The Long Dark – How to Abuse Coffee + Sprinting Tips to Increase Speed, Distance

This guide teaches you how to make the most of your coffee, which allows you to travel long distances without losing all of your fatigue. This helps with rope climbing, transporting tons of extra weight, (large quantities of supplies or food, like deer or especially bear.)

Also teaches you how to move quicker without coffee on almost any map. It may also help with speedrunning/record breaking, if that’s what you’re interested in.

Step 1: Sip

The first thing you’re going to want to do is make sure the weather is right and your stamina is full. (By stamina, I’m referring to the white ring in the bottom right. Make sure it is fully charged.) Perfect weather conditions just means not traveling against heavy winds, for the best results.

Make sure you are carrying up to the maximum of +10 Kilograms, or 22 pounds. Any more than this and you can’t sprint.

Start by drinking your coffee. Then, -this is the important part- press your escape/cancel key to stop drinking almost immediately after starting. The game grants you the “fatigue reduced” buff corresponding to how much coffee you drink, so by stopping quickly, you are granted a minimal amount, which should only last maybe 5 minutes. A full cup of coffee grants 1 hour of fatigue reduction, but a lot of that time is wasted while recharging your stamina. This method makes coffee much more efficient.

I suggest you do this through the radial menu so you don’t have to cycle through your inventory. Hold down the space bar, and click on the water droplet icon in the top-left slot. Select coffee, assuming you are carrying a cup or two. We can make them stretch out for an entire region.

Note: You don’t need coffee to be hot in order to gain the fatigue reduction buff. Get used to iced coffee.

Step 2: Jog

You might think you can just sprint at this point, but you’re wrong. You’ve been running incorrectly the whole time you’ve been playing. Some of the best players use this jogging method, (I did not create the jogging method, just the coffee method) which is more efficient than flat-out sprinting.

Start by pressing shift long enough to initiate the run. Once the character reaches running speed, let go of shift. You’ll notice that as your character runs, they bob left and right as if they were alternating steps like normal human beings do. So as soon as your character makes contact with the ground, say, on their left foot, press shift long enough for them to push off of that foot, and let go of shift when they are in the air. When they make contact with their right foot, press shift again long enough for them to push off. Repeat until your stamina is drained.

This jogging method (I did not create, but utilized for my coffee method) maximizes your speed without draining your stamina too quickly. At this point, with your stamina recharging, you must resist the temptation to run again. It’s more efficient to walk and wait for the stamina to fully recharge, instead of running at irregular times.

Note: You can easily check if your stamina has recharged by turning your camera 90 degrees to the right and holding down the left movement key to keep your forward movement constant. (Turning left and using the right movement key also works. Or even backwards, all speeds are the same.) Now, press shift/run key. This will make the stamina bar pop up without causing you to run because the game doesn’t allow you to sprint sideways. You can even watch it recharge.

A simpler way is to stop moving and press shift, but this is for the weak, and I’d rather walk sideways than not walk at all.

Step 3: Repeat

You should only sip enough coffee to jog and completely drain your stamina, before the fatigue reduction wears off. Any extra time is wasted while you recharge your stamina.

Once the fatigue reduction wears off, and you have walked until your stamina is fully recharged, you may repeat the process, drinking from the same mug to be more efficient in carrying the weight of the different mugs. (2 mugs half-full are heavier than 1 mug completely full.)

So in summary, sip the coffee and quickly cancel, jog until stamina runs out, (if the fatigue reduction wears off before you are finished jogging, you can sip a little bit more to finish) and walk until it is recharged.

Tips and Notes

  • Don’t use this method to climb ropes until you are very confident. In the case that you’re trying to get up/down ropes while carrying a generous amount, it’s fairly likely you will run out of fatigue reduction before you’re finished climbing. Then you can just watch your fatigue drop like a brick. Then you become encumbered, which makes it drop faster, and you climb slower. Then you need a 4 hour nap. When it comes to climbing, be generous with your coffee. If you overshoot how much you should drink, it’s not that big of a loss. You should have at least 10-15 minutes of fatigue reduction before climbing, just to be safe. But this method will greatly help getting through places like Timberwolf Mountain or Mountain Town with limited coffee.
  • This method is great for transporting a heavy load, and/or several trips. Like I said before, it’s very useful for transporting bear meat. Without using this method, I can use 4 cups of coffee just carrying tons of bear meat from the fishing huts in Mystery Lake to the Camp Office. Not that far of a run, but I wasn’t running most of that time, I was recharging stamina. While using this method, I only use 1-2 cups of coffee and end up with a decent amount of my fatigue meter leftover, so you don’t get exhausted and need to take naps in between trips.
  • Roads, Asphalt, Railroads, Stone surfaces, and many more surfaces give a speed boost while walking and jogging. Basically, any other surface than snow gives you better movement speed. Maybe even ice. There’s a long, complicated math equation to prove this, but just trust me. Jogging on roads and walking on snow is faster than jogging on snow and walking on roads. The reason I mention this is because I’ve created a bonus method called “Rail Surfing”. Just jog on the sides of the railroad, where the bars stick out of the snow. You can even do it without the sprain risk, and it’s much faster. Great for Mystery lake, Forlorn Muskeg, Broken Railroad, Desolation Point, Coastal Highway, all caves, and anywhere else with roads or railroads.

Using this to speedrun long distances may be a good idea because it requires you to sleep less. It depends on the conditions, and if you’re sleeping at all during the speedrun.

Also, there may be a way to remove most of your restrictive clothing to run longer, without wasting too much time in your clothing inventory removing items and putting them back on when recharging stamina. It would also help if the coffee was hot, in order to counteract the cold as a result of removing restrictive clothes.

This isn’t proven to be efficient, though, so I can’t call it a tip.

Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 2712 Articles
My first game was Naughty Dog’s Crash Bandicoot (PlayStation) back in 1996. And since then gaming has been my main hobby. I turned my passion for gaming into a job by starting my first geek blog in 2009. When I’m not working on the site, I play mostly on my PlayStation. But I also love outdoor activities and especially skiing.

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