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Rage 2: 12 tips to get you started

Get the most out of your time in the Wasteland

id Software, Avalanche Studios/Bethesda Softworks
Jeffrey Parkin (he/him) has been writing video game guides for Polygon for almost seven years. He has learned to love just about every genre of game that exists.

Rage 2 is a straightforward shooter with oddly complicated systems underlying it. While it’s easy to understand shooting mutants, other parts are harder to get used to.

Before you trek off into the Wasteland looking for allies (or just looking for trouble), check out our 12 tips for making the most of (and enjoying) your time in Rage 2.

Shoot supply crates, don’t melee them

Smashing Supply Crates to get at the goodies inside is an early and incredibly frustrating issue. A melee attack makes the most sense, but it’s absurdly difficult.

You can crouch for every one, or spend a lot of time figuring out exactly where to stand, or you can just use a few bullets to shoot them. If you’re low on ammo, switch over to a gun you don’t use often.

Always shoot exploding barrels

The Wasteland of Rage 2 is chock full of exploding barrels, canisters, and Feltrite tanks. A lot of the time, they show up near your enemies. There are times you can take out whole groups of enemies without ever shooting them directly.

You can even unlock an ability to blow up those barrels with your mind. In your Nanotrite menu, under Focus, look for the Remote Detonation Perk(s). These will allow you to focus (with Focus) on barrels and blow them up without firing a shot.

Your first car is the best car

As you leave the prologue, you’ll get a car called the Phoenix. In your menu, you’ll see that there are 15 other vehicles you can find or unlock. We’re here to tell you to spend approximately zero time thinking about the other cars. Collect them if you want, but any time you head off on a mission, take the Phoenix.

It’s the only car you can upgrade. It’s not the fastest vehicle, admittedly, but it’s not the slowest, either. And it’s got the best weapons.

Also, it has an ejector seat upgrade.

Stay on the road, even in a gyrocopter

Rage 2 is an open-world game, and while you can explore a lot of the map freely, you can’t just pick a direction and drive. The Wasteland is full of ravines, switchbacks, and piles of rocks that will make driving off-road far more frustrating (and time-consuming) than it’s worth. Stick to the roads.

When you reach level 7 in Doctor Kvasir’s Search & Recover Projects, you’ll unlock the Icarus — a gyrocopter. It lets you travel off-road a little better, but if you try to cross a ravine or come to a steep wall, it’s probably going to kill you (or at least act like it killed you). Even in your flying machine, stick (close) to the roads.

Get the Tracker Projects early

Speaking of Doctor Kvasir: Visit him early in your game. He should be your second stop — after you visit John Marshall in Gunbarrel.

You’ll find him on the west side of your map, north of Lagooney. Kvvasir’s Projects are Nanotrite-focused. Talk to him, complete his mission, then start unlocking those Projects — especially the Datapad Tracker and Storage Container Tracker. These two skills alone will save you hours of scouring a Bandit Den, looking for that one damn iPad.

Learn your currencies and upgrade menus

As simple as “shoot mutants in the Wasteland” sounds, the mechanics underneath that are oddly convoluted. Five out of the seven tabs in your menu have multiple upgrade trees, and they each have a specific currency associated with them.

Our currencies and upgrades guide will walk you through the basics.

Use Focus constantly

Your ability to use Focus is wildly useful. It pulls in nearby loose Feltrite, it occasionally heals you, it highlights nearby mutant egg sacs or Goon fuel tanks, and it gives you X-ray vision. After a few upgrades, it even lets you blow up stuff with your mind.

Rage 2 Focus
Use Focus to highlight enemies
id Software, Avalanche Studios/Bethesda Softworks

Use it every time you’re approaching enemies. You’ll be able to see them through walls, see where they’re clustered, and plan your approach accordingly.

Dash a lot

The very first Nanotrite ability you’ll pick up is called Dash. It’s a superhuman burst of speed in whatever direction you’re moving.

Use it constantly. It will get you out of the way of rockets and grenades. It’ll help you move across hostile territory quicker. It’ll help you stay ahead of enemies’ aim. As you upgrade it, it’ll even disrupt your enemies’ aim for a longer period of time.

Use your other superpowers, too

When the shooting starts and the mutants are swarming, it’s easy to fall back on your guns and forget all of the tools you have to kill them. But you’ve got ton of choices for dispatching bad guys.

You’ll pick up Shatter that will blow armor off of bad guys. There’s Slam that will turn you into a human grenade. And you’ve got Overdrive that will turn you into a frenzied murder monster.

Yes, Rage 2 is a shooter. But you don’t have to play it as just a shooter.

Learn what your weapons can do

Just like you are more than your guns (see above), your guns are sometimes more than guns.

The best example of this is the Combat Shotgun. When you’re wielding it normally, it works like a shotgun — a short-range crowd control weapon. But when you aim down the barrel, it turns the slug into a single shot that carries a lot of force — to blow off armor or toss enemies backward.

Another great example is the Wingstick. Early on, it’s a short-range boomerang that mostly works like you’d expect. But later, when you unlock Loosum Hagar’s Capture & Control Projects, you can start adding in things like curving your Wingstick around obstacles and redirecting it to additional enemies.

The point of these examples is this: You have a lot of choices when it comes to killing bad guys in Rage 2.

Shoot the Shrouded in the chest, not the head

Like nearly every game, headshots are the fastest way to kill bad guys in Rage 2. But there’s a notable exception.

One group of enemies you’ll meet in the Wasteland is called the Shrouded. They're heavily armored and you can’t destroy or shoot off their helmets. Instead, drop your aim to their chest. Shoot their chest armor off, then pump a few more rounds into their torso.

Have fun

Finally, our biggest and best piece of advice is this: Have fun. Rage 2 isn’t a deep or subtle game. It’s a game where you can explode mutants’ heads with your mind. So go wild. Throw people off of cliffs. Jump off a ledge and crash down into your enemies like a freight train. See where you can get your car stuck.

Just have fun.

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