The Long Dark Rugged Sentinel Adds Custom Survival Difficulty


The Long Dark, as I’ve stated many times in the past, is one of the purest survival experiences that you can get in gaming. No zombies or nonsense like that. Just yourself against the wildlife and elements with the constant threat of perma-death hanging over your head. With the Rugged Sentinel update released just moments ago, The Long Dark is about to get a whole lot more interesting through the implementation of custom difficulties in Survival mode.

Rugged Sentinel

The Long Dark Rugged Sentinel Adds Custom Difficulty
MooseThe Long Dark • Fair Use

Most hardcore players of The Long Dark have known for a few weeks that this update was coming, and that the moose was coming with it. We also knew that Milton would become a playable area in Survival, but instead called Mountain Town. Those two things alone extend the replay value of Survival mode by dozens of hours for most serious fans of the game.

However, perhaps the most exciting thing to be added to The Long Dark and its Survival mode via the Rugged Sentinel update, is the option to build a custom difficulty level. Gone are the days of having to choose Pilgrim, Voyager, Stalker, or Interloper. Now you can customize over 50 settings to get the game you want. Myself, I like the temperatures I get on Voyager because they allow me to explore, but I really want the loot availability of Stalker or Interloper. I also don’t care at all for Cabin Fever, so if that option can be killed in my game, it’s going off. I wonder if I can turn sprains down?

The icing on the cake to this is the feature that allows you to save your custom difficulty, generate a code, and share that with friends. This will allow them to use your specific setup. It will also allow veteran members of the community to build difficulties that work well for new players. The possibilities are many.

You can view the full 1.16 update notes for Rugged Sentinel below:


  • Added the Moose to all Survival Mode regions.
  • Added the Broken Ribs Affliction.
  • Added the Moose-Hide Cloak gear item.
  • Added the Moose-Hide Satchel gear item.
  • Milton is now playable in Survival Mode, as “Mountain Town”, including a full Loot and Wildlife pass.
  • New Save System for WINTERMUTE.
  • New Experience Modes for WINTERMUTE: Green Survivor, Capable Survivor, Hardened Survivor
  • New Custom Experience Toolbox for Survival Mode.
  • New Worn Clothing Weight Modifier.
  • Added Aurorified Lighting to all regions; these appear when the Aurora is active at night.


  • General texture clean-up.
  • General art optimizations to improve performance.
  • Reduced opacity of nighttime breath effect.
  • Additional beautification around Coastal Highway Quonset
  • Additional beautification around Pleasant Valley townsite.
  • [Wintermute] Added missing texture to chair in cinematic.
  • Fixed floating bones in Forlorn Muskeg Bear Den.
  • Fixed floating Wood object in Mountain Town.
  • Fixed the sun position in all regions to ensure it rises in the East and sets in the West.
  • General clean up on “out of bounds” areas.


  • [Survival] Fixed inaccessible loot in Turbine Room of Carter Hydro Dam.
  • [Survival] Fixed inaccessible loot under bed in the Coastal Highway Quonset.
  • [Survival] Fixed inaccessible loot in Cave in Mountain Town.
  • [Survival] General loot tuning for Broken Railroad region.
  • Survival] Fixed inactive container item in Hunting Lodge basement.
  • [Survival] Fixed missing corpses and containers in Broken Railroad region.
  • [Wintermute] Fixed progression blocker related to Wood Bin and Flashlight in the Hunting Lodge.
  • [Survival] Milton is now accessible from both Forlorn Muskeg and Mystery Lake regions.
  • [Wintermute] Fixed missing translated strings for “Lake Gunshots” side mission.
  • [Wintermute] Current episode progress (% Completed) is now displayed as part of Save Game information.
  • [Survival] Fixed issue where player could get into a half-buried car on Coastal Highway.
  • [Survival] UI updates to clarify Encumbered and “buffed” carrying capacity states.
  • [Survival] Loot updates to Pleasant Valley to reflect additional beautifications.
  • [Both] Added numbering to Afflictions in the First Aid UI to make it easier to treat when there are multiple instances.
  • [Both] Fixed some inconsistencies in UIs that presented “cancel” options where that functionality did not exist.
  • [Wintermute] Added some failsafe logic to ensure the Old Bear doesn’t get stuck and prevent completion of the Bear Hunt mission.
  • [Both] Reduced Deer carcass quartering time to 60 minutes, to improve balance against Bear and Moose quartering times.
  • [Wintermute] Modified aurora appearance timings after the player completes the Bear Hunt mission in Episode Two. Aurorae should appear more frequently now.
  • [Both] Controller bumpers can now be used to toggle between Harvesting and Quartering interfaces.
  • [Both] Fixed issue where lit Lantern would be dropped during a Struggle, and end up back in the player’s Backpack without being extinguished, thereby using up all the fuel. Lit Lanterns will now be dropped in a Struggle.
  • [Wintermute] Fixed issues where items returned from a Trust interaction might not appear correctly in the player’s Backpack.
  • [Both] Fixed issue where player camera would be inside the Bear mesh during carcass harvesting.
  • [Wintermute] Fixed issue where player would take no damage when standing inside Grey Mother’s fire.
  • [Survival] Fixed an issue where a few tunables in Interloper were defaulting to Stalker settings. Interloper should be more challenging now, as a result.
  • [Both] Fixed some bugs with the Struggle system which could sometimes result in the player losing control.


  • Several UI audio elements fixed.
  • [Wintermute] Fixed bug where lit Flare audio could carry into cinematics.
  • Moved triggers for “night is coming” gameplay VO to ensure they happen before it gets dark at dusk.
  • Modified frequency of exploration music in Timberwolf Mountain region.
  • General audio fixes for Grey Mother’s House (Milton). Post Office (Milton), and the Hunting Lodge (Broken Railroad Region)

General Fixes

  • [Both] General navmesh updates.
  • [Both] The game will now automatically detect Polish and Italian text based on system language settings.
  • [Survival] Added more backer info to Cairns.

We’ll be covering the Rugged Sentinel update all through December. Visit the TL;DR Games The Long Dark guide hub for all your survival needs.