The first thing you must do is talk to Sidorovich - he'll give you two options: either to treat you like a rookie or like a "real" stalker. The first option triggers a short tutorial regarding your PDA which you'll be using quite frequently. If you are new to the game the tutorial gives you a nice run-through on how the PDA works and what kind of information it provides. If you have played the game before, or just don't really care about the PDA right now, you can ask Sidorovich to just give you a mission; you can study the PDA at any time and most of the different pages and options are easy to figure out anyway.
Your first mission (called Get information from the scout in your PDA) is quite simple: find a guy named Nimble... well, actually what Sidorovich wants is a flash drive that Nimble is carrying. He tells you to go see Wolf at the camp. Once you're done talking to Sidorovich, and before you head off, turn around and look to the left of the door. You should see a blue box on the floor - that is a personal stash as introduced on the previous page. Use it to store any surplus equipment that you dont want to sell.
Ok, on to find the Nimble fella'. Like Sidorovich said, you need to talk to Wolf first... so head out of the bunker and into the nearby rookie camp (the small collection of houses). Here you'll notice a group of newbies wearing leather jackets (oh wait, you're also wearing a leather jacket!) and one guy in a green stalker suit - the latter is Wolf. Go and talk to him. It turns out that Nimble and his group was attacked by bandits and now Nimble is being held as prisoner at an old car park nearby. Unfortunately Wolf doesn't think that he's got enough men (who are all rookies) to get Nimble out - so he asks you to, along with some of Wolf's scouts, to get Nimble out. Not sure exactly why Wolf just can't send the scouts and the other rookies but what they hey... once you accept, Wolf will give you a knife, a PMm pistol, and 48 rounds of ammunition.
Now that you have some basic weapons you may wish to locate the Merc Suit in the rookie village; it's an excellent armor for the early stages of the game so be sure to pick it up. This page will explain how to get it.
Once you're ready to move on, you'll notice that the minimap has a small arrow pointing towards the east/north-east. That's where you should head next to meet up with the scouts. On your way you may notice a yellow dot and a white dot (the latter indicating a dead person) on your minimap; if you stop by there you'll see a body and a wounded rookie named Tolik; near the body you can find a medkit. You can talk to Tolik if you like - but before you can get some information out of him you'll need to give him your medkit. If you do then you have just made your first friend in the game - by helping out other stalkers you can improve your status with them, and if you do enough good deeds for them, they will eventually become friendly towards you. If you help Tolik then he'll be able to inform you that he was part of Nimbles group and that he only managed to stay alive because he used the good old "play dead" trick. Apparently Nimble made up a story about a cache full of artifacts so the bandits decided to drag him with them - alive that is. I'm not sure if helping Tolik has any noticeable benefits besides the extra information he can provide (and having him as a friend I guess); I reckon you can just be a complete bastard, keep the medkit, and leave Tolik to his demise. ( having him as a friend improves your overall reputation slightlyDarkvisor101 01:59, May 23, 2010 (UTC)Darkvisor101)
Once you're ready to move on notice the old caravan/train car close by. Move on to the other side to find the entrance. Inside you'll find three wooden crates and a metal box. Break them with your knife. In the metal box you should be able to find a PB1s, a medkit, some bandages and some ammo.
Continue on towards the scouts when you're done talking to Tolik. Once you reach them go talk to Petruha; you can actually tell him that you will get Nimble out by yourself but since you only have a peashooter at this point (yes, I am referring to your gun here), having Petruha and his men along wont hurt since you're going to be severely outnumbered on your own (and furthermore, if they should die during the attack you can loot their bodies - bonus!).
Once you reach the car park you'll see the first action. The park has about 6-7 bandits, some of which carry double-barreled sawn-off shotguns, so don't expect Petruha or his men to last long. Once you have killed all the bandits you should be able to find Nimble in a house at the nothern part of the car park. Talking to him will net you the flash drive and some information about a secret stash containing an artifact.
The first mission is pretty straightforward - all you basically need to do is to get onto the other side of the railroad. Head out of the rookie camp and follow the arrow to the north/north-west. Just after the old mill you'll spot a railroad and a bridge crossing the road - that's an army control point. Before you get too close you'll probably notice some guys standing around - these are military guys and although they show up as enemies (with red dots on your minimap) they won't immediately attack you. If you get close enough you'll hear one of them asking you to come closer for a chat. They want money (500 RU) for you to be able to pass the bridge. If you try to run through without paying up they will attack you. Paying them is a viable option if you have alot of money - also because under the bridge you can find a blue box stash that usually contain some goodies.
I, however, suggest that you follow the minimap arrow over to the journeyman, as stated on the Tasks page in your PDA. Once you arrive you'll notice that the journeyman has met his demise; if you loot his body you'll learn that he has discovered a way to move through the tunnel. If you look into the tunnel, you can see an Electro anomaly that actually moves through the tunnel, so all you gotta do is follow behind the anomaly as it moves forward. Don't worry if your "anomaly detector" starts beeping frantically at some points in the tunnel, just make sure you stay behind the electric anomaly.
Once you're on the other side of the tunnel you'll complete the mission and Sidorovich will contact you and say that you need to meet up with a stalker called Fox - he's got some information about Strelok.
Follow the arrow on your minimap and you'll soon come to two run-down houses. Inside the first one you'll find Fox lying on the floor, pleading for help (I presume). I hope you brought a medkit because Fox will need one before he can tell you anything. Once you have given him the medkit, he'll get up and you can have a real chat. Unfortunately there seems to be a bug that causes the dialog to close quickly after you click "Trader told me you might know something about Strelok." (possibly because you'll soon be attacked by mutant dogs). However, you can open your PDA to the Diary tab Message History sub-tab where you can read this and other messages, or check out the screenshot on the right side - that will show you what Fox has to say about Strelok, along with some other information, in case you missed it.
As I said, you'll now be attacked by about 5 mutant dogs, which really shouldn't be a big problem, especially since Fox is there. Once you've taken care of them, you can talk to Fox again and he'll give you 1500 RU and information about a secret stash (just further north, by the Death Truck - if this is the same Death Truck as you were driving in is not entirely certain) as thanks for your help. Your next task is to go and talk to Fox's brother, Seriy, who can be found in Garbage.