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Expert Tips Days Gone Doesn't Tell You

In late April, Sony and developer SIE Bend released the open-world, post-apocalyptic Days Gone. Taking a page out of the survival horror book, the expansive title centers around protagonist Deacon St. John, who's trying to survive in the Pacific Northwest after the supposed death of his wife, Sarah. Along the way, he tries to navigate the delicate waters of various worker camps, enemy factions, cultists, and the hordes of zombified Freakers. Like another Sony-exclusive zombie title The Last of Us, Days Gone tells a story framed around the question, "Who are the real monsters here?"

Despite a mixed critical reception and a multitude of patches and bug fixes early on, Bend's latest game seems to be making a good impression on consumers, especially in the UK. It's yet another open-world game with many hours to offer, as well as a combat system with an unexpected focus on stealth. It's a deep game with much to learn, as well as some things you simply won't know unless you spend hours playing it. However, if you need some tips before you get started on your 60-plus-hour journey, this article can help. Here are some expert tips that Days Gone doesn't tell you.

It's all downhill

Unless you fancy traversing the Pacific Northwest on foot — which, in Days Gone, is not recommended — you'll need to heavily rely on your drifter bike to get around. As Deacon, you'll have to ride your bike all over to complete bounties, chase down enemies, and escape Freaker hordes unscathed. In this game, your bike is your best friend, regardless of what your buddy Boozer might say. The problem is, your bike is an absolute gas-guzzler. In the early hours of the game, you'll have to essentially rebuild your beloved bike via upgrades available through camp mechanics, but you still won't have access to large fuel tanks. That means you'll need to find gas all the time, pretty much every trip you make.

If that sounds annoying and exhausting, that's because it often is. Luckily, there's a way to conserve your fuel and eliminate at least a few of those fuel fill-ups. Much of the game's terrain features downhill terrain, which means you can let off the gas and coast so long as you're on a downward slope. It may seem simple, but it will help you save some of that precious gas on the way to your destinations.

Run. Seriously, run.

If you remember back to the first game demo shown off at E3 2016, Bend Studio showed off the various ways that Deacon St. John could take on the large, looming hordes of Freakers. During the demo, you saw "Deek" fending off these undead creatures with the use of some heavy firepower as well as explosives, both environmental and handheld. It looked extremely cool and gave you the sense that this is how you'd be fighting these hordes throughout the entire game. Well, nearly three years later, the final product is a bit different. Frankly, for the first half of the game, you just won't be adequately equipped to take on those giant piles of not-zombies. They're fast. They're really, really fast. And, once they're on top of you, you're dead in a matter of seconds.

Without a doubt, the easiest way to deal with Freaker hordes is to simply run away as fast as possible. Sprint, get to your bike, and hit that Nitrous button while heading in the opposite direction. Without spoiling anything, you'll start to unlock better gear and some of that heavy artillery in the second half of the game, but for the first 20-30 hours, the strategic retreat is your best bet for survival. There's no shame in running away.

Get the fuel tank upgrade ASAP

As mentioned before, you'll spend a good amount of time refueling your bike's gas tank and searching for those pesky, sometimes way too hard to find gas canisters. It's a bit of a nuisance, especially when it interrupts a mission, and that's why you need to focus on getting the first fuel tank upgrade as soon as possible. When you reach Copeland's camp early in the game, you'll meet Manny the Mechanic. Manny's a friendly, apologetic guy who can help you upgrade your drifter bike, as long as you have the credits to pay and the trust level to unlock those upgrades.

You'll gain access to upgrades for your nitrous, engine, and exhaust, but the most important one — the one you should spend your credits on first — is the fuel tank. While it doesn't seem much better than the stock tank, it reduces the amount of time you'll spend finding gas canisters throughout the world. It also cuts down on the number of times you'll spend credits at the mechanic to fill up.

Remember where to get gas

Sure, refueling your bike over and over again can get frustrating, but at least Days Gone makes it easier on you in a few ways. First off, those gas canisters have infinite fuel in them. That might not mean much to you when you're out in the world and just stumbling upon them along your journey. However, you should take note of this because, at O'Leary Mountain Safehouse where Boozer spends his days nursing his third-degree burns, there's a gas canister that you can use as many times as you want to refill your tank. It stays in the area no matter what you do or where you toss it after use.

