weapons – icarus
Content Type: Gaming Guides

Killing on ICARUS is not an option. Even if you choose to do some creative work on an Outpost map, you will need to do some Hunting to craft some essential tools and ensure your survival. Things get extra tricky during missions: when your opponents graduate from wolves and hyenas and become polar bears and sandworms, a stone knife isn’t going to cut it.

A lot of tools in ICARUS deal damage (it’s technically possible to take a bear down with a sickle. Tedious, but possible), but the true representatives are the weapons which come with their dedicated Combat Talent trees: Blades, Spears, Bows, and Firearms.

These ICARUS weapons are:

  • Knives
  • Spears
  • Bows and Crossbows
  • Firearms and Grenades

Below we will expand upon each weapon type, giving you a full list of available weapons, evaluating each category’s strengths and weaknesses, and offering some tips for using each weapon type effectively.

Range: Primarily Melee, can be thrown
An essential skinning tool and a deadly weapon — with right upgrades and talents it can easily be used against the most dangerous opponents.

You might have assumed that knives are just a skinning tool, not an essential and highly deadly weapon, but why not both? Sure, you will get used to the knife as your primary method of obtaining animal materials, but they still double as an excellent close-range tool of defense. When the attacker gets close, hitting it with your blade right between the eyes will be far more efficient than trying to take the animal out with your bow.

And, never underestimate folks who max out their Blades talents and add on some monstrous speed as a bonus: you will see them run up to any animal of their choosing, immobilize it on hit, and proceed to stab it to death right there and then. “I heard you guys use bows…?”

  • Stone Knife
    • 45 – 50 Melee Damage
    • +100% Yield from Skinning

  • Bone Knife
    • 49 – 55 Melee Damage
    • +150% Yield from Skinning

  • Iron Knife
    • 54 – 60 Melee Damage
    • +200% Yield from Skinning

  • Taxidermy Knife
    • +100% Yield from Skinning
    • +100% chance to obtain Creature Trophies when Skinning

  • Shengong ‘Qie’ Knife (Orbital Tree)
    • 55 – 58 Melee Damage
    • +100% Yield from Skinning
    • +25% Critical Damage
    • +25% Critical Damage
    • +25% Stamina Consumed by Actions

  • Sandworm Knife
    • 58 – 65 Melee Damage
    • +175% Yield from Skinning
    • +100% chance to Poison on Hit with Attacks

  • Bone Knife is the best knife available to you that can also be repaired in the field. If you rely on other weapons for attacking and do not require maximum resource yield from skinning, it will make for an excellent tool on your distant travels.

  • Remember that knives can be thrown! That’s why they have the Projectile Damage listed on them. Hold your RMB to aim and then click your LMB to fire. Remember that you will need to retrieve it after this, so don’t use this technique on targets you aren’t sure you can defeat. Overall, throwing knives is not as effective as throwing spears.

  • You are unlikely to kill medium and large peaceful animals with a knife, since they will start running as soon as the combat is initiated. However, with high movement speed, high Blades damage, and chance to immobilize, there is nothing stopping you from using knives to attack any animal you want.

Range: Both Melee and Ranged
Probably the most flexible weapon ICARUS has to offer, but is unpopular for that same indecisiveness. Great for one-hit kills of lower-level HP animals when used from stealth.

Since it’s so easy to unlock and cheap to craft, you might find some use in using a spear early on in the game. Great for fishing, massive damage when thrown and easier to retrieve than arrows… but the appeal starts to wear off on higher levels, when knives can be used to skin and bows can be used to attack at range.

And yet, with enough specialization into this weapon you might find yourself killing most of your opponents from stealth on first hit. No explosive damage of this kind can be replicated by any other weapon in the game with the same low cost of crafting and maintenance.

  • Wood Spear
    • 45 – 50 Melee Damage
    • 99 – 110 Projectile Damage
    • +10% Critical Damage

  • Bone Spear
    • 49 – 55 Melee Damage
    • 202 – 225 Projectile Damage
    • +10% Critical Damage

  • Did you know that spears can serve as an alternative to knives and bows in Fishing? You can quickly take out whatever is swimming nearby and then launch your spear to hit your last target as a cool combo finisher!

Range: Ranged
Familiar ranged weapon with a fully manual operation and a quick reload. Easily scaleable for distance and damage, with a wide range of ammo to choose from — with varying cost, power, and unique effects.

As soon as you get to hold your first Wood Bow, you might find yourself immediately in love with the most customizable weapon ICARUS has to offer.

One issue that might eventually catch up with you is the cost of higher-tier bows and ammo, while still limited in how much damage they can offer over firearms. However, due to their efficiency in luring targets and their massive output from stealth attacks, bows are the first weapon in the game to allow you to take on high-level targets.

In fact, with some clever tactics (like barricading) you can easily use even lower-tier bows on pretty much any animal, making this weapon indispensable for rescue missions and particularly difficult mission challenges.

  • Wood Bow
    • +700 milliseconds Reload Speed
    • +300 Attack Rate
    • +40/+10 Spread without Aiming/with Aiming
  • Longbow
    • +700 milliseconds Reload Speed
    • +300 Attack Rate
    • +30/+8 Spread without Aiming/with Aiming

  • Recurve Bow
    • +700 milliseconds Reload Speed
    • +300 Attack Rate
    • +20/+10 Spread without Aiming/with Aiming

  • Bows do not pack a lot of damage on a regular hit, but their output multiplies significantly when you land your first shot from stealth with a Stealth Attack. A Longbow and some Bone Arrows are enough to take out most of the medium-sized animals you will encounter as long as you can execute that stealth kill.

