gun guy) to get the flame rounds for the Tikha, then do the first mission to access a car you can use to get around the rest of the map. There’s a lot of side stuff here so use your binoculars regularly as the flat terrain means you have to scan from numerous vantage points to mark everything to your map.
- Ashot/shambler suppressor - On the way to your first mission you’ll see a canyon here. At the end of it you’ll find an old camp and an Ashot with a shotgun silencer that will fit the Ashot and Shambler.
- Shambler with small cylinder - you’ll have to visit this area as part of the first Yamantau mission. You’ll be attacked on the roof and your attacker will drop a Shambler shotgun with a three round cylinder. Pro-tip here: don’t kill the guy that jumps you, he will come in useful later.
- Valve assault grip - If you haven’t already found one you can grab an assault grip, stock and forend here on a Valve gun.
- Night vision scope - If you missed the Night Vision Scope in the Yamantau level there’s another one in the safe house you’ll find here, along with a Heavy Stock and a Single Column Magazine that hold five rounds for the Valve. Just watch out for the monsters and tripwire booby traps.
- Motion tracker, gatling gun and slave rescue - There’s a shipwreck here with three reasons to visit. Firstly there’s another Gatling Gun on the mid level if you missed the one you can pick up in Yamantau. Secondly it’s being used by slavers and if you kill them and free the slaves (without hurting them) it might just help you later on. But, most importantly, if you find your way to the top there’s a motion tracker you can fit to your bracer.
- Bulldog machine gun - this isn’t the only place you can grab a Bulldog but it’s likely the first if you’re following the main mission. It’s basically a better Kalash and you can find it on the bodies of the enemies attacking the lighthouse.
- Extra bright light - There’s a booby trapped safe house here so watch out for tripwire grenades. However if you can get in without blowing yourself up then there’s an extra bright light that lets you see further and wider in the dark but uses up your battery faster.
- Armoured gas mask - there’s a hidden canyon here where you’ll have to fight through some slavers to reach a cave at the end (the ladder to reach it will only drop once everyone’s dead). Inside you’ll find a man who killed himself and an armoured glass upgrade for your gas mask, making it less likely to crack.
- Night vision goggle upgrade - There’s a military base here that doubles as a safe house. You’ll have to deal with security and fight mutants all the way to the top of the main building but when you do you’ll unlock the NVD Amplifier which makes your night vision a lot clearer.
- Increased consumables carrying upgrade - head down here and you’ll find a tiny cave tucked away inside the cliff. In there you’ll find a Consumables Carrier which is an upgrade for your suit that lets you carry more air filters and med kits. Maybe also check out the guy you find nearby. You'll know why when you get there.
- Armoured helmet, Ashot quad barrel and slave rescue - There’s another shipwreck here full of slavers so only kill the bad guys, not the slaves. In the first main area you reach you’ll find a Reinforced Helmet to absorb more headshot damage. You’ll also find two switches, one on the bottom level and one one the top level that will open the slave cages. And, finally, in the bridge right at the top/back, you’ll find the Four Barrels attachment for the Ashot shotgun. That fires two barrels at a time for loads of damage and recoil.
- 6x Sniper scope - You’ve have to visit this crane as part of the main mission and you’ll probably be bothered by the sniper way up on top of the thing. Make sure you find his gun when you kill him as it’ll have a 6 x sniper scope for you to use.
Additional - Giul’s photo
After meeting Giul at the Caspian lighthouse as part of the main mission she’ll let you into an underground bunker and ask if you can find her mother’s photo. This is basically a linear section but keep an eye out for this door just after Damir says you have to use the air vents.
If you reach the dead officer by a collapsed air vent you’ve got to far so backtrack a room or so and look for that half opened blue door by the desk and body. Inside you’ll find Giul’s mother's body clutching a photo.
The bulk of Metro Exodus’ open world ambition happens in the Volga and Caspian, leaving Taiga as more of a wide corridor than open plains to explore. There are also some spoilers so we’re just going to show the map with encounter/resource locations and safehouses. As you can see it’s a straightforward area so there’s not a lot of room to explore anyway - by the time you reach this point the game is dialling in the scale to build up the momentum for its conclusion.