Guides/Survive A Year In Reign Of Giants

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Icon Books.png This article may contain instructional language and subjective recommendations. Readers should read the content carefully, and follow accordingly.

Explore First

Start in Fall. Explore the perimeter of the map before you settle. Wear a grass suit while exploring (especially at night) – there are so many things in the game that could seriously hurt you if you make mistake (which you will sooner or later) – clockwork bishops (ranged attack) and tentacles (hard to see) are especially dangerous. Don’t stop for the night, carry a torch -- ALWAYS carry a spare. You don’t want to have to build a torch in a hurry when something is chasing you.

Don’t carry tools around, use them up and discard the leftovers – inventory space is precious as you don’t have backpack or Chester at the beginning. Have a pre-built campfire at all times and only use it to cook things like meats (so they spoil slower and are safe to eat), berries and vegetables for health, green and blue mushrooms and cactus flesh for sanity. If your health is full just eat berries raw to save time. You can also eat raw blue mushrooms and butterfly wings to heal. Remember, you can catch spiders and frogs with traps, not just rabbits. Take advantage of it as you go. Hold on to the monster meat as you can give it to pigs to get them to follow you and help you out in a variety of ways.

Settle in a place within easy walking distance to at least some resources can’t be relocated such as: frog ponds, cave entrance, Rabbits as well as swamp or desert biomes. Avoid areas with an Igloo and Moose Goose nest – more on this later.

Get Your Base Running

Build a fire pit and a science machine right away. Prototype the following: spear and log suit for killing things and not dying, backpack for harvesting trips (some people wear it all the time but IMHO it is a bad habit), shovel – you can start digging up graves (give trinkets to Pig King for gold) and relocating twigs, grass, berry bushes and such. Last, but not least, build a crock pot or two. It is one of the most important devices in the game as it can be used to make a plethora of useful food items.

For starters, learn to make meatballs. That dish restores 60 food and you only need one piece of meat of any kind (even monster meat) and 3 filler (anything except sticks as you will end up making Kabobs instead). You can even use dead butterflies and red mushrooms as a filler. Just don’t use more then one monster meat or you will end up with monster lasagna.

One of the easiest way to get meat is via spiders. If you don’t have a spider nest nearby (close but not too close), you should plan to relocate some. You need to find level 3 spider nests. There will be some around just before winter and they drop spider eggs when you destroy them (use traps to empty it of spiders first). I like planting some near a cave entrance so that spiders and bats keep each other busy and produce free drops – do your best to automate things, in general. One could write a whole article on automating resource gathering in this game.

Here are some tips: always enlist help of pigs when you harvest wood (give them some monster meat). It speeds up the process a lot and the pigs can deal with tree monsters for you, should they spawn. Living wood droops from tree monsters and has quite a few uses later in the game. It’s not a bad idea to have 2 to 3 pig huts within walking distance from your base, but not too close as they turn into werepigs on full moon (or if they eat 4 monster meats). While in that form, they are very easy to kite and drop 2 regular meats and a pig skin guarantied, but you don’t want them wandering into your base randomly.

Winter Is Coming

If you have time left before winter, get some beard hair. You might have noticed that rabbits turn black when you are low (below 40%) on sanity. When that happens, their drops actually change. You don’t have to be low on sanity when you catch them live, only when you kill them. So catch a bunch and store them in container of some kind (backpack or a chest) lower your sanity (raw green mushrooms work great) and then kill them. Why? Because you are going to need at least 4 beard hair later and it has a measly 20% drop rate. They also drop valuable Nightmare Fuel, hold on to it. They only come out during day, so get this done before days get really short – Winter is coming.

Except for tumbleweeds in a desert, plants won’t grow when it is cold. So, make sure to have a ample supply of twigs, grass and wood if you plan to stay put. You can use ice in a crock pot, so food is not much of an issue as long as you have meat source nearby.

Build a thermal measurer. Stay put and work around your base when it is really cold. At some point, build magic machine with rabbits (it requires 4 live ones) burrows will close in Spring (until Summer). If you got around to getting the beard hair earlier, you should be able to build a Meat Effigy (works like a renewable touchstone) right away. Do try to get it done before Deerclops shows up.

