Note: This guide is currently out of date somewhat. It was originally written for beta 1.5; however, a lot of it still applies. More information/strategy is needed for thirst and water procurement.
Welcome, fellow survivalist…
So you have started the game and you’re feeling kind of lost? It’s universal. Don’t take this guide as your sole resource. There is more to be said for more tactics than those described here, but it should help you on your journey. Also this is not “How to make a home in three steps”. It elaborates more about deeper game mechanics that you might enjoy. Ready? Then let’s begin!
Note: This guide is made for the current version of beta 1.5 and probably will need to be updated for future releases.
What is Wayward about?
Survival is first thing that you care about, but once you establish some base of operation, you can start thinking about what is next. Despite the fact that the game is classified as a sandbox (with a randomly generated world), it can be finished. Currently, there is only one way to win, and that is by collecting at least 5 pieces of treasure and then sailing off using the boat. Your score is calculated, and you can take a screenshot of it and share it with other survivalists to show off.
However it’s not the end, because after that you will land on another island with your skills, discovered recipes, and the items you brought with you for another adventure so you can explore other tactics and mechanics without worrying about survival that much.
Wayward is Turn-based
Every action you take is one turn and that allows time to move forward for everything else. The game remains paused until you make a move. No change occurs until a turn is passed. This gives you time to decide your next move.
Note that moving items in your inventory screen or between containers does not move turns forward. Inventory management does not cost turns. Note however; crafting does.
If you want to pass a turn without doing anything, you can hit the Spacebar. Alternatively; you can hold it to keep passing your turns.
The game screen is divided into square tiles. Depending on your resolution, you can see more or fewer tiles on the screen. The tiles themselves do not scale with resolution. Your character is always centered as you move around. In lower part of screen, you can see some stats about yourself together with the hotbar and minimap. The upper left corner is used to display game messages. If you want to read something you have missed, simply use Messages button in the lower left menu.
i.e. Items window opened by the [Inventory] button.
The middle area of the window is dedicated to the list of items you carry around, and these are used to determine what you can craft. Hovering the mouse above each item gives you detailed information about it. You can sort items manually by dragging-and-dropping, you can click the [Sort Inventory] button at the bottom of the window or you can use the [Filter Inventory] box to filter by name. Clicking the button also cycles through sorting criteria so you can sort by name, weight, group, or age of the item; however, it does not continue to sort automatically, so every time you get a new item in the inventory, it’s added at the bottom of the inventory.
To drop an unwanted item, you have to use the right mouse button. The item will be dropped on the tile in front of the character. Each tile has a limited amount of items (12) that can be on it. If you are standing in front of a container (like a chest), items will be dropped inside automatically. Containers are limited only by weight (75 for Wooden Chest), not amount of items. Unfortunately, right-clicking doesn’t allow you to move items into portable containers (like a Backpack); To quickly add/remove items to Open chests, Shift+Left Mouse Button will move the highlighted item, or you can Right Mouse Button and choose 'Move All to container" to move all items of that type to chest (up to weight limits).
The rest of the inventory window is dedicated to crafting. This contains all of the recipes you have found so far and grows bigger over time. Recipes that can be currently crafted from items you have in your inventory are highlighted. Hovering over recipe also highlights the items in your inventory contained in that recipe. If you are missing one or more ingredients, the recipe is darkened, but you can hover your cursor above it to display the requirements and see what is missing. The missing ingredients are highlighted in red.
“Where do I find recipes?” You learn them! Once you have all of the required items in your inventory, the new recipe appears. Sometimes you can learn a recipe just by crafting similar items. Some monsters drop an Old Instructional Scroll that contains one random recipe, although it can also be found in house structures. So if you get stuck and don’t want to peek at the wiki for the recipe, you can try hunting some monsters to get this scroll, or just try crafting similar items. If you have crafted an item once, you will remember its recipe forever. There is no mechanism to forget.
Crafting is done one item at a time by left-clicking the item’s icon in the crafting menu. Also, every crafting costs you Stamina, which is calculated from the weight of crafted item (small items under weight of 1.0 are crafted without stamina loss). Be careful not to click too fast, because the list of recipes tends to shift around as some recipes become available or unavailable, so make sure before you click that it’s still the same item you want.
On top of the inventory window, you can see a small space for your equipment. Hovering your cursor over the icons shows type of slot. You can equip items by dragging them from your inventory to their respective slots. You have to be precise when placing your equipment. There is no automatic mechanism that places equipment where it belongs. To take something off you can right-click your mouse on its slot.
Note that you have two hands, each of which can hold separate equipment. You are right-handed and, as a result, the item in your right hand is damaged before whatever you have in your left hand. In other words, your right hand is usually for weapon and your left hand can carry torch or shield without worrying about destroying them.
