New to Raft? This guide has everything you need to know to begin your journey.
Create a New Raft
First, you must load up the game and create a new Raft. I’d recommend to start out in either peaceful or easy mode so you can get a feel for the game before you jump into the hard part.
Once you load up your first raft, you will start out standing on top of four planks. This is your starting raft. You have a hotbar which you can use the scroller wheel on your mouse to cycle through. You start out with a hook in your first slot. Hold down left click, and you will see a circle start to form right around your cross-hair. Wait for the circle to fill completely up, then release left click. You will see that you have projected your hook into the water.
You may have noticed items floating all around your Raft. Aim your hook towards them, then do the same thing again to cast the hook into the water. Once you latch onto an item, it will stay on your hook and stop moving. Hold left click again to pull the item towards you.
You also have an inventory. Press [Tab] to open it.
On the left hand side of your inventory screen, you may have noticed an area with a bunch of tabs, labeled things like “Tools”, “Food”, and “Other”. This is the crafting menu. Click on the “Food” tab and then click on the water purifier. This is essential for your survival.
Hunger, thirst, and health need to be maintained to survive in the raft world. You can see those three things in the bottom left corner of your screen.
Let’s start by maintaining your water level. First, you need to find some plastic. Hook four floating plastic milk jugs. Then, click [Tab] to go to the crafting menu again. Click on the small cup and click “Craft”. A cup will appear in your inventory.
Next, we need to make a water purifier to get the salt out of the water.
You may have seen some barrels and crates floating out and about in the water. Hook these for a bunch of items.
To get a water purifier, you need 4 scrap and one rope.
You can get the scrap from the barrels and crates.
To get the rope, hook up two palm leaves (Or one bunch of three palm leaves). Then, click the tab with the picture of the screw on it, and click on the rope. Click craft.
Now that you have all the materials, you can go back to the top tab, and click on the water purifier. Click craft.
Now, you have a placeable item in your hotbar. Scroll onto the slot with the water purifier.
Your character will begin to point in the direction that you are facing. Look down towards the raft, and find a spot where the water purifier appears and is the color green. If it is red, that means it cannot be placed in the spot where you are facing.
Left click to place the purifier down.
Next, get about four planks. Then, look at the purifier. It’ll tell you, even without the planks in hand, above your hotbar when planks need to be placed. It’ll say,
“E Place plank”
Hit “E” to place a plank. Keep going until the message disappears.
Then, hold your cup. Go up to the edge of your Raft and look towards the water. You will likely get another message above your hotbar.
“E fill up with saltwater”
Click “E” to fill your cup up with saltwater. Walk over to the purifier and look at it. You will get another message.
“E place cup of saltwater”
Click “E”, and the saltwater cup will begin to cook. In the meantime, let’s get you some food.
(By the way, when the fire stops burning in the purifier, you either need to refill it with planks or the water is done. Hold your cup and press “E” to fill it with freshwater, and hold left click to drink it and right click to pour it out)
Hunger is harder to maintain then thirst is, because fresh water fills up your thirst bar significantly. Hunger, on the other hand, is filled up little by little.
First, you need to craft a fishing rod. Click on the hammer and shovel icon and click on the fishing rod. Use your hook to get all the materials needed for it.
(See the tips section for crafting quicker)
Once you have the fishing rod, cast it out like you cast out your hook, and wait. After a little bit, you should get a pull and a sound effect. Click left click and you will get a fish.
Don’t eat it! Though the fish may save you from starvation in sticky situations, it drains your thirst. You need to cook it.
Go to the crafting menu and click on the food tab once again. Click on the simple grill and get the supplies needed.
Place the simple grill. Load it up with wood, then hold the raw fish. Click “E” to place it onto the grill. It will begin to cook.
(Again, when it’s finished or you are out of planks, the fire will burn out.)
The raft is getting a little crowded, isn’t it? How about we expand?
To expand the raft, you need a building hammer. Click on the tab with the hammer and shovel on it, and craft the building hammer. When you hold it, you will see two things above your hotbar:
- [Wood Icon] [Plastic Icon]
- [Wood amount]/3 [Plastic amount]/3
These show how much you need to expand your Raft. Look over the edge of your raft, and you will either see a green piece of foundation (You can build it) or a red piece of foundation (You need more materials).
