Scouting (activity)

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Scouting is getting a group of players together, forming a squad, and going out into the wilderness to fight either NPC pirates or NPC traders. It is not necessary to get a group together, but scouting in a group is usually safer than scouting solo, and is more fun (more often than not).

Factors in Scouting

There are several things that affect what we encounter on scouts.

Place of Origin for a Scout

Starting out, the town you are now in is Somerset, you will probably be scouting from here as you try to make your name in Darkwind. Each town and camp has a different difficulty level associated with it for scouting. Scouting closer to town will often mean meeting an enemy with more firepower. Scouting from towns south of Somerset will greatly increase the difficulty.

Scouting Distance

The distance you travel on your scout affects how strong an enemy force you may encounter, the further out you go the more selective you are. As a result, longer scout distances will often result in a more advantageous (read: equitable) encounter. The minimum return time from a scout is 1 hour, it increases if you go out farther than 20 miles.

The furthest you can go during a scout is 50 miles. Remember you need enough fuel to go and come back (i.e. enough to travel 100 miles if you scout 50 miles out)!

Scouting Direction

The direction you choose from your town or camp can affect the firepower you encounter. Heading toward a 'safer' town will mean slightly less firepower, while heading towards more dangerous places will raise the firepower you come across. For new people, I suggest joining one of the camps north of Somerset and scouting towards it.

Scouting Skill

This affects how much firepower you will come across. A character with a high Scouting skill is typically referred to as a "Scout". Try not to get confused with the terminology knowing that you want to take a Scout with you while on a scout. A higher Scouting skill means fairer fights, or occasionally an advantage for the player. This only counts the best Scout in the group; having more than one Scout won't help.

Other Factors

Some other factors are the vehicle the Scout is riding in, and the size of the squad. Putting your Scout into a smaller, more mobile vehicle may get you a fairer fight. A larger squad may get you slightly worse odds. The most important factor when considering a squad's size is the sum of the Combat Rating (CR) of all the vehicles in the squad.


Slidewrx: With my two Windy II cars at about 300 CR, I would head out of Somerset toward the Slack Shack. Going 25 miles out, with a 90 scout means I would get roughly equal or slightly good odds. I would be fighting 250-300 CR opponents. 250 CR is the minimum enconter, so it might have been better odds if I brought more vehicles to raise my CR.

With the same crew I would head out from Somerset toward Gateway (again 25 miles, 90 scout), and I would encounter 275-325 CR opponents.

I drove them to Gateway and started scouting there. Scouting From Gateway, toward Somerset, I went out 50 miles with my now 99 scout, and I regularly encounter ~450 CR opponents! This is with the same 300 CR pair of Windy II's. There are also more return encounters. I need to raise my scouting skill before I go any further I think.

Solo Scouting

Scouting solo means scouting without other players in the squad. It often means scouting with a single car, but many players who solo scout use multiple vehicles. For more information about solo scouting, read the Ultimate Guide to an Early Grave.


General information about encounters can be found on the Encounters page.

After-action Report

A scouting event can have four possible outcomes:

  1. You win (All opponent cars Demoralized)
  2. You lose (All your cars Demoralized)
  3. You run away (Escape at 350m or auto escape at 500m)
  4. The enemy runs away (Escape at 350m or auto escape at 500m. It also asks if you want to let them go and if so they escape immediately.)


If you win the event by demoralizing all the enemy cars and pedestrians or causing them to run away, you will be allowed to loot the remaining enemy vehicles.

Detailed information about looting is on the Looting page.


If you lose the event, and you have surviving characters, they will form a footsquad, and start to walk back to town. Walking back to town is ten times (10x) slower than driving, and it is highly probable that your footsquad will have at least one encounter with the creatures in the area, or groups of on-foot bandits or mutants.

The walk back to town also exposes your characters to the aurora (they are protected while in their vehicles) and the blistering sun. As a result, characters who have to walk may become sick due to radiation poisoning and/or sunstroke. Stronger characters will be less affected by the environment than weaker characters.

NOTE: Be sure to equip each of your characters with a personal weapon, otherwise they will have to fight any encounters unarmed.

If your characters have formed a footsquad any encounters it has can be initiated from your gang's Squads page.

NOTE: Anyone with a character in the footsquad can initiate the encounters as there is no designated squad owner as there is with vehicle squads.

Running Away

When you reach more than 350 meters from the nearest opponent you have the option to Escape from combat. This is available via each vehicle's contextual menu (Top right screen click-pull-down), and will remove the vehicle from the map at the start of the next turn. When all of your vehicles have escaped the event ends.

NOTE: Be sure you do not abandon any demoralized vehicles or you could end up losing the combat rather than simply running away.


When any vehicle passes the 500 meter distance from the closest enemy they will automatically be removed from the map at the start of the next turn. This applies to both your vehicles and the NPC's.

NOTE: Be sure you do not abandon any demoralized vehicles or you could end up losing the combat rather than simply running away.

Town Safety Zones

There is a safety zone around each town (except Firelight) that simulates the desire of the general populace to keep the warfare out of the town proper.

When your vehicle is within this zone you will receive a message that your car is within the town limits and can escape safely. It is not necessary to be beyond the 350m escape distance in order to escape safely into a town.

It is important to note that the NPC vehicles have this capability as well, and they will use it if they become demoralized or if they are "losing" the battle and decide to escape. As a result, it is not uncommon to have enemy cars disappear in the middle of the combat if you are fighting close to the city limits.

Firelight is currently the only town without a safety zone. When attempting to escape 'into the city' you must reach the standard escape distance of 350 meters regardless of your proximity to the city walls, gates, or buildings.

NOTE: The town safety zones do not exist/function when participating in the Militia v. Pirates Town Defense PvP events.

Process the Return

The squad owner must process the return to finish the scout. There may or not be a return encounter. The squad owner can eliminate an encounter event being generated by the server by placing a checkmark in the Accept truces from all NPC traders box. If the squad owner wishes not have an encounter event generated for friendly factions encounter, the squad owner can place a checkmark in the Accept truces from all members of friendly factions box. It is not necessary these boxes be checked but if the squad owner wants to save time they can do so. The boxes can be checked or unchecked at any time before processing the next encounter whether it be a return or the initial scout.

How to process for a return if the squad owner doesn't process the return

If you go on a scout and the owner of the squad doesn't process the return you can do it yourself.

you can use the split squad option. click the split squad button below the list of vehicles and put your vehicles in a new split squad.

then a new squad will be created called split (name of the squad here) then you can process the return.