Getting your head around crafting, particularly if you’ve never really indulged in the art in a survival sim before can take a bit of time. We wandered around the opening safe house for ages trying to figure out a way out, until we realised we should be crafting lockpicks; it starts to become second nature. Actually crafting an item is a cinch (i.e. hold down one button), and you can see what pick-ups are crafting items, because they’ll have a white background when viewed in the inventory – but there are a few tricks worth knowing.
Read more: Part 1 – The Basics
Here’s how it works – at least until Compulsion Games changes it. You can either hunt down blueprints, which are spotted about the world, or pick up every item you see and the game will unlock the blueprint once you’ve got one of everything required to craft an item. For instance, to get the phenocyline syringe, you’ll need to grab a filtered water, an empty syringe and a potato. Completing side-quests also grants unlockable crafting items.
You can check out requirements for most of the popular items over on the We Happy Few Wiki and IGN has a pretty exhaustive list too, but half the fun is grabbing what you can and having the notification pop in the top-right corner. That’s real survival.
Know What to Loot
Pick-ups in the world of Wellington Wells are vast. You see a chest of drawers, loot it; mailbox, loot it; rubbish bin, loot it; turn a corner, well, probably more stuff to loot, to be honest. A lot of those items probably seem near-worthless (like empty pill bottles and syringes), but from very on in the game, most of them will be required to something you can craft, so grab ’em. You’ll have a fair idea, after a couple of hours playing, what you can throw and what you should keep.
There’s no need to pick up everything you see, once you know what you need. At one point, we were sitting with 37 rolls of duct tape; we used precisely one, to craft some stealthy sneakers.
Drop Items at Home
As we mentioned when we covered the basics of the game, inventory management can be a real pain – particularly at the start, when you have next to no space to hold items. No matter how well you maintain your stash, though, eventually you’re going to have to be ruthless in what you keep. After all, you’ll be able to craft a new one anyway, when you really need it. Sometimes, you’re just going to have to bite the bullet and drop items, even if they seem important.
Do your dropping in front of your safe back at your safe house, and – all being well, given the alpha status of the game – those items will remain there to be retrieved at a later time. Dropping items in the real world can cause them to fall through the floor, never to be seen again.
Craft Everything Once
Not everything you make comes from pick-ups. Some items, like advanced first aid kits and plague-cures, require pre-crafted items like antiseptic (2x Rotten Potato, 1x Alcohol, 1x Filtered Water).
Once you’ve unlocked a recipe or blueprint, craft it. Not only is it handy to have a good range of supplies, the result may give you new crafting options – and that ‘recipe unlocked’ ding is so damn satisfying.
Make Lud’s Holm Safe House Your Home
This safe house is on the island located beyond the honey toll booth, on the second safest area. The only reason difference here is that some of the Wastrels are infected with the plague.
Most of the weapons, chemicals and gadgets you craft require workbenches (chemical and mechanical). These can be found out in the dangerous real world, if you’re lucky, but the safe house in Lud’s Holm has both – and you won’t have to go hunting one when you desperately need a torch or pointy stick.
Crafting Takes Precious Time
As we mentioned back in part one, it’s worth crafting up a couple of the key items and stashing them in your inventory. Not only will this usually save some space in your inventory, but it’ll cut down on the time you spend crafting on the fly.
When you’re curing your plague-infected body, or need to heal in a hurry, you can’t afford to waste time. It takes around 2 seconds to craft most items – couple that with the time it takes to actually consume or equip an item and it could mean the difference between life and death.
If You Can’t Craft with It, Keep It
Now and then you’re going to pick up items that have no apparent use. Screws and power cells, for instance, just look like they’re taking up space in your inventory. But you’re going to be thankful for them when they turn out to be mission-critical to completing a quest or crafting a key item. These slightly rarer items will come in super-useful later in the game, and you’ll sorely regret dropping them to make room for another festering fucking onion.
We’d been carrying around a couple of screws since near the beginning of the game – but it was worth losing an additional storage slot knowing that keeping them meant we could eventually use them to craft the utterly English spiked cricket bat.
What are your top survival tips for getting started? We’d genuinely love to know. Drop a comment below or join us on Twitter and Facebook and we’ll try to include them in part two of our We Happy Few guide. Got something you want to know, just ask us.