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Sons of the Forest beginner’s guide tips and tricks – How to survive your first week

It's easier than it looks.

Soon after starting Sons of the Forest, you’ll find yourself stranded with just a few materials to get you going. Quickly after, you’ll find that your thirst, hunger, and rest are all slowly decreasing. Managing these three attributes are vital to staying alive in Sons of the Forest, and while they’ll become easier to manage later in the title, solving these needs are essential to surviving the first week. Here’s our guide to make the start of your stay in Sons of the Forest a far easier task.

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How to get water in Sons of the Forest

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Food and water are tied in terms of need when you first start, but it’s a relatively easy task. You can drink any water by standing within it with nothing equipped (press ‘G’ to unequip anything), then you’ll receive an on-screen prompt to press ‘E’ to drink. It goes without saying, but don’t drink the ocean water or water from murky puddles — the safest water to drink comes from a stream, slightly inland or near waterfalls is a good start. By taking two drinks, your thirst should be sated for the day.

How to cook and eat food in Sons of the Forest

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The second task is food, and it will be a long-term chore throughout your time in Sons of the Forest. Berries are not a sustainable food source — they offer too little nutrition to rely on it beyond the first day. Build a spear with two sticks, one tape, and your knife. Stab seagulls, squirrels, and rabbits that you see loitering about. The bow and arrows aren’t found until you can explore a bit. You’ll then need to cook your meat though: hold ‘E’ next to a lit campfire to toss the item in the campfire, and watch it closely until it changes to a darker color — if it cooks too long, it will be inedible. Hold ‘E’ while looking at the food in the campfire to immediately eat it.

You’ll need two of these cooked meats per day to fulfill your hunger. Once you’ve eaten for the day, build a Drying Rack with 13 sticks and place the rest of the meat there. Meat takes roughly a full day to cure, but will spoil far slower than cooked meat — this cured meat will turn into rations, allowing you to explore farther into the island without worrying about hunger.

How to Rest in Sons of the Forest

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You might notice that your Rest doesn’t always decrease at the same speed. Your rest is dependent on how full your thirst and hunger bars are: fuller bars mean that your need for Rest will decrease far slower. Once you’ve solved the water and hunger problems reliably, you’ll want to open your Survival Guide (‘B’) and then hold ‘X’ to switch to advanced crafting — a Hunting Shelter can quickly be created if you’re looking for somewhere to sleep. If you are after something bigger, a Small Log Cabin can easily be completed within a day if you’re using Kelvin to assist in resource gathering. To start, however, building a quick lean-to with two sticks and the tarp is your best bet to make sure you keep your Rest topped off.

How to heal in Sons of the Forest

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For the beginning stages of Sons of the Forest, your best bet on healing is to find Medicine in various caches. Some boxes that have washed ashore with the wreckage are guaranteed to have Medicine, and you can find more at various Tribal Camps that dot the map. Consuming Medicine will begin a health regeneration — getting hit during this regeneration will completely cancel the effect. It is, however, a reliable means of regaining full health if you’re been knocked out recently.

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Chris Davenport
Chris Davenport is a freelance writer for Gamepur. He's been writing video game guides for the past five years and has been featured on GameRant.