Scavenging is one of the core mechanics of the game and means searching specific locations for more or less useful loot. Hex tiles marked with a magnifying glass contain at least one such location. If a location was scavenged it disappears, but new ones appear after a while, so you'll never run out of them in the long run.
Scavenging is started by clicking "Scavenge" or pressing "E". You are then shown all locations in the current hex. After choosing one of them further information is shown. "Loot" indicates how many items your character expects to find, but isn't a guarantee to find anything at all. "Safety" shows the risk of getting hurt by collapsing buildings or other environmental dangers. Such injuries are usually not lethal, but can be a significant disadvantage in a fight, if you attract a hostile creature. The probability of doing so is indicated by the "Sneak" bar. All three bars should be as full as possible, and there are some skills and items which can help with that.
Helpful skills and itemsEdit
- Some doors and containers can only be opened with force, the skill "Strong" and the crowbar are your best friends there. But while they positively influence the "Loot" bar, they are disliked by the "Safety" and "Sneak" bars. Crumbling buildings should be handled with care, and violently breaking up things is very loud.
- Other doors or containers are locked and can be opened with lockpicks which provides a large boost to the loot meter. This method doesn't have any disadvantages and should be used whenever available.
- The Trapping skill increases "Safety" and has no downsides.
- The "Sneak" value can be greatly increased by using the Hiding skill resulting in a much lower chance of attracting unwanted attention, but at the cost of significantly less chance of finding loot.
- The squirrel snare helps catching squirrels when scavenging in forests.
- Nightvision Goggles are all-round stars - they increase all three bars.
- You can use multiple skills at once. For example you could use strong, a lighter, and trapping simultaneously and have their effects combine. This often allows the loot and safety bars to be almost maxed out under the right conditions.
- Mechanic increases safety but decreases the chances of finding loot.
You can see the items you found on the left side of the item screen (plus what was there before). If one of your status bars is low you should first look for items which can help you with that before you do anything else. If you scavenge another location afterwards and encounter an enemy you should be as fit as possible. You should care about weapons, too, since human enemies can pick them up and use them against you. When you carry too much weight you get the "burdened" debuff, which should also be avoided if a fight is probable. But keep in mind that you might have to leave behind all items you don't pick up in time if you have to flee from a fight in the same hex.
If you find equipment you already have then compare the conditions of the items, maybe you can replace some of your clothes or tools with better ones. Crafting recipes are automatically added to your recipe list when picked up, they can be destroyed immediately thereafter or saved for use in crafting crude arrows.