11 essential Far Cry 5 tips to know before you play

Far Cry 5 is finally here, and it’s the most ambitious Far Cry game yet, locked and stocked with ample things to see and do across the cult-ridden lands of Hope County, Montana. Now that we’ve properly played the game and put a significant number of hours into its open world, this list of tips and tricks should fill in any gaps or questions you have about all the important mechanics and systems operating under the hood of Far Cry 5’s bonnet. 

Want to know how to liberate regions quicker, how to earn perks easily or, most importantly, how to get a pet bear?! Read on, then, for 11 Far Cry 5 tips to prep you up just in time for you to jump into Ubisoft's latest open world adventure.  

Talk to people!

Far Cry doesn’t use towers any more to unlock the world or mark the map. Instead, it gets a bit more Skyrim, where talking to people gives you mission info and adds quests to your journal. It’s hard to miss the essential stuff but make sure you chat to anyone and everyone with a “!” icon above their head, as they’ll usually have something for you to do. 

These can include Cult Outposts, Prepper Stashes, side quests, story quests, key character locations and more, and they’ll be marked on your map as soon as the NPC has finished talking. Don’t worry; if you can’t be bothered to hear what every Joe Schmoe has to say to you, you can always skip each conversation and they’ll cut to the chase with the key information you’re looking to hear.

It’s good to keep switching between Specialists 

Specialists are key characters in Far Cry 5; able patriots willing and ready to assist you in the fight against the cult as soon as you’ve unlocked them by completing each of their unique side-quests. There are six of them in total, and while everyone will have their favourites, it’s worth swapping various characters in and out depending on what you’re doing. You can dismiss and call them in at will, so it makes sense to think about what you actually need. 

Grace, as a sniper, is great for ranged support. While Sharky has a flamethrower that creates chaos at close range, and is resistant to explosions. Other characters pack silent bows, or rocket launchers and more, so depending on whether you want to go loud or stealthy, fight from a distance or up close, you’ll want to keep mixing things up. 

Pay attention to the signs

You’ve probably spotted various signposts situated on the side of most roads in Far Cry 5, and it turns out they’re not just ornamental. Looking at them will notify you of a particular point of interest nearby - such as a fishing spot, base jump location, or hunting ground - and will even mark it for you on your map. 

That’s important, because you can’t just rely on radio towers anymore to show you every notable location in the vicinity, so these signs are a great way to keep track of what’s around you.  

You can open every safe you see 

You’ll come across locked safes in Prepper Stashes, bunkers, or just certain households in Far Cry 5, and most of them will contain serious stacks of money, or maybe even something better like a perk magazine. You’re going to want to open every last one you find, and you can do that in three ways. 

There’s the easy way, chucking a remote explosive at the lock and blowing it wide open, but you might not always any spare bombs handy. The other options include burning it open with the blowtorch (you’ll need to unlock this gadget as a perk first) or, if you have the lockpicking perk, simply holding a button to get it open using your own bare hands. 

Level up your fighters 

Fighters are randomly generated NPC civilians who will be able to join you as a disposable Guns for Hire whenever you encounter them across Hope County. You can recruit up to three in your army at any one time, and each once can be leveled up twice to gain up to two, randomly selected perks that can boost both you and them whenever they’re with you. 

To level up, a Fighter needs to get 5 kills to unlock their first perk and 12 kills to unlock the second, so sic them on enemies and keep an eye on their kill count in the roster menu to gain access to those perks as quickly as possible. Some of their buffs, like Vulture (will find extra stuff when looting) can be super handy, so it’s worth focusing on this mini progression system whenever possible. 

You should recruit all three Fangs for Hire ASAP

Similar to the Specialists, Fangs for Hires are animal companions you can enlist to accompany and fight with you around Hope County. I recommend finding and bringing them onboard as soon as you can, since it’s great fun to see your giant pet bear reduce cultists to whimpering wrecks. There are three Fangs for Hire available in Far Cry 5, and you’re free to go and recruit them as soon as you’ve liberated Dutch’s Region and have access to the full open world. 

Boomer the dog is the easiest to unlock, as you’ll only need to kill a few cultists at Rae-Rae’s Pumpkin Farm in John’s Region before he’s all yours to have fun with. Cheeseburger the bear and Peaches the cougar have slightly longer, more challenging quest lines, but as long as you’re competent in combat, it’ll be no time before they’re by your side in battle. 

Max out your Resistance Points in each region

As with previous Far Crys, things you do in game earn you Resistance Points and when you fill the meter you can take on the boss for that region. Almost every activity gives you Resistance Points, but some earn more than others; For example, liberating a Cult Outpost pays out 400 RP, while rescuing a hostage will earn you 50 RP. That last one might not sound like much,  but there’s often more than one hostage in every hostage situation you’ll encounter, so it all adds up. 

Remember that the more resistance you gain, the more you aggravate the boss of each region, meaning they’ll start hunting you down more aggressively with planes, hitmen, and more, so do keep an eye out for those. 

Complete challenges to earn perk points

Speccing out your character involves unlocking perks and gadgets. That includes things like improving your skill with different weapons, maxing out your inventory capacity, or getting a wingsuit. Like with Resistance Points, almost anything you do can count towards earning more perk points thanks to the challenge system, which is viewable from the journal when in the game.

Get a certain amount of kills with an LMG, for example, and you’ll earn yourself two perk points. It’s therefore worth frequently checking in your journal to see what progress you’re making, in case there’s a gun that’s a few kills away from a perk point, just so you’re not sitting on any unclaimed rewards.

Keep an eye out for Prepper Stashes 

Scattered around the world in Far Cry are Prepper Stashes, which are basically just big ol‘ piles of loot waiting to be grabbed. There’s always a puzzle or challenge of sorts involved - whether that’s finding a generator to open a door or wading through mounds of dog poo for a keycard - but they’re worth doing, and not just because you’ll receive tons of money, ammo, resources, and at least perk points (in the form of perk magazines) for completing them.

Certain stashes present some of the best side activities that Far Cry 5 has to offer, such as a trip to a Haunted House or a tense climb up one of Hope County’s tallest mountains. The wads of cash you’ll gain for hunting every prepper stash down is merely an added bonus.

The Clutch Nixon time trials are worth doing

According to legend, Clutch Nixon was an Even Knievel type stuntman from Hope County who used trucks, bikes, wingsuits, and more to blaze a trail across the world. You can find memorials to him around Far Cry 5’s world, and interacting with them will begin time trial challenges that can be completed to unlock new vehicles alongside the cash needed to purchase them. Beat Clutch Nixon’s records, and you’ll soon find yourself in possession of seriously cool new gear. 

You can throw your melee weapons 

Other than being great for silent takedowns or nonchalantly whacking people round the head with, Far Cry 5’s assortment of spades, baseball bats, pipes, and oars can also be chucked like a throwing spear to either impale an enemy or send them flying down in confusion. 

The game never specifically tells you that you’re able to do this, but it adds a much needed sense of range to melee combat that can be utilised to clear space between you and your foes before you deliver that killer final blow. Just hold the left trigger as though you were aiming down the barrel of a gun before hitting fire, and your thwacking stick of choice will be sent flying in that direction.  

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