Auth’s Tips and Tricks for Ghost Recon: Wildlands

ghostreconwildlands

#1

It’s been a while since I did one of these posts

For that, I am sorry. If you enjoy these, my bad for not making more of them; if you hate them, my apologies for making another :wink: There’s a lot of stuff going on in Wildlands, and I’ve fielded a fair few questions on the forums and Discord based on my experience so far, but rather than continuing to answer the same questions, I thought it’d be a good idea to put something like this together. I’ll continue to update this list as I form additional/new opinions on things or write additional mini-guides, so let’s get started!


#2

Gathering Intel on a New Province

Whenever you start a new province, finding the intel locations should be your top priority. I’m not talking about the Major Intel locations (which are yellow folders with a black exclamation point) that you need to progress the Story Missions, but the intel regarding the location of skill points, weapons, etc.

Start by finding a couple locations on your map that have several buildings; these are most likely to have one of the three types of intel: Intel Cache, Rebel Lieutenant, or Enemy Lieutenant.


When you get nearby, you want to identify it either by going into the area, or scanning it through your Binoculars or Drone.


Once you’ve “Discovered” the area, you’ll be able to see what (if any) Intel is available; I found two different intel markers (a black exclamation point in a white circle) at this outpost.


As I mentioned earlier, there are three types of intel you can get, and some are easier to acquire than others. A Rebel Lieutenant is a civilian you simply walk up and talk to. An Intel Cache is a computer, pile of papers, or something similar that you can rummage through. An Enemy Lieutenant (Santa Blanca Cartel, usually, that will be either passive or armed and aggro; I don’t know offhand if they can be Unidad or not) requires you to approach them, grab (not kill) them, and Interrogate them. The latter is generally more difficult, and there seems to always be more intel sources than actual intel to gain, so if you want to have an easier time gathering intel, prioritize the caches and rebel lieutenants.

When you get your first intel in a province, you’re going to have the choice to reveal all the locations of one of the following for said province: Supply Raids, Skill Points, or Rebel Ops.


You cannot select the same thing twice; it will be unavailable on subsequent intel. In order to reveal the locations of weapons and weapon accessories, you must first reveal skill points. The special medals (the ones that augment specific skills) can be revealed after you’ve revealed the weapons and weapon accessories. Once you’ve gathered all the intel you can in an area, the intel locations will disappear for that zone, so if you can’t find any, it’s probable that you already got enough. For the most part I go Skill Points -> Weapons and Accessories -> Special Medals (as these are most important to me), followed by Supply Raids and wrapping up with Rebel Ops.


#3

Skill Points

So, I’ve seen (and personally experienced, when I first started playing) a fair bit of confusion regarding skills in Wildlands. Let’s first talk about the confusing UI for skills. At the top the Skill tab says I have 23 skills available. That means I currently meet the requirements to gain a level in 23 different skill, not that I have 23 actual skill points. Between that menu bar and your actual skill tree, you’ll notice the actual number of skill points I have (7, as delineated by the number next to the blue skill point icon, the same one that’s used on the in game map) and how much of each type of supply I currently possess (shown by their respective green icons, which is also the same ones used on the in game map); this information, along with the cost of improving each skill, is what’s being analyzed by the game to tell me I have 23 skills available. As soon as I improve one, I will (probably) no longer meet the requirement for all 23 skills I currently do.

Under each skill tree you also see I have various skills available, the sum of which is 23. This all lends to the confusion the skill menu creates. Honestly, I have no idea who approved this menu; it’s a mess. The skills I actually meet the requirements for will have flashing text that says “AVAILABLE” on it. Mousing over any given skill will display the skills information, show a short, looping .gif of the skill in action, and tell you the cost. Any cost you cannot pay will be displayed in red. If you’re short on supplies for a skill, the prompt at the bottom is one of the few things I actually like about this menu: it offers to show you where the geographically-nearest supply mission is, so if there’s a skill you really want and already have the skill points for, it’s awesome.

Each point in a skill increases the skill point cost (by one each time) as well as the supply cost. Additionally, it will change the type of supply needed for the subsequent rank. One point in a skill might ask you for Medical supplies, but the next point might require Communication supplies. This is actually an okay thing, I think, as it helps spread the burden of improving skills out across all supply types rather than costing tons and tons of a specific supply.

