Conan Exiles: Guide to Surviving

Conan Exiles Early Access was released earlier this week, and it’s quickly shot up in fame. So I’m here with a quick guide to what I have learned over my 30+ hours into the game.

Conan Exiles is an open-world survival game from developers Funcom. It takes ideas from games such as ARK: Survival Evolved and Rust and mixes them together to form their take on the survival genre. So far my experiences with the game have been great, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

Initial Spawn

When you initially spawn your first priority is to find and pick up the water skin pouch which is lying on the rock next to a crucified skeleton. This will provide a little water, enough for you to make it to the river and refill. Your immediate focus is now plant fibres and bugs; the plant fibre is for clothing which provides the necessary armour for you to kill animals for meat later. The bugs provide sustenance until you can cook meat later. Whilst collecting plant fibres, rocks and branches litter the desert, so make sure you pick these up too as these provide the materials to craft a pickaxe. Usually by this point, you will have gained your first level.

Your first level will be used to learn how to build a bed and a hatchet. Your points personally should be placed in encumberment; this will let you carry more resources whilst aiming to build your first shelter. Once you have sorted your level, you should build a bed so that if you die, you can at least respawn from there and try to receive your gear from your body. Twine can be crafted in your inventory menu, and plant fibres and branches you should already have. Place the bed and interact with it so you claim it as your own. These beds only have one respawn before they disappear, so make more than one.


Aiming Higher

Now that you are partially safe, make a hatchet. Use the pickaxes on stones and use the hatchet for trees and to kill any animal you see. You get the most XP from killing animals, and not only XP, but valuable meat and hides. The meat cannot be eaten until it is cooked, so on your next level-up you should acquire the survival research. This provides the camp with fire. Craft the campfire and place it anywhere you think is a good place to settle down for your shelter. To cook the meat, place the meat and wood harvested from trees into the inventory of the campfire and turn it on. Wait a while, and voila, Gordon Ramsay would be proud.

That’s the basics so far. With hunger and thirst quenched, it’s now time for that shelter. After your 3rd level-up you can learn the basic means to build a house. The house needs a lot of stone and wood to build, so get out there and pick up every rock and harvest every tree possible. Firstly, start with a foundation to build; this requires 50 stone and 3 wood. I would build a basic 3×3 house just to get you settled down first. Once you have settled with a location, put the sandstone foundation from your inventory onto your hot bar and select the appropriate number to active it. A shadow of the foundation will appear for you to place, so find a spot and left click to place it. Any foundation after that will snap onto the previous one to make a nice 3×3 foundation. Next, we need the walls. 11 walls are needed, as well as 1 door way with 9 ceilings to cover the foundation. One door later and boom, you have your first completed shelter. Don’t forget to place a couple of beds inside your new home with a campfire too.



The next few steps are where you can enjoy your freedom. Advance to level 10 and learn how to build a furnace to smelt iron; this will greatly help to harvest those valuable resources and make a budding stronghold. Crafting benches like the Armourer and the Blacksmithing bench are all part of leveling up and unlock higher tiers of armour and weapons to use. Tannery racks are the life source of armour and play a massive role later on when upgrading to steel. If you’re playing with a few friends, these first few steps fly over; by yourself it will take a good hour to settle down and build your first little home. Remember though, this game is about survival, and you’re not the only person out there. Clans unite and wars break out over land and resources. Till then, harvest away and level-up by killing everything you see, as XP is your best friend.


Hints and Tips

  • Kill every animal you see, the XP is the most valuable thing to you at the beginning
  • Items can be repaired so you don’t have to make a new hatchet or pickaxe every time, and the same goes for armour
  • Collect every branch and plant you find
  • Try to settle near water so you don’t have to run too far
  • Fire scares hyenas away, so carry a torch if you want to avoid them
  • Avoid alligators/crocodiles, they hurt…a lot
  • Focus on certain research trees to begin with then branch out
  • There is a great map HERE with coordinates to help you
  • Unlock the stone sword ASAP, as this helps to kill those animals
  • Log off in a safe place, as your body stays in the location you logged off
  • Avoid the big NPC villages at the start until you have better gear

My playthrough has been amazing, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my journey so far. As I advance to the later stages of the research tree, I’ll be sure to update my information with more hints and tips to help you survive your exile. Till then, good hunting and good luck. You’ll need it.

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