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Jagged Alliance 3 Beginner Guide

Jagged Alliance 3 Beginner Guide – In this Jagged Alliance 3 Beginner Guide, I’m going to talk about strategies you can employ to progress in the game efficiently. This tactical turn-based RPG can be unforgiving at times whether you’re new to the genre or not. So if you’re looking for a comprehensive Beginner Guide that’ll help you breeze through Jagged Alliance 3, then this article is for you!

Jagged Alliance 3 Beginner Guide Table of Contents

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Jagged Alliance 3 Beginner Guide

This Jagged Alliance 3 Beginner Guide covers 5 tips and tricks to not only help you get started with the game but also identify the things you should prioritize when making decisions. There are a lot of factors to consider including choosing good starter characters, managing your many resources, and prioritizing quests, to name a few, so it can definitely be overwhelming for players at the start. Let’s begin with the best characters to pick and how many you should hire.

Jagged Alliance 3 Beginner Guide – Choose Your Mercenaries Carefully

Jagged Alliance 3 allows you to recruit a maximum of 6 mercenaries per squad, each with their own Specializations, Stats, Talents, Traits, and Perks. However, what you’d want to zero in on the most would be their cost, Specialization, and Stats. Although you have the option to create your own character via the I.M.P. Web or Mercenary Profiling, I would recommend going for the A.I.M. Database instead for your first playthrough as it already consists of mercenaries with distinctly decent presets. 

Burn Rate for Recruited Mercs

Let’s start with the cost. The sweet spot in terms of the number of characters you should manage at the beginning is 5. This accounts for the 7-day period they’re with you together with their respective Burn Rates or how much money you’ll spend daily as upkeep for the squad. Since you’ll recruit 5 characters, you want to make sure that there’s approximately USD 10,000 left in the bank. Doing so allows you to still be able to treat wounds, train militia for the people you’ve freed, and repair items as needed.

Next, in terms of Specialization, you’re going to want to prioritize those who are highly trained in the Medical, Explosives, and Mechanical Fields. Doctors are highly sought-after because combat in Jagged Alliance 3 can be brutal at times and so by having the ability to restore the HP of allies during and outside of encounters, you’ll not only keep their morale high but also make use of them longer. For Doctors, you should hire one at the start and another one later on if you’re having a challenging time treating the wounds of your allies.  The choice here is to go with Fox or MD. Between the two though, I prefer Fox because she has higher Dexterity and Marksmanship Stats, allowing you to also shoot enemies more effectively. 

Jagged Alliance 3 Beginner Guide - Fox the Doctor to Treat Wounds

The second role that should be filled up is the Explosive Expert because of how essential group damage is in this game. Harming just one enemy at a time is very slow and will increase the chances of being attacked yourself so to avoid this, you’ll want someone in the team who is an expert at crafting explosives and using them regularly against targets positioned adjacent to one another. Out of the choices you have, Barry fits the bill the best since he produces 2 Shaped Charges every so often and his hiring fee is cheap. Moreover, he’s skilled at disarming landmines, which is prevalent in certain sections of the map.

Last but not least is a skilled Mechanic like Kalyna. Not only is her cost relatively low but she can also efficiently repair items, has a decent Leadership Stat to train militia, and packs a very mean punch when executing headshots from a distance. Overall, she’s the best mercenary that fits this role so you’ll want to recruit her as soon as possible.

Jagged Alliance 3 Beginner Guide – How to Replenish Resources Effectively

In Jagged Alliance 3, you need to be mindful of the two most important resources when deciding which section of the map to travel to and the quests you ought to prioritize. These include money and herbs. Let’s start with making money consistently, and the best way to do this is to capture Diamond Mines, particularly the H7 and K10 sectors, which are the nearest locations from your starting point. Doing so will provide you with a steady stream of income, especially when you improve the Loyalty of its nearby citizens by freeing their towns from the Legion’s clutches. The more Loyal they are to you, the more money you’ll generate.

Jagged Alliance 3 - Diamond Mine Income

Additionally, remember to recruit militias once you’ve secured these mine sites because enemies will attempt to take them from you. If you’re in a far-off location and are therefore unable to get there in time to defend your reclaimed land, you’ll lose your income. Another important thing to remember is that over time, these mines get fully depleted so it’s wise to keep moving to search for more. 

In connection with this, you’ll notice that there are Diamond Shipments being moved around from one location to the next in the Tactical View. I highly encourage you to intercept these by fighting against the Legion carrying them. This type of encounter isn’t difficult to deal with either and oftentimes, you’ll end up earning tens of thousands of dollars afterward once you sell the diamonds you acquire.

Diamond Shipments Income - USD 10,000

When it comes to saving money, it’s best to renew contracts at a rate of 14 days later on as this lowers the upfront costs of having these mercenaries on your team. By this time as well, you’ll have been familiar with what they’re doing and are therefore much more inclined to keep them for longer periods of time. 

The next resource you should save up for is herbs. These are automatically converted into Meds for treating the wounds of your comrades. Having a medicine shortage is a nightmare since the max HP of affected allies will always be lower when engaging in combat. So be sure to explore all sections even if they don’t have quests tied to them. More often than not, these areas have plants that you can harvest herbs from. 

