Screws are incredibly rare (as of posting). Don’t waste time running around looking for them. I have spent most of my time running around human areas where I thought I might find or pull an extra screw out of wood beams, radios, etc, only to be disappointed. I hope this saves people time.
Screw Location Guide
Go to Kalev First
You may have already passed by the key in the sand along the river bank before reaching the great owl and are thinking, “There aren’t screws there…” While you may have gone by this in your initial gameplay, I don’t think they spawn until after you get the Compendium entry for the grinding wheel.
From the starting area, after speaking to the padded armorer and the Elder to get the first three people on the map, head over to the great big owl island. Before you cross the river to reach the island, hang a left along the beach just a short way until you see a house key in the sand. You can check to see if there are any screws around the base of the tree trunk next to it now, but they were not there for me when I first found the key.
Cross over to the big owl island (don’t go up unless you want to get the owl effigy) and then go around behind it and build a bridge across at the narrowest point between the sandbars. Go across and find the stone armorer, Kalev. Talk to them about how to build a grinding wheel and pickaxe.
Build at least: a foundation, a wall, a roof, a bed and set your spawn point before heading down to the quarry. You have to kill a few red ants to get the parts you need for the pickaxe while you’re there and you don’t want to have to run back from the starting zone if you die. Pick up a bottle cap (in the cart at the end of the rope you probably peeked at on the way down) and if you go into the cave, there’s one screw at the very back. There are bugs inside. Be prepared if you’re not playing in no-threat mode. The pickaxe is essential to make further crafting progress, including the grinding wheel (needs stone). Don’t skip this part. Also, other ants will attack you if you attack a member of their colony and they see it happen. Even in no-thread mode.
You can pick up four more screws by going back to the key and looking around the stump again.
The location is approximately here, at the point of my arrow.
P.S. I recommend carrying the mats for at least one grinding wheel with you at all times. There’s no fast travel in the game and you’ll need it to process seeds and wood. It will be more convenient (Yes, you can move your tree base around, but you will still be running around a LOT and none of those are particularly close to the spider armorer.).
P.P.S. Bottle caps are super common and easier to spot. You’ll find those in most human territories and along sandbars. Usually next to a big, glass bottle.
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