Thursday, May 23, 2024

A Few Things to Know for Newcomers to Survival Games.

( There are games that you sometimes see and you’re interested in them but they might seem difficult to dive into. The best thing to do is just dive in and have patience. Who knows, it might not be as difficult as you figured.

However, sometimes it’s best to have a primer or a quick guide on what to expect once you’re in the game. Seeing your favorite streamer or content creator go through a game and experience it is different from doing it yourself.

Survival games can be a bit daunting to get into because of the repetition of tasks and having to manage the being you’re playing. Oh yes, it can be a lot. Of course, it can be tackled if you have a mind for planning and can multitask.

For those absolutely new to survival games and open-world titles, here’s a straight-up cheat sheet on what you need to know to get you through them.

A Few Things to Know for Newcomers to Survival Games.

Learn to Like Repetition

“Variety is the spice of life” and “people love spontaneity” are things we often hear. We might know people this applies to or you might be that person. However, we all eventually settle into routines in life. Routines keep things consistent for better or worse.

Routines are based on the repetition of tasks at specific times. In survival games repetition and grinding are necessary to progress. Grinding has a negative connotation as does repetition but that’s what you’re getting into.

Depending on the gameplay mechanics, you might have to farm (extract and gather) resources or whatever over and over but the resources might actually deplete in the area for a period. The thing is: you will have to farm repeatedly.

Of course, it’s easier if you’re playing with someone else. Hell, you might not even have to do it—but there will be something you’ll have to do repeatedly. It might be something you do daily in-game and during your play time as those of us who have played MMORPGs can confirm.

Learn to Like Farming

You might as well learn to like skinning animals or cutting down trees. Farming is essential. Yes, most survival games feature some degree of actual crop farming and even herding/ranching. However, the farming we’re talking about is the repeated harvesting of resources and loot.

There might be a beast or creature that drops certain skins, feathers, or loot in a certain area. Usually when people find this out, they can tell you down to the time when the rarest stuff drops and after how many enemies.

The point is, wherever a particular resource is located, the player is there constantly slaying beasts to get materials or picking rocks for ores. They might stay at the lake to farm fish or clear the woods.

In an MMORPG such as Runescape which features some survival elements, these tasks are tied to different skills or attributes. They might give experience, raise levels in certain skills tied to the activity, or even improve the character’s attributes.

Swinging an axe to chop down trees gives experience in Ark but in other games it might improve strength and stamina. Pay attention to what the tutorials explain about each action and your skill trees.

Crafting is King

Besides probably Oregon Trail, every survival game features crafting. It’s as essential as farming and the two go hand-in-hand. As a matter of fact, crafting also involves a great deal of repetition as well! How about that?

Crafting allows you to progress and survive longer. You’ll need better gear to defend yourself, improve your quality of life, and improve your farming ability. While this could be it’s own category, you’ll always need a light or heating source. That means you’ll have to craft a campfire—after gathering the materials.

You’ll also need that campfire to cook food since you might get sick eating raw food. More crafting and farming. With that said, I always found all forms of crafting extremely fun since Elder Scrolls III. After playing that game, if a game featured RPG elements, a skill tree, and or crafting—I needed to play it.

I mean, I need at least two of those and all three go hand-in-hand.

Creating something in-game whether it’s weapons, houses, or meals is always rewarding both in the experience it gives and the buffs offered. Even better is when there is a rating system with the crafting system. It gives players something to aim towards while being engaged in repetition.

Just remember the little spear you’re eventually able to make is nothing compared to when you make your first ranged weapon. After that, you really see the importance of crafting.

Torches Are Trash but They Have Their Uses

The main use is illuminating an area. See, over the years, developers got really good with creating worlds down to the day-night and weather cycles. We’ve gotten to the point where developers have in-game seasons and the phases of the moon and day lengths can be different.

It’s incredible and adds to player immersion. However, when night falls in survival games it gets dark.  In multiplayer games, this can be remedied by simply running in the direction of civilization and hoping they’re friendly.

For the most part, that little crappy torch that eats up space in every game is tossed away early. I’ve thrown many torches away back when I played MUDs and MUCKs. You typically don’t need them but in survival games, some kind of portable light source is necessary.

You Might Fight Here and There

Survival games give you the option to fight or flee but some situations neither option is the right one. In a multiplayer survival game, fighting is something you will do and it will likely be with other players. The good resources are either scarce or guarded and you never know what loot someone might have on them.

Honestly, survival games are kind of like social experiments where people who would never rob someone in real life won’t hesitate to rob and/or kill and even humiliate another player. Not only that, it might be their thing in the game. Never mind mining and logging, just rob and farm players.

So, fighting is necessary in PvP settings. When it’s PvE or player versus environment, combat will always be with the AI and there’s always the choice to avoid conflict or exercise caution. A lot of your time will be spent gathering resources, crafting, exploring, and traveling.

The best piece of advice will always be to play attention to the tutorial or learn where the in-game handbook is located—just in case. Again, survival games include a lot of similar mechanics that are tied into different tasks and award different kinds of experience points.

My experiences mainly come from games like Ark, Minecraft, Starbound, State of Decay, and Medieval Dynasty. For our readers who enjoy survival games as well, let us know some your quick tips for beginners!

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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