FAQ by RBeasley

Version: 0.10 | Updated: 09/27/03 | Printable Version

A Beginner's FAQ for Savage: The Battle for Newerth
version 0.10
by Ryan Beasley

This document may be reproduced for non-profit purposes as long as no changes 
are made to any of the text in this document.  Any other use is prohibited 
without advance written permission.

Please do not contact me for any non-legal purpose; I don't want praise, 
flames, or game-related questions.

Savage is a computer game for Windows and Linux.  It is hailed as belonging 
to a new game genre, Real Time Strategy Shooter (RTSS).  Savage is 
team-based, with two teams per game, each striving to destroy the 
headquarters of the other team.  Each team can have one Commander and many 
warriors.  In effect, the commander will be playing a real-time strategy game 
while the warriors will be playing a first-person shooter game.  (Also note 
that Natural Selection, a mod for Half-life, fits into this RTSS genre.)

I have played Savage for about five hours so far.  I do not consider myself 
especially knowledgeable about the game.  However, I see that many people 
are bewildered when first starting to play and I hope this FAQ can provide a 
little explanation and a few simple suggestions.

I am not going to talk about the commander portion of the game.  I have not 
been commander except in a 1 person game so I could see what it looks like.  
The commander can give you money, give you commands, and in general will be 
directing your team's overall strategy.  There are only two things you need 
to worry about.  If the commander of your team says something in the chat box 
you will know because it will have a green C before their name.  Pay 
attention to what they say and try to help them out.  Also, if you get a box 
at the top of your screen in the middle that says to do something, just do it.

First off, I suggest you join games with 18 or more people in them.  The more 
players, the easier it is to observe the flow of a game and the easier it is 
to join up with a group of your teammates.

Loadout screen
Once you join a game and choose your team, you will be presented with the 
Loadout screen.  On this screen is a 4x3 grid of 'weapons' in the upper left, 
a 4x2 grid of 'items' in the lower left, and a row of 5 'units' in the upper 
right.  If a grid space is empty or grayed out, then you can't purchase that 
object yet, otherwise it will have a price on it.  Your personal cash is 
printed in the upper right.  If you do not have enough money to purchase 
something, the word "Request" will be printed on that item in yellow.  If 
something says "Request" and you click on it, your commander can choose to 
give you enough money to buy that item from the team's holdings.  Since you 
are new, don't request anything.

You must have/be a unit.  When you enter the Loadout screen you will have the 
weakest unit, which is free.  The second unit in the row is more expensive, 
does more melee damage, and has more health than the first unit.  The third 
unit even more so than the second unit.  If you have the money, buy the third 
unit.  If you can only afford the second unit, buy the second unit.

For the humans, the fourth unit is a ballista.  Don't take it until you feel 
comfortable with the rest of the game.  It's slow, can't take any weapons or 
items and has a restricted field of fire.  If you're on a human team you will 
often find yourself defending ballistas while they attack enemy buildings.  
The fifth unit is a catapult and the same stuff holds for it.

For the beastmen, the fourth unit is the shaman.  It has a one-hit-kill 
ranged attack.  It moves slowly and does not have a melee attack and cannot 
take weapons or items.  If you want to shoot at people or buildings from afar 
it's not a bad choice, just watch out because the attack has an arc and has 
about a five second reload time.
The fifth beastmen unit is the behemoth.  It is bigger than a building and 
carries a tree.  Don't take it; you will instantly become the target for 
every opponent that sees you or even hears your footsteps.  That said, its 
melee attack insta-kills.


The lower weapons (on the screen) are generally better and more expensive.  
The top row of weapons are tier one, the middle row are tier two, and the 
bottom row are tier three.
The S2games website has more detailed info on all the weapons.
You always have a melee attack.  You can only buy one 'weapon' and up to 
three 'items' at a time.
Always take a weapon, even if just a free one.

For the humans:
Each weapon has a limited amount of ammo.
1) The repeater will generally be your best choice when starting out.  It is 
a second tier weapon with a long range and it is rapid-fire.
2) The marksman's bow is a third tier sniper weapon.  It has a zoom lens and 
does quite a bit of damage.  No arc.  If you really want to snipe, I'd take 
it, but notice that it has very little ammo.  Really nice for shooting 
3) The coil rifle is also a third tier usable for sniping.  It does less 
damage, but has a couple more shots and is much more usable in a non-sniping 
situation than the marksman's bow.
4) If you can't get any of those weapons, then take either the incinerator (a 
flame thrower) or the scattergun (a shotgun) for some close range shooting.  
The scattergun may be easier to use because it has a little more range and 
doesn't block your view with flames.  On the other hand, the incinerator 
deals damage faster.
5) If you can't get any of those weapons then take the crossbow if it's 
available and the huntsman's bow otherwise.  Note that those two have an arc 
to the shots (which is why I suggest the scattergun and incinerator before 
the crossbow even though the crossbow has range).

