In the tradition of Dark Souls, Remnant: From The Ashes is a game that wants the player to make their own discoveries about its various systems and mechanics rather than explain everything. This is both a positive, as it creates more opportunities for exciting revelations, but also a negative, as players can feel lost and overwhelmed as they try to sort out how everything works.
This guide is meant to streamline the getting started process without revealing any of the games secrets (of which there are an unbelievable amount). The goal is to provide you with the best first-time experience and to help you to avoid the decision paralysis that comes from not wanting to make the wrong choice. By the end of this guide you'll have everything you need start playing Remnant: From The Ashes.
Your Starting Class Doesn't Matter At All
At the end of the tutorial you'll be given the choice between 3 classes and told which weapons and abilities each class can use. These classes are meant to give you a taste of the different archetypes you can build into in Remnant, but you are by no means bound to the class you choose. Early on you'll have access to all of the weapons, gear, and mods (special abilities) that each class starts with. The ONLY difference between the classes is how many points are pre-loaded into your starting traits. This is a minimal difference in the grand scheme of things, and only applies to your first playthough. Don't worry about the starting classes.
The First Items You Get Are Some Of The Best In The Game
Your loadout in Remnant consists of two guns, three armor slots, one neck piece, and two rings. You'll acquire a TON of rings and neck pieces, lots of guns, and a few different armor sets. Feel free to experiment with all the different items you collect, but you'll most likely find that the first items you get will carry you through the entire game. Don't feel like you're not playing correctly if you don't find a good enough reason to swap out your first amulet and rings, and the armor you start with can be upgraded throughout the entire game and has just as much potential as any other armor you might find. As a Soul-like, power increase is more related to stat increase and build synergy, and less about finding better gear.
Don't Horde Consumables And Trait Points
Consumables are meant to be used, period. They are cheap and easily replaced when they run out and they should be used the moment you think you need them, every time. The consumables that remove status effects also provide a 10 minute resistance to the effect, so it's totally OK to use one before, and then several during, difficult encounters. Keep at least 10 of everything on you and re-up every time you go back to town, they will save your life.
Trait points define your build, but don't get to worried about wasting them. During the first run you will unlock new traits regularly, so go ahead and invest in whatever seems good in the moment. My party finished our first run with around 100 trait points each. Before restarting, you'll gain access to an item that lets you fully re-spec, so don't worry about making your perfect build on your first run. Invest in anything you might like just to get a feel for how impactful each trait is.
You Can't 100% The Game On Your First Playthrough
The zones you'll explore in Remnant are hand-crafted sections randomly stitched together. This means that each time you reset your campaign you'll potentially encounter very different things. It's difficult to discuss without spoiling anything, but just try to remember you're going to miss A LOT on your first run, and that's OK! Be thorough in searching each area to find as many items as you can, but keep in mind that you simply won't find everything on your first run.
Don't Bother Building Melee On Your First Run
Of all the ways you can build your character, melee is by far the most particular. This is because you can't really go half-in on melee. You need to really focus on having the traits, mods, and equipment that make melee feasible and unfortunately, you won't have all of them available for the majority of the game. If you really want to build melee, wait until you can respec for your second run so you can really cover all the specialized traits and equipment you need to use to make melee work.
Keep A Set Of Automatic Weapons Leveled For...Reasons
Remnant does a fantastic job of presenting the player with a wide variety of options and letting them decide how they want to approach the game. All of the weapons are usable in one build or another and you have a lot of agency to invest in whichever guns you like the most. EXCEPT, for one particular encounter, late in the game.
I won't give anything away, but it's very important to keep a pair of automatic weapons, such as the assault rifle and sub-machine gun, leveled up as high as possible (preferably level 15). In this encounter, my group of 3 tried every combination of weapons imaginable, unfortunately we found that the only load-out that made the fight even remotely manageable was running assault rifle and sub-machine gun on all three of us. Unfortunately, if you don't keep these weapons leveled you may end up having to retread old areas just to earn enough scrap and crafting materials to level them. Avoid grinding, keep a set of full-auto weapons leveled.
Remnant Is A Lot More Forgiving Than Dark Souls
If you've played Souls-likes before, you'll find a lot of shared DNA in Remnant, fortunately you won't be punished nearly as hard by failing in Remnant. Campfires are everywhere, and they will refill both your health and ammo when you sit by them, as well as give you a chance to teleport back to town. Dying costs you nothing, other than the consumables you've used since your last checkpoint. You'll find enough material to level multiple weapon and armor sets, as well as craft all of the boss guns and mods. Experimenting in Remnant is one of the best parts of the game, so don't be afraid to try something new and get killed, or build a new gun and raise it's level then never use it again. But seriously, keep a set of automatic weapons leveled, I'm not kidding.