Vigor: Controls Guide for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Switch, and Beginner’s Guide

Vigor will test your mettle in a post-War Norway, so here is a guide for those just starting.

Vigor, the free-to-start game by Bohemia Interactive, packs fun and challenging gameplay with stunning visuals. Set in a post-War and post-apocalyptic Norway, you must scavenge materials in the Outlands to upgrade your shelter all the while avoiding fellow players and incoming radiation clouds to survive.

If you’re wondering how to play Vigor and want to best prepare yourself before beginning your game, this beginner’s Vigor guide will provide you with all the details necessary to maximize your chances of survival in the Outlands.

All Vigor PlayStation controls (PS4 & PS5)

  • Move: L
  • Look: R
  • Aim (ADS): L2
  • Fire Weapon: R2
  • Melee Attack: R3
  • Reload: Square
  • Interact: Square (hold)
  • Switch Aim View: R3 (while aiming in ADS)
  • Sprint and Hold Breath (when aiming): L3
  • Jump, Vault, and Climb: X
  • Crouch: Circle
  • Lay Prone: Circle (hold)
  • Switch Weapon: Triangle
  • Holster Weapon: Triangle (hold)
  • Weapon Menu: R1 (hold)
  • Equip Last Consumable: L1
  • Consumable Menu: L1 (hold)
  • Map: D-Pad Up
  • Ping: D-Pad Left
  • Fire Mode Change: D-Pad Down
  • Perform Last Gesture: D-Pad Right
  • Gesture Menu: D-Pad Right (hold)
  • Character Screen and Scoreboard: Touchpad
  • Options: Options

All Vigor Xbox controls (Xbox One & Xbox Series X|S)

  • Move: L
  • Look: R
  • Aim (ADS): LT
  • Fire Weapon: RT
  • Melee Attack: R3
  • Reload: X
  • Interact: X (hold)
  • Switch Aim View: R3 (while aiming in ADS)
  • Sprint and Hold Breath (when aiming): L3
  • Jump, Vault, and Climb: A
  • Crouch: B
  • Lay Prone: B (hold)
  • Switch Weapon: Y
  • Holster Weapon: Y (hold)
  • Weapon Menu: RB (hold)
  • Equip Last Consumable: LB
  • Consumable Menu: LB (hold)
  • Map: D-Pad Up
  • Ping: D-Pad Left
  • Fire Mode Change: D-Pad Down
  • Perform Last Gesture: D-Pad Right
  • Gesture Menu: D-Pad Right (hold)
  • Character Screen and Scoreboard: Back
  • Options: Start

All Vigor Nintendo Switch controls

  • Move: Left Stick
  • Look: Right Stick
  • Aim (ADS): ZL
  • Fire Weapon: ZR
  • Melee Attack: R3
  • Reload: Y
  • Interact: Y (hold)
  • Switch Aim View: R3 (while aiming in ADS)
  • Sprint and Hold Breath (when aiming): L3
  • Jump, Vault, and Climb: B
  • Crouch: A
  • Lay Prone: A (hold)
  • Switch Weapon: X
  • Holster Weapon: X (hold)
  • Weapon Menu: R (hold)
  • Equip Last Consumable: L
  • Consumable Menu: L (hold)
  • Map: D-Pad Up
  • Ping: D-Pad Left
  • Fire Mode Change: D-Pad Down
  • Perform Last Gesture: D-Pad Right
  • Gesture Menu: D-Pad Right (hold)
  • Character Screen and Scoreboard:
  • Options: +

Note that in the Vigor controls above, L and R denote the left and right analog, while L3 and R3 are the buttons activated when pressing their respective analog sticks.

Starting your journey in Vigor – the begginer’s Vigor guide

Your choice of Outlander, without customization options

The first recommendation is to access the Options menu and select Guide. This in-game guide provides you with the base knowledge needed for every aspect of the game. While it is not as detailed as this guide, it will give you a good contextual grounding before you begin playing.

As you begin the game, you will be asked if you want to play the Tutorial – always recommended – with the option to play it later. You awaken in a collapsed tunnel of some kind and are asked to choose from one of the nine Outlanders pictured. You cannot customize your Outlander’s facial appearance or hair, but you can customize their attire later in the game.