  • If you decide to specialize into the Bow talent tree, remember that Bows are more likely to trigger the talent effects due to their faster projectile output (compared to Crossbows).

  • Higher-level ammo for bows becomes substantially more expensive to craft. In most cases, Flint Arrows will be more than enough. A stack of 50 will supply any adventure, and a similar stack can be stored at your base should a self-rescue-mission be in order. Remember that you can retrieve arrows before and after interacting with an animal’s corpse (picking it up or skinning it) to maximize your rate of retrieval.

Range: Ranged
Crossbow is a tool all its own: it trades bow’s reload speed and projectile power for a much higher accuracy, packing serious damage and critical hit potential with every bolt.

The only Crossbow currently available in the game will not be available to you until level 15, falling awkwardly in the middle of you already leveling your pick of pre-gun weapons. However, Crossbow is the ultimate headshot kill weapon, and if you have been using Tier 2 bows with heavy reliance on stealth kills so far, this tool might feel like an immediate upgrade to you.

Bows offer a much higher scalability with their upgrades, but all of their advantages discussed in the previous section easily apply to the Crossbow. Remember that you only need so much before you can kill most of Icarus’s fauna in a single headshot…

  • Crossbow
    • +4000 milliseconds Reload Speed
    • +120 Attack Rate
    • +40/+10 Spread without Aiming/with Aiming

Currently there is only one crossbow in the game.

  • It bears repeating: Stealth Attacks. Just like the Bow (and even more so), Crossbow benefits tremendously from stealth shots, and in many cases they will be enough to immediately take down your opponent. Just remember to have a backup plan in case if you trigger a fight and do not have enough time to fire another bolt before the animal gets in your melee range.

  • Unlike with the bows, Crossbow’s ammo type does affect the weapon’s range. Iron Bolts will come with extra traveling distance, while Copper Bolts will be willing to trade a little bit of that with even higher damage output per hit.

Range: Close Range and Ranged
Once you unlock the power of the Firearms, there is no going back. Guns make up a whole new tier of weapons with an unmatched damage output. These beasts cost a lot to craft and a lot to maintain.

Guns feel like a completely different weapon class: they do not trigger stealth attacks and you will practically have to start over with your talent specialization. However, if you have been luring bears into traps all this time, it will feel very satisfying to take them out with two swift Shotgun shots.

Just don’t run around sinking your rounds into rabbits. Guns are very expensive to maintain, both in terms of ammo and repairs, so it’s wise to save these beasts for the most worthy of your opponents (boss creatures and polar bears, for example). However, after sinking all of the Charcoal, Sulfur, and metal ingots you got into the ammo for one of these, you will probably not feel like wasting your bullets anyway.

  • Hunting Rifle
    • 6 Ammo Capacity
    • +1000 milliseconds Reload Speed
    • +60 Attack Rate
    • +40/+10 Spread without Aiming/with Aiming

  • The Bolt Action Rifle costs just as much as the Hunting Rifle, the latter being the more powerful, non-lever-action variant. If you have just one set of the resources for crafting, the ammo capacity alone is definitely worth the wait.

  • While you can’t get the extra damage with guns by performing sneak attacks, there is extra crit damage when aiming for the head. Always go for headshots when you can to make the most out of your expensive ammo.

  • If you are dedicated to using guns in your missions, invest some points into talents for reducing gun durability wear and for reducing the cost of ammo materials.

  • For particularly long and dangerous missions, expect to use the guns to their breaking point. Bring spare Steel Ingots and a Machining Bench to set down inside whatever base of operations you have constructed in the area to carry out repairs.

They explode. Probably. (This section is a work in progress! We will share more details with you once grenades become available in the game.)

We hope you found some useful tips in our ICARUS Weapons Guide!

If you happened to experiment with a weapon in a unique way or stumbled upon an interesting helpful trick, please share your ideas with us in the comments below!

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1 year ago


11 months ago

seems like the Inarus ‘ventura’ orbital knife does not resist wounds. i just face tanked a bear and i got a deep wound, isn’t this supposed to stop these wounds?

Reply to  KiltedJock
11 months ago

Thanks for the intelligence, KiltedJock. Indeed, it is supposed to resist wounds. I use it with most predators including bears and polar bears, and just got my first wound (like you, a deep wound) while holding the Ventura knife. My character model appeared a little bugged, though. The arm was not out with the knife in hand, even though the knife was selected in the hotbar.

So it seems the knife could be bugged, or maybe the “using knife” property is not activating consistently. I still seem to get deep wounds less frequently with the knife (and without the knife, it is almost guaranteed). However, the description says “100% chance to Resist Wound”, so what exactly the knife is supposed to do depends on what “Resist” means. Bugged or not, this could be more clear.

It might be a good idea to post this bug on icarus.featureupvote.com, if it hasn’t been already.

Reply to  KiltedJock
11 months ago

The update for Week 20 may clear this up. The experimental-branch patch notes clarify that Wound Resistance only applies to regular Wounds, not Deep Wounds as from (polar) bears.

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