Beginner tips and tricks for Desperados III

Become the quietest cowboy in the West.

 Beginner tips and tricks for Desperados III

Desperados III doesn’t have much competition when it comes to the best Western-stealth-tactical-game with isometric graphics. Even if there are any others out there, we’re going to go ahead a crown Desperados III the best regardless. But the game can be tough as nails, so we’ve rounded up some strategies to always keep in mind as you sneak through the West and stealthily take out your targets.

Always be saving

The prologue mission hammers this point home, but it cannot be understated: Saving is the central mechanic of the game. There’s a reason the save button is the touchpad on the PlayStation 4 — it is the biggest button on the controller. The game will remind you constantly to save because experimentation is the key to approaching any given situation. If you’re not sure what might happen after a given action, save and give it a try. You might get spotted and gunned down in three seconds, but you also might have found a blind spot in the enemies’ constantly swiveling cones of vision. The game will log your three previous saves, so if you accidentally do so in the middle of a hairy situation, you can always go into the pause menu and load a prior save.

Guidelines for sightlines

By the end of the day, the enemies in Desperados III must need a neck massage, because they are constantly swiveling their heads around. Most levels are divided up with fencing or other barriers into discrete areas with a handful of enemies around. You won’t need to worry too much about random bad guys on the other side of the map, but your hands will still be full with every encounter.

You can only track one cone of vision at a time, so spend some time looking around the area to get a sense of enemy patterns. Everyone will be moving around constantly, but they move like clockwork. So as long as no one spots you or a trap you’ve laid, every character in the level will continue about their business, hitting the same marks, and engaging in the same dialogue, even as you pick them off. If you happen to kill the cowpoke one of the gunmen routinely talks to, the gunmen might utter a line of dialogue questioning where his friend disappeared to, but he will not deviate from his pattern. Use this to your advantage as you whittle enemy numbers down and make it easier to complete your objective.

In the meantime, always hide out in bushes or sheds. Move through a solid-colored cone of vision and you’ll get caught almost instantly. If you’re in the non-solid part of the cone, you can crouch to get around without worry. You can get on roofs, too. Even if the character animation for climbing a ladder takes you through the non-solid part of an enemy’s cone, you won’t get caught.

Dumb distractions work

Each character in your party has different tools to use for distractions, but there are ways to distract your enemy just by using the environment as well. If you hit a horse with a coin, the horse will kick its back legs. Anyone near those back legs will get killed without raising an alarm. Even if there isn’t someone within kicking distance, getting a horse to kick will also draw people’s attention. Cattle function very similarly, but instead of kicking with their back legs when hit with a coin, they’ll gouge anyone with their front horns.

Another way to distract enemies is to put a dead or tied up body in their site line. They will come over to investigate and then you can dispatch them however you see fit. If Hector is in your party, his whistle is especially useful. An enemy that you draw with the whistle will come exactly to the spot where Hector used his whistle. If you do so by a ladder, there is a chance the enemy will climb the ladder as well. Just beware when you use Hector’s whistle—it has a large radius and can cause unwanted attention.

Silent but deadly

Some of your party will come packing heat, but it’s almost never in your interest to go in guns blazing. If you are going to try and end an encounter with a shootout, it is best to use showdown mode to slow time and have everyone possible fire at once. If an enemy needs to be shot multiple times to go down, have everyone shoot that enemy at the same time.

The best strategy will almost always be to methodically dispatch your enemies one by one until an area is clear enough that you can execute your objective successfully. Keep in mind, though, certain characters are better for certain situations.

Character breakdown

  • John Cooper (enters in Mission 2)
    • Passive skills
      • Can carry one body at an average speed while standing
      • Can climb ladders/ivy/rope
      • Can swim
    • Tools
      • Knife (close range, short animation)
      • Throwing knife (long range, long animation, must be retrieved after use)
      • Fake coin (medium range, auditory distraction, unlimited)
      • Dual revolvers (can be used on two different enemies at a time)
  • Doc McCoy (enters in Mission 2)
    • Passive skills
      • Can carry one body slowly while crouching
      • Can climb ladders
      • Cannot swim
      • Can use lock picks
    • Tools
      • Syringe/chloroform (close range, long animation)
      • Doctor’s bag (Short range, visual distraction, must be retrieved)
      • Swamp gas vial (medium range, stuns all enemies in range, limited use)
      • Bandages (healing item for self or other party members)
      • Scoped revolver (very long range, reticle must be placed over enemy)
  • Hector Mendoza (enters in Mission 3)
    • Passive skills
      • Can carry two bodies fast while standing
      • Can climb ladders
      • Cannot swim
    • Tools
      • Axe/fists (close range, short animation)
      • Bear trap (close range lethal trap, must be retrieved)
      • Whistle (long range, auditory distraction)
      • The good stuff (healing item for self)
      • Sawed-off shotgun (wide range, can kill multiple enemies)
  • Kate O’Hara (enters in Mission 4)
    • Passive skills
      • Can carry one body slowly while crouching
      • Can climb ladders
      • Cannot swim
    • Tools
      • Kick (short range, non-lethal attack)
      • Perfume vial (long range, causes temporary visual impairment, unlimited, 10 second cool-down)
      • Disguise (must be acquired in level, will make her undetectable by all regular enemies)
      • Flirt (disguise necessary, can orient enemy sight lines toward her)
      • Pocket pistol (medium range, quiet)
  • Isabelle Moreau (enters in Mission 8)
    • Passive skills
      • Can carry one body at an average speed while standing
      • Can climb ladders/ivy/rope
      • Can swim
    • Tools
      • Sickle (close range, medium length animation)
      • Connect (psychically links two enemies and causes them both to feel effects while only attacking one)
      • Stella the cat (controllable long range visual distraction)
      • Mind control (long range, lets you control an enemy while Isabelle is stationary, limited use)
      • Jimson weed (healing item for self and others)