There is no progression in the skill tree (once you meet the level requirement for a column of skills, it will be unlocked and you can begin acquiring them) other than the Epic Skill in each tree (which requires 1 point in every other skill in its tree), and you’ll eventually get enough that you can max every skill, from the looks of it (I’m well on my way and I haven’t gathered every skill point in game by any stretch), so it comes down to determining what you want first. Here are my thoughts on the matter:

  • Drop one point in all your gadget skills (Mine, C4, Flashbang, etc.). The more tools you have at your disposal, the easier things will be. Special mention goes to the Grenade Launcher in the Weapon tree; that thing is amazing.

  • Strive to get one point in everything. Remember: the “Epic Skill” at the top of each tree unlocks for free once all the other skills have at least one point in them. They’re not all created equal, so prioritize the ones you’re most interested in.

Everything else comes down to preference and playstyle. If you run solo a lot, the Extra Sync Shot is worth getting two points in early so you can make better use of it with your AI companions, and getting to Last Chance is a no-brainer. If you’re more of a group player, focusing on things that help your team like trying to unlock the Medic upgrade on your drone might be a good idea.

Regardless, don’t fret overmuch over your decisions; you’re not going to get locked into a build or anything like that :wink:


#4

Experience Point Maximization

First and foremost, for those that don’t know, you can enable an experience bar that will pop up anytime you earn experience points, and show you how much you earned for something. The setting is found under Options -> HUD -> XP Display.

So, let’s talk about some things you might not realize are worth XP, or you might not realize are worth as much XP as they are.

Killing Enemies

Killing an enemy (or having an enemy killed by either another player or an AI companion) is worth 5xp. However, the total XP you get depends on how that target died.

  • Undetected Kill: +7xp
  • Headshot Kill: +3xp

Only the player who makes the kill will get these bonuses. Because of this, you killing an enemy, without being detected, and with a headshot, is worth a total of 15xp.


However, that’s not the most XP you can get off a single kill. This game definitely likes it when people are being extra sneaky, and awards players a total of 24xp if you take an enemy out through the Knockout interaction (which requires you to get into melee range to get the prompt).

Likewise, other players will receive 10xp for a Knockout in the same way they would have received 5xp for an Enemy Kill. This method is often less time-effective, so I wouldn’t try to sneak up on every enemy (think of how many more enemies you could kill in the meanwhile!), but when you come across sleeping enemies or happen upon a unit with his back turned, it’s easy to milk those poor bastards for a few more XP.

When killing enemies, remember that sneaky > loud if you want to earn XP more quickly; the difference between being detected and killing an enemy with a panicked body shot (5xp) and getting a knockout kill (24xp) or even just a well-placed stealth kill (15xp) is pretty staggering.

Other things that are worth XP:


#5

Weapon Preferences and Recommendations

The best weapons in game are going to be the ones that compliments your preferred playstyle. Cop-outs aside, there are a few notable exceptions and points to consider:

  • Bolt action and semiautomatic Sniper Rifles serve very different purposes. The two major differences are the rate of fire, and the damage. Generally speaking, bolt action Sniper Rifles fire much slower, but hit much harder; they are also geneally better-suited for long range situations (300+ meters) as they can still kill at those ranges even if you miss the headshot. Contrarily, semiautomatic Sniper Rifles function well inside that range and allow for quicker followup shots on target should you miss, but don’t hit as hard. Know what you want your Sniper Rifle to do so you can pick the best one (the MSR and HTI are the top dogs of the bolt actions; the G28 is the undisputed king of semiautomatics).

  • The 5.7 USG is arguably the best pistol. I say “arguably” because it’s not the highest damage or even the most accurate, but it is the second-highest damage, most accurate, and highest capacity pistol with maximum Noise Reduction (a stat I prioritize for my pistol, since I’ll only ever be using it up close with other enemies nearby). The 5.7 USG will one-shot any Cartel or Unidad unit when you hit them in the head inside of 50 meters. This is the only pistol I’ve used since unlocking it, and I don’t expect that to change. For note: the P12 does more damage (and also has maximum Noise Reduction), but it lags behind in every other stat category.

  • I strongly recommend running an Assault Rifle. Regardless of which one you choose, having an Assault Rifle allows you to equip an Underbarrel Grenade Launcher. While you might not use it all the time, it’s amazing at dropping helicopters and taking out enemy vehicles. Additionally, if you don’t generally fire at enemies more than ~150 meters away, you probably won’t get much use out of a Sniper Rifle, and the Assault Rifles are still quite effective out to that range (provided you don’t set it up to reduce Range and Accuracy overmuch).

