One of Days Gone's best aspects is the survival component of its gameplay loop. Although Deacon doesn't need to sleep, eat, or drink, you always need to be on the look-out for materials that boost your chances of overcoming any given encounter. It's not enough to rely on the best weapons in the game to dispatch a horde. The various items you can assemble, like Molotovs or bandages, have the ability to make the difference in a life or death situation.
Some consumables and throwables are significantly better than others. If you lack plenty of crafting components often, you should prioritize saving those items that best aid your gameplay style.
10 Molotov Cocktail
This classic makeshift petrol bomb is found in plenty of video games, especially survival horrors. You unlock the Molotov recipe in the beginning sequence of the game, when Boozer helps you navigate a dark tunnel full of Freaker nests. To craft one you need a rag, kerosene, and a beer bottle.
As an incendiary throwable weapon, the Molotov is best suited for small groups of enemies closely knit together. It's splash damage isn't too reliable, so make sure you aim well before throwing one. You should save all your Molotovs to destroy nests scattered in the open world, since the incendiary crossbow bolt is the only other weapon that performs the same function (but unlocks much later in the game).
Keeping your health at its max is important if you want to avoid dying to an unexpected Runner at a gas station. Bandages are the most readily available and easy to craft healing items. They restore 50% of your total health. To make one all you need is a rag and a sterilizer, commonly found on dead marauders and throughout the open world.
Bandages also spawn in certain locations as well, like bathrooms inside houses and ambulances. Overall, it's a good idea to always keep a few of these handy life savers in your inventory.
8 Bat Axe
Although its name sounds like a Batman gadget, the bat axe is easily one of the most reliable melee weapons in the game, especially when coupled with the best melee perks. To craft this formidable tool you need one baseball bat, a sawblade, and one piece of scrap.
Keep in mind that there are a few other, more powerful melee weapons, like the superior mace. However, in terms of cost-effectiveness, the bat axe never lets you down: it deals massive damage and won't break after a couple of uses.
7 Focus Cocktail
Focus is Days Gone's version of Red Dead Redemption's dead eye. Nothing is cooler than slowing down time and firing your weapon, as a massive swarm of Freakers falls before you like a crumbling house of cards.
The focus cocktail greatly boosts this ability's recovery, allowing you to use it more often and fight for longer periods. However, it's best not to rely on these concoctions too much. Focus doesn't have a bad recovery in its own right, you should resort to cocktails only when using the weapons with tons of ammo.
6 Incendiary Bolt
These crossbow bolts are significantly better for destroying nests, compared to Molotov bombs. To make three incendiary bolts you need one scarp, a cedar sapling, one piece of rag, and a kerosene can. Nearly the same crafting components only yield one Molotov, as opposed to three bolts. That means you can burn three nests instead of one, when using the incendiary bolt recipe.
Keep in mind that Molotovs are better when it comes to fighting, since these bolts do not have an area of effect and only set a single enemy on fire.
5 Residue Bolt
This is, undeniably, the best ammo type for your crossbow. Residue bolts make an enemy confused for a brief time, until they begin attacking their allies. The effect lasts indefinitely, although an affected NPC eventually dies after dispatching all targets in an area.
Residue Bolts are extremely effective at killing enemies with large pools of health because of this. They are also fun to sow chaos in ambush camps. To craft this useful item you need one nest residue, scrap, and a cedar sapling.
4 Napalm Molotov
This item unlocks towards the end-game and is one of the best throwables you can get. The napalm Molotov is essentially a significantly more powerful version of the regular Molotov cocktail. You should only use these formidable incendiary bombs when fighting hordes, since their area of effect is able to burn and kill numerous Freakers.
The recipe to craft this invaluable item requires one growler, a rag, kerosene, and polystyrene. All these components respawn periodically in the open-world, you shouldn't have problems getting a hold of them.
3 Health Cocktail
The health cocktail is the most efficient healing item, especially when coupled with The Alchemist ability, one of the best survival perks in the game. Your health is immediately restored by a moderate amount upon consumption, and it continues to slowly regenerate over a short period of time.
Health cocktails can essentially refill your entire health bar, and they only require one healing herb, a sterilizer, and a rag to be crafted. Just make sure you don't sell all your precious Mayweeds to vendors in camps.
2 Attractor Bomb
Hordes are both challenging and rewarding. If you struggle with approaching one, you can maximize your starting damage by throwing one attractor bomb. Like the name suggests, this item draws Freakers to one spot, stalls them for a couple of seconds, and then explodes. When matched with a grenade or napalm Molotov, attractor bombs can utterly devastate hordes and give you some breathing room.
To craft one, you need each the following materials: a can, an alarm clock, scrap, gun powder, and a spark igniter.
1 Stamina Cocktail
The most valuable early-game cocktail is the stamina one. At first, you won't be able to fight hordes. It's not uncommon to roam a neighborhood at night, firing your gun, and suddenly getting overrun by dozens and dozens of Swarmers. When that happens, you need to immediately return to your drifter bike, especially if you lack high-end weaponry.
Deacon's starting stamina is worst than you might realize, since it can barely hold up when it comes to sustaining long periods of sprinting. Make good use of this cocktail often, since it only requires a rag, one sterilizer, and any stamina berry to be crafted.
How to sum up hardcore perfectly.