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:
- 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…?”
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.
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.
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…
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.
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!