The Tutorial will walk you through the various game controls, how to loot, how to aim and shoot, and about airdrops. Airdrops are generally filled with great weapons, so they are a nice get if you’re able to extract the items.

From there, you will be taken to your shelter, a simple shack with holes everywhere and in disrepair. There is also a shooting range on the premises for your practice. You will notice many different things that can be upgraded around your home to make it livable and homely, such as water distillation and food production (more on this below).

Your overall goal, beyond surviving, is to fully upgrade your simple shack into a bonafide house.

How to play Vigor

Looting a crate during the Tutorial

Vigor is a third-person shooter in a post-apocalyptic world, specifically Norway. Your goal is to not only survive your encounters with other Outlanders – the name for players in Vigor – but to scavenge enough materials to turn your shack into an actual, livable house.

You can enter the Outlands with a loadout of four weapons: two main and two secondary. The main weapons include shotguns, rifles, and assault rifles, while weapons like pistols and melee are classified as secondary. Before you head out, ensure you have equipped enough of the correct type of ammo for each weapon equipped.

As you traverse the Outlands, you will find abandoned buildings, houses, vehicles, and even plane crashes that all present opportunities for you to find materials. Materials can be anything from nails to fertilizer to electronics to fuel and more. All of these scavenged materials will play a role in upgrading your humble abode as well as the crafting of weapons (more on this below).

To loot crates, vehicles, and even food, simply hold the Interact button until the white circle fills, indicating the item has been opened or collected. Some loots, like those buried in snow, will take longer to extract than a simple toolbox sitting on a table.

You can Take All items by hitting the Interact button once on the item screen, but beware of how much you can carry. You have 25 slots in your loadout to carry items, but this includes weapons, ammo, and consumables. Unlocking a safe may give you more items than you can carry.

You can also take any individual items you see fit, though it is recommended to Take All whenever possible.

You will need to be cautious as noise plays a big role in this game. A flock of birds just flew off due to your presence? That means your position was just given away – assuming any Outlanders were observant enough to see the birds fly away.

A car alarm went off after you looted it for parts? That alarm will carry much further than the sound of the birds, so you need to vacate the area promptly.

Avoid the main roads and paths as much as possible to minimize your chances of encountering another Outlander – unless you fancy a shootout. When approaching houses and buildings, there will always be a chance that another Outlander has already raided the place or could be in the process, leading to an eventual gunfight.

Escaping the radiation cloud after taking damage by taking the Exit Point indicated with orange spray paint

After a certain amount of time on a map, you will be notified that the radiation cloud is incoming. Once the cloud reaches you, the screen blurs like the picture above and you will take continuous damage. The only way to escape certain death is to make it to an Exit Point, indicated on the map with orange markers that look just like the spray painted symbol in the picture above.

You can prepare yourself by looking at your map and seeing where the radiation cloud will originate. You will see red wavy arrows in a particular direction that will indicate the path of the radiation cloud. Always make note of your nearest Exit Point once the radiation cloud begins to travel.

There are multiple Exit Points on each map. However, some will require further actions to “open” and allow you to leave the map. Some Exit Points may require you to refuel a boat, which requires you to have fuel in your inventory. Others might have you fix an automobile with electronics, again requiring you have the components in your inventory.

These blocked Exit Points are indicated on the map with a red marker just underneath the Exit Point symbol. Prioritize finding Exit Points that are already open lest you find yourself trapped without the needed materials.

An important note is that in the main Encounter mode, you can exit the map at any time through an Exit Point. Theoretically, you can head straight for an Exit Point once the match starts. However, your experience is based on the types and amounts of materials you scavenged, any kills and headshots you scored, as well asif you accessed the safe or airdrop. It is recommended to at least scavenge for some materials before making your exit.

Once you reach an Exit Point, it takes ten seconds before you actually leave the map. Some points go far back, hiding you from view. However, some are at the end of docks, leaving you open to attack during those critical ten seconds. You an also attack from this position, but always be aware of your surroundings!

Which is the best game mode?

