Pacific Drive Surviving the Zone

After Pacific Drive completely hooked me, I’ve now racked up over 30 hours in Pacific Drive surviving the zone and working in the garage. With all my loot, I’ve vastly upgraded the garage, my character’s equipment and the car. I’ve traveled to the Mid Zone and Deep Zone, with the end game almost in sight. I still love the trip.

Pacific Drive Surviving – Need More Power

Pacific Drive side battery and mini turbine on the side of the station wagon

Right from the first trip to the zone, Pacific Drive made it clear that I should always pack a Battery Jumper. It wasn’t too deep into those first trips to the Zone that I had to start using it. All the technology packed in the car eats through the battery.

Run ins with some of the anomalies out in the zone drain the battery even faster. There were a few runs where the low battery indicator blinked at me as I was racing to escape the zone via the gateway light pillar in the sky.

At that point, I knew I had to come up with a better solution than packing multiple battery jumpers. My first big upgrade to solve my power issue was installing side racks for the car. With that in place I could craft and install a Lightning Rod.

With lights and wipers going in a storm, it seemed like the perfect offset and it was. The problem was that it only helped in a bad storm. That’s when I gathered enough to craft the Mini Turbine.

Of all the power upgrades I could choose from, the turbine seemed the most useful. When I drove fast or the instability storms whipped wind up, that turbine would spin like crazy. Escaping quickly or enduring a bad storm flipped battery anxiety upside down.

Turning Power Drain into Power Production

The power drain became a great power production opportunity. I decided to keep going with those upgrades. Over the course of my trips after those installs, I unlocked and installed the Hydro Generator. I turned pouring rainstorms in my favor.

Those all worked great in bad storms, but on calmer days, I needed more. That’s where I installed a Side Mounted Battery for backup. That added a nice buffer for low charging weather and extra capacity for charging situations.

The last power upgrade for that setup was the Solar Panels. That was the final piece to my power generation puzzle. There’s only room for 4 pieces of side mounted equipment, but that’s 5 pieces of equipment if you were counting.

My solution to that math problem was storing the Lightning Rod in my trunk during the day, then swapping it out for Solar Panels at night or during a storm. The science part of my brain was pleased with my solution to the power problem.

Maximizing my Gas in Pacific Drive

Pacific Drive station wagon back seat gas tank

Around the time I neared the end of my power problems, gas started running out on me faster. As my preparation skills improved, so did my driving distance and the danger of anomalies. Both of those things consumed more fuel.

Corrosive anomalies are especially annoying for fuel levels. Running out gas forced me to run around to find abandoned cars or fuel barrels to syphon from. The earlier junctions often had a gas station to make things easier, but gas opportunities thinned out later on.

I’m embarrassed to admit it took me hours before I realized I could fill my gas can up before I left the garage. After that realization, I unlocked and crafted a Large Fuel Can to fill up and drop in my trunk. That combination of small and large backup containers of fuel kept me from syphoning on the road, for awhile.

As I advanced deeper into the zone, more corrosive anomalies were hard to avoid. They left me with leaky tanks and low on gas. Even up to the time I’m writing this, I don’t have the materials to craft the Corrosive Resistant panels and doors. I had almost enough, but spent it on other upgrades.

When I upgraded to the Turbo Light Engine, I don’t think it helped my fuel situation, but the speed is worth it. All those fuel draining factors forced me to unlock a Seat Rack and Large Fuel Tank, then put that in the backseat.

The upgrade provided a lot of relief from having to scrounge for gas, but the corrosive elements continued to plague me. I decided that I’d look into gathering resources to upgrade to the Amp Engine to go all electric and be done with the fuel issue.

Tire Upgrades are Essential

Pacific Drive Armored Panels and Paddle Tire

I spent hours driving on spare tires and I don’t recommend it. In a senior moment, I completely overlooked the additional tabs in the Fabrication Machine. For some reason, I thought I had to upgrade things on that first tab to unlock better parts.

Despite the small bit of shame for overlooking it so long, I was very excited as I finally navigated the various tabs for vehicle upgrades. I was tired of dealing with constant flat tires, loose wheels and bad traction. It was a happy moment to upgrade to the Summer Tires.

I still had to deal with the same tire problems, but far less frequently. One Sealing Kit was usually enough to get me through a single run, but I realized later I could have stored a backup tire in my trunk for easy fixing.

When trying to escape through a gateway on those tires, I ended up with a flat at the halfway point. After barely limping through to warp back to the garage, I knew it was time for a new upgrade. It took completing some additional story missions to unlock the area that had the resources I needed.

No More Flat Tires

It was well worth dodging corrosives and the storms to finally unlock the Puncture Proof Tires. I loved those. No more flats and only the occasional loose wheel to repair, but that was very rare. I forget what the traction ratings were, but they gripped very well.

I exclusively used those tires until it came time to gather resources in the swamp. Mud and water were not my friend. That’s why I love that Pacific Drive includes an upgrade to Paddled Tires. With those installed on my car, I could drive through the swamps faster than I could on the road with other tires.

That crazy fast waterlogged speed is great, but those tires are not great on roads. I used my roof storage to store my Puncture Proof Tires when in the swamp, then I’d swap tires for junctions with regular roads. I loved that I could prepare like this, but the zone took from me.

One of the more unstable locations somehow ripped the roof storage off the car right before I entered the junction exit. Without realizing it, my extra storage was gone with those Puncture Proof Tires with it. I don’t have enough to craft new ones yet, but I might wait.

I’ve unlocked All Terrain Tires and Power Grip Tires. Now it’s just a question of which one I gather enough resources for first. the All Terrain Tires are my preference since they are “A” rated in every category.