That brings up another point: all fuel cans respawn exactly where you originally found them. This comes in handy a lot throughout the game, especially if you take note of where those easy-to-access canisters are. A helpful hint: every NERO Checkpoint will have some gas because you have to refill the power generator. Once you clear those checkpoints, you can fast travel to them anytime and pick up some of that precious petroleum.

Ambush those Ambush Camps

It's true that, on a surface level, Days Gone is all about surviving and thriving in a Freaker-filled world. However, as you either guessed or already know from your time with the game, the Pacific Northwest has plenty of other human enemies to deal with, many of whom reside in various Ambush Camps. Early in the game, you'll get to the point where you're riding around and minding your own business, when all of the sudden an enemy will have a laser sight trained on you. These snipers are absolute nuisances and take a ludicrously small amount of time to focus on you and fire, knocking you off your bike and sometimes rendering it unrideable. The only way to deal with this is to take out the sniper as well as his friends lurking around and then field repair your bike.

This will happen repeatedly, but there's a fantastic way to alleviate the problem in many areas. Find the Ambush Camps and clear them out before those snipers ever have a chance to disrupt your travel. In total, there are 14 of these camps in the game, and taking them all out will severely diminish the amount of sniper and clothesline traps strewn about the world.

Don't invest in Tucker's camp

A few hours after unlocking Copeland's camp, you'll gain access to the game's second camp, run by a crotchety woman simply known as Tucker. At Tucker's, you'll gain a better sense of what these worker camps are like in the post-apocalyptic world, and you'll also have another place to buy gear, fix up your bike, and turn in bounties. Yet, despite Tucker's place having a few enticing weapons, there's really not much reason to turn in your Freaker ears and animal skins there.

Copeland's camp offers much more when it comes to upgrades you'll want to buy, and the third one — unlocked around 15 hours in — run by Iron Mike has a much better selection of firepower. Either turn in your food and bounties at Copeland's or wait for Iron Mike's. You'll get much more bang for your buck — or, your zombie extremities, to be more accurate. Down the road, as you get further into the story, you'll also gain access to two more camps, each with better gear than the last. Do what you must to get by at Tucker's, but keep in mind everything that you'll find later in the game and focus on investing in those camps.

Upgrade nitrous and the engine for access to certain NERO checkpoints

Without a doubt, purchasing that first fuel tank upgrade at Copeland's should be your priority. After that, you should upgrade your engine and your nitrous. These will help you move faster on your bike and gain access to some hard-to-reach NERO checkpoints. Throughout the game, you'll start to notice checkpoints on the map — denoted by an "X" logo — but you won't have access to them on foot. Some of these require you to clear large gaps or jumps on your bike, but you simply won't be able to without these necessary upgrades.

After improving your engine and nitrous, you'll have the ability to clear these gaps and start clearing the checkpoints. This is vital to your character's success. Not only will you gain access to plenty of supplies and gear, but you'll also find the coveted NERO Injectors, which you can use to upgrade your health, stamina, or focus. If you're hoping to get through the game and start taking out those massive Freaker hordes, finding the Injectors will be necessary.

Don't forget about your Attractors

During your first few hours of exploration, you'll start to come across supplies and items that haven't unlocked at camps. In our playthrough, we gained access to stamina cocktails and pipe bombs just by looting dead marauders and rippers. You'll likely find these as well if you're clearing out the Ambush Camps early on. You'll also start to pick up Attractors, which can really come in handy as you start to fight larger numbers of Freakers. If you're a fan of other post-apocalyptic zombie games, like Left 4 Dead, you'll likely understand that pipe bombs usually serve the purpose of attracting the attention of multiple undead, bringing them together before culminating in a big area-of-effect explosion.

Well, in Days Gone, pipe bombs do exist. However, they don't attract enemies in that way. There are actually these Attractor devices that serve that purpose. If you're looking to clear out an area of Freakers, toss out an Attractor and watch as the enemies cluster together. Once they do, you can easily take them out with a Molotov, grenade, or your firearm of choice. These handy items will become your best friends as you progress through the game. Don't forget about them.