This guide is of some of the Secrets & Exploits of game. This guide contains spoilers.
- Secrets and Exploits Guide
Secrets and Exploits Guide
I played the original heavily growing up. This guide is based on Secrets & Exploits from my memory of the original – so there is no guarantee they are the same or present in the Remaster.
Secret #1: Fight the Red Ryder!
Important: For this Secret, I recommend starting a new game and using the starter party – no need to roll up a new party. This is for a couple reasons: this can be done at the very beginning of the game with the starting party and it has irreversible effects – you’re going to want to start over after doing this anyway.
Leave the Ranger HQ and head right over to Highpool, which is to the west north west of the Ranger HQ.
Head south through Highpool and jump in the creek, and keep moving up and down in the creek until you slip and fall. As soon as you do, an NPC will spawn nearby: a brat who had the audacity to laugh at you. Teach this brat to respect his elders by putting a 9mm bullet through his brain pan (you bastard!)
After killing the brat, loot his corpse, and a couple more brats will spawn. Murder them and loot their corpses as well.
Now return to the creek and continue moving up and down until you slip again, spawning some more brats that laugh at you. They sure don’t learn their lesson do they? Murder and loot these brats. A couple more brats will spawn right after looting this new set of brats. You’re just a mean spirited child murderer aren’t you? Well don’t quit here – kill these brats as well. Loot them.
After all that murdering, a Chubby Kid will tell you to pick on someone your own size. You’re kind of small minded for shooting some brats that laughed at ya, so you’re not really picking on someone smaller than you, right? Right! Teach this chubby kid some manners as well. Loot his corpse as well.
At this point the Red Ryder has a few choice words for you and your pack of jackals, but reason went screaming into the night several brats ago. Do what you do best. Murder the poor sad bastard. Or at least try to (he packs a wallop – while doing the screenshots for this, his first attack Critically wounded Snake Vargas).
You get the “High and Dry” achievement for defeating the Red Ryder.
After murdering their protector and looting his corpse, poor Highpool becomes a ghost town – even once green land dies. You can’t enter any of the buildings anymore. Congratulations, you killed the poor town.
Even the pond dried up. As this place is one of the best places to sell non-combat gear, and also has thee cheapest doctor for healing in the game, it’s not exactly wise to leave the town dead like this. Which is why I recommended doing this with a new game of the starting party. Go ahead and start over, and roll up a proper party this time around.
Secret #2: Matches? Who knew?
I’ve been playing this game for the longest time and always thought Matches were a useless item to be sold off. Apparently they have 2 uses in the game: Highpool cave & Farm cave. I was unable to get the Farm cave work – might have done something wrong, but I was able to get the Highpool cave to work as described below.
Head on over to Highpool.
Head south along the western wall until you come to two trees with a space in between and a chopped down stump to the right. Use your Perception skill in this spot. You will noticed a broken / short frayed rope attached to a tree limb and a cave entrance.
Use a Rope in this spot, and enter the cave.
Before moving in the cave entrance, immediately use a Match in the space you are in. You should see an spark animation effect go off if you were successful.
Now head east and then north to some rocks you can climb over. Then east and north until you run into Bobbie’s dog. When you encounter the dog it will now be named ‘Spiked Mutt’. Spiked Mutt is easier to hit, less HP, and does less damage. It also gives less XP if you kill it.
If you don’t light the match at the cave entrance, what you encounter instead is a ‘Rabid Dog’. The Rabid Dog is harder to hit, has more HP, and does more damage. But it does give considerably more XP:
Secret #3: Ace and the Broken Jeep
Head to just north of Quartz to find a busted Jeep. You’re rangers proudly declare they have no idea how to fix it.
Head into Quartz from the east side. If you entered from the northeast, head south. If you entered from the southeast, head north. You’ll come across two buildings with a small patch of road separating them. The building on the right is missing junks of its roof. Head into the building on the right. This is Ugly’s Hideout.
