Wildlife on planet Icarus might not need you for their own survival, but you will certainly need them for your own. A big part of your crafting will involve materials like Leather, Fur, and Bone. Furthermore, there is no other food source more filling and more abundant on the planet than Meat. All of this you will need to get by hunting.
Hunting can be a tedious and dangerous undertaking if you do not know how to approach it. Fruitlessly chasing deer while shooting arrows against bushes and rocks, and then running into an unhappy bear that takes you out in two strikes can be a very frustrating experience. In ICARUS, this is an experience you could have even if you are a high-level character who typically hunts with other team members and isn’t sure what to do when they are by themselves.
This guide will cover some basic information and strategies for those who would like an overview, but also some of the more advanced tips and techniques. Did you know, for example, that you can one-shot pretty much any medium-sized animal with a mere Wood Bow and some Bone Arrows?
Let’s get started! Begin reading from the very beginning if you need some basic tips, or feel free to skip forward to a section that is of interest to you.
In order to hunt in ICARUS you will need a weapon, like a Stone Knife(highly recommended) or a Wood Bow with some Stone Arrows. Weapons are not available to you from the beginning and you will need to unlock them before you can craft them. Continue chopping trees and mining rocks until you level up and can do so. (Check out our Leveling Guide if you need some ideas.)
You will need aStone Knifeto skin the killed animals early on, too, so it’s an important tool to unlock first. Knives are also the best weapon for melee range, so you will find them very helpful in defending against wolves.
You will need a Campfire and some fuel, like Fiber, Sticks, or Wood to cook the Meatyou obtain from skinning. Place the meat into the campfire’s inventory and the fuel in the dedicated spot below. It will take less Wood than Sticks, and less Sticks than Fiber to produce a single Cooked Meat.
Wood Bow and Stone Arrows will require just a little bit more maintenance, but they will help you take less damage from predators and, with the peaceful animals, upgrade from rabbits and raccoons to hunting chamois and deer.
Check out our Beginner’s Guide if you are struggling to maintain your basic needs — gathering some Berries and doing some Fishing with your weapon might be a better starting strategy than scouting for wolves.
With that being said, let’s discuss your hunting targets in the forest biome in the order of their difficulty:
Fish. Produce Raw Fish (can be cooked for consumption) and a little bit of Bone. Dive into a lake and kill fish with regular weapons. Beware of accumulating Poison stacks from piranhas. We have a dedicated guide if you need some tips.
Rabbits and Raccoons. Peaceful. Produce a small amount of animal byproducts: Raw Meat, Leather, Bone, and Fur. Easy to outrun with a knife, or can be shot with arrows. Are not affected by critical hits.
Baby Deer and Chamois. Peaceful. Produce a moderate amount of animal byproducts. Will be hard to kill with a knife. Can use a Wood Bow with Stone Arrows to kill with Stealth Attacks (headshots).
Wolves. Common hostile encounter. Produce a moderate amount of animal byproducts. Easy to kill with a bow or a knife, but can inflict Wounds that should be treated with Bandages before they become Infected. Aim for the head. Consume food to increase your maximum HP prior to the encounters and to heal afterwards.
Larger Deer. Peaceful. Produce a large amount of animal byproducts. Hard to kill with low-level arrows, very hard to outrun. Upgrade to Bone Arrows before you attempt to land a Stealth Attack on them.
Bears. High-level hostile encounter. Produce a very large amount of animal byproducts. Require additional preparation and higher-level weapons. Avoid until you are ready to take them on. See our Surviving Bears guide for further details.
Land animals leave a skeleton after you skin them — attack it with an axe or a pickaxe (we noticed lower yield with a knife) to gather some Bone.
We suggest you upgrade to a Bone Knife as soon as you gather some Bone: it makes a difference in both damage and yield, and is still cheap to repair. Right click on the knife with your inventory screen open to get the option to repair it.
Once you are level 10 you can unlock a Skinning Bench: unlock a Skinning Bench Talent under the Hunting Tree and then the matching schematic on Tech Tier 2. This will tremendously increase your skinning yield from any animal carcass, but will require you to carry them back to the bench. However, this will significantly speed up your Tier 2 crafting, unless you plan on heading into the Desert or specializing into Bear hunting.
If you have been avoiding any stealth tactics, using mostly basic weapons, and not taking advantage of barricading a path towards you, you will start running into some problems when you take on Bears, Elephants, get ambushed by multiple predators, or venture into the Arctic.
If you keep failing missions because you keep dying in higher-level combat, leaving you feeling like you are doing something wrong, you have come to the right place!
With right technology and preparations, you will be able to take on any opponent in the game. Exciting news is, there are many ways to approach this challenge, and you can certainly specialize into one that matches your interests and your skillset.
Relying on your base health pool is dangerous when fighting higher-level encounters. There is always a chance the animal you are fighting gets a few attacks on you, or worse — breaks through your barricade and destroys you in two hits.
