First-ever guide, so be happy or don’t with the result, what I am going to be sharing with you now is a semi-safe method to find hidden cities.
TL:DR – Pro(?) Tips on hidden city hunting
When taking off from ANY city, immediately turn on your ground radar and zoom in on the city and your ships – LOOK closely at it, the roads, the networks, the structure. Memorize how the image on your ground radar looks of an actual city and then find it in the desert. It is as simple and as complicated as that.
Hidden Cities, I believe, dont spawn in the “smaller” spaces/gaps between cities. Look for your larger than usual open spaces between cities, relatively far away from the “highway lines” and other cities. Take heed, just because there is a giant open area does not guarantee a hidden city spawn. Learnt the hard way.
North – Is straight upwards/forwards from Ur
East – Is the right side of the map
South – Is whatever is behind you when you move North….
West – Is the Left side of the map
When the game references “far away” it can be anything from 1 to 4 city jumps. Usual that I have come across is 2 – 3 cities = far away. It is never 1 city jump.
Find one ONCE and the rest comes easy. Use the ruler and pencil to mark out areas and make notes. It really IS useful.
ALWAYS WATCH YOUR FUEL in relation to the closest city you can refuel otherwise you will find yourself stranded and will have to restart.
and my personal favorite: always, always and always engage Strike groups, show no fear to those heathens.. AIM FOR AN ENGINE or Armor piercing ammo… is best. [Dont take this last one seriously, I just really really hate strike groups and hunt them with whatever I have left]
Hidden Cities do actually exist
First things first, turn on your radar and hit that magical button stating Ground and toggle it to the on position, if you are unsure if its on or not, check your radar scans, weird faint little lines and blobs should be appearing with each 360 scans. The weird lines are roads and the little blobs are… well, anything really.
The blobs range from mountain ranges, derelict ships, strange ground patterns and my personal favorite, the fake hidden city of doom death.
This shot was taken not 5 minutes into starting a new campaign. Once you have an eye for the hidden cities, they appear quite often..
The Fake Hidden City of DOOM DEATH
What you are seeing here is the false-positive, the fake oasis in the desert, it looks almost identical to a hidden city, it even has roads leading to it which is a number one tell tale of a hidden city in the middle of bumdrum no-where. The mirage of a hidden city.
It comes in 2 forms;
- The first form is seen in the screenshot above, it tries to be a hidden city so badly, it even smells like one, yet, when you find your fuel tanks empty and you are desperately clinging to your hopes and dreams of this being it… It just isnt. I cant explain this phenomenon, all I can tell you is that I know what you are feeling right now. That irk, the anger, the sadness…. the SALT.. Just know that this experience taught you that the deserts of Gerat, are never to be trusted.
- The second form is easier to identify from afar, it has a feint little ring around it, which means the ring of unholy fire and dust. Its the pancake zit that is protruding from the desert. Avoid this freak of nature at all costs as it will only suck your tanks dry and leave you stranded again in the desert looking for hope that will never come.
Landed ontop of the pustule. Take note on the radar scan when leaving..
I realize it is hard to see on these screenshots, however, after enough flights and mishaps you will know what I am talking about Tarkhan, you will know.
The Golden Ticket
Here no general will be urging you to mind your time and watch for the ever-dreaded ELINT signatures to appear after some dimwitted “liberated” Geraci genius decides to send off a message to those infernal strike groups or worse, the armada.
Note: The Armada is a personal annotation I made to the late stages of the campaign, where there are many precarious spots you can find yourself surrounded by every single strike group you have evaded along with each missile carrier group to ever exist, which coincidentally was having a tea party with the carrier groups right next door. When referencing the armada, I mean when all hell breaks loose, its FUBAR, you cannot move more than 1km without having to defend yourself from a missile strike or another carrier strike, the never-ending storm of righteous fury The Gathering unleashes upon your fleet. This isnt even in Khiva yet..
Here is what you are seeking; There is literally nothing special or remarkable about it on the radar. there is no definitive recipe for finding them, there are only guidelines to best practices on stumbling upon them.