Guides/Self-sustaining Settlement Guide

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♝ Creating a Self-sustaining Settlement: A Comprehensive Guide ♝
General Layout

The aim of this guide is to create a self-sustaining settlement, where you will have a continuous food source, safety from monsters and every resource at your fingertips. This guide only requires an area that has Rabbits and Beefalos to start. Everything else will fall in place with time. It is important to use time efficiently, especially in the starting days, so there is an emphasis placed on what resources you harvest, when you harvest, and how many you harvest.

However, if you want to survive well in winter, please look into Winter Guide.

This guide aims to achieve these goals in the fastest and safest way possible, and by using only the most widely available resources, thus being applicable to all starting worlds. It makes it possible to 'beat the game' at the very first play-through in any newly created world.

Day 1: Finding a Good Location

It is best to start by collecting as much Flint and Grass and as many Twigs (in that order of priority) as possible. An area that has lots of Rabbits (at least 5, the more the better) and is near to some Beefalos (decent walkable distance) is desirable. Make sure you're not too close to the Beefalos since whenever they are in Mating Season, they will attack you in great numbers and with great strength. 

In the absence of Beefalos, an area with just a great deal of grass will suffice as well. Saplings will be helpful if replanted near base, but Grass Tufts probably shouldn't be dug up. Also, you may need to make an early weapon to help against the Hounds later on, since you won't have the beefalos to protect you. Alternatively, you can opt to be near Pigs and feed them plant items (e.g. Petals) to make them poop Manure

Explore the vicinity and continue collecting resources. You will not need a lot of food on the first day, so twigs and grass will be a priority. Also, it should always be kept in mind that cooked food nearly always restores more Hunger than raw food does. Also remember that raw Meat nearly always costs the player Sanity, while Vegetables/Fruits do not rot as quickly when they are raw.

Create an Axe and chop down 1 large Tree (just one is enough). This will yield just enough logs for you to create a Campfire for the night. If a good area has not yet been located, collect food for 2–3 days, e.g. 15 items, as that is about how long wandering around for a location is not too unproductive.

When dusk falls, return to your prospective settlement area. Create a campfire such that the rabbit holes are just at the edge of illumination at maximum fuel (roughly about half a screen away). Create as many Traps as you can and place each one as near to a rabbit hole as possible (1 trap for each hole). It is possible to place the trap in such a way that the rabbit is trapped as soon as it pops out of its hole. Hover over the hole, and then slowly move your mouse down until the game allows you to set the trap. Add a log to the campfire to get it up to near maximum fuel. Take note of the light radius and start planning the layout of your settlement. Finish laying your traps if they are within the light radius. You will be able to go slightly beyond the light area safely, so make use of that. Cook some food items (about 5) using your campfire, it is a good idea to keep some cooked food in your inventory too. Keep hunger at around 50% to 80%, don't waste food by going over 100%. If there is still time, start planting saplings (not grass), clustering them as close as possible. Saplings do not require manure to start growing, unlike grass. Spend the night planting saplings and thinking about how great your settlement will soon become. Drop the saplings and grass on the ground of your settlement to free up your inventory. Don't worry, they won't disappear. 

Even though this guide only requires rabbits and beefalos to start, sometimes it is still difficult to find such an area. Feel free to wander around to find better areas. But aim to settle down latest by Day 3. Wandering around is an unnecessary drain on resources. Also, since this guide relies on killing rabbits only, there may be a risk of spawning a Krampus. It may be wise to pace the killing of rabbits to avoid the spawn in the early days. Krampus spawns at around 30 to 50 rabbit kills. Every minute of not killing anything decreases the spawn chance. Thus, it is best to kill all rabbits at night only and 'play nice' the whole morning. 


Since the A Little Rain Must Fall Update, it is no longer safe to plant Grass Tuft and Sapling near your camp because the lightning may set them ablaze destroying the entire farm; a way to avoid this is to build a Lightning Rod. Since lightning bolts tend to strike on your character's screen, a safer option is to plant your tuft fields one or two screens away from your base camp, but this will prevent you from harvesting at night.

Also, take note that sometimes enemies may attack at night (commonly Hounds) and sometimes Red Hounds may set themselves on fire. An enemy set ablaze can spread the fire to nearby flammable objects if they get too close to them.

Day 2: Laying Down Traps

There are a couple of things to do, ranked in order of importance. First, you must dig up more grass and saplings to create Traps. It's a good idea to create a Shovel as soon as you have crafted a science machine, and begin digging up saplings. Generally though, Berry Bushes, are not worth the trouble, just collect the berries. It will help having at least 1 trap for each Rabbit hole near your camp. Grass is more common in plains and grassland biome. Saplings are more common in forest and grassland biome. Secondly, you must chop down 1 large tree (and also dig the stump out). Thirdly, if time permits, create a pickaxe and break up any boulders you find along the way. You will need 12 to build a Fire Pit. Don't worry if you don't find any boulders or have no time. Creating traps is more important than collecting stones. Lastly, collect just enough food items to last till the next day. Remember to bring the food back to cook during the night before eating. 

