So you want to try your luck out in the wasteland huh? Think you’re worthy enough to be carried through the gates of Valhalla? After putting over forty or more hours into Mad Max, I have decided to share some tips for all of those starting out. These will cover some essential tips to surviving out in The Great White that you may not first consider. While you may have upgraded your Magnum Opus and punched a few enemies, don’t let Mad Max lull you into a false sense of security. The world is far more dangerous than it first appears and you will always need to be on your toes when patrolling the sandy dunes. Buckle down War Pups, it’s about to get serious!
————Warning Mild Spoilers Ahead!!—————
1.) It’s Okay To Roll
“But Collin, I beat Arkham Knight on Hard Mode…I have this combat system down!” I know, but this isn’t Gotham City and Max is the furthest thing from a martial arts expert. Thugs and bandits aren’t going to politely wait around for you to counter their friend’s attack and then attempt to hit you. Oh no, attacks can break you out of the counter animation in Mad Max, which puts you at a severe risk of being ganged up on. It’s important to understand when and where to counter attack your enemies as just rushing the mob of them and waiting is a one way ticket to Valhalla. Give the enemy a few well placed shots to the jaw and roll out of there before any of his friends can retaliate. Max is not a terribly agile fighter, so you wont be able to do a ton of fast strikes on multiple enemies at a time. Think of this less as a martial arts movie and more of a full on pub brawl. Focus on one or two enemies at a time, prioritize those with a weapon, and for Master Blaster’s sake shoot down the War Crier every time. Also an important thing to note is Max can be knocked out of counters even in Fury Mode, so don’t let your guard down.
2) Be Wary of all Car Encounters
While the car combat and high speed chases are arguably the best thing about Mad Max, that doesn’t mean you will survive them easily early on. There are a lot of different vehicles out there with the sole purpose of turning you into nothing but scraps. For the first ten hours or so, you will always be encountering new war machines, each with their own strengths and weakness. Never just rush past a war party assuming you know what to expect, as enemies in Mad Max will give chase…for a long..long time. Some very important car silhouettes to learn are the self sacrificing Kaboom Bug and the CarneWagon. Both of these cars can cause many a headache during a chase scene as the Kaboom Bug in particular should always be dispatched first. They do an incredible amount of damage upon impact with the Magnum Opus and are almost never alone when driving around. Until you get the Thunderpoon, a shotgun blast to the front or back can bring an early end to the suicidal vagabond.
3) Prioritize Upgrades
In Mad Max, you level up by obtaining Griffa Tokens which can be turned in for various upgrades and buffs for Max. You get these tokens by completing the mountain of challenges listed in the “Legend” section of your main menu. Most of these you will just get by naturally playing the game such as “Destroy 5 Large Sniper Towers” or kill a certain number of enemies. Once you get these tokens seek out Griffa and he will offer you the chance to upgrade your stats. There are ten stat trees in all and it may not be obvious which are the best stats to focus on first. Munition (which allows you to acquire more ammo when looting), Adaptation (Your ability to consume less fuel when driving), and Essence (Your ability to acquire more water from a water source) should be prioritized above the others. Resources are king in this world, so the less you need to use of them the better. Not having to always be worried about your next fuel source (Which you will worry about regardless) and gathering more ammo for your shotgun/sniper rifle can really help even the odds in the early stages. I would recommend putting Adaptation to level 3, Essence to level 4, and Munition to level 3 for your first few times leveling up. Don’t worry, Griffa Tokens are plentiful you wont be just stuck with those upgraded skills forever.
4) Use Stronghold Fuel
Speaking of guzzoline, this is a smaller but useful tip. In most of the Strongholds littered throughout Mad Max, you are gonna have to typical blow some fuel storages up with gas tanks. If you find yourself running on half or low fuel when you arrive here, use the gas tanks that litter the strong holds to refuel. They are almost always respawn instantly after use, giving you an unlimited supply of gas for the Magnum Opas. It may take a few tries as the tanks normally carry less then a third, but it can be life saving in a pinch. Note: Tanks out in the wasteland don’t respawn nearly as frequently (if at all), so use the Stronghold tanks to your advantage.
5) Don’t. Drive. In. A. Storm.
Yes, driving in the massive sandstorms that sometimes crash across the wasteland is an amazing thrill most games cannot capture. It’s epic in scale, makes you feel completely helpless, and can cause some real havoc. That doesn’t mean in your first few hours you are equipped enough to handle one. When the game tells you to seek shelter, listen to the game and seek the damn shelter. Whether its finding a deserted shack, boat, plane on the side of the road or making it back to one of your main bases; do not try and just drive around during it. The lighting can pretty much down your car after one or two strikes, the high winds making handling awful, and those War parties are not going to let up in a chase. Later on once your Magnum Opas has been upgraded you can handle the storm, but for now it’s best to seek cover and just wait it out.
Bonus Mini Tip: Hide Your Car!
This one wasn’t obvious at first, but after a few encounters I learned my lesson quickly. If you are driving along and decide to go explore some of the various deserted buildings for scrap, make sure you didn’t leave your car out in the open… It sounds stupidly obvious, but putting your car in view from the main roads can attract others to your position. Just take the time and park your car behind a sandy dune or the building itself to save yourself the battle. Sometimes it’s better if they just don’t see you at all.
Well there you have it War Pups, your tips to surviving the early stages of the wasteland! Mad Max is a fun yet brutal game so treat the world with respect or you may end up tied to the front of Scrotus’ car. Have any other tips for would-be Road Warriors? Agree or disagree with my advice? Sound off below! Good luck out there and may you ride eternal, shiny, and chrome.
A recent graduate of Arcadia University, Collin MacGregor is a freelance video editor and writer. He covers video games, television, and film for The Nerd Stash. Collin currently is the head film/television reviewer for the site.