You can drag tools that have double-click functions from the inventory to these slots. For example, the shovel has a “Digging” action that can be performed from the inventory window by double-clicking on the shovel. Drag it to slot 1 and now you can just hit the  key on your keyboard and you will dig.
Note that items are moved to the hotbar physically, not just for reference. This does matter especially for crafting, because items from the hotbar are not taken into account for recipes. For example, the hammer has the “Repair” function activated by double click. The hammer can also be used as an equipped weapon. The hammer is also part of some recipes (although not consumed). So, to cover all three situations, you would need three hammers or you would need to move your single hammer around depending on what you want to do.
The minimap is displayed in the lower-right corner. It shows area of 38 tiles × 38 tiles with you in the middle. However, don’t expect anything else from this. No moving around, resize or clicking. Also it doesn’t display enemies or any items lying on the ground. Once you craft yourself a Spyglass, you can peek to the distance for another 38 tiles in the direction you are facing.
As the game is randomly generated every time you start new one, it’s hard to establish exact tactics because it heavily depends on what you have available. Starting equipment is randomly generated as well, but you can be sure to get one Waterskin; a Leaf Bedroll; a Sharp Rock and 6 – 10 other items from the group like food, more rocks, or valuable String.
Do quick run around your starting island. You can find some basic resources just lying on the ground. Usually, you will need to dig them out with a Shovel; just face the tile with it and double-click on the Shovel in your inventory. Some items can be found lying on the ground, and you have to step on the tile to pick them up.
How not to die
Quenching your thirst should be the first priority. Some naturally occurring foodstuffs are good for this. Long term you should be looking into crafting something useful with glass or stone and . It’s important to know that nastier monsters spawn as you get more skilled. So one tactic is to concentrate on building up your fighting skills, and weapons and armor, while trying not to learn much else. Pretty much like a bad public school, really. You must also consider this: remember to "git gud."
How to Cut a Tree ?
That causes much confusion for most new players because it’s very slow to get something from the tree at the beginning. Keep in mind: you start with a low Lumberjack skill and next-to-nothing attack value, so don’t expect anything useful to fall into your lap right away. After all, we are surviving here!
Find a suitable tree (with leaves still on it), face it, and start ramming into it like you want go forward. This is how gathering is done. Overall success is driven by associated skills (Lumberjacking for tree-cutting), which is also increased by using that skill. However, you definitely want to use some tool to protect yourself from injury since you are not some kind of warrior-monk who can split a tree in half with your fist.
Where is my Axe?
You would probably expect that for efficient cutting of trees you would need an axe. Normally it would be logical, but here in Wayward it’s not the case. It actually doesn’t really matter what tool you have. You can use simple wooden pole just to remove injury during work. Just place the tool into your right hand slot in equipment panel, and you are good to go.
The only thing that really matters is the attack value of your tool. That measures how many items you can eventually get from one gathering action, not the success of the action. Actually you can even use starting Shovel and start bashing tree with it without any trouble. Result will be mostly the same as they would be with your bare hands, only without injury. However, once you have gathered some resources, make yourself a Spear. It has attack value of 4, which means you can get up to 2 items from one hit of the tree. That speeds up things a bit.
My Tool is Broken Already?
Yeah, it happens in Wayward very often, especially with wooden tools. You can repair things (unless you managed to completely destroy them), but it’s far from permanent solution, especially with low skill. Maximum durability of repaired item will gradually decrease, and eventually it becomes un-repairable. Also, the game mechanics of repairing are not very friendly in the current version. Note that with a higher skill, you can craft more durable versions of basic tools.
To repair items, you need an item with the Repair action. This could be a Hammer or a Grindstone, depending on whether you have regular stone or sandstone nearby. Next, you need to drop the almost-broken item on the ground in front of you (right click on the item in inventory window), then use the Repair tool and watch the message box in top left corner closely. With a low skill, you will have to repeat couple of times. Afterwards, you can pick up the item and equip it again. Note: The repair rate will depend on the skill associated with item being repaired.
First Fight Ahead
Don’t freak out once you spot monster that is following you. Keep in mind that you are controlling time in the world. You can plan every step you make. You can even run away from most enemies because they sometimes stumble into obstacles, and before they realize it, you are long gone.
Don’t worry too much about monsters like Spiders or Rats. They may seem tough, but you have quite a lot of health points and healing is not too complicated. I would probably avoid Bears for the first day. On other hand, if you spot Chickens, Small Rats, or Rabbits, try to hunt them and corner them. These are easy prey to kill and they give you food to aid your survival.
