NEO Scavenger - How to Play
Surviving the wasteland of NEO Scavenger is challenging. No need to you to go in unprepared! The following is a collection of instructions and useful info for surviving your trek. Stay safe, and good luck out there!
Much of the game involves manipulating items in one of the inventory screens. Managing personal items and equipment, choosing abilities and traits, and responding to encounters all use the same mechanics. That's because the game treats all of these things as items.
Slots and Containers
In general, there are two places for an item to be: in a slot, or in a container. Slots are places that one can equip an item. Pants can be installed in the legs slot. Shirts on the torso slot. Backpacks in the backpack slot. For items you would normally wear or equip in other games, they must be installed in a slot in NEO Scavenger.
Items that fit into slots are usually restricted to certain slots. For example, one can only wear pants in the legs slot. The pants cannot be equipped anywhere else. Other items can fit into different types of slots. The rifle with a shoulder strap, for example, can be installed into the hand or a shoulder strap slot. In the hand, it can be used as a weapon, but on the shoulder, it can only be carried.
When moving an item around, slots that accept the current item will light up, and all equipped items will become transparent to help show the available slots.
Some slots may also support more than one item. The torso, for example, allows several shirts and a coat in the same slot. In these cases, the slot has some limit to the number of items that can be simultaneously installed. In the case of the torso, the player can wear a few t-shirts and/or a hospital gown simultaneously, and even put a heavy shirt on over them all. In cases like these, items appear on the body according to their layering rules. "Outer" layered items, like coats, appear on top of "inner" layer items, like t-shirts. And multiple t-shirts, for example, will layer according to the order they were put on.
Containers are what they sound like. Items such as backpacks, plastic bags, and water bottles are all containers. They have a certain amount of space for storing other items inside, and typically change appearance when full vs. empty.
When installed in an appropriate slot, containers show their contents in a grid. Items can be moved around, and added and removed from a container this way. It is also possible to drop items directly onto a container, and the item will find the first available space.
Hands are a special type of slot. There are actually 4 hand slots on the player, 2 hands attached to the body, and 2 unattached ones. The slots that appear attached to the body in the inventory screen represent "worn" slots. These slots are meant for things such as gloves, which belong on the hand but still leave the hands free to hold things.
The other, disembodied hands, are the "hold" slots. Almost any item can be put into these slots. For the player to equip most tools, they must be in one of these "hold" slots. E.g. the binoculars only offer their bonus in these slots, and weapons only impart attack modes when in one of these slots.
The hold slots also offer a way for the player to inspect the contents of containers. Even containers that are too heavy to carry can be put into the "hold" slots, the player will simply be unable to move until dropping them again.
Take/drop item (press 1 to toggle this mode, or double-click on an item). Clicking an item with this cursor will immediately send the item to the first appropriate slot or container the game can find. If used on a stack of items, it will take the whole stack.
This mode is handy for quickly taking or dropping items. Items on the ground will be equipped to a slot if possible, go into the equipped backpack if any, or into one of the open hands, in that order. Items anywhere on the body will go to the ground.
Clicking on an item that cannot find an open space will result in defaulting to "Move item" mode, below.
Move item (press 1 to toggle this mode). Clicking an item with this cursor will pick it up, and the item follows the cursor. Clicking again will drop the item. If used on a stack of items, it will take the whole stack.
The item will be tinted blue if it can be dropped in its current position, and red if it cannot. If the item is dropped while red, it will be returned to its point of origin.
This mode is handy for carefully placing items into tight spots, or into other slots/containers than the default. Using the arrow keys or WASD keys while moving the item rotates it, for more control over fitting it.
Dropping an item onto another item will do one of two things. If the item supports stacking, and there is space left in the stack, the item will add to that stack. If the item underneath is a container, and can fit the item being dropped, then the item will go into the container in the first available space. Finally, if the item underneath is incompatible with the dropped item, they will swap places.
Use/consume item (hold 2 key to use this cursor). Clicking an item with this cursor will immediately use/consume the item, activating its effects. If used on a stack of items, it will only use the topmost item.
This mode is for using items like food and water. In most cases, items will disappear when used, and their effects will be applied to the user. So be careful when using this mode. It's colored yellow to differentiate it from the green modes because it could waste items if not used carefully.
Clicking on an item that cannot be used will result in picking up the item in "Move" mode, above.
Single item modes (hold shift key). Holding the shift key will switch the cursor to single item mode, which only affects the top-most item on stacks, instead of moving whole stacks around.
Clicking this button (or pressing spacebar) will end the player's turn, refreshing their movement points, and advancing time in-game. Creatures will then each take turns moving/attacking. Then the player will be able to move again.
In practice, this button gets used more than any other. Once moves are exhausted, it is necessary to click this button to continue playing. The only reason the game doesn't automatically end the player's turn when moves are exhausted is because the player may still want to equip/unequip or use items before letting other creatures move. This is especially true when a creature is revealed as a result of the player's final move in a turn.
Clicking this button (or pressing the E key) will open up the scavenge screen, showing buildings and areas in this hex that can be scavenged. If the player chooses a location to scavenge, 1 move will be deducted. If the player chooses to cancel scavenging before choosing a location, no moves are deducted.
This button only appears when it is both possible and safe to scavenge. That means the current hex must have available scavenge locations, the player must have at least 1 move remaining, and there must be no creatures in adjacent hexes.
Clicking this button will toggle "hide" mode on the player. When hiding, the button will stay lit. Enabling sneak mode requires 1 move.
With "hide" mode enabled, the player is harder for creatures to see. This means there's a chance they'll ignore the player and move on. It isn't fool-proof, though, and some creatures will still be able to follow your tracks. Hide mode is disabled when the player moves.
|Clicking this button will cause the player to start sleeping. It immediately ends the turn, and the player will continue to sleep for several turns until they are well-rested, or otherwise disturbed. When the player does wake up, both their moves and fatigue are restored.
This button should be used with care. While sleeping, creatures still roam the world. Should a creature find a sleeping player, they can easily kill them. As such, the sleep button is not available when a creature is nearby.
Furthermore, the player cannot choose to wake-up when sleeping. While sleeping, the screen is dark, and the player must simply wait until rested to wake-up. Note that hunger, thirst, and warmth still matter when sleeping too. Be careful not to starve or freeze when sleeping!
Clicking this button will toggle "resting" mode on the player. The player's turn will immediately end, and turns will continue to pass until either the player is fully healed, the player chooses to stop, or a situation arises.
Resting mainly a feature of convenience, as it is no different than continually clicking "End Turn." Time passes, moves are refreshed, creatures move around, and status bars update. It was added mainly to make it more convenient to pass large amounts of time when healing.
The resting button is not available when a creature is nearby.
|Clicking this button will cause the player to start running. When running, movement on the hex map is at half the normal movement cost, so the player can move twice as fast as normal. It uses more fatigue per move, however, and the player's tracks are more visible. Also, the player is limited in the number of moves they can run (designated by a pair of numbers alongside the button).|
|This hex has new items lying on the ground.|
|This hex has items lying on the ground which you've already seen.|
|This hex has one or more areas that can be scavenged for more items.|
|Player or a monster has recently been in this hex.|
|Player or a monster was in this hex a while ago.|
|This hex has a campsite the player used or into which they put items.|