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6 Metro Exodus tips to guide you to survival in post-apocalypse Russia

© 4A Games
Metro Exodus is a daunting and tough game, especially on the higher difficulty settings. But with these handy tips, you'll make it through each stop and arrive safely at your destination!
Written by Stephen FarrellyPublished on
Metro Exodus is now out in the wild and has had more than its fair share of critical praise. Five years in development, the game takes Artyum, Annaand the Metro Spartansout of Moscow’s subway system and into Mother Russia proper, with the ragtag group making haste with their own train, trekking across the country for a full year, experiencing each season in new, challenging locations.
As a hybrid survival-shooter sandbox experience where ammunition continues to remain sparse and weapons need cleaning and extra care to remain functional, Metro Exodus presents a number of unique challenges while delivering its excellent narrative and exploration outlay for both old and new Metro fans alike.
Well, we’ve conquered the trainline ourselves and slain all manner of mutants, bandits, demons, watchers and more, so felt compelled to pass on our knowledge of the lay of the land to you, dear post-apocalypse survivor. These six helpful tips will get you through the turnstile, in your seat with ticket in hand, ready to face the horrors of the Russian nuclear fallout.

1. Question marks are your friends

Metro Exodus, like Red Dead Redemption 2, takes a little while to get moving. The on-rails early game experience has actually put some people off, but we want to tell you to keep moving forward with it. This is because once you leave Moscow and alight at your first stop, the Volga, you’ll gain yourself a pair of binoculars and it’s from this moment the game truly opens up.
All aboard the Aurora!
All aboard the Aurora!
Using them at the highest point in any of the sandbox locations that follow (Yamantau aside), will reveal major points of interest which are represented on your contextual map as question marks.
It might be tantalising to just follow your narrative mission to experience the next location, but clearing all question marks in most locations will reward you with more precious materials, potentially new weapons and item upgrades, goodies for your fellow passengers to keep them happy, and lore and information about the world outside of the Metro. Plus there’s just a sense of satisfaction surrounding it, because you can’t just turn the train around and go back, and choosing chapters to replay through from the menu overrides your last save and restarts that chapter from the beginning. So clear it all out while you can.

2. Dismantle all enemy weapons

We felt like the biggest fools early on in the piece. Playing the game on the second hardest difficulty setting, the resources needed versus those found was disproportionate in the negative, and had us pulling our hair out until we realised we’d been doing it all wrong. Every time an enemy dropped a weapon, we ignored the swap option, already having fallen in love with our base weapons from the start, and just didn’t click that the secondary button prompt (B and Circle, for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, respectively) because the game never communicated that doing that dismantled the weapon if it had any upgrades. The upgrades are represented in orange, and by pulling them off weapons you usually gain crafting material, chemicals and even much-needed ammo.
Remember to upgrade your weapon
Remember to upgrade your weapon
Once we started doing this, not only were we getting far more resources and able to better manage ammo, we were also getting new upgrades to apply to all our weapons, making us much more formidable.

3. Stay off your trigger finger

It doesn’t always happen, but in our experience if you play the game more stealth than guns a blazin’, and take enemies down with a melee attack instead of killing them, there’s a chance they’ll come back and help you in some capacity for showing compassion and restraint their way. This can come in the form of enemies now being friendly or gaining new information about the area, its leader(s) while feeling all warm and fuzzy inside for just being a good kind of person.

4. Clean your weapons on the workbenches

While we’re pushing you to be conservative with your trigger finger for a few reasons (favours, ammo conservation), you’ll still need your weapons for the mutated beasties about the game-world, and so it’s pertinent to have them in the best working order. There’s nothing worse than having a horde of mutants flailing their arms at you only to have your barrel overheat or for the weapon to jam.
Yamantau is one of the weirdest experiences in the game...
Yamantau is one of the weirdest experiences in the game...
For this reason, where possible clean your main weapons at any workbench you find. Yeah, you’re going to be burning through precious chemicals needed for crafting other items such as medkits and radiation mask filters, but managing how you distribute your chemicals throughout the game can mean the difference between frustration and measured success. A clean weapon will help immeasurably in all of this.

5. The van is your beastie takedown friend

In the Caspian level, you get a van to drive around in, and it’s a sweet, sweet post-apocalyptic ride. It’s also an ammo-saving weapon, and should be used where possible to take down mutants and mutated critters. It might seem cumbersome, but often these enemy types respawn after a sleep or after having been away from an area long enough. And when they swarm you and run at you as aggressively as many of them do, you can lose precious ammo very, very quickly.
The disparate chapters and maps make Exodus an ever-changing experience
The disparate chapters and maps make Exodus an ever-changing experience
To this end, take the van everywhere you possibly can and just run them over. Clear the area so that when you do get out of the vehicle, the only enemies you might need to use your ammo on are humans or the annoying flying Demons about the place (by the way, incendiary ammo from the Tikhar usually takes Demons out in roughly two or three shots).

6. Just don’t shoot

Metro Exodus has a number of big bosses that lurk within chapters to keep you scared and on your toes. From giant catfish to mutated bears and eyeless apes, the game sells an irradiated world where animals have emerged as bosses in their own right. And it can be very tempting to try and take them down, especially because your reticle will glow red when hovered over any of them. Surely you can become a big game hunter, right?
The game's lighting is next-level good
The game's lighting is next-level good
Well yes, and no. These beasties aren't traditional bosses, like those found in Nintendogames. Don’t waste your ammo, and look for solutions that are in your vicinity. You’ll get your chance at taking them all out in a contextual way, so let the game do its thing, think outside the box and once again, as has been the theme here -- conserve your ammo. They’ll just sponge it all anyway.
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