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Essential tips for starting out in the Mad Max game

Complete the other Stronghold Projects fast to get important resources

In addition to being critical for scrap collection, finishing projects in the Strongholds gives you permanent access to important resources. Want automatic refills on ammo, water, and fuel whenever you roll into the base? Each Stronghold has a project that, once completed, will be a never-ending well for that resource, so you'll never have to worry about running low on it again. Granted, this is only the case for regions connected to that Stronghold, so you'll have to rebuild when you arrive at a new Stronghold. Alternatively, you can just fast travel to a completed Stronghold whenever you need a pick-me-up, though those load times may start to grind your gears.

Take out the camps if you're looking to decrease threat levels in a hurry

Certain upgrades are locked behind a specific region's threat level: the numerical representation of Scrotus' dominion over that area's terrified denizens. Pretty much anything you do - from eliminating snipers to tearing down scarecrows - helps whittle down the current threat level, but the quickest way to establish a foothold is to take out some camps. You can scout out where each camp is located during your hot air balloon rides, then decide which ones you want to take down first based on their difficulty (represented by those skull icons). Just know that if you're chasing after a specific upgrade, you'll have to make sure that you're reducing threat in the correct area (though every bit helps out in the long run).

Don't get fancy with your sniper shots

In most games, sniper rifles are a chance to line up the perfect headshot from a distance - but in Mad Max, those bullets are one-hit kills no matter where they connect. When trying to line up your sights, you should only be focused on getting the hit, rather than where you hit, because each bullet is precious. Gliding the reticle above an enemy will typically give you an auto-aim nudge toward their chest - and that's the shot you want to take. And if a sniper is shooting back at you, keep your cool; it can be tempting to frantically try to nail them before they clip you, but that just makes you more likely to waste your ammunition. Instead, simply drive out of their range and come back later. Same goes for if you run out of ammo, because trying to get out of the car will almost assuredly get you killed (or at least have you dancing and dodging away from incoming shots nonstop).

Don't always trust the auto-guide

Ever heard the travel expression "as the crow flies"? That's typically a good rule of thumb when trying to make your way to whatever destination you've highlighted on your map. Like most open-world games, your minimap will highlight the optimal road you want to take in green - but you'll usually make it to your mark much quicker if you just go barrelling off a cliff or two, bypassing the windy trails with some off-roading. Once you've unlocked nitro boosts, you can clear most canyons or cliffs without much trouble, which will save you tons of time while you cruise around the wasteland. And don't worry about wrecking your car, because...

The Magnum Opus is effectively indestructible

You've got to hand it to Chumbucket: the little fella does good work. No matter what kind of body-shattering, axle-grinding torture you put the Magnum Opus through, Chumbucket can always repair it back to pristine(ish) condition. You can effectively ignore your vehicle's health bar; as long as you get out of the car in time whenever you've taken critical damage, even an all-consuming car fire can be fixed. On top of that, the Magnum Opus will never tip over no matter what kind of death-defying jumps you take, so you won't have to pull a Master Chief and flip over a two-ton vehicle in the middle of a fight.

Max is borderline fireproof

Not wanting to be outdone by his ride, Max himself is also quite resistant to high heat. If you've just rammed a bandit off the road and want to pick up the scrap from their car's burning remains, go for it - those plumes of orange flame won't leave a scratch on Max or his leather jacket. And though you're not immune to explosions, you can withstand some pretty devastating blasts. For instance, the kind of detonation that'll wipe out all nearby enemies will usually only ding about half of your health bar - so if those War Boys have you backed into a corner near an oil transfer tank or an explosive barrel, might as well blow it and hope for the best.

You can totally cheat during Death Races

It would probably be frowned upon if NASCAR or F1 drivers actively tried to kill each other while jockeying for position - but in Crow Dazzle's Death Races, anything goes! Make you sure you load up on shotgun ammo before starting a race, because you're free to blast the exposed gas canisters on the back of your competitors' rides and permanently remove them from the rally. It's not time efficient to take out all the other contestants, but this lethal bit of cheating can be a godsend if you can't seem to pull ahead of the car in front of you. You can even take out the nearest vehicle right at the starting line without anyone - be they racer or event organizer - batting an eye.

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Lucas Sullivan is the former US Managing Editor of GamesRadar+. Lucas spent seven years working for GR, starting as an Associate Editor in 2012 before climbing the ranks. He left us in 2019 to pursue a career path on the other side of the fence, joining 2K Games as a Global Content Manager. Lucas doesn't get to write about games like Borderlands and Mafia anymore, but he does get to help make and market them.