How to survive and thrive in Metro Exodus

Metro Exodus

You’re going to need some help surviving the Russian apocalypse.

By most standards, Metro Exodus is a peculiar first-person shooter. The series has always been content with slow-burn adventures through the Moscow underground, mixing stealth, gunplay, and expansive storytelling in a way that Call of Duty or Battlefield almost never have. It’s also pulling a Witcher III, meaning that we’re trading more linear gameplay for some more open-world-ish areas along the way. Between the bandits, mutants, and finicky controls, there’s a lot to contend with in the Russian post-apocalypse. So here are some Metro Exodus tips on how to play as smartly and efficiently as possible.

Metro Exodus tips

1) Guns are for scrappin’

In previous Metro games, bullets served as both a means for violence and the currency the underground economy ran on. Thankfully, you won’t have to worry about such a balance in Metro Exodus, which has replaced that mechanic with a more traditional crafting system. You’ll use metal scraps (little gear icons) and chemicals (which look like a scientist’s beaker) to craft everything from bullets to medkits to gas filters.

While there’s plenty of materials laying around the world, you’ll especially want to destroy enemy guns for the scrap and bullets they provide. Any time you down an enemy, loot their backpack, but also remember to find the gun they drop to collect every ounce of metal off its rusty frame. That will help keep you in the fight with enough bullets to last as a one-man army, plus you’ll automatically harvest any attachments (like scopes and laser sights) that an enemy gun had on it.

metro exodus things to know

2) Mind the morality

It’s a bit of a buzzkill in retrospect, but Metro Exodus does have a “morality meter” that’s watching how good or evil your Artyom is. Unfortunately, there’s no way to check the dang thing, so you’ll just have to trust your behavior will allow you to see the “good” ending. To keep yourself in good graces, make sure you:

  • Don’t kill enemies who are surrendering. They’ll usually shout something like “we give up” before raising their hands and getting on their knees.
  • Do the side quests where a fellow railway traveler asks you to retrieve an item for them. In one instance, the young girl Nastya will ask you to retrieve her teddy bear from the nest of a flying mutant. Sure, sweetpea. Not only will this keep you away from the bad ending, but some of these items will also show up later during narrative moments and provide for some really great storytelling.
  • If you’re stealthing through an area, do your best to knock enemies out instead of killing them. As far as I’ve seen, they still don’t get back up, so it’s just as easy.
  • Basically, if you see a situation in which you can minimize the loss of human life, please do so.

metro exodus tips

3) Think like a survivor

When it comes to certain sequences, Metro Exodus can prove fairly frustrating, so it pays to think less like a video game character and more like an honest-to-god survivor of the nuclear apocalypse. Sometimes it pays to just flee a fight instead of sticking it out. One key example, which I won’t totally spoil here, involves a hopeless fight against an enemy much larger and stronger than you. Instead of wasting every single bullet against an enemy that you clearly won’t be able to kill, try to think like you’re a person desperately trying to survive the fight. Did you previously interact with something that could assist you in escaping? Be mindful of things like this and you’ll be a little less frustrated during more strictly designed sequences.

4) Pay attention to your wrist light

Metro Exodus very consistently favors stealth over hot lead flying through the air. To that end, you’re given a wrist light that indicates how shrouded in shadow you are. If the light is off, you can sneak your way through some pretty tight corners. If that light is on, watch yourself, because enemy A.I. is quite good at spotting you.

metro exodus things to know before you play light

5) You can only swap weapons at the base workbench

The Aurora (the huge train you’re riding around on) has its own workbench, and unfortunately, it’s the only place you can switch back to your favorite guns if you ditched them along the way for any reason. You can go quite a ways in-game sticking with your favorite three guns, but there are a few sequences where you’ll probably have to swap things out just to survive. Keep this in mind if you’re near the Aurora or starting a new story chapter.

6) Holster your weapon when approaching non-enemies

There are several moments in Metro Exodus where, depending on if you’ve holstered your gun, fellow survivors you come across will react accordingly. Sneak up on an innocent fisherman and he’ll beg you to not shoot him. If you don’t wave your gun around like an idiot, he’ll thank you and remark how not all intruders are bloodthirsty killers, and he’ll give you some helpful advice.

metro exodus tips for surviving

Now that you’re done reading our tips for survival, make sure to check out our review of Metro Exodus.

Joseph Knoop

Joseph Knoop

Joseph Knoop is a gaming writer for Daily Dot, a native Chicagoan, and a slave to all things Overwatch. He co-founded the college geek culture outlet ByteBSU, then interned at Game Informer, and now writes for a bunch websites his parents have never heard of.