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Game Tips

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This War Of Mine is Hard. As such, below is a compiled list of Game Tips to help you complete the game (and hopefully survive while you're at it).

Basic Tips

  • Double-click with The Survivors to make them run.
  • Right-clicking does the same and additionally can be used during inventory/trade screens to move entire stacks of items, speeding up the process a lot.
  • Press Esc to skip the walk-in intro every-time you return home.
  • The game has quite a few bugs. Expect to occasionally lose refunds when canceling crafting, losing the ability to interact with specific objects (and sometimes even entire object types across an area), and not being rewarded for completing events.

Character Hints

  • Pay attention to your characters' traits. If you have no one who consumes coffee and/or cigarettes all of those items can be traded.
  • It's okay to go a single day without food. Two days, if you've been keeping everyone very well-fed.
  • Try to position things you build in your shelter so that people don't have to walk too far, but remember that inventory is instantly accessible from anywhere in your shelter. For example: if you have Katia (best trader), build a bed right in front of the front door and if she ever needs to sleep during the day, make sure she's in that one in case Franko knocks at the door. Another example: the rainwater collector can be used multiple times a day, you might save up to an hour of running back and forth if you keep it centrally located.

Scavenging Hints

  • Only one Survivor can scavenge at a time (So make it count), There are no inventory upgrades.
  • If you fail to leave the area before 5AM your scavenger will not immediately return home and has the chance of getting wounded or killed by snipers/bandits >Run to Exit is a good option if you need to get the hell out fast (attacked while unarmed, dawn approaching), but sometimes it is not responsive to cancellation so if you need to use a container or pile on your way out it's best to leave manually. Usually running for the exit at 4 AM will get you home safe, but from deep inside some larger levels (especially levels with a lot of ladder/climbing travel i.e. shelled school) it's best to make your way home starting at 3 AM.
  • Try not to finish scavenging with any less-than-full slots.
  • Unless you're looking for something specific, scavengers should generally be bringing back food, components and wood, valuable trade goods (including medical supplies), and other building materials, in that order.
  • During the first few weeks, make sure you clear a whole zone before moving on. It is because you haven't experienced any snow or military lock down of areas. You might be locked out of your prepared piles in different zones when the areas are blocked by snow or military activities.
  • At the beginning of a Location without removing anything, place all gathered resources from the area into a search spot near the entrance to the area. Note that you can make your own pile by opening the backpack, selecting an item, and hitting "drop" (you will NOT lose the item). You can then take what you wish from it before morning and during future visits (though there is a chance that the stash may be found by other groups). This can be very time consuming and you shouldn't prioritize this if you need to be stealthy and/or kill people. It takes about 10-20 in game minutes to search a pile, so condensing piles together can save a lot of time later.
  • -VISITED AREAS WILL GET SCAVENGED BY OTHERS- Especially if you just killed everyone in that area (I.E. If you kill the people at the Garage nearly everything will be gone in 3-4 days even if you don't go back). It is purely affected by chance, but it looks like the other people focus more on Food/Meds/Weapons so if you need these things don't hold off unless you have to. In winter it looks like their focus shifts to Components/Wood/Fuel.
  • Although having a shovel greatly speeds up the process of clearing rubble, you can also decide to clear rubble by hand, saving an inventory slot, and temporarily increasing the defence of your shelter. With the exception of rubble-heavy areas like St. Mary's Church, most locations can be cleared by hand in 1-2 nights.
  • Some items stack higher than related items. For example, Fuel stacks to 4, while Wood stacks to 2 and also requires a time investment to process into fuel.
  • Some items stack at similar rates to their related items, but are more time-efficient to carry back as-is. Water stacks to 10 but filters at a rate of 4 water per 1 filter (which costs 3 components to craft). Because Components stack to 4, taking two stacks of components is approximately equivalent to taking a stack of water home - but you're saving the 4.5 in-game hours it takes to create each batch of 4 water from component parts. On the other hand Components and Wood have more versatility, so it really depends on what you need.

