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If you want to survive the Russian wastes, you’re going to need to breathe. Here’s how you use the gas mask in Metro Exodus.

The air can get a little unpleasant in Metro Exodus.

In the aftermath of nuclear holocaust, where most of humanity has been forced to survive underground – away from the mutated horrors above – air purifiers aren’t exactly commonplace. There are all manner of particulates and pollution that are very bad for Artyom if they get into his lungs.

In classic Metro series style, you’re going to need to use a gas mask to get through these sections.

Knowing when to use the gas mask in Metro Exodus

Usually, if the air’s dangerous, there’ll be some visual clues. Gas, smoke, spores, or anything else unpleasant floating around in your field of view are a dead giveaway.

If you don’t spot them or act immediately, Artyom will start to cough and choke. You’ll want to pop on the gas mask, or it’ll be detrimental to your health.

Artyom also wears a bangle on his wrist that gives you information about the environment. That’ll let you know if the air around is toxic, but also, it will clue you in when it’s safe to take the mask off.

How do you actually use the gas mask?

Using the gas mask in Metro Exodus is dead easy.

On PC, the default key binding is ‘G’ (though if you’ve been tinkering with the bindings, you’re on your own). On PS4 and Xbox One, it’s the ‘down’ button on the directional pad.

Press and hold the ‘G’ key or the ‘down’ button for a few seconds to pop the mask on; do the same when you’re wearing the mask to take it off.

Not sure if you’re wearing the mask or not? You’ll usually find your view is a little dirty or distorted, but if you’re still not sure, try pushing the button. If nothing else, it’s another chance to see one of Artyom’s wonderful character animations.

Maintaining your gas mask in Metro Exodus

As with all equipment in Metro Exodus, your gas mask will need maintenance to keep it in optimal condition. Well, optimal is a bit strong for reclaimed equipment in the Russian wastes. We’ll go with “to keep it functional” instead.

To do that, you’re going to need to find a workbench. There’s one on the train, for starters, but you’ll find them in settlements and other locations on your travels. From there you’ll be able to patch up your gas mask if you’ve got the requisite parts, and you can even fit it with larger filters for longer use.

There’s also a mission where you’ll need to repair a gas mask for one of the other characters, but you don’t need a workbench for that. Just pop a bit of tape over the hole when you spot it, mission accomplished.

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