Broken Roads isometric cRPG official artwork and logo

Unlike some of the other games I've done guides for, Broken Roads isn't a particularly tough cookie to crack, especially since the really hard choices are all found in dialogue trees. However, there's still a couple of nasty pitfalls I'd like to help you avoid, as well as some nifty tricks and strategies to teach you so you don't have to learn them the hard way.

So if you're looking to make your trip through a post-apocalyptic desert as nice and pleasant as possible, allow me to share with you some (hopefully) sage advice after wrestling with the dreaded drop bears for the past two weeks. Without further ado, let us begin!

 Video version of this guide (~10 minutes)

1) Be ready to fight

While Broken Roads allows you to talk your way through a lot of potentially tricky situations, sooner or later you're going to end up in combat. You can try to escape from these encounters and thus complete the game as a purely pacifist character, but this is hardly the best way to play as you'll be missing out on a lot of interesting areas and quests. Because of this, I would recommend making your character at least somewhat capable at fighting, even if this is purely in a supportive role.

But whatever your playstyle may be, you should definitely put points into Intelligence or Agility as those stats will give you extra action points. And action points, as you might imagine from the name alone, dictate how many attacks or spells you're able to pull off in any single turn. The more you have, the more capable your character is going to be regardless of your build, so do make sure to throw the occasional point into Intelligence or Agility - you won't regret it!

Broken Roads screenshot of using magic against drop bears

With enough AP you can share the gift of fire with all enemies!

2) Focus your character

Broken Roads is going to be at its hardest throughout Act 1 as you simply won't have enough good gear or abilities to comfortably deal with the opposition. As such, I would highly advise against trying to make a well-rounded character from the very start. Instead of ending up being versatile and able to rise up to any challenge, you're just going to make yourself equally terrible at everything.

Rather, try to focus on a couple of key stats and abilities until you max those out. Then, once you have a bit of gear and Broken Roads starts to get easier, you can then spread your points across the various skills and really start to craft a more nuanced build. 

Broken Roads screenshot of Bonk and her melee build

Bonk may only be good at one thing, but I doubt many people will argue with her!

3) Choose your team carefully

Whenever you go adventuring you'll be able to bring four companions with you. Besides their personality, you should also consider what sort of skills they have to offer as you don't want to find yourself in a combat encounter with exclusively support focused characters that can't do much on their own.

This goes doubly so in the early game as all of your characters will start off fairly weak and will be taking massive amounts of damage from enemies until they get a few more levels under their belt. In order to avoid some humiliating defeats, I'd highly recommend using a balanced party for the first two acts as that will give you the most wiggle room.

Personally, I'm a big fan of having two melee characters running around soaking up damage and tying enemies down, two ranged characters to offer fire support and buffs to the brawlers, and then one character (me in this case) that just goes around dishing out debuffs and setting enemies on fire. Obviously other compositions are also perfectly viable, but if you're just here for the story and don't really care about the combat, the classic tank-DPS-support spread will always treat you well, from beginning to end.

Broken Roads screenshot of the early game combat

A bit of basic strategy also helps

4) When in doubt, respec!

Regardless of what sort of build you decide to go for, don't be afraid to experiment. If you make a mistake, or even a hundred of them, none of that matters since respeccing in Broken Roads is incredibly easy.

All you have to do is visit Adam the stage magician in Merredin after a major early game revelation happens, ask him for a fresh start, and that's literally it. You don't even have to pay anything, and you can repeat this process as many times as you want because Adam is awesome! So if you ever find yourself curious about a new ability or even a new playstyle, just go for it!

Broken Roads screenshot of the skill respec character Adam

Adam really is the best!

5) Your moral compass

Instead of going with a binary good vs bad system, Broken Roads has a moral compass that represent your character on a chart divided between four ideologies: utilitarian, nihilist, Machiavellian and humanist. While there is a lot of focus on this during character creation, the moral compass doesn't actually matter, at least not in a gameplay sense. The buffs and debuffs you get through it are all relatively minor and perfectly fine to ignore.

