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Jagged Alliance 3 Beginners Guide: Stats, Combat, Loot, & Money Tips

Beginners Guide for Jagged Alliance 3 giving tips and hints.

Jagged Alliance 3 Beginners Guide

Starting Out – Which mercs should I chose?

Even though it’s tempting to go straight for tough guys like Ivan or Scope, they are incredibly expensive and can only be financially sustainable later on. In the beginning, it’s better to start small and check the Recruits and Veterans tabs on the in-game laptop, as you can find good and more affordable employees there. Some of them may not be available initially – their availability is redistributed with each new game start.

Take your time when choosing your first mercenaries because often you’ll spend the whole game with them. Pay attention not only to their attributes (see below) but also to the many different active and passive skills of the mercenaries.

Initially, hire only five people. After a short period (sometimes on the first day of the game), you’ll receive an email with a link to the legendary psych test. This will allow you to create your own mercenary who will fill the sixth slot in your starting squad. More information about the psych test will be provided below

Stats – Which mercenary attributes are truly important?


Accuracy is the most important attribute when choosing your starting team. You should have at least two mercenaries with a value of over 80 in this attribute. For example, the skilled marksman “Buns” is a good choice, recognizable by the crosshair symbol, and she also has some snappy remarks. Her skill “Negotiator” helps save money and time when recruiting militias. She can also serve as a backup medic.


It’s all about the mix: Don’t just focus on accuracy! You definitely need a good medic (cross symbol) like MD or the agile Fox. Additionally, a second mercenary should have a medicine value above 50 in case your main medic goes down.


Mines are already buried in the first sectors, so get yourself an explosives expert (bomb symbol). For example, Barry is affordable and even provides you with two thrown charges every seven days.

Technical Skills

Technical experts (gear symbol) repair and modify equipment and can hack well-discovered devices. Be sure to have at least one of them on your team. Steroid, who looks like the big brother of Duke Nukem, is recommended here because he also brings strength. You’ll need strength, for example, when breaking doors and chests or throwing grenades. Leadership is especially important later on for quickly recruiting militias, but it’s not as urgent at the beginning as having experts in medicine, explosives, and technology.

The Psych Test

After a short time, just like in the predecessor game Jagged Alliance 2, you will receive an email with a linked psych test. Although it costs $5,999, it is a worthwhile investment and quickly pays off. With the psych test, you can create another mercenary who does not require a salary!

Based on the four possible multiple-choice answers per question, you can already see the tactical direction your free fighter tends to, such as melee combat or heavy weapons. This way, you can fill any skill gaps in your already hired five-person team or simply reflect your own character. After all, Jagged Alliance 3 also involves a lot of role-playing!

Combat – General Tips

How to Position?

When entering an enemy sector, after positioning your team (not too close together!), select the entire team and press the “H” key. This puts the squad in stealth mode, giving you more time to react if an enemy is right near your starting position. However, don’t forget to exit stealth mode for each mercenary when it’s no longer needed, as it slows down their movement.

Always ensure that your team members are not left standing freely at the end of a round, as enemy AI will ruthlessly take advantage of it. For example, if you are firing while standing, save two action points to go prone afterward. Crouching behind cover is also acceptable and costs only one action point.

Always defuse mines in the prone position, as it reduces the damage in case one detonates. Kneeling also provides some protection, but standing will result in the full blast. It should be evident that no team members should be holding hands with you while defusing, to avoid accidents.

Tip: You can also detonate discovered mines by shooting at them. For example, if an enemy is standing next to it because they didn’t read our tips.

If a squad needs to be positioned close together (in tight spaces like corridors, bunker doors, alleys), have the front mercenaries go prone, the ones behind them kneel, and the fighters at the back stand. This way, you can avoid friendly fire when shooting.

Where to Shoot?

Aim deliberately and pay attention to the cues: The small weapon range bar with the crosshair indicates whether your current weapon is suitable for the distance. Also, listen to what your shooter says before pulling the trigger. Warning symbols, such as a wall or armor icon, indicate that the body part is behind cover or armored. In such cases, choose a different body part or another target.

For penetrating weapons and types of ammunition, the symbols will be crossed out in red, indicating a viable shot. Be cautious with light blue head symbols, as they mean a team member is in the line of fire and can suffer friendly fire.

When facing close combat attackers, aim for their legs, and for snipers, aim for their arms. For heavily injured enemies (“near death”), a hit to the upper body (the easiest target) often suffices to eliminate them. Extra tip: When leveling up, distribute advantages to your mercenaries. “Trick Shot” is a good choice when aiming because it can knock down opponents with a leg shot.

