Weird West Beginner's Guide Combat Tips

Weird West is a reimagining of the old frontier. In a world full of mysticism and deadly foes, your heroes need to do everything they can to reach the conclusion of their journeys. Here’s our Weird West beginner’s guide to help you with several starter tips for combat and survival.

Note: For more information, check out our Weird West guides and features hub.


Weird West beginner’s guide – Starter tips for combat and survival

Campaign progression

Weird West has five “journeys” (i.e., chapters or acts) where you take control of a specific main character. Each hero is able to recruit certain companions, obtain skills, and undertake sidequests. However, upon completing their main quest, you’ll transition to the next character in the narrative arc. Here are some tidbits that you should be aware of when you’re about to complete a chapter:

  • All unfinished sidequests will end abruptly.
  • Certain generic and unique companions may be recruited, though a few will no longer be around due to circumstances.
  • At the start of each chapter, the next hero will only have their default inventory. However, it’s possible to recruit former main characters down the line. You can then acquire the weapons and items that they had in their inventory. Also, barring a particular instance, you will still retain all unspent skill and perk points (more on these later).

Note: Speaking of progression, there’s a particular NPC that you’d encounter from time to time. You can refer to our Witch at the Crossroads guide for more info.

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Permadeath and healing

When your character dies in Weird West, you’ll have no choice but to reload your previous save. Likewise, if your companions die (even former main characters), they’ll be gone for good due to the permadeath mechanic.

As such, keeping your group in tip-top condition is integral to success. Ideally, you’ll want to use beds to refresh your health points (HP) and action points (AP). But, you can still use an assortment of items and mechanics (i.e., potions, food, water, and the like).

Note: You can learn more in our healing, cooking, and camping guide.

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Buying important items and selling junk

Gold is pretty easy to come by in Weird West. Still, make sure that you’re selling all the junk you don’t need whenever you visit a store (i.e., hold the “G” key). You may also dismantle weapons, which have a chance of providing ammo, but it’s better to just sell them.

The reason why you’ll want more gold is due to certain important items that you’ll want to purchase:

  • Ammo – This is self-explanatory. You’ll want a lot of ammunition for the weapons that you use often. It’s also worth noting that ammo isn’t carried over in succeeding chapters.
  • Lockpicks – Many locations in the game have chests, and you’re bound to find lots of rewards inside. Alternatively, lockpicks are also used on doors or gates.
  • Shovel – You’ll only need one. This is used on the rare occasion that you can dig for treasure. You can learn more in our treasure hunts/secret stashes guide.
  • Pickaxe and Skinning Tools – You’ll only need one of each. The former is used to mine ore deposits and the latter is for skinning animals. You can learn more in our materials and upgrades guide.
  • Rope – This is somewhat handy whenever you find wells that are boarded up. You can lift the boards and drop down to find items below.
  • Bandages – You’ll need a few of these for quick healing.
  • Dynamite – I’ll explain more in a sec.

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Get a horse

Those who pre-purchased Weird West will gain access to Calamity, your own personal horse. You should see a notification once you start the campaign, and you’ll get a letter when you check the Bounty Hunter’s mailbox at her home. Unfortunately, this didn’t work when I was reviewing the game, so I had to keep amassing gold just to buy a new horse every chapter.

In any case, your horse acts as a mobile storage with 32 slots. It also speeds up travel time on the world map, and you’ll have the option to avoid random encounters, too.

Note 1: You may also ride wild/untamed horses when you travel to another location. However, they won’t have extra storage space.

Note 2: Whether you’re using Calamity or a purchased horse, the items in your mount’s stash will still carry over to the next chapters.

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Blowing up stuff with dynamite and barrels

The regular dynamite and cluster dynamite are useful throwable explosives to have. Not only can they annihilate enemies that are bunched up together, but they’re great for destroying rock barriers and obstacles. If you’re exploring a cavern and you see curious-looking rock formations or walls, you can use dynamite or explosive barrels to reveal stuff that might be hidden. Who knows? There might be treasure chests there.

