forager review

Forager Guide – Beginner’s Tips & Tricks

Forager is a great little game that uses an initial feeling of confusion and isolation and rewards any steps you make toward making things better. With an ever-changing environment and randomly spawning items, Forager will have all first-time players frenziedly harvesting, farming, and mining for raw materials and food.

After a good 20 hours in-game, I’m taking a quick look back at a few tips and tricks to get you started in a game that leaves your path relatively open-ended.

Forager can be played in a few ways, utilising farming skills, going for the big capitalist approach, honing your magic, dungeon crawling, and more – so this guide aims to give you a quick rundown of the game, and the easiest ways to get self-sufficient.

Making sense of the menus

Some of the menu tabs won’t be immediately obvious, but rest assured everything will be revealed. The first thing to focus on if you want an especially satisfying game, after following the quick tutorial, is to make money, expand your land, and head toward automation. This is best achieved through skilling up, and with a bit of grinding and clever skill selection, you’ll be off to a flying start.

How to make money easily in Forager

As hard as it seems at the start, making money needn’t be a stress. When skilling up, make sure to head in the direction of finance, unlocking skills that make coins worth more, and even allow for trade. Although you can throw yourself into magic, or farming, the best way to get more land (and with it, more adventure) is to invest your skills in this way.

There will be more options later on, but start the game mining gold from rocks with yellow dots on them. Use your furnace to craft gold ingots from these. Then stick as many as you can into the forge to create coins. Crafting better wallets will also prove to be worth the resources, as it will make coins worth more.

Choosing and buying land

Although not immediately obvious, Forager heavily features ‘land types’. From where you start, imagine a 3 x 3 square around you composed of the other islands. These are all the same land type as your beginning square. Going outside this square to the east is the hot desert plains, going north lands you in a freezing polarscape, to the south is a rock-covered wasteland, and to the west is the spooky graveyard land type.

Using this rough guide, you can plan your resources fairly well. Certain plants, animals, and NPCs will only appear in specific land types, so when you’re done farming the green pastures of your home square, venture out for some unique materials and dungeons.

How to farm effectively

Although not fully fleshed out in terms of controlled agriculture, many animals will spawn in the world of Forager, and can be used to your advantage. Anything running on all fours can be pick-axed and turned into meat and leather, and chickens can similarly be attacked for their meat. It is advisable to leave the chickens to their own devices, however, as a quick tap on them with the interact key will yield an egg or two – sometimes even a more unique (and expensive) item!

Don’t waste time trying to cultivate farmland or control the livestock – plants, resources, and animals will spawn wherever they please, and with enough land unlocked you will always have more than enough.

Combat tips

One minute in Forager you’ll be cuddling chickens, the next you’ll be curiously approaching a green anthropomorphic jelly. Just make sure your pickaxe is sharp! As cuddly and cute as these villains may look, they can deal a fair bit of early-game damage (don’t worry, you’ll grow out of it, and meet much more daunting foes!) They should be attacked, with a well-timed swing of your pickaxe you will gain some XP, especially if you are able do dodge out the way of their attack.

Be aware also of big thundering beasts, especially to the north of your home square. Attacked right, these will yield a hefty amount of resources, but will usually do at least one heart’s worth of damage.

Levelling up

As tempting as it may seem to skill up the farming aspect of Forager, there is little in the way of lucrative agriculture at this time. Updates and patches seem promising, but as it stands my advice would be to avoid sinking XP into it. Instead, focus on unlocking automation, financial aid, and mining.

Likewise with cooking and magic – although these add a bit of fun and flesh out later gameplay, your first steps should be to expand other areas. Some of the most useful early-game skills are in Economy and Industry, but your goal should always be automation.

What should you put skill points into? Our skill tree recommendations

This is the fastest route that I have found to getting everything you need and securing automation in the process:

  • Level 2: Economy
  • Level 3: Foraging
  • Level 4: Woodcutting
  • Level 5: Mining
  • Level 6: Industry
  • Level 7: Sewing
  • Level 8: Textiles
  • Level 9: Trade
  • Level 10: Craftsmanship
  • Level 11: Automation

Geology and Fishing would also be good early game choices, as the former aids with most crafting quotas, and the latter will be a good source of sand when the desert land type is yet to be unlocked.

Dungeon puzzle tips

Whether or not you decide to go for the archaeologist/dungeon crawler route, chances are you will uncover one of these perplexing puzzle chambers sooner or later. Without giving too much away, here are a few hints to help you tackle them head-on.

First off, getting stuck is easy to do – pushing something into a corner and not being able to push it back may happen. In this case, stand next to the item and wait for a key prompt, or leave the building and return to a reset puzzle.

If your character gets stuck, simply go to the menu, save and quit, and when you reload you will have spawned back outside. No more hints, for now, other than it sometimes pays to look at the building as a whole.

Hoard your stuff

Don’t throw anything away if you can help it! Materials will stack infinitely in your backpack (which you need to work towards expanding with the help of a sewing station), and as soon as you get rid of something you’ll be wishing you had more of it. This especially applies in the early game, but anything rare/expensive you unearth should sit in your inventory a little while before you impulse sell it. Money, equipment items, and relics all stack in a different place, so don’t stop collecting for fear of a full backpack!

Curb your curational cravings

If you’ve played a whole bunch of Animal Crossing you’ll be wanting to fill that museum, but do so in moderation, as until automation is up and running it may be hard to scavenge enough materials to be so generous.

Death? Big deal

Don’t panic! If you die, the penalties are barely tangible. You’ll pop back up in the same spot, with all your items intact. Just make sure you are braced for another attack, as your assailant will be waiting as soon as you respawn.

Finally, a bonus secret…

Lastly, if you want to make the game just a little more colourful: save and exit, look for a folder called secretOptions.ini in C:/Users/<username>/AppData/Local/Forager and change the “rainbowsForever” value to 1. Enjoy!