Metro Exodus Guide: Useful Tips To Help You Survive
By Michael Higham | @michaelphigham on
Before The Exodus
Metro Exodus can be a daunting game to jump into, especially if you're not attuned to the series' minimalist style of experience and low health/high damage combat. It's a single-player, story-driven FPS with a lot of systems at play, and tacking on a few open sandbox levels might overwhelm newcomers. Even if you've been with main protagonist Artyom in Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light, there are still a bunch of things you may want to be aware of before you start the journey across the Russian landmass.
What you need to know ranges from gameplay tips necessary for survival to important pieces of the story that you could miss. Metro Exodus will make mention of the many things you can do in its world, but they can also be easily glossed over. This'll be free of spoilers, and instead try to make you privy to the ways in which you can get the most from the story or influence the outcomes of events.
Note that those who jump straight into Ranger Hardcore mode and want the toughest challenge will have UI elements turned off. This means you may not even be aware of basic mechanics, so be sure to do some research before doing so. But here, we compiled a few neat things that'll help you get more out of Metro Exodus. This won't cover every little detail of the game, so if you come across any cool secrets or interesting tidbits, let us know in the comments below!
If you want to read more about the game, do yourself a favor and check out my Metro Exodus review. I awarded the game a score of 8/10 and stated, "As Metro broadens its horizons, it loses some of the series' focus. But Exodus makes up for it with thrilling encounters and a crew you'll want to follow to the ends of the earth."
Dismantle Enemy Weapons For Attachments, Materials, And Extra Ammo
In addition to picking up the items and materials dropped by fallen enemies, you can dismantle the weapons they drop. Doing so will reward you with weapon modifications and attachments that are vital to building out your arsenal. It's important to deck out your favorite weapons with better barrels, sights, and stocks since they can be pretty janky without them. You may be surprised with how a puny revolver can transform into a deadly long-range gun with the right mods. Dismantling enemy weapons will also give you some extra ammo and crafting materials. It may be a pain to constantly search the area after a firefight, but it's worth the effort.
You Can Only Swap Guns At Base Workbenches
The crafting system may be a little tough to get your head around in terms of what you can and can't do, but changing your loadout in particular is relegated to workbenches in or around the Aurora. These are the only spots where you can swap your weapon loadout outside of picking up an enemy's weapon, in case you were wondering why you couldn't at the other workbenches scattered around the game's levels.
Primary Ammo Can Only Be Crafted At Workbenches
Workbenches are also the only spots where you can craft ammo for your primary weapons (shotgun shells, rifle rounds, revolver bullets, and sniper ammo). Of course, ammo is found around the environments, but you always want to be prepared before you take on a big mission as you might not be able to pick up as much as you expend.
Improvise And Adapt With The Backpack
Keep in mind your backpack allows you to craft steel balls for the Tikhar or arrows for the Helsing crossbow. This allows you to have a decent firearm if you happen to run out of primary ammo. Medkits and filters can also be crafted with just your backpack so you're never left with low health as long as you have enough crafting materials. The backpack lets you swap weapon attachments as well; this is key for adapting to situations on the fly. For example, if you're caught in a long-range firefight but only have guns with reflex sights, whip out your backpack and swap in a scope if you have one.
Cleaning Weapons Is Very Important
Weapons will get dirty over time, so keep an eye on how clean they are. It'll be visually represented with dirt and grime building up on the weapon itself, and a meter will show its condition when you take it to a workbench. It doesn't take that many chemicals to keep them in top condition, either, so clean them when you can. A dirty weapon will jam or overheat frequently, which you do not want happening during an intense firefight.
Third Weapon Slot Is For The Tikhar Or Crossbow, Use Them When You Can
While you get to carry two primary weapons in Metro Exodus, the third slot is reserved for the pneumatic pump gun called the Tikhar. It's not the most powerful weapon, but it can deal some damage with a well-aimed shot and comes in handy for stealth situations since it's silent. The same goes for the Helsing crossbow you find in a later chapter; it does more damage but has a low fire rate. Again, if you want to conserve primary ammo, use these when you can since you're able to craft their ammo anywhere using your backpack.
Try To Avoid Conflict Against Mutants In Open Areas
In the open sandbox chapters, you're free to roam around. However, mutants run rampant throughout and can easily gang up on you since they sometimes run in packs. You should avoid conflict with them as they're not only dangerous, but force you to expend valuable ammo and medkits (if you get hit). They don't drop ammo or resources in return, unlike human enemies. It's also tough to run away since you have a limited sprint. Be careful.
Take A Nap, Stealth Is Easier At Night
With the introduction of a day/night cycle in Metro Exodus, your visibility can change drastically in the open sandbox areas. For those who are keen on a more stealthy approach, make sure you're going into heavily guarded areas at night since you have the cover of darkness. And don't forget to keep an eye on your watch's visibility indicator that tells you if you're exposed or not. Beds at outposts allow you to rest in order to change the time of day without any consequences. Use this to your advantage.
