24 tips for staying alive in Kyrat
Far Cry 4, like its predecessor, plonks players in a hostile land where your ability to survive depends on more than your reflexes and your ability to aim downsights.
It's a game that has tonnes to do. So much so that the side content, hunting challenges and collectibles will keep you going far, far longer than the main campaign.
In order to keep you survival savvy in your Kyrat adventures, we've put together some of our top tips and tricks gleaned from our extensive Far Cry 4 review.
Take a look at our guide for what you need to bare in mind in order to become the king (or queen) of the jungle in Kyrat.
1. Upgrade your Loot Bag first
Kyrat is teaming with wildlife that’s both beautiful and unique. Don’t let that put you off, though; the countryside is a veritable shooting gallery and it behoves you to bag as much prey as humanly possible.
Not only does this rack up experience and unlock parts of the Kyrat guide, it gives you a chance to gather animal pelts that they can either sell for arms and ammo, or craft into bandoliers, wallets and the like, allowing you to increase the size of your various inventory lists – money, items and ammo.
We would plump for the latter use. You wouldn’t believe how many useful items we had to throw away in our hands-on thanks to the fact we could only carry thirty items at a time. Once we’d bagged some marsupials, we could rectify this situation.
2. Elephants are better than cars
The one animal you should consider giving a free pass to is the noble elephant and not just because it’s incredibly tough and hard to kill. Once you have unlocked the requisite skill on your talent tree, these animals can be mounted and ridden.
They don’t move as fast as some vehicles, but they’re heaps of more fun to use as a mode of transport, not least because any car, enemy or hostile animal you come across can quickly be turned into paint. Seriously, using an elephant to flip an enemy vehicle off the side of a cliff is one of life’s greatest pleasures. We urge you to try it – more than once.
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3. Animals can be useful
Beyond using their pelts to increase your inventory size, you are urged to use the animals in their environment to flummox your enemies. Throw out a piece of meat from your inventory and it’ll attract the nearest predator. Toss meat in the direction of your enemies and predators will invariably decide that they’re far tastier than the chunk of steak you offered.
Players will also note that a lot of enemy outposts have animals caged up on the grounds. Shoot the lock off the door and startle these beasts and they’ll provide a decent distraction while you take up position or take out a couple of enemies. If the caged animals happen to be carnivorous they may even manage to take out a couple of enemies for you.
4. Your choices will have consequences
One of the big new features in Far Cry 4 is its splintered narrative. As you help the resistant movement in the game, you’ll learn that it’s split down the middle in terms of its moral structure. On the one side, there are those who are adverse to sacrificing lives and moving in on Pagan Min’s drug operations. On the other, there are those who believe collateral damage is inevitable and Min’s operations should be seized as they’re the only major resource Kyrat has. It’s up to you to decide which faction to side with, but ultimately, your decisions will determine the direction the narrative will move in.
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5. The Microlight Chopper is your best friend
One of the best and most versatile modes of transport in the game is the Microlight Chopper. You’ll find these parked at outposts and dotted about the map. They provide the most direct route to any mission, outpost or enemy camp.
Furthermore they make you harder to hit and, as is the case with every other vehicle in the game, you are able to strafe enemies from the driver’s seat.
If you don’t mind losing the odd chopper you can even use them to unlock radar towers. Simply land on the roof, drop down a level and you can unlock the tower without having to go through the hassle of platforming from the ground all the way up.
6. The mountains aren’t accessible outside of missions
One of the most interesting aspects of Far Cry 4 when we first heard about it was the juxtaposition of Himalayan Mountains and more luscious lowlands. We imagined ourselves hiking up the mountains in freeroam, taking out a snow leopard or two then soaring down to the lakes using the wingsuit.
However, in reality, the top mountainous peaks are only accessible during missions, and even then you only get to go up there twice during the whole campaign.
Sadly then, you’ll have to put any mountain exploration out of your mind unless you plan to deviate on missions a little.
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7. The grind is well worth it
You are rewarded with cash, equipment and XP for practically everything that you do in Far Cry 4. While keeping well stocked on ammo, guns and assets is a great idea, it’s also worth grinding to open up your talent trees.
The Path Of The Tiger collates your offensive talents – they include skills such as reloading while sprinting and the ability to take out two enemies stealthily. The Path Of The Elephant offers you defensive capabilities, such as increased health, faster healing and the ability to ride the odd pachyderm. The more you do, the quicker you level up and the faster you turn into a one-person killing machine.
