In order to be able to survive out there, be it alone or together, you should know the basic things that stand at the base of the game.
The first things that you need to pay attention to in order not to die are the following:
1. As in “Fear of the dark” by Iron Maiden, there actually is something in the dark that’s constantly watching you. Aside from just a few characters in special conditions you need to avoid complete darkness.
This is the daily clock. It is split into 3 different stages: Day, Evening and Night.
You can call them however you want (Dusk, Dawn, etc) but the idea is the same.
- Day – You are mostly safe
- Evening – You should make sure that you have the minimum resources to create at least a torch
- Night – Don’t go out into complete darkness or you will be attacked by “Charlie”
2. Health – Health is the 2nd thing that you should always keep an eye on (obviously). It’s more important than the other 2 because reaching 0 health is fatal while the others aren’t.
3. Sanity – It is more important than the stomach at least at early stages because once you go insane the shadow monsters will chase and attack you 24/7 (mostly) unless you regain your sanity or you’re dead.
4. Stomach – It’s the least important among the above as even if you reach 0 hunger you won’t immediately die. You will gradually lose health until you die but you have time to recover from this and also the screen goes red to inform you about it.
Later on there will be other things that you should keep an eye on like temperature (which isn’t visible by default), karma-meter (also not visible at all), etc.
These are unavailable by default in the game and you would need to get a certain mod to display them.
During your first days you should always explore and gather as much as you can. Even during the night it is recommended to create a torch and keep exploring as at the beginning nights are very short and it would be just a waste of time to sit around a campfire or in one place with the torch in hand. So either explore or gather during the night time.
Some of us who are more experienced like to first discover the outline of the map completely before setting up a base, this is up to you and your preference
- Butterflies – They are a great source of food and health early on and can be found pretty much everywhere. You need to wait for them to settle in a spot and then attack them by clicking or using Ctrl+F. If they start running away from you just let them settle and try again, you’ll get the hang of it!
- Master Chef – Almost everything has better stats and is plain better if cooked. Thus upon getting food for a few days and you have a big enough bunch of berries or carrots or something else it’s ok to settle for one night to cook your food on a campfire
- Moles – In order to kill a mole you can place any type of rock on the ground near a mole, it will come to “steal” it and that’s when you Whack-A-Mole!
- Gobbler – The gobbler is the NPC/MOB that goes into berry bushes and eats berries. In order to bait it you need to use a piece of berry and let it come near it to eat then you Whack-A-Gobbler!
- You can split a stack of resources into half if you hold Ctrl and press on the specific stack
- You can take out pieces of a stack 1 by 1 if you take the specific stack and then hold Ctrl and click into another space in inventory (this and the above can be combined)
- Fireflies – If you’re ever at night without resources or a light source you can just use the light from the fireflies to make it through the night altho you will lose tons of sanity but, hey, that’s better than dying… right? Just make sure not to stop in the spot where you see fireflies as they will “go dark”. You need to pass through their light to reset the “time spent in darkness” such that charlie won’t attack you and then go away so they respawn.
- Swamp – The swamp is a bless upon us for free resources but it is high risk high reward so unless you’re prepared to die a lot at first you shouldn’t try your luck into the swamp until you’re getting the hang of the game
- Backpack – The backpack is a great addition of inventory slots when gathering resources in the first days. You need to build an Alchemy machine in order to be able to craft it. Since the resources for an Alchemy machine are so easy to get you can create one somewhere and just leave it there.
Setting Up Your Base
So, regardless if you finished outline-ing the map or not you decide to set up a small base to begin with. There would be 3 main scenarios that sum up all the little possible circumstances when setting up a base and I’ll try to cover them as best as I can.
- Poorly Prepared – If you barely have resources to build a big firepit and maybe an Alchemy machine you definitely shouldn’t camp. But it’s up to you, ofc.
- Moderate – You have enough resources to build a big firepit, the alchemy machine and the science machine plus a few other things like a farm/advanced farm, a tent, a crock pot to cook food, a bird cage some of these things that help you a little bit in surviving easier and making your base more beautiful. This is a decent case and you can camp like this but you’ll have to make a lot of travels to resources and back to base if you do it like this and/or too early.
- Well Prepared – I consider well prepared to have 1 full (or almost full) stack of each: Grass, Twigs, Logs, Rocks, Flints, Gold, Grass Tuft, Saplings, Berry Bushes. The last 3 are obtained by using a shovel to take out the Grass/Twigs/Berries from within the ground with the whole root such that you will be able to re-plant them closer to the location where you create your base. You can also use: 8 Cut Reeds (to create a birdcage), some charcoal in order to create crock pots and drying racks, at least 6 silk to create a tent and some Rot or Manure in order to fertilize the newly planted crops.
Geometrical Placement is a mod that will help you set up your base in an organised manner if you’re not only looking to barely survive or just create a base but you want a symmetrical fancy base.