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:
- 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: Rotate items
- shift+z=guns and ammo
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 you should 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
- When scavenging, take note of the condition of the structure. If it looks like it's about to collapse, it probably will.
- Drinking dirty water and eating unidentified mushrooms or berries can be harmful or even deadly. It is important to boil your water to purify it (see the Item Crafting). The Botany skill is useful for identifying wild edibles (blue berries are always edible). Of course when you are dying of thirst, the boiling part can be skipped.
- 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.
- The Trapping skill allows you to make campfires (friction) without another flame source nearby. This is especially useful on forest tiles. When you have some sort of reliable storage, carrying 5 branches and 5 twigs gives you access to fire at any time.
- The Trapping skill, along with some string and a medium branch, 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 often yield berries and mushrooms. The Botany skill will also tell you which are edible and which are poisonous.
- End your turn before you scavenge. If you attract unwanted attention you will have movement points left to escape.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- There is one character build that allows a player to obtain a very warm piece of clothing - a dogman fur coat - right at the beginning of the game. The player needs to possess the Strong and/or Melee skills to kill a dogman during the first encounter and the Trapping skill to get the dogman's fur from skinning it (via crafting, by combining trapping skill, dogman's corpse and a glass shard from the broken window). The coat, when worn, is warm enough to prevent the character from freezing by itself alone.
- 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.
- 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 and Hardened Spear do not require the Ranged or Melee skill, making it great for those who don't have either of those.
- 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.
- 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.
- If you seem strong and well armed, your enemy is more likely to run away.