Far Cry Primal tips: how to power through the early Stone Age

By Patrick Garratt, Wednesday, 24 February 2016 15:44 GMT

Man kill. How man kill? Man kill like this.

far_cry_primal_Screen_Shaman_BeastMaster_Reveal_151204_5AM_CET (Copy)

Far Cry Primal tips

Being a caveman isn’t easy. Not only is morning coffee nonexistent, but croissants won’t be invented for millennia. Tough times. Additional annoyances in Far Cry Primal include being eaten alive every ten minutes by sabre-tooth cats, getting pissed on by a one-armed madman, and freezing to death in a wood because humankind hasn’t had the forethought to conjure clothing other than furry knickers. The land of Oros is a harsh one, a verdant paradise punctuated by wildlife, death, and, of course, victory. You want to make your start as an under-powered savage as short-lived as possible. Here’s some advice to get you through the early stages and on your way to chief prehistoric dude, king of all the other prehistoric dudes.

1 – Do the Wenja missions for skill points in the early stages


In the very first parts of Far Cry Primal, your progression will be accelerated by focusing on grabbing the initial skills. This’ll boost your health, meaning you’ll die less. Hover over the Wenga missions on the map and you’ll see they grant skill points. Do these first. They’re easy and they’ll get you on your way to becoming a Neanderthal superhero. I have no idea if the people in Far Cry Primal are Neanderthal or not. Nor do I care.

2 – Tame a large cat as soon as you’re able (and don’t forget to use it)


After you’ve been taught how to tame animals, you’ll soon see that they become a vital part of the game. What isn’t immediately obvious, though, is that you can massively boost your journey through the early stages by acquiring one of the more powerful sidekicks, such as a lion. You’ll see them running around the general landscape (usually just before they eat you). Instead of engaging them in a probably pointless fight, bait them, tame them, and turn your annoying lack of skills into a breeze. I grabbed a black mountain lion soon after finishing the White Wolf mission, and was then able to take out bears, a previously impossible task.

To direct the cat to attack, just hold L2 to aim at the specific enemy and then R1 to release the hounds. Hunting, and thus your overall progression, is now significantly easier. Also, you can now stroke a lion whenever you like. And everyone wants to do that.

3 – Focus on the getting the main mission-givers into the village


Once you’ve got the first Wenga missions under your belt, your absolute priority should be to bring in the main mission-givers into the village. The game tells you this in not-so-subtle terms by putting their enormous portraits on the map. Don’t worry about trying to kill a boar for a slightly bigger bag, or whatever. That’ll all happen naturally later. The game will only truly open once these main characters are in the village, where you’ll be able to take on their missions, upgrade their dwellings and start attracting new occupants.

4 – You can throw your club

Your club has two attacks, as you’re able to throw it as well as swing it for the normal melee hit. Primal doesn’t tell you this for a while. Hold L2 to aim and R2 to throw. Remember you can only hold two clubs at first, but this soon rises as you craft. Get used to throwing the club in addition to using your arrows. Remembering you can do so will can save your life when you’re trapped in a cave full of drilling mentalists.

5 – The use of animals replaces weapon features


This is probably pretty obvious, but, seeing as you’re dealing with jaguars and spears rather than AKs and frag grenades, Primal falls back on supernatural mumbo-jumbo to fill in some gaps. Far Cry gamesplay staples, such as tagging enemies and performing aggro-free kills, are delivered via “beast master” skills and, appropriately, the animals themselves. Pay attention to the progression of skills in relation to your owl, especially. Your spook-eyed glider can tag opponents (as if you were scouting an outpost in a traditional Far Cry game with a pair of binoculars), dive-attack and even drop bee bombs. It can also act as a direction tool for your ground-based sidekick, telling it where to attack.

Owl aside, be sure to compare tamed animal perks. Each has a different set of abilities, such as being particularly stealthy or expanding the viewable map area. Animals are as important to Far Cry Primal as guns and explosives are to other games in the series. Ensure you know what they do and how to use them.

6 – The campfires and camps are the towers from the previous games

The Primal map opens in exactly the same way as in previous Far Cry series, but with fires replacing watch towers. To gain visible access to further territory, you need to assault camps and light the fires. You’re able to set any weapon on fire using animal fat (bring up the weapon wheel with L1 and press the square button on the PS4 pad), or you can just walk up to any source of fire and follow the prompt. Approach the large signal fire with a burning weapon and hold the attack button. Simple as that.

7 – Bee bombs are OP

Primal’s bee bombs are nasty, viral projectiles easily capable of taking out groups of heavy opponents. They feel massively over-powered in the early sections, so use them to your advantage when attacking camps. Thrown using R1, the bomb’s resulting swarm will spread from enemy to enemy and bring them permanently to earth with surprising rapidity. A few prehistoric bees were capable of fatally wounding huge, deadly men in a matter of seconds, apparently. Question not. Employ your buzzing pals with gay impunity.

8 – Don’t worry too much about stealth in the early game


Sneak around if you like, but you can smash through Primal just as easily (and with greater speed) if you take a frontal approach. Tool yourself up with a black mountain lion, mark all the baddies with your owl, chuck in a bee bomb and charge. You won’t encounter much resistance. Save the stealth for later in the game, when the difficulty ups significantly and overt aggression means certain death.

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