Be back at your camp by evening and reset all your traps, laying down the new ones to make sure that there is at least 1 per hole. Create a campfire, unless you collected enough stones to create a Fire Pit. Cook your food, including the morsels. Continue planting saplings through the night. Only use logs as fuel for your fire. You should need no more than 1 log to last the entire night. 

If the Hounds were to attack, run to the beefalos. Continue running through the beefalo herd until the hell hounds start attacking the beefalos. The beefalos should make short work of the Hounds. This tactic works at night too, but you will need a torch. 

Day 3: Planting the Saplings and Grass

As soon as day breaks, start exploring for boulders to break (skip this step if a Fire Pit has already been created on Day 2). Spend half of the daytime time finding boulders. Stop when you reach 12 stones or run out of time and head to the beefalos area. Spend the other half of the time collecting manure. Also, be sure to dig up any saplings and grass that you see along the way. Chop down another large tree. 

Be back at your camp by evening and reset all your traps. Create a campfire, unless you collected enough stones to create a fire pit. Cook all your food. You should be able to survive purely on cooked morsels by now. Thus, don't waste time collecting berries, carrots and seeds anymore. Plant as much grass as you have manure and fertilize them (if you have 5 manure, plant 5 grass). Spend the remainder of the night planting saplings. Feel free to drop items on the ground at your camp (but not food) to open up space in your inventory; spiders and hounds can eat the food items, ashes can be blown away by the wind or washed away by rain, and birds can eat any dropped seeds.

If a Treeguard spawns, lead it far away from your camp and then plant Pine Cones near it until it becomes "calm" and loses aggro. Or you can attempt to run back to camp quickly; since the treeguard is slow, it will lose you on the way back. This will only work if you run far enough. Make sure it is not near the beefalos or resources that you might need to use.

Day 4 - 9: Laying the Foundation

If you do not yet have 12 stones, continue looking for them to create the fire pit. Meanwhile, spend half the day harvesting saplings and grass. And the other half picking up manure from beefalos. Chop down trees only when necessary, just to keep the log count at around 5. If you have more than enough saplings and grass that need planting, consider staying at your camp for half a day planting them instead of harvesting. 

Always aim to be back at your camp by evening and reset all your traps. Keep at least 1 trap active for each hole. Spend the night planting as many grass as you have manure. You only need to fertilize each grass once after planting. Continue planting saplings. Aim to reach around 100 saplings and 50 grass, the more the merrier. (Hint: Saplings take a longer time to grow.) The numbers may sound intimidating, but it is do-able and well worth it. Don't be lazy! There will be huge payoffs later on. The plants may take a long time to grow but they eventually will, so be patient. Manage your time well, if you feel that you need more grass, focus on collecting manure and grass, but if you feel you need more saplings, focus on them instead. If you feel that you have reached a sufficient number of saplings and grass planted, proceed to the next section. 

See last paragraph of previous section to deal with hell hound and treeguard attack. 

Day 10 - 19: Crock Pots

Congratulations for coming this far. By now, you should have achieved a basic self-sustaining settlement. You should be able to survive by eating only cooked morsels. And be able to replenish all your traps with the growing plants. But of course, we can do better! 

The next step is to create a Crock Pot. This requires the ability to create cut stones. If you are able to create a crock pot, you may skip the rest of this paragraph. If not, your first step is to create a Science Machine. You will need to break boulders to find stones and a gold nugget. It is most likely that you already have some leftover resources required to make one. The Science Machine is used to unlock more items to craft. You can try to dig up some graves and research their items. Alternatively, you can choose to play safe by not adventuring out of your camp. You may want to spend some more time collecting stones. You will need stones to make cut stones for your crock pot. Also, collect some charcoal, read the next paragraph to find out how. 

To create a crock pot, you need cut stones and charcoal. Cut stones can be created from stones. Charcoal is obtained when you burn trees with fire. You will need 6 charcoal for each crock pot. Aim to create at least 2 to 4 crock pots. To create charcoal, go to a barren area, preferably the plains (beefalos area). Plant pine cones to create a small cluster of trees, making sure they are as close as possible. 1 charred tree gives 1 charcoal, so if you need 12 charcoal, plant 12 trees. After planting, create a torch and use it to light any one tree on fire. (Click on the torch, then click on a tree.) Wait for the fire to subside, then chop the trees down with an axe. Go back to camp and create your crock pots.

Check Crock Pot guide understand bonus points and improving the efficiency of your ingredients. From now on, you should strive to eat recipes with as many bonus points as you can, thus reducing the amount of ingredients you need to gather on your own. Become familiar with the recipes for Meatballs and Meaty Stew. These recipes are two of the most flexible and can provide the most bonus points depending on your choice of ingredients. Some examples of high efficiency recipes are: 1 Monster Meat and 3 Berries for Meatballs, or 2 big Meat 1 Morsel and 1 Monster meat for a Meaty Stew. Avoid making Ratatouille, as it is generally a waste of ingredients. With most recipes, you get more hunger points if you just eat the ingredients themselves.

