From zero to hero, this guide will help you jump into "endgame" in under 90 minutes on a standard rates server.
How to Start Fast
Tools and Mobility, Under 5 Min
The second you load into the game look for sticks and stones, your aim is to get 2 sticks and 2 stones, and then create a Stone Axe, once you have the axe making continue searching for either 2 more sticks and stones (if close by) or only 2 more stones as soon your axe will be ready and wood will never again be an issue!
Once you have 2 more sticks/stones make a stone pickaxe its time to mine 30 iron ore and 50 wood, on a standard rates server this is roughly 1 large iron node and 2 medium trees, and shouldn't take more than a minute, however as soon as you have 15 wood start crafting a carpenters bench, you can easily continue gathering while it's being made.
Bonus Hint: Cotton, Hemp, Berries and Plant Fibre are something you should always collect as you encounter them, they provide early game food, seeds and valuable source of plant fibre.
Once your carpentry bench is made slap it down anywhere and queue up a metal pickaxe and axe, while this is being made look around for a horse, you should see one close to your starting area, using a lasso made from 10 rope (which in turn is made from 30 plant fibres) lasso the nearest horse and complete the basic mini-game, , owning a horse this early makes the rest of the guide much easier.
If no horses are close by grab your new metal tools and go out looking for one, if there is one within sight of your carpentry bench, quickly tame it while the tools craft, they take around 30-45 seconds on a standard rate server, plenty of time to tame a horse.
Bonus Tip: if you crouch and approach a horse from behind you can easily lasso it, and the rest is a simple clicking mini-game, all that is left is to name your horse, mount up and set off after hides!
Don't Hide From Me
This is a stage where people waste too much time for no reason; just get the bare minimum and move on.
The main objective of this part of the guide is to get three rawhide and one leather, as well as building up your stockpile of iron and wood, as you seek out fluffy things to butcher for their skin.. it sounds worse than it is... well not really...
I suggest making a bow and 60 arrows, this weapon won't be used again after this step of the tutorial, but we want to have options.
Ideally, you are looking for a small pack of wolves or an American buffalo, I suggest at this early stage you tackle the buffalo from horseback, as their attacks hit harder than any other NPC attack in-game, and have the ability to glitch you into them, locking you into a cycle of death by tramping that you can not escape, as well as knocking your body below the game map in some cases.
Once you have five rawhide slap craft a Tannery and make a single piece of leather, you will need this for the next step.
Shelter and Weapons
Quickly craft yourself a Log Mallet, and set to work making your first house, this can be any size you like, but I suggest no smaller than 3x4 foundation, this will allow you a small secure* place to perform the next few steps.
Please note: While on PvE servers log cabins are as safe as anything, they can be easily broken into on PVP servers.
Once your building is complete craft a Stone Forge, Metalworking Bench Spinning Wheel, and dump the remainder of the wood into your sawmill, you need five pieces of wood for every plank, and we need around 50 for the next stages, so might as well get them started.
It's also a good idea to fire up the forge and craft 20 iron ingots, these will allow you to have a rifle for the rest of the steps, significantly improving efficiency, forging takes a while, and I suggest you use this time and gather more iron ore and wood, both will be needed in abundance during the rest of this step.
I suggest you farm materials on horseback for around 10; it's possible to move close enough to nodes and trees to gather from them without dismounting, significantly improving efficiency.
Once you return to your base place down a Carpentry Bench and craft & place a bed, it's also a good idea to craft a sickle from the Metalworking Bench.
By now your ingots and planks should be ready, craft and place a Gunsmith Table, and craft any pistol that uses ball ammo, as well as a Trapdoor rifle and as much ball ammo as you can make.
It's also a good idea at this time to craft some storage boxes from your inventory, placing those down.
I suggest you unload all your remaining heavy materials such as stone, tin, copper, sulfur etc.
The Hunt Is On
Armed with your weapons its time to hunt, I suggest hunting from horseback ride around looking for packs of wolves and buffalo and kill them all while continually moving/kiting on horseback, it's possible to kill any wild animal this way without taking damage, once you have 75-100 rawhide head home and make yourself some sweet leather clothes for protection.
By this point, your weapons will be worn and ammo low, I suggest you craft yourself another trapdoor a pistol and more ammo.
Presuming you have been gathering like a smart cowgirl/boy you should have plenty of materials ready to make into planks, ingots and bricks at your various tables and forges.
Once you have queued up all your raw materials into their next form, its time to bring order.. or chaos to the Wild West.
Bringing Order or Chaos?
This step consists mostly of riding from bandit camp to camp and slaughtering them like dogs, remembering to loot every dead body you come across, it's also a good idea to continue gathering hides and raw materials to give you options for your next steps.
After 20 minutes of this, you should have a hefty stack of weapons, ammo and a small nest egg of dollars.
What you do next is up to you, but there are two main routes depending on your playstyle.
Passive Playstyle: Build a base, buy NPC stations, plant farms, craft fancier gear, saddles, horseshoes, bling up your own life with the labour of your own two hands.
It will also require you to invest heavily into a craft infrastructure, as you will need a lot of bricks, planks, ingots, glass and gunpowder, its a long but rewarding path to the endgame, great for roleplayers and those who want a slower less violent endgame.
Aggressive Playstyle: Find one of the NPC or player built NPC towns and proceed to sell all the weapons and unwanted ammo you collected from bandits, if the town has a gun and ammo store you can now purchase gold tier weapons, pick weapons to match your play style and enough ammo to continue hunting bandits, if you have money left over you can invest into horseshoes, saddles, cosmetic gear and more.
Fun Fact: it's quicker to farm bandits to buy ammo and weapons than it is to farm the materials needed to craft your ammo, especially once you move up to pistol and rifle ammo, which unlike ball ammo requires gunpowder.