How to Survive in The Forest (PC, PS4): Learn Basics, Characters, and Enemies

A common misconception  about The Forest PC game is that the AI is too hard and surviving is a pain in the bum. To help you quickly learn the fundamentals and survive better and longer, here’s a comprehensive guide of The Forest PC game basics, characters, and enemies.

At the moment, saving is bugged out. That is, you cannot save at all during this phase of the alpha. If you die that’s it, so best not to get too attached to your shelters and fortresses. Also, physics glitches are prelavent: crouching into the wrong place or hitting something wrong can kill you, so watch your movements.

Survival Basics

1: Grab what you can from the crash.

While most people would see this as common sense, some items you can grab here will greatly bolster your odds of survival. Obviously there is the small axe and various food items, but by bashing open the suitcases (look down at them and left click, you have to get the aim right), you can find scaps of cloth, some meds, and flashlights, possibly more.

2: Evasion and Combat
At some point you are likely to run into the canibals. They are tougher than they look, and your starter axe is not powerful enough to take them down quickly. You can sneak past and hide from them, and if they spot you they might not be immediately hostile. If you can escape do so. If you have to fight, be aware of their numbers for they will try to flank around you. With certain weapons, like the rusty axe, you can block by holding RMB, which will deplete stamina on hit but keep you from suffering HP loss. Keep them all in your sight and watch your sides.

Even if you don’t see the cannibals, they might see you. If you’re spotted, you might hear one of their cries, or a faint music cue. If you hear either, take a look around you and make visual confirmation of the threats.

Fire is your best bet for killing them;
by combining booze and cloth in the backpack, you can make molotov cocktails. These will kill the cannibals much more efficiently, but at a risk: if you try to equip other items you will drop the mollie, bursting it at your feet.

The choice weapon for beating the cannibals at the moment is undoubtedly the flaregun. Ranged, several shots, and kills in one shot over time.

Two users credited below have found lizard skin can be used for armor, basically a second health bar. Suit up!

To aid in avoiding cannibals, Celticpredator has found that mud piles in the game can be used to adorn yourself in a coat of mud. This would aid in camouflage, but can be washed off.

3: Shelter
Small shelters, i.e. the Temporary and Hunting shelters, let you sleep and move time forward a bit. They can’t save the game currently despite what the survival guide says. Log cabins will keep cannibals off your back and rain off your head.

To build a shelter, pull out your survival guide by pressing B and select the shelter tab. You can also find the hunting shelter in the basics of survival section. The guide will tell you what you need, but the actual number of resources required may vary when you set it down.

Next, select a location for the shelter. You can rotate it by holding the R key. Next, find the resources you need and collect them, tapping E when you approach the shelter to add the resources. Logs you can only carry two of, but you might also build a log storage to let you quickly amass logs.

LOCATION IS VERY IMPORTANT. Look around for caves, resources, and other natural advantages. Caves seem to have more cannibals around (because they live in them, obviously) and having shelter near one is a death wish. A good idea is to find somewhere you can locate easily and defend logically. For example, I built a log cabin near the beach, a ways away from a shipwreck. The cannibals could not approach from the rear, so I could monitor the woods more easily; also the resources of the forest and the shipwreck allowed me an ample supply of items.


4: Finding Food and Staving Off the Elements
Food is more bountiful than you think, thankfully. As the survival guide states, bluish berries can be eaten safely, while black berries are poisonous. You can spear fish and hunt other animals. I cannot find a way to craft the spear, but I found one stuck into a bloodied sleeping bag outside of a tent, on the beach. I have not tried traps, so comments on that subject would be appreciated 😀

Once you kill an animal or spear a fish, look at it and tap E to pick that sucker up. You’ll see it in your inventory. Build a fire, and then click the carcass and hit C to put it on the fire. After a while it will cook, and you can tap E to eat it right there. It would seem you can’t carry cooked food atm so that’s sad. Also, fish might be a bit difficult to spot on the fire because when raw and cooked they have similar shape to the branches and blend in a bit. Just wait a minute or two after you add them and chomp away!

DID YOU KNOW: In real life, you can starve to death by eating rabbit? This phenomenon is known as “rabbit starvation”, and happens when you eat primarily lean meats like rabbit and don’t add other things to the diet. Luckily this is an over-time deal, and won’t happen immediately. Be sure to mix up your diet in The Forest! Sources: Wikipedia, biznitch!

The elements also play a factor. The rain will make you wet. As lovely as this sounds, you’ll also get hypothermic if you are left in the cold rain for too long. Find a shelter or get near some warmth to prevent death by hypothermia.