For the beast horde:
1) The left column of 'weapons' are upgrades to your melee attack.  All three 
are good if you don't feel the need for a ranged attack.  I would suggest 
Rabid due to the melee damage increase.
2) If you want a ranged attack, take surge.  It's a constant-fire weapon with 
plenty of range.  So just hold the fire button down and track your opponent 
until you're out of mana.
All beast horde ranged weapons take mana, the purple bar at the bottom/right 
of the screen, which does not recharge normally.
3) Blaze is also good, being something like an inaccurate, short-range 
4) Otherwise, take frost.  It's basically a free shotgun.


You can hold up to three items at once.  Don't ignore these; buying the 
correct one at the right time with your last bit of cash can be more 
effective than buying a better weapon.

For the humans:
1) The sensor is oh-so-useful.  Anywhere you plan on fighting a while should 
have one of these dropped nearby.  It causes all enemies to be marked by 
drawing a red column straight up out of their body.  That way you and the 
rest of your team can tell basically where the enemy is even if they're on 
the other side of a hill or are currently invisible.
2) The immobilizer is also oh-so-useful.  You throw it out a bit in front of 
you and if there's an enemy near where it hits the ground, that enemy gets 
stuck in place making it much easier to beat on them.  It can be hard to 
throw well but is pretty vital when fighting the beast horde.
Those are the two most useful items.
3) Medkit recovers some lost health, which is nice.
4) Ammo pack doubles your ammo, so it is a must-have if you want to stand 
around somewhere far from a town hall and shoot a lot.
5) The land mine is good for protecting towers and booby-trapping often 
traveled locations.

For the beast horde:
1) Mist makes you partially invisible.  It is extremely nice, though quite 
expensive.  You are still visible, but it can make it possible to cross a 
no-man's-land or to sow a lot of confusion in a big melee.
2) If I take Mist I also try to take the green crystal. Then I trigger the 
crystal along with mist.  Since The green crystal refills your stamina bar 
quickly for about 30 seconds, I can then jump around a lot in my partially 
invisible state.
3) If you want to shoot a lot, take the mana crystal.  It refills your mana 

Once you choose your loadout, you may be shown a map.  If so, click on one of 
the buildings outlined in green to spawn at that location.  You'll want to 
choose the location closest to the greatest number of your teammates (the 
little dots moving around).

If the game has just started, stay around the base for a while.  Your 
commander should 'place' building sites that look like transparent buildings 
nearby.  Run up to those transparent buildings and hit them with your melee 
attack over and over and over.  As you do so, the green bar underneath the 
building will grow, showing that the building is being completed.  Also, your 
experience bar (blue) in the lower right of your screen, next to the green 
stamina bar, will slowly grow.  Every time your experience bar fills up, the 
number above it (your level) will increase by one, the experience bar will 
empty, and you will get some perk (such as more stamina).  By this time 
you're surely tired of hitting the attack button, so bring up the console by 
hitting the tilde key (~) and type 'bind key "toggle button1"' (replacing the 
word 'key' with a button such as p).  That way you can just hold that key 
instead of repeatedly clicking the attack button.

If you ever run across one of your buildings that has taken damage it's blue 
health bar will have turned a little red.  Attack it to heal it back up.

After constructing some buildings, most of your teammates will run off to 
cause havoc and to claim the mines and spawn points that are placed around 
the map.  Many of them will also run off to kill NPCs sprinkled around the 

Attacking NPCs increases your experience and can get you more ammo/mana 
and/or money.  It can also get you killed pretty quickly.  If you are low on 
money, go kill some NPCs (preferably the yellow ostriches or the monkits 
(monkeys with spears)).

So now you've got money to buy stuff and your team has some buildings so your 
commander can research new stuff to buy.  Now go find the biggest group of 
teammates and help them out.  Most likely they will be doing something 
related to an 'expansion'.  An expansion is a place where you can spawn away 
from your homebase, often next to resources such as a stone or gold mine.  
Much of the meat of Savage revolves around building, finding, attacking, 
defending, and destroying expansions.

General Comments

Try your best to follow your teammates.  Groups are worth more than the sum 
of their parts.

Stay away from enemy towers/spires because they're quite deadly.

If you see a flag sticking out of the ground, it's a spawn point.  Attack it 
to allow your team to spawn there.

Each team can have up to 10 workers, hired by the commander.  Protect your 
team's workers and attack the other team's workers.

You can also 'attack' stone/gold mines, and then carry the materials to the 
nearest town hall/lair.  You'll get some experience and your team will get 
some stone/gold.  Don't bother with it unless your commander asks, though, 
because the NPC workers on your team do the job just fine.

If you are playing on the side of the beast horde, the block button is like a 
super-jump.  You want to use it to move around faster, but make sure to save 
enough stamina so that you can use it if an enemy ambushes you with a ranged 
weapon.  The super-jump is necessary for reaching a ranged-attacker without 
taking significant damage.

I've not yet seen a human successfully block an attack.

The shift button sprints, not generally useful to the beast horde, but 
necessary for humans.

If you're out of mana/ammo, you can enter your headquarters (Lair, sub-lair, 
town hall, etc) and then respawn.  This action will not refill your health.

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Copyright 2003 Ryan Beasley.