The world of NEO Scavenger can be intimidating at first. This page is meant as an effort to help new players while also sharing knowledge useful to everyone.
Try checking what information different game screens presents and what they allow you to do.
Keyboard shortcuts can really make the game both a lot easier and faster. Try to remember them.
On the Inventory screen:
- Right clicking: drops the top item from a stack
- Pressing "1": Toggle item transfer mode on/off
- Holding down "2": Consume clicked items
- Holding down "3": Clicking on items destroys them
- Holding down "Shift": Pick up/move one single item instead of the whole stack
- "W, S, A, D" or arrow keys or mouse wheel: Rotates items
On the world map:
- "W, S, A, D" or arrow keys: Scroll around the map
- "Space": End turn and confirm during encounters
- "E": Scavenge current hex (if possible)
- "Q" or "I": Inventory screen
- "C": Player conditions screen
- "R": Camp Screen
- "V": Vehicle Screen
- "M": Mini Map
- "X": Crafting screen
Make sure you have at least one of the following skills, so you can get rid of the Dogman in the starting encounter: Athletic, Botany, Electrician, Hacking, Hiding, Mechanic, Medic, Melee, Metabolism or Strong. After leaving the Cryo Facility, try to find any kind of container to be able to carry more items and some clothes to keep yourself warm.
A few survival tips that the game's very creator, Daniel Fedor, suggested on the forum:
- Staying warm: The early game can be a bit random, making some starts harder to avoid hypothermia. One option is to repair the cryo heater, if you have the mechanic ability, and the parts needed. Sleeping bags are also a handy trick to remember. Finding one of those and putting it in a camp nearly guarantees warmth. Corn-a-cola is another possibility, as the sugar high will temporarily warm you. The subsequent crash can be dangerous, but you might be able to drink another right away until finding clothes. Also, shelter mitigates rain, so if you find a camp with good shelter (including the cryo lab), it can sometimes tip the scales.
- First build up your strength, get good loot, use Exam Room 17 in the Cryo Center as a base to sleep in and to store your stuff. Once you have good clothes, a few suitable weapons, lot of food and water, medicine, and other survival tools go to the next step.
- Go southeast. Following "the glow" takes you closer to the DMC, where looters are the most common enemy. Looters are hostile, but also fairly cowardly and weak. The down-side here is the lack of scavengeable resources in the DMC's sphere of influence. (Note: In Demo mode you can only go so far to the southeast before you have to buy the full game to continue)
- Run away. For added success rates, choose "Athletic" as an ability. It reduces chances of tripping, and gives you the "Sprint Away" battle move.
- Hide. There's an art to this, but it should be viable. Each tile has a hiding rating, depending on the campsites available. If you have the Hiding skill, you can see the rating. AI will have a chance at seeing you hiding in a tile based on your camp's rating. Certain things will give you away, though, like fires, tarp shelters, bleeding, and diarrhea/vomiting. Certain things make it harder for them, too, like illness, pain, darkness, etc.
- Hiding tracks helps a bit, much more so with the Tracking skill. However, hiding tracks right underneath you while nearby hexes still contain tracks leading to you probably won't help as much.
- Lure them away. Circle back on another set of tracks to try and get them to follow another creature. Lead "looter" types into an area with loot, and then hide, making the loot the most visible opportunity to them. Keep track of where the big threats live. If you lead a mob of bandits into a dogman's lair, you can bet the dogman is going to deal with them first.
- In battles, the primary objective is "don't get hit". All other goals are secondary. The vanilla "attack" and "flurry attack" moves should only be used sparingly. Instead, a combatant should spend a lot of time setting up their next attack. Use "parry" to mitigate an inevitable attack, opening up the enemy to "vulnerable" status. Or use special abilities like "tackle" or "lure" to incapacitate the enemy, and then attack them.
General Hints and TipsEdit
The day is divided into 6 parts:
- Dawn: 4 am - 8 am
- Morning: 8 am - 12 pm
- Day: 12 pm - 4 pm hours
- Evening: 4 pm - 6 pm hours
- Dusk: 6 pm - 9 pm
- Night: 9 pm - 4 am
Time of days affect visibility as well as action points (at night, unless you have a light source, you have only 1.0 action point, so getting stuck outside in the middle of nowhere with no fire is guarantees you being very tired the following morning). Thus, time your activities accordingly.
Meeting your basic needsEdit
- Get some shoes and clothes as soon as possible. The worn out scraps you find may be the difference between hypothermia and surviving. They can always be replaced later with better quality clothing.
- With Strong and/or Melee skills, plus Trapping, you can obtain a very warm piece of clothing - a dogman fur coat - right at the beginning of the game. Select these skill to kill a dogman during the first encounter, then use Trapping skill to skin it (via crafting, by combining trapping skill, dogman's corpse and a glass shard). Just wearing the coat is enough to prevent the character from freezing.
