The Forest Guide [25 Useful Tips Every Beginner Should Know]

This is why you need to read this Guide
This Guide will help make sure you don't wind up similar to this!

The Forest is a game I’ve played for many years. It’s challenging, but also very fun for someone like me, who’s very into survival games! For anyone new to these types of games- or to The Forest in general- the game could be quite challenging. I died and had to restart a new save more than once. This guide is going to help with that problem; I’ll be giving you a list of various tips and tricks to help make sure your playthrough of The Forest lasts for more than just a couple of days!

Tip 25: Make sure you loot the plane!

The place where you crash! ... Or, one of them.
After the intro sequence finishes and you officially enter the game, you spawn in the crashed plane. Around you there are plenty of supplies for your character to take: food, booze, medicine, and the axe. Eat up as much of the plane food as you can and collect every resource around you until you can’t fit any more in your backpack. And don’t forget that axe!
Outside of the plane are many scattered suitcases. Be sure to break those open with the axe and collect anything that’s inside. In early-game, all resources are good resources. Make sure you don’t stay in that area for too long, though. Cannibals will come swarming the plane looking for survivors; it’s best to avoid them for now.

Tip 24: Keep track of your HUD

Your HUD is where your health, stamina, food and water bars are. You don’t want those getting too low; you won’t survive very long if you don’t make sure your food, water and health stays up in safe levels! Gathering berries is going to be your main source of food for a while in the early days, so don’t pass up on those berry bushes. Just be sure they aren’t poisonous… You can check which ones are safe to eat in your survival guide!

Tip 23: Always check your Survival Guide

The Survival Guide is one of the best things for you in the game. It gives you crafting recipes for just about everything, and even tells you what’s safe to eat and what’s not—like berries. If you are keen on keeping track of the story in the game as well, you also do that through the guide in the notes pages.

Tip 22: Build your Base

By day three you should have your first base built. Usually this is a temporary one, simply so you can sleep through the nights and have a save spot. Don’t put it too close to the plane or a cannibal camp, as they’re more likely to find you.
As for a more late-game, permanent base, make sure you either face it toward or away from a cliff face, lake, pond, or the ocean. The farther you are from cannibal camps and the harder it is for them to breach your base and destroy things, the better!

21: Never go out at night!

This tip somewhat branches off the idea of bases, but do not go out exploring or scavenging at night! Cannibals may be active during the day, but it’s far worse at night. You’re very likely to get swarmed by cannibal groups and large patrols if you don’t stay home where it’s safe.
A key way to keep cannibals from finding and swarming you at night if you absolutely must stay up to do base maintenance is to hide your fires behind walls. Though cannibals are afraid of light/fire, it also attracts them. Having an unguarded fire lit is like having a beacon in your base. It’ll lead the cannibals right to you.

20: Make sure you gather all the various plants

Though resource gathering and food gathering is a must in any survival game, in The Forest hunting for specific flowers and plants will allow you to create health and stamina mixes! Specifically, Aloe Vera, Chicory, Coneflower and Marigold can all be combined into medicines that you consume to either fix your health, or rejuvenate your stamina. Having some of these mixes on hand constantly is a good way to keep yourself from getting killed.

19: Manage your food!

While keeping a stock of blackberries or blueberries on you is a good way to keep yourself from starving in the early days, a reliable source of food is a must. To do this, it would be a good idea to create some gardens and start up your hunting!
Specifically, keeping a small garden of blueberry bushes, as well as stocking all your hunted meat on drying racks is the best way to make sure you have a steady food source. If food is left on the drying rack, it won’t go bad until you take it off, unlike when you cook them on a fire. The spoil timer is significantly longer on the dried meat.

18: Keep track of your resources – Build stockpiles!

