While roaming the massive open world Ubisoft has created within Ghost Recon Wildlands, players encounter dozens of hostile forces who are better armed, reinforced by heavy weaponry, and able to flee at a moment’s notice using militarized vehicles that are at their disposal. Any time a group of Santa Blanca’s best is engaged, no matter how well-equipped players are, everything can take a turn for the worse provided if bases aren’t covered and every member of your squad isn’t perfectly utilized to lock down enemy location. Accomplishing a successful lockdown requires a heavy focus on stealth and precision combined with a hefty amount of planning before you even begin to open fire, but often it will prevent designated targets or valuable interrogation opportunities from taking off in an armored vehicle.

As such, remaining hidden throughout many of the engagements you’ll participate in across Ghost Recon Wildlands is necessary to successfully complete your mission. While it may take a bit of patience, stealth is one of the most rewarding aspects of the game provided you can pull it off. Here are a few tips to help you do exactly that.

Recon the Area

Regardless of how familiar you are with the environments covering Ghost Recon Wildlands, you’ll want to use your drone and binoculars to find the positions of every hostile in an enemy compound before you attack. Usually it’s best to start off using your binoculars from a good vantage point overlooking the enemy compound, then move in closer and use your drone to paint the rest of the hostiles occupying the area. Figure out which hostiles you can take care of safely from a distance, which areas they will use for cover, and possible escape vehicles they could run for — then use all that information against them once your squad opens fire. Remember to upgrade your drone and binoculars in your character’s skill tree to further improve their effectiveness too.

Deal with Hostiles Simultaneously

Whether you’re playing with a group of friends or using the team of A.I.-controlled teammates provided by Ghost Recon Wildlands in single-player, you should consistently be taking advantage of the sync shot mechanic which allows you to paint and eliminate multiple targets without being detected. By using your drone, binoculars, or simply aiming down your weapon sights, you’ll be able to mark an enemy with a small numerical target icon which appears over their head. Then, just open fire and your squad mates will do the rest. When playing co-operative multiplayer, you’ll have to count down and have each member of your squad fire at the same time though, so keep that in mind. Use sync shot often to prevent you from being detected when silently eliminating hostiles around a compound, or just to track dangerous enemies while you maneuver through hostile environments. Keeping track of every available target and taking them down with coordination is required if you want to make it out without being seen.

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Be Aware of Enemy Escape Routes

No matter the combat situation at hand, members of the Santa Blanca cartel always have heavy support on-call in the event of an assault on one of the bases scattered across the map of Ghost Recon Wildlands. Whether it be a convoy of heavily armored vehicles sporting minigun mounts on top or a set of militarized helicopters armed with rockets to rein death from above, these tools of destruction can spot you from a mile away and make quick work of your squad. More importantly, however, they provide key targets with a way to escape while you’re stuck dealing with the grunts of the operation. Whenever scouting out a hostile position, be on the lookout for anything they could use against you or potentially use to escape once they realize they’re under attack. You’ll be able to pick enemies off as they run towards whatever it may be, or you can prepare for reinforcements with some properly placed explosives in the event that all hell breaks loose. Never leave an option open, or you’ll regret it immediately after you open fire.

Split Your Squad Up

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Even though you can just as easily storm through a hostile base with your entire squad in tow, one of the best strategies you can use while sneaking around and locking down an enemy position is to split your entire squad up. Usually, this means each member heads a separate direction or holds a different strategic position in the environment (such as a sniper tower or vantage point), but it’s also possible to work with two teams of two — one who pushes into the base while another supports them from a distance. Either way, splitting up allows you to cover more ground while retaining a greater level of situational awareness while you systematically clear an enemy position of hostile targets. In many cases, I found that having a sniper watching my back was most effective, while keeping a squad member on standby with a vehicle let us quickly pursue any targets who got away. Obviously, how you break your squad up into groups depends on the situation at hand, although doing so regardless of the scenario almost always yields better results. Plus, if one of you gets spotted? The others will remain incognito themselves, keeping the element of surprise alive.

Photos via Nicholas Bashore, Ubisoft