Your first steps into the Wasteland will be the most dangerous, but we’re here to help. Read on!
An Introduction to Wasteland
The year is 2087. Almost one hundred years have passed since a devastating nuclear event blanketed the Earth in radiation. All that remains now are the scattered dregs of society, trying to survive however they can. Some semblance of society persists, but it’s not as it was.
In Wasteland Remastered you’ll direct the actions of the Desert Rangers, a squad of peacekeepers sent to investigate a series of disturbances that have been affecting the camps and townships in the vicinity of your base of operations in what was the Southwestern United States.
The original Wasteland was released in 1988 to critical acclaim and stands as one of the most respected forebears of the RPG genre. Choice and consequence are the keystones of this experience. Innocuous decisions in your conversations will come to bear in significant ways throughout your travels. What characters you choose to accompany you, how you equip your team, and how you engage with the characters and creatures in the world, will all influence your overall chances of survival.
We won’t sugar-coat it: Wasteland was made to be as punishing as life in the post-apocalypse would be. Thankfully, the in-game manual (Y button on the controller or by pressing H on your keyboard when viewing a character pane) will help illuminate the game mechanics and provide some insight about the more nuanced details of the gameplay.
This guide will be your key to survival, we heartily suggest that you put it to good use.
The Adventure Begins
When you first set out from Ranger Center, you’re afforded a squad of capable Rangers who have the attributes and skills that will offer you a chance at success in your campaign. That said, these Rangers have no special abilities or extreme skills that set them apart from anyone else you might come across in your travels. At this point, the decision to continue with this premade team, or to trade them out in favor of your own custom squad will be a determining factor in how difficult this unforgiving world will be.
If a premade Ranger is dismissed, you can recruit a fresh character, whose base stats can be re-rolled. If you’ve opted to create your own custom character, we encourage you to continue to roll the stats to see how they can be distributed into the different categories.
Each character is primarily defined by the attributes noted below, but how your characters are equipped and how you use each character will ultimately determine how well they perform. The breakdown of each character attribute is as follows:
- Strength (ST): The ability to overpower enemies or to lift, move, and break items. This is important in hand-to-hand combat and in physical tasks such as breaking down doors.
- Intelligence (IQ): How well a character thinks and solves problems. An important attribute as it determines which skills and how many of them a character can master. Characters start with skill points equal to their IQ. During the game you’ll definitely want to raise your IQ.
- Luck (LK): Lucky characters tend to find more things and avoid more damage than the unlucky ones. Luck also improves your odds in hand-to-hand combat.
- Speed (SP): How quickly you move, which helps you escape tight situations.
- Agility (AGL): How deftly you move. High agility enhances your acrobatic ability, so you can do things like dodge blows and jump on tables. The higher this value, the better you’ll perform in hand-to-hand combat.
- Dexterity (DEX): Ability to master fine movements like picking locks or aiming weapons. Dexterity is very important in combat, and extremely useful in mastering the “thiefly” arts.
- Charisma (CHR): This attribute lets you know how likable or persuasive a character is. Although it may seem like a trivial trait, it might well make the difference between life and death as you try to convince someone that you’re trustworthy. Charisma also affects how an NPC will react to you when you want to hire them or trade equipment.
As stated above, the total Intelligence that a character has determines what skills they will have access to. Because of this, you might reroll a character until you have a maximum (or as close to 18) IQ points before deciding what roles they’ll fulfill, and what skills they will be assigned. From the manual: “When you first create a character, this value is identical to IQ. The more skill points you have, the more skills you can learn. You can acquire more skill points during the game.”
It’s important to note that some skills are beneficial to have on more than one character. For example, since multiple team members may be critically wounded during combat, the Medic skill is one that more than one Ranger should have. Additionally, since freshly created characters start with pistols, investing at least a point in Clip Pistol per character is a good way to make sure that your Rangers have a decent chance of success with that weapon type early on.
