S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow Of Chernobyl
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- In the early part of the game, engage enemies by getting close by moving between cover and firing when the enemy is fully in your crosshairs. It often helps to go for headshots even though you will miss a few before you hit.
- Learn the keybinds, like the [ key to use a medkit and the ] key to use a bandage.
- Don't try to do every optional quest. Some of them are broken, many are simply wastes of time. Money is not especially key to your success. Sometimes the reward you get for, say, collecting and item and returning it to someone is worse than if you simply keep the item. There is no compulsion to follow the orders of anyone giving you an optional quest.
- Your armor's condition is represented by the blue meter. It becomes less effective as the condition worsens.
- You probably shouldn't equip artifacts that increase your radiation until you equip artifacts that reduce your radiation. If you have positive radiation, it will slowly kill you. Negative radiation will increase your resistance to radiation in the environment.
- Artifacts that increase your "health" really only increase health regeneration.
- You can press M to view the map much more efficiently than pressing P to simply bring up the PDA. By pressing P, though, you will be shown all your current quests and can double click on the one you want the minimap to point you to.
- Distance is your friend. Get a rifle as soon as possible and use it. The first assault rifles you'll encounter are on the Military soldiers underneath the bridge in the area out in which you start. Using a suppressed pistol, you can kill their leader when the other soldiers look away and steal his rifle and gear.
- Once you get to the Bar, the first thing you should do is go through the level transition to the Army Warehouses. A bunch of Duty soldiers will ambush a group of Freedom guys, who will drop the best weapons you'll find for a while. Steal their weapons and ammo, keep the best rifle in the best condition, and sell the rest to buy more supplies.
- Always fight from behind cover. Find cover over which you can shoot when crouched, but behind which you're hidden while low-crouched. Pop up, shoot a guy in the head, crouch, reload. Rinse and repeat. Grenade use is not a significant concern in this one, unlike in the prequel.
- Hold Ctrl AND shift and you'll crouch even lower, and become even more accurate.
- You have to aim using iron sights if you're more than a metre away from someone. Save often. I would recommend the Oblivion Lost mod if you absolutely HAVE to mod it on your first playthrough, but stay away from AMK until you've completed it once, as it's hard enough the first time without getting your gun shot out of your hands every 5 minutes. Oh, also, getting the mods removes the 'good' ending from the game, as it turns the endgame into a sandbox.
- The starting pistol is terrible. Don't quit just because the beginning is hard. The military at the tunnel have guns that make things a lot easier. If you want more of a challenge, the military base near the bar has much better guns, but it's also a lot harder than the 3 guys at the tunnel checkpoint.
- Save constantly. Have more than one save file. If you mess up and don't have a good save to fall back on you are going to punch yourself in the face. As far as I remember there is no autosave (There might be an autosave when moving between zones, but I don't remember exactly) so there's always the possibility that something horrible will happen and you'll lose your progress.
- On actual game-related advice, do plenty of side quests. Anything involving Strelok is pretty much mandatory to get the best ending. There's also one mission you'll come across involving zombies, a psychic headset and a scientist you have to escort. Reaching a certain point triggers a cutscene, which unfortunately won't stop the zombies killing the escort. Make sure to clear everything around you before advancing through the area. If he dies anyway, see the first paragraph!
- When you enter the Wild Territory and talk to the scientist there, starting the dialog spawns a bunch of enemies, and finishing the dialog "properly" has the scientist run forward to face-tank them. This is probably the only NPC whose death will make the game appreciably more difficult for you, so exploit the systems just a bit in this instance - once you talk to the scientist, enter the barter window, exit the dialog from there and clear out the newly spawned mercs.