Hold right click with the hammer equipped and a menu will pop up, filled with the things you can build. Click on the desired thing you want to build, and then click [esc] to close the menu.
Is there a way to get more items to progress through the game? Yes! Meet the research table.
First, click the box tab in the crafting menu and craft the research table. Then, place it down. You can click “E” while looking towards the research table to open the menu. Put an item into the slot, and click “Research”. You will notice that this item will begin to brighten up in each of the recipes. Eventually, after researching enough items, you will be able to click “Research” on the new tools. Then, you will be able to craft it.
Sometimes, you will find blueprints in barrels, crates, or islands (See: Islands). These are new recipes that will automatically be added to your research table.
Decoration packages are exciting to get. Once you get one, you can hold left click to open it, and you can get a new decoration recipe! (For example, you can open one and be able to craft a chair).
Storages can be used to store items and to get your raft less clattered. They are very helpful. I would recommend to organize them instead of just shoving random things into them.
Beds can be used to skip the night and revive people in multiplayer mode (See: Health and Death)
Much of the things in raft want to kill you. Here’s a list of them and how to avoid their attacks!
- Bruce the Shark: You may have noticed the shark circling around your raft. He is hostile and will attack you if you get into the water. He also bites an area off your raft every five minutes. To keep him from biting your raft, click the sword icon in your crafting menu, and craft the wooden spear. Click left click to start stabbing him. After a while, even if you just attacked him so he would stay off your raft, he will die. Hold “E” to pick him up and get a lot of food and a shark head to celebrate your victory with.
- Screetchers: On big islands, you will encounter birds that will drop stones onto your head. In the early game, they are best to be avoided. You can hide under rocks and in caves to avoid them.
- The Boar: The Boar is an animal that looks like a giant black pig. It will attack you on sight. It will charge at you. You can dodge this by going to the side quickly before it hits you. When you do this, it will be dazed for a moment, which is when you can stab it. Repeat until you kill it. Or you could just keep your distance and avoid it.
- Poison Puffer: This pufferfish can be found around the shores of large islands. They act much like a creeper from the game Minecraft. Get near, and it will explode. So, how do you attack it? You can go in, quickly stab it, and swim away. Do this until it dies, and you will get explosive goo, useful later in the game.
- Bear/Polar bear: It took me a while to find my first bear island that wasn’t a story island. It will get hostile when it is close to you. It can lunge at you, and stand up on its hind legs to swipe at you. Close combat is easier, as it only lunges when you are far away.
- Lurker: Lurkers look like giant rats, and they are pretty easy to kill.
- Bee swarms: Bee swarms will sting you when you come near. You can catch them with a sweep net to get bee jars.
- Butler Bots: These are found on one of the story islands, and you can attack them to get a keycard.
- Mama Bear: A boss on one of the story islands.
- Hyena: They are everywhere on the 8th story island.
- Pig: It’s a pig.
Islands and Abandoned Rafts
Islands are various sized landmasses sticking out of the water. You can find loot, crops, trading posts, animals, and food on them. Abandoned Rafts are small little rafts that you can find, containing one loot crate.
To find an island in the early game, you can follow the stream of items. Usually, barrels mean you are going towards an island or abandoned raft. Follow the items until you reach an island.
Once you reach an island, craft a reusable anchor and place it on your raft. Then pick it up and toss it into the water.
Around the islands, you may have seen a bunch of things under water. Craft a shark bait, and then toss it into the water. It will distract the shark for 5 minutes (1 minute of eating the bait and 4 minutes of being full and not attacking). Then, you can dive down with your hook, and hold left click over some of the glowing items to begin breaking it. You can get clay, sand, iron ore, and copper down there.
Non-hostile animals can be collected later in the game.
Tired of missing islands that you can see but can’t go towards? Get a sail! Sails can be angled to take you different directions, however it can be hard to go against the waves, since the wind hardly goes against them.
