Open conflicts rarely happen in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. You can participate in them when you make a mistake while sneaking or when this type of combat is justified by the storyline. Below you can find our tips on how to avoid getting killed during firefights and confrontations with wild animals.
Ranged weapons are the most useful here. Namely a bow, a pistol, a rifle and a shotgun. These weapons are available from the beginning but Lara loses some of them after the prologue which means that you will have to get them again. You can get new weapons through exploration, by completing quests or you can buy them from merchants. Traders offer the best gear but a new weapon can cost you even several thousands of gold.
All weapons can be upgraded. You can do that in campsites and you need to spend crafting materials. Try to always focus on those upgrades that are the most useful to you. For example, if you are irritated by the fact that you have to reload constantly, you should focus on upgrades that shorten reload time and those that increase ammo capacity.
Look for interactive objects before you start a firefight. Various exploding containers can kill a few enemies. This is very helpful when enemies are away from you and/or hide behind covers. Throwable items are also helpful. Lara can craft Molotov cocktails, smoke bombs and grenades. Depending on an item you can set enemies on fire, weaken or blind them for a brief moment.
Once you have started fighting, you should always strive for Lara to move a lot on the battlefield. It's not a good idea to fire from behind a single cover, as enemies like to throw explosive surprises that can seriously injure or kill Lara. Try to select equipment according to the type of opponents. A bow may be enough to kill distant individual enemies, while a shotgun will be very useful to kill heavily armored enemies who stand in a short distance.
Lara can heal her wounds during a fight but this option is available only on easy and normal difficulty levels. Hard and very hard both have this option locked. Avoid confrontations that can lead to your sudden death.
Setting traps is a good way of eliminating enemies. This requires Viper's Snare ability (2 skill points). You can place them on dead bodies (the trap will start glowing red).
After planting a trap you can show yourself, use throwable objects and wait for your enemies to notice a dead body. The trap explodes when they start examining a body. These traps are also useful while you are sneaking although an explosion will always alarm the enemies nearby. Try to always stay away from them.
Besides savages and members of Trinity, Lara will also face wild animals. Some fights with the predators (i.e. with jaguars) are scripted but others can happen when you are exploring optional locations. Regardless of circumstances, you have to learn how to dodge to avoid receiving damage. Dodges are also useful in fights with humans who want to attack you with melee weapons. Illipa's Sight is also useful - it highlights hearts of larger animals in survival instinct mode. This makes killing animals with a single arrow a lot easier.
You may also have to complete a QTE sequence - this happens when an animal gets closer to Lara. Usually, you will have to press the right but in the right moment. Try to complete these sequences - a failure can lead to serious damage or even death. A successful QTE sequence can deal a lot of damage to your enemy.