- Stay hydrated, but try to watch what you drink. Drinking un-boiled water can be harmful or even deadly. It is important to boil water to purify it, using a campfire and a Metal Sauce Pan (or an empty Soup Can). Of course, if you are dying of thirst, the boiling part can be skipped.
- Pick up water bottles you find as you go. It is very important to keep a supply of water on hand. A supply of purified water is even better.
- Make sure to drink water from moving sources, rivers are the best, then lakes lastly marshes. Boiling and testing water whenever possible is the best option.
- Having Trapping and/or Botany significantly improves your chances of survival.
- The Trapping skill allows you to make campfires (friction) without another flame source nearby. This is especially useful on forest tiles. When you have inventory spaces to spare, carrying 5 branches and 5 twigs gives you access to fire at any time. When you have found lighters, however, just carry the lighter with some twigs or rags. Also, Trapping allows you to craft a squirrel snare, which is great for capturing squirrels for their meat when scavenging forest tiles.
- The Botany skill can be used when scavenging forest tiles and open fields to get berries and mushrooms. The Botany skill will also tell you which are edible and which are poisonous. (Blue berries are always edible). Without this skill eating unidentified mushrooms or berries is extremely risky.
- At the beginning, if you managed to kill the Dogman, get to a forest, grab some branches to build a campfire (Trapping skill needed), then cook or cure the meat. You will have a safe source of food for at least a couple of days. Keep an eye out for lone wild dogs, which also yield considerable amounts of meat.
- Try to begin the day well-rested. You'll be able to do more and fight better in this condition. The Cryo Facility serves as an excellent camp for beginner players, at least for the first few days. Return to the camp at Dusk and sleep until the Dawn of next day.
- When you start exploring the surrounding area, be mindful of the time of day to come back to camp. If you opt to camp outside, start looking for good camping area during Day or Evening, while you still have full visibility.
- When scavenging, take note of the condition of the structure. If it looks like it's about to collapse, it probably will.
- If possible, begin scavenging on a new turn. If you attract unwanted attention you will have movement points left to escape.
- When without a proper backpack, take advantage of plastic bags lying around to get your precious loot with you. Three can be carried around at one time - one in each hand and one in the backpack slot.
- On Forest tiles, there's an icon of trees in the 'ground' portion of the inventory screen. You can place this icon into the crafting box and it will yield 1 large tree branch, 10 medium tree branches, and 10 twigs & bark every time you do this.
- On River/Marsh/Lake tiles, there is a River/Marsh/Lake icon in the 'ground' portion of the inventory screen. You can place this icon into the crafting box and it will yield 6 water droplets every time you do this.
- Water can be sometimes found by scavenging forest, hills, and flatland tiles, or just lying on the ground. Sometimes, lucky scavengers can find pre-bottled, purified water in urban locations.
- A brown cube symbol, usually surrounded by a yellow glow, found on a hex is an indicator that there are items on the ground there. It might be in your best interests to check those hexes, especially once you get closer to the DMC which is when you start finding guns dropped randomly on the ground.
- When crafting, take note of the finished item's condition. Sometimes the game will select a bad item or a bad item of a stack and result in a low condition item. IE, You might build a broad tipped spear at 5% Condition because of one bad shard of glass. You can split stacks with the <shift> key and find the highest quality item of a stack to produce the highest conditioned items.
- Sling can be your best weapons. You can craft it with 2 medium strings and a dirty rag. It's ammunition can be easly found in the ruined buildings tile. The sling can shoot up to 20 spaces but only with the ranged skill. Without it can shoot at 10 spaces.
- If you grab the glass shards from the Cryo Facility, you can go to a forest tile and make a sharpened spear with 1 large branch and the glass shards, which is a great weapon early on due to it's good damage and range of 3. You can make a hardened spear, which has greater durability and damage, the same way plus a fire source, such as a lighter or a campfire. This can be done within the first few turns of the game, giving you an edge in unfortunate encounters. The Sharpened Spear do not require any skills in order to be crafted. Broad-head and Hardened Spears do require a combat skill (Ranged or Melee) to create.
- If you use the Melee or Ranged skill, you can make a broad spear much like the other spears, but with any string/cloth and another sharp edge. The broad spear has the same durability of the hardened spear, but with greater damage.
- All spears can be thrown, making it great for both melee and ranged purposes.
- If you seem strong and well armed, your enemy is more likely to run away.
- Be cautious in all your actions! If you feel doubt about an action, most times the best choice will be to avoid it. There are old scavengers, there are bold scavengers, but there are few old, bold scavengers.
- In combat you can swap weapons if you are caught off guard, but you can't swap if you are under attack.