Before You Start: Tips For Playing Far Cry 3 The Best Way

Before You Start: Tips For Playing Far Cry 3 The Best Way
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Ubisoft’s tropical action game Far Cry 3 comes out today. It’s massive, it’s open-world, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun. And while it ain’t exactly as deep as Skyrim (despite Ubisoft’s hilarious marketing slogan: “Like Skyrim with guns!”), it is big enough to warrant some tips.

The game does a good job of setting you loose pretty quickly — get a couple of basic missions under your belt and you’ll be off to see Dr. Earnhardt and begin your adventure. Once you’ve begun, there are a few things you can do (and keep in mind) to make your trip through the Rook Islands more fun and survivable.

First Thing You Do, Go Hunting

After taking down your first outpost, you’ll be more or less free to do whatever you want. While one of your first priorities should be to climb some radio towers to unlock more free guns (more on that in a minute), you’ll need something in which to store those guns. So, you’ll need to get crafting.

Go and hunt deer, goats, and boars in order to expand your loot carrying capacity and ability to hold weapons. Hunt down the three animals you’ll need to upgrade your holsters as soon as possible. (Sharks aren’t actually that hard, just find a rock outcropping and shoot them when they draw near.) Craft hard at the start, and you’ll be much more prepared for the challenges the game throws your way.

Second Thing You Do, Don’t Stop Hunting

Even if you’re doing some other mission or sidequest, remember that you can always be hunting. You’ll need multiples of every type of hide to craft the various types of containers and holsters, so if you see an animal, take it down, especiallyi n the early goings. This is one reason the bow or another silent weapon can be great — you can take down an errant goat, skin it, and go about your business without alerting every bad guy within earshot. Never stop hunting.

Save After Hunting/Crafting

One of the weirdest features in Far Cry 3 is its odd save system. You can’t quicksave, and only have one save slot in addition to your game’s auto-save. I actually played Far Cry 2 on 360 before I played it on PC, and got used to that game’s stringent save system, but still, the fact that you can’t save multiple times is pretty annoying.

More annoying still is the fact that the game doesn’t autosave after everything you’ve done — it autosaves after you finish a mission, or buy new gear, but not after you’ve crafted or gathered crafting materials. However, it’s possible to offset this annoyance by remembering to save. If you’re about to infiltrate an outpost and happen to take down a boar you’d needed, save afterwards and if you die, you should start up again at a checkpoint, but with the stuff you’ve collected intact.

In other words: When in doubt, save.

Don’t Buy Guns

In Far Cry 3, you have two options for obtaining weapons: You can purchase them outright from weapons dealers, or you can unlock them by climbing radio towers. You have no reason to ever buy a gun in the game. Rather, you should make it an early priority to climb five or six towers, at least until you’ve unlocked the grenade launcher and top LMG.

Money is constantly in scarce supply on the Rook Islands, and is almost always better spent on upgrades than on the weapons themselves. Get the guns for free, pay for the silencers and long-range scopes. And speaking of choosing what to pay for…

Don’t Waste All Your Money On Ammo and Armour

Ammo is right expensive in Far Cry 3, and if you’re not careful, ammo-refilling stops can become like a tax on your wallet. Remember that you don’t have to fill up your ammo all the way, every time — it can feel better to go into a fight with a full stock of ammo, but once you’ve upgraded your ammo and explosive capacity, you’ll have enough bullets and bombs to take on three or four of the story missions. Same goes for body armour — it gets shot off really quickly and doesn’t actually keep you alive for that much longer, but it’s a $US200 tax if you buy it every time you stock up. Most missions that require lots of fighting leave some lying around, so you’re almost always better off stocking up on health injections than on armour.

Never stop scavenging and looting, and you can save your money for better things, like the custom weapons that open up as you collect runes.

