Saturday, August 28, 2021 11:45 AM

7 tips for surviving Stranded Deep

in Video Gaming | Strategy by MegaBearsFan
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Stranded Deep - title

Stranded Deep released on consoles last year after having spend half a decade in early access on Steam. I downloaded it for my PS4 when it was offered as the free monthly game, and had a lot of trouble getting into it. I was very frustrated with how little the game bothers to explain itself, and how much trial-end-error I had to put up with just to learn the basics. However, I did stick with it, and started to warm up to it after several restarts and some time spent on the wiki.

I imagine I'm not the only one checking out this game on consoles, especially since it was free for PSPlus users earlier this summer, so I thought I'd share 7 tips that I wish I'd known when I had started out. Hopefully, I can spare other players a lot of the trial-and-error and frustration that I had to endure, so that you can get to enjoying the game a lot quicker and more fully. I also want to point out that I'm playing the game on a PS4, and I understand that the PC version of the game is a little bit different. The tips that I offer here should also be relevant to PC players, but they are geared towards console players. That being said, here are 7 tips for surviving Stranded Deep:

Tip #1: Have the wiki open!

Aside from some load screen tips and the brief tutorial, there are no in-game explanations of how anything works or what anything does. The crafting menu does not explain what the item being crafted does or how it is intended to be used, nor does it give any indication as to where the requisite materials can be found or harvested from. Because of this, I recommend keeping the wiki open on a phone, tablet, or laptop next to you while you're playing. Pause the game frequently and read what things do before you attempt to craft them. Otherwise, you might find yourself wasting valuable materials crafting things that you don't really need yet, and then not having those materials available for crafting things that you do need later.

For example, in my first attempt, I crafted a "container shelf", expecting that I could use it to store empty coconut flasks and other supplies for use later. Nope, these shelves are only used to store the wooden crates that you'll find in shipwrecks. Everything I attempted to set on the shelf would just fall or roll off. It was a waste of perfectly good planks, and even after I had tried crafting a raft, I wasn't even able to pick up the shelf and move it onto the raft, and attempting to break it down did not return enough of the components to allow me to craft a more useful replacement on the raft.

This container shelf didn't work how I expected, and was a waste of materials.

The lack of explanations also left me wondering how to obtain some basic crafting components. I actually got stuck in the tutorial trying to figure out how to craft lashing. I thought it would come from palm tree leaves, so I tried cutting off the fronds of adult palm trees. That didn't work, so I was left wandering around the starting island for several minutes before caving and looking at a wiki. For the record, lashing is crafted from fibrous leaves, which come from yucca and the baby palms that sprout out of the ground. I passed right by the baby palms, expecting that they would provide the same useless fronds as the adult palms, and I didn't even see the yucca at first because there were only 2 on the island, and one was hidden up against a boulder.

Later in the game, I found myself wondering if there is a functional difference between hunting weapons. Does an axe, spear, or bow and arrow do any more damage than the other?

I also wondered if there is a functional difference between the components used to craft a raft. Does it matter whether I craft the raft out of buoys, tires, or wood? Will one go faster or be more stable or durable than the other? What about the floor? Does it matter if the floor is made of planks or scrap metal? Will the scrap metal be heavier and slower? Will it turn my raft into a heat box that will cook me out in the open sun? Or are the different components just there to add some false variety to the game and which to use is entirely up to what's available and the player's personal preferences? As far as I can tell, it's just personal preference.

It's also important to know that time passes while you're in the crafting menu. Don't stand around staring at the crafting menu too long, as your hunger, thirst, and SPF meters will continually drain while you're doing so. If you're trying to figure out what to do next, just pause the game and start browsing the wiki. Or you could save at a shelter, then browse the crafting menus to your heart's content, and re-load the save if you ended up wasting away an entire in-game afternoon not producing anything.

Yucca and baby palms respawn periodically.

Tip #3: Some resources are renewable

If you're feeling like your resources are strained after a few days of being stranded, you may be relieved to hear that yucca and baby palms (which provide fibrous leaves) will continually respawn every few days. Additionally, animals will also periodically respawn. This not only includes the small crabs, sardines, and seagulls (which all seem to respawn daily), but it also includes the larger, predatory animals like the giant crabs, hogs, and, of course, sharks (which seem to respawn if you leave an island for several days and return).

The fact that fibrous leaves and animals continually respawn, and since these are the raw materials for water and food, means that you don't have to worry about ever running out of water and food. It also means that anything you can craft with these components are also technically unlimited. That includes lashing, leather, and cloth.

Everything else, however, does appear to be limited and does not respawn. Don't bother checking to see if that potato, aloe or pipi plant has respawned; they won't! If you want a renewable supply of crops like potatoes, quawawa, aloe, or pipi, you'll have to craft a farming plot, plant one copy of the respective plant in the farming plot, and then be sure to water it regularly. If you do that, you'll periodically be able to harvest the plant for an additional supply of food, sunblock, or poison antidote.

Water stills and campfires can be re-filled
with renewable fibrous leaves.

Tip #4: Use Fibrous Leaves for fuel

Speaking of Fibrous leaves, did you know that you can use these to refill campfires and water stills? I sure as heck didn't! It's a good idea to use fibrous leaves as fuel whenever possible because (as mentioned earlier) the yucca and baby palms that they are harvested from do regularly respawn. Using fibrous leaves as fuel will make your camp much more sustainable long-term at relatively little extra cost or effort.