If you go exploring bring a thermal stone, a tier 2 light source and a warm clothes, which also helps restore sanity – longer night means more sanity drain. You don’t necessarily need to build a fire every time you need to warm up, just set a tree on fire and warm up near it. Works great in an emergency.

Deerclops is a towering monstrosity that will show up and level all the structures in your vicinity on day 30. What to do about it? First and foremost: don’t be at your base! Go some place that you want him to wreck (a spider forest is a good example of such an area) and stay put until he shows up. Hang around and pick up the drops but don’t get too close or he will kill you – fighting giants is way outside of the scope of this guide, but you can give it a try -- you built a meat effigy, right? You can go back to your base any time after he shows up, he won’t follow you. You can also go check out that Igloo I mentioned earlier. McTusk is really easy if you have armor and a raged weapon (like a blow dart gun) and he drops really good items.

Get Ready For Spring

Spend the rest of the winter is harvesting ice (it won’t melt in an ice box) for Summer and getting ready for Spring. You could also check out caves (it’s slightly warmer in there) and find some light bulbs. You need those to make a lantern – a really good light source. It’s bright and can be held in hand or placed on a ground. It can be refueled with a variety of things including light bulbs. The can also be fed to a werepig in bulk – in exchange for manure fertilizer.

Speaking of fertilizer, be sure to build all the farms and plant all the plants you plan to use (rain makes things grow MUCH faster) before Spring -- it gonna rain... a lot. Build a lightning rod, so your base does not burn down. Get an umbrella – wetness drains your sanity a LOT and causes other problems: wet fuel does not burn as long, wet food spoils faster. Keep it in a backpack, it will stay dry there even if you don’t. If you are wet, dry near a fire as soon as you can. The sanity drain is even worse while you are drying, so get it done fast!

One more thing about the Spring… It has the easiest giant. Don’t mess with the Moose Goose (it will leave you alone if you did not settle next to it’s nest) and you will be fine. You main job is to prepare for Summer.


Before summer prototype an endothermic fire. Build enough ice flingomatics to cover all your stuctures and plants as things will catch fire otherwise. Make a good summer shirt on the first day of Summer and wear it at all times. Have a second thermal stone in an ice box for emergency cooling. Build the magic machine (if you have not done so already) and make a chilled amulet and carry it with you. It might save your life. When Dragonfly shows up, don’t panic. Give it 20 ash (just drop it on the ground). It will eat it and go away to hibernate. Just don’t get in it’s face and you will be fine.

Summer is a good season for exploring caves. Here is why: it’s cooler underground and there is plenty of nitre (endothermic fires) it sometimes drop from ceiling during earthquakes, even. Plus, the surface is simply too dangerous in Summer (except at night), so you will want to minimize your time there. Finally, lot of dangerous things in the cave sleep during day time, especially Big Bunnies (if you have meat on you).

That’s right… some areas in the Caves belong to the Bunnymen are vegetarian and they don’t mess around if you are carrying meat based food (even eggs). So, bring some Dragon Pies, Butterfly Muffins or Stuffed Eggplants (you did set up some farms during Spring, right?) with you instead of tried and true Meatballs. On the bright side, they can be very helpful.

Bunnymen are kind of like Pigs, only they sleep during the day and can be hired with carrots instead of meat. If your sanity drops below 40% they change just like their surface cousins. They become tougher, hit even harder, but stay friendly. As they drop 2 beard hairs a pop instead of regular meat or bunny puffs they offer much better alternative to surface bunnies when it comes to making Meat Effigies. If you manage to kill them that’s is. They run away when low on health. My favorite method involves hiring heavy hitters: Rock Lobsters… they take minerals of any kind as payment. They heat HARD and they are almost indestructible. I like at least a couple following me when I am in a cave at all times, TBH.

Congratulations you made it through a year! The only thing left to cover is Bearger (Fall giant) as he will show up on a second Fall. Give it 10 honey and just like Dragonfly it will go away and hibernate.