Days Gone is a massive game.
You might see Days Gone‘s credits roll after about thirty hours if you focus on the story, but this post-apocalyptic zombie-infested wasteland has plenty more to offer. And it pays if you wander off the beaten track once in a while.
If you’re going to be stepping into the shoes of Deacon St. John and heading out on a motorbike-riding adventure this weekend, here are a few tips to get you off to the best start in Days Gone.
Spend your skill points wisely
While the amount of XP you accrue in Days Gone doesn’t have any real visibility or significance, you will level up in the background and earn a skill point every time you do so. Your skill points can be placed into either melee, ranged, or survival. Many skills won’t be that useful, but each tree will have skills that you’ll want to unlock later on. It pays to plan ahead.
Each tree has five tiers, and you need to place two skill points (out of three) in a tier to unlock the next. I’d recommend putting some skill points into the melee tree; there’s a skill that allows you to carry more resources, which comes in very handy. The initial maximums are very low.
Looting can be a bit of a chore, but building up a strong supply of materials is important. In Days Gone, most of what you’ll loot – from buildings or bodies – will be either items you can use, or crafting materials to make into items you can use. The further you get into the game, the more useful these craftable items will be (molotovs, explosives, etc.), so keep stocked up.
Gather as much scrap as you can
Until you upgrade your carry limit, you can only hold 10 pieces of scrap at any one time. It doesn’t go very far, so make sure you’re gathering scrap at every opportunity. You’ll find it in buildings and settlements, on downed enemies and under the hoods of cars. You’ll need to use it often for repairing your bike, fixing up your crafted melee weapon, and for crafting certain items.
Spend some time clearing out enemy camps
There are lots of enemy camps all over the map, and clearing them out can be a bit of a chore. They’re worth doing though – most of them will be filled with loot, and some of them have an underground bunker that’ll store some useful information.
The underground bunkers contain a map, which will place a new point of interest on your own map, along with a crafting recipe. These crafting recipes might be for some kind of throwable item, but they’re often for melee weapons – a modded baseball bat, for instance. Modded melee weapons do a lot more damage, making melee combat much more of a viable option.
Find a good melee weapon, and maintain it
Once you find (or craft) a great melee weapon, keep it in good condition. Melee weapons are breakable, and each one has a varying durability. Providing you pay attention to its condition (you’ll see it in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen whenever it’s equipped), you can repair it using scrap. It means using up a lot of scrap, but it’s worth the hassle for a good weapon.
Just don’t let it get to zero – once it’s broken, Deek will use it for a finishing move, and you’ll lose it forever. And be careful when looting – if you pick up a melee weapon by mistake it’ll replace the one you have.
Conserve ammo by using melee attacks where possible
Ammo can be scarce when you’re out on missions. You can always restock at a friendly camp in exchange for credits, but out and about, it’s not always readily available. Don’t waste precious bullets by shooting stray enemies – especially freakers. They go down easy enough with a melee attack (providing you’ve got a weapon equipped), and it also makes less noise so you’re less likely to attract others from nearby.
You can go into combat all-guns-blazing in Days Gone if you want – but you’ll have much better success trying to be stealthy and staying in cover. Most areas of combat will have plenty of places for you to seek cover. Try to take out enemies by sneaking up behind them and stealth-killing them – it saves ammo, doesn’t damage your melee weapon and doesn’t alert anyone else to your presence.
If you’ve already been spotted, then keep crouched in cover, and take shots at enemies when there’s a break in their fire.
Compete NERO outposts for stat upgrades
As you explore more of Days Gone’s world, you’ll come across abandoned NERO outposts. These are security points that were erected by the government at the time of the outbreak. Sometimes, they’ll be empty when you find them; other times they’ll have the odd freaker walking around, and occasionally they’ll be overrun with enemy factions. You’ll need to clear out enemies before you can tackle them.
Completing a NERO outpost means restoring its power and looting the main buildings. Each one will have a special NERO injector to be found somewhere inside. Finding it will allow Deacon to use it, upgrading either his health, his stamina or his focus.
Disconnect speakers before powering on NERO outposts
When you do come to restore the power to a NERO outpost – make sure you disconnect any speakers first! Each outpost will have a number of speakers wired up to it. Once the power’s on, a security alert will blast through the speakers, attracting any nearby freakers. Not ideal.
You’ll find speakers either on the tops of roofs, or on tall poles. You can either cut the wires to speakers if you can access them, or shoot them down. Doing this before activating the power is always wise.
Keep your bike topped up with fuel
Deacon’s bike consumes fuel, and you’ll need to keep it topped up. It’s a good idea to pay to fill it up at a friendly camp before heading out on a ride. You’ll find plenty of fuel out in the world, too – either in red jerrycans or at actual fuel station pumps. They’ll be marked on your minimap, so if you start getting low, pay attention and divert your route if needs be.
Running out of fuel means either abandoning your bike or walking it to somewhere you can refuel. It’s never a good idea to be on foot too long out in the wilds of Days Gone; enemy threats are never far away.
Upgrade Deacon’s bike wisely
At select camps, you can upgrade Deacon’s motorbike with a mechanic. Upgrades include better suspension, better tyres, larger fuel tanks, more powerful engines, and various other tweaks. Some will make the bike more resistant to damage, others will make it faster. There’s also the option of adding nitrous. The most useful upgrade, though, is undoubtedly a bigger fuel tank. It’s worth upgrading this once you can afford to, as a higher fuel capacity is very helpful.
Be selective about where to hand bounties in
As you play Days Gone, you’ll collect bounties. Every freaker you kill counts as a bounty – as long as you hover near its corpse long enough for it to automatically be collected. Bounties can be handed in at a camp to earn you some credits and build your trust. Any camp will take your bounties, but it’s entirely your choice where to hand them in. Don’t waste them; save them for the camp that has that one bike upgrade you need or that weapon you really want.
Or simply hand them in at the camp you like best. Entirely your choice. There’s seemingly no upper limit on the amount of bounties you can hold at any one time, though, so don’t feel you need to rush to hand them in.
Equip silencers on guns
Every gun in your arsenal can be modded with a silencer. You’ll occasionally find these out in the world by looting, or you can buy them for a small amount of credits from a camp. You’ll need to equip them from the action wheel once you’ve got them (hold L1 to bring up the wheel and scroll to your guns to equip each of them). They’re very useful as they reduce the sound from each shot fired, meaning you’re less likely to attract unwanted attention.