Having a permanent base and steady food supply is a great thing, but that doesn’t matter if you’re constantly having to go out and gather resources for builds and weapons. This puts you in great, constant danger of being attacked by cannibals, so it’s a much better idea to stockpile your resources.
The easiest way to do this is to build things like the log cart, as well as stick and rock holders, water collectors, and even baskets to hold bones, arrows and other smaller things. Doing this means you will have to spend less time out in the open collecting logs, sticks, rocks and other resources where the cannibals can easily spot you.

17: Get your hands on multiple weapons

While the plane axe is a good starter tool and weapon, there are other weapons that are just as good, if not better, that you should make or find. The bow and spear are perfect examples, they’re both great for ranged combat and hunting. Cannibals can also drop their own weapons, which usually pack a larger punch than the ones you can make. But I wouldn’t necessarily suggest going gung-ho and attacking every cannibal you see…

16: Don’t default to aggression

This may come as a slight surprise, but choosing to avoid the cannibals, or even just not attack them if a small group finds you might be the best choice you could make early on! Not all cannibals in the game are immediately hostile; some will just stand there and watch you curiously before running off. Choosing not to immediately become violent toward the cannibals slows their mounting aggression toward you, which means you have more time to relax and just gather resources and make your base secure before you have to constantly fight them off. You could also just hide from them, which has the same overall effect.

15: Use the red paint to your advantage!

There are 8 locations where you can find red paint buckets in the game. Clicking on one will automatically make your character wear it on their body. This is a good thing because the cannibals will act passively toward you! They won’t attack unless you attack them; they’ll avoid you, or even kneel at you like they are worshiping you. The red paint doesn’t work on the “creepy” super mutants unfortunately, but it works for all other cannibals.
The paint can be washed off if you’re in the rain or swim through any body of water, so be careful! Once you no longer wear the paint, the cannibals will act normal and likely be hostile toward you regardless of how you act. This is due to them becoming hostile permanently as the game progresses. (But you can stall, or slow this process, as I had previously mentioned!)

14: Get the map and compass

Regardless of when you manage to find the map and compass, it’s always helpful to have! The first time you get “killed” and captured in the game, you wake up in a cave, known as the “Hanging Cave.” In that specific cave there is a dead explorer with both the map and compass there. You can also find them by simply going to the cave yourself and exploring.

The map fills out as you explore; both above ground on land, and below ground in the caves. You can place stick markers which will show up in your HUD and map where you want to mark specific locations.

13: Get some armor

Though having armor in extreme early-game might not be the best idea due to it causing the cannibals to consider you a threat, having armor is still likely to help you avoid dead in some sticky situations. The easiest and earliest armor you can get is the lizard skin armor. All you need for that is to kill and skin lizards! There is also the bone armor, which is more protective than the lizard armor, but it’s also louder and causes your character to be unable to sneak around.
The more end-game armor is the “creepy” mutant armor. It’s the strongest armor in the game, but in order to get it you need to kill the mutant cannibals. Once you do, you can skin them and wear said skin as armor. It’s extremely protective, and lasts a long time.

12: Protect your base with Traps!

Later into the game, one of the best things you can do to keep yourself going and keep your base and supplies safe is to line the wall you made with traps. There are many different traps you can make and place that will capture, if not kill cannibals and mutants that trigger them. They’re also easy to “re-arm” as you only need one stick in your inventory to do so. The traps can accidentally be set off by animals and even yourself though, so be careful when moving around them.

11: Use Effigies!

Second to littering your base with traps, setting up Effigies is a good deterrent for cannibals. They only work if they’re on fire and are lit during the day, but the effigies effectively scare the cannibals away. They do burn out over time, so replenishing them with bones, skulls, and cannibal body parts is going to be an ongoing project.

10: Don’t ignore tool and weapon upgrades!

Not only can you upgrade the speed and/or damage input of your plane axe, but you can find much better weapons around the island. This has already been mentioned, but cannibal tools are usually pretty good at dealing damage. There is also a better axe you can find.
In order to upgrade your plane axe, you just need tree sap, teeth and/or feathers! To get teeth, you do have to attack and kill cannibals. Their teeth will fall out sometimes when you hit them; collect them! Feathers obviously come from the birds, which you will wind up using for far more than just speeding up your axe. There are two different ways to get tree sap: Passively from cutting them down, or from making a sap collector!

