Some tips how you can play the game with insane diffulty. I describe a stealth approach here.
When playing on insane you need a completely different approach to the game than say playing medium difficulty. An attacking chernohost will probably easy kill you in the first days, for instance. Healing health and psyche costs resources and its very difficult (or nearly impossible) to finish a gun battle against 3 or more soldiers without taking damage. Therefore I use stealth tactics, avoiding loud battles wherever I can. The training concentrates at perks which supports this approach.
Having companions in your team means that you have to give them food regularly and you have to build beds for their comfort. You should limit the number of companions in you team to spare resources. You can release them or let them die. They will be back in your team after a travel through the time tunnel. (After release the game will have multiple endings. I do not know yet, if your decision to let them die has an influences to the end of the game (or the Heist mission)).
Building a base can be fun. But at the other side it takes resources. By concentrating on building only the necessary (or very helpful) items you can spare a lot of resources, and so you need less days until you can start the Heist.
I devide the game (until the Heist) into three phases. In each phase there are some goals to achieve to progress to the next phase. This is no strict separation, it’s just to get a feeling of the flow of the game and the changing difficulties. I give some tips how you can achieve these goals.
The storm delay rapidly decreases down to only 5 minutes. It’s (nearly) impossible to finish a mission in that time. If this storm delay has decreased to 5 minutes it will not further decrease anymore. You can build Chernobylite Neutralizers to increase it, and even if these devices are not visible anymore the storm delay will keep its level. (For hard difficulty 40 minutes is the maximum. I don’t know the maximum for insane, but with 30 minutes you can easily play any mission.)
Radiation works very strange at the moment, I hope this will be changed by the game developers. Only the level of radiation matters. 30-45 mS irradiate you by about one third of you total health points. It doesn’t matter how long or how often you stay or enter an area with this radiation. Higher radiation I have only seen at the very borders of a map to really stop players to go any further.
The monsters activity works different. It’s getting worse over time. So from time to time you have to build a Wormhole Blocker to keep this at a level you are comfortable with.
Fighting. I only use one gun: an upgraded shotgun, because of its damage. You can get it at the factory building in Moscow eye. In the same room is a calibration station. You need lock picks there. There is a locksmith in the zone and sooner or later you will meet him. You can save his lock picks for that factory building.
I only use my shotgun if being attacked by a shadow or chernohost, or if I have to survive an unavoidable fight against soldiers. Against heavy armored soldiers you can also use a landmine. Place this on their patrolling route (you have to be some meters away so that cannot your attempt to build it). Then make some noice, either by jumping around or by also placing fireworks. This costs some resources but all nearby soldiers hear that noice and come to take a look. If you get lucky you kill 3-4 soldiers with just one landmine.
Social points. You get XP for killing / stealth takedown, collecting resources in the zone, looting bodys, finishing quest and events, building tools, crafting/recycling items, running ariadna simulations. You should try to get as much XP as you can if you plan to train with your companions. If your inventory is full, drop items to be able to loot a body or to collect new resources. Sometimes these dropped item are still there on the next days. Run ariadna simulations as soon as you can. Its even possible to craft ammunition and recycle it to get XP. It’s not much, but sometimes it can help you to get just the required level for the next training.
- Adjust the environment in the zone to have time for your missions.
- Training by Olivier: Stunning (Now you can do stealth takedown without affecting your psyche.)
Items in the refuge:
- A work table and a laser cutting machine are required for the items needed at the beginning.
- Wait with a bed until you want to continue with a Olivier.
- 2 vegetable gardens. (Used for your own. Food is rare in the zone and you don’t always have the time to search it.)
- Power supply, air quality as needed (it’s better to build these items before building items that need them.)
- You don’t need power for the laser cutting machine itself. You can build items like the garden without proper power supply for the laser cutting maching which is required to build a garden.
- Increase the storm delay. It drops to a minimum if 5. Then there are no further drops, but it can be increased. 15 minutes should do for now.
- Don’t be afraid of radiation. Only the level of radiation matters. 30-45 mS irradiate you by about one third of your total health points. But it does not matter how long or how ofter you stay in this radiation. You should also avoid healing radiation to spend resources. But that means that most of the time you will actually play with 4-5 health points in the beginning.
- Lock for food, mushrooms, herbs. I like Pripyat port for the beginning. The drop zones for supply/food and so on are not heavily guarded. You can find resources right at the spawning points.
- Avoid every fight. The revolver is too bad for Chernohosts. Even avoid stealth takedowns of soldiers. The drops of psyche becomes a heavy burdon. Wait for the Stunning training with Olivier.
- Try to escape (or run away) as soon as an fight with soldiers starts. If a chernohost attacks you: escape immediatly.
- Don’t care about Olivier. No bed, no food. If he dies/leaves he will be back after you go into the time tunnel. You might even release him from the team after day 1. If Olivier is injured he wants a medipack before you can talk to him and release him. Don’t waste your medipack here. It’s unsocial , I know, but you cannot play this game with 100% morale 🙂
- Keep an eye on the day counter. On day 10 you will die automatically (if not died before). This means you also got healed at this time. There is no need to heal you in the afternoon of day 9. You also get Olivier back in your team. You should already have enough points for Stunning training. (Not in all my games the reactor blew up in morning of day 10. I don’t know why…)
- Further increase the storm delay to about 30 minutes, it will not drop anymore. Now you have enough time, even if you sometimes have to wait for a fight to be finished.
- Trainings by Olivier: Stealth and Perfect Stealth.
- Get Tarakan and train 2x Software Upgrade. (If you must invite Mikhail/Sashko in your team before: do so, and release them. They will be joining the team automatically by entering the time tunnel later.)
- Find and upgrade your shotgun.
- Food: 2 vegeatable gardens are still enough. You should already have a small reserve of food. You don’t have to produce all the food in the base. But keep an eye of your amount of food. If you constantly consume more than produced/found then you should build more gardens.
- Industrial grinder
- Weapon cabinet (or any other stash) to store items like weapons/armors that you can give to companions later (or to save them before going on a mission to die.)
- Armor: I like the industrial furnace to build a tactical armor. Ceramic plates are not expensiv, 6 armor points are fine.
- Keep monsters activity with wormhole blockers at a decent level. For me 10 is good value.
- Start playing story missions.
- Radiation in the zone still can be ignored.
- Look for the Locksmith. In the fabric building in Moscow eye you can find a shotgun and a calibration station in the same room. Upgrade the shotgun for damage and range. (I usually play with this weapon only.)
- All remaining quests.
- Get ready for the Heist!
- Build 4 more beds and maybe some vegeatable gardens.
- Enter the time tunnel in any way, get all companions back and adjust some decisions (You probably played the game several times before and do not need to change any decision.)
- To support fighting, surviving: Sashko: Reflex, Olga: Discipline, Tarakan: Camouflage
- To be faster on building beds / gardens: Tarakan: 2 x Saving, Mikhail: 2 x Gathering
- No more tips 🙂 The game is easy now.