Five Far Cry Primal Tips To Keep You Alive In The Stone Age

by Jeff Cork on Feb 23, 2016 at 03:31 AM

Far Cry Primal is out today, giving players a chance to explore the vast world of Oros. The game marks a departure from previous entries, in that it’s set more than 12,000 years ago. While the tools of destruction are primitive compared to recent Far Cry games, it’s still similar overall to its predecessors. Primal has some key distinctions, however, and knowing those can mean the difference between being an alpha caveman versus being something’s (or someone’s) lunch. Here are a few tips to make life in Oros easier.

Spears Are The Stone Age’s RPG
When you start Primal, you don’t have many tools at your disposal. Your arsenal increases as you progress through the game, but the bulk of your offensive output comes from bows, clubs, and spears. Bows are self-explanatory; you use them to fire arrows, which can take out enemies at a distance. You can certainly toss clubs, but they’re most useful as melee bludgeons. That leaves us with spears. 

Spears are great for several reasons. First, you can one-shot most rank-and-file human foes by jabbing the pointy end in an opponent’s face. Eventually, you run into tougher guys with the Stone Age equivalent of helmets. Arrows will bounce right off of them, which can be problematic for those of us who rely on raining down death from a distance. That’s where spears really shine. You can carry several of them, and fire them at an enemy in rapid succession. It’s not logical, but it works. After spending some time (and points) in the upgrade tree, you can take out big bads with a couple of spears in the center body mass. Don’t bother going for headshots. When they’re down, go into your hunter vision by pressing the right stick in, which makes it easier to see and retrieve your spears from the environment.

Fire Is Great, But It Isn’t The Solution To Everything
When you’re in the weapon wheel, you have the option of setting your arrows, clubs, and spears on fire. It’s handy when it’s dark out, or you need to explore the inner depths of a cave. Fiery weapons can also be devastating against animals and members of other tribes – fur is quite flammable, as it turns out. You know what else is? The world.

If you’re not judicious with your application of fire, you can easily find yourself in the middle of a burning field or forest. Fire is really into you, as well, and although you can pat the flames out, you still take damage. For that reason, I recommend that you check out your immediate surroundings before you unleash your inner firebug. Stand on rocks, and try to use fire from a distance when possible. Fire’s a glorious tool, but immolating your foes isn’t worth it if your charred body collapses to the ground moments after they do.

Must Love Dholes (And Other Animals)
Far Cry players have been using the local wildlife to their advantage for years now, but animals are a centerpiece in Primal. The game is fairly grounded in realism, which makes Flintstones-style cars, firearms, and other technological advances like that out of the question. That void is filled with your character’s special Beast Master ability. Your character can tame a variety of animal buddies (no ferrets, sorry), who will follow you as you explore and battle animals and other humans. 

Each animal has its own special characteristics, but they’re not created equally. The badger is a pain to battle, but its slow speed makes it a bit of a nonstarter companion. Dholes will loot some fallen enemies for you, which is handy, but their comparative lack of offensive output makes it harder to stack up corpses overall. I gravitated toward the sabertooth tiger, which is a great mix of speed and damage. Animals have a tendency to flee when attacked, and the tiger can usually keep pace. It’s a later-game animal, but I recommend looking for how you can unlock it in the skill tree and make that path a priority. 

Your companions can and will die as you play. You can lessen the chances by keeping their health topped off, either by feeding them meat or lingering around bodies and letting them feast on the dead. If they do die, don’t fret – you can revive them, though doing so will cost you some resources. Unless you’re really attached to a particular creature, I’d recommend taming the next beast you come across until you can find a suitable replacement. Wildlife is abundant in Oros, so you won’t have to go alone for long.

Hunt And Gather
You should know the drill by now: You’re going to be doing a lot of collecting in Far Cry Primal. As with previous games in the series, crafting is a big component of the game. You use fur, plants, wood, stone, and other resources to craft the tools and healing items you need to survive. In other words, make a habit out of picking up materials as you go along. That’ll prevent you from having to scrounge around for necessities when you run out of arrows in a fight or just want to upgrade your equipment. 

Your followers will gather materials for you in the background, and you can grab stuff from your unified stash that appears at campsites and outposts that you’ve cleared out. It gets updated once per in-game day, and it’s worth checking it out when you’re around one. In addition to ordinary crafting materials, they’ll also occasionally find scarcer items for you, which can save you from having to track down out-of-the-way components or the ever-elusive rare animals. If you’re the impatient type, you can select an option in the settings menu that lets you skip the animation that plays when gathering items. It won’t save you a whole lot of time, but it’s worth doing if you get tired of watching your hero pat the world.

Keep In Touch With Your Home Cave
There’s a lot to do in Oros as you work to keep your settlement strong. Don’t forget about that actual settlement during your adventures, either. As you attract new people, you’ll also get additional questlines and other goodies. Be sure that you’re building huts for these new residents when possible, and upgrading them when you can. That’s usually what sets progress in motion, but it’s easy to lose sight of that when you’re out and about, running away from stampeding wooly rhinos that may or may not be on fire. 


Want more Far Cry Primal? Take a look at our Test Chamber, and watch Kyle disregard most of my advice.