This guide is mainly intended to help new players get a grip on the basics, but more seasoned players might get a thing or two out of this as well.
At the very beginning of the game, you are in a plane crash and you are the only survivor. Once you gain control of your character, the first thing you need to do is look the interior of the plane up and down, making sure you pick up literally everything you can get your hands on. Before exiting the plane you pick up the Plane Axe, which you can use to knock open the suitcases littering the ground around you. Pick up everything you can find. Meds, Candy Bars, Sodas, Booze, Cloth, Watches, Coins, everything. Except Tennis Balls. Freakin' useless things, you can light them on fire and then throw them, but you burn yourself in the process. If you want to be that way, have fun you freak. Like you can't even store the things, you just gotta carry it around until you're ready to YEET. Anyway, just make sure you pick up *almost* anything you can find in the suitcases.
Shelter / Your Base
After the crash, your first priority should be to establish a simple base where you can sleep and Save your game. You should be okay making a Temporary Shelter on your first night if you're struggling to find a good location for your base. When searching for the perfect site for your new home, take the following into consideration:
- Elevation: My personal favorite type of shelter is the Alpine Treehouse; you can see a good distance away with this base, given its open front side and its placement in its tree. You want to be able to see a potential attack before they make it onto your territory.
- Avenues of Approach: How many angles can you be attacked from? Try finding a cliff you can build on top of so you won't have to worry about being attacked from the rear. There are some spots you can make a base with only one side to defend, such as the Sacred Tree on the South-Western Coast. It is risky, however, to build near these trees. There are a total of six spread around the island, and the local "residents" tend to spend a lot of time near them. My personal favorite spot is on top of a hill with one side of it cut down into a small waterfall, directly north of the yacht maybe a half mile. If you aren't sure how to tell which way is north or south, just pull out your map; it is always oriented with north at the top and south at the bottom.
- General Location: Do you have a nearby water supply? Is there any animal activity? Are you too close to an enemy village or a cave entrance? Do patrols regularly go through this area? You have to make sure that you choose a location that is both rich in resources and safe.
While building your base, make sure you give yourself room to work in the future. Surround your area with Defensive Walls, but if it's not enough space when you need to fit more in there, you'll either have to expand or take out some of your walls that took forever to make. Place "ghosts" of everything you want to have in there so you know exactly how much room to give yourself. When placing your walls, edit two adjavent panels to make a door. That's kind of important. Once I had to smash down two chunks of my wall because I forgot the door; had to chop down extra trees and everything. Don't do that to yourself. That's one way to make yourself hate the game.
Caution: Using a treehouse as a base will not keep you safe from cannibals; they will attack the base of the tree until it falls. Build walls around every single type of base.
Defenses! My favorite part. It's pretty simple, really. Everyone has their own preferences on what to use, but they're wrong if they disagree with this: Deadfall Traps are by far the best way to start out your defenses. They only require 3 Logs and 3 Sticks, and voila. You have a giant log that smashes in the head of any idiot that walks straight through a bunch of sticks standing up on each other, end to end. The cannibals are pretty stupid for falling for this one, but it's effective. It is the easiest to make, and when it is triggered it is more likely to make impact on the victim than the Happy Birthday Trap. The difference between these two traps is that the victim must be moving in a certain direction to be hit by the Happy Birthday Trap, while they just have to be underneath the Deadfall Trap. However, the Noose Trap practically has a 100% success rate. This trap's only downfall is that it does not kill the victim. Cannibals will fight to release their flesh eating counterpart and, if you don't act quickly enough, he will be right back in the fight.
These traps can be used together effectlively, however. I personally like to make a massive maze of just Deadfall Traps everywhere inside my base but just outside my walls, and I just watch cannibals get knocked down one by one, and their friends get the heck outta there. And this only happens if they get through the first line of defense. You can place Happy Birthay Traps side by side, facing outward, completely lining the outside of you territory. Yeah, that's a !@#$ ton of rope, but it will 100% pay off. There's nothing more satisfying than waking up in the morning, looking out on the horizon, and seeing a dirty man-eating jack-a$$ impaled on one of my Happy Birthday Traps.
Now you know WHAT you want to build, but HOW do you do it? Building can be confusing at the beginning, but it is a very important concept to understand. One of the biggest things to keep in mind is while cutting down trees, be careful where they fall. If a falling tree lands on a structure, it will be destroyed. While you're hackin' away, face the direction you want it to go down and it will fall in that general direction. Before you place the 'ghost' of your future structure, make absolutely 100% sure that it is level, not interfering with other structures, and facing the right direction.
Hunting is something you'll probably have to do before you've even completed your base, depending on its initial size. To start off, craft a "Weak Spear" (2 sticks) and a "Crafted Bow" (1 stick + 1 cloth + 1 rope) or a "Slingshot" (1 stick + 1 cloth + 1 electrical tape). Use the Weak Spear to spear fish, or throw it at a deer for a one hit kill, as opposed to three hits with the Crafted Bow. Throwing Weak Spears will require practice, however. You can use the Bow or the Slingshot to hunt rabbits, lizards, and other small animals. Arrows must be found or crafted (5 feathers + 1 stick) to use the Bow, and small rocks serve as ammunition for the Slingshot. To carry more arrows, craft the quiver. To carry more small rocks, craft the small rock bag. You can hunt small animals and birds with any weapon; different animals drop different amounts of food, so when you hunt, take into consideration how much you need.