Familiarize yourself with special Crock Pot recipes, as they can be used to restore health (Butter Muffin, Dragonpie, Honey Ham) or to restore sanity (Taffy, Waffles)

Day 20 - 29: The Basic Settlement

You should be able to live comfortably in your base, eating only cooked dishes for food. Beware of the occasional Hounds attack. Read the previous sections to learn how to deal with them. Take your time to stay as a basic settlement to build up your resources. Aim to build prototyping machines like the Alchemy Engine and Prestihatitator. Build some chests to help you organise your inventory. Wear a spear and Log Suit to help with combat. If you played as Wilson, use a razor to shave every 16 days to get 9 beard hairs to create a meat effigy. Or you can purposely decrease your sanity to less than 80. It is recommended to have rabbits precaught because all rabbits become Beardlings . Beardlings will drop either monster meat, nightmare fuel, or beard hair.

If you have gotten an Alchemy Engine, build Improved Farms and grow some seeds (left behind by birds). If you only have a Science Machine, you can build a Basic Farm, but only build one or two while you get the Alchemy Engine. The Improved farms are so much better than basic farms that you will want to destroy basic farms to make room for improved farms when you have the alchemy engine. Farms require a certain number of hours to produce a single Fruit or Vegetable from a single seed. Only certain crops can be grown from a farm, and farms need to be periodically fertilized. Additionally, fertilizing the growing crops will speed their growth.

Read more on Farming to make efficient farms. Farming will provide you most of the vegetables you need for crock pot recipes.

Optional tasks: Build and wear a Straw Hat just for fun while you farm. 

Your next priority is to create a Meat Effigy, which requires the Prestihatitator. It allows you to revive if you die. It also requires cooked meat, which can be obtained from a variety of sources. Killing PigsTallbirdsBeefalo, or Koalefant will probably be your most available and safe sources, but other mobs also drop meat. There are two effective and somewhat safe ways to get meat. Firstly, you can equip a spear and Log Suit and try finding a beefalo that is isolated by itself, and try killing it. It is best to kite the beefalo, pulling away just before it attacks and hitting it just after it attacks. If there are other beefalos around when you attack, the entire herd will charge at you. If this happens, run away at once. The other beefalos may give up chasing and we cannot afford to lose our character after so much hard work. Secondly, the other way to get cooked meat is to find a Pig Village. The best strategy is to follow the rock paths, since most pig villages are on the path. Give morsels to all the pigs in the village to get them to follow you. You can press Ctrl and click on the following pigs to attack them without retaliation. Alternatively, find some beefalos nearby and attack them. However, pull back before your character actually hits the beefalo. The pigs will continue attacking the beefalo but the beefalo will not attack you. Once you get the meat, cook it to get cooked meat and create a meat effigy.  

Day 30+: Tending Pigs, Breeding Bees and Taming Spiders

Once you have created at least 1 Meat Effigy or found a Touch Stone, you are safe to explore the world. Take your time to build up on your resources. Plan your trips and start exploring. For example, you can bring a backpack full of kabobs and go on a round the world trip. Look out for pig villages, bee hives and spider lairs. From this point onwards, you are on your own. Feel free to explore the world, teach yourself how to rear pigs, breed bees and spiders (for the silk). Learn new Crock Pot recipes. Prototype and try out all the items.

Also, remember to save up for a rainy day, you never know what the game will throw at you next. Good luck! 

Random tips

  • Collecting Charcoal
    Instead of burning down whole Forest, go to a barren area and plant Pine Cones to create a small cluster of trees. You can then burn these in a controlled fashion. 
  • Beard
    If you played as Wilson, use a Razor to shave every 16 days to get 9 beard hair. This yields the greatest hair to day ratio. A less effective and dangerous way to collect beard hair is to catch a chest full of rabbits, find a reliable way to replenish your sanity, and purposely drop your sanity to below eighty. You could do this by digging up graves, jump though wormholes, and picking dark petals. If you can afford it, you can also use Nightmare Amulet. Below eighty sanity all rabbits become beardlings. (Rabbits) Beardlings will drop (By a chance) Beard Hair. Alternatively the beardling can drop Nightmare Fuel, or Monster Meat.
  • Pig Village
    The best strategy to find pig villages is to follow the rock paths, since most are located on the path. If you hit a dead end, just backtrack and take another fork in the road. 
  • Attacking
    You can press Ctrl and click on followers to attack them. 
  • Farming
    You can speed up the growth of plants by adding Manure. You can do this repeatedly until the crop is ready for harvest. 
  • Rot
    Use food that has turned into rot on planted crops, it will act as a low value manure and slightly speed up the growth of the crop.