9: Craft what you can

This possibly goes without saying, but there are plenty of things you can craft. Plenty of recipes are found in your Survival Guide. There are also unknown recipes you learn from simply experimenting. In order to find the various extra things you can craft outside of your guide, you just have to try and combine things and see what works!
One of the best things to craft is the repair tool. This of course helps you repair your buildings after cannibal attacks. Be sure to always have this assigned to a slot on your backpack.

8: The pot is a great source of high-end food

Old Pots are probably one of the most sought-after, simple resources in the game. You can use them to boil dirty water, collect water, create a sap collector, and better yet make stews! You technically don’t need water in the pot to make a stew; you can just throw the ingredients into it on the fire. But filling it with water first doesn’t hurt.

To make a stew, you just need to throw in some meat, herbs and mushrooms. That’s it! Doing so also means that the mushrooms won’t harm you when you eat them this way. Eating this delicious concoction will immediately fill up your entire hunger bar, so this is great to make and eat if you’re low. You can find this item anywhere in the bottom right corner of the island.

7: Use poison and fire arrows

Assuming you are using the bow like many other The Forest players, these two arrow types will save you on many occasions. The arrows themselves don’t do extra damage, in fact they do the same amount of damage as a normal arrow. It’s the extra damage from their effects that will help you.
Fire arrows will obviously light any targets they hit on fire, and poison arrows will poison your targets for a short period of time. For poison arrows especially, you’ll know you hit your target and the poison is in effect because they’ll turn a sickly green color!

6: Explosives are your friend!

You can use explosives to “cut” down trees if you’re wanting to avoid all that extra swinging effort. They also greatly come in handy when dealing with cannibal parties, and the creepy mutants! You can also make a sticky version, which will attach to what it hits. Again: great for the mutants!

5: Explore the caves

This may go without saying, but if you intend to follow the storyline a bit—or just want to find good gear—exploring the caves is a must! Not only can you find much better weapons like the katana, chainsaw and even a better axe, but you can also find the rebreather and climbing picks in different caves. Getting the rebreather will unlock even more caves and passages you wouldn’t be able to go through without it, since they’re underwater.

4: If you’re going for the boss, stock up!

By stocking up, I mean having as many explosives and high-damaging weapons as possible. The boss will hit really hard and can one-shot any player if they’re not careful! This also means having plenty of healing items on hand, too. Having your bow as a ranged weapon with plenty of fire arrows is also a great idea for damaging the boss from a safe distance.

3: Learn enemy attack patterns

This may not seem like a late-game tip, but it’s a general tip for all levels. When you ARE in late game, the enemies are usually automatically hostile and much stronger. Learning their attack patterns, when to dodge, and when to counter is a good way to avoid that devastating damage boost! Especially the mutants. They are very dangerous late game now that they start to spawn outside the caves.

2: Don’t waste food eating before bed

Though this may be a strange tip, it’s very vital to help keep your food stock going. Eating a meal before you sleep is honestly just wasting that food. Regardless of how bad your hunger is, it won’t matter when you go to bed; you’ll still be starving in the morning. Save that meal for when you wake up, instead!

1: Enjoy the game!

The Forest is a fun, but challenging game for all skill levels. Whether you’re a pro or a beginner, The Forest will surely slap you around a bit! Keeping track of your food, supplies, base defenses, and many other things is a great way to make sure your playthrough lasts a while. Hopefully this guide helped you out!


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As a native-born and mildly insane young Irish lady, Dawn has an incredible imagination and a knack for story telling. Her stories? Anything and everything she's experienced!
Gamer Since: 2008
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: Survival Games
Top 3 Favorite Games:The Forest, Arma 3, Call of Duty

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