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Finding alternate passageways

By using dynamite, lockpicks, or just your keen eyesight, you might spot ledges and passageways that lead to new areas or vantage points. For instance, you’ll visit a villa during the game’s first act. You won’t be allowed to enter some of the areas here. But, if you look at the back, there are crates that can help you get to the balcony, all while avoiding most of the guards.

Weird West Beginner's Guide Combat Tips 1b

Stealth and silent takedowns

The Ctrl key can be used to crouch. By doing this, you can safely traverse an area without being spotted or heard by hostiles (unless they’re staring straight at you). Once you’re behind a foe, hit the left-click button to knock them out. You can then move their body to a secluded area or sections with tall grass so they aren’t discovered. If corpses or unconscious peeps are seen, then their comrades will run to that location.

Weird West Beginner's Guide Combat Tips 2a

Loitering to change the time and escapades at night

When you press the Escape key, you’ll see the “Loiter” option. This lets you wait, letting the time pass for eight hours in-game. If you switch to nighttime, there are some key tidbits to consider:

  • When you’re in town, most shops and houses will be closed. You can attempt to lockpick doors when no one’s looking, and even steal/pickpocket some loot.
  • In dungeons, some mobs might be asleep as well. You can hit left-click to knock them out.

Weird West Beginner's Guide Combat Tips 2b

Screenshot Mode – aka. Photo Mode

Go to Options -> Controls, and assign a keybind for Screenshot Mode. When pressed, this will disable all HUD elements except for ambient or narrator dialogue so you can take cleaner screenshots without a lot of clutter.

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Bullet Time and fighting several enemies

Weird West only lets you use one weapon of each type (i.e., revolvers, rifles, shotguns, bows, and melee). If you do get spotted, try to swap depending on the foe that you’re facing. For example, larger enemies might have AoE attacks, which means a rifle would be better. Meanwhile, groups that are clustered together can get hit by a single shotgun blast at close range. There are also abilities (i.e., active skills) that are specific to a weapon or character, as well as perks (i.e., passive skills) that confer powerful buffs.

If all hell breaks loose, don’t forget to use the Bullet Time mechanic. You can do this by dodging to the side while aiming a weapon. When time is slowed down, you can line up your shots easily. Just remember that this also uses up a quarter of your AP bar.

Note: For more about combat mechanics, you can refer to our abilities/Nimp Relics guide and perks/Golden Aces of Spades guide.

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Companions, friends for life, and vendettas

Weird West lets you bring a party of three characters (i.e., your main hero for that chapter and two companions). Apart from your posse, you’ll also want to remember the following:

  • Friends for life – These are NPCs that you helped out via sidequests or rescues (i.e., they were imprisoned and you freed them as part of a random encounter). Likewise, companions that have journeyed with you for a time before being dismissed will also count as friends for life. When this occurs, they have a chance of spawning if you’re low on health. It’s essentially a way to even the odds during a firefight.
  • Vendettas – Conversely, vendettas occur when you eliminate a gang leader/wanted bandit or kill several hostiles. It’s possible that one of the mobs will swear vengeance before escaping. Then, they’ll spawn when you least expect it (i.e., in town or as part of a random encounter).

Note: You can learn more in our guides regarding mercenaries/friends for life, unique companions, main character recruitment, and wanted bounties.

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Weird West is available via Steam and the Xbox Game Pass for PC. For more information, check out our guides and features hub.

Jason Rodriguez
Jason Rodriguez writes for various websites under the Enthusiast Gaming umbrella -- Destructoid, Flixist, Daily Esports, PlayStation Enthusiast, and PC Invasion. Jason's Steam library has 1,400+ games at the moment so he definitely has a lot of things to talk about. He's also one of only five games journalists from the Philippines. Just kidding. There are definitely more around, but he doesn't know anyone. Mabuhay!

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