Hint: Be on the lookout for a library; characters that have earned promotions can apply attribute points wherever they are in the world, but they will only be able to learn the new skills they have access to at a library.
The entirety of the skills available to characters with the appropriate IQ level includes Brawling, Climb, Clip Pistol, Knife Fighting, Pugilism, Rifle, Swim, Knife Throwing, Perception, Assault Rifle, AT (Anti-Tank) Weapon, SMG (Submachine Gun), Acrobat, Gamble, Picklock, Silent Movement, Confidence, Sleight of Hand, Demolitions, Forgery, Alarm Disarm, Bureaucracy, Bomb Disarm, Medic, Safecrack, Cryptology, and Metallurgy.
For a detailed description of each skill, please consult the in-game manual (accessible from a Ranger’s character pane and selecting the Help tab). To bring up a Ranger’s character pane, hold RT and move the left stick to select a character and then press A. If you’re playing on PC, select the numerical key that corresponds to the Ranger in your character list.
It’ll take dedication and the courage to survive if you are to see your mission through, so be creative and be bold in your choices. If the going gets too rough, you might seek the experience of the Rangers who have gone before you, whose walkthroughs and guides are easily obtained online. There’s also the fan-run Discord channel where you’ll be able to ask questions and get assistance from other experienced Rangers: https://discord.gg/rH6QxAv
Hint: Save often, and to different save files! A backup save file can mean all the difference between a quick re-load and having to restart your mission from scratch.
Hint: As time passes, your party’s health will recover for all members not critically injured. Pressing the ESC key will allow time to pass at an increased pace. You can also instruct your party to camp (R3) which will pass hours by, potentially allowing much more health to be regained faster. Be warned though, camping in exposed areas puts your group at risk of being ambushed by lurking enemies!
Setting Out on the Wasteland
Armed with your squad of Rangers, consult your journal (View button on your controller or by pressing F2 if you’re playing on PC) to track the initial set of missions that have been assigned to you by your commanding officer, General Surgrue.
- Investigate Highpool: You’ve been ordered to investigate disturbances at Highpool, a community to the west of Ranger Center. Go there, find out what’s going on, and fix it.
- Investigate Rail Nomads: A community to the north west of Ranger Center.
- Investigate AG Center: West of Ranger Center; go there, find out what’s going on, and resolve the problem.
The resources and experience of your starting group are both limited, so be careful not to take on more than you can deal with too quickly. Early on into the game, smart management of your supplies, and where to focus your team’s attention are important factors to consider.
Hint: Use your radio (RB on controller or press R on your keyboard) to report in and check back with Ranger Center to see which, if any, Rangers have earned promotions during missions. Each promotion earned allows experienced Rangers to assign new attribute points. There is no penalty for checking back with base, so use your radio regularly to make sure your team is appropriately recognized for their efforts in the field.
The Remastered Experience
Wasteland Remastered features the iconic gameplay of the original turn-based RPG, with new graphics and overhauled audio. If you’ve played the original Wasteland, you’ll notice that some of that sound design has been carried over, though it has been further enhanced with character voice overs and narration which punctuate the major beats in the game. The original game’s paragraph book has been brought in-game, and the previously pixelated world of the original Wasteland game has been 3D-ified, which further help to make the classic environments pop. Additionally, character and creature portraits have been repainted and animated in a style that respects the original designs.
The End Has Just Begun
2020 is shaping up to be the most significant year for the Wasteland series yet, and we’re proud to bring this remastered version of our original classic to you. We sincerely hope you enjoy it, and that you’ll continue your adventure with us as the saga of the Rangers advances towards Colorado later this year.
Wasteland Remastered is available now for Xbox One and Windows 10 PC with Xbox Game Pass and on Steam and GOG. And get ready for Wasteland 3 coming to Windows 10 PC and Xbox One on May 19. Pre-orders are available now on the Microsoft Store.