One solid piece of survival advice shared among Icarus prospectors is to address problems before they overwhelm you. Sometimes the problem is an Arctic glacier packed tight with carnivores, or a bear camping a cave entrance rich with ore. If your answer to both problems is a well-placed arrowhead, then your character might do well with a ranged combat talent build tailored to archery.
Best Archery Talents
Bows have some of the most powerful mastery abilities of any combat discipline. Each one is intended to push the front line of combat further away from your prospector. If you are going to invest in the Combat – Bows tree at all, it is worth considering a complete ranged combat build. The key talents will require up to 23 Talent Points. However, you can save talent points if you choose not to max out each key talent. With all of the optional talents included, the total increases to 42 Talent Points.
Note that the brackets give the [Tree – Tab] where you can the listed talent in the Talents Menu.
- Bow Agility [Combat – Bows]: 3 points
- +5/8/10% movement speed with a bow equipped. You are Legolas reborn. An arrow is as deadly at 2 meters as it is at 20. If worse comes to worse and a predator closes the gap, you run past its lunge and find its weak point again. This technique will take some practice, ideally near your respawn point.
- More for Less I [Combat — Bows]: 1 points
- -25% resource cost for crafted bows. Higher tier bows are great for increasing durability, and they are as expensive as they are useful. This perk provides significant savings that may save you another caving trip. Especially useful for bows requiring steel or composites.
- Quick Load [Combat – Bows]: 3 points
- -5/10/15% bow reload speed. This perk does two important things. While there is space between you and your quarry, it increases your DPS by letting loose arrows more rapidly. Up close, this perk works well with Bow Agility to recover your aiming stance after a last-second dodge.
- Increased Arrow Damage I [Combat — Bows]: 3 points
- +2/5/10% base arrow damage. Increasing the base damage early on will help expand the utility of low and mid-tier ammunition made from bone or flint, as well as increase the success of sneak attacks.
- Quick Draw [Combat — Bows]: 1 point
- +5/10/15% aim speed with bows. Faster aiming can make it easier to deal with a close predator as you dodge each charge. In this build, it is just a prerequisite to reach a more useful upgrade.
- Trained Bowman [Combat — Bows]: 3 points
- -10/20/30% bow durability loss. This talent is critical for extended campaigns away from camp. Until you get this perk, stick with the longbow and flint arrows so that repairs only require Iron-tier technology.
- Soft Spot I [Combat — Bows]: 1 point
- +2/5% critical damage with bows. Increasing the critical damage multiplier is a must have if you are going to pursue both stealth hunting and archery. Stealth attacks require death in one hit, so buffing the multiplier opens more targets to this ability. In this case, max out Soft Spot II first before completing Soft Spot I.
- Hindering Shot [Combat — Bows]: 3 point
- 5/10/15% chance to slow per arrow strike. Crippling your quarry on Icarus won’t change their attitude. If it wanted to kill you before, it wants to even more now. But each time this perk procs, you get a free opportunity to land another critical hit or to reposition yourself for more breathing room.
- Twice the Fun [Combat — Bows]: 1 point
- +5/15% change to loose two arrows at once. Another perk you invest one point in on the way to better talents. Firing double arrows sounds fun until you miss the weak point. You also want to be able to ration more expensive ammunition.
- Soft Spot II [Combat — Bows]: 2 points
- +5/10% critical hit multiplier with bows. With much higher stat bonuses, this sequel to Soft Spot I is the critical hit multiplier perk to max out.
- Homing Instinct [Combat — Bows]: 1 point
- Arrows lock on targets. This talent lets you engage large predators from unbelievable distances. Homing Instinct only kicks in when your arrow nears the target, so you can shoot well out of Sneak Attack range and still land a critical hit. It will take a few tries to get a feel for the lock-on distance, as well as how to switch back to Sneak Attack if you know you can take the target down in one shot.
- Pinning Shot [Combat — Bows]: 1 point
- 5% change to immobilize target per arrow hit. You can and should think of this perk as an increase in the chance to cripple your target, on top of the bonus from Hindering Shot. It’s worth the price.
Each optional talent is intended to support a prospector that seeks to keep out of the conflict as long as possible. These are scattered among different talent trees and ranks. They would require and additional 19 Talent Points — note that you’ll need to unlock a significant amount of prerequisites to reach all of the below talents. You should pick and choose which optional talents complement your prospector’s other talents. It may not be surprising that an Archer/Hunter specialty works well together.
- Easy Draw [Combat – Bows]: 3 points
- -5/10/15% stamina consumed by bow actions. The speed of stamina drain with the bow drawn can be surprising, especially for protracted conflicts requiring 5 or more shots. Reducing the stamina of bow actions also can be helpful if you tend to need more time lining up your shot.
- Increased Arrow Damage II [Combat — Bows]: 3 points
- +2/5/10% base arrow damage. Another boost to arrow damage may be just what the archer ordered, especially if you are looking to push the effectiveness of sneak attacks.
- Trained Bowsmith [Combat – Bows]: 1 point
- +15% maximum durability of crafted bows. Any perk that increases the number of bowstring snaps before snapping your bow is a bonus. However, it is not a prerequisite to any Key Talents, such as Trained Bowman which has a greater effect on bow longevity. You may want to skip this one.
- More for Less II [Combat — Bows]: 1 points
- -25% resource cost for crafted bows. A second helping of resource cost savings, this perk makes higher-tier bows more practical, especially for a group of prospectors.
- Soft Spot I [Combat — Bows]: 1 point
- +2/5% critical damage with bows. Finishing what you started by adding that last 5% boost to the critical multiplier will amplify the value of your reload, base damage, and sneak attack skills.
- Wounding Shot [Combat — Bows]: 3 point
- 5/10/15% chance to cause bleeding per arrow strike. If your target survives, it will either attack or flee after being hit. Isn’t it better if they weaken as they do this? But the high cost-to-probability ratio relegates this skill to the optional pile.
- Swift Survivor [Survival – Exploration]: 3 points
- +3/5/10% movement speed. Increased movement speed will help deal with close combat situations. As an added bonus, you will finish missions requiring significant travel a little faster as well!
- Wood Breakdown [Survival – Resources]: 1 point
- Unlocks blueprint to turn wood into sticks in the field, without the Carpentry Bench. Being able to make sticks from wood is very helpful for a number of reasons, one of which is crafting basic ammo in an emergency or in a biome where sticks are harder to come by.
- Without a Sound [Survival – Hunting]: 3 points
- -5/10/15% perceived threat while in stealth. This stealth hunting technique can be helpful to reduce the agro of predators that you stumble on while traveling or to maneuver into better attack positions. Ideally, use the amazing animal warning sounds in ICARUS to detect predators before it comes to this.
Click a tree below to see a visual representation of the above-mentioned Talents.
We hope this ICARUS build was helpful, and we’re happy to read your questions and comments! Please leave them below, and then set your sights on your next mission to Icarus.