Survival Guide - Your first day

From Vintage Story Wiki
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This page is outdated.
Reason: Not updated for the 1.18 worldgen presets
The content on this page is not up to date with the most recent game update. If you do wish to contribute, please request wiki edit access on the forum or the Discord.

This guide is a collaboration between many individuals and may have issues. A wonderful member of the community, copygirl, who is a contributor to the Vintage Story code, has compiled a more concise and potentially more user friendly survival guide on her own page. As with the wiki, there is no guarantee on the accuracy of the content and is correct to the best of the author's knowledge.


This is the default key bind, please keep in mind that when changing, for instance, the Shift key for sneaking to a different one, all combinations previously using the shift key will change to your new key choice as well.

Character controls
W A S D To move around
Space Jump
E Backpack Inventory (Access Crafting Grid)
C Character Inventory (Clothes and other Gear)
Shift Sneak (used to place active items on blocks)
Ctrl + W Run
G Sit down
Q Drop currently held item
F5 Cycle through camera modes (first person, third person, overhead)
User interface controls
Tab Show/Hide chat overlay
T Begin typing in the chat overlay
F4 Show/Hide user interfaces
F6 Show/Hide user minimap
Ctrl + B Show/Hide block info
H Survival Handbook - can also be used while hovering over an item in the inventory
Shift + H Survival Handbook while looking at a block or item in the world
M Show/Hide worldmap
Ctrl + N Show/Hide block interaction help
Ctrl + V Show/Hide coordinates
F12 Take a screenshot
Esc Exit/close any interface

World Creation

When creating a new world, the player can decide between different presets or customize them individually. It is recommended for new players to check the customization options for their first world or start with the Exploration template, as some of the difficulty settings of the Standard experience can be highly frustrating.

The main difficulty points that can be especially challenging for new players are as follows:

  • Death punishment (Keep or drop inventory on death)
  • Temporal Stability (Temporal Storms, Surface Stability and Rifts)
  • Climate Distribution (the distance between different "biomes" and whether these are distributed realistically around an equator, or randomly in patches)
  • Surface deposit frequency (both copper & tin, as they are both important starting metals)

The below table shows the available world presets, it is advised to use the Customize button below the preset selection to further customize your world, as almost all aspects of the world generation and player experience can be changed. An in depth list of all customization options can be found on the World Configuration page.

Preset Important Aspects
Standard Despite it's name, this is not necessarily the best starting point for any new players. It comes with the full assortment of difficulty options, meaning temporal stability, hunger, temperatures etc. are all enabled. Without customization, monsters will spawn from the first night on and inventory will be dropped on death.
Exploration Most direct threats like creature hostility & temporal stability are turned off, natural difficulties like hunger and temperatures are reduced. The player will keep their inventory on death.
Wilderness Survival Hard Mode - not recommended for new players. Standard Mode with additional challenges - inventory is dropped on death and the player will respawn in a random location in a 5k block radius. Player health points are reduced and creature strength is raised.
Homo Sapiens Turns off all lore features, use to play as the "first human".
Creative Building As the name implies, this is your typical flat building world with Creative Mode enabled from the start. If you'd rather like to build in a normal map, customize a different preset to start in Creative Mode instead of Survival Mode.

Your first day

Player Spawn

Players appear in the world around the "spawn location". If a player dies in the game, the player will reappear (respawn) near the initial spawn location until the player spawn point is reset (a way to reset player's spawn location can be found later in the game.) It's a good idea to set a marker for this spawn point when a player first appears in the world. Either use Right mouse button on the world map or through the command /waypoint add [waypointcolor] [title]. This command adds a waypoint with given color (any .NET Color or a Hex Code) and text.