  • Shotguns and LMG’s feel really lackluster. The range being so short, the noise being so loud (even with a suppressor it isn’t exactly quiet), and being generally squishy as a character is the perfect combination for me not wanting anything to do with shotguns; only one LMG can sport a suppressor, and even still the range/accuracy on them isn’t exactly great (though they feel more viable than shotguns, for sure).

  • You need to run two different types of guns. Wildlands pools ammo together when you use two weapons from the same family (i.e., two Assault Rifles) but doesn’t give you double the ammo; if you don’t run two guns from different families, you effectively give up half of your potential ammo capacity (Handgun notwithstanding).

In the end, everything comes down to personal preference in terms of what you’re looking for in a weapon and which accessories you want to or can put on it. Aside from the 5.7 USG, the other weapons I’ve truly enjoyed so far are the Mk 17 Assault Rifle and the P90 and Vector .45 ACP Submachine Guns. It’s also worth mentioning that a lot of folks seem to like the M4A1 and ACR Assault Rifles; while they’re not my personal preference, they’re definitely worth your consideration. If LMG’s are your thing, the Stoner LMG A1 is the only one that’s compatible with a suppressor, and thus the only one that I personally even consider an option. The starting P416 Assault Rifle and the M40A5 Sniper Rifle (which you get after completing the opening mission series) are both totally capable weapons to hold you over until you can unlock whatever it is you really want, as is the P45T Handgun. Lastly, don’t forget that every weapon and mod will tell you which province they’re located in via the Gunsmith menu, which makes hunting down your desired loadout much easier.

Edit:
This has by far spawned the most interesting series of discussion so far, and my own opinion has shifted a fair bit as my preferred playstyle has continued to evolve (I had about 30 hours in game when I wrote this); I’ve updated the above information about Sniper Rifles to reflect some of the discussions that have been had, and added the final point about the ammo pooling mechanics; I will leave the rest of it alone henceforth, and instead link to my updated thoughts/loadout as it continues to evolve.


#6

I wanted to add my experience here. Choice of weapon is certainly player-preference, and it is probably useful for your squad of 4 to be carrying different weapons.

Personally, I think the shotguns are great. Currently I swap out a sniper and SMG (both silenced) in my first slot, depending on the range in which I am fighting. My second weapon slot has been shotgun or LMG; when things go sour (and they will eventually), it’s great to have a loud weapon that can quickly take out an enemy. If you can hide behind a corner or doorway and wait for the enemy to come to you, it’s very easy to drop multiples with a shotgun blast.

Overall this is great info and I’m glad to see another @Auth post.


#7

I’m actually toying around with having the Stoner LMG A1 in my secondary slot at this point (jury is still very out on this decision). I like having a suppressor on at all times because even when things go to shit, because you can reset them if you lay low (killing a few dudes while “Hunted” with a suppressed weapon can mean the difference between things settling back down and having to off every hostile in a compound while “Engaged”), but I’m sometimes wishing I had a bit more firepower to weather the harder engagements with lots of extra baddies.

Also, @teh_ninjaneer, if you haven’t tried the Underbarrel Grenade Launcher, you absolutely must. It’s made it mandatory that one of my weapons be an Assault Rifle, and I’m okay with that :wink:


#8

That might work for Santa Blanca, but the other day I had 13+ Unidad looking for me on a mountainside. Cars just kept rolling in with more enemies.

I think I bought the underbarrel but haven’t attached it yet. I wonder if it will work for LMG also? That would be neat for suppression.


#9

Alas, it does not. That said, the ACR is compatible with a 50 round magazine and the Underbarrel Grenade Launcher, so it might be a great middle ground for you.

Ref. the Unidad assholes (seriously, fuck those guys), once the Unidad Patrol starts up, your only option is to eventually evade. Think GTA 5 cops: hide, run away, or prepare to drown in a sea of pain :wink: I’ll be doing some additional stuff about the AI, but the TL;DR is that the Unidad AI cheats big time; they will find you if you continue to engage them once their patrols are aggro, and the spawns are endless.


#10

On the snipers, I think it’s a bit more subtle conversation than is laid out here. Yes, the MSR is amazing, but even suppressed, it is LOUD, and the rate of fire can be challenging. The G18 is a much better in-between. My current (untested) loadout is actually both. I have a decent ROF semi-auto with an ACOG for most work, and a reach out and touch someone bolt gun for having fun. Additional testing will tell if engaging at 400+ meters is actually worthwhile.

