A little early game help please

I am using one of the latest experimentals. The starting bunker USED to start with cloth sheets or whatever over the windows that I could cut down for string and stuff. My problem is now, starting off, the bunkers dont seem to have those so Im not sure how to get string or whatnot to make one of those bow fire-starter things. I have nothing to light a fire with and cant clean my water. How can I start a fire?

The following assumes you have 0 in fabrication and survival, don’t use STR as a dump stat, and start near a forest.

  1. Go outside
  2. Grab a rock or a heavy stick.
  3. "S"mash a sapling or two until you get long sticks. You’ll probably need around four, but eight or ten would be more useful. You can now replace your current smashing implement with a long stick for better results.
  4. Smash plants until you get four withered plants. You can smash underbrush, but I prefer shrubs, ferns, and rose bushes because underbrush gives you food.
  5. Smash a small boulder or two. You’ll probably need about three rocks.
  6. Take all the stuff into the shelter, using the Haul function (press \ while standing over it) if necessary.
  7. Smash a locker. You need 10 scrap metal.
  8. Smash a few of the benches. Add the planks and splintered wood to your loot pile.
  9. Take everything to the cupboards in the shelter and stand by it. This will make crafting more simple as items will be deposited there instead of wielded when crafted.
  10. Break a few of the long sticks from the smashed saplings into heavy sticks. I think you’ll need four heavy sticks.
  11. Make four short cordage pieces from the withered plants.
  12. Make a stone knife. This will take an hour and it’s important, so it needs to be done early. This should also train Survival to 1.
  13. Make a stone hammer.
  14. Make a screwdriver.
  15. Deconstruct one or two of the remaining lockers using the hammer and screwdriver. You need two sheet metal, but may need more depending on RNG.
  16. With Survival at 1, the recipe for Tinder should be available. Use the splintered wood from smashing the benches to make it until Survival reaches 2. You may need to smash more benches to get enough splintered wood. Alternatively, you can go down the steps in the shelter and check the bathrooms for paper; It also works for tinder.
  17. With Survival at 2, the recipe for fire drill should be available. If you made 4 short cordage pieces, you’ll have enough left over to make it.
  18. Make wooden beads using the splintered wood until fabrication is at 1.
  19. Make a brazier from the sheet metal.
  20. Make a makeshift pot from the sheet metal. Sometimes this recipe fails and destroys the sheet metal, so you may need to have another piece ready.
  21. Deploy the brazier, throw the tinder on it with a long stick/plank or two and light it up with the fire drill. I’d recommend you do this in the shelter’s underground so nothing can see the light and come after you.

The shelter’s underground also has a bathroom with about 96 water, more than enough to train cooking to 1 so you can eat pine nuts. Forests are abundant with Pine Trees, which can be picked by examining them. The pine boughs they yield burn very well and are part of the straw bed recipe if you plan to stay in the shelter a while, and the pinecones are all you need for the aforementioned pine nuts recipe. If the shelter started with an emergency blanket then the cold shouldn’t be a problem while sleeping.


my fabrication started at 2. Im thinking my problem is needing the materials to make a fire.

If Fabrication started at 2 then you can skip making wooden beads to get it to 1 but otherwise the process is the same. Fabrication is just necessary for the makeshift pot to boil and the brazier to prevent the fire from getting out of control.

Edit: I think I misunderstood what you were saying. The Fire Drill recipe comes from Level 2 Survival, which is why I suggested making Tinder. Fabrication is just for the brazier and makeshift pot.

Well I have done everything you said and I now have a hobo stove and a fire drill. How do I load the stove with tinder? I’ve tried reloading the stove and it says I reloaded it, but it still shows the hobo stove is 0/100. Actually I think part of my issue is having a hard time with the UI. I cant figure out how to load the hobo stove with tinder, or how to deconstruct lockers with the tools. I can only smash them but that is only giving me small sheet metal.

I always cook on a brazier. I don’t know anything about the hobo stove, to be honest.

You deconstruct using the construction menu ( press * while standing next to whatever you’re trying to take apart, then choose deconstruct and indicate the item with a directional key.)

You can’t deconstruct furniture until you have something with “screwdriving” and “hammering” unless it’s a very simple piece of furniture (like a firepit).

For the hobo-stove, crafting some tinder and then using [r]eload should fill it with tinder. After that, it works as if you were standing next to a fire as far as crafting goes, i.e. you can use it in place of a fire when crafting something.