Space Out The Story Missions

The best parts of Far Cry 3 are the parts where you’re taking enemy outposts, exploring nooks and crannies, and climbing radio towers. That said, the story missions are pretty fun, too, and wonderfully varied. The sweet spot the game hits is in the balance, but it’s a balance that you can upset if you plow through the story too fast.

At various points in the narrative, the (annoying, unavoidable) notification telling you about the next mission will helpfully suggest you explore the island first, if you want. Take that opportunity! Get into scrapes, try out different weapons, improve your skills.

Think of the story missions almost as super cool, interactive cutscenes to break up all the open-world adventuring you’ll be doing.

Circle, Circle, Circle

This one’s old hat for Far Cry 2 veterans, but the key for surviving Far Cry 3‘s often difficult shootouts is to keep moving. Staying put and behind cover as you would in Call of Duty or a similar game will lead to a quick death, particularly if you’re up against any molotov berserkers. Instead, stay low, and circle, circle, circle. Pulling back and around can allow you to flank even the most aggressive enemy, and with enough circling and quick thinking, you can take on almost anyone.

Use A Bow

The best weapon in Far Cry 3 is the bow and arrow. This is not opinion, it’s just the best weapon. It’s silent, it’s deadly, it can one-shot most normal enemies, and it can eventually be fitted with fire and ruinously powerful explosive arrows. Get used to the bow early on, and use it religiously. And remember: Once you kill an enemy or animal with it, run over their body to snatch your arrow back. Bonus: You’ll save money on ammo later.

Watch Out For Crocodiles

Actually, ignore this one, because no matter how vigilant you are, they WILL GET YOU.

Hoard Green Plants

Green plants are your friends. Some of the other plant types give you syringes that increase your awareness or flame resistance, but they never last that long and I’ve never gotten much use out of them. But health syringes are worth their weight in gold. As cool as the gnarly healing animations look, they’re slow as hell, and if you’re under fire from a bunch of dudes, the syringe will save your life when the regular animation would get you killed. Which reminds me…

Never Go In Without Some Health Syringes

It’s easy to forget this one, but never go into battle without at least a couple health syringes in your pouch. Health gets chomped down pretty quickly in Far Cry 3, and there’s no worse feeling than stumbling behind cover, bleeding out, only to realise that you’re a long healing animation away from not being dead.

Loot, Loot, Loot

Since scarcity is such an issue in the game, you’ll want to loot every container you find. Develop an eye for those glowing boxes, and everywhere you go, just run by and press “loot” really quick. You’ll get a piece of random loot (if you’re lucky, a Shark Fetish item!), and some money or ammo. Sometimes, loot boxes will have a few hundred dollars in ’em, so it’s always worth checking.

Don’t Forget The Easy Ways To Earn Cash

Sure, you can earn money going on assassination and hunting missions, but those take time and can be dangerous. There are also some really easy ways to earn money in Far Cry 3. For starters, each time you activate a radio tower, you’ll get a medical supply-run mission — these take under a minute, and are generally very easy. They’re also fun — a quick, wild ride down a mountain or over a beach, and you’re $US200 richer. The sharpshooting competitions and trials of the Rakyat are also an easy way to earn dough — these are also fun, don’t take very long, and get you good amounts of cash. Just be sure you’ve crafted a big enough wallet!


And that’s it! Keep that stuff in mind, and you’ll be marauding your way from mountain to lagoon in no time. But seriously, and I feel like a broken record here, but: Mind the crocodiles.


    • it wont be when it happens to you, leopards are BS sneaky.
      Should have mentioned spoilers tho, the croc thing is epicly pant ruining the first time if not aware.
      The bow is my staple weapon ever since i unlocked it, i even went out of my way and baught it straight up.
      Also to help make money, always carry the repair tool with you, there is heaps of broken down bro’s everywhere.

      • Those crocs and sharks man… I don’t think I’ve ever been as scared of going in the water as I have in this game (maybe Amnesia, but that’s something else). I’m constantly thinking “get out get out get out!” while swimming for the shore. And diving down into dark lakes at the bottom of big holes, or swimming through underground rivers gives me the creeps.