So,always stack up on foods that take up unique stomach slots.Meat is abundant in all of the biomes, Fish can be gathered in the Forest and the Desert, and Berries are easy to gather in the Forest. At the very least, try to carry the full set of these three on you. Store some of it in your Ice Box back at the base when working on longer missions to reduce the rate at which the stacks need to be replenished.
The harder your mission and your battles, the more advanced recipes you will need to feel well-equipped. Remember that food is also crucial to help you restore some HP after taking damage: pair your food’s restorative buffs with Heath Regeneration Paste.
This tip also revolves around your HP pool limitations: there are some very dangerous animals in the game hit hard while requiring a lot of damage to take down. No wonder you couldn’t win a single battle with a Polar Bear so far! When you face a boss encounter or a high-threat animal, you can even out your starting advantage by creating a barricade.
We give an example of one such barricade in our Surviving Bears guide, the hunting pen — it’s quite an effective and light solution (or try building it with Wood Beam variants for higher durability!). Another idea is repurposing your portable shelter for hunting, with windows as your visors. Something more advanced can be a cliff ledge with a ladder — this setup should be light in the inventory, but practically indestructible due to its positioning. Remember that you can supplement your barricades with Hedgehogs!
You can easily repair damaged parts of your makeshift barricade with a Hammer to pick them up and then place your construction down once you see a dangerous predator.
However, building barricades isn’t always an option, especially if you are packed with cave resources or are on a tricky rescue mission of your own body. There are other options that involve natural environment, like carving out a narrow, human-sized hole in a large boulder, or a similar hole in a wall that covers up a hidden cave. Predators that deal a lot of damage can eventually break through the stone, practically trapping you right next to them, so try to make the hole particularly narrow and deep.
Another clever way to use the environment is to slow the chasing predator down by swimming in a lake, while attacking them at range, thus essentially kiting them. Talents related to improving your speed (there are some dedicated to swimming speed, too) are useful if you plan on luring or outpacing your targets when using the environment to your advantage.
The “improving your weapons” part sounds quite obvious, but don’t get carried away with your prep and let the “not too much” part become an issue.
Really, it all comes down to the resources and time available to you: using a low-level Wood Bow and Stone Arrows on Hyenas will cost you mission time because you can’t get a single Stealth Kill on them and have to fight full battles, wasting time patching wounds and regenerating health. However, spending time gathering and processing piles of ore to craft Buckshot Shells for your Shotgun just to take down those same Hyenas is a waste of time and precious resources.
Get the cheapest weapon you can efficiently hunt and protect yourself with. Your ultimate goal is a quick kill. A wise setup is having one weapon that can score you Stealth Attacks on low-level animals and then a weapon that helps you handle more dangerous animals and bosses (sometimes it can just be a durable knife.)
If a Longbow with Bone Arrows can take down most of the low-level fauna for you at a reasonable distance, while you can lure larger animals into a trap and stab them with an Iron Knife, there is no need to go for something better than that.
Stealth for Evasion and for Damage
You may have noticed that a lot of the advice we offer in this guide revolves around Stealth Attacks aimed at low-HP animals and luring larger targets into a trap. You may have also noticed that both rely on you noticing the animal first, then aiming your shot or preparing your barricade unnoticed.
Stealth is a crucial tool in delivering very high damage and turning the outcome of the battle in your benefit. However, it’s also essential to tactical evasion, when your opponents are too dangerous or the time is at stake.
Until you are fully outfitted with the best armor and best guns with practically unlimited ammo, Stealth will likely be a central part of your hunting strategy one way or another.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to invest your Talent points into Stealth (although, if you have some to spare it never hurts), and you might not even need to press Ctrl to crouch in certain instances. But, avoiding getting ambushed does mean that you need to always keep in mind who has noticed you and who might, at any point in time.
Here is an example of such a strategic awareness: taking moment to remember spawning points of the arctic wolves and their field of vision. In this case, you can pick a route to remain unnoticed without wasting time taking wolves out or crouching. Remember that sometimes running can be a more stealthy approach, if you keep your distance.
Image and tips courtesy of @Cav3dust and the wisdom shared by his prospecting team, @NfiniT and @sta7ic.
If you do wish to start a battle with an opponent you are ready to take on, Stealth is extremely important to delivering that devastating first hit. This could mean massive stealth damage, extra shots while the animal approaches, or even an instant kill. There is no overestimating what Stealth can do for you when used strategically.
We hope you found our Hunting tips for ICARUS useful. Please share your own thoughts, suggestions, and experience in the comments below!
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Dedicated contributor at EIP Gaming and a part-time collector of books she will never have time to actually read. Jumps on the newest releases just as quickly as on the uncovered dusty collections from the basement. For her, shiny graphics can never be an excuse to not have a polished player experience or an immersive story.