8. Discover the hidden side characters
Far Cry 4 is a game that often has far too much to do. Your map will be littered with icons for missions, side quests, fortresses, outposts and so on.
But, rather than feeling overwhelmed, enjoy the fact that the Far Cry 4 side missions often contain some of the more eccentric bit characters that you absolutely must meet.
For one, there’s Mr Chiffon who you can find in the Kyrat Fashion Week side missions. He requires you to gather the skins and scales of rare or specific beasts for him to use in his “combat couture” clothing line designed specifically for Ajay.
Then there’s DJ Rabi Ray Rana, whose dulcet tones you may have heard wafting out from your car stereo. He takes a particular liking to Ajay, and he’ll chat away in your ear while you take out propaganda centres for him – aka blow stuff up.
These are just two of the colourful side characters you can come across in Far Cry 4. Get ticking off those side mission types; you won’t regret it.
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9. It’s worth investing in a bow
If you manage to take out enemies guarding an outpost stealthily, you're awarded with extra XP. There are quite a few missions in Far Cry 4 where being spotted by an enemy will result with an instant fail. To that end it’s worth picking up and tricking out a bow. Silenced firearms still draw attention but a bow is the game’s most silent way of taking down foes. You can also craft trick arrows – those with explosive heads, for example – that can give you an edge in a firefight at long range.
10. Drugs are fun and useful (in Far Cry 4)
Kyrat is filled with beautiful flora and, besides looking lovely, a lot of the local plants can be used to craft drugs that give players boosts for limited periods of time. You can use drug cocktails to give yourself increased speed, increased toughness, the ability to hold your breath for longer underwater and more. It’s worth keeping a few syringes handy to give you the edge in combat and exploration.
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11. You can try before you buy in co-op
If you pick a copy of Far Cry 4 for Sony’s gaming platforms you’ll be issued with what the developers are calling ‘Keys to Kyrat’. You can issue these keys to your friends and give them a taste of Far Cry 4 in co-op. You can ride elephants together, take on co-op challenges, complete assassination mission and take down enemies at outposts.
The kicker here, though, is once the game owner jumps offline the key expires and then you're are faced with a choice: do they fancy plonking down the cash for their own copy or can they live without Far Cry 4 in their lives? Choose wisely.
12. Beware the Honey Badger!
If there is a more erroneously named creature on the face of planet earth, we don’t know of it. The phrase ‘Honey Badger’ conjures up an image of a shy, cute, cuddly animal, possibly taken from a Beatrix Potter story. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Google this animal and you will find that, in spite of being relatively small in size, it has very few natural predators owing to the fact that it’s a ferocious and vicious little critter. The Honey Badgers in Far Cry 4 are just as savage as their real world counterparts and because they’re small and frightenly quick, they’re nearly impossible to draw a bead on with your weapon.
The best way to take out one of these animals is at long range with a scope. Or, if you’re riding one, stomp on them with an elephant. Do not attempt to take them on at close range unless you’re a crack shot because they can kill you within seconds. There is nothing remotely sweet about the Honey Badger. It is Freddie Krueger wrapped in fur.
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13. Prepare for stealth
There are a lot of missions in Far Cry 4 where you’ll be boxed into a style of play you may not have prepared for – namely stealth. Chances are you’ll pick up a story mission armed with a couple of RPGs and a heavy machine gun and be tasked with not being spotted, which may result in an instant fail. Avoid this by tooling up at trading posts with a weapon that you can fit a silencer to. Believe us, it’s less frustrating than restarting a mission – or indeed, putting your foot through the television.
14. Love your RPG
Oh, Rocket Propelled Grenade Launcher. How do we love thee? Let us count the ways. You drop horrible death on multiple enemies with one shot. You’re the only way to take down an enemy outpost if we’re not worried about stealth. You destroy the honey badger – oh, the evil honey badger – with one shot. You kill a rhino with three. Oh, RPG how we love you so. We advise any player diving into Far Cry 4 to pick you up as soon as possible. If they don’t, more fool them.
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15. Treat your gyrocopter with respect
Okay, so the gyrocopter – or microlite or one-person-chopper or whatever you want to call it – is a stunning addition to the Far Cry madhouse. It allows you to traverse the map of Kyrat as the crow flies. However, do yourself a favour and don’t abuse it. Don’t, for example, land it next to some trees or a cave or indeed any piece of landscape that its propellers are scraping against. It might be fine on the way down, but when you fire this sucker up after nearly completing a mission and it blows up? Well, don’t come crying to us, is all we’re saying.