The Outlands screen with the three available game modes and missions

There are three available game modes in Vigor.

In reverse order, Elimination is a team 5v5 battle taking place in rounds. Beyond scoring the most through kills, a round can also be won by capturing the flag of the other team. Each player’s loadout is randomized and changes with each respawn. For example, you may start with a shotgun, but then a pistol upon your next respawn.

The winning team is rewarded with food, experience, and potentially Crates (more below).

Shootout is a solo PvP mode that is fast-paced. Like traditional online shooters, simply gain the highest scores by maximizing your kills and minimizing your deaths to place in the top three. Third place receives one Crate, second place receives two Crates, and first place receives three Crates, while all others gain a little bit of food and experience.

Like with Elimination, players’ loadouts are randomized. You can find other weapons on the field, as well as taking weapons from killed opponents.

Lastly, the main game mode in Vigor is Encounter. In this mode, you go out on a solo mission to scavenge materials. You can run into other Outlanders, so be careful. This is the main mode where you can reliably scavenge materials you need to upgrade your home.

You get to choose your loadout for Encounter. However, if you die – whether by another Outlander or falling to your death – you lose all equipped weapons and any items you may have scavenged. It is a stiff penalty to face, especially considering this is the most consistent way to find materials.

Remember, in Encounter, you can leave the area whenever you want. You do not have to engage with other Outlanders, but running across another one is unavoidable at times. It is highly recommended to prioritize the gathering of resources rather than engaging in battles.

Also, you can become the Lone Wolf in Encounter mode, taking on groups of two or three. While more difficult, you will gain more experience for being the Lone Wolf. You can also group up with friends in Encounter mode, utilizing the handy Ping function (D-Pad Left).

With Ping, you can mark locations for your group, and double-tapping Ping will send out a “Danger” signal to the group. This will allow them to quickly find and assist you should you find yourself in trouble. Pinging locations can help group members find more resources or to warn them of a sighted Outlander.

Keep in mind that each map (aside from Elimination) lasts for an hour before rotating out with a different map. So, Encounter is the best for scavaging materials, while Shootout is the best for those seeking the classic FPS experience.

How to get XP faster in Vigor

Post-match Encounter screen, indicating the experience breakdown

First, you receive a daily login bonus of 300 XP, easy experience, so remember to login every day!

At the end of each Encounter – whether you survived or died – you will be brought to the post-match screen that details your experience gained. You gain minimal experience from finding and looting resources, but if you gather enough, the experience builds.

An easy way to gain some experience without really doing anything is by finding new areas on each map. When you access a map, an undiscovered location is indicated by an upside down triangle outlined in black. A discovered location will have that triangle colored in black.

The big experience rewards come from killing other Outlanders and accessing or looting safes and airdrops. For example, you receive 300 XP for each kill, another 300 XP for a headshot kill. As shown in the picture above, you gain 300 XP for unlocking the safe, and another 200 for looting (accessing) the safe. Airdrops provide similar experience.

There are a few notes of caution with safes and airdrops. First, safes are generally in the “Barred House” on the map with multiple entrances blocked off – though usually one entrance remains unbarred. You will need to slowly take down wooden barricades piece-by-piece to access some safes within houses. They take nearly a minute to unlock. Luckily, you are not required to engage the lock for the entire minute as simply interacting with it will automatically work to unlock the safe. Safes are also marked on the map if you want to prioritize them.

Accessing the safe in a Barred House

Second, when you proceed to unlock the safe, a notification goes out to every player indicating the safe is being accessed. The notification doesn’t indicate which player, but your location will be known as again, safes are marked on the map. Use the minute you’re waiting for the safe to unlock to prepare yourself: create a single point of entry that you can defend, place noise sensors around the perimeter, and whatever you feel necessary.

Third, with airdrops, once you access the airdrop, not only is every player notified, but your position is continuously broadcast on the map, making you a valuable target. The airdrop also happens several minutes into an Encounter, so you might be risking the radiation cloud if you wait for the airdrop.

