Cinematic face.

Conan Exiles has been out in early access for almost a week now, and has taken the Steam sales charts by storm. The new survival MMO title seems to have ticked all the right boxes when it comes to gameplay, story and world development, and is quickly reeling in the players.

However many newbies to the game, and to the survival genre as a whole, are struggling to survive a few hours, let alone dominate the Exiled Lands. We are here to help you learn the basics and guide you through that first frightful night.

Finding the Right Server

Before you can start punching trees and chasing rabbits, you will need to choose an online server. The in-game server browser will present a list of hosted worlds that you may join. Be warned, server hosts have a surprising amount power over their world, and are able to alter certain aspects such as day and night cycles, resource spawning and server difficulty. Be sure to test out multiple servers to find one that suits you and your play style. If PvP is troublesome and you’re looking for ‘peace and quiet’, why not try a PvE server.

HUD
Friend or foe? Better find out quick.

Getting Started

Conan Exiles is a first/third-person game, with the typical survival style nine slot hot bar shown at the bottom of your screen. A HUD of character stats can be found in your top left corner. Each icon is simple enough to decipher: heart for health, droplet for water, XP for experience gained etc. Keep an eye on these at all times or you will quickly find yourself dying of hunger and thirst.

Finding Food & Water

When first spawning into a new world, you’re going to feel extremely vulnerable and instinctively look for cover. This is unwise. Food and water are some of the most important resources to monitor during your early hours in Conan Exiles. Look around your spawn point until you find a rock with a water skin on it. This will help you massively in the coming struggle to survive and will allow you to store small amounts of water. It is advised not to leave the starting area without the water skin as crafting one requires unlocking the recipe and having the resources necessary. It’s a waste, pick it up.

With your shiny new water skin in hand, start looking for somewhere to fill it up. Large bodies of water are normally the best places for beginners to set up camp. To refill your water skin, put it on your hot bar and press the associated key while in the water. Living on the banks of a river will have its benefits. You’re only a few steps away from quenching your thirst, and they are great places to find food. We recommend hunting smaller game till you’ve got your hands on a bow.

Conan Exiles Rabbit.
Shh! Don’t make any sudden moves.

Just Pick Up Everything

Once you have found your spot, press M to open up the in-game map and place a marker on your character point. You don’t want to be forgetting where you set up camp.

Now that you feel settled, it’s time to start collecting! For the next few hours you should explore the surrounding area and pick up everything you find. Resources are spent quickly in this game, so you must make sure you’re stacked and close to encumberment. It takes 50 branches to craft a campfire, and a whole lot more to keep it going through the freezing night. Also make sure to spam that collect button in every bush, they are great sources for finding seeds, plant fiber and insects. Seeds are edible when cooked; and when catching those pesky rabbits gets troublesome, why not force down a couple bugs to keep you going. Hey, it’s Hyboria after all.

Bush
Press E! Gobble up those bugs.

Early Crafting Choices

Craft yourself a bedroll. Nothing is worse than partially kitting yourself out, dying, and then being sent back to your spawn point. A bedroll will act as a spawn beacon. Once placed press E to bind your character’s spawn point to the bed. It is important to know however, that the bedroll/spawn point will be consumed upon death, so keep extras around for safe measure. Crafting a storage box and filling it with useful materials is a great way to keep resources safe in case you die.

Your next step is to build a campfire. Lighting a fire will allow you to cook any meat you managed to acquire. Eating it raw is not advised. No matter how hungry you are, consuming raw meat will hurt your character’s health. Campfires also let you use all those seeds and that plant fiber you collected from those bushes. Place these two materials together in the fire’s UI and watch them form into a hardy, fiber filled bowl of gruel. Delicious. Learning the cooking fire recipe at level 3 is essential to character survival.

Kill or Be Killed

So you have your bedroll and your campfire. Time to go stab something. By now you are probably past level 3 and should learn the sword and shield recipe. Low level exiled NPCs can be killed with a hatchet, but crafting some basic weapons will make your life so much easier. If you’re looking to level yourself up as quickly as possible, killing is the way to go. Harvesting and crafting will provide a little bit of experience, but nothing rakes in those XP points quite like murdering someone in cold blood.

Killing NPCs will give you additional loot and crafting materials, but be sure you can take them on before you go in swinging. The bow and arrow is unlockable at level 5. Craft one for hunting and ranged attacks.

Creatures of the Wastelands

Hyboria is home to an array of exciting and exotic wildlife that all new players are eager to discover. Looking at the pretty antelope, the fluffy bunnies and the gawking ostriches is fine. But for your first few hours of playing we recommend staying away from anything that looks remotely dangerous. So that means no approaching crocodiles, hyenas, spiders, imps and for love of god, run if you see a dragon.

Small Tips

  • You can repair items by clicking on them in your inventory and hitting repair, or by clicking on them in your hot bar. This will use up less of your materials.
  • The scroll wheel on your mouse can be used to reorient doors, walls and other items when building your fortress of solitude.
  •  Press Num lock to auto-walk.
  • Once you have crafted and equipped your bow, drag your arrows into the same slot on your hot bar to use.

You are now ready to brave the unforgiving Exiled Lands of Hyboria. Good luck, you’re going to need it.

Dragon
Just lie down and accept your fate.

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