Rise of the Tomb Raider isn’t your typical action/adventure game. The fluid mix of puzzle solving, gun play, looting and crafting makes for a unique experience that’s hard to find elsewhere. While we’re always open to new and unique experiences, that also means it can be difficult for the average player to get a grasp on the best way to play. Fear not, we’re here to provide you with some quick and easy tips to make sure Lara Croft avoids those disturbing death animations as much as possible.

Loot Everything

The first rule of tomb raiding is to loot everything in sight. In Rise of the Tomb Raider that goes for traversing through the wilderness, fighting inside Soviet installations and raiding tombs. You should be using Survival Instinct frequently to make sure you don’t miss any loot, whether its item boxes, wooden from trees, or loot hidden in the ground.

In the midst of battle you won’t have time to pick up loot for crafting or healing, so it’s important to make sure you have everything you need before a battle begins. Even if you’re just raiding a tomb, you never know what kind of wild beasts you may find inside. You also can’t rely on stepping outside and finding everything you need. Mushrooms are important for poison cloud arrows, but there’s found almost exclusively in caves. If you don’t have a good stock going into a battle, you won’t be able to use that weapon for long.

Craft Everything

While it’s important to loot as often as possible, that’s only half the equation. You need to be crafting and using your looted items frequently. Lara has a limited amount of space for each item you can loot. Once you hit the maximum allotment for a specific item, you need to use it so you can continue to loot that item. You don’t want to pass up loot because you can’t carry any more of that item. You may not have a chance to go back when it’s convenient.

You need to have a nice balance between hording and using your loot for crafting. Herbs are used for healing, so you want to keep those on you at all times. However, depending on which difficulty you’re playing on, Lara will heal over time as long as you don’t take additional damage. In this situation try to save your herbs for times when you really need them.

On the other hand, salvage is used to upgrade your weaponry and equipment. You never want to have the maximum allotment of salvage because you should always be using it. You don’t need to use it all at once, but if you have 50 items of salvage, you should use at least 10 or 20 so that you have room to collect more salvage as you come across it. There’s almost always something to upgrade or craft with salvage, so you’re only hurting yourself by not using it.

Always Look Down

While tombs are laden with traps that can be difficult to spot if you’re not looking closely at the ground, this advice holds true in the wilderness and during fire fights as well. In the wilderness it’s important to pay attention to the ground so you can spot hidden loot and locate looting sources without having to activate Survival Instinct all the time. In a fire fight there are often times bottles and cans on the ground that can be used as grenades and Molotov Cocktails once you have the right set of skills. Save your ammunition and use these items to defeat enemies.

There’s Always a Path

In almost every circumstance in Rise of the Tomb Raider, if you see a location you can travel to it. If you see a cave in the distance, chances are you can head over to the cave and enter. If Survival Instinct highlights a section of the floor, there’s a way to get under there. You may not have the necessary tools to access every location in the game, but there’s almost always a way in. If you’re lacking tools, make note of the location so you can come back to it once you have the necessary tools.

Skill Points

You gain skill points as you level up. You level up by killing enemies, examining objects, learning languages and discovering new locations. You can only use your skill points at camp fire locations throughout the game. It’s important to stop at every camp fire not only to create a fast travel point, but also to use skill points and upgrade your equipment and weaponry.

While some skills are better than others, how you play the game will impact which skills are more important to you. If you favor a certain weapon, you should upgrade that weapon before your other weapons. Likewise, if you don’t use the pistol much you don’t need to worry about the skills that improve your pistol (Pistol Expert).

Keep in mind you need to use your skill points to unlock more advanced skills, so if you want a level three skill that’s locked, you may need to pick up a few level one or two skills to even have access to the level three skill you desire. You may not need that level one or level two skill, but it’s a means to an end so you can unlock the skill you actually want.

As you work your way through Rise of the Tomb Raider, check out our in-depth walkthrough, or if you just need a few relics you can find them in our relic locations guide.