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Far Cry 5 beginner’s guide

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Get better faster with weapons, perks and fangs for hire

If you’ve played a Far Cry game before, you know that they can be pretty overwhelming. Far Cry 5 is probably the most extreme example of this, given the amount of freedom they bestow upon you from the jump. But no need to worry! We’ve got a handful of tips to keep you alive in the wilds of Montana.

SERIOUSLY, GO ANYWHERE

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Once you complete a few missions on a tiny starting island, the entire map of Far Cry 5 is open to you. Granted, some of it may be inaccessible due to your current skills or be a little hairy in terms of opposition, but by and large you are free to explore.

The map is segmented into three regions, each controlled by a lieutenant. It’s really up to you which one you tackle first, but once you pick one, you should try to stick with it until you manage to take down the boss of that area. It’s not required, but recommended, for a specific reason we’ll go into a bit later.

UNLOCK SOME ANIMAL FRIENDS

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One of the best parts of Far Cry 5 is that you can recruit guns for hire that will follow you around and help you out. But guns for hire for hire are nowhere near as awesome as fangs for hire. Yes, you can befriend a number of animals, and you should definitely look to do this as your first mission.

You can actually see where potential friends are on the map, indicated by portrait photos. Which animal you go for is really based on your playstyle. Peaches the cougar is great for stealth kills, Boomer the doggo can automatically mark enemies on your HUD and Cheeseburger the bear is, uh, a goddamn bear.

Who you go with is really up to you, but don’t feel locked into your decision. These missions are remarkably quick to complete, so feel free to collect them all!

CHALLENGES = PERK SKILLS POINTS APLENTY

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As you’re playing Far Cry 5, you may find yourself hungry for skill points. You may get a few here and there, but if you’re just completing missions, skill points will be slow coming. But there’s a way to get a boatload in a hurry: Challenges.

Challenges are listed in your menu. Effectively they’re in-game achievements that reward you with skill points, and most of them are astonishingly easy. Kill 10 guys with a pistol? Piece of cake! So long as you’re mixing up your chosen weapons, guns for hire and skill sets, you should be able knock out at least a dozen challenges in under an hour, netting you a metric ton of skill points.

WHAT SKILL PERK TO UNLOCK FIRST?

If you’re struggling to decide where to spend skill points, there’s one pick that should be at the top of your list. When you start the game you’ll only be able to carry two guns, one of which is a pistol. It’s … limiting to say the least.

Thankfully it’s easily remedied with the Additional Holster perk. It’s expensive, at eight skill points, but if you’re completing challenges, you’ll get there in no time.

Earlier, we mentioned finishing off a boss before moving on to another area. That’s because the next level of this perk adds yet another gun, but it requires you to kill one of Jacob’s lieutenants. So if you want to be marching around with an arsenal, we’d recommend this route.

For more perk recommendations, check out our full Far Cry 5 skill perks guide!

WHERE DO I GET A HELICOPTER?

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You can actually get a helicopter within the first hour of Far Cry 5 , so long as you have the money to buy one. If you’re cheap and would rather earn one, head up to the northeast part of the map. There’s a large portrait of one of the guns for hire, Adelaide, marking the spot you want to head.

Once there, complete a mission for her, and you’ll unlock the ability to call her in. She’ll bring her favorite chopper with her, Tulip, which you can then take for yourself. It’s one of the fastest helicopters in the game, and it comes packing a machine gun, which is extremely handy.

If you’d like to unlock the helicopter at all of the heliports around Hope County, complete a mission for Xander the yoga fanatic the same marina where you found Adelaide. Once done, you’ve got yourself a free chopper without spending a dime.

STAYING QUIET

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Stealth is extremely effective in Far Cry 5, and there are plenty of excellent perks that allow you to kill opponents without making a peep. If that’s your preferred playstyle, go for it.

Even if it isn’t, you should consider buying silencer attachments for your favorite guns. A large percentage of the guns in Far Cry 5 support silencers — even ones you wouldn’t expect, like shotguns. The silencers don’t seem to impact range or damage at all, which makes them all-upside attachments and highly recommended.

HIT THE ARCADE FOR MONEY AND SKILL POINTS

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Far Cry Arcade is a bizarre new mode that lets you play through hand-crafted levels set in a variety of bizarre locations. The levels are relatively short, and you can play them in co-op (which makes them even more fun).

Completing missions in Far Cry Arcade will increase your rank, whereupon you’ll be rewarded with bonus skill points and cash, both of which carry over to the campaign. Better still, many of the perks you unlock in the campaign carry back over to the arcade.

GOOD LUCK OUT THERE!

Those tips should get you started in Hope County, but if you ever find yourself simply overwhelmed by Peggies, feel free to dial down the difficulty in settings. Easy mode doesn’t impact any rewards or achievements, and it’ll let you be a little more goofy and freewheeling in Far Cry 5’s wide open spaces.