I have over 200 hours in play time in the survival game The Forest, so it should come as no surprise that I’ve picked up Sons of the Forest even though it is still early access. I got a rocky start in the game, partly because I could not figure out how the heck to drink water from the many streams around me. I also started in one of the tougher spawn spots, up on the mountain in the snow. Having read some tips and tricks and figured a few things out for myself, I thought I’d share a bit of early game advice. Wondering how to build arrows and the easiest way to get feathers? Want to know if you can get a second pistol in Sons of the Forest? I’ve got you covered below.
First, if you don’t like where the game spawns you, you can try to get a better spawn spot. On my 2nd new game I got the perfect spot by a couple of ponds with plenty of berries. I set up my tarp just across the pond/stream from the crash. Being close to the crash site means you can go back and rummage through boxes again and again for more resources. Maybe this is an early game, early access thing, but so far I’ve managed to pull resources out of the boxes around the crash site almost daily. Set up your tarp early on so you can create a save point once you’ve picked up some resources. Oh, and save, save often…
Second, don’t waste time trying to spear birds for feathers to build arrows. Instead, grab a bunch of sticks, your build book, and build a nice birdhouse near your camp. You will get all the feathers you could want without wasting time and resources hunting birds.
Third, build a few drying racks and kill squirrels, plus ask your crash companion to fish for you. Make sure you have plenty of space to cook or hang fish, because he is a very prolific fisherman. In fact, if he isn’t fishing for you, just ask him to chill in camp because giving him an axe to chop trees is just begging for trouble. I’ve also noticed that meat you place on the fire burns really quickly, so don’t get distracted while cooking.
(A few edits to this section based on changes they’ve made to the game.) Fourth, the G key is your friend. G makes you put things in your hand back into your inventory. If you have anything in your hands when you try to drink water, you won’t be able to drink (It looks like this has been fixed and you can just look down at the water and see the E indicating you can take a drink even if you are carrying something). If you didn’t luck out and find cola cans in your initial crash boxes, you just might die of dehydration unless you realize you must free up your hands to drink with. You also can’t pick up your tarp to move camp until your hands are empty. (You can use the C key to pick up the tarp, although I usually have to jump on top to collapse it first.)
Fifth, crouch is not toggled on by default. It is very awkward to hold in the left ctrl key while you move in a crouch, so be sure to hit your options and controls and set crouch to a toggle.
Sixth, it is a little hard to see all of the things you have in your inventory, so make sure you mouse around and look closely. I wanted to build some early leaf armor and had a hard time seeing the leaves to build from. They are stored just below the space where you store feathers, but blend in to your surroundings if you are standing on grass.
Finally, you will come across a shooting target in one of the boxes you can loot. I recommend setting up the target to practice shooting your bow at different ranges so you can see how to aim. You can more easily recover your arrows from the target and around it than from deer, or chasing deer down while they run away from you with your arrow or thrown spears in them. One shot only works if you hit them in the head. If you are going to throw spears at deer, build all 4 of them that you can carry in case the first hit doesn’t do the job.
I hope this helps you in your early game since the UI itself doesn’t provide a lot of guidance. Oh, and a bit of spoilery later game advice. If you befriend the 3 legged lady, give her the pistol, then go back and get your own pistol. You can only hold one pistol in your inventory, but hers doesn’t count against that.