The Gasmask (And Geiger Counter) Saves Lives
Artyom's gasmask is literally a life saver, and you should know when it's necessary to have on. If you hear him gasping for air in any section of the environment, don't hesitate to put it on. In addition, filters only last for a certain duration before needing to be swapped out--listen for a beeping sound as this is your cue to switch filters. One more tip for not getting killed by the world itself: listen to your Geiger counter. You can survive for a while in mild radiation, but once Artyom starts to get dizzy and his vision starts to blur, get to safety quick.
Side Quests (Question Marks On Your Map) Can Lead To Rewards
In the open sandbox missions, you can think of points of interest as side quests. Not only will you get interesting bits of story that may help influence future events, but you can pick up helpful equipment. For example, in the Volga chapter, your boy Duke will mention a bandit outpost that may be worth checking out. If you save the hostages there, they'll give you a key to open up a door in a later mission which leads to a pair of useful night-vision goggles. While a teddy bear may not be classified as useful equipment, if you track one down in a side quest for the child Nastya, you get a morality point and feel good about yourself!
Consider What Others Say, Could Also Lead To Rewards
Dialogue plays an important role in Metro Exodus. Most of it is for narrative purposes but sometimes it can hint at different types of rewards that may impact your playthrough. For example, in a mission during the Caspian Desert chapter, your companion Damir mentions to not hurt innocent bystanders, but you're free to go lethal on the bad guys. If you follow suit, it leads to a morality point which can affect future events. In another case, a tribe member in the Taiga chapter asks you to not hurt them, but only if you approach him (who you might think is hostile at first glance). Doing so also leads to a morality point.
Other times, characters will mention points of interest in the open sandbox chapters, which often get marked as question marks on your map. You'll definitely want to explore these locations.
Holstering Your Weapon Can Lead To Interesting Things
It's a smaller thing to note, but Metro Exodus allows you to holster your weapon. While we're not aware of every situation it can affect, we know it can lead to interesting outcomes. A few examples include a pair of fisherman in the Volga who react negatively to you if you approach them with your gun pointed at them. In a later mission in the Caspian Desert, aiming down your sights will lead to a firefight breaking out, and you may want to avoid that. And in the Taiga chapter, the dialogue with a tribe member (mentioned earlier) hints that you may not want to hurt them.
Take Out Enough Enemies And The Rest Will Surrender
One neat feature of Metro Exodus is how enemies will react if you wreak enough havoc on their encampment. In certain situations, there comes a point when taking down enemies in the surrounding area can lead to the remaining hostiles surrendering. They'll lay their weapons down with their hands up and constantly beg you not to hurt them. If you start to feel bad but still want their loot, just knock them out.
You Don't Always Have To Fight
Some sections force you to clear out a gang of mutants or unhinged hostile humans before moving on, and that's when you need to go in guns blazing. But remember that you don't always have to fight in Metro Exodus; not necessarily for non-lethal or stealthy approaches, but for your own sake as well. There's no shame in running past a sticky situation, which you should keep in mind when you think there's no way out of a dire situation.
Hang Out With Your Crew Throughout The Game
Aboard the Aurora train between missions, your crew of metro expats relax and reflect on the journey throughout the game. Here, you can hang out with them and listen to them talk about their experiences, deeper thoughts, or watch them interact with each other. These are some of the best parts of Metro Exodus that can easily be overlooked, and it's one of the things that'll get you more invested in the story itself since these characters are fun, genuine personalities.
In a few cases, you can sit beside Anna while she talks to you about how she's feeling, her perception of the previous missions, and what she hopes for in the future. As a result, these breaks in the action can go on for a long time but we recommend sticking around for it all.
Read Your Diary And Use The Radio To Listen In On Broadcasts And Sweet Tunes
As the game progresses, Artyom fills out his diary with descriptions of the places he's been, the enemies he's fought, and the equipment he's gathered. It's also where he writes about his comrades and summarizes his perceptions of who they are and their motivations. These insights help build the characters you're journeying with.
Beside the journal is a radio you can tune to different frequencies. With a handful of channels, you can eavesdrop on chatter between stations out on the surface which often tie into the game's events. A few stations also play some really catchy tunes that you can leave on as you step away from the desk.
If You Want A Good Ending, Be A Good Person
It's been known that Metro Exodus has several endings, but if you're aiming for a "good" ending, you'll want to look out for opportunities to earn morality points, just like the previous Metro games. Again, things like getting through scenarios without hurting people who aren't necessarily bad and doing nice things people ask of you will net you morality points. We just want to make sure you're aware this exists.
You Can Make The Train Go Choo Choo
Alright, this won't really help you on your journey, but it sure is a morale boost in a dark, vicious post-apocalyptic world. If you go to the front of the Aurora train during the chill chapters, you can pull the handle that makes the train go choo choo. It's fun, especially after Miller is done with one of his tirades.