The next big game to release in 2017 is Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands. This open-world shooter puts you on the elite team of Ghosts, tasked with clearing Bolivia of the widespread Santa Blanca drug cartel.
There’s a lot to accomplish in Wildlands as you destroy the cartel and explore Bolivia, but you don’t have to go it alone. Here are a few essential tips for making your mission a success.
1. Party Up!
Wildlands is playable solo, but it’s built as a multiplayer game and that’s where it really shines. If you play alone, three computer-controlled companions join you, but they’re not too smart unless you constantly command them. They’ll take out some targets when you’re in an engagement or revive you when you’re down, but can’t replace playing with real people.
Even if you only have one other person to play with, join up! Silently taking over a base using coordinated shots between your team, bantering on the way to your next mission, and screwing around in between firefights are all a blast when you’re on a team.
2. Scout Out and Use Stealth
You have a variety of tools in Wildlands from the beginning that make your job a lot easier. Your binoculars let you spot enemies from afar, but your drone is even more useful since it can fly above enemy encampments. Whenever you see an orange circle on your minimap, that means enemies are near. Take the time to tag them with your drone so you know exactly where they are.
Once you’ve done this, proceed with stealth! Nearly every gun has a suppressor that you can equip with a button shortcut. If you make too much noise or miss an enemy, they’ll become alerted and rile everyone else up. Many bases also have alarms that will call more vehicles full of thugs to your location. Know where the enemy is and coordinate with your teammates to neutralize them without a peep.
3. Spend Skill Points Wisely
As you progress in Bolivia, you’ll earn skill points that are used for different upgrades. Though you earn these from leveling up and completing missions, keep an eye out on your map for bonus skill points marked with a blue arrow icon. You can also find special medals, shown with a blue star on the map, which grant an immediate bonus to one of your stats.
Stats are divided into categories like Weapon, Drone, and Physical. They all help you in some ways, but you should prioritize a few of them:
- Weapon > Advanced Suppressor — This makes suppressed weapons deal full damage. Since you should suppressors often for stealth, this is important.
- Drone > Range — Your drone is a vital tool for scouting out enemy positions, and a longer range lets you cover more ground without physically moving closer.
- Drone > Stealth — Without this, enemies might hear your drone if you fly too close to them, blowing your cover.
- Item > Parachute — If you’re ever in a helicopter and get shot down, you’re going to want this.
- Item > Diversion Lure — When you want to draw enemies to a certain spot, throw this noisemaker to call their attention.
- Physical > Bullet Resistance — Staying alive is a good idea.
- Physical > Detection — Upgrading this skill makes it harder for enemies to see you when you’re crouched or prone.
- Squad > Revive Speed Sooner or later, your teammates are going to go down. You want to get them back into the fight as quickly as you can!
Most of these skills have several tiers, though some (like Parachute) only require one purchase. There are other important skills, but we think these are good to start with.
4. Pickups and Side Missions Are Important!
We mentioned skill point and bonus medal pickups, but Bolivia has many more goodies to collect. In addition to skill points, you must acquire a certain amount of supplies to unlock certain skills. Marked by a green star on the map, you tag these supplies (like fuel, food, and medicine) using a tracker so the rebels can pick them up.
Keep an eye out for intel, as well. Exclamation points on the map mark computers you can hack or leaders you can interrogate to find side missions or huge caches of supplies. To acquire the best weapons and new attachments, find the blue weapons case icons. It’s worth taking the time to do green side missions — helping the rebels out lets you call on their services when you need them.
5. Take Advantage of Vehicles and Fast Travel
Bolivia is huge, so you don’t want to run around on foot more than you have to. Adding a waypoint on your map automatically shows you the recommended path to your destination, but take a second to consider your options.
If you’re planning to take down a convoy, grab an SUV with a mounted machine gun. Motorcycles are a better choice when you’re driving on narrow or hazardous terrain. For destinations on a mountain or across a lake, commandeer a helicopter for the fastest travel available. Don’t be afraid to make your own paths either: most vehicles can drive up sharp slopes and chug along just fine in tall grass!
As you visit locations on the map, you’ll add new camps that you can fast-travel to. Make note of where these are and consider fast-traveling if your next mission is miles away. When you’re playing with friends, you can also fast-travel to them if you get split up.
6. The Unidad Is Bad News
There’s a faction war going on in Bolivia. Not only are the Santa Blanca thugs working to crush the Rebels (who are your allies), but the Unidad police are in the cartel’s pocket. They’re marked by purple icons on the map, and are more of a problem than cartel members.
If you kill Unidad troops in a non-stealthy manner, you’ll become wanted and they’ll chase you down with increasing force. It’s best to just run away and hide, otherwise you’ll get slaughtered by helicopters and dozens of troops. When you have to infiltrate a Unidad base, keep it quiet or you’ll have a big mess on your hands.
7. Choose the Right Weapons and Attachments
Your weapon selection is a bit limited when you start the game, but you’ll soon pick up new weapons and parts for them. You can equip two weapons as well as a handgun, so make sure to choose the right tools for any situation. The default submachine gun is redundant since you already carry an assault rifle, so consider swapping it for a sniper rifle to take foes out from long range.
If you need a specific weapon part (like a better scope for sniper rifles), select the weapon on your Loadout menu and highlight the part you’re interested in. The game lets you know which province it’s in, so you can travel to that area and begin your search. Don’t forget to attach these new parts when you get them for increased efficiency.
Make sure you pick up ammo from caches whenever you see it so you’re never caught empty-handed. If you get into a pinch, pick up an enemy weapon — you can swap back to your preferred gun in the Loadout menu later.
Ready to Dismantle Santa Blanca?
Ghost Recon Wildlands is a massive open world, so don’t expect to dismantle the cartel in one day! Have a look at your map and see which provinces are easier than others, then plan your attack with your team. Before long, you’ll be offing crime bosses, empowering the rebels, and taking back Bolivia! It’s a lot of fun, so team up with some friends and get to work.
Check out other tactical shooters if Wildlands has you thirsty for more.
Have you played Ghost Recon Wildlands? What tips would you give for new players? Let us know what you think of the game below!