I also really want to pick up the .50, max out vehicle damage, and see what that is capable of.


#11

It’s true, there’s definitely more considerations to be had as a number of the Sniper Rifles are better suited to mid-long range DMR use rather than “lay on your belly half a kilometer away and drain some unsuspecting fool,” but I also think it’s a really awkward range gap where Assault Rifles begin to fail (somewhere between 150 and 200 meters, depending on the rifle and configuration) and the need for Sniper Rifles enters the equation (which, based on my preferred setup, would be above ~250 meters); once it’s out to that range, I’m far more interested in extreme penetration (giggity) combined with colossal range, damage, and accuracy to ensure I have the best chance to hit my target, and a high likelihood of putting him down even on a body shot (should I misjudge bullet drop and short it).

Again though, this is also based on my preferences and setup; if you are rocking something that’s really only effective out to 100 meters or so in one of your weapon slots, there’s definitely room for something more DRM-esque in your other slot.


#12

The G18 fails because it lacks the grenade launcher option. Otherwise, I prefer it to the SCAR. It’s too bad there isn’t an AR10 option.

To your comment on hitting things and putting them in the dirt, the HTI is king. Insta-gib on bodyshots over 400m, solid accuracy. It’s loud and slow, but it works. I’m still collecting resources for the vehicle damage, but I have now shot down helos with it. Not fast enough to beat the grenade launcher yet, but I still have two more ranks to buy.


#13

I’ve started using the Mk 17 as primary (over the sniper rifle) and then attempting to use the Super Shorty as secondary. The shotgun is really hard to use but once I get a better one I think it will be a bit better of a loadout.

I found myself always using the Mk 17 so I’m looking for a strong “oh shit” gun to fill my secondary slot. Shotgun seems appropriate.


#14

I got a double-barrel in the first province, I think. That might be better for you.


#15

I will check that out.


#16

So, after extensive consideration and experimentation, I’m currently trying the M4A1 Assault Rifle paired with the G28 Sniper Rifle and the 5.7 USG Handgun.

The problem I was running into when things went to shit is my Mk 17 (which had my underbarrel grenade launcher) was mostly intended for mid to mid-long sniping, and the Vector .45 ACP was intended for things inside ~100 meters, when Noise Reduction was valued (it has max Noise Reduction), and as my “it’s all gone wrong” weapon of choice thanks to it’s burst fire and quick reloads compared to the Mk 17; this lead me to needing to cycle weapons to fire grenades and effectively engage more than one enemy.

After mentioning the ACR to @teh_ninjaneer as a possible compromise to an LMG with and underbarrel grenade launcher (since they can’t be configured as such) I started playing around with it myself. I liked the more fluid playstyle it offered when things head south, but in really bad situations I was draining out my ammo faster than I liked. Enter the M4A1, which is very similar statistically to the ACR (including the 50 round magazine), but has an option for a burst trigger; problem solved.

The ammo pooling in Wildlands (all weapons from the same family use the same ammunition pool, which basically forces you to run two different weapon types) left me want for a new longer-range option to replace my Mk 17 now that a different Assault Rifle was in the mix, so I started messing around with Sniper Rifles again. After trying a few of my options, I decided to skip bolt actions, which left @stHeretic’s preferred G28 as the best option.

My gameplay has morphed back into me using my 5.7 USG at ranges out to ~50 meters (where I think it’s still comfortably accurate and reliable, and the way I used to use it before equiping the Vector .45 ACP), the G28 for my longer shots (usually nothing outside of ~300 meters as I’m usually creeping around rather than laying on a hillside), and the decently-accurate M4A1 switched to single fire for the shots outside of my pistol’s comfort zone out to ~150 meters (especially when enemies are close enough that I don’t want to risk the noise of the G28) as well as for all my “things have gone sideways” needs (compliments of it’s 50 round magazine and burst fire mode).


#17

OK, I’ve totally adopted your loadout with zero shame. It’s working really well. The burst fire on the M4A1 is very nice when you’re under full attack and you’re basically running and gunning.

The G28 doesn’t seem as uber sniper rifle-y as the MSR but it works in many more situations so I’m finding I use all my guns more.


#18

Does anyone actually use their sidearm?


#19

I use the pistol after I’ve sniped as many as possible. Then roll in with the pistol to clean up. Or I sneak up behind and punch them.


#20

All the time inside ~50 meters if I’m stealth. I actually love it. (shots, accuracy, kills)