Welcome to IGN’s guide to Saints Row, featuring important tips and secrets that the game doesn’t exactly tell you outright – including how to make the most of your early hours in the game, and how to get XP quickly.
Become The Saints
Saints Row is the type of open world sandbox where you’ll be free to explore all of Santo Ileso right after the first mission – but there’s actually a lot more you’ll be missing out if you choose to explore aimlessly.
We recommend spending the majority of the first few hours progressing the main story so that you can unlock more varied activities and increase your passive income. Beat the “Take Me To Church” and “Networking” main missions in order to unlock a number of key upgrades, including the Criminal Ventures Empire table – and most importantly, your gang’s headquarters!
You can level up every single one of your weapons and cars by completing certain objectives. You can see weapon objectives in the Gun Stash or Weapon Wheel, and Car Objectives turn up here.
Once completed, return to your gunstash or JimRobs to activate each new perk. These perks can vary from unlimited Nitrous, flaming bullets, anti-vehicle rounds and much more, so make sure you’re catering to your equipment’s strengths.
Ammo When You Need It
Ammo can sometimes be suprisingly hard to come by, especially if you’ve unlocked a new weapon. Enemies will drop random ammo, but if you’re trying to restock a specific gun, you might be wondering where to get more. It’s a simple thing, but the Friendly Fire Shop UI is a bit cluttered. While at the gunstore, simply press Y or Triangle when buying weapons to restock all of your ammo.
Fast-Travel Photo Opps
While there are many types of photo challenges – ranging from collectibles to discovery challenges – coming across one of these discoverable landmarks is especially helpful as it will unlock a new fast-travel point.
These also serve as respawn locations when you die in the open world, which is very handy to help you get back to what you were doing. It’s worth noting that finding the exact spot to trigger the photo opp can be tricky, so we’ve put together a handy list of just where to stand to get the right shot in our guide on IGN.
Once you’ve unlocked collectible items for your base by completing the “Office Decor” mission, you can take photos of items in the world that shimmer with a blue gradient to unlock them in your collectibles app. Once you’ve done this, you will be able to place them in specific locations around your home base to spice things up.
Certain collectibles can be found all over Santo Ileso – if you see a crazy looking art installation, there’s a good chance it’s collectible. Other items can only be gained as rewards for completing certain Missions, Side Hustles, and Criminal Ventures.
As you begin to build up Criminal Ventures, you’ll be tasked with helping out on several missions to build them out and get rewarded for your efforts – but it may not always be clear which tiny purple dot on the map is related to that venture. Pressing X or Square on a Criminal Venture will mark the next target for that venture on the map automatically for you, allowing you to quickly locate and complete each Criminal Venture’s missions.
While you don’t technically have to complete a Criminal Venture’s missions to keep receiving income you can gain using the Cash Transfer App on your phone, completing all Venture missions for a particular Criminal Venture can reward you with a unique perk. For example, completing the Shady Oaks venture will allow you to trigger the “Insurance Fraud” activity anywhere in the city, and rack up thousands of dollars the higher you keep your multiplier.
Regardless of whether or not it’s your favorite Criminal Venture, you should really consider filling all of JimRob’s requests for his garage before moving on to any of the others – once you do that, you’ll unlock the ability to have your favorite vehicle delivered to you anywhere in the city. Simply pull up your contacts and select the Car Delivery Service, and a henchman will drive up in the car you’ve marked as a “favorite” from your garage – just be sure to stand somewhere close to a road first!
You can set which vehicle is your favorite at any garage site. This pins that vehicle to the top of your vehicle list when in the garage, and also determines what JR will send you when you call for a ride, but be warned, you won’t be able to choose special vehicles (say for example, a tank) as a favorite.
Land, Air and Sea
If you find yourself wanting to leave from your home base via the air or sea, then keep playing the main story. Completing the Neenah’s missions up through “The Forge” will give you access to helicopters, and completing “Aggressive Recruiting” mission will unlock the dock for you to jet away from. You can even bring in new boats you find or steal into the dock to add them to your collection just like the garage.
Expand Your Collection
Now that you have those facilities unlocked, let’s talk about where to find some of the more exciting and fun vehicles around the map so that you can use them whenever you would like.
- You can find your very own Monster Truck by messing with Los Panteros in Smelterville. The most effective way to do this is to rack up Level 5 Noteriety with Los Panteros, then jump in a car and lead them on a chase. Stay in their sights, and soon you will come across a roadblock, and your new monster truck will be there trying to stop you. Jump in, flatten everything in your way and take it to JimRobs.
- In Monte Vista, there are a couple of Rich houses that you can pull some nice vehicles from. This house that overlooks the city has a helipad, which will have an assortment of civilian helicopters for you to lift. Pick one up and fly it the Saints helipad to store it.
- Directly to the east of this house with the helipad is another property that is home to a number of nice cars, such as the Attrazione and Fer De Lance. The Fer De Lance is superior, but watch out, it’s a lot of car, especially when you upgrade it. Make sure you treat it right.
- Last but not least, if you want some more firepower in your arsenal, head to the North Badlands Marshall Prison. You’ll immediately acquire Level 4 Notoriety from entering the facility, so don’t dawdle. On the northern edge of the compound is a driveway where they store APCs. Take it, and ride it over to the Saints Compound. You can sometimes also find an attack helicopter on the premises, although if it takes a while to find, grab this civilian helicopter nearby and scout over the compound a few times until you find it. We found our attack helicopter here behind this shipping container. The guns and missiles will make short work of any enemy you come across, so we strongly recommend you grab this chopper once you unlock the helipad back at home base.
(Re)do the Hustle
While most Side Hustles can be repeated once you complete them, if you complete all of their optional objectives or complete them at the highest difficulty, their icon on the map may disappear. They’re still able to be repeated, though, so we recommend keeping track of the missions that you enjoyed doing in case you want to repeat that challenge for some easy cash.
So Exclusive, It Must Be Good
In the North-West of the City, in the Lakeshore South District, you’ll see an icon for the “Everything’s A Million Dollars” store. Unfortunately, you can only enter the store after beating the final main mission of the game, but on the plus side, that gives you plenty of time to start saving!
Santo Ileso Go-Karting!
Last up, did you know there’s a Go-Kart track in this game?! Head to the El Dorado district in the south of Santo Ileso, strap on a helmet, bring a friend in co-op and may the best Saint win. Just try to go easy on the poor kart’s, they’re not made to withstand too much punishment.
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