Stone tools

Branches and stones
Knapping process

In order to start the Stone Age, you will need Stone Tools, the process usually involves the following:

  1. Find Flint or loose knappable stones (basalt, chert, granite, andesite, obsidian or peridotite).
  2. With the flint or stone in your active hotbar slot, place it (Shift + Right mouse button) on solid ground to create a knapping surface. Only flint will immediately create a knapping surface. In order to use the other loose stones, you need to place it once, then target it (Shift + Right mouse button) again with another loose stone.
  3. Choose the tool to create from the menu. An axe and a knife are highly recommended as first tools.
  4. Using a stone in the active hand, Left mouse button on the orange boxes to remove them from the stone and shape the finished blade or tool head. When the last orange box is removed, the completed tool head will transfer to the player's hotbar. If an orange box (or group of them) becomes completely separated from the main tool, they will disappear as well.
  5. Press E to open the inventory GUI and access the crafting grid. In the grid, combine the stone tool blade with a stick (handle) to create the finished tool.
Note: Sticks can be collected from the ground or by breaking leafy branches using Left mouse button.

Player Inventory

Players have access to 3 types of inventory slots.

  1. Off-hand slot that can hold passive items such as torchers or lanterns.
  2. Main inventory that holds 10 slots and every slot is linked to a shortcut for quick access (default: keys 1 to 0).
  3. Portable containers. Up to 4 containers can be added to expand the inventory even further, the slots are shown in the inventory/crafting window (default: E).
Tip: Reed chests are the best first options to expand your inventory. Harvest Reeds , which can usually be found near lakes. The crafting grid can be found here or by pressing H and searching for chest to see its grid crafting recipe.


Food scavenging time!

Here are some of the first day options for food:

  • Mushrooms can be harvested with a knife or empty hands. They will regrow at the exact spot, so marking mushroom clusters on the map can be advantageous. Make sure to check the mushroom with the Handbook to check for poisonous variants, as some mushrooms can drain your health or even kill you when consumed raw or cooked. They can be found on the ground or on trees, and are (mostly) found in forests.
  • Ripe Berry Bushes can be harvested without tools, and then broken and replanted anywhere else. After a while they will start to bloom again.
  • Cattail roots can be harvested using a knife and cooked over a fire as a source of early game forage. However, eating the roots gets rid of the plant, so it is best to try to avoid until you make all reed chests and baskets you plan to make.
  • Most animals can be killed and harvested with a knife for nutritious meat and fat, as well as items useful later in the game like bones and hide. Bones can be gathered after exiting the menu by destroying the skeleton left behind. Sneak and hold the Right mouse button with a knife in hand to harvest animals. Meat must be cooked in a fire pit.


Find clay and take it with you or mark it on the map.

Clay is a required resource to progress through the ages, and in early game it can be used to build comparatively cheap stationary storage options and your first means to preserve food for a bit longer. It is also required to craft a cooking pot, which is necessary for advanced cooking. Clay items must be fired in a Pit kiln before they become useable.

Detailed information can be found in the Clay Forming page.

Light / Cooking

Crafting a firepit.

Once the sun sets, a player might want to create a firepit as a source of light and for cooking. Be aware though, rain will extinguish any uncovered fires or torches, so be sure to build a simple roof over any firepits.

To make a firepit, gather the following resources:

  • Dry grass : Left mouse button with a Knife in hand to gather Tall Grass.
  • Firewood : Left mouse button with an Axe in hand to cut Trees and harvest logs. Place the axe and logs in the crafting grid to create firewood.

Sneak and right click on solid ground with the dry grass in hand to place a fire pit. Next, sneak and right click with 4 firewood in hand to complete the fire pit. Then, light the fire using a firestarter (or a torch), hold Right mouse button with either item in hand and aim at the base of the firepit. (Optionally check the handbook H, to find out how to make a firestarter .)

Congratulations, meat can be cooked and new torches created by heating sticks! Be careful though, a torch in your off hand will cause you to take an increased hunger penalty, and torches held while taking a dip in water will get extinguished.