Lastly, there is always a risk that the airdrop is contaminated with radiation, but only if an Outlander uses a Comm Station to switch the contents before the drop. You will be notified when an Outlander uses a Comm Station, but you will not be notified what exactly it is they changed about the airdrop. If you hit a Comm Station, you can also improve the contents of the airdrop, but it would be a waste if you aren’t the one to loot the drop.

There are also experience boosters you can purchase with Crowns, the in-game currency, or as level rewards for purchasing a Battle Pass (more later).

Utilize the Shooting Range to familiarize yourself with the guns

Shooting Range challenges to help you become an expert with each gun

There are many guns available in Vigor, and luckily for you, you have a place where you can freely practice without losing ammo or crucially, your life.

The Shooting Range attached to your property will present challenges of increasing difficulty for each gun you unlock. When you obtain new guns, you will be notified you can now engage in challenges with those guns upon entering the Shooting Range tent.

You may think it is useless to practice here, particularly if you are a veteran of shooters. However, Vigor seems to place that much more realism to the weapons as the recoil on some guns is extreme. This is the main reason it is recommended to practice at the Shooting Range: to understand how much and when the recoil happens for each gun.

A shotgun has an immediate and upward jerk in recoil because of its immense power. Automatic guns will rapidly drift upwards as well if you hold down the Shoot button. Pistols, as expected, have the least amount of recoil because of their small size and ammo caliber.

It will also give you a good idea of the range of each weapon and the accuracy of the scope or aim with each weapon. Since you cannot attach mods to weapons, you have to use the scopes the weapons are equipped with – if they have one equipped at all.

Side note, there are two trophies and achievements associated with the Shooting Range, as well as in-game medals. You will unlock them by scoring gold on one challenge, and then scoring gold on eight challenges.

How to upgrade your shelter in Vigor

The Shelter Level page where you can make upgrades to your abode and track the progress of upgrades

All those resources you gather need to go somewhere, and that somewhere is into improving your house. At first, you will only be able to upgrade the Wood Log and Crafting Table, but as your Shelter Level increases, you will have more options available.

Here is a list of all of the resources needed for upgrades to your home:

  • Metal Parts
  • Nails
  • Glass
  • Electronics
  • Chemicals
  • Wire
  • Fertilizer
  • Fuel

Each upgrade will show you what and how many resources are needed, the effect of that upgrade, and if in the process of an upgrade, how much time is remaining for the upgrade to complete. You can “Boost” the upgrade by paying Crowns to have the upgrade built immediately.

There are three key upgrades you should target, though they will require higher Shelter Levels before becoming available. The first is the Antenna, which will produce 3.39 Crowns per day upon the first upgrade. It becomes available at Shelter Level IV. While the Crowns produced is not much, it is something and will build up over time. Each upgrade adds a bit to the Crowns produced per day (3.64, 3.88, 4.12, and on).

Second, available at Shelter Level VII is the Electric Generator, which initially allows for the building of two improvements at once. The final upgrade allows you to build up to six improvements at once. This will become a must-have in order to quickly and fully upgrade your home.

Lastly, although it isn’t available until the last level of Shelter Level XIII, the Wind Turbine is crucial because it decreases building time by two percent, up to a max of 26 percent! Yes, coming so late in the game does diminish its importance a bit, but even then, the ability to decrease just over a quarter of building time is particularly useful for upgrades that take a long time (Antenna level two takes 12 hours!).

Here is a list of all available upgrades, when they become available, and their number of levels:

  • Crafting Table (Shelter Level I; 13 levels)
  • Wood Log (Shelter Level II; 13 levels)
  • Water Distillation (Shelter Level III; 13 levels)
  • Antennae (Shelter Level IV; 13 levels)
  • Rat Trap 1 (Shelter Level IV; 13 levels)
  • Box of Herbs 1 (Shelter Level V; 13 levels)
  • Box of Plants 1 (Shelter Level V; 13 levels)
  • Chemical Distillation (Shelter Level VI; 13 levels)
  • Box of Herbs 2 (Shelter Level VI; 13 levels)
  • Electric Generator (Shelter Level VII; five levels)
  • Outhouse (Shelter Level VII; 13 levels)
  • Box of Herbs 3 (Shelter Level VIII; 13 levels)
  • Rat Trap 2 (Shelter Level VIII; 13 levels)
  • Utility Room (Shelter Level IX; 13 levels)
  • Smokehouse (Shelter Level IX; 13 levels)
  • Rat Trap 3 (Shelter Level X; 13 levels)
  • Box of Plants 2 (Shelter Level X; 13 levels)
  • Scrap Bin (Shelter Level XI; 13 levels)
  • Box of Herbs 4 (Shelter Level XI; 13 levels)
  • Rat Trap 4 (Shelter Level XII; 13 levels)
  • Box of Plants 3 (Shelter Level XII; 13 levels)
  • Wind Turbine (Shelter Level XIII; 13 levels)
  • Box of Plants 4 (Shelter Level XIII; 13 levels)

