Guides are a taxi service of sorts first introduced in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky and continued onto S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat.
Guides are NPCs who leads the player to a certain location for a price. Except for the Renegades, every faction has a guide who can be found in most major outposts and the main bases. A guide can lead the player virtually anywhere the player has been (which happens all the convenient places in the game) and in their own words "I charge by the distance" meaning the farther the location is from the Guide, the higher the charge. This feature is especially useful if the player needs to get to a locations quickly, or he is carrying a lot of load, like salvaged weapons and needs to get to a base to sell it. When being led by a guide, the player does not need to do anything else but wait for the load screen to finish, then when finished loading he is now at the desired location.
Call of PripyatEdit
In Call of Pripyat, Guides are broken up into two categories - 'level' guides such as Pilot and Garik, who can guide players from level to level at a certain price, and 'area' guides who can take the player anywhere within that level, except into hostile / contested territory.
Pilot and Garik will by default charge 4000 RU to guide the player from Yanov to Zaton, or in Garik's case, from Zaton to Pripyat. Garik does not charge going from Pripyat to Zaton, as there are no traders in Pripyat in case the player's cash dips below 1000 RU. Pilot's price can be reduced by giving him the maps from one of the STINGRAY helicopters, and Garik's price is reduced by assisting him in his contract - in both cases they will charge only 1000 RU.
Area guides are much like the Guides from Clear Sky, only without the ability to lead you to another level. Any neutral or friendly stalker, Freedomer, or Dutyer can be contacted - if they are marked with a star on the PDA, they can guide you somewhere, or might be on a mission that you can join in on for a slight reputation boost. Area guides charge by distance, but it is a fairly cheap fee - the highest is 900 RU, from the Storage Containers of Yanov to the Smooth Anomaly. Fees are not discounted if you are friendly with that faction, but if a faction dislikes you enough they will not offer to guide you anywhere.