Fighting Hints

  • Combat in this game has a steep learning curve, it's best to just jump into it to learn how to do it properly.
  • Knives can be used to back-stab enemies who are unaware of your presence. Get close to them with their back turned/Wait for them to get close to you while hiding, and when the the knife circle turns to a yellow and changes you can back-stab for massive damage/instant quiet kills. Note they are not completely quiet, a single shut door and very little distance will still make enough sound to set off another enemy.
  • Melee weapons are some of the strongest weapons in the game, and can also be used in combination with a firearm to increase your fighting potential.
  • Intentionally sprinting and attracting guards to your position is an imperative tactic for your survival. Simply lure them to a hiding zone, hide, and wait until the back-stab option is available.
  • Wait until you have a helmet and/or armored vest before intentionally getting into a fire fight. Using cover doesn't help prevent them from hitting you, it reduces the damage you take. Remember your Scavenger is alone and usually out-numbered. A Scavenger with a Shotgun, Armored Vest, Helmet, and under cover will win a straight up gun fight vs 2 normal (Not military) enemies with shotguns,but with Lethal Wounds that will require that Scavenger to stay in bed and consume bandages for the next 3 days.
  • Some weapons have a greater range than others. You can use this by shooting early at enemies, which are running towards you.
  • If you are standing next to the top of a ladder, you can easily shoot enemies which have to climb up towards you, in order to hurt them and make them fall back down.

Raid Hints

  • You will almost never be raided on the first night. (Occurs more often with aggressive starts, such as Roman and Katia late autumn start)
  • Just keep somebody on guard until you have barricaded all the windows. (Still might get raided but will sometimes prevent any item lost)
  • Characters can sleep during the day for 6-8 hours and be fine, and you'll have them for another 6-8 hours to do house work. Try to keep your number of beds to at least your total number of characters - 1, it is very convenient. You can get away with just 1 bed for 3 survivors for a little while if everyone is healthy, but you'll want to have your second bed before a fourth survivor shows up, maybe sooner (ex. someone is called away by a neighbor and misses their sleep shift.) You should probably build that first bed on day 1, there's no good reason to start day 2 with "slept poorly" penalties.
  • During Crime Sprees you want 2 people on guard at night. The only exception is a well-armed Roman with shelter fully boarded up and a reinforced door, he can handle it alone. You should always try to keep someone on guard.
  • Crowbars, Shovels, and Hatchets count as weapons for Raids. Saw Blades and Lockpicks do not.
  • The more ammo you have the more you will use during raids. Guns do not count as weapons if you do not have ammo.
  • The defense stat is invisible, but experience has shown me the following: Reinforced Door (Advanced Workshop), and Boarding Up (Improved Workshop) give permanent positive boosts to defense. The more Survivors you have at the house the better your defense, Guards provide more defense than sleeping Survivors. Defenders only use 1 weapon each (they automatically use the best available), and better weapons do improve your defense. A higher defense will more likely prevent injury and stealing.
  • In the early game Weapon Parts are not easy to come by through scavenging, at least before you can trade to get them. When you first have 5 Weapon Parts in stock you should craft either a Knife or a Hatchet. The Knife can be crafted with the basic Metal Workshop while the Hatchet requires an Improved Metal Workshop to craft. The Knife is cheaper to make and provides better defense. However the Hatchet is an important tool for harvesting Wood and Fuel, and crafting it early immediately grants you the ability to carve up your shelter furniture for a pile of both as well as providing some extra build space. If you focus on upgrading your security and building a Hatchet you can get along fine with simple weapons and extra guards during the cold season when wood is in high demand.
  • Items are only stolen from the Our Things list. Other locations in the shelter are safe from theft, including items left in cabinets and piles from the start of the game, uncollected wood/kindling from furniture chopped with the Hatchet, uncollected items at workshops, and items which are in queue to be crafted at a workshop. This includes food, otherwise frequently taken in raids. One good tactic is to subsist on Canned Food while leaving a pile of cooked meals ready-to-eat on the stove. Additionally, the items your scavenger takes with them are safe from theft.