Can’t afford a sail? Craft a paddle! They were intended to get you out of sticky situations where you would get stuck and couldn’t get your raft off an island, but it’s surprisingly easy to paddle against the waves.
Tired of crafting a reusable anchor? Upgrade to a regular anchor! This can be put down and raised up at the click of a button.
You have likely researched the cropplots by now, but how do you use them? You can use them to grow plants and get more food!
First, craft and place down a small cropplot. Then, take a potato or a beetroot (Found in barrels and crates) and plant it. You can fit two plants into it. For crops like watermelons and pineapples, you need a medium cropplot, while for trees, you need a large cropplot.
You need to water your crops before they start to grow.
Your crops are not always safe. Seagulls will fly in and begin to peck at your crops unless you craft yourself a scarecrow.
Have you wondered how to smelt your newfound ores? Have you wondered if there was a way to get commonly used items like glass and vine goo, aside from rarely coming in crates on islands? No worries, the smelter can do that! First, you need to craft a couple wet bricks (In the screw tab). Then, place them on your raft. After a while, they should dry and you should be able to pick them up.
Once you have researched, crafted, and placed down the smelter, you will need to fuel it. Then, you can start smelting things like sand, metal ore, and copper!
Vine goo is very important once you get about 50 raft days into the game. But it seems so scarce and hard to get, doesn’t it? No way! It’s actually quite easy to get! Just head underwater near an island, and look towards the seaweed. Some parts will glow, in which you can simply pick up. Then you put it into a smelter for vine goo.
Want some animals so you can get things like healing salves (They restore your health)? No problem! Just craft a shovel and head to a large island. Find a cave, and shovel up the dirt. Then research and place down a grass plot. This is for the animals to eat. I would recommend 4 grass plots for each animal, and to have a sprinkler to water the grass when you are away. You need to water it regularly, or the animals will die of starvation. Fence the animal pen in.
Find a Goat, a Llama, or a Clucker (basically a blue chicken). Once you know it’s there, research and craft a net launcher. Craft a couple net canisters. These will be the ammo.
Hold left click to aim, and release to fire. Once you catch an animal, pick it up by pressing “E”. Then put it down on your raft by pressing “E” again. You can also edit a nametag on it while you are carrying the animal by pressing “R”.
Llamas can be used to get wool. Cluckers can be used to get eggs. And Goats can be used for milk.
Once you can craft things like circuit boards and batteries, you can craft automatic things like sprinklers, island locators (Called receivers), engines, recyclers (see my guide on trading), and so much more! They are very simple. Most just require a battery, while sprinklers require fresh water.
Health and Death
Health is the main thing you need to focus on. Don’t fall from high heights, don’t be attacked, don’t drown, don’t lost hunger or thirst beyond a certain point, etc.
When you lost hunger or thirst beyond a certain point, you start getting slower and a sound effect (either a stomach grumbling or someone gasping for water) will play. Once the bar empties, you will die.
What happens when you die?
In multiplayer, a player can revive you by putting you into a bed, and you will wake up normally, however, your health, thirst and hunger will be at less than half. If you choose “Surrender and respawn”, you respawn, but with none of your items.
Wanted to play with your friends? It’s quite simple! In the menu, click “Join” and then, if your friend is on a raft, click their username and join!
You likely saw the creative mode option while choosing the difficulty for your world. Basically, it is regular raft except you have infinite supplies, have (almost) everything, don’t lose hunger, thirst, or health, and can project your SOUL out of your body by pressing “N”.
- If you don’t want to use so much shark bait all the time, then there is actually a loophole you can use! Just head to the side of the island opposite the raft, and Bruce will (most likely) not come for you! This is because Bruce is coded to stay near the raft, unless he sees someone come off of it.
- Need supplies? Make collection nets! These are nets that will collect anything that floats into them. Make them into an L shape so that no matter which way you are going, you will be able to collect everything possible!
- Raft is so much more fun with people! Get a friend to play, or look for an online group to play with! The raft community is huge!
- Before going to a big island, only keep the essentials in your inventory. There will be a lot of loot that you will find.