Probably, you have finished the game on one of the easier modes, and want to go ahead on Survivor difficulty. Here are some tips about what was different in Survivor vs. Adventurer mode.
XP and Skills
I found a different XP - Skills strategy is needed for Survivor mode. For adventurer, I almost didn't care about the Brawler tree. However, for survivor, this is a priority for progress, both for faster healing and faster killing.
Chaining headshots and stealth kills is important to advance fast with XP. The silencer for the rifle or pistol is a great advantage.
I recommend these four tombs to upgrade your skills for better progress. The other five, you can save for later.
1. Ice Ship, Location: Glacial Cavern. Reward: Ancient Abilities. Quickly shoot up to two successive arrows without the delay of redrawing from the quiver.
2. Voice of God, Location: Soviet Installation. Reward: Inner Strength. If critical injuries are sustained in battle (indicated by the screen turning grey) health will be automatically restored. This instant regeneration of health will occur only one time per combat encounter and will refresh between encounters.
3. House of the Afflicted, Location: Geothermal Valley. Reward: Fast Healer. Bandage wounds more quickly when healing.
4. Chamber of Exorcism, Location: The Lost City. Reward: Greek Fire. Fire arrows and Molotov Cocktails do more damage, even through armour.
Useful for higher tier weapon upgrades, like to unlock higher damage of the Tactical Rifle, but I found the Bolt Action Rifle better for Survivor, so I didn't bother:
- The Pit of Judgement, Location: Geothermal Valley. Reward: Geologist. Gain the ability to mine Chromite Ore.
- Most of the time, there was no time or chance to fire at enemies twice, or to aim precisely. The Bolt Action Rifle, the Compound Bow , and the Revolver could take enemies down for the first try, also with a less correct aiming. As they already do high damage, I found it was good to spend resources in upgrading rate of fire and reload speed of these heavy damage weapons. I would upgrade the rifle in this order: Rifle Suppressor (Gulag Recon mission in Soviet Installation), Grenade launcher, Laser Sight. The Grenade Launcher is mainly useful to gain time in battle, as often there is no time to switch to the bow and back to fire an explosive or poison arrow.
- Also, while poison arrows were more for fun in Adventurer mode, in Survivor mode, I found I must use them strategically to take down 3-4 enemies in a group. Taking them down one by one, as I did in Adventurer mode, was simply not possible anymore. An often effective strategy is to alert unaware enemies with a pistol shot first, run away, wait for them to come in a group, and turn back and take all of them out with one or two poison arrows. Alternatively, the grenade and explosive arrows can take out a close group at one shot if you run out of poison arrows.
- For double and triple shot with the arrow (after earning the skills):
1. press and hold L2 to activate the bow,
2. press R3 to zoom in, press R2 and target the head and keep it pressed until the rectangle appears, then
3. still keep R2 pressed and use R3 to target the second or third head, and finally
4. release R2 to shoot.
The double/triple shot also works when hunting, and aiming at the heart of the deer and pigs in group.
- You will need to hunt bears to upgrade ammo capacity. The easiest way to hunt a bear is alternating a poison arrow and a fully loaded Compound Bow shot. With a fully charged compound bow 3-4 shots are enough, the other bows need 9-10 shots. Simply alternate between two bear locations with fast travel to hunt enough bears quickly.
I found these three outfits helped a lot, to change strategically at campfire before hunting or a battle scene:
Sparrowhawk - BONUS: Non-predatory animals scare less easily, making them easier prey. Great for hunting faster, however needs to be swapped before a battle begins.
Siberian Ranger - BONUS: Increased carrying capacity for all special ammunition. Great for battle in general (except against deathless warriors), as more poison arrows can be carried, which is effective against any type of enemy.
Immortal Guardian - BONUS: Reduces damage from Greek fire. Great for fighting the deathless warriors who shoot fire arrows with Greek fire.
I used less, but also good for battle:
Pioneer - BONUS: Increased melee damage.
Wraithskin - BONUS: Increases the duration of your poison arrow cloud.
Trophy guides for inspiration
Some of the trophy guides have solutions for progressing when enemies are in group, or difficult to take down. I found these useful:
- Laying Down the Law (Kill 6 enemies with the Revolver without reloading)
- Chemical Warfare (Kill 5 enemies with one Poison Arrow)
- Firestarter (Defeat 2 enemies or more using a single Molotov Cocktail)
- Bar Brawl (Melee kill an enemy using a bottle)
- Fearless (Defeat a Deathless Swordsman using only melee attacks and a finisher)
The Last Scene
The only tricky scene in Survivor mode was the last battle, after the point of no return. I recommend to make a duplicate save slot before you start the last part, so in case you want to change weapons, you can go back. Also, pay attention to fully up your ammo of poison arrows, grenades, explosive arrows, shotgun ammo before starting this chapter. Otherwise, you are stuck with the weapon selection, ammo status and outfit you have started with. Also, I found useful for this chapter to master the skills that enable to take down the deathless warriors from above with the knife in stealth mode.
In the end, I didn't find Survivor mode "super" difficult and in fact, it was much more fun. So, if you haven't started yet, I would recommend to go ahead and play on survivor mode for the first time.