While it may carry several tenets of a general open-world gameplay model, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora does several things differently. The Western Frontier is perilous, and it can often be challenging to get your bearings, much less search for different materials for crafting and cooking purposes. There’s also the question of which Skills to go for, how to navigate the land and even how to unlock Free Fast Travel. Here are ten tips and tricks to gain an edge over the RDA and survive on Pandora.
Do Not Ignore Side Quests
As you progress through the Frontiers of Pandora, you’ll collect numerous side quests, from collecting kites and checking up on people to exploring strange occurrences. Though several are fetch quests, which may require gathering materials and ingredients of different rarities, some are more straightforward.
For example, The Unsung Hunter is a level 4 side quest and on completion, you get a pretty good weapon early on and a Superior Longbow String Mod as a reward. Considering the boost in Power, it’s well worth the effort. If you’re ever at an impasse when gaining Power, try completing some side quests. They may provide the tools you need to become stronger.
Pinning and Hunting for Materials
The Hunter’s Guide is an indispensable tool for keeping track of flora, fauna, enemy types and much more. It contains information on specific ingredients and crafting materials, including telling you where to get them, what they’re used for and more. You can pin these on your HUD, so upon venturing to the location in question, they pop up on your sense with a yellow glow. The best part is that you don’t have to return to the entry and unpin them afterwards. Go to the Hunter’s Guide and click the pinned icons in the top right to dismiss them.
Even when exploring in Guided Mode, there won’t be any waypoints or objective markers guiding you. It necessitates using sense, scoping out the glowing light and running towards it. Alternatively, you can open the map and place a green waypoint marker. This will show up on your compass and keep you on the right track towards an objective. Granted, you still need sense in some places to scan for your objective, but at least you don’t need to keep mashing it while en route.
Mark Locations with Rare Materials
Further to that point, whenever you find Superior or Exquisite materials in locations, go to your map and set a custom marker. Whenever you need them again, open the map and look for the icons in question, instead of repeating the process of pinning them in the Hunter’s Guide and then going on another impromptu scavenger hunt. Note the conditions that certain materials must be collected, like rain or nighttime.
There are two types of Skills – Ancestral and normal. The former involves discovering Tarsyu Flowers and interacting with them to unlock specific Skills, like Eject for removing humans from AMP Suits; Soft Landing for graceful landings if you fall a long way; and Free Fast Travel, which ensures no energy consumed when fast traveling. The first Ancestral Skill, Air Boost, is discovered automatically as part of the story, and afterwards, you can have other such skills show up on the map for collecting later.
The regular Skills require Skill Points, which you get from completing story missions and discovering Tarsyu Saplings. These are also pretty essential, and while some options, like a five percent increase to base damage, aren’t impressive, others are vital. Get Light-Footed Hunter 2 to remove any noise while moving, which includes sprinting. Well Prepared unlocks a fourth weapon slot, and Expert Ammunition Crafter increases the amount of ammo crafted from materials. It’s also a good idea to increase the maximum number of arrows you can carry.
Tarysu Saplings are essential since they grant Skill Points, and every Skill Point spent will increase your Power moderately. While traveling, a faint glow will appear in your peripheral vision. Following it will often point you towards a Tarsyu Sapling or Bellsprig if not some other discoveries. If you want to ignore them and return later, they appear on your map, helpfully denoted.
Do NOT Kill Wildlife With Guns
You’re told early on that wildlife must be hunted with arrows and spears. Scanning and hitting their weak spots ensures a clean kill, but you’re also rewarded for mercy, which seemingly involves slaying an animal while it still has some health left (instead of killing it when there’s only a bit). Regardless, do not – and we repeat – NOT kill animals with guns. They ruin the body, and you can’t collect any materials from them. Even if your arrow kills aren’t clean or merciful, you’ll get something.
Return to Liberated Outposts
It’s an open world game. There are enemy outposts, and they come in all sizes, whether it’s bases, drilling towers or forts teeming with enemies. You’re encouraged to liberate them to reclaim Pandora, though they also have some decent rewards, from Spare Parts to loot. Certain things like research labs, Tarsyu Flowers and other essentials won’t be available to interact with until you clear these outposts and remove the pollution plaguing the area.
However, make a habit of returning to these locations afterwards. Not only will you see the place overrun by nature, which is nice, but there are also Bellsprigs, usually two, to collect and permanently increase your maximum health. You can also look for chests or boxes with special ammo and explosives you forgot to loot.
Interact With NPCs in the Wild
Other NPCs are everywhere in the Western Frontier, particularly near settlements and nests, hunting, fishing or relaxing. It’s a good idea to interact with each of the NPCs you meet, especially as some will beckon you over and give free stuff like cooking ingredients or even meals. In the early going, when you haven’t hunted too much wildlife or need some higher-end ingredients, they can be helpful and barely take a minute.
Always Be Contributing
You don’t have to go out and destroy every floating platform in the Western Frontier, though it’s fun watching them go boom. However, make a habit of depositing any materials that you collect into the clan’s contribution basket. They ask for specific items for more favor, but getting rid of excess materials, mods, weapons and gear you don’t need still goes a long way.
That clan favor can purchase higher-end gear, weapons and mods to increase your Power. If you’re confused about what to donate, try keeping some of the materials in your stash in case of crafting needs. Then, when you find a material rated “Fine,” contribute that and keep the higher-end stuff in your stash.