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Tomb Raider guide: 10 essential tips for becoming a survivor

Succeed in combat, master the right skills, find every collectible and more...

If you've read our Tomb Raider review, then you'll know there's plenty for Lara to do in the impressive island setting. Whether you're silently taking down enemies with your bow or uncovering hidden relics, our ten essential Tomb Raider tips will ensure you get out alive for your next adventure.


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USE YOUR SURVIVAL INSTINCTS

The greatest tool at your disposal is your Survival Instincts, which reveal points of interest by scanning the environment, and as this power is unlimited you should use it regularly to check out your surroundings. If you're moving or in water the effect only lasts around a second, but if you activate it while standing still it will continue until you move on, allowing you to use the right stick to look around and take in the full scene.

Survival Instincts reveal animals (yellow) and enemies (red) with a glowing hue, which is useful for identifying targets from a distance and planning your next move accordingly. After hunting or combat it will also highlight animal corpses that have not been skinned and bodies that haven't been searched, so use it to ensure you've collected all the spoils of your efforts before leaving the current area.

This power indicates areas of the environment you can interact with once you have the appropriate gear, such as scalable walls once you get the climbing tool, so you can plan your route up to higher locations. It can also be used in dark tunnels and caves to reveal the path ahead, preventing any nasty surprises from creeping up on you.


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MASTER THE RIGHT SKILLS FIRST

Lara has a total of 24 skills that can be unlocked by earning XP, covering Hunting, Brawling and plain old Surviving, and although they all have their individual benefits you can significantly speed up your progress by selecting the right ones to master first.

Your first upgrade should be Survivalist, which gives you additional XP when searching animal corpses and food caches, followed by Advanced Salvaging and Bone Collector, which award you an increased amount of salvage from animals and crates. This will increase the speed you gain XP and salvage for the rest of your playthrough, giving you faster access to further skills and upgrades for your gear.

To get the maximum benefit from skill upgrades you should unlock each one as soon as you collect enough XP, by heading straight to the nearest day or base camp when the "+1 Skill Point" notification appears on screen.


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WIN EVERY FIGHT

When enemies are nearby Lara will crouch into her combat-ready stance, and in this mode you will automatically take cover behind objects by simply moving near them. Aiming will pop you out so you can target your foes, then after taking your shots release aim to retreat to cover again. When moving between cover objects, tapping B/Circle to duck or pressing it twice to roll will minimise the damage you take.

When targeting enemies always aim for headshots, as these will take down most regular adversaries in a single hit. Later in the game you face armoured enemies who will soak up arrows or bullets, again go for headshots on these to shoot off their helmets before following up for the kill. In some locations you'll have a searchlight shining in your face which severely restricts your visibility of the area ahead, however you can shoot out the bulbs so you should make that your first priority.

If your opponent gets in close then dodging a melee blow while aiming allows you auto-target them, making a follow up attack simple to achieve. When combat becomes more regular you should invest some skill points in Brawler upgrades for dodge counters and kills, as these are quick and efficient ways of dealing with enemies.

Once everyone has been eliminated Lara will exit her combat-ready stance and stand up straight again, indicating that the threat has passed and you can now safely explore the area.

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