I’m curious about the Power Grip Tires though, the have a high road rating, but also an Ability that I’m curious to see what it does.

Armoring Up

Pacific Drive station wagon back with armored panels and doors

I actually spent an embarrassing amount of time settling for Crude Doors. Due to my failure to look to the other tabs of the Fabrication Machine early, I spent a ton of resources trying to repair and replace those doors.

Once I finally got my act together, I upgraded to Steel Doors, Panels and Bumpers. I think it was a mistake to keep those as my go to armor for so long. I prioritized my resources for other upgrades. Not having proper shielding for the elements probably cost me a ton of materials for the Repair Putty I’d constantly need.

It actually got so bad, that I’d just craft new steel parts instead of repairing them. I had no problem scavenging metal, while chemicals for the putty were rarer. The punishing anomalies deeper in the zone forced me to finally upgrade.

My next stop was the Armored Doors, Panels and Bumpers. I was lucky enough to scrounge enough of Thermosap I needed before running from a deep zone junction. That armor was great for when I’d bump into things or get hit with things.

They did eventually show their weakness when I ran into more corrosive elements. My armored setup was not too bad for electric anomalies, but the Insulated variety would have saved me damage to some equipment and battery drain.

My next goal is to get the Corrosive Resistant parts, but I need to make some resource runs to prep for my trip deep in the zone to fetch the Tree Candy I need for them.

Car Maintenance on the Road

Garage time is a special part of the game, but part of that is proper preparation for on the road maintenance. I loved those runs through the zone where I felt I was prepared. At the same time, it was satisfying to run into something I was unprepared for and adapt.

Things like running out of gas or battery power are pretty standard on many long trips. I did my fair share of running around to syphon gas or scrounge for parts to craft a Battery Jumper. Before I learned how to better prepare, I’d run around doing both of those things.

Even when I added backup solutions for gas and electric problems, the zone handed me new problems. Electric discharging anomalies bloated my backup battery. It basically kept discharging electric shocks through my car until I uninstalled it, which shocked me character down to low health.

There was no fix, so I had to craft a new one back at the garage. Until that time I had to limp along with half my battery life. I had a similar problem occur with my gas tanks. Corrosive anomalies caused leaks in my backup tanks.

I still remember I was deep in the zone in a junction where most cars and fuel barrels were empty. That was a fun bit to scrounge enough to ensure I would not stall out before the exit. Leaks were luckily easy to handle with a Puncture Kit which was usually easy to craft.

Tires as I had mentioned, had a variety of problems. Flats I could use the Puncture Kit and loose wheels only took a Mechanics Kit. Besides that though, I’ve had wheels fall completely off and even blow out. Both are good reasons to keep at least 1 spare tire in the trunk.

The body pieces of my car gave me plenty of problems along my travels. Regular physical damage is straight forward, but there’s a ton of other statuses those parts can end up in. I’ve seen them Cracked (hello Puncture Kit), Shocked, Unreliable and Fragile. Those later two cannot be fixed, so craft new parts.

I even had some electrical issues with some of my electronics and even my engine. After the 30hrs I’ve played, tinkering with the car on the road is still a joy, at least when I’m well prepared.

Pacific Drive, the Road Ahead

Pacific Drive car upgraded with paddle tires and armored panels

As I drive deeper into the zone toward the end game, I reflect on how far I’ve come and some goals I have to get me to the end. At this point in my playthrough, I’ve decked out my Pacific Drive station wagon with a ton of tech.

I light my path ahead with Bio Lights. It’s hard to avoid obstacles, so I typically keep the Armored Bumper in front. My plan is to upgrade to Amp Engine to go all electric, so I stocked the Paddle Tires to traverse swampy areas where the resources I need are.

Pacific Drive Turbo Light engine under the hood

Under my hood now is the Turbo Light Engine, which sucks gas, so my back seat carries the reserve gas tank. I also keep a Large Gas Can and fill up the smaller one too. The other seat carries my Auto Parker. I can jump in and out of the car without having to remember to put it in, or take it out of park.

To help stock up on resources out in the zone, I have the Roof Rack Storage. That also allows me to bring my Puncture Proof Tires along for outside the swamp. The Resource Radar on my roof helps me pinpoint the items I’m looking for out in the zone.

My side mounted equipment now always includes Side Battery, Hydro Generator, Mini Turbine, Lightning Rod and Solar Panel. The latter 2 I swap out for each other depending on weather. Those help keep all the fantastic electronics powered without completely killing the battery.

Pacific Drive station wagon rear with LIM emitter bumper, armored panels, paddle tires, side battery and more

My bumper is now the LIM Shield. It sucks power when activated, but serves as a nice active physical shield. I previously used the LIM Emitter that was a weaker temporary version, mostly effective for keeping critters of my car.

Pacific Drive Surviving with Custom Accessories

I upgraded my back storage to the Trunk in the Trunk, which helps store a lot of my maintenance equipment. The tech is great, but I also finished things off with custom accessories. I’ve painted my car with bomber style shark decals.

Pacific Drive car dashboard with high tech steering wheel and lead plated hood

My steering wheel is now something that looks high tech. I have a bobble head on the dash. My radio antenna I’ve used the CD top and the Potato battery. My back stickers consist of a “Black Lives Matter” one and a rainbow flag.

Not only is my car an enemy to anomalies, but with those stickers, it’s also a MAGA repellent. I also completely forgot there was a hood ornament, so I forget what I even have there now. The car truly is the main character in this game.

I’ve upgraded the protective gear and accessories for my actual character, but I’ll say again, the car is the star. My current setup has led to many back to back successful runs, no matter what the zone throws at me.

I’m looking forward to going back to Pacific Drive surviving the zone to make my all electric build come true.

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