Freaker Hordes are perhaps the greatest threat a player will face when playing through Days Gone. While players should almost always opt to avoid triggering a horde, there are times when it’s simply impossible to avoid. In fact, in later parts of the game, the player will actually find themselves becoming a horde hunter, tasked with taking on hundreds of freakers at a time.
To make this difficult task a little easier and give players a fighting chance, here are some basic and essential strategies to whittling down horde hunting to a more manageable feat. That doesn’t mean it’ll be easy, and a lot of a player’s success comes down to skill and resources, but these tips can mean the difference between a lottery of bounties or a painful respawn.
The Boy Scout motto serves well here, if you are planning a horde hunt, then it helps to be prepared for the upcoming engagement. Taking the time to do a little bit of farming for supplies and preparing a deadly gauntlet of traps can make the horde fight that much more manageable.
Obviously, if a horde was triggered that you didn’t intend to fight, then this entry doesn’t apply, but only a fool would start a fight when they aren’t ready for it. Don’t be the boxer who enters the ring without gloves or a mouth guard, take the time to implement the tips on the rest of this list and you’ll find hordes easier to manage.
The first tip to follow is to get a feel for what you’ll be facing, and more importantly where you’ll be facing it. Where will the horde be coming from? What is the area like? Are there buildings around? What about explosive barrels? Are there any natural traps like falling logs you can use?
It’s important to be stealthy while gathering this information, or else you might find yourself coming under attack too early. Getting a lay of the land, exploring the immediate environment, and stashing up on last-minute supplies in the area is important to preparing an attack.
Once you have an understanding of what the area looks like and you start planning the path you’ll lead the freakers on, be sure to use the environment to your advantage. One of the best ways to handle a freaker horde is to lead them to a choke point like a narrow spot between buildings where you can funnel the flood of enemies into a more manageable stream.
When they get stuck on each other at these critical moments, you’ll find your molotovs will go further and you’re bullets will hit their mark more often. It’ll take a few bottlenecks to take down the horde, but you’ll knock out a ton of enemies when they’re forced to file single file through small gates and holes.
After you’ve planned out the path you’re going to lead the horde through, go back and place traps in key areas. Similar to a good tower defense game, you want the enemy to receive continual damage and setbacks to eliminate every last one before they reach the end of the road.
Having a well placed proximity bomb to take out the faster runners or detonating a remote bomb in the middle of the horde is a great way to thin their numbers and buy time. Just be sure you aren’t in proximity when the freakers set the bombs off.
You should always, always initiate a horde fight during the day. The freakers are more lethargic in the day time and hordes will often be sleeping. While they’re grouped up and unaware of their surroundings this is a great opportunity to lob a few molotovs or spray bullets into the crowd, making the chase and later fight much easier.
It’s also easier to see the horde when fighting during the day, trying to tackle a horde at night time with a flashlight is never recommended, and you will get jumped and startled by strays. If you want a difficult challenge then fight at night, but if you want to live, fight in the day.
Fans have mixed feelings when it comes to the Focus skill, as the ability to turn slow motion on can take away from the realism. But for those who see Days Gone as a game and not a simulator, Focus is your absolute best friend in horde skirmishes.
A high Focus can give your character the ability to make every shot count, whether it’s shooting explosive barrels or simply making sure your bullets get the most bang for their buck through headshots. That brief slow down can also give you a brief respite amidst the chaos to prepare your next steps.
Part of being prepared is making sure you have the right guns for the upcoming engagement, as well as enough bullets to use them. You will be doing a lot of shooting, so having a gun that holds a lot of bullets or can be quickly reloaded is important. Given most of your time will be running and firing into a crowd, it’s in your best interest to take a gun that can fire off a lot of rounds in a short period of time.
Automatic weapons are the tools of the trade, so get your hands on light machine guns, assault rifles, and the SMP9 automatic pistol worst case scenario or to be used once the herd has thinned to a handful. Because you’ll be using automatics, you’ll want to take the time to farm or buy all the bullets you need. Once you think you have enough, get more.
Apart from rocks, throwables like molotovs or frag grenades are very effective tools for handling freaker hordes. Frag grenades thrown into the center of a freaker horde can take down large numbers, and a well-placed molotov at a bottleneck can be a great way to buy you time as you watch their front runners burn.
Take a moment before the fight to gather the supplies and craft every throwable available in this game, chances are you’ll use most of them before the fight’s over and it’ll save you a ton of bullets.
If you find yourself getting swamped while fighting the freaker horde or simply need to give yourself some distance to get ready for the next step of your master plan, having some items to distract the freakers is crucial.
Attractors can be great for siphoning off some of their numbers to break the horde into more manageable chunks. You can also lob a few flashbangs and smoke grenades to distract and confuse the horde to buy yourself some time or slow down their progress.
Even the best-laid plans have flaws, and Murphy’s Law loves to kick in during the middle of a horde fight. If you’ve shot every bullet, used every trap, thrown every throwable, are low on health and the horde is still trucking along behind you, it’s important to get out of there.
Perhaps the best thing you can do when preparing for a horde fight is to prepare an escape plan. Having that final chokepoint with a specially reserved Molotov and your motorcycle parked nearby can save your bacon and give you a second chance to come back and do it right the next time.