Fallen Earth has a steep learning curve. It's not hard to die a horrible death in Fallen Earth because you simply didn't have even the slightest clue what you were doing. But life doesn't have to be short and brutal in the wasteland. In fact, you can eke out a decent living and make quite a name for yourself. There are a few things you can do to minimize the bewilderment you will face once you emerge from the LifeNet pod for the first time into the unforgiving desolation of the apocalypse. After reading this guide, you are likely to be heard saying things like: "Y'know what? The apocalypse isn't all that bad." and "I wish this place were just a little more dangerous."
Don't be afraid to ask for help. By asking for help I mean asking for advice, not asking for free stuff. Don't be that guy. The Help Channel is helpful, but not always the definitive place for answers. Also, the Help Channel is automatically deactivated once you reach level 5. You have to manually create the channel again if you want to continue to use it. There are also the HazMat team members. They are volunteers that answer the game related questions for you. While they may not always know the answer offhand, they will be able to tell you where to find the answer or find out for you. The Fallen Earth Knowledge Base is also a great resource. You can access it in the in-game browser by typing </support> in the chat bar. There are several great fansites with a lot of helpful information like GlobalTech Atlas and Broken Future.
Join a clan
Perhaps the best advice I can give a new player in Fallen Earth, is to join a clan. Even if you take the first invitation that comes along, or broadcast in Region Chat that you are seeking a clan. Some clans will recruit you immediately, without any kind of screening process. Quitting a clan is as easy as a single click, so don't be afraid to try one out. Not only will the people in clans help you out with advice, but they will usually give you their old gear. Sometimes you can get a new, full set of armor without spending a single chip. Another great thing about a clan is that they are dispersed far and wide. That book you need might just be available in the town one of your clanmates happens to be in. Franklin's Riders will handle the rest.
There are actually clans whose sole purpose is to train new players. One such clan is T.E.M.P.S. (To Ensure More People Stay). If you are having a rough time adjusting to life in the apocalypse contact Benn Dover, Kigz or Esproc in game to join T.E.M.P.S. They are also looking for veteran players to run events in Sector 1.
Slow down and take it easy. Rushing to max level is not a good idea your first time through. Save the race to the top for your alts. Don't be afraid to wander aimlessly. Explore. Find a great scavenging site and save the coordinates. You can save up to 100 custom waypoints in the waypoint menu. Press <ALT and P> to access it. Do every quest in every town in Sector 1. There are a lot of bonus AP (over 100, that's 5 full levels of AP) in Sector 1, and you definitely want them all. Plus, you will learn much about the world of Fallen Earth and the dynamics between the factions in these early missions. Read all of the dialogue, don't just click through it. Most of the time, it's actually pretty interesting, and occasionally there will be some additional information you will need for that quest.
Level a crafter alt with your main. Why not? Rolling a crafter in Fallen Earth is practically a must. By simply maximizing your Intelligence and Perception, you can master every single tradeskill. If your crafter is the same level as your main, he/she will always be able to keep your main equipped with the best possible gear. Typically the level required to craft something will be equivalent to the level required to use it. Crafting will continue while you are traveling, fighting and even while you are offline, so make sure your crafting queue is always full.
Get a horse as soon as possible.
Scavenge everything you see.
Even harvest hides and meat from dead creatures. The meat and hides can be made into more valuable commodities or sold as raw materials.
Remember: You have storage space in your mounts. Use them as mobile storage vaults.
Use a melee weapon whenever possible to save ammo, even if you specialize in pistols or rifles.
Don't be afraid to run away from danger. Your horse (You do have a horse, right?) can outrun any and all enemies. You can outrun any and all enemies with the Dash ability. Dash has saved my life more than once.
The crafting system will seem very convoluted at first, but once you gain some familiarity with it, you'll be putting together state-of-the-art weaponry with just a few clicks. Look for merchants who bear the title "Trainer". These are the people you will buy the skill books from. When you use a skill book, you will learn a Knowledge. Knowledges are sometimes recipes and sometimes abilities (such as harvesting reptiles or pistol-whipping people). The recipes are added to your recipe menu. Each recipe will require a few materials and a length of time to complete the crafted item. Being in the proper facility (i.e. a ballistics workshop while crafting ammo) will result in a 20% bonus to your build time, even while logged out. Yes, crafting continues while you are offline, so try to queue up the maximum number of items (20) before logging out.
At first you may not be sure which direction you want your character to go. That's okay. It isn't important right away. Some important skills like Dodge and Armor Use are going to be part of every build, so dump AP into them. Don't start raising attributes just yet. For now, concentrate on skills. AP can be saved indefinitely, so don't hurry to spend them. Your biggest decision will probably be which type of weapon you want to specialize in. Trying out each weapon type beforehand is a good idea, considering you start with a sample of each type. Figure out which type of weapon you like, and roll with it. There is a character planner on GlobalTech Atlas that will help you envision your future character. It would be wise to use it.
Choosing a faction
New players shouldn't even worry about this. You won't actually choose a faction until you get to Sector 2. If you do choose the wrong faction, changing your faction is as simple as murdering a few hundred or thousand of your friends. Your new faction won't care that you're a complete and utter turncoat. They will welcome you with open arms. There are strange character archetypes that may not occur to you until later, like the Lightbearer rifleman or the Vista melee expert.
Some frequently asked questions:
How do I look at my character from a different angle? Press <ALT> and the right mouse button to rotate the camera with the mouse.
How do I take a screenshot? Press <CTRL and Q>.
Where do I get a horse? Remember the Fallen Earth Knowledge Base? There is a nice step by step tutorial on how to score a horse. If you did the extended tutorial, you should have the Old Nag. Ditch the Old Nag quickly and get a real horse.
How do I dance or use emotes? There is a menu that you can access by clicking the "plus sign" near the chat window. This will open up a menu that contains the tools of the roleplayer's trade, among other things.
How does stealth/hiding work? You will be invisible on the another player's overhead map if your Athletics is higher than than twice their Perception. You gain a bonus to your Athletics if you are crouched, and a further bonus if you are prone. Be advised: they can see you in the game, just not on the radar map. As soon as you attack you will be instantly visible, regardless of anyone's respective skills or attributes. This trick works very well on NPCs too.
Try to learn from your mistakes because you will make them. You know the old saying: "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." Well, we are clones and that which does kill us makes us stronger. See you in the wasteland.