Weird West comes from a new studio, WolfEye, but several of its members are famous for having created and worked on such immersive sim juggernauts as Dishonored and Prey while they were at Arkane. Weird West’s isometric camera may give you a new outlook on the genre, but in many ways, this is the follow-up fans have been waiting for. Ripe for experimenting with its many interlocking systems, Weird West is also prime “how to” material. In this introductory guide, we’ll help you get going with some key tips that should keep you alive in the weirdest of all westerns.

You can find some upgrade stations and services around the world, not just in Grackle

Early on in your first adventure as Jane, you’ll head into the bustling town of Grackle. It’s loaded with shops and services, but many of the important merchants and upgrade stations you need can be found around the world too. Sometimes this will be in areas that are friendly, like a wandering band of salespeople offering new health items and weapons. Other times, you may have to sneak into a hostile area to “borrow” their tanning station to craft new vests (armor), but just understand that when your pockets are full of loot or you need to upgrade your revolver, the sometimes far-off town of Grackle is not your only option.

Prioritize buying a horse early to reduce travel times (and dodge some threats)

One thing you should get early in Grackle, however, is your own horse. Traveling across the open world happens on a map screen, and though this only takes a few seconds for you, it takes several hours–if not days–for the anti-heroes as whom you’ll play. That may leave you vulnerable to roaming bandits, packs of wolves, shrieking wraiths, or any other such horrors. Buying a horse from the stable in Grackle means all traveling is much faster and reduces the likelihood of you running into a random event. Not all random events are bad, but normally you can elect to evade the bad ones, and a horse makes that easier.

While you can steal a horse whenever you see one, this behaves more like a rental. The horse will flee once you arrive at your next destination, leaving you high and dry. Buying your own horse means always having a quick and safer way to travel.

Be thankful for friends, beware of vendettas

The world of Weird West is impressively reactive. One of the ways the game’s cause and effect system reveals itself is in the allies and enemies you make along the way. Save a stranger from certain death? They may become your Friend For Life and arrive in the middle of some future showdown to save your hide.

On the flipside, killing a gang leader may cause one of their cronies to swear vengeance. They’ll try to flee the scene of your bloodbath, and if they’re able to get away, they’ll lie in wait, springing on you at some unknown time in the future, perhaps when you can least afford to be jumped like Quello. While killing a gang leader first can be helpful–some gang members will flee and not plot their revenge–always understand the risk. Some people hold a serious grudge.

Your tools won’t last forever

Weapons can be upgraded, but you need not worry about them degrading. Shovels, skinning tools, and pickaxes, however, break after enough use. You’ll need shovels for digging up treasure (or the bodies holding it), skinning tools to skin hunted animals, and pickaxes to mine rare gems that you can sell to ore buyers in major towns. These are important to have at all times for these reasons, but try to either have an extra or, if you can’t spare a slot, look around your area for extras, ideally before your tools break down. NPCs are liable to leave these tools hanging out in mines, graveyards, or anywhere else about town.

Retrieve your arrows after you shoot them

For those seeking a silent attack, the bow is a great choice. But ammo is always limited in Weird West, which means picking your shots is important. Whether or not you hit your target, you can retrieve your arrows–assuming you can find them. Though it can be tricky to track down your arrows after a shootout, once an area is clear, that’s a great time to dig for rare loot anyway, so you may as well spend a moment trying to find your arrows too.

Apertura Fortissima per Principianti

Buy a deposit box at the Grackle bank to unlock extra inventory slots

You’ll start the game with 48 inventory slots, and there’s plenty of certified “junk” you’ll want to pick up to sell to stores, not to mention all the food to carry, weapons to holster, and passive ability cards to find and hold onto. These things all share your one inventory, so to conserve space, buy a safety deposit box at the bank in Grackle. For $150–or about the price of one completed bounty–you’ll unlock an extra 32 slots. This is more like a personal cache that stays in town, so you can’t access these items while you’re on the road, but it’s great for stashing ores or other valuables for which you have plans but don’t need quite yet.