Far Cry 3 is a big game and so it can be a little daunting when you first begin to explore Rakyat island. This hub was written with the intention of helping you hit the ground running a little better when you start things off. Specifically, I'm going to talk about playstyles and the skills and equipment that best suit each approach.
The addition of an RPG-type skill tree to Far Cry 3 was a neat touch and added a little more depth to the gameplay. The first thing to note however is that Far Cry 3 is still a shooter first; this ain't no Borderlands. Choosing the wrong skills won't screw up how you perform, since most of them provide some kind of benefit, even if it's something that you're unlikely to make use of. However, with a little forward planning we can make sure that the skills optimize the kind of approach you want to take whilst playing through the game.
Broadly speaking, there are two approaches; stealthy or aggressive. With an aggressive approach you'll be taking advantage of the bigger and more powerful weapons while, for the most part, forgoing a stealthy approach. This strategy can be tweaked a little more in regards to the choice of weapons you can take but for the most part you're going to be focusing on acquiring skills that prevent you from dying to begin with.
So, when starting out, you want to be using your first skill points in the Shark tree. Prioritise any Conditioning abilities that are available, there are several and they all add an additional segment to your health meter, making them incredibly useful. Improved First Aid, as well as its upgrade, Advanced First Aid, are also worth picking up early while your supplies, not to mention your health, are pretty low. Be smart with your skill points though, don't pick up Field Medic or Field Surgeon until you have enough health segments where the healing boost is going to have a benefit. With Far Cry 3, and in particular this build, it's less about what you take and more about how you prioritise the most important perks first.
Speaking of health, Horticulture 101 is just as important for an aggressive build as it is for a stealthy build. With it, every green plant you harvest provides you with two health syringes essentially, reducing the time spent wondering about searching for medical supplies. Furthermore, crimson leaves should still be stockpiled for your supplies of Sharpshooter syringes.
With those out of the way you now want to be taking aiming for skills that make killing your opponent that much easier. Nimble Fingers and Nimble Hands are the primary ones you want to get hold of. Speeding up your reload time will mean more time spitting out leaden death from those giant LMGs and shotguns. Quick Swap is also a great one to get ASAP too; an aggressive build is more dependent on having the right weapon for the job at the right time, and moving from long range to short range quickly, which this skill helps with.
After that you can either hop over to the Heron tree to pick up Long Gun Expert; since LMGs are likely to be one of your best sources of damage, or you can opt to some more defence with Flame Retardant and Ironsides, which reduce the damage from fire and explosions respectively. Overall, an aggressive build is less reliant on specific skills, other than making sure it has as much health as possible, and cares more about having a balanced set of weapons. This is handy since you have to take into account you'll be levelling up slower since you'll unlikely be able to take advantage of the triple XP bonus from clearing out a outpost without being detected.