If you're always refilling your campfire with sticks, and refilling your water still with adult palm fronds, you will eventually run out. The trees that these are harvested from do not respawn, and you'll quickly run low on your camp's island if you keep chopping them down for firewood and water, and then not have it available for crafting other things later. The wood in particular is useful for so many other crafting projects that it's a good idea to conserve it as much as possible.

You can also carry a lot more fibrous leaves than sticks or palm fronds, which means you can easily harvest a bunch from other islands and bring them back to your camp with you.

Tip #5: Pick your base camp location wisely

It's tempting to set up a permanent base camp on the first little island that you wind up on -- the one used for the tutorial. While this island will typically provide all the basics that you'll need for survival: respawning yucca and baby palms, some tidepools for catching crabs, and probably some seagulls for you to snare; it might not be the ideal place for you to establish permanent base camp. You might want to explore to find a larger island that contains some giant crabs and/or hogs, as these will provide better sources of food (and the hogs in particular will provide a supply of hides that can be crafted into leather). A larger island will also likely have more potential fibrous leaves, and more trees for collecting coconuts, sticks, palm fronds, and so forth, when you start getting to the point that you're crafting rafts or a beach bungalo. it will also likely have more room for farming plots and hopefully some flat beach for putting together a large raft.

If you do chose to set up your main base camp on an island with hostile wildlife, just try not to set up too close to where they spawn and live. You don't want to return to base after a long expedition of foraging and scavenging, with your food, thirst, and maybe even health levels low, only to get run down and killed by a giant crab or hog as soon as you step off the raft. Nor do you want to wake up from sleeping at your shelter to have a giant crab or hog just waiting to charge you. If you're going to use a tide pool for catching crabs and fish, or for crafting your raft, you should also look out for the poisonous anemone and avoid settling near them. I've forgotten where they are every now and then and accidentally stepped on one while trying to pull my raft out to sea more than once.

Lastly, you can consider setting up a permanent base camp on an island adjacent to a frequently-visited (but potentially dangerous) island. This will spare you from having to make frequently lengthy trips across the ocean. This might not be practical for all map configurations, so a more central base camp might be your best bet.

Tip # 6: Start building a custom raft as soon as possible

The starting inflatable liferaft is very useful in the early stages of the game, but you shouldn't rely on it. It's kind of a trap. It's slow, provides no protection from the sun, has limited storage, and is easily tipped by sharks.

Build a multi-tile raft sooner rather than later so you can safely explore more islands.

I thus recommend that once you have a sustainable camp set up with a steady supply of water and food, that you start stockpiling supplies for crafting a raft. If you see buoys, barrels, or tires in a shipwreck, collect them and bring them back to camp so that you can turn them into a raft base. If you find corrugated scrap, bring that back to camp to be crafted into a raft floor. You can combine multiple bases together to make a bigger raft, and should try to make a raft that is at least a few tiles. This will be more stable, and will be harder (or impossible) for sharks to flip.

You can't paddle the custom rafts, so you'll also need a sail and a rudder in order for the raft to be usable. I also recommend crafting a canopy over the segment of the raft that the rudder is attached to. This will reduce your exposure to afternoon sun as you pilot the raft between islands. If you have space left on your raft, start populating it with container shelves and fill those container shelves with any wooden crates that you find in your explorations. This will allow you to haul large quantities of supplies from island to island.

Tip #7: Save frequently, and keep a backup

Once you have a sustainable camp set up which you are happy with, I recommend making a backup of your save game on external USB drive or on cloud storage. This way, if you screw up, or get lost at sea, or get crippled, you have the option to go back to a safe save game and try again, without having to restart the entire game and go through the tutorial and basic camp setup again.

Then, once you have a viable custom raft, I recommend making another backup of your save, for the same reasons.

Stranded Deep also has ways that small mistakes can compound and cascade into more severe mistakes later on, long after you've overwritten your local save game. Consuming too many resources, letting crops die, and other mistakes can be mistakes that are hard or impossible to recover from, and you might not find out that you've committed those mistakes until in-game days (and several saves) after it's too late.

Backup a save to the cloud or external storage after you have a sustainable base camp established.

There's also plenty of cheap or undeserved deaths and injuries in Stranded Deep. For instance, I couldn't figure out how to get down from this crow's nest on this shipwreck because the game didn't give me a prompt to climb down the ladder. So I had to just let myself fall and mash the button to grab on before I hit the ground. But if I didn't pull it off, I'd fall and break a leg.

Once you learn the game a bit better, and know how everything works, then you can start over on a different map and try an ironman mode or enable permadeath for the extra challenge. But when you're learning, it's a good idea to save yourself some time and energy in case things go way south. Don't make learning the game worse for yourself than it needs to be.

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Hope these tips helps you to survive

Well, there it is, 7 hopefully useful tips for surviving Stranded Deep. Its indie nature means there's not a whole lot of tip or strategies about this game, so hopefully this fills a particular niche and will be valuable to a lot of people.

If you enjoyed this content, and would like to see more like it, I do have a Patreon campaign, and I hope you'll make a contribution and become a supporter.

I hope these tips help you survive Stranded Deep.

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