  • This is at Kirk or anyone who has finished the game

    So, I am finished, got maybe 18 relics out of the 140 or so

    How many custom guns are there?

    I didn’t know that gathering the relics is what unlocked the custom weapons

    Edit* I have completed all Main Missions, All Outposts, All Bags fully upgraded, All Monkey Business DLC and All Lost Relic DLC*

    2nd Edit* I am finished *as I said above* is there still going to be random pockets of enemy resistance for me to Machete through the rib cage?

    • the Unlocked weapons are as followed:
      Bull Shotgun
      AMR sniper rifle
      Bushmaster Assault rifle
      Shadow 1911
      Ripper LMG
      Viper (ithink) SMG
      and then theres a uplay reward as well

    • if you look at stats page in game, u can see how many “signature” unlocks there are by the stars i think, there is a key to tell you anyway., there is only 1 unlock from Uplay, not sure about pre-order stuff tho.

      • I realised I have them all besides the LMG, which is done by completing Trials of the Rakyat, which I was leaving so I had something to do when I finished

  • Once you are told to go and gather some animal skins and collect some plants, make sure you go and sell the stuff you got while climbing the first radio tower, (grab the silenced M-700 if you have the insane/digital deluxe version) and then slowly walk to the hunting ground. DO NOT DRIVE.

    As you walk to the hunting ground you will come across 2 deer and 2 buffalo kill them and skin them (dont forget to tag them first so you can keep track of where they ran off too) The buffalo will take 3-5 shots to kill. do not try and melee them as they will kill you with their knock down attack.

    Continue on to the hunting ground and get the plants that you need and then Kill all 4 boars and skin them. the mission only needs 2 and that is up grade your loot sack, but the extra 2 boar skin will (along with the 2 buffalo skins) will allow you to upgrade you ammo capaicity, the deer skin will allow you hold more grenades or c4.

    • Very good suggestions on getting those animals early, otherwise you have to trek to their spawning grounds later. I also noticed some boars around the Doc’s house that you can pick up on your way.

      The M-700 silenced rifle is a tad overpowered at the beginning of the game imho, I kind of wished I didn’t have it as it made a few camps a cakewalk.

  • I kept hunting and doing side mission to the point where I had like 6 skill points saved up, but the game wouldn’t unlock more of the skill tree until after I got to the (not so massive spoiler alert) temple and drank the hallucinogenic stuff, and tripped balls. Then I could finally use my skill points on the bow skills and the additional take down skills. I’ve not yet been able to do the take down where you use his knife to throw at the next guy, but the one from above and below are awesome.
    And yeah, the first time I got taken out by a croc I was like “Holy f***king sh*t balls!!!! *pant pant pant* Well played Ubisoft. Well played…”

    • “And yeah, the first time I got taken out by a croc I was like “Holy f***king sh*t balls!!!! *pant pant pant* Well played Ubisoft. Well played…”

      HAHAHAHA that was my EXACT sentance as well

  • Have say that I overlooked the Holster upgrades for the first 10 or so hours of gameplay.. I was upgrading everything else but forgot about that.. so I kind of got used to having only a single weapon at a time.. 🙂 Now of course I have all 4 weapon slots.. but it’s not like its essential.. maybe getting the first holster would be plenty for most of the game I think.. so you can have a silent weapon (bow or silenced SMG/Pistol) and then a more powerful “loud” gun..

    Not sure I agree with the comment that money is hard to find.. I’m swimming in cash in this game with not a lot to spend it on.. seems fairly balanced for the beginning of the game but then, as you acquire more and more free weapons, you tend to not need much cash anyway..

    • I agree, now that I’ve done all the towers on the upper half of the island and there’s now no need to buy anything except the custom weapons, which I have 3 so far – Shotgun, Vector, Custom 1911. I had to buy them to as I kept getting close to the 6k limit!

