The Secret World In-Game Puzzle Guide

The Secret World In-Game Puzzle Guide by Aliner

So it has come to this…
Yes, apparently I’m the ‘moron’ that decided to put up a puzzle guide concerning The Secret World.
Reason: because I believe solving puzzles in TSW is a game on its own with its own learning curve and I’d like to give players the opportunity to get the hang of it with a few simple pointers.

The Secret World combines two different kinds of investigation; in-game and out-of-game and it’s not always blatantly obvious in what category a clue falls.

When it comes to in-game investigation you can resemble this to games such as The Curse of Monkey Island, Myst, The 7th Guest, but also Silent Hill and Amnesia – So pretty much any game that requires you to work out some clue in order to progress (it could even be an ‘exit’ sign – either way the answer is always physically near).
Out-of-game investigation is a completely different area. Probably the best example for this is Alternate Reality Games. A quick definition: the clue is in game but the solution is not physically near and therefore another resource instead of the game is required: resources you’d use in real life such as a book, map, phone call or the internet.

How to separate one from the other
The most important step here is to determine what the clue wants you to find: something physical (a place, object or individual) or something non-physical (a code or reference). Secondly, does the clue refer to anything or anyone in game: his/her favourite sport or a place to get gas. You’ll notice that clues that require in-game investigation will often mention an in game resource. To take that a bit further: these clues will ‘click’ with your own frame of reference of the game environment. So to make it simple: clues that ‘click’ with your real life frame of reference likely require out-of-game investigation. Per example: a phrase by a real life politician rather than an in game character.

Tips & tricks
– Because it’s not always obvious whether a clue requires in-game or out-of-game investigation you’ll do well with using ‘Google’ as your starting point when in doubt. This might mean you need to change your mindset if you’re used to in-game puzzles. It’s simple: if you Google the clue it will either make sense or it won’t make sense at all. If it doesn’t make sense at all then you will need to use in-game investigation.
– Your map is your friend. Consciously or unconsciously you’ve built up your own definitions of places and people that are in game. Another good resource for this is the phonebook because it fills in the blank spots on your map.
Always look at your direct surroundings. Clues are often accompanied by more clues and can help you to draw a clearer picture.
– A long clue often needs to be separated in sections. Look at each line individually and see if they make sense on their own. You could almost compare them to a Haiku. These clues might be a mix of in-game and out-of-game investigation so treat them separately and connect their dots later.

Tips & Tricks by Members
– (By Nuadu) What I do for the puzzles is whenever I walk down a street, I look at signs of houses etc, think about the names, sometimes write them down if they sound interesting. Then when I see a reference later, im like “im sure i saw something that had something like that in it”
– (By Gualdhar) Your map is more descriptive than it appears. Grey buildings have (non-instanced) interiors that you can explore, which usually means the building is important. Your map has an annotation feature (I believe you right-click an open area), so if you see something odd or important-looking, write it down.

Well, I suppose this is as basic as it gets and hopefully it will help some new players to get some puzzle mechanics down. I’m quite sure some others will be able to expand this with some further tips & tricks and they are more than welcome!

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