I highly recommend that you craft yourself a complete set of Bark Armor as soon as possible to give you basic protection. A Spear is probably the best weapon at the start, which you can easily afford to make. Also, have some spare weapons in your inventory in case the one in your hand breaks. Remember that crafting costs you turns too, so you’d better be ready now than sorry later. Use the time to your advantage and wait for critters to come at you. That way, you can strike first, not the opposite. You can also use Stones and try to throw some at enemy, but don’t expect much with a low Throwing skill.
After each successful kill, don’t forget to carve the corpse. You can do that simply with a Sharp Rock or Sharp Glass (made by putting Sand in a lit Campfire). Face the tile with corpse and double-click on a tool with the Carve function; repeat until the corpse disappears. Finally, step on the tile and pick up everything by hitting the [Spacebar] key few times. Some products are obviously useful, but all take further preparation.
Stamina measures your energy reservoir, and you can get hurt a bit if you do work while exhausted. It slowly regenerates when you are not performing tiring actions like hitting a tree. It’s regenerated even by walking around or simply standing on the spot and pushing or holding [Spacebar] key. Your stamina increases roughly every 5th turn.
To get better faster, you should rest using the Bedroll you got as starting equipment. Simply double-click on it or use it from your hotbar. You will rest for some number of turns, the minimum being 50 turns (300 at night). The number of turns slept increases with the Camping skill and unfortunately cannot be controlled in any way. Once your Camping skill is over 20% you will rest for 500 turns (750 in the night) at maximum. The only thing that can wake you prematurely is some monster drooling on your cheek or health loss (when you are bleeding or hungry). It doesn’t matter if your Stamina is already full, it will not wake you.
You might think that for good rest you need to be warm, so you might want to start the fire. The thing is, fire doesn’t boost your sleep result in any way. Fire provides light which is good thing to have for night and you can cook your food on it. But that’s it. So for quick rest during the day, don’t bother with fire as it is not helping in any way.
My Stomach is Empty
Then you should eat something. Wayward has actually quite big menu of food to offer. You can eat some mushrooms, fungus from the tree, berries, earthworm or dead spider. Of course, these are not yummiest, but it will do when you’re starving. However, once you have killed some critters for meat, it gets better. I highly recommend you to make yourself some fire and cook the meat to make it even more nutritious.
You might wonder how to make fire. For starters, you will need Hand Drill or Fire Plough. If you’ve been cutting trees, I am sure you have recipe for one these already. Now you can simply set any Grass tile on fire and burn anything on it (good for garbage) by double-clicking on one of these tools. Or you can set on fire any tree. However, in these cases, be aware that fire can and will spread. To extinguish it you have to pour water on it or if its a fire in grass you can dump sand, gravel or dirt on it. If you want a fire that’s under control, make yourself Campfire.
To cook food, simply face the fire and use the crafting recipe that is available for you. If you don’t see any, you don’t have any food that can be cooked.
Night is Coming!
It’s time to find some shelter for the night. Any enclosed area will do, since you will not encounter any enemies that can go over or through obstacles. I recommend you to make yourself wooden door and place them in open spots. Also make sure you have at least two exits. Monsters tend to stand in front of your door and wait till you wake up. Make yourself one or two wooden chests and tidy up your inventory. Now you can lay down on your Bedroll and sleep through the night. Watch your hunger between wake-ups (roughly each 300 turns) and eventually feed your campfire to keep your shelter well lit.
If you are feeling adventurous, you can find some cave entrance and spend the night mining. Caves are always dark, so it doesn’t really matter what time it is outside. Sure, some critters can appear, but it should not be too hard. You can always run to the exit for safety. Make yourself a supply of stones and possibly find some Iron Ore, Talc or Limestone.
So, you’ve survived this far? Congratulations to you. The easiest part is behind you… Well, there will be some problems, but since you made it through the night, you have already learned basics and you are good to go.
For second day, I would highly recommend you to hunt some more critters for food, especially those with hide so you can makeTanned Leather and the next tier armor set. Leather is also useful for making Backpacks so you can carry more stuff with you. You may already have noticed that you are not limited by the size of your inventory, but only by the weight you are carrying. The backpack simply reduces the weight of items inside by 25%.
Once you are mildly protected in your Leather armor set, you can do some more exploration of nearby islands. Maybe you will find some map to treasure. Also, keep in mind that it’s quite easy to get lost since terrain looks quite similar all over the map. Before the voyage I would recommend you to make a Spyglass so you can look into the distance. If you have really bad navigation skills, make yourself some markings in the sand that will tell you direction of your home.
Now with everything important said, I’ll leave you and wish you good luck. Get home safely with the biggest treasure you can find!