It’s tough to survive in Wellington Wells. Civilized people live their lives hopped up on Joy pills, carefully walking the line between losing their minds and getting kicked out of society, while anyone who can’t or won’t conform is doomed to live out in the wilderness. Each kind of society has its own threats: the detectors and monitors in cities that automatically detect each person’s Joy level and alert the authorities, and the plague victims and gangs that prey on the wastrels sent to live in the wilderness.
Fortunately, I’ve managed to survive in Wellington Wells for a few in-game months now, and I’m here with a few tips to help make your own journey a little easier.
Plants and Berries
No matter where you are in the story of We Happy Few, it’s always worth it to make your way out to the wilderness and start picking flowers. In particular, keep an eye out for Gilead bushes. They’re low to the ground, with distinctive red flowers. It only takes two Gilead Petals to make a Healing Balm, and these low-cost, easy-to-craft medicines will save your life more than once. You can use Healing Balms in combat, bringing yourself back from the brink of death, or to regain your health quickly and easily wherever you are.
While Gilead bushes may be the most useful, others also provide major benefits. Rowan Berries are orange and grow in low-to-the-ground bushes, making them a little harder to spot. Add one of these to your Gilead Petals, and you’ll make a more powerful healing item, or ingest one alone for a brief boost of stamina. Blue Currant berries are, as the name implies, blue, and serve as a food source. While they’re not terribly filling, they’re an easy and quick source of free food early on. Night Blooming Nonsuch will only bloom at night, but glows and is easy to spot, and serves as an important ingredient in Sick-Up Tea, which can cure your food poisoning from eating rotten food. Finally, if you’re playing as Sally, look for Foxglove, a red flower on a long stalk that’s a useful compound for many of her chemical concoctions.
Trash or Treasure
You’ll scavenge a ton of materials over the course of the game, but some are more useful than others. How do you know what to keep, what to drop, and what to sell?
First up, search every drawer and corpse for bobby pins and lockpicks. No matter where you are in the game, it’s crucial to always carry a handful of lockpicks. It’s easy to run out, since there are tons of locked desks, lockers, and drawers around the game that can be opened with lockpicks, but may not provide much reward. However, there are a few points in the story where you’ll need a lockpick to progress, and you don’t want to get to those points and discover that your pockets are empty! Lockpicks are also handy for making a quick escape through a locked door into a shelter to get yourself out of trouble.
Next, when you’re playing as Arthur on your first time through the game, save every bit of cloth you can find, especially some of the rarer materials like Sewing Kits, Coarse Linen, and Shredded Raincoats. While Sally can buy her clothes at a vendor, there are a few points where Arthur must craft his own clothes, and scavenging for the materials can be a pain if you haven’t been collecting.
For Sally, money is a higher priority. She has greater access to shops and townsfolk, and can buy a lot of the supplies she needs if she’s able to come up with the cash. Sally can peddle her drugs to customers, but can also make a ton of money selling things you’ll pick up from looting trash cans and post boxes on your journey. Since Sally is a chemical genius but hopeless mechanically, you can safely sell any metal bits, leather scraps, and things of that nature that you pick up. Grab the perks that eliminate hunger and thirst, and you can make a pretty penny selling off any food you scavenge. Sally’s also not very strong, so you’ll do better selling off any weapons you find and using the funds to buy ingredients for her knock-out drugs.
Finally, for Ollie, you’ll want to hang on to any food you find in order to keep Ollie’s blood sugar levels under control. Keep an eye out for honey and syringes, as these let Ollie craft medicine to regulate his own glucose levels. If you can’t manage that, then stockpile weapons. People don’t tend to like Ollie, especially when his blood sugar levels are dipping, so it’s best to be prepared to bash in a few heads.
Regulating your Joy
When you enter civilization, you’re expected to be on Joy all the time, and at first, it’s difficult to tell exactly how much Joy to take. Each dose of Joy only lasts a minute or so, and when it runs out, you’ll crash and have to take more Joy. As this happens, though, a separate meter will show up, tracking how many doses of Joy you’ve taken overall—because once you take too much, you’ll experience Joy toxicity and have an even more serious crash.
Citizens in town won’t like it when your Joy dose wears off and you’re crashing, or when you’ve taken enough doses to hit Joy toxicity. Here’s the trick, though: If you never take Joy in the first place, most citizens can’t tell. Greet them cheerfully, avoid the monitors and the green-clothed policemen (they can smell you), act normally (don’t sprint or jump or climb through windows), and you’ll be able to walk around most areas of the city completely normally.
There are a few times where you’ll have to pass through scanners that check your Joy levels, however, meaning that you’ll have to deal with the drugs at some point. There are two workarounds for this.
First, take your Joy. You’ll get the Joy buff and you’ll be able to pass through. Once you’ve gotten where you need to go, find a place to hide before your Joy runs out. (Many streets have alleys with trash cans where you can stay out of sight). Wait for your Joy to run out, then keep hiding out for another minute or so while your symptoms of Joy withdrawal wear off. You’ll then be able to keep walking through the city drug-free.
Second, purchase, create, or loot a drug called Sunshine. This drug mimics the effects of Joy, letting you fool the monitors or pass through barriers, but doesn’t add to your Joy toxicity levels and doesn’t come with a crash. It lasts for a shorter amount of time, though, so you’ll need to be quick and only take it right when you really need it.
With those tips and tricks under your belt, you’re now ready to tackle the false utopia of Wellington Wells. Stay safe, eat your food, take your Joy, and, most important of all—try not to die.