When Ghost Recon Wildlands goes live late tonight on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, chances are millions of you will be rushing into the Bolivian wilds to wipe out the drug cartel known as Santa Blanca. In an open world game like this, you might think you know what to expect. After all, Ubisoft’s sort of perfected the formula over the years. But there are still some things we think you should be aware of before headed out to kill cartel punks. Here then are 10 Things I Wish I Knew When Starting Ghost Recon Wildlands.
On PC, Turn Off SLI
This is probably the most important thing I can tell PC players. Ubisoft hasn’t yet optimized PC play for SLI setups, so before you start raging about crashes, turn off SLI when you go to boot Ghost Recon Wildlands. I can attest to this stopping a vast amount of my crashes. I do hope Ubi fixes this in a patch soon.
Also on PC, Use Fullscreen
Fullscreen, not Borderless or Windowed, will net you the best performance on Nvidia GPUs. I can’t speak for AMD, but there’s a marked difference between windowed and full screen frames per second, even running on a Titan X.
Grab All the Green Resources on Your Mini-Map
You’ll unlock and earn tons of skill points to level up your character’s skills throughout the life of Ghost Recon Wildlands. But none of them will be used unless you also have the resources. Scattered throughout every encampment and every corner of the game map are little tiny green underscore icons. Those are resources of various different types. Collect them all like they were each named Pikachu, because they’re like currency needed to level up all skill lines.
Roads? We Don’t Need Roads
When you start off the campaign of GRW, you’ll use waypoints to navigate most of the roads and get from point A to point B. Stop it. Seriously, while you’ll sometimes get stuck or tossed around by rocks and debris, it’s almost always much faster to get a decent off-road type vehicle or bike and just jet off cliffs and through tall grass. Ubisoft was kind enough to make sure you don’t die when ping-ponging off of rocks in vehicles, so abuse it and get to your target location quicker – a feat that often is the difference between success and mission failure.
In Solo, Leave Your Friends Behind
Along those same lines, don’t get too attached to your AI squad mates when solo. Don’t be afraid to just drive and leave them behind. Like magic, when you get to your destination or stop, they’ll be right there. Now, when playing with your real friends, this would be bad form. Just in case you wondered.
Use Your Drone!
Mapped to the Z key by default on PC, this thing can give you the layout of any battle zone before you fire the first bullet. It can help you mark targets, find angles to approach, or even cover. Plus, as you level it up, the Drone can be an engineer, a healer, a damage dealer, and more for your aid.
It’s Worth it to Clear Maps
It’s daunting, but unlike some Ubisoft open world games, the act of clearing every little spot on the map in Ghost Recon Wildlands is actually rewarding. Tons of bonus skill points, stat increases, resource drops, lore points, and more are littered across the entire game map. Don’t be afraid to spend a lot of time clearing out cartel encampments.
Story Missions Can Wait
Similar with the above, don’t feel like you have to run off and pursue the story missions, because they really can wait. Though the act of shutting down the cartel might seem vital, so is beefing up your loadout and getting properly geared before taking on the game’s later more dangerous reasons. There are tons of locales in GRW, too. This isn’t the kind of game you rush through to complete the story – you’d be missing all the fun if you did that.
The Enter Key Will Make You Friends
While I’m not sure of the console equivalent, you can easily queue up for a friendly Co-Op game at any time simply by holding enter. While the game is fun solo, it’s immensely more riotous when you’re playing with a real person. It doesn’t even have to be someone you know – the core component of calling shots, built in VOIP, and working together in tense firefights makes Wildlands a blast to play with others – just like the Division before.
You Can Be Mad Max for 40U
This might make me happier than most everyone else, but there’s a special costume outfit in the Rewards tab of Uplay for a mere 40U points. It’s essentially a Mad Max outfit, and it’s awesome. Does it do anything? Nope. But you’ll look badass when killing drug dealers, so there’s that.
Bonus: PVP is Coming Soon!
This is just a reminder – there’s no PVP in Wildlands come launch on March 7th, but it’s one of the game’s first announced free updates in their DLC plans, seen here.
Bonus 2: Weapons are deeply modifiable!
I almost forgot, but every weapon you unlock for use can be fully customized from the paint job to the scope and barrel. Some choices are purely cosmetic, while the mechanical doodads can actually make an undesirable weapon more wanted. So be sure to tinker!