Image Via Hinterland Studio

How to make maps in The Long Dark

Mapping your way in the world.

When you’re out in the cold, harsh wilderness, it is crucial to make sure you know where you’re going. Getting lost in The Long Dark can be a death sentence, so you’ll want to make sure you have a map of the area to help you find your way home. The process isn’t complicated, but it does require some supplies to get started. If you’re having trouble making maps in The Long Dark, here is everything you need to know.

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What items are required to make maps in The Long Dark?

Imave via Hinterland Studio

To make a map in The Long Dark, you’ll need to find charcoal. Once you find it, you just need to equip it through the inventory or radial menu, depending on which platform you’re playing on. With it equipped, click to activate it the same way you would a weapon, and you’ll see a prompt on the screen that says “Surveying Local Area.” It takes around 20 in-game minutes to complete a survey of the area, so you need to keep an eye on your needs, like hunger or sleep, during this time.

That is the easy part. Though, there are some things to remember when making maps in The Long Dark. Surveying can only be done during the daytime or when an aurora lights up the night sky. Also, how much you can see will determine how much you can survey in a single time. Going to higher altitudes will allow you to survey a greater area. Head to the top of a hill or rope climb to get the most out of each surveying action.

Image via Hinterland Studio

It will take several surveying actions to completely document a map, so a good strategy would be to only survey what you need to at first. Start by documenting the area immediately around your camp and slowly spreading out as you get more supplies. The map won’t show a player’s location on it, so you’ll need to be able to identify important landmarks on your map visually.


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Trent Cannon
Trent is a Freelance Writer at Gamepur. He has contributed news, guides, and reviews about video games for over a decade and has a special place in his heart for JRPGs, Splatoon, Sea of Thieves, and anything that's a bit silly, really.