Beginners guide to The Falconeer

The Falconeer is a beautiful looking game.  This fantasy air combat game by solo developer Tomas Sala may take a while to get going. However, once it does, you’ll be enthralled. Here to help you get through the learning curve of The Falconeer is our beginners guide. Follow these tips and tricks, and you’ll be on your way to conquering the skies of the Great Ursee in no time.

Use a controller or flight stick

If you’re playing the Falconeer on the Xbox Series X/S, this is not going to be a problem since you’d be using controllers anyway. However, if you’re playing on PC, you’re going to need one or the other. You can try playing with the mouse and keyboard, but you’d be in for a bad time. Mouse smoothing was recently added in a patch, but it doesn’t change things much. Ever since I started using a controller for this game, I haven’t gone back to the mouse and keyboard.

In this regard, any dual stick controller will do nicely for this game, but the game is really optimized for Xbox controllers. Thankfully, these days you can get a wired Xbox One controller for your PC for cheap. That will work for the Falconeer just fine. For the rest of this Falconeer guide, we assume you are using a controller.

Keep your bird upgraded

In order to survive the early missions of The Falconeer, you’ll want two key items. One is an upgraded gun, and the other is a mutagen that will give your bird regeneration. Your default Lightning Caster, while it will get the job done, is definitely not ideal. Once you get a few missions under your belt, though, you’ll be able to afford the Magnetar Rifle. This will give you a higher damage output at the cost of rate of fire. In early missions this will be a good thing, because you’ll want your shots to count.

The regeneration mutagen is also key. In early missions, this will allow you to disengage from combat long enough to get enough health back to safely re-engage. Without this mutagen, combat will be much tougher. There will be better regeneration mutagens available as you progress through The Falconeer, so be sure to keep it up to date as much as you can.

The Falconeer guide

Conserve your boost outside of combat

When you’re in combat, you’ll need as much of that boost gauge as possible to dodge, duck, dip, dive, and so on. So while it’s tempting to use your boost gauge to fly faster between waypoints in missions, it’s ideal if you don’t. Many missions in The Falconeer allow you to skip right to the action by pushing the appropriate button  when the prompt comes up (by default the A button on controllers). Ergo, most of the time it’s not necessary to use boost to simply travel.

If you find yourself struggling to build up boost before combat, there are a couple of effective ways to refill it. The first is by simply letting your bird be idle. By not inputting anything for a few seconds, your bird will glide naturally, and this will refill your boost meter. The second way to build up boost is through updrafts, which we’ll explain in a moment.

Pay attention to the weather on the map

Weather can play a key role in your experience with The Falconeer. The tutorial teaches you that to refill your ammo, you need to fly through a thunderstorm. What isn’t taught, however, is how to spot thunderstorms on the mini map in the lower right corner of your screen. They also show up on the map you can access through the pause menu, in the form of icons.

The Falconeer guide
In case it’s not obvious, the thunderstorm is the blue circle with a lightning bolt inside.

The second weather phenomenon you need to pay attention to are updrafts. Updrafts are the second way to give yourself boost.  These updrafts are useful to provide boost both in and out of combat, so pay attention to where they are!

How to hit your targets

Shooting in the Falconeer can be a bit tricky, especially with moving targets. Thankfully the game comes with a couple of indicators to help you actually hit what  you’re trying to aim at. When locked onto a target, there will be a red circle around the target, and a white circle leading in front of it. Aim your crosshairs onto the white circle – that’s how to lead the target and score hits.

Furthermore, if you’re close enough to the target, you’ll get aim assist as long as you’re following the general aiming principle outlined above. If aim assist is engaged,  you’ll see the red circle have little blinkers on the outside.

The aiming principles outlined above work with all weapons, including those with lower rates of fire. That’s why in the early game you’ll do better with slower, more powerful weapons, because as long as you’re close enough for aim assist, your shots will always hit. High damage shots are key to survival in the early game.

These are the most important tips we can think of for our beginners guide to The Falconeer, but there are bound to be more. What else can you think of that will help new players survive the skies of the Great Ursee? Let us know in the comments below!

And stay tuned to SQUAD for more guides and gaming content!

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Phillip Miner

Phillip has over a decade of experience writing about video games. Yes, over a decade! He's been on publications ranging from the Escapist to local papers and beyond.
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