It’s better to kill one enemy than to injure three: Even injured AI fighters can still cause surprising amounts of damage!

Cars can catch fire and explode several rounds later. The same goes for diesel generators – but it’s easy to overlook the small fire if it’s on the far side.

Which Commands?

The new commands, such as running and shooting (firing three bursts at an opponent while running, requiring about nine shots in the magazine!) and mobile shot (for pistols/revolvers, running to the target position and shooting at a nearby enemy), are also great for getting out of danger zones and dealing damage. However, remember to reserve two action points for going prone, as mentioned above!

The Overwatch command displays how many times a mercenary can fire with that command. However, this display can be easily overlooked. It appears as a small indicator at the curved end of the shooting sector. With machine guns (stationary or mobile models with bipods), the number of passive bursts is particularly high, so take advantage of that!

You shouldn’t immediately treat lightly wounded mercenaries, as the medic always kneels next to the patients and becomes an easy target. Additionally, first aid kits and medical kits are scarce, and mercenaries slowly heal on their own after battles (we’ll cover this in more detail shortly).

It’s a different story when a mercenary goes down: Quickly get a medic there to stabilize them because the displayed chance of death increases with each round. Also, don’t rely on the fact that a mercenary always collapses as a warning sign – a severe hit can kill them directly!

Connecting mercenaries always kneel next to the wounded and use up medication. It’s better to let minor injuries heal on their own after the battle.

Inventory – Sections Explained

Your inventory is organized a bit differently than before. Essentially, there are four sections:

Each mercenary has a slot for each hand and two slots for swapping. For example, you can carry a pistol in each hand and a rifle in the swapping slots (which will be shouldered). Or you can have two uzis in your hands and a Colt and a grenade in the swapping slots. All weapons are also visible on the character model. Swapping between the two sets of slots costs one action point in combat.


Each mercenary has their own backpack. The more strength a mercenary has, the more slots the backpack provides. For example, the powerhouse Steroid has eleven slots, while Mouse only has four. Items have no weight, but long guns and some submachine guns take up two slots. Retrieving an item from the backpack during combat costs a hefty three action points.

Team Supplies

The team supplies in the middle of the inventory screen serve as the mobile collective inventory of your team. It has 20 slots, but it can only contain consumables such as ammunition, medications, and repair components—not weapons or armor.

For example, if you find ammunition on an enemy corpse, you can right-click it in the inventory and select to place it directly in the team supplies (or assign it to a specific mercenary). Alternatively, you can press “T,” and all looted consumables will immediately go into the team supplies—this is the quickest way to stash multiple boxes of ammunition with different calibers, for example.

Sector Stash

The fourth and most notable inventory section is the sector stash. Each sector has its own stationary stash with 16 slots. It is not a specific location in the sector, such as a crate or chest, but rather a fictitious space in the inventory where any item can be placed.

To access the stash, right-click on the desired sector on the satellite map and select the stash (or press “H”). If a squad is present there, the sector stash will automatically be displayed in the middle of your inventory.

Tip: On the satellite map, you can display the number of items in each of your sector stashes by pressing the small crate button in the lower-right corner (“Items and Stashes”).

Attention: If you lose control of a sector, you can no longer access the sector stash. However, if you recapture it, the stash and its contents will be restored (at least in our experience, nothing was ever missing). Items in sector stashes do not deteriorate.

Useful: When hovering the cursor over a weapon in the inventory, the accuracy values are automatically displayed on the left side of your mercenary portraits. This also works for other items like grenades (accuracy) or medications (medical skills). Additionally, the appropriate ammunition lights up when hovering over a weapon, and vice versa.

Saving Space in the Inventory

Since you acquire more loot early on compared to Jagged Alliance 2, inventory space quickly becomes limited, especially in the backpacks of weaker mercenaries. Therefore, scrap unnecessary weapons like the many Browning revolvers you find at the beginning—starting with the ones in the worst condition.

You don’t need to unload them beforehand because the ammunition will automatically go into the team supplies. Scrapping not only frees up space but also provides components for repairs and weapon modifications. The number of components obtained is shown beforehand. The condition of the scrapped weapon doesn’t matter; a Browning revolver always yields six components, regardless of whether it’s falling apart or at 100%.

Attention: The assault rifles AK-47 and AK-74, as well as the MG RPK-74, not only have similar names but also look similar in the inventory with their curved magazines. So be careful before scrapping them. You often find the AK-47 early on, so you can safely scrap any extras. Besides, each rifle frees up two slots.


