Stray, the long-anticipated game from BlueTwelve Studio and Annapurna Interactive where you play as a cat in a cyberpunk landscape, finally dropped. The game features some unique elements in that the type of gameplay players experience can be on rails at certain points. This means that you’ll need to adjust your overall playstyle to the game’s choices.
But don’t worry: you can still jaunt around and knock pots off of shelves as a cute little stray cat. You can even wear a backpack (and totally hate it at first). Here are the 5 best tips for Stray.
Curiosity has its pros and cons in Stray
Like cats in real life, it pays to be curious in Stray. Explore all of the nooks and crannies — especially when you visit hubs. As mentioned, the game tends to dip in and out of genres and styles. Sometimes, you’ll be more of a detective, trying to sniff out hidden quests or items.
If fetch quests with character like those found in Ghostwire: Tokyo aren’t your bag, you don’t have to do all of them. Just keep in mind that the game tends to reward those who explore more.
But be wary not to explore too far ahead of where you’re supposed to be in the game’s story progression. You could get locked out of an area. In addition, if you poke around too much at random objects, you might get your head trapped in a bag — just like a real cat would.
Embrace the verticality
In the same vein as exploring everything, players need to remember to exploit the game’s verticality. While you can’t always jump, you should take advantage of all the times that you can. You’re a cat after all, so why not perch on a roof somewhere?
This also affords you a better view of the city and, since cats cannot use or read maps, this might also give you a better idea of how to get to a place you want to visit. Knowing what’s coming might also help you in combat.
Enjoy being a stray cat
Stray is about playing as a cat. That means that you can do lots of behaviors like real cats such as purring, nuzzling NPCs, jumping, etc. You can even curl up and nap in a cozy area for a spell and the game has lots of these nooks for you to do just that.
In fact, the game seems to encourage you to indulge in the cat-like behavior. If you warm up to the android NPCs, they will lean down to pet you. A controller will vibrate when you purr and you can also spam “meow” to get attention, attract enemies, or just for fun.
Another pro-tip: your meow will cause issues with the city’s electrical grid early on in the game. After you meow, a neon arrow will flicker to guide you in the direction you need to go in.
Signs and vending machines
The environment in Stray is just as fulfilling and full of life as the main character itself. The rich background brims with details and secrets. One such secret is that the various signs you come across can provide hints at where to go next or how to find something interesting.
Additionally, vending machines provide currency (energy drinks) for the world. You should pick up all the ones you can to trade them later on in the game.
Certain actions reveal items and areas
So, getting a good look from a high vantage point can help you with the city layout. But these are two other key things to do to find items and areas.
First, the B-12 backpack lights up when the stray is near something such as a terminal or dialogue opportunity. Don’t miss out on this critical visual cue if you want to get achievements and experience all the game has to offer.
Secondly, as with meowing and other cat behaviors, sharpening your claws on various real-world scratching posts will reveal areas. For instance, you could claw at a drape or paw softly at a closed door. Someone may end up opening the door for you and open up an entirely new spot to explore.
Where can I play Stray?
The game is set to get a full physical release with preorders starting on July 12th. For now, players interested in experiencing life as this adorable feline can play digital versions on Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5.