      • p.s. anyone tried multiplayer yet? I’m having too much fun in single player 😀

        It also runs (only just though) on a 2011 2.0GHz Macbook Pro, I basically have everything turned down including 1024×600 and getting 25-40 fps. You need a decent GPU for this game for sure.

    • Well that’s what I like about all the random predators hanging around the place 🙂 I can’t count the amount of times I’ve been attacked by dogs, tigers, boars etc when I’ve been scouting out an outpost or similar.. 🙂

  • Also make sure you scout around the grass/foliage before you pull out your camera to check out an outpost. You will crap your pants when a tiger jumps out and takes you to the ground out of no where.

  • Almost got 100% completion. Will resume next week to finish the sucker. Personally used any gun that I could put a silencer on. Got about 10 relics, and all of the path of the Raktyak quests left and I’ll be completely finished with the game.

  • Where can i find the special weapons? The said: ‘unlocked new weapon: Bull shotgun’ or something like that, but i cant find it in my weapon case or closet, or whatever it is 🙂

  • Fantastic game. The kind of game you just don’t want to rush. Just a superbly written and constructed living breathing world. It’s what I wanted from S.T.A.L.K.E.R but ultimately didn’t deliver.

    And let’s face it – it’s about the only place you can kill and skin a tiger without having WWF put you in jail for eliminating 1 of the 34 remaining in the wild.

  • I once came across a Tiger in a cage during a particularly stubborn outpost raid, so shot the cage and then watched as it ripped the locals apart. Ha great I thought as it chased a dog around the corner.. wait.. the dogs heading for me.. no dont run this way you stupid mutt.. shit. I turn to run as the Tiger spots me and plummet 80ft down a mine.. splat. I bet the Tiger laughed his tits off 🙂

  • That’s a great story – lol! Yeah, dogs and dingos are a real pain – and they always seem to attack if you get too close (which can be as much as 50 meters, or so it seems!). You hear the low growl, always behind and to one side – but they’re good at stealth too, so it’s not always easy to spot ’em before they grab you. With tigers, and leopards too – another stealthy freekin predator – it used to be over pretty quick. I’m in my second play-through this time, and I’ve taken my time cuz I wanted to “bulk up” in order to have fun (a different kind of fun) with outposts, etc.. – before I took out Vaas I had most of the signature weapons, etc.. and loaded up lots of skill points waiting for them to unlock.. – Getting the mad weapons and skills made the “defense” scene – when Willis was fixing the plane – fun as hell, but in a less challenging way… trying to see how many chargers, etc.. I could just take-down with the tanto (japanese/samurai knife you get after collecting six of the “lost letters” – you’ve GOT to get the Tanto – usually kills on the first swing; waay better melee weapon than the machete – it just rocks!).

    Anyway – once I got to the southern island, with the tanto and the advanced skills like “Rock Solid” iirc, the one that makes you way tougher to knock down, etc.. I started playing melee only for awhile, with stealth taking outposts without anyone firing a shot at me, etc.. pretty fun — AND – fighting hand-to-hand against leopards, tigers, sharks AND crocodiles – yep, no B.S. It’s pretty fun — for sharks and crocs, they grab you and you have to “mash” quite a bit (with a controller just “rapid tap”, etc..).. , and your character is punching and pounding, then you kick it away and stick that samurai knife through it’s head or gut it… So – it’s fun to just go hunting “by hand” – can be a little challenging, cuz the slightest delay in your fighting will mean death – but mostly it’s just cool to have that confidence and exhilaration of taking out these apex predators by hand, after all the times they quick-killed me during the first go-round.. Awesome!


  • in taking over the first ouput mission in the star ting we want to buy sirenge and learn skills ibuyed only 2 another one icant buy because idont have skill points so how to come out in that i pressed every key but icant come outside

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