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How to Have More Fun With Far Cry 2

Ubisoft's new open-world mercenary shooter has some...quirks. Here's a few tips on getting around them.

Far Cry 2 came out this week, and I've been playing it for the last couple of days as I work on the review. The game has...well, it's rubbed me the wrong way a few times. Not long after starting out, I began getting frustrated by a number of things.

  • My guns kept jamming.
  • Dudes were attacking me nonstop.
  • I kept dying a lot.

I really dig the game's general concept--you're a mercenary in an arid open-world setting, free to take on side jobs, form alliances, and increase your notoriety--but those aspects of the gameplay were just getting me down. After playing a few more hours, it's starting to grow on me. Here's a few basic tips you might not be aware of when first starting out that might make your time in Africa a little easier.

Unlock New Weapons, Pronto

An untimely weapon jam can be disastrous.
Dead guerillas drop plenty of tasty weapons--AK-47s, MAC-10s, RPGs, the works. But the game's weapon durability system makes them useless for more than a few minutes. The dirtier a weapon looks, the less time it has left before it jams. And you really don't want a weapon jamming in the middle of a firefight, because enemies tend to gang up on you in fours and fives.

To get good, reliable weapons, you need to unlock and then buy them at a weapon vendor. The game will lead you to one vendor during the tutorial, but you need to go back later on and pick up specific missions from him and other salesmen to unlock any guns worth buying. The catch is, the vendor only appears when you don't have any active missions pending.

So head to the little gun icons on your map ASAP; those represent the vendor locations. The gun merchant missions are pretty fun--they usually revolve around you blowing up convoys of weapon shipments. After polishing off two missions, I'd unlocked an MP-5, RPG-7, and silenced Makarov, which were all way better than the stuff I started out with. The game gets a lot more fun with better weapons.

Lastly, every vendor has an armory next to it that will always contain fresh versions of all the weapons you own. Those will last you for three or four missions before they start getting messed up, and you can always swing by an armory and get new ones anytime.

Roll With an Armed Vehicle

The buggy won't cut it. Go for the turret.
There aren't a lot of vehicles in the game that I've seen so far, but by far the most valuable is a ubiquitous open-air jeep that has a mounted machine gun turret on the back. Stick with this thing as often as you can because it will save you in a lot of firefights.

Firefights happen more often than you might like. There's a lot of driving required to get to most mission objectives, and you'll get attacked every time you hit the road, either by passing guard stations or just people rolling up on you and not leaving well enough alone. No matter where you're going, you're going to get harassed, at least as early on in the game as I am.

The best thing about the armed jeep is that you can hit the jump button to immediately jump from the driver's seat up into the turret and mow enemies down with abandon. I was getting worked over on foot when I'd get ambushed. But in the turret, I could kill all my attackers really fast, even though I was taking a few hits due to being a sitting duck up there.

Pursue the Buddy Objectives

Buddy objectives can make the missions a lot more interesting.
You've got a primary and a secondary buddy at any given time (as long as they haven't died, which they don't respawn from; you'll have to find another one in that case). After you pick up story missions, your main bro will call you with a plan to increase the rewards from your current task, or at least make it simpler in some way. It also increases your history and level with your buddy, though I'm not sure how that changes things just yet.

In one scenario, I had to destroy some greenhouses belonging to the enemy faction. Before heading down there, my buddy had me head to a chemical facility, steal some industrial defoliant, and deliver it to him. When I hit the plantation where the greenhouses were located, my buddy buzzed the field and dropped the chemicals, removing all the foliage and thus all the cover the enemies had to hide behind.

Another mission had me attempting to ambush an enemy convoy and destroy their supply trucks. The buddy option tipped me off to the location of the convoy's informant, who I intimidated into giving the group false coordinates. This led them into a village, instead of the original open area, where they were sitting ducks.

The alternative buddy mission usually involves more fighting and carries the risk of your buddy dying. But sometimes you get a reward; I got a pretty nice SUV out of one of them. And you gain more reputation, allowing you to increase your rep level faster. I haven't figured out what reputation level affects yet, but I can only assume boosting it is a good thing.

Get Your Other Buddy to Save Your Ass

When you bite it, this guy is your best friend.
There's no auto-save in the game, s o it's no fun to put a lot of time in on a mission and then get smoked by an ambush. Luckily, your secondary buddy's sole function so far seems to be to save you when you go down.

Instead of getting a "Load Game?" prompt, your vision will start to fade back in as your comrade hoists you up and drags you along while smoking fools that get in his way. After a minute of this, you'll be back in the fight with some weapons and a modicum of health. Much nicer than a game over when you're almost done with a mission.

The only catch is that it seems like you have to prime your buddy for rescue after he's done it once. Seek him out at a safe house and talk to him to ready him for a rescue, and then you should have that ace up your sleeve if you happen to take a quick dirt nap.

Far Cry 2 isn't a perfect game, but I've been compelled to keep playing it despite its occasional headaches. I'll be back with a review next week; hopefully these tips will help you a little in the meantime. Brad Shoemaker on Google+
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Posted by Death_Burnout

Yeah gotta add here, and not to sound like a Pro PC jerk either, the PC version is the way to go (quick saving, better aim) if you have the rig, which most people dont sadly, i've always been more of a fan PC shooters, more immersive.

