Sons of the Forest red arm UI plus dead guy with an axe

What is the Red Arm Icon in Sons of the Forest?

Playing Sons of the Forest you’ll spend a significant amount of time checking your status meter, making sure you’ve not forgotten to eat or drink. But while most of the icons make sense, you might be wondering why the Red Hulk is flexing in the bottom right hand corner of your screen. Just what is the red arm icon in Sons of the Forest for? Here’s the answer.

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The Red Arm Icon Shows How Close You Are to Leveling Up Your Strength and it Shouldn’t be Overlooked. 

The red arm icon in Sons of the Forest is related to your strength, though it doesn’t, normally, show how strong you are. Instead, it shows how close you are to reaching the next strength level. The more physical tasks you undertake, the more the red circle fills up. 

When it fills up all the way, you hit the next strength level and, briefly, a number will flash up. That number shows your current strength level. The stronger you are, the more damage you’ll do when you swing your axe at something fleshy.

Sons of the Forest UI

So How Do You Fill Up the Red Arm Meter and Level Up Your Strength?

The main tasks that will make you stronger are swinging a weapon and picking up logs. Not cutting down logs, mind you — just picking them up. What you can actually do is pick up a log, put it down, pick it up and repeat this until the red arm icon meter is full.

However, that’s not the easiest way to do things. The fastest way to boost your strength is simply to stand still (make sure Kelvin is out of range), equip the axe, and start hitting the left mouse/attack button. 

It doesn’t matter that you’re not hitting anything, just swinging it will count. Cutting down trees sounds like it should be the biggest strength booster but it’s not. Flailing around at thin air will fill that red arm icon the fastest. 

And that’s what the red arm icon in Sons of the Forest is for. 

Related: How to Get Batteries in Sons of the Forest on Pro Game Guides


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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.