Updated: Aug 22
Welcome back everyone to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Anomaly Survival Guide. In part one, we covered the basics you need to know before entering the Zone. Now we will explore what you will face the moment you start the game proper.
NB - as before, this guide assumes the player is playing story mode, on the 'Hard' gameplay difficulty and 'Survivalist' progression difficulty settings, that your starting faction and location are 'Loner' and 'Rookie Village', that the player is playing a 'vanilla run' (i.e. without lots of optional addons) and is playing version 1.5.1.
Welcome to Your First Day in the Zone!
You should spawn in a dilapidated house in the Rookie Village, a safe haven in the south-eastern region of the ‘Cordon’ map, which is the southernmost map in the game. A ‘safe haven’ is an area that is generally free of mutants and enemy NPCs. These are the only places where it is safe enough to let your guard down or go to sleep. Be aware however that nowhere in the Zone is 100 % safe.
The first thing you will need to do is open your inventory and equip the following; Jacket, half-face gas mask, flashlight, Geiger counter and backpack (or their equivalents if using addons) by double-clicking on each in turn, because they won’t work if they are sitting in your inventory. Take a moment to familiarise yourself with your controls and your equipment.
The PDF guide attached below will show you the various sections of your inventory screen and what they do. NB – I have been unable to track down the PDF’s original creator, or the website it can be downloaded from. If you know who made it and where it can be obtained, please let me know so I can provide proper attribution – credit where credit is due after all.
Once you feel ready to move on it is time to start ransacking the joint. Smash every crate, tin box or anything else that looks breakable to see if there is loot inside. Open cabinet draws and doors and take whatever you find, and generally pick up everything that isn’t nailed down - you will see a tooltip pop up when something is ‘pickupable’. Note that every item you can pick up has a use, so do not worry about accumulating a hoard of useless junk.
Once you have explored every nook and cranny of the house head outside and make for the building’s rear. Hug the wall as you do so to avoid the hard to spot anomaly! You will find an attic that is accessible via a ladder. Inside the attic you will find a safe, which you may have to go prone to reach. This serves as a stash.
If something is a stash you will see a tooltip appear saying ‘open box’ or similar when close to it. You can both take stuff out of stashes and place stuff in them. This is handy for stashing away items that you don’t need right now, but you may need later.
NB - NPCs do not steal your stuff from stashes in Anomaly, but they may in other mods.
Now explore every nook and cranny of all the other buildings in the Rookie Village. Take time to explore every room, basement, and attic you can reach, as some loot is well hidden. Note there is a stash near the firepit that might have useful loot inside.
Once you have explored the village top-to-bottom visit the trader Sidorovich to see what wares he has available to purchase. He can be found in the bunker just past the western end of the village. If you do not have the hunting knife but he does then buy it now. Extra ammo for your PM would also be a wise investment.
NB - If using one of Anomaly's 'Magazine’ addons be sure to also purchase additional mags for your PM (or whatever other firearms you might be carrying). You will need to fill each magazine by opening your inventory and dragging the compatible ammo to it. This will fill the magazine to its maximum capacity so long as you have sufficient ammo to do so. Once filled, right-click the magazine and select ‘Add to loadout’, as only mags added to the loadout will be used when tapping the reload key. Rinse and repeat for every mag you have.
Do not buy any other essential items or wealth creators just yet as you will soon be able to obtain some of them for free during the Training Day missions. If you still have funds then feel free to purchase an extra medkit, bandage, stimpack, some anti-radiation pills etc. as these are always useful.
Now is the time to take on your first set of missions. I highly recommend doing the Training Day missions before doing anything else, as you will learn a lot of vital information, gain hands-on experience with some of the game's core gameplay mechanics, and you will get your hands on some of the essential equipment discussed previously for free, and some useful loot to sell to boot. This will get your adventuring off to a great start.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Anomaly Training Day 01 - Talk to Fanatic
Talk to everyone and listen to them carefully - their wisdom might keep you alive
Next, speak to Fanatic, the Stalker standing between the fire pit and the ladder. He is an experienced Stalker who trains rookie Stalkers. Speak to him - by tapping ‘use’ when standing close to him - and agree to the training, which will start the 'Training Day' missions.
Fanatic will now become a companion for the duration of the Training Day missions. Take a moment in the relative safety of the village to familiarise yourself with the companion orders wheel, the associated hotkeys, and how companions respond to these instructions. You will be bossing companions about quite often later in the game, so it is important to understand how it works.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Anomaly Training Day 02 - Companion Controls
Using hotkeys is often quicker than using the companion wheel. I bind the 'stay here/come to me' key to something easily accessible in the heat of battle.
On occasions, the AI may glitch and your companions may become stuck. If they are out of view, then retrace your steps back to them - once you are within visual range your companions may become unstuck and start operating normally again.
Note that companions generally cannot climb up or down ladders, and so they will be unable to follow you to areas accessible only by ladder. This may be an engine limitation since the retail S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games didn’t feature controllable companions.
A workaround is to use the Quick Companion Teleport addon and teleport them to your location once you have climbed up or down the ladder. This is also useful for freeing stuck companions. The following addons are also highly recommended as they fix several companion system glitches.
He is With Me – stops friendly/neutral guards from shooting your companions.
Modular Miscellaneous Tweaks - specifically the ‘Companions Don’t Blow Disguises’ option.
TB's Companions Deactivate Headlamps When In Stealth - does exactly what it says it does.
Before leaving the safety of the village double-check you have everything you need, that magazines have been filled, weapons loaded, technological items have enough battery charge etc. I highly recommend adding a bandage and a medkit to your quick use slots and stashing away any items not immediately useful to the coming mission. Get into this habit now and repeat this process every time you are about to leave a safe haven.
Training Day – Mission One – Boar Hunt
In theory, this mission is simple - accompany Fanatic across the road to fight a pack of wild boars. The difficulty lies in your lack of a suitable weapon for the task - pistols are not terribly effective against large mutants, and you do not yet have a shotgun.
Open your PDA and you will see a white crosshair like icon. This is the approximate location of the boars. Approach the area slowly and keep a sharp eye out for the boars, other mutants, hostile NPCs, anomalies and the like. Also keep a sharp eye out for friendly and neutral NPCs, as their reactions can give you an early warning of danger.
Keep Fanatic close and approach the boars from an elevated position that gives you a clear view of them and the environment. Fanatic is more durable than you and better armed. He also has infinite ammo - as do all NPCs. Therefore, let him do most of the fighting while you shoot the boars attacking him in their more vulnerable flanks, as in the video below.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Anomaly Training Day 03 - Boar Hunt
I suspect the 'P' in 'PM' stands for 'pea-shooter'. Get a shotgun ASAP!
If a boar attacks you sprint back to the village, as the sentries may well kill the boar for you. If Fanatic gets hurt instruct him to come to you and head for the village for the same reason. Companions have regenerating health so wait for him to heal then head back and engage the remaining boars. Rinse and repeat until all the boars are dead.
NB - if you are using the ‘Arszi’s mutant bleeding’ addon you may be able to complete the mission by wounding the boars then letting blood loss finish the job. This may save ammo, and it may allow you to retreat to safety. I say ‘may’ as