If you’re wondering how to get started – then this is the guide for you. It’s not going to tell you how to finish the game, it’s not going to tell you how to be the best at anything either… But it’ll tell you how not to always die, all the time. So if you’re looking for that – this is the guide for you!
- Character Starting Traits
- [Optional] Disable All Automated Tasks
- [Kinda-Optional] Reject Any Requests to Join Your Group Until You Are Ready to Expand
- Hit The Prerequisites First
- Focus on Water
- Food, It’s Not as Hard as You Think
- On Your Exploration Missions, Find Books!
- Upgrade Your Inefficient Essential Objects ASAP
- Character Traits to Avoid
- Combat & Weapons
- Storage Space & Quality Ratings
Character Starting Traits
You want to give your leader the “Meat Lover” and “Perpetual Energy” positive traits, hook that up with “Weak Arms” so you start getting a mood bonus from eating meat and they never need to sleep. Absolutely essential in my opinion. They wont be able to wield a 2 handed weapon but we don’t care.
The other two characters you have give them Adipsia, that raises the thirst level 25% slower.
IMO – start your characters all with 5 in intelligence and perception, 2 in the rest. You need high levels in those for later game. This will maximise the max level of your starting characters in stats INT which raises quality/durability of objects and PER which raises chance to find items, both essential.
[Optional] Disable All Automated Tasks
To get the most out of your characters, you really don’t want them making decisions for themselves. But you don’t really need to do that as long as you hit the rest of the things I’ve listed here … It’ll still work – probably – but it wont be as efficient.
[Kinda-Optional] Reject Any Requests to Join Your Group Until You Are Ready to Expand
This one isn’t really optional if you want to survive long term. Never expand too quickly and so far I’ve never gone beyond 6 survivors at a time in my shelter. 6 seems pretty perfect as you get 2x party of 2 with 2 at home.
Hit The Prerequisites First
You want to unlock the 2nd tier drafting as soon as possible, so check your goals on your faction banner. You need to build bed, toilet, shower, stove and a room. Before doing anything else you need to be focusing on unlocking that 2nd tier of objects.
Focus on Water
You need to build T2 water barrels, lots of them. I’d say you need at least 3 as soon as you can and you want to aim for 6 total. I’m at 6 total barrels, didn’t need to build the T3/4 water item and water is fine now… I don’t run out. You need to remember one simple rule – if it’s raining and you aren’t collecting because you hit your cap and your cap isn’t like 200+ then you’re maybe heading towards a water wall where you might die or things will get a bit difficult.
Food, It’s Not as Hard as You Think
There will be a few forests fairly near where you started, send groups out to clear the fog and locate forest(s). You need hunting grounds. At home base, build one snare trap at a time – no more because it’s buggy – and harvest meat from that. Build another planter and balance your meat from hunting and trapping against growing in your two planter beds. Rations from broccoli/veg soup, eat the meat when you need to eat.
I can’t stress this enough : Rations from soup and eat the meat. You can build a T2+ cooking device but you don’t need to, the other recipes don’t really add anything to the game over meat and basic soups from the T1 stove.
With forests the entire forest has a single value for animals and vegetation, you want to hunt/forage when the stat on the tile says “Loads” of animals/vegetation. You can right click any tile in the forest, preferably the tile closest to your shelter/party route and click “Hunt” which will hunt on that tile for animals. It may seem a little odd that hitting one tile changes the entire forest to “low” animal density, but that’s just how it works.
Keep searching and you should find multiple forests. You’ll probably find 2 or 3 forests relatively close to your base once you clear the fog and with 3 forests you’ll be able to hunt more animals than you can eat with 6 people in your shelter. Just hook your forest hunting up with your 1 snare trap and 2 planters, you’ll never – ever – run out of food… You’ll probably have more issues with it spoiling than not having enough.
On Your Exploration Missions, Find Books!
You want to be pumping up your INT, PER and CHA stats as quickly as possible so you want to be picking up training books whenever you can. There’s 4 tiers so take note of the books you are picking up. You need to make a path from 1 to the cap. These are similar to the strength/dexterity objects. 1-5, 5-10,. 10-15, 15-20. Keep in mind that if you followed what I said initially your INT and PER max levels will be 18-20 cap, you will have a 12-14 CHA cap along with all the other stats.
But Intelligence and Perception, right now at least, are key.
Excess books work great for trading too – so the more books the better. Just remember to keep 1, because I’m not 100% if it lets you trade out your last book on the trade screen … Need to look in to that one.
Upgrade Your Inefficient Essential Objects ASAP
When you unlock T2/3 drafting you want to focus on getting the best toilet, shower and beds. But you need to make sure you do this with high intelligence characters to get higher durability. Reducing your water consumption from the shower/toilet is absolutely essential to the longevity of your game – the more efficient you are the longer you’ll last and the quicker you’ll reach a point where water isn’t an issue.
Tip: Fixing surface items during uncontaminated rain is a great way to give your stinky survivors a free, productive shower.
Build a recycler, you get more resources from it than recycling off the workbench. It’s essential.
I really can’t stress this enough – the longer you wait to do this, the less resources you’re extracting from your recycling… You should have done this ages ago!
Build 4 of those with high INT characters for high durability, wind power is great. Not a constant but if you have enough wind, you are using less fuel for your generator(s) and don’t need to worry about your incinerator(s) either.
Character Traits to Avoid
It’s really tempting to get the skills that boost EXP gain but they’re useless, you have enough time to keep people training. Those points are wasted if you put them in to power leveling as you’ll hit the cap and you can’t reallocate the points.
Ignore them for now, they’re broken beyond belief and you’re just going to get confused. The trading system is also broken. Save before you send out a party – just walk through their territory and search buildings, try to flee encounters that you can’t handle. It’ll all get fixed eventually. Hopefully. I don’t advocate save scumming but when the map is owned by someone else and their mechanics don’t work, you might want to hedge your bets and reload occasionally.
Don’t worry about moving in to a factions territory. You wont start a turf war. You need to journey through other factions territory or you’ll isolate yourself and die. Ignore them – they aren’t the threat that you may think they are, they’re just crazy people who need a bit of a stabbing every now and again.
Combat & Weapons
Focus on Knives, traits that reduce negative mods like fear and traits that boost negative mods and damage against opponents … Ignore guns, useless in a fight – just recycle them.
Storage Space & Quality Ratings
Things you find, recycle and craft have a quality rating.
1* is basic and as you progress you’ll need higher * rating resources to build higher level objects. Most of the time you’ll have enough of that when you need to build something, but not always.
Factions, even though I said ignore them, are broken enough that no matter if you’ve killed so many of them that everyone and their dog knows you’re a murderer – they’ll treat you as non-hostile. If you’re looking for higher * tier items you can get them out of faction trade. Radio one of the factions, ask to trade and – right now – they will.
Never – ever – trade higher * tier goods away as you’ll no doubt have hundreds of 1* resources of the same type in your stores. Build some big T2 storage boxes and when you’re trading make sure you use up the crappy 1* and books to free up space… Don’t be tempted to trade out a 2* or 3* resource for the extra “money” it’s not worth it.