In fact, the whole thing is essentially a roleplaying tool to add a bit of extra flavor to your character. So just focus on making the choices you believe in rather than ones you think you should take in order to maintain a certain position on the moral compass. This isn't something like Mass Effect. You don't have to go full Paragon to get the 'good' results!

Broken Roads screenshot of the moral compass system

It's perfectly fine to not commit to any direction

6) Interact with the environment

Broken Roads has a lot of interactible items scattered throughout the world. These range from containers that might have some delicious loot to purely background pieces that offer a bit of flavorful dialogue to help you get immersed into the world. Whatever the case may be, they're all worth clicking on as even the most mundane items can give you a small bit of experience which, given the sheer number of these objects, can stack up quite quickly in the early game.

Thankfully, you don't have to move your cursor around the screen like a crazy person in order to find all of them. You can simply press the highlight key (Tab) to make all of them easily visible. As an additional bonus, you can also turn on "Toggle Object Labels" in the options menu in order to make the highlights stay on until you press (Tab) again. I'd definitely recommend you do so as some of the characters and objects can be hidden in plain sight!

Just be warned that this option only reveals objects that are close to you, so if you run into particularly large landmarks you'll definitely want to quickly mouse over them to see if there's anything interesting going on.

Broken Roads screenshot of highly detailed environments

There's plenty to see in every location, so spare a moment to take it all in

7) Be a hoarder

Items in Broken Roads don't weigh anything and your inventory size is, to my knowledge, infinite. As such, hoarding everything you find is not only possible, but actually a pretty good idea as there are plenty of quests that ask you to deliver a certain number of random knick-knacks like radio parts or books. Usually these items are marked as quest objectives or collectibles, but I did run into a couple that weren't, so just try to keep the useful stuff around. Just in case!

That said, don't take this to an extreme. If you're trying to buy a powerful new weapon or a piece of armor, don't be afraid to sell items labeled as junk, as well as weapons that are obviously outdated. For example, if you've 'reclaimed' a dozen toys from the local bandits, it's perfectly fine to sell all of them in order to get some much-needed supplies. After all, there's not suddenly going to be a big demand for bloody, half-broken pistols, now is there?

Broken Roads silly screenshot of manure

Funnily enough, you do actually 'need' a bit of pocket-poo!

8) Go off the beaten track

Once you're done with the prologue and the world map opens up, you'll be able to visit a variety of marked locations. While this might be incredibly obvious, it's important to note that you're not limited to just these locations!

Simply click on any random place on the map and your party will start heading over there. You might run into bandits that will trigger a combat encounter or you might just find nothing at all, but more often than not you'll stumble upon some sort of point of interest. These places might help you solve a quest, give you a little bit of a boost, or even kickstart a whole new adventure! So if you ever find yourself unsure about what to do, explore around and the answer might just present itself.

Broken Roads screenshot of the world map exploration

Explore as you never know what you might find!

9) Save early, save often!

While I hope that by the time you're reading this things are significantly better, right now Broken Roads has a couple of annoying bugs. Thankfully none of them are game-breaking, and I've always managed to fix them by just restarting or reloading the game. Because of this, I would highly recommend saving frequently as you otherwise might just find yourself replaying a large section if the last few autosaves have all been polluted by the same bug.

Broken Roads is also a game with a lot of important choices to make, choices that can drastically change the course of any given settlement. If you save frequently, you'll then be able to come back to these locations later and see what exactly could've gone different! Just don't use this power to 'save-scum' in order to get the ideal outcome in every scenario, as a little bit of strife is needed to make victory feel sweet!

Broken Roads screenshot of a harrowing scene

Closing thoughts

There you have it, nine simple tips that will hopefully make your first playthrough of Broken Roads a nice and pleasant one, despite the whole post-apocalypse thing anyway! And as a final little bonus tip, I would highly recommend against rushing through the quests. Instead, just take it easy and chat with any character that is willing to listen. You'll learn a lot of cool stuff this way!

And finally, if you're still not sure whether Broken Roads is your kind of game, or if you're curious about what kind of experience I had with it, I welcome you to also check out my spoiler-free review. Either way, have fun with Broken Roads!