Fight your way south through the building. You’ll come to a large hallway on the right, with a door on the north and south sides of the hallway. Head into the room on the south of this hallway. Clear the room of all baddies, and then head around the counter / desk that is in the middle right portion of this room. Here you will found a trapdoor leading downstairs.
Head down stairs to find two locked cells. The locked cell on the right is empty, but has a good chance at giving you a Picklock rank up so it’s worth picking just for that reason alone. The cell on the left has a man locked inside.
This man’s name is Ace. Hire Ace.
Now head back to the jeep. This time when you enter the tile of the jeep, Ace will repair it and away you go!
Only to break down almost immediately. As luck would have it, you break down in a gas station / garage.
Head to the right and talk to the ‘Attendant’. He’ll ask you if you want to repair it. Tell him yes. He’ll inform you that he needs an engine, and that engines are scarce.
There is a couple of places where you can loot a free engine. If you don’t have a spare engine, you can buy one from the shop at the Nomad camp for $500.
Return to the gas station / garage. Speak with the Attendant again to give him the engine and $100 for labor.
Hop on the jeep, and this time it will ask you if you are ready to leave before careening off into the desert.
Ace will drive you to Vegas where you will be promptly car jacked. You just earned an achievement!
(Sort of a) Secret #4: Clones
NPCs you hire you only have partial control over, and sometimes they will flat out disobey you. For instance, your core rangers, you can tell them to do a single shot, burst, or full auto. You can also choose which group they target. NPCs however shoot whoever and however they want to shoot (they tend to burn through ammo faster because of this). Sometimes they’ll even disobey commands.
Later in the game, there is a place where you can create clones of your 4 core rangers. Let some time go by (by resting or something) and the clones will be recruitable.
These clones will have all the same skills, stats, and XP that the original ranger had when they first went into the clone tube. Only they will have zero starting gear. But the biggest perk is that they function exactly like your 4 core rangers.
I personally prefer to keep a party of 6 rangers. I leave the 7th slot open to be able to hire an NPC, do any special missions / content that requires their presence, and then boot ’em to the curb.
(Sort of a Racist) Secret #5: Indian Giving
Redhawk is an Indian you can rescue in the Citadel. As I mentioned in secret #4, NPCs can flatout disobey orders. One of the ways they disobey is if you try to take their gear away from them, they will often refuse. Trying to trade off their gear is one task almost all NPCs disobey somewhat.
Redhawk was the worst about this. Anything you let him loot, or you gave him, if you tried to take it away he’d refuse. Apparently, he took Indian giving to heart.
There is one sure fire way to get gear away from him though: Unconscious, injured, or dead NPCs don’t resist you stripping them of their gear.
Exploit #1: Easy & Safe XP / Max Level
See my Starting Out Tips & Tricks guide, specifically section Tip #3.1: Easy Skill Ups – Perception (Starting Out Tips & Tricks).
In this area, it is possible to go from level 1, to level 181 (Supreme Jerk) with zero risk – just takes time. You can gain XP running up and down along the skylight, but the fastest way is the Escape key. Using AHK, you can create a macro to spam the Escape a million times. This should get you close to Max Level. It should take about 8 to 9 hours depending on PC specs. Just turn it on and go to bed. By morning you should be ready to roll out.
Below is the AHK script I used. Warning: I didn’t build in any kind of cancel. You can kill the script using CTRL + ALT + DELETE and killing it in Task Manager though. I have bound to the ‘p’ key.
; appropriate delays
SetKeyDelay , 10, 10
The ‘1’ key opens the first ranger’s UI, allowing you see their current XP. Max Level is at 16,680,960. If a million loops wasn’t enough, edit the script down to 100k or 10k and finish off what you need.
Exploit #2: Near Infinite Skill Points
While I haven’t personally confirmed this one, other players (and even the devs) have confirmed it. I’ll post some screenshots as soon as I do.