Surviving Hints

  • Use Marin to build things. Use Bruno to cook, garden, make alcohol and Meds. Use Anton to lay bait in the traps. Let Zlata, Katia, Roman, Pavle or Arica (who plays a different song) play the guitar.
  • The very first thing you build should always be a Metal Workshop so that you can make a Crowbar and Shovel (fast hatchet might be better for rushing the wood available from the house) to open all the locked stuff in your shelter on the first day. If you find Lock Picks, don't use them. Save them for when you need to be stealthy.
  • An alternative to building a Metal Workshop is stealing/trading some tools. First Day with garage location available can give you hatchets, sawblades, shovel, crowbar, Lock Picks through trading (and weapons if you're willing to kill, although not recommended as it will lower the survivors' morale). Moonshine Still can be built instead, giving you an early income.
  • Extra beds are vital. They let you sleep in the day, and allow you to heal minor wounds and sickness. You generally want 1 less than however many people you have.
  • Build a radio as soon as you can. It boosts morale and gives you important information. Knowing when it's going to get cold is VERY HELPFUL. Check the radio messages and turn to music every day if possible. [The game tells you about weather changes before the radio does, if you pay attention]
  • The Hatchet allows you to tear down wooden furniture for wood and fuel. It requires the Improved Metal Workshop to build, or you can trade it from the guy at the Garage for medicine or bandages without upgrading the workshop. Either way, you can use it in your house on desks and cabinets to make more space and give you a massive boost in Wood/Fuel reserves. It can also be brought on scavenging runs to harvest wood and firewood. This is a great strategy for getting enough wood to patch up those holes in the house and prepare for winter at the same time.
  • Don't bother building a heater until it gets cold. However, if you want to upgrade your heater to keep the temperature optimal for the cold, you will need more time unless you have massive quantities of materials, or a fully upgraded workshop and 4 electronic parts for a Thermoregulator.
  • Build a Chair and Armchair for The Survivors to have someplace to read Books and to be able to relax. When destroying a chair and building a second armchair the description in "Our Things," still cited the chair as missing.
  • Burn books only as a last resort. The more books, the merrier your survivors.
  • Cooked food is great. Canned food is even better. They regenerate the same amount of hunger, but canned food has more barter value.
  • Saves Canned food for winter when fuel is more valuable during winter (such as wood or components)
  • Always trade for some fuel during cold season as 2 wood = 2 fuel taken 1 backpack slot while 4 fuel take only 1 backpack slot. During the worst of winter you will need to keep 6 fuel in your heater, this will cause you to burn through 3-4 fuel a day.
  • Rain Collectors freeze up during winter, you will have to shovel snow outside and melt it on your stove to get water. This consumes fuel and a filter. (Stay optimistic! It no longer takes 5 hours to get 4 water!)
  • In the late game, getting an upgraded garden (and enough water to sustain it) is possibly the single most useful thing you can do.
  • You can get away with eating only every other day. Bump it up to every day if someone is hurt sick or depressed so that they will improve and get better quicker. Besides that it's often wise to skip meals.
  • If you unlock City Hospital, The Survivors can receive hospital treatment for free in case they get sick or injured
  • Boarding up your windows as early as possible is a very smart move (available with upgraded workshop). If you get raided, you'll lose some of your most valuable supplies, may take wounds that require expensive bandages to fix, and/or it can send your entire party into a depression spiral. You can see how well-fortified is your shelter from Some Thoughts.