Start a "Basic Fire" to cook meat you have collected. Check the state of your meat before placing it into the fire; Fresh meat will give the most energy and will feed you more. Edible meat is still good to eat, but may not be as beneficial. Spoilt food, obviously, will not feed you and will cause you to become sick. Idiot. Try not to let meat sit for more than half a day before cooking it or placing it on a drying rack. The "Drying Rack" allows you to carry your newly "Dried Meat" (after leaving it on the rack for a while) until you become hungry, while cooking your meat requires you to eat it immediately. Meat will be burnt if left on the fire for too long (who woulda known).
Oysters can be found on the ocean floor, mostly near the yacht and the anchor, both on the Southern Coast. They can only be eaten raw and will spoil quickly, but they are very useful if you are hungry and either ate all of your other food (pig) or forgot to bring it along (again, idiot). You should only need 5-7 to fill your gullet, but up to 10 can be carried at a time. If you are truly desperate and you want to be just as much of a freak as the dudes that are hunting you down, you can chop up cannibals and eat them piece by piece :). If you put their whole body intact onto the fire, you'll just get nasty bones you can't eat :(. But I, a normal human being, WANT these bones, because you can use them to make armor (6 bones + 3 cloth). Eating other people, however far from human they might seem, will deplete your "Sanity" stat. All I know about that statistic is that once it goes below 90%, you can now create effigies you little freak. Even if you get your sanity back up to 100%, you can still make 'em. I guess that trauma doesn't really leave you.
If you are in an emergency and you came prepared like a responsible gamer boi, you should have up to 15 Candy Bars and 10 Sodas. They each have a pretty obvious role here, so I'm not wasting my time explaining. Do NOT drink your Booze. I don't really know if you can get drunk in this game, but there are many more important uses for it in this game. Either survive or drink yourself to death, that's your call. Natural Selection is a real thing, folks.
While fighting for your life in the Forest, there are lots of little useful things you can find all over the place. I'm not going to list off every single thing you're gonna see in the wilderness, I'm just here for tips and tricks. So, some cannibal-made (masterpiece) effigies will drop skulls and booze upon being destroyed, but all will drop sticks and cloth. Some of them are just dudes with dozens of tennis balls stuffed down their throats and bursting out of their stomachs, so they got what they deserved. I told you about those tennis ball loving fruit loops. Effigies are a good example of trying to be resourceful. It's usually a good idea to pick up little things like booze and cloth as often as you can, because that last bottle of booze might be the difference between life and death when a mutant with like eight arms charges at you.
While exploring the Forest, you'll come across berries pretty frequently. Half of them are safe to eat and the other half aren't, but I'll let you figure out on your own which is which. Crafting the "Pouch" (2 Rabbit Fur) will allow you to carry 30 of each type of berry. Some will make for a decent snack when you get the munchies, and some you can use to add a little temporary potency to your weapons.
After you've established a good base and you have a grip on survival, it's time to explore the caves. Inside, you will find resources, gear, weapons, and some ticked off cannibals and mutants. The only tips I'll give you are these:
- Bring food and water, you'll probably be in there for while.
- Have a full stock of Molotovs; these are the most effective way to fight mutants.
- Be constantly on the alert; enemies can and will corner you when you least expect it. It can be extremely difficult to see in the caves, so use your lighter and pray there isn't something looking at you from more than 20 feet away.
These are the items that I personally believe you should prioritize first when deciding what to craft (not necessarily in this order):
- Slingshot: (1 stick + 1 cloth + 1 electrical tape)
- Crafted Bow: (1 stick + 1 cloth + 1 rope)
- Weak Spear (For hunting): (2 stick)
- Upgraded Spear (For enemies): (1 Weak Spear + 2 cloth + 3 bone)
- Repair Tool: (2 stick + 1 rock + 2 cloth + 10 sap)
- Arrows: (1 stick + 5 feather)
- Molotov: (1 booze + 1 cloth)
- Bomb: (1 booze + 1 circuit board + 1 coins + 1 wrist watch + 1 electrical tape)
- Head Bomb: (1 bomb + 1 head)
- Bone Armor: (6 bone + 3 cloth)
- Warmsuit: (1 raccoon skin + 4 boar skin + 6 deer skin + 1 rabbit fur + 2 cloth)
- Waterskin: (2 deer skin + 1 rope)
- Pouch: (2 rabbit fur)
- Stick Bag: (1 rabbit fur + 2 rope + 3 cloth)
- Throwable Rock Bag: (1 rabbit fur + 1 rope)
- Quiver: (3 rabbit fur + 1 rope)
- Spear Bag: (2 boar skin + 2 deer skin + 2 cloth + 3 rope)