To use this exploit, you need two things: a sufficiently high level ranger, and a rank 8 skill – this is because a skill rank cannot be a higher rank than the ranger’s level. If you are going to use this exploit, why not go for Exploit #1 first and hit max level?
The easiest skill to get to rank 8 is Gambling. The Swim skill is also easy to get to rank 10, but it’s dangerous.
Once you get either of these skills to rank 8, head to a library. While in the library, the rank 8 skill will state that it needs 255 Skill Points to rank up. In actuality, the game treats this as a -1 (negative 1).
So just try to rank up the rank 8 skill. Not only will it become a rank 9 skill, but you will also gain a skill point on that ranger. In fact, max this skill rank out (note you can’t have more than 255 skill points, so stop before you reach 255)!
But it gets better! Take all those free skill points, and strategically use them to raise another skill to rank 8. Repeat the process and gain even more free skill points!
Caution: The original game (haven’t confirmed in the Remaster) allows each ranger to have a maximum of 30 unique skills. If you took your 30th skill, the Librarians would kick you out stating they have nothing left to teach you. At which point, you will no longer be able to use this exploit.
So the true max number of unique skills is 29. But you really don’t even need that, unless you are being greedy, because about a third of the skills available are ‘specialized’ skills. Specialized skills are skills only a single ranger on your team needs to take. As long you spread the specialized skills around, you won’t be anywhere near 30 unique skills.
Exploit #3: Super Loot Bags (Not Available)
This exploit is not available in the Remaster, only the original. However, if you want to try it, get a copy of the original (or the high def original) and give it a try. It’s a fun exploit to try at least once!
The reason its a fun exploit is not only does it give you all the ammo you could ever want, plus access to the highest tier weapons and armor, but it also has some wacky non-items! These items can cause game crashes, or random unexpected effects in the game. But I saved the best for last: you can also get the Red Ryder Rifle and NAME AC armor – both of these items can only be gained from Super Loot Bags.
Name AC armor gives you an AC rating of 127 – contrast that with Power Armor (best legitimate armor in the game) has an AC rating of 13.
The Red Ryder Rifle (which uses the Rifle skill, so there is finally a reason to take the Rifle skill) has 63 rounds per clip – the highest rounds per clip of any weapon in the game. Top that off with it using the 7.62mm clip (one of the most readily available ammo in the game), and it does 200d6 damage (according to: https://wasteland.fandom.com/wiki/Red_Ryder_Rifle). Now contrast that with the Meson Cannon (best legitimate energy weapon in the game) only has 10 rounds, and does 19d6 (according to: https://wasteland.fandom.com/wiki/Meson_cannon) and you can see why this is a fun gun to run in the game. The rifle is single shot only – but it doesn’t need burst or full auto.
Thankfully the Red Ryder isn’t using his own rifle when you square off with him in the secret encounter in Highpool. You’d be dead meat if he was.
There is a couple of places where the Super Loot Bags could be gained in the original. I’ll describe the easiest:
You will need some cash, a trash item to throw away, and a player with the gambling skill (higher skill level the better).
In Needles, there is a private club you can get into with the right password. In this club was a table with 2 empty seats. The NPCs in the occupied seats are playing poker. Hop into a seat and you can play a hand of poker.
Keep playing poker in one of the empty seats until you finally win a hand. Important: don’t loot the loot bag! When you win a hand it puts an loot bag in your seat with the cash of your winnings. Again, don’t loot this loot bag.
Once you have a loot bag in one seat, hop over to the other empty seat. Play until you win. Again don’t loot the loot bag!
Once you have two loot bags, go back to the first seat. Loot it. Then go into a character, and drop the trash item.
Now go back to the 2nd seat, open the loot UI, (who wants the loot?), hit the down arrow, and then escape key.
Finally go to loot the bag. It will now be a super loot bag with all kinds of super items – careful though, it will also have some non-real items that can crash your game if you try to interact with them. The bag will include things like Proton Axes (best melee weapon in the game), high end armor, high end weapons, ammo, rockets, and even some key items.