NEO Scavenger – Ten Beginner Tips
NEO Scavenger is a mildly demanding Roguelike. A lot of things can go wrong, your initial selection of skills, traits and even what equipment you take or leave all influence how long you will survive for. The purpose of this guide is to offer your ten tips to ease you into the game, especially if you are playing NEO Scavenger for the first time. If you want to give NEO Scavenger a go you can find a free Demo at the Blue Bottle Games site. This Demo will allow you to sample a good portion of the game, especially its “randomness”.
NEO Scavenger – Survival Tips
1. Choose your skills wisely – All the skills you select have their benefits. Some of them appear to have greater benefits than others. Here are a few:
Botany – When scavenging in forests or plains Botany increases your chance of finding food and water. Furthermore it will tell you whether the food you just found is edible or poisonous. In essence, with Botany, you will NEVER go hungry. Move to any forest or plain and search for food. You will most likely find enough food, in a few short turns, that you will not die from starvation or dehydration any time soon.
Strong – You can increase the chance of finding loot, at the cost of safety and sneaking. You can carry more. In general it is a very useful skill, and you can use it to kill the dog during the first scene.
Melee/Ranged – These allow you to not only be better in combat, but they also allow you to make improvised weapons of your own. These skills are priceless if you intend to live off the land, especially if your other skill is Botany.
Lockpicking – It’s a useful bonus skill, if you do not know what else to pick. Make a lockpick, and together with this skill you will have an increased chance of finding loot in buildings.
Athlete- Move more on the map, sprint during combat. A useful skill during any part of the game, whether you want to move further, or to run away.
Other skills may not be as useful, or are highly situational. Mechanic, Electrician, Hacker, all of these skills have limited uses throughout the whole game. There are, of course, situations when they have a role, but you won’t normally use them on a day-by-day basis. This also includes Medic, which although allows you to identify the use of different drugs, and gives you insight on your overall medical state, is not usually worth the skill slot. The above skills are those you should consider your primary picks. Everything else is optional.
2. Freeze or Live – Your very start of the game is about staying warm. There are a few ways to do that. Firstly, find enough clothes not to freeze. Find a pair of shoes, pants, shirt and jacket. With all of these you should be perfectly safe. Furs will provide more heat but they will be hard to obtain early into the game.
If you want to get a very warm piece of clothing early into the game do the following: 1) Take the Strong or Melee Skill, together with Trapping. 2) Use the Strong or Melee skill to kill the Dogman during the first stage of the game. 3) Open the Crafting Menu and combine the Dogman, with a glass shard and your trapping skill. This will give you Dogman Fur. Dogman Fur is wore like a cloak, so you can still wear something under it, but the Dogman Fur alone will keep you warm through the night (you really do not need anything else).
If you fail to find any clothes at all, but you found a sleeping bag, you can create a camp, and add the sleeping bag to it. The sleeping bag will slowly let you regain your heat. You will start to freeze once you leave your camp, but you could always bring your sleeping bag with you, to keep yourself warm at new camping spots.
Do not be angry if you die at the start of the game from freezing. That can happen, a lot. You either get lucky and find clothing, or you don’t, and you freeze.
3. Organization – When you are safe from freezing it is time to start looting. There is so much junk though! What should you take and leave behind? First of all, cardboard boxes and plastic bags are your simplest containers that you can carry on yourself. A plastic bag can be carried on your back, as a sort of backpack. If you find a proper backpack, good job! But if you do not remember there are many alternatives. Some clothing will allow you to store small items in their pockets as well. You can also store items in smaller containers, to then store them in other containers (so, you could put items into a First-Aid Kit and then put it inside a backpack).
You also have vehicles. For now these are mostly things you either drag or push. The shopping/box trolleys are some of the best vehicles you can find. However, a Sled is also a good alternative. The problem with the Sled is that it slows you down. You can fix that, by turning the Sled into a Sled with a chord, thus increasing your travel and combat speed.
Once you have a suitable vehicle you can carry a lot of large items on you throughout the wasteland! Just remember, you cannot carry too many things. Your character has limited strength so keep an eye on your bars. The more you have to carry the quicker you will tire and the slower you will move.
You can also ROTATE items in your inventory. When holding an item with your mouse press A or D.
4. Efficient Looting – How to increase your chance of finding something at a location? In Forests and Fields Botany will increase that chance significantly. In urban areas you have a few options. Among items you have the lighter and crowbar. The crowbar increases loot chance, but decreases safety and sneak, but the lighter will further improve your looting and safety, but decrease sneak.
The Strong skill works just like the crowbar. If you have a Lockpick you can use it with the Lockpicking skill to increase your loot chance. In some locations having the Trapping skill will decrease the chance of a trap wounding you.
All of the skills and items above can be combined on every single scavenge attempt. However, items will have their conditions drained a bit, so you will eventually need replacements.
5. Travel – A lot of things can effect travel. Your skills, footwear (or lack of), tiredness, terrain type, time of day, vehicle, weight. If you have shoes, a quality vehicle and are fully rested you should travel quickly, and with little obstructions, except the night. During the night you will move at a snail’s pace. However, there is a cure for that. If you found a torch you can light it using a lighter or other warmth source (like a camp fire). Then, when you hold it in your hand, you can travel during the night as far as you did during the day, your vision will still be limited however. This also means that with a torch you can craft or scavenge just as much as during the day. Otherwise you will be able to do one action per turn.