Here is a list of the repairs done to the house at each Shelter Level:

  • Level II: Cover roof with tarp
  • Level III: Cover outer walls with tarp
  • Level IV: Cover inner walls with tarp
  • Level V: Cover windows
  • Level VI: Repair roof with metal sheets
  • Level VII: Repair outside walls
  • Level VIII: Repair inside walls
  • Level IX: Repair windows and doors
  • Level X: Build new tiled roof
  • Level XI: Build new exterior
  • Level XII: Build new interior
  • Level XIII: Build new doors and windows

There is a trophy, achievement, and in-game medal for fully upgrading your home, meaning all levels for each upgrade.

If you know you need electronics, then check vehicles. If you need fuel, find fuel canisters. Prioritize resources to upgrade your home.

Seek special Crates

Contents from a Crate

One notable aspect of Vigor is the ability to obtain special Crates that will reward you with materials, weapons, and crafting plans. As previously mentioned, Shootout will give you Crates based on a top-three finish. You can also obtain Crates by completing daily missions, donating food, and more.

There are nine Crate categories, from Common to Shootout to Special Issue. The possible contents are displayed, though you will only receive three at a time. Once you’ve received every item in a crate, the item contents will reset to a new batch of items.

Crafting plans are crucial if you want to create weapons that you either lost due to death or not yet own. Without crafting plans, you are unable to build those weapons even if you already own them and have the requisite parts. If you head into the detached basement on your property, you will find all of your obtained weapons and plans mounted on the walls, a blueprint representing the plans for a weapon.

Donating food to the “not-so-lucky”

An easy way to obtain a Crate is by donating food, located on the back side of your house next to the waterfall. There are five reward Crates depending on how much food you donate: 500 units, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, and 10,000 with Common, Uncommon, Rare, Military Grade, and Special Issue Crates as the respective rewards.

You can loot food on the map, and each Rat Trap will produce food for you. Since you don’t actually need to eat food in this game to survive, all of that food production could conceivably be donated for Crates.

Pay attention! You usually have one week to donate food, the timer shown when you interact with the donation box. If you have not donated enough for a Crate, or not enough for the next tier, then the excess food just goes to waste in terms of you obtaining a Crate. It would be frustrating for the time to end with you just shy of a goal.

How the store and Battle Pass work

Purchasing Crowns from the Vigor store

Vigor has an in-game store where you can purchase weapon skins, attire for your Outlander, experience boosters, Crowns, and a Battle Pass.

One important thing to note is weapons cannot be bought on the store, only weapon skins, making all weapons available to every Outlander – should you find them and their crafting plans. This removes the pay-to-play aspect for the most part without higher-rated weapons to purchase solely for those who can afford them. Aside from the experience boosters and Crowns, the items you can purchase with your Crowns are basically just for aesthetic purposes.

Battle Pass explainer

The other option is to buy a Battle Pass for that season, and one Legacy Battle Pass to obtain rewards missed in the past. Battle Passes are not required to play and do not reward weapons for purchasing them. With a battle pass, in addition to the normal rewards for leveling up, you receive extra, usually skins or attire, but also Crowns and experience boosters.

You can purchase a Legacy Battle Pass between the Preppers, Hunters, Rivals, and Warlords seasons.

There you have it, everything you need to know in our Vigor guide so that you can be a successful Outlander! Now that you know how to play Vigor, build your shelter and show everyone that you are the Outlander of all Outlanders!

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