Shadow Of The Tomb Raider Guide: 9 Useful Beginner's Tips You Should Know
By Matt Espineli on
Become the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the next big step for the Tomb Raider reboot series. The game introduces additional features to stealth, combat, and progression. With these additions comes new possibilities in gameplay that you might not be aware of as you play.
Stealth offers you more options to take down enemies, and there's even changes to AI that make it possible to break their line of sight. There are new tombs and crypts to explore. And when you're not progressing through the story, you have the option to take side missions, which now contain more narrative and NPC interaction.
There's a ton of new content in Shadow of the Tomb Raider that should offer something fresh for returning players. To help better your ability to take on the challenges that lie ahead, we've compiled nine useful tips you should know before starting.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider release on September 14 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. GameSpot reviewer Edmond Tran said about the game: "Thankfully, the parts of Tomb Raider that make it really fantastic--uncovering the mystery of ancient ruins, solving impressive challenge tombs, and exploring exotic environments--are still here in Shadow, and they are just as outstanding as they have always been. But the core mechanics that have been with the series for half a decade are starting to show their limitations." For our full thoughts on the game, check out our review.
In the meantime, were there any Shadow of the Tomb Raider tips you have that you don't see here? Let us know about them in the comments below.
Take Advantage Of The Adjustable Difficulty
There are a number of ways to vary your experience with Shadow of the Tomb Raider--one of them is through its difficulty level. The game allows you to adjust the difficulty of its combat, exploration, and puzzles separately. While you can make these adjustments before you start the game, don't hesitate to hop into the options menu to change things up if you ever want some extra challenge. We personally recommend increasing both exploration and puzzles to hard; it'll help decrease your reliance on Instinct mode, which often makes the game a tad too easy at times.
If you're breezing through the game without much challenge, take a moment to experiment to see if a bump in difficulty suits you. For a more in-depth look at the game's difficulty, watch our video feature detailing why you should play the game on hard.
Stealth Players, Don't Forget You Can Break Line Of Sight!
There's a higher emphasis on stealth in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Among a variety of new tools, one of the most welcome additions is the ability to disengage from a firefight and break enemy line of sight. If you ever muck up an encounter, don't hesitate to get behind walls and move back into bushes to reassess the situation and plot out a new strategy.
Focus On Skills That Suit Your Playstyle
Shadow of Tomb Raider's skill tree is a bit intimidating and difficult to follow at first. It's separated into three categories: Seeker (Blue), Scavenger (Green), and Warrior (Red). Seeker focuses on Instinct mode and exploration skills; Scavenger has stealth skills and ammo crafting formulas; and Warrior caters specifically to combat with enhancements to Lara's weapons and physical characteristics.
While there's not much consequence in being a bit scattered with the upgrades you choose, a more focused build is far more effective in the long run. Examine the skills that work best for your playstyle and try to craft a build that enhances your tendencies in combat and exploration. For example, you might look to acquire the Chain Assassination and Owl's Vision skills early on to better deal with enemies while being aware of your surroundings during stealth encounters. On the other hand, given the limited combat during the game's opening hours, you might focus on skills that deal with resource gathering, like Hoatzin's Hunger and Viper's Nest, which both increase the amount of natural and man-made materials you pick up. Whatever you end up doing, just be sure you're choosing skills wisely.
Explore Tombs And Crypts
Tombs and crypts are more rewarding this time around, each featuring more intensive puzzles to solve and platforming challenges to overcome than previous games. While they're fun to partake in when you're not focused on progressing the story, completing them offers tangible rewards. Tombs unlock special skills in the game's skill tree, and crypts unlock special armor pieces you can craft and wear. Go out of your way to find tombs and crypts, their upgrades make completing them well worth the effort.
Craft And Wear Outfits
Unlike past entries, you can craft and equip clothing that enhance Lara's abilities. Each has their own special characteristics. For example, there are outfit pieces that'll make her harder to see during stealth sections, while there are others that give her the ability to pick up more crafting resources from the environment. These bonuses should offer you more than enough initiative to craft more outfits, but let's be real: they're pretty cool looking too. Just check out Lara's Condor outfit above.
Visit Merchants For Essential Upgrades
Merchants carry a humble offering of supplies and ammo for you to purchase, but they also sell quite a few weapon and tool upgrades that you might miss out on if you don't check their inventory. For example, the merchant in Paititi sells a knife upgrade that allows you to cut the braided rope that blocks off special areas of the game, while another in Kuwaq Yaku sells a silencer for your pistol. Make it a habit of seeing what the merchants have on sale; you never know what useful equipment you might be able to buy with your hard-earned money.
Sell Your Jade And Gold!
Speaking of money, don't forget to sell your stock of jade and gold to merchants on a regular basis. This sounds obvious, but it can be easy to pass up selling materials in favor of the game's story and various side activities. That and the game never quite specifies that they're meant for selling and not crafting upgrades. Don't stockpile your jade and gold, or else you might you'll max out your carrying capacity and potentially miss out on the opportunity to grab more during your adventures.
Don't Forget Side Missions
Whenever you arrive at a new town or accomplish an objective in the campaign, a new side mission will often unlock. Set aside time to complete these, as they're great ways to earn bonus XP, as well as unlock new weapons and equipment for Lara. Some of the side missions are also necessary to discover new Challenge Tombs and Crypts. That and they've actually got some nice writing and NPC interaction that you don't wanna miss!
Upgrade Your Shotgun ASAP
Compared to previous Tomb Raider games, there are way more close quarters enemies that rush you before you have time to line up a shot. To maximize your effectiveness in these encounters, upgrade your shotgun and pick up ammo pouch upgrades for additional shells. The shotgun is certainly one of the most useful weapons in the game, so make sure to have it ready whenever you suspect a surprise enemy encounter coming up.