This game is a hardcore survival game that is hard for first time players, but once you have a couple hours under your belt, it is fairly easy. This tutorial/tips hybrid is going to tell you things you need to know in order to survive the first couple of days with no deaths, or maybe just one.
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So first things first, you need to mess with your settings. If you have a lower tier computer like I do, I highly recommend turning off dynamic shadows and lowering shadow and texture detail. This will reduce a lot of lag that you might have because your computer probably sucks, like mine. I recommend that you keep the draw distance high or very high because either way, it will be about the same and it'll help you greatly when it comes to finding loot and locating hostiles.
You should probably mess with the controls too, I personally changed inventory to E along with other controls to mimic Minecraft controls, lets be real, how many of us has played Minecraft?
After you have done this, make sure that all the controls are set to be the easiest on you and the graphics settings are set to create minimum lag, unless you have a beast of a computer, then sure, go all out.
This is a map of the map. I did not make this, credit goes to Nemo, I really appreciate him making this. If you're playing with friends, send this to them so they can know what you're talking about, and maybe print it out too.
Now, everything is important, gather as much stuff that you can, even if you have a lot of it, you can never have enough, unless you have a chest full of something, but I highly doubt you would fill a chest with a sole item, fully stacked.
This is what fiber looks like. It is very useful, you use it to craft cordage, which is used in a lot of recipes, so gather as much of this as possible.
This is a grub tree, they give you 6 wood instead of 3 or 4 a normal tree does, but what's really special is that it gives a tree grub, it's like a maggot. You use it for tackle for fishing or you can eat it for a tiny amount of protein, but don't eat it unless you're desperate
This is a medicinal plant. They are used to craft most medical items and biofuel. This is a lot easier to spot than the fibers.
There are also crates, or bags of loot. These contain some loot in them and there are 4 varieties. The best one is the flat one, which it gives you double the loot and its rarer loot like sinew, which is used for rope, gun parts to upgrade weapons. However, it requires a lockpick to open. The first Base Command Unit (BCU) gives you a free lockpick. After that, you have to craft them.
I recommend looting everything you see. There are also additional things out there, like potatoes and carrots. When you look around, anything that looks different then the normal grass and shrubbery, look to see if it's that. You can extract the seeds from them and grow more, allowing you to be able to eventually hopefully make 5 star meals. Also, keep all ash from fires, you'll need it later.
Now, when it comes to basing, don't build until sunset. As crazy as it sounds, focus on gathering materials so you don't have to try and get more fiber at night, it's impossible. Build a foundation, a wall, and a roof. Try and build close to water and if you can, build on a big rock. This way, you can see your base from far away and it reduces the number of sides a hostile can attack from.
Whatever you do, don't build your BCU! If you build your BCU, hunters will very shortly begin to spawn in and they are tough and total jerks. Build your BCU when you have at least one foundation, four walls and a roof. Try and memorizing nearby monuments and keep an eye on the direction of where your going and where the general location of your base is.
By now, you should have a base and a BCU. The first thing you should craft is a wood burning stove. This uses less wood, gives off the same amount of light, and has a larger heating range. Then craft a plant bed so you can begin planting seeds when you find them. You can use ash as a fertilizer, or animal feces, so save them!
By now, hunters should begin spawning in your world. So keep an eye out for wierd light from a campfire and an ear for gunshots and tree hacking that isn't you or your friends if you're doing co op.
You need food. It is vital, especially protein because it can be difficult at points to get protein. Want to know how you can save food? Patience, most people sprint around, but they fail to realize that they are using a ton more food, especially protein when they sprint.
When it comes to hunting, it takes 2 pistol shots or 1 arrow to kill a chicken. With the arrow, you have a chance to just injure it. Don't kill the chicken immedieatly unless you're about to cook it. Food can spoil and burn in this game, so keep an eye on it.
A rabbit takes 1 pistol shot or 1 arrow. It'll give you rabbit and cloth.
Fish takes one tackle and if you hook the fish too early, you will lose the tackle. If you catch the fish, you lose the tackle.
Now here's the fun stuff, predators.
I would recommend putting a couple rounds into a wolf using a pistol before taking out a shotgun and shooting it. It takes a couple pistol rounds and, to improve headshot accuracy, crouch, 2-3 shotgun shells to the face.
Same thing with a bear, but I would recommend having a couple extra shells just in case you miss or it's a high level bear, because the higher the level, the greater the health and reward.
It is good to keep an eye on your fruits too. You can find berries in the crates and in the wild. I would recommend to always carry a couple berries and if you have them, protein bars when you go and explore.
Water is also needed. It takes longer for it to go down, so just keep an eye on it and when you are getting low or if you eat some food and you're iffy on it, drink water. You can refill your canteen at a water source by walking out in it a little bit, opening your inventory, right clicking on the empty canteen, and filling it with water. It has to boil before you can drink that, so make sure you do that.