16. There is no ‘I’ in team part 1
When you decide to delve into co-op, be aware that what you do affects your mate too. That’s not to say that you should worry about them to the extent you’re mothering tem. But you should take on board that what you do affects them too. So, don’t fire RPG round in their vicinity. Don’t charge an elephant towards them. Don’t leave them high and dry when the pair of you have decided to invade an outpost. Believe us when we tell you there are a lot of benefits to working together as a team – taking down a fortress, for example, is far easier in co-op – so don’t be a douche and actually try some teamwork. You’ll be glad you did (I still haven’t forgiven you for firing RPG rounds at me from the air, you douche -.ed)
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17. There is no ‘I’ in team part 2
The PVP mode in Far Cry 4 lends itself to teamwork. If you’re a lone wolf, you’ll find no friends here. Far Cry 4’s competitive multiplayer is mostly about working together, whether you find yourself on the side of The Golden Path or Pagan Min’s bowmen. The best path through the PVP multiplayer mode is a coordinated effort so invest in a headset or don’t bother. It’s not like the COD lobbies will be missing you…
18. The bees! The bees!
Don’t shoot beehives. Just don’t. Well, if you’re far enough away from them and their inhabitants have some more convenient targets than you, go nuts. But generally speaking, shooting beehives is not a good idea. Bees generally home in on whomever shot up their household and if that’s you the only recourse you have is to run because it’s not like you’ll be able to cut bees down with machinegun fire. Every animal in Kyrat can kill you. Bees are more effective than most.
19. Kill anything that moves…
Kyrat is a hard, cold environment. Okay, it’s also achingly beautiful but don’t let that get in the way of the fact that every animal you come across can be killed for an upgrade. If you want to be able to carry more weapons, equipment, items and ammo, you have to start looking at the animals of Kyrat as a means to an end. Kill them. Skin them. And then add their hides to your inventory.
20. …Except elephants
Elephants are your friends. We’ll say this only once. Elephants will die in your vicinity – at which point feel free to skin them – and when they’re on the rampage it’s worth staying out of their way. But generally, once you’ve unlocked the necessary talent to ride them (and you should do this as soon as possible), elephants are your friends. They’re the easiest way to take out an outpost – ride an elephant into an enemy camp and watch those soldiers fly. Don’t antagonize these marvelous creatures. Ride them. Tame them. Torment your enemies with them – in both single player and online multiplayer.
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21. Always investigate
As obvious as it sounds to say it, the direct approach isn’t necessarily the best approach. Bearing that in mind, it’s worth investigating the environment around your targets – especially forts. Most of them have a back entrance that allows you to slip in undetected until you start pouring RPG rounds on the poor souls inside. There’s no need to take the direct approach if the back door is open…
22. There’s a secret entrance to Noore’s fortress
If you want to take on Noore’s fortress on your own, there’s a secret entrance to Baghadur that means you can arrive unannounced and take out all the enemies without triggering any alarms.
When drawing near to the fortress, don’t get too close. You’ll see the fortress and the bridge leading towards it. Don’t go that way though, head round to the very left of Baghadur until you get stopped by the cliffs to the south east.
Here you’ll spot a grapple point on the cliffs leading up to the left hand side of the fortress. But instead of taking the front entrance, you can slip in around the back into the temple section.
Both alarm bells and the heavy guards can be taken out with a single shot from the initial entry point. Then, if you’re quiet, you can take out all the other guards without being spotted from your elevated vantage point. There’s plenty of hiding spots here.
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23. Keep your skins
You’re going to kill a lot of animals in Far Cr 4. A LOT of animals. Our advice is that you keep the skins of every last one of them. The reason being that you never know when their pelts will come in handy. You may end up carrying around six or seven wolf hides that have no use to you until your carve up a deer or two – once you do, however, you’ll be able to advance two or three levels in your equipment instantly. Don’t sell your pelts. They’re necessary. Believe.
24. Take out hunters first when tackling Outposts
Although heavy enemies can be an absolute pain when taking down outposts, it’s the Hunters that can be very irritating.
When approaching an outpost you want to conquer, perch yourself on a high point and take out your camera. You’ll be able to tag all the enemies, alarms and predatory animals within and – for a short time – the Hunters too.
Hunters only stay on your radar for a couple of seconds, because they will get you via stealth and a bow and arrow. They can also take control of wild animals, which will also come find you in your hiding hole. To combat their sneak attacks, try and take the Hunters out first.