Also, evac shelters have a chance to spawn as “trashed”, aka broken windows, graffiti, etc. Those don’t have cloth, as you mentioned. If you want to stop that from happening in the future, I heard from someone on these forums that there’s an option somewhere in the character creation menu that allows only fresh evac shelters for starting locations, but don’t quote me on that, I’ve never seen or used it.

I wish it were that simple, but the issue Brian_Cahoon is experiencing is that loading the Hobo Stove with tinder doesn’t actually load it. It’s probably something to do with the nested containers update. I just tested it and hexamine stoves and soda can stoves are the same way.

When you’re naming your character you can press / to change the starting location. For the default start you have Shelter and Shelter (Vandalized).

Too late. I’m a rebel.

Ahh ok so its a bug then. Well, I was able to finally make a crowbar and also a brazier and whatnot. I had no idea that bunkers could spawn as vandalized. Ive never seen that till now.

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After you see it the first time, they really seem to crawl out of the woodwork…

I’m reasonably sure that Makeshift Crowbars can’t pry open anything except crates now. You’re going to need a real Crowbar, Halligan Bar, or Fire Axe to open doors and windows. Aside from that, you sound like you’re on your way. Good luck.

Just want to add - they are also a component for pine needle tea, which:

  1. you can use instead of broth for woods soup;
  2. is non-perishable. opposed to aforementioned broth
  3. is considered a healthy drink.

I don’t think the hobo stove works that way. Checking the food and chem recipes, none of them list a hobo stove as a valid tool, like they list hot plates, chemistry sets, nearby fires, etc. Plus, according to the hobo stove description, it’s only used to reheat cold and thaw frozen food, not to cook a recipe.

Huh, guess you’re right. I was probably looking at the soda can stove when I said that.

Yea I think thats broken right now in the experimentals.

So I dug a pit and put a brazier in it, and some tinder and planks I think. I lit it up. It said something about the brazier not being able to contain the fire. I was trying to cook some wolf meat I found in a pot when my character started getting REALLY hot standing next to the fire. Next thing I know Im getting burned while crafting and my arms and legs got disabled. I eventually died from a broken head while trying to heal some of the MASSIVE burn trauma I got. How can I cook without that happening?

Exactly how much fuel did you put on there? The amount of fuel you stick in the fire determines how big it is, which also determines how much heat it produces.If the fire gets too big then standing next to it raises your temperature such that you start taking heat damage.

Two ways to avoid this:

  1. You don’t necessarily have to be adjacent to the fire to cook. Standing a few squares away will still allow you to use it. If you’re depending on the fire for light to craft by, then you can still use it so long as the light level is at least cloudy, which is typically about 3 squares away from the fire.

  2. Dropping no more than two planks is typically sufficient for most cooking purposes. This will allow you to stand next to the fire and cook. If the fire does happen to go out mid-project, your progress on the project is retained so you can light it up again.

I haven’t checked in a while, but there used to be a “mark firewood pile” option in the construction menu (*) that would allow you to designate a square to dump everything you wanted to use as fuel and then, so long as you were close enough to both it and the fire, the game would automatically calculate fire time and add new fuel accordingly to keep it going. If you’re concerned about the fire going out while you’re doing something that might be useful. When you’re done with the firewood pile it could be removed either by examining it or using deconstruct simple furniture in the construction menu.

I’ve never seen a fire escape a brazier no matter how large it’s gotten so unless something has changed in the latest experimentals, I think you’re safe in that regard.

I’m surprised the game didn’t ask you whether you wanted to stop the first time pain occurred. Regardless, pretty much any task that has you sitting there for a while can be manually interrupted by pressing 5. This may not allow you to resume it where you left off depending on the actions you take afterward, but it’s often safer than staying in a dangerous situation.

Ahhh ok I think I probably made a big ole bonfire then like a dummy. The fact that the game even takes things like that into consideration is both frusterating as hell and oh so awesaome, all at once lol. Man that sucks as I had made a sword and was kicking zombie ass, and not too far away I stumbled onto some kind of big sewer tunnel with 2 metal grates at the opening and sewage coming out of it.

Horrific deaths are all part of the experience. There was a time when molotovs didn’t automatically go out if they weren’t thrown, and I lit one then accidentally threw the matchbook instead.

Just because you said you’re new, I’ll throw in the possibility that the hobo stove isn’t [r]eloading because you you can’t reload other tools easily when you have something in your hands that can be reloaded.