- Play Through The Tutorials First
- Gather Resources Early In The Year
- Always Have Someone On Cooking Duty
- You'll Gain More Resources By Farming
- Prepare Ahead For The Changing Seasons
- Wait Before Removing Simple Priorities From Activities
- Avoid Advancing Time Too Quickly, Or You Will Escalate Problems
Stranded: Alien Dawn is an in-depth, sometimes unforgiving, survival sim. With its steep learning curve and detailed mechanics, it takes plenty of time and several lost colonies to grasp.
Thankfully, you can take steps to ensure your new survivor colony persists through the year. If you practice the game's mechanics, pace yourself, and plan for the future, your crew will live to see another day.
Note: Stranded: Alien Dawn is an Early Access title still in development. Therefore, its current version does not represent the contents of the finished game. As a result, parts of this guide may become obsolete/inaccurate as the title grows and evolves. Additionally, bugs and glitches may inhibit gameplay.
Play Through The Tutorials First
Unlike other strategy and survival sims, Stranded: Alien Dawn does not introduce its core concepts in the campaign. Instead, the game has a series of tutorial sessions. You can jump into the game cold, pursue the tutorials at your leisure, or knock them all out ASAP. We recommend you play through them all first before starting a campaign.
All of the game's systems intersect with each other. For instance, if you wish to install a motion capture device to defend against predators, you'll have to configure a functioning electrical grid. Or suppose you wish to create a punching pole to improve your survivors' mood. In that case, you must observe skin bark and harvest it to construct the veggie leather required to build the pole.
Furthermore, the game has a detailed UI, which can sometimes become overwhelming. However, playing through each tutorial will give you plenty of practice with all the game's menus. In turn, you'll feel less lost when starting a campaign.
Taking on Stranded's six tutorials all at once may seem daunting. After all, each tutorial lasts ten minutes, amounting to an hour. And you won't retain every piece of information. Still, replaying specific tutorials to review mechanics afterward will feel less daunting in the long run.
Gather Resources Early In The Year
After your ship crash lands, your priority is gathering materials necessary to build shelter, storage units, makeshift beds, and a campfire. You'll start your campaign with some starter resources, like scrap metal, food rations, first aid kits, and a couple of weapons. However, these supplies will only get your new colony so far.
To get your colony on track to its first steps of progress, you must focus on tasks like scavenging your spacecraft, gathering sticks and wood, and harvesting the local flora. These base resources are the building blocks for workspaces like research desks, tailoring stations, and crafting tables.
Furthermore, Spring is the best season to pursue these activities because your survivors can tolerate the weather without additional housing or clothes. You wouldn't want to run low on wood and send a survivor out into the Winter cold to chop down trees, thus risking hypothermia.
Always Have Someone On Cooking Duty
Starvation is one of the quickest ways to kill off your party, even during more temperate seasons. Furthermore, you would be surprised how quickly food resources dwindle without proper storage. Therefore, stocking your fridge with cooked meals is vital to make the most of your hunt and produce.
We recommend tasking your colony with cooking quick recipes like vegetable and meat soup to meet a specific stock. You'll want three meals per survivor ready for the next day. Keeping a cooking activity queued with one survivor dedicated to the task will adequately maintain your food reserves.
Furthermore, upgrading your cooking appliances, from a campfire to a heat stove to an electric stove, will help your survivors cook faster. Finally, installing electric storage, such as fridges and freezers, will add shelf life to meals, produce, and meats.
You'll Gain More Resources By Farming
Investing in robust agriculture will significantly benefit your colony. Several valuable crops will straightaway assist survival. For example, glitter caps are a stable food source. In addition, Clothblossoms can produce cloth for tailoring coats, sweaters, and other garments. So, once you finish observing a new plant, we recommend farming it immediately.
Farming is a valuable, low-risk activity that will keep your food supplies up. While hunting creatures can expose survivors to possibly mortal wounds, farming crops can stock your reserves with hundreds of vegetables per growth cycle.
Furthermore, crafting and tailoring are resource-consuming tasks. It takes a lot of cloth blossoms and skin bark to craft the materials necessary to tailor new clothes. Therefore, harvesting locally occurring flora will not be enough to equip your survivors, especially for the Winter months. You must produce your own.
Prepare Ahead For The Changing Seasons
Crafting, research, farming, and construction are necessary skills for surviving throughout the year on a new planet. However, pursuing these tasks without an end goal in mind is not only inefficient but possibly dangerous. More specifically, seasonal changes require specific resources and infrastructure that will take time to assemble. Therefore, you should plan activities with the upcoming season in mind.
Winter is a crucial season since your survivors' cold tolerance cannot handle the weather without proper shelter and clothing. To prepare, you need to start tailoring sweaters, coats, and snow boots in the Summer and Fall. Making steps to upgrade your shelter, such as building roofed buildings for survivors to sleep in, is another vital endeavor. In addition, an electrical grid will provide your survivors with light, enhanced tools, and indoor heating appliances.
Wait Before Removing Simple Priorities From Activities
Stranded utilizes an in-depth planning system for assigning responsibilities. The Activities menu allows you to decide what survivors will perform which tasks. However, additional options will let you set what tasks should be each survivor's top priority. Priority setting is a valuable tool on paper, but it takes some practice to work well.
Advanced priority settings can hinder your survivor's success by focusing their efforts in areas that may not align with the colony's current needs. You can assign direct orders to party members, but they will return to their highest priority tasks after taking any break or idle time. After a while, constantly overriding priorities with direct orders become a chore.
We recommend keeping the Simple Priorities setting on to avoid additional stress. These settings will allow you to see how your survivors behave without extended interference. This way, you can get a feel for the rhythm of the daily routine and what tasks your survivors draw to the most. Then, when you're comfortable with the activity system, you can enable advanced priority settings to fit the needs and experience of your team.
Avoid Advancing Time Too Quickly, Or You Will Escalate Problems
Like other life simulation games, Stranded allows you to manipulate time to suit your gameplay needs. Four settings are in total: pause, play, fast-forward level 1, and fast-forward level 2. You'll likely find yourself fast-forwarding often, especially while waiting on rudimentary tasks.
Still, advancing time too much presents significant risks. For instance, if you enable fast-forward while your colony is experiencing a food shortage, you'll lose opportunities to fix the problem. Then your colonists will perish from starvation. Advancing time can also worsen illnesses and wounds without giving your medic a chance to treat them.
Therefore, it's crucial to use time advancement strategically. If your survivors are sleeping or out of harm's way, you won't have much to lose by fast-forwarding at the highest setting. However, if a survivor's happiness meter drops close to a meltdown or the colony as a whole faces a crisis, you should set the time to an average speed. Lastly, the pause feature will buy you plenty of time to strategize during tense situations.
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