Trading Hints

  • Franko rarely trades fuel in the winter. Be prepared.
  • Try to work your trades to get the most out of it as possible. Add some cheap things to maximize your profit. See Item Value. Katia will make your deals even more profitable. You can add up to 3 Components in between Franko's minimum acceptance statement ("Fine, let's trade") and the point where he will no longer accept the trade [At least with Katia that is].
  • Never sell Electric Parts, even though they are pretty useless before you get to upgraded Workshops. If you give a trader Electric Parts you won't be able to get them back. Trying to beat the game without stealing or without fighting can be very rough as Locations tend to have a very limited amount of Electric Parts to go around.
  • Speculation can be very helpful. You can buy extremely cheap meds and alcohol in the Central Square in exchange for cigarettes. While Franko and the Garage guy will give you a lot of stuff for a single bandage. Boris is the guy you should always take to the market to carry more. He may sleep during day.
  • Any production made by The Survivors always have small profit such as 3 filter turn into 12 water and than can be traded for 12 components turn into 4 filter.
  • You should always be trading for Components/Wood if you can. Late Game Scavenging areas have drastically reduced amounts of materials (people probably burnt everything in the winter)
  • You don't ever need more than 3 Bandages or Meds (3 is enough to take someone from Lethal to Slightly in 3 days if you apply it every day with good amounts of food and rest with ample heating). The more you have, the more your pesky neighbors will ask for in charity (the kids hit me up for 3 meds once, and you can't say no or Pavle will carve their names into his skin with rusty nails [that's an exaggeration, but Pavle is a crybaby]). These can be traded for many items that are more useful to your current situation, especially early game when you shouldn't be taking large risks.
  • The other tradespeople in the game that you go visit tend to not care about materials. The priest in the church and the guys in the hotel will give you lots of stuff for just a cigarette. They tend to give up a lot of the basics, but it depends if they are peaceful like the priest, or thugs that don't like to trade their weapons. The priest will hold on to his weapon parts and the thugs and soldiers will give them to you for a little less than the premiums.
  • Katia will make your deals even more profitable - to an insane level. Bring 6 Moonshine and 20 Roll-Up Cigarette to the Military Outpost, first trade 3 Moonshine and 20 Roll-Up Cigarette for Bandages or Medications. After that, you can trade your remaining 3 Moonshine for the 3 Moonshine you just sold, plus 4 Roll-Up Cigarette!! Wonderful arbitrage, since you can always get your 20 Roll-Up Cigarette back in 5 trades, you can use them to buy whatever in the store, repeatedly. Katia does not have a big backpack, only 12 slots, for that you can clean the trader out and then drop the stuff you cannot carry to the ground, and send Boris or Marko the next day empty-handed to mule the stuff home.

Saving game

  • It is not possible to save your game and re-load it whenever you want (for example if someone became extremely wounded or died). If you are wondering, the game does not save the game as you leave.
  • Making it not possible to save the game is also a great decision of the game makers, but (sadly) also a disadvantage if two or more people want to play the game. In this case you can simply create more windows user and the game will use the actual user personal folder, which contains the saved games. So it is possible to play the game with two or more players.
  • There is no tutorial with which to practice combat or stealth. The only chance to learn is in game play situations. It may be worth starting a "throw away" game in order to practice combat for a later game.
  • Leaving the game causes the day to reset to the morning of the day you were playing, even if you leave while you're scavenging that night. You must leave the game after completing the night for it to save the day. Conversely, if you wish to replay a day, just select the Leave option from the menu, and Continue from the main menu.
  • You can use the save intervals to your advantage to "cheat" your way through. If you die in-game or blow your cover too early for your liking, you can alt-tab out of the game before the game switches scenes. The save occurs after the scene switch back to the shelter and the game does not continue minimized. (or instead of the two-step process of Alt-Tab out and then close the game you can use Alt+F4 for windows or Command+Q for Mac to force quit the game immediately) You have to alt+tab out of the game and close it quickly upon death before the game has time to save the death. You can even do this when you know your character is caught just before he dies. When you restart the game and restore the save, it goes to the start of the day. You have to do all of your chores over which can pretty tedious and any events that happened during the day will be randomized (e.g. Certain events like survivor become sick or fighting with each other may or may not happened, People visiting the house might come for a different reason, and trader will have slightly different items) but you can use this technique to experiment. Also, you can set your team up pretty good the day prior to going on a known dangerous mission. Then, you can simply click "end day" without any major repercussions to try the night missions again more quickly.

Good Luck! You should have no problem surviving if you follow all of this information.