From Before I Play
- There's an easy mode now. Don't be ashamed to use it, the game IS hard and will punish you for not knowing stuff. I'm doing fine on normal now, but my first run would be a lot more palatable with the easy mode assists.
- Experience is gained by finding XP items, so you can even avoid a lot of combat and still get good XP (enemies also drop them, but aren't farmable).
- Take a look at all perks you might be interested in and make sure you have the stats for them beforehand. You only get 6 stat points by leveling up, and in certain cases you'll want all of them in dexterity.
- Dexterity reduces the AP cost of certain attacks, and you can get the maximum possible reduction by starting with 10 dex, putting all points on dex and eating dex boosting food. If you want this, make sure to plan from the beginning since there's no respecs.
- The game has two skills for avoiding hits, dodge for melee and evade for ranged. It might feel like you should take them but completely ignore them, they suck.Their math is something like, if you have higher dodge skill than the enemy has melee, that difference is subtracted from 95% hit chance. What this means is that since you're always going to fight enemies with levels above you, they'll always have 95% hit chance no matter what you do unless you have insanely high specialization in them. PSI attacks ignore them completely. And since whenever you're immobilized or disabled your dodge and evade are set to 0, that's how you're going to die anyway.
- You're better off focusing on mitigating damage and disabling enemies instead of avoiding hits.
- Stealth, hacking and lockpicking are non-negotiable. You gotta focus on stealth in this game to avoid fights, and this is a very important way to solve some plot issues. Hacking and lockpicking also pay for themselves with the extra XP you will find in locked areas.
- The highest hacking and lockpicking checks in the game are 135, no need to level them further than that. I believe the same applies for speech skills. DLC will have higher checks though.
- The highest crafting requirement in the game is 160 electronics, same applies here, and only if you're lucky to get max quality crafting items which are super rare and only available at endgame.
- Try to have just enough throwing skill to reliably hit flash-bangs and other high damage grenades where you want them, they can really turn the tide of an encounter or give you an overwhelming starting advantage.
- Crafting is super, super important. If you want to focus on other stuff, make sure to at least max out electronics, the one non-negotiable crafting skill, since it does way more than any other crafting skill. It will allow you to build super powerful shields early on that will completely negate most ranged attacks, way better than any you can buy from vendors. A good shield will go a long way into making encounters more manageable. I recommend a medium frequency augmented with a low frequency for great coverage.
- You will definitely want the feat that allows you to craft items with more energy capacity. This turns your already powerful crafted shields into almost invincibility for certain encounters that would normally one shot you. I usually tank constitution and even then it's hard for me to die against ranged enemies.
- Electronics will also allow you to build a taser, which you can't get any other way and it's one of the best items in the game. A low cooldown guaranteed stun with 100% hit chance that will also guarantee 95% hits for the rest of the turn and the enemy loses the turn. It's one of the only ways to disable mechanical enemies.
- Adding to that, with electronics you'll be able to create cloaking devices that can bump your stealth skill high enough to access some areas that shouldn't be accessible without fighting and pissing off friendly factions.
Plot spoilers below
- Only take the psi enabling drug if you're going to use psi attacks. It will reduce your HP by a large margin.
- Whenever you take a job at any of the companies in core city, you can't work with the other ones. Make sure you choose the one you want.
- You trigger the point of no return by finishing quests at the university and choosing a position with the leader. The earthquake signals the PONR. Only finish this once you're done with everything else, you don't want to go there underleveled. You are not warned in any way and it really takes you by surprise.
- Do not ever kill a single faceless in the game. It might not look like it at first, but you can avoid all combat with them by using other means. If you make hostile decisions against them, they'll turn on you on the moment it will hurt you the most in the game, the point of no return.
- The point of no return is huge. It's about 25% of the entire game, is way harder, your resources are limited and some enemies respawn constantly. Only go when you have a surplus of resources. This is why you don't piss off the faceless. If they are your enemies here they will be defending most of the resources in this area and they're harder than anything in the game.
- There's a not very obvious mechanic to avoid the infinitely respawning enemies in the PONR, as well as a quest that makes a lot easier to avoid them. You have to avoid the debuff status, which you can do by entering the hatches littered around the map. If the debuff reaches the maximum amount of stacks, enemies start spawning constantly.