To defend against hostile creatures, craft stone age weapons by knapping or carving a club from a log. Different weapons have different ranges. Spears are the strongest long range weapon in the stone age, but break quickly. Create a stone spearhead by knapping, and combine with a stick (shaft) in the crafting grid to finish the spear. Wooden clubs are durable but have less damage and less range. Knives, axes, or just plain sticks can all be used as weapons, but these have shorter ranges than the spear. In an emergency, small stones can be thrown at mobs. For more information, see the main article on Combat .


Improvised body armor can be crafted from dry grass and firewood for some very basic protection. It will not protect your head or legs, but is better than nothing. Once more established in the world of Vintage Story, more advanced types of armor can be crafted.


As the sun sets, Drifters will start to spawn. Drifters are hostile, and can be dangerous to players (especially if they have no armor or weapons), but can be easily avoided if players prepare a shelter beforehand. There are different blocks that you can use to make a shelter using the early resources you have available. Dry grass can be used to make a bed early on, or form hay blocks/cob for early building blocks. Soil is also a good building material, and can be used to form Mud Bricks.

Stationary Storage

See Container's main article for detailed information.
In picture: a chest, a labeled chest, a vessel and a basket.

For more storage, the player can craft two early game containers .

  • Reed chests have 8 slots for items, however they require a total of 24 cattails and shouldn't be used to store food if possible.
  • Storage Vessels have 12 slots. They require clay to craft and have the best spoilage rates in the game, which make them suitable for food storage. As with all clay items, they must be fired before they become useable.
  • Chests have 16 slots, but require boards and Nails and strips , which also require access to smithing . You can also combine two chests into one trunk in the crafting grid, which takes up 2 blocks of space and has 36 slots, making it slightly more effective, but more bulky.


See Temperature for detailed information.

The player's body temperature needs to be kept around 37°C. Prolonged times with body temperature under this mark will result in shivering animations and even damage taken. Beware that dipping in water or being out in the rain will make your temperature drop faster. Standing near a lit campfire can warm the player up and the body temperature will stay up a while even after stepping away.

Temporal Stability

See Temporal Stability for detailed information.

By now a player might be wondering about the cyan gear between the health and satiety bar. This is the temporal stability meter, the level of color in the gear indicates the player's current temporal stability. As a player's temporal stability reduces, the gear turns counter clockwise and the blue color in the gear decreases. When increasing, the gear's color returns as it turns clockwise. If temporal stability reaches zero, the player's vision will change drastically, and bad things tend to happen.

Draining temporal stability:

  • Some surface areas are temporally unstable
  • Caves, underground caverns, and places below surface level are generally more unstable than the surface of the world
  • Temporal storms (occur at regular intervals)
  • Being near a Temporal rift will rapidly drain temporal stability

Recovering temporal stability:

  • Move to a location of high stability on the surface or at higher elevations in the world
  • Transfer the temporal stability from a temporal gear : equip the gear in the left hand, a knife in the off hand, and hold Right mouse button to provide a 30% boost at the cost of some HP
  • Killing drifters recovers small amounts of your own temporal stability

Advanced Game Mechanics

Once the basics are mastered, players can develop advanced technology: Survival Guide - Advanced tech

Tutorial Video: First Day

Thanks to Ashantin for creating and sharing with the VS community.

Wiki Navigation
Vintage Story Guides[[::Category:Guides| ]]Frequently Asked Questions Soundtrack Versions Controls
Game systems Crafting Knapping Clay forming Smithing Cooking Temperature Hunger Mining Temporal stability Mechanical power Trading Farming Animal husbandry
World World generation Biomes Weather Temporal storms
Items Tools Weapons Armor Clothing Bags Materials Food
Blocks Terrain Plants Decorative Lighting Functional Ore
Entities Hostile entities Animals NPCs Players
Miscellaneous List of client commands List of server commands Creative Starter Guide Bot System WorldEdit Cinematic Camera Adjustable FPS Video Recording ServerBlockTicking