11 tips for surviving Far Cry Primal

Far Cry Primal takes us back to 10,000 BCE, a simpler time full of sabretooth tigers, woolly mammoths and a generous amount of clubbing your fellow man over the head with a big stick. The land of Oros is a brutal one, and if you're not prepared for it then the predators and opposing tribespeople will quickly send you back to the Stone Age. What? Well, even further back then. Read on, and our top tips will help you rise to become the envy of Mesolithic man.

All The Things

As you explore the Stone Age world you'll find plenty of resources dotted around the place, so grab as many as you can carry to give yourself the most crafting options. Open your weapon wheel and make sure you're regularly stocked up with arrows and spears, so you free up room in your pack for more resources. Speaking of which - get on the Wogah the crafter quest line as soon as possible so you can increase the capacity of your pack and belts.

Keep an eye on your mini map, as the little bag icons represent stashes you can grab for extra supplies, though some of these need shooting down with an arrow first. You'll also see crosses to mark fallen enemies and animals that haven't been looted yet, so visit these to collect your booty before moving on.

Club Fight

What with it being 10,000 BCE, there aren't many choices when it comes to weapons, however it's good to know how best to use the options you have available. The bow and arrow is your main ranged weapon, and you should always aim for headshots as these result in one-shot kills against many enemies and animals. Until you unlock a better, more powerful bow, you'll need to factor in arrow drop over longer distances to ensure you still hit your target.

The spear can be used as a melee weapon to jab at foes, but deals much more damage when thrown - accuracy is key here as you can only carry a couple at a time. When engaging in melee combat with the club, you can hold attack to charge up your swing then release to inflict more damage, so always do this when you have time. The club can also be thrown to stun enemies, but again your capacity is limited so launch it with care.

Survival of the Fittest

There are plenty of predators out there who want nothing more than to make your their next meal, so you need to pay attention as you travel around. Listen out for the sound of footsteps approaching, which is normally easier to notice than red markers appearing on your mini map - but watch for those too!

You can't outrun a hungry wolf or a bear, so if you realise you're being chased then immediately try to get to higher ground - if you can climb on top of a rock then you might be far enough out of harm's way to avoid getting attacked, but even hopping over a fallen tree can buy you enough time to quickly heal yourself. You can also try jumping into water to escape, as long as your predator can't swim... (spoiler alert: bears CAN swim.)

Hunting Party

When hunting an animal, make sure you stay crouched and keep your distance so they don't spot you. Ideally you'll take down smaller prey with a single arrow headshot, but if you just wound them and they run off you can either track them with your hunter vision or head in the general direction they went and look for the cross on your mini map to find their body.

If there's a particular animal you want to hunt, zoom in on the main map to see icons for the main beasts which indicate their territories, and if you hover over them you'll also received tips about their behaviour. Make sure you're well stocked up before going after larger predators - if you take on a brown bear without a full compliment of spears and arrows, you're gonna have a bad time.

Fire, Good...

Thankfully by this point in human evolution the art of making fire has been well and truly mastered, which you can use to your advantage. As long as you're carrying some animal fat, you can pull up the weapon wheel and set your chosen weapon alight. Burning arrows can be used to set enemies ablaze, as well as lighting bonfires from a distance. You can also use them to set fires in enemy camps to cause a distraction, before attacking from a different direction in the confusion.

Later in the game, fire has an additional use as you brave the freezing northern wastes. You'll need to set up campfires at regular intervals and return to them often for warmth, otherwise you'll end up more frozen than Jack Nicholson at the end of The Shining.

Village People

By recruiting named specialists to join your village and building them huts, you can unlock new skills, weapons and mission to complete, so do this as soon as you can. Make sure you also upgrade your own cave to unlock additional crafting upgrade options. At the back of this cave your progress is tracks using a system of piled rocks, though thankfully this is translated for you when you approach them.

By completing rescue missions you can bring more Wenja tribespeople to your village, and at 20, 40 and 60 tribespeople you'll unlock an extra bag of weapon resources and food in your daily Reward Stash. Levelling up Sayla's hut will also add rare items to the Reward Stash and help you with more complicated crafting projects.

Beasts Mode

Once you're recruited Tensay and learned the Beast Master skill, you can start taming animals by throwing bait near them then carefully creeping up and following the prompt. Takkar will normally comment to say if you can tame the particular animal or not, but at any point you can tap right on the d-pad to check which beasts you can control. This menu also lets you see the different beasts' stats and abilities, and you can swap your companion at any point by calling in a replacement.

You should always keep a beast by your side, as they will help protect you by chasing off other predators that approach. Depending on their abilities they can also tag enemies or warn you of their presence, as well as revealing more of the terrain around you in the main map as you explore. While aiming you can command your beast to attack a particular enemy or animal you're pointing at, or you can send them to a specific location - great for guarding a choke point.

Owl Play

Your owl companion is perfect for scouting ahead, so when you're approaching an opposing bonfire or outpost you should send it ahead to check things out. Swoop down and your owl can tag enemies in the area, which you can then track when you attack. You can purchase skill upgrades that allow your owl to perform dive attacks on enemies or drop bombs on them, however this will put them into alert status so don't go down that route if you want to take a stealth approach.

For Your Stealth

Firing off arrows left right and centre while all hell breaks loose is a perfectly reasonable combat tactic, but sometimes it's better to take the softly softly approach to achieve your ends. Sneaking up behind an enemy gives you a prompt to perform a stealth takedown, silently eliminate your foe and allowing you to drag their body out of the way to avoid discovery. If you can't get behind an enemy undetected, you can tap down on the d-pad to throw rocks and use the sound to lead them to a more secluded spot then eliminate them.

Night Terror

Far Cry Primal has a persistent day and night cycle, and once it gets dark you can find unique plants, animals and collectibles around Oros. However, being out and about at night is more dangerous due to an increase in predators and enemies patrolling. You can use a flaming club to improve visibility and swing it around to ward off some predators - except those that don't fear fire, natch. Of course, you may prefer to just skip the night entirely, which you can do by resting on a bed at any of your camps.

Free Stuff

Once you've recruited enough specialists and tribespeople to your village, you'll start receiving daily Reward Stashes in your cave including weapon resources and food, as well as some rare items if you're lucky. You can net yourself a nice little stock of items for free by simply going to your cave, sleeping until dawn, taking all you can from the Reward Stash then sleeping until the following dawn and repeating. Make sure you've upgraded your village as much as possible before doing this, to maximise your returns.

Iain Wilson
Guides Editor

Iain originally joined Future in 2012 to write guides for CVG, PSM3, and Xbox World, before moving on to join GamesRadar in 2013 as Guides Editor. His words have also appeared in OPM, OXM, PC Gamer, GamesMaster, and SFX. He is better known to many as ‘Mr Trophy’, due to his slightly unhealthy obsession with amassing intangible PlayStation silverware, and he now has over 500 Platinum pots weighing down the shelves of his virtual award cabinet. He does not care for Xbox Achievements.