Sons of the Forest beginner building guide beginner's

Beginner’s Building Guide for Sons of the Forest

Endnight GamesSons of the Forest lets you build your own shelter, cabin, and more. And, since there are cannibals and mutants running round the island, the more protection you have, the better. But how do you go about it? Here’s a beginner’s building guide for Sons of the Forest.

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Sons of the Forest Beginner’s Building Guide Number One Tip: Learn Both Basic Building Modes

If you played The Forest, you might have noticed that a lot of the structures and building options from the first game are missing in the sequel. Sons of the Forest, for example, doesn’t let you build stone walls. Yet. This is an early access game so you can count on more options being added later.

The most important thing to understand is that there are two basic building modes. The default mode, the one that’s new to Sons of the Forest, is what you’ll see when you first open your building book.

This mode, with your building book on the right, lets you build things by putting them down piece by piece. So if you want to build a floor, you get a log, look at the floor, and put it down. Then, you get three more logs, making a square. You then get some more logs but cut them in half, and put them on top to make the planks.

You can find the “recipes” for the various building features in your book, but building this way is more fun because you’re putting things together yourself.

Sons of the Forest beginner building guide - default build book beginner's

The other mode, which you access by holding X, has your building book on the left. It only lets you build specific pre-planned structures such as cabins and treehouses. Select one of these buildings and you’ll get a white outline which you fill by adding materials.

Building this way is quicker and it has the advantage that you can order Kelvin to complete structures. Kelvin can’t do that in piece-by-piece mode.

What Resources Do You Need to Get If You Want to Build Something?

You’ll need logs, for a start. You can chop trees down yourself or order Kelvin to get you logs. However, we recommend you lead him well away from your building area so he doesn’t start chopping down a tree you might be building a treehouse on.

Other resources include rock, rope, tape, stones, and sticks. Sticks are all over the place, as are stones — and you can also get Kelvin to collect those for you. As for rope and tape, you’ll need to find those yourselves — empty every box around the crash site, investigate the beach where you’ll find some more boxes, and check out the areas of interest on your GPS.

Now You’ve Got an Idea of How to Build, so Where Should You Build?

It’s tempting to just build a beach house but, even if you’re craving a beach view, you’re best off building a little further back into the forest. Ideally, build near a source of fresh water. Why? Because you can drink from it, but also Kelvin can gather fish from it. Villages were, traditionally, built near a water source.

For What You Should Be Building, We Recommend You Start with a Treehouse

Unless you’re playing in Peaceful Mode, which has no cannibals or mutants, we’d recommend you start with a treehouse — Tree Shelter 1. With your build book on the left, select the structure and place the white outline on a tree. You’re best off ordering Kelvin to collect logs, but adding the logs to the structure yourself.

You can build a quick shelter with a tarp and a stick for the purposes of saving, but you should have enough time to set up your arboreal retreat before any cannibals show interest. Once you’ve built a treehouse you’ll be a lot safer from any unwanted visitors. You’ll have to build a bed, using sticks, before you can save.

Then, you can start looking at bigger structures. If you’re building something along the lines of a stockade, you will have to build in piece-by-piece mode. Be warned, though — the mutants and cannibals get more aggressive as the days go on, so you might not have the time to finish your wooden Fortress of Doom before you have to flee.

Sons of the Forest beginner building guide how to chop a window beginner's

Closing Beginner’s Building Guide Tips for Sons of the Forest

  • You can cut windows in your structures by getting your axe out, looking at a log, and, when you see the red lines, chopping away. That’ll remove the chunk of wood between the red lines. This is useful for making windows and doorways.
  • If you want to get rid of the default door on a cabin, look at the door and hold C.
  • Be careful when enemies are around. It’s possible to damage or even knock down a structure if you swing and miss.
  • Make sure you’ve got plenty of space for the base you plan on building. The more space you have, the more you can expand later.
  • Read the building book in both modes, to familiarize yourself with the buildings on offer.
  • If you don’t stick with treehouses, you should build a defensive wall. By Day 10, you’ll regularly be under attack.

And that’s our beginner’s building guide for Sons of the Forest. 

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Chris McMullen
Chris McMullen is a freelance contributor at The Escapist and has been with the site since 2020. He returned to writing about games following several career changes, with his most recent stint lasting five-plus years. He hopes that, through his writing work, he settles the karmic debt he incurred by persuading his parents to buy a Mega CD. Outside of The Escapist, Chris covers news and more for GameSpew. He's also been published at such sites as VG247, Space, and more. His tastes run to horror, the post-apocalyptic, and beyond, though he'll tackle most things that aren't exclusively sports-based. At Escapist, he's covered such games as Infinite Craft, Lies of P, Starfield, and numerous other major titles.