Gathering Herbs for Meds in Jagged Alliance 3

Jagged Alliance 3 Beginner Guide – Take Advantage of Stealth

One of the most important mechanics in combat is Stealth as knowing how to take advantage of this will yield significant results and give you the upper hand early on. For starters, it’s important to acquire intel on the area you’re about to go to by scouting it beforehand. You’ll end up spending some time for the Operation but this goes a long way when it comes to pinpointing the exact location of your enemies. As such, you’ll be more prepared to better approach them. 

Scouting the Area by Gathering Intel in JA3

Next, mercenaries who have high Agility and Dexterity are often equipped with positioning themselves optimally via the Sneak Mode to force them to take the Crouched Stance in order to avoid immediate detection. Doing so will let them execute Stealth kills effectively due to their nimble movements. 

Another way to remain hidden is to initiate combat at night. You can control this by checking the timing on the Tactical View before going to that certain location. Do note, however, that this is a double-edged sword since you’ll also be at a disadvantage unless you equip weapon mods like the Thermal Scope to see your enemies well in the dark. In case you don’t own enough materials to slot this mod yet, you can circumvent the issue by moving a bit closer to your foes to reduce the low visibility penalty you’d otherwise incur. If you’re running a purely ranged squad like I am, you’re going to benefit from the Improvised Suppressor Mod as this allows you to fire your guns silently to avoid alerting the rest of your targets.

Improvised Suppressor Mod to Execute Silent Attacks

The goal of taking a Stealthy approach before officially initiating full-blown combat is to reduce the number of enemies you face since it’s very easy to be overwhelmed by them in Jagged Alliance 3. So taking down a target or two will considerably increase the chances of coming out of battles alive.

Positioning Is Key for Your Mercs

Regardless of whether or not you’ve initiated combat, you’re going to want to spread out your mercenaries. This means dividing them into at least 2 groups for several reasons. First is based on the type of enemy you’re facing. Oftentimes, when you’re going against a large number of targets, they’re going to have Grenadiers or soldiers wielding Rocket Launchers. It goes without saying that these are deadly, especially when your entire squad moves as a single group. So dispersing in multiple directions will make it harder for them to successfully damage the majority of your allies in a single action.

JA3 Beginner Guide - Friendly Fire with Allied AIs

The second is friendly fire, and I don’t mean within your squad since you can easily prevent that by avoiding their line of sight but encounters with allied AIs. Allied AIs in Jagged Alliance 3 can mistakenly shoot your mercenaries even when they’re not positioned away from the line of sight. So avoid sticking too close to them to not get hit in the process. 

And lastly, your character’s position will depend on the weapons they’re wielding. There are no calculations in Jagged Alliance 3 to indicate the chances of successfully hitting enemies so you’ll need to double-check whether or not your range with respect to the target is acceptable. If the AP Aim Bar starts to blink, it means that your weapon is not suitable for the specific range you’re currently at so you can either take your chances or move closer. 

Additionally, listening to the words uttered by characters helps determine whether or not to push through with shooting an enemy from a distance. Frequently though, this is the case, but there are some instances when weather conditions are poor like in the rain, where they’re not as equipped as they claim to be.

Headshot with Kalyna in JA3 Combat

The benchmark to remember for proper positioning is that Shotgun wielders and Explosive Experts need to be near enemies. Spreading out your mercs this way makes it easier for these Explosive Experts to simply throw grenades on the fly without accidentally hitting allies since they’re positioned far away from the rest of the group. Meanwhile, those who use Assault Rifles and Pistols should stay in the midrange, and those who wield Snipers ought to remain at the back. Doing so will allow you to take out multiple enemies simultaneously to end encounters faster. 

Strategically Make Use of Cover

The final tip on our Jagged Alliance 3 Beginner Guide is to effectively make use of cover. Always scour the area first to search for places you can hide behind to avoid getting hit. The realistic and interesting thing about covers in this game is that they can be destroyed depending on the objects. These include crates, shanties, and even cars. For cars though, you need to be careful because once they’ve been set on fire, you have 1 turn to move away, otherwise, you’ll be caught in the blast when it explodes. Alternatively, you can use these burning cars against enemies to damage as many of them as possible. Since certain objects are destructible, you need to always be on the go to prevent exposing yourself.

Burning Cars as Cover in Jagged Alliance 3

But hiding behind cover doesn’t automatically mean that you’re protected from taking damage. You need to be in the Crouched or Prone Stance. It’s best to save 1-2 Action Points (APs) for every character to switch to either stance in order to dramatically lower the chances of being shot before their turn ends. And even if you do get hit, you won’t receive as much damage from ranged enemies, which are predominant in the game. However, remember that the Crouched and Prone Stances will make it so that you end up moving slower as opposed to Standing but unless you have enough AP during your turn, you’re better of staying in the Crouched position all throughout. 

Prone Stance to Hide from Enemy Fire

So that’s it for the Jagged Alliance 3 Beginner Guide. How are you enjoying Jagged Alliance 3 so far? What are your favorite aspects of the game so far? Let us know in the comments!

For more content, check out Baldur’s Gate 3, Secrets from Act Two: From Gith and Back Again and Larian Reaffirms Baldur’s Gate 3’s Early Access Saves Won’t Transfer. We also made a Jagged Alliance 3 Preview several months ago to give you an idea of what the game’s mechanics are.

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