Open Country

Open Country is a fun albeit low-budget survival title. In it, you play as an everyday guy or gal who is fed up with the hustle and bustle of city life, so they decide to move to the country. You have an RV, which you will use to travel between the various open-world maps, and you also have access to Snowridge Lodge, which serves as a mission hub and trading post.

While Open Country offers a decent tutorial, there are plenty of things that I don’t think are immediately evident or intuitive. I thought I would put together some tips that might help you during your opening hours out in the bush.

Make use of your RV

Open Country - RV

Your RV is more than just a vehicle to take you from place to place. Although it does serve as a fast-travel option between campsites (and even to friggin’ Gary’s lodge), it’s also where you can catch some Z’s to fill up your stamina gauge, change your attire (if you have purchased additional clothing), and store items from your backpack so you can go back out to collect more pelts, meat, or whatever else might catch you eye. You can even clean your weapons here and choose your arsenal.

The RV is equipped with a fridge too, so any food items that you store aboard stay fresh much longer than if they were in your backpack.

Save often

Open Country - Tent

As is the case with most survival games, things can go south fast. Whether it be because you can’t find those darn branches in order to cook your meat, because you get surprise attacked by a bear, or because the game just flat-out crashes (as it’s known to do), you never know when you might be in jeopardy of losing precious progress. So save often and keep multiple saves.

Open Country does have an autosave feature of sorts, but we all know autosaves tend to come at the worst possible times. You don’t want to lose a bunch of progress because you find your last autosave left you struck on the wrong side of a bad situation.

And if that happens, my friend, you are S.O.L. You should have hard saved.

Buy the Large Water Flask

Open Country - Large Water Flask

Your flask starts with three thirst-quenching slots, but this can be upgraded to a soaking-wet five if you buy the Large Water Flask. Nancy Dean is selling it for 250 bucks at Snowridge Lodge, and it’s well worth the price. Note that once you purchase the Large Water Flask, your original flask will end up in your backpack. You can equip either one by selecting it from your inventory, with the other stored in your backpack, and you can swap between them at any time. This will end up increasing your potential water storage to eight slots.

You’ll want to make this upgrade as soon as you can. Water is the nectar of life, and your water gauge can drain pretty quickly, especially if you haven’t upgraded the appropriate perks (more on that later).

You will also need one serving of fresh water to craft some health-related remedies, so you could burn through the contents of your flask pretty quickly. Luckily, you can get fresh water at any river in the game. As long as the water is moving (as opposed to still, like in a lake or pond), you can safely drink it. I always take a swig to replenish my gauge before refilling my flask to maximize my hydration.

You can get dirty water from any stagnant body of water, but you’ll need to boil it before you drink it to avoid parasites. You can boil water at a campfire, but you must first add the Camp Fire Grill upgrade (which requires three sticks).

Save those berries and branches

Open Country - Branch

Pick berries and collect branches as often as possible. For one, berries will replenish a decent amount of your hunger gauge, as well as a smaller amount of your thirst gauge. And they also go for a decent amount at the trading post if you should be so inclined to sell any (which I recommend, since items are pretty expensive in Open Country — more on that later).

Additionally, despite the fact that this is a survival game, you cannot chop down trees or break down logs to obtain branches. Oddly enough, branches can only be picked up off the ground — even though there are plenty of trees as far as the eye can see, branches are apparently an endangered species in Open Country. You need them to craft a decent amount of items, from shelters to basic tinder, and you’ll also need branches to cook your food.

Buy the tent as soon as possible

Open Country - Tent Bag

Not having to worry about finding the requisite material to build a camp when you need one is a quality-of-life improvement that cannot be overlooked. Not only do you no longer have to worry about finding additional resources, having a tent also frees up precious backpack space for things like more pelts and berries. You will still need branches and logs for a campfire to cook with, but having the tent is great if you just need a quick save point or to rest to replenish your stamina gauge.

There is also a sleeping bag, which also lets you sleep and save, but it offers less protection from the elements.

You can buy both of these from Nancy Dean at Snowridge Lodge. The tent costs 500 bucks, while the sleeping bag costs 350.

With that said…

Don’t worry about buying knives and hatchets

Open Country - Knife

You need a knife and a hatchet to craft most items in the game, and both knives and hatchets will break after a specific amount of use. This means it’s tempting to buy them when you check in at Snowridge Lodge. Don’t make the purchase, though. You can actually get by with crafting a stone version of each. You will need a knife to craft a stone axe and vice versa, but as long as you have one you will be able to make the other.