Items like grenades, steel pipes (for weapon modifications), lockpicks, or throwing knives can be stacked up to ten. It’s better to distribute all the grenades to two explosives specialists, and one skilled mercenary carrying all the lockpicks is sufficient. You only need one crowbar in the squad.


Haha, that’s not possible—just like in the previous game, nobody buys your weapons or other equipment. At least we haven’t found anyone. If you do find a buyer, please write it in the comments. You can sell diamonds and valuables directly from the inventory by right-clicking on them. Additionally, a vendor in Fleatown (H9) will buy components from you; in our case, it was $500 for 30 parts.

Loot – Collecting Stuff Faster

Thoroughly search sectors when there are no (more) enemies present. Almost everywhere, you can find herbs (for medications), components, or even money. Observant mercenaries can spot such objects from a greater distance. Pressing the Alt key allows you to quickly locate previously discovered loot spots, so you can send a mercenary with a crowbar later, for example.

Attention: Some containers are booby-trapped, which can explode or deliver an electric shock, for instance. Only send one mercenary to open them, not the entire group tightly clustered together.

You don’t have to individually search each enemy corpse after battles: The loot will be directly placed in the sector stash in the inventory.

Healing – Care for your Wounded

You have several options to get your injured mercenaries back in top shape:

  • During combat, you can use the “Heal” command (which consumes medicine) to treat wounded mercenaries and restore 90% of their hit points. Please refer to our combat tips above for more information.
  • Injuries will gradually heal over time on their own after battles. This process doesn’t require any money or medicine, but it takes a long time.
  • With the “Treat Injuries” operation, two mercenaries can treat up to three injured individuals each. The higher their medical skill, the faster the healing process. However, this method consumes medicine. A mercenary can also self-treat, but it is less efficient.
  • If your squad is in a city, it is recommended to give the wounded mercenaries the “Rest and Relaxation” operation. This operation costs a few dollars per injured mercenary but heals them faster than natural healing. Cheers!
  • In sectors with a hospital (such as D8 and H12), any number of mercenaries can quickly recover. However, this option comes with a high cost.

Money – How to get rich

Your starting capital is quickly spent. You can see your account balance and the current daily change on the right below the strategic map, and more details are available when you hover over it. In Jagged Alliance 3, you have several sources of income and ways to save money.


Diamond mines are your biggest regular source of income. Grab the H7 mine as soon as you can leave the starting island. You can see the potential yield of a mine in advance by hovering the mouse over the diamond symbol on the strategic map (you can display buildings using the corresponding button at the bottom right).

Also, liberate the nearby cities to increase their loyalty – the higher the loyalty, the more the mine will generate daily. Always secure mines with militias, as the enemy is eager to reclaim them. Mercenaries with the “Negotiator” skill, such as Buns, significantly reduce costs when recruiting militias.

Intercept Transports

Your enemies occasionally transport diamonds from their mines to port cities. You can see these groups as moving diamond symbols on the satellite map, and their troop strength is conveniently displayed as well. When intercepting such a transport, you can often calculate the battle automatically. Typically, a group carries a diamond crate that can be sold directly from the inventory (right-click) for $12,000.

Long-Term Contracts

If you plan to keep mercenaries for an extended period, you should set the contract duration as long as possible. This way, the daily cost is significantly lower. For example, Explosive Specialist Fidel costs $6,000 for three days (equivalent to $2,000 per day) but $21,000 for 14 days (only $1,500 per day). If possible, try to align contract expiration dates for multiple mercenaries. This allows you to extend all of them at once instead of frequently switching to the chat because a contract is ending.

Saving the Gold Status Fee

You can unlock the Gold status on the mercenary website for $20,000 to access elite mercenaries. However, the membership is also available for free later on – in our case, it happened in June 2001, but we suspect the timing may vary depending on your game progress.

SPOILERS!!! – Some Tips for the later game

Again: Spoiler Alert!

In the diamond mine in sector H7, there are several archaeological treasures that you can sell directly from your inventory.

You will also need the money: The mine slowly runs dry over time, yields less and less profit, and eventually becomes completely depleted. Get a second mine (such as the one in A2 in the northwest) at the latest when you receive the message about dwindling yields!

In the refugee camp E9, a shaman offers his healing powers for a small fee. However, only temporarily…

Some battles are particularly intense, such as Biff’s rescue in E11, where multiple waves of enemies attack you, including mortar fire. Shortly afterwards, you will be summoned to the refugee camp (E9), where things also get intense. Prepare well for both battles, with fit mercenaries and fully equipped weapons!

This guide is a translated version of the Gamestar.de


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