Posted by MxPeke

I'm really getting tired of clearing same guard stations over and over. Right now I just speed through them and hope my car can take the damage. It would be nice to get some reward for clearing them but nothing you do seems to make any difference. All that driving around for 20 some "rocks" that get you a new gun and/or few upgrades. I'm hoping, now that I moved to the next map, that things will change a little.


  • Setting fire to a guard station and watching it destroy the station and guards is fun.
  • Setting off ammunition next to guards and seeing it take out most of them.
  • Killing guards using the machete!

Not fun:
  • Guards shooting you through bushes and walls when you can't even see them.
  • No climb action. Trying to jump to higher/better positions is difficult. Getting stuck on low crates/rocks/objects that shoud be easy to jump over during a firefight has killed me too many times.
  • Cases really should have more "rocks" in them. Some of the cases are really hard to find or get to. Why waste time for only 1-4 diamonds.
Posted by Mansemat

I like it so far except for the following:
- the guy can't jump for shit and he runs like a 60-year old with asthma
- the AI still can see me from anywhere as they always start shooting but when it comes to hiding they just stand about waiting for me to kill them off
- I haven't noticed any "oh my buddy is hurt i'm gonna save his ass and get a bullet through my brain while doing it" at ALL.
For the rest it's sweet though, I kinda miss African Radiostations

Oh and anyone know how I can get rid of those damn triangles everywhere, and don't say "update drivers" *urgh*

Posted by PFighter

i have similar complaints, but the more i play the better its gotten.

its  pretty hard tho

Posted by canucks23

I can honestly say that i'm not a fan of this game at all. It looked great, so i rented it and it was a huge disappointment. It just isn't my cup of tea i guess, but at least Fallout 3 is coming out on tuesday!

Posted by burjeffton--defunct

I've been enjoying the game so far. The driving is getting really old...

Posted by Charleslegrand

Yup, good game but too much driving.

Tip for anyone playing : sniper + uzi is the way to go.  Oh, and watch out for the jeep drivers that get too close... they'll try ramming into you, I learned it the hard way trying to snipe the guy.

And anyone feels like its hard on the eyes during the night ?
Posted by Crono


Yep.  I can't come up with a single shooter outside of Halo that plays better on consoles than it does on the PC.  Mouse just gives much more control and precision over a stick.

Posted by studnoth1n

Never a good sign when there's a need to post an article on how to have fun with a particular game.  Fun, within the context of any videogame, should be a fairly intrinsic quality readily available and easy to identify.  I practice the slide whistle for the discipline, structure, and ultimately the payoff that comes at the end of all those hours (if not minutes) of hard work and dedication.  I play videogames for the pink, meaty center.  So where's the beef Brad?

Posted by Nomin

Far Cry 2 = Assassin's Creed + Africa


Posted by killdave

Looks great - plays boring ... I'll be trading this in Very Soon :(

...  :(

Posted by reversethedevil

that's kinda rough. a guide on how to have fun.

Posted by yeah_write

Pretty good advice, you definitely can't play this game like your usual run and gun shooter.

I liked the armed jeep, but I also enjoy the buggy because it's fast and can handle bumpy terrain better. If you come under attack while driving it, you can just swerve off the road and blaze through the jungle while the enemies get stuck.

Also, I recommend nabbing the occasional diamond briefcase. Hunting them down isn't always easy, but if you don't have a pending mission and there happens to be one in the area, you should grab it. So far, the only missions that actually pay seem to be the UFLL and APR story missions, so having some extra diamonds really helps.

The map editor is mind blowing with its complexity. It's a huge upgrade from the last game and I've already seem some incredible maps online.Over all I'm really enjoying the game. The open ended nature is interesting, and the scenery is beautiful. It's not going to dethrone CoD4 as my favorite shooter, but it's still a lot of fun.

Posted by EpicBenjamin

Ahh...... jumping off a cliff and landing in the water while enemies are casing you = Priceless.

Posted by ComradeCrash

Thanks for the tips!  I really want to rent this game.

Posted by Dryker

Too many interesting looking games comin' out. What's a dude to do? And now for something entirely different... Last weeks bombcast, Jeff brought to my attention an article concerning the current state of videogame criticism, so I started a blog to get my fellow Giantbombers thoughts on the matter. Here's the blog with a link to the article:

Posted by Blinck

This tips are really good, I was getting fucked up about the game but I'm gonna try to get some better weapons and stuff to see if I can do better. Cheers

Posted by Kane

you need to make a list of your favourite october released games so we can get some help deciding what to buy

Posted by VibratingDonkey

Is there some kind of jeep repellent in this game? Jeeps out of nowhere every two minutes dammit. Did they inject a GPS transmitter into your bloodstream along with the malaria? Hope they're just harassing you like this in the very beginning because it's already getting on my nerves. And where do they come from? Are they hiding in the trees?

Posted by Det1

1: Get Dart rifle
2: Get silenced pistol
3: Get Camouflage (optional)
4: Play like MGS3
5: ???

Posted by RFX

Have the graphics improved or are they relatively the same?

Posted by jjsuperspy

i like this game i have it for my 360 and i think the way the have made your guns jam is good coz it feels more real if u get what imean and also that when u pick up a gun its all warn out

Posted by HoChiWaWa

The bus system is more helpful that it seems at first. 2/3s of the missions are within 1 checkpoint of a bus station, and the station in Pala will get your unscathed to the APR and UFLL mission givers, and a quick uneventful drive from mikes bar.
I also like the ATV and Buggy because you can often use them to go around check points, occasionally you'll find one you can't go around, thats when I have some fun trying to stealth kill everyone.