Only buy what you absolutely need

Open Country - Canned Vegetables

Things are really expensive in Open Country. I mean, $30 for one can of mixed vegetables? That’s highway robbery!

You should only ever buy things you need, until you can eventually afford things you want. Go ahead and buy the shotgun (I believe you need to for an earlier mission anyway), but buying food is a waste of money since you can always find food in the wild. And canned food doesn’t really give you that much of a boost to your hunger gauge, so it’s best to just ignore it (though it can be used in cooking recipes).

The same goes for most health items. Although the proper store-bought versions offer some better benefits to your stats, you should mostly be able to get buy without purchasing health items. For example, you shouldn’t ever need the digestive remedy as long as you don’t eat uncooked or spoiled meat and don’t drink dirty water.

You will need bandages, though, so you should keep at least two on hand at all times.

Do the story missions

Open Country - Gary

Some of the story missions in Open Country can be pretty simple. However, some do require you to traverse long distances, which will give you time to be alone with nature. You don’t need to feel like you will be missing out on the open-world survival experience if you’re simply following the mission bread trails.

The nice thing about completing a mission is that you get cash and a decent amount of Skill Tokens, regardless of how long and hard (or short and easy) the mission was. You will also need to progress through a good amount of the missions to unlock some of the game’s features, like the dog companion and ATV. You’ll also learn how to fish, which is not as intuitive as you might expect.

Plus, completing story missions is a good way to see various parts of each map without just wandering around aimlessly. Of course, if wandering around aimlessly is your thing, go for it. Just know you won’t have access to some of the features, nor will you get to spend quality time listening to Gary.

Spend your Skill Tokens wisely

Open Country - Skill Points

When you complete story missions, you earn XP and Skill Tokens. Skill Tokens can be spent purchasing various perks that will make your game easier and/or more convenient. To spend your Skill Tokens, go to the Skills section of the game menu.

In the early hours of Open Country, you should focus less on combat perks and more on survival perks. Reducing gauge depletion for stamina, hunger, and thirst should be your top priority, as the slower these drain the less you’ll need to manage them, which means you can spend more time focused on taming the wild. You’ll also want to go for the perks that give you a bigger boost to those gauges, which let you fill up those meters with fewer resources.

If you don’t yet have the tent (which I suggested earlier, so you should have the tent) and are still reliant on crafting your own shelters, definitely invest some points into the perk that makes shelters and fire pits degrade more slowly.

Feed and pet your dog to level him up

Open Country - Dog

Although I find Bob to be more nuisance than trusty companion, at the end of the day he is still my only companion in the bush. That being the case, it is my responsibility to care for him, even though his favorite snack costs $150 per biscuit. By feeding him meat and petting him, the bond you share will strengthen.

I can’t really say how deep or beneficial that bond can grow. He does alert you to the presence of predators, even if he then vanishes at the sight of them instead of standing his ground with you.

Still, love Bob, and Bob will love you back.

Conclusion

Open Country - Moon

So there you go. Hopefully these tips will help you get through the early portion of Open Country.

If you can Ignore the rough edges — and, make no mistake, Open Country has some rough edges — there is a really fun, sort-of-challenging survival game here. The graphics can be jagged and distracting, the controls can be a bit finnicky (with multiple inputs just not responding at times), and you’ll have to put up with everything from framerate hitches to plain-old run-of-the-mill game crashes.

But I have already spent over a dozen hours with Open Country, and I don’t plan on putting it down anytime soon. In fact, if FUN Labs can knuckle down and focus on that core gameplay, squashing bugs and refining what works, well baby, they could really have a stew going.

Open Country - Carl Weathers
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
7 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Kyle S Gish
Kyle S Gish
1 month ago

I just downloaded last night for the Xbox one. I read about the issues and glitches. I paid $14.99 which I could have wasted at McDonalds. But, how do you actually save the game? I couldn’t find a save anywhere and had to start over again. Thankfully I didn’t play that long.

Josh Wirtanen
Admin
1 month ago
Reply to  Kyle S Gish

Thanks for the comment!

You have to build a camp in order to manually save. Note that camps will deteriorate unless you cover them with a tarp. You can also use a tent or a sleeping bag if you purchase them from the trader.

Otherwise, there are autosaves, but they seem to happen at super random times, sometimes really far apart from each other.

Jon
Jon
1 month ago

Is the tent supposed to disappear after so many uses…because mine seems to do so…

Henry
Henry
8 days ago

Why won’t it let me use the rifle

7
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x