5: Effigies
Striking a cannibal corpse will burst it and allow you to take the head and limbs. You can stack these onto effigies and light them up, this will scare off cannibals temporarily. They might come back in greater number to kill you, so be wary with the effigies. They did the same to the passengers, anyway…

NOTE ON CORPSES: As reported by Black_Dashie_Cat, there is a chance that a corpse you strike will explode violently and kill you. Me, I avoid that voodoo-effigy stuff, but if you wanna make one that’s up to you. Watch that you don’t get blown up!

6: Caves
Exploring caves yields many resources and allows you to find the deceased passengers of your plane. While their fate is grim and saddening, you can find valuable resources to aid in survival, like the rusty axe, flaregun, flares, meds, and other items.

NOTE ON CAVES: In certain cave areas there will be mutated enemies, tougher and more dangerous than your average cannibal. I will post screenshots of these and name them as best I can in a rogue’s gallery.

7: Infection
After engaging in melee combat or other ways you might get bloodied up, you will indeed get bloodied up. I haven’t found out what this does yet. To remedy this, you can swim around to wash the blood off.

This guide serves as a simple way to get you on your feet in The Forest for these early days of Alpha. When further updates apply some of this information might be null, some of it might retain. However, this is fine. It is truly up to you to adapt to your environment and beat the odds, so fight hard, stay alive, and never give up.

Character List

This section will provide information on characters in the alpha at this point. Some screenshots might not be top quality but they will allow you to recognize the characters and know them when you see them.

The Survivor (Player):
Only known survivor of the plane crash, who awakens in the rearmost section of the plane. Male, wearing a black t-shirt, jeans, and boots. Average strength and endurance. Your survival skills, luck, and will to live will be the guiding light for The Survivor.

The Child:
It would seem this child is the son of The Survivor. He has a shaved head and wears a white shirt with a rainbow on it. While it would seem he is mortally wounded by the crash, the cannibal I call “Him” gently picks him up and carries him away.

The Flight Attendant:
This woman may have survived the events of the crash as she is not seen behind “Him” when he takes The Child. However, she is found after you awaken with an axe plunged into her stomach, it may be possible she died trying to defend The Child. She shows little sign of decay, furthering my speculation she died very recently. Just as strangely, her body was left where it fell, unlike the other passengers.

The Passengers:
Scattered throughout the island are the passengers of the plane. It appears none other than The Survivor, however, survive. While many undoubtedly perished in the crash, those who survived were likely hunted down and killed by the cannibals. Many are found hung to bleed in caves, dismembered and used as primitive effigies, or left to the elements. Perhaps there are other survivors, but until this is confirmed, The Survivor is alone in his struggle.

I Heart Travel Guy: 
A man with a rusty axe in his flayed stomach is found in The First Cave. His characteristic shirt, blonde haircut, and grisly fate leave him unique. Why was he taken specifically for disembowelment? Why doesn’t he hang with the others in the cave? Many questions surround him, but he yields a useful weapon and tool as the Flight Attendant does.

The Pilot and Co-Pilot:
Found in the front cockpit, these men appeared to have tried their best to land the jet and survive the crash, as one of them had his flare gun ready. However, they also have perished, seemingly killed on impact. Their bodies, just like the Flight Attendant, have not been molested by the cannibals and appear to be recently deceased and left where they lie.

The Abused Woman:
Found tied to a tree, this woman appears to have been grossly mistreated by the cannibals. Her breasts were severed from her body, and her ribcage has been flayed open, seemingly while alive. Why this woman was treated with such cruelty is unknown but likely due to one of the rituals of cannibal culture. Despite her starved, decayed appearance, she is listed as a passenger when found. Poor woman…

The Tennis Player:
Whether or not this man actually enjoyed the sport is unknown. However, a large numbe of tennis balls litter his corpse, one clutched in his hand. He has several rackets smashed over his body and a tennis bag is forced over his face, leaving him in a brutal position. I found this man not far from the Abused Woman. More than one of these characters can be found, perhaps there was a team of players aboard The Jet.

The first cannibal seen by The Survivor. He appears before The Child, gently picks him up, and walks away as The Survivor’s vision fades.

BennyTheMarksman theorized that this cannibal might be the leader of the faction of cannibals on the island. His general appearance is the same as other cannibals encountered: bald head, reflective eyes, jeweled skirt, but one thing might seperate “Him” from the other cannibals: He has genitals. While many male cannibals do not appear to have male reproductive organs, from one angle it does appear this one does. Perhaps he is the Alpha male? Does he have authority to have the other males castrated? What will he do with the child?

Better quality screenshots of these and other possible characters will be procured as time goes on.

Rogues Gallery

This section will cover the enemies in the game. These are those I have seen up to this point and more may and likely will be added in the future.

The most common form of cannibal on the island will simply be reffered to as “cannibal”. These creatures greatly resemble humans in appearance, and have levels of intelligence that allow them to use group tactics, possess a unique culture, and utilize tools to their advantage. All cannibals have some similarities: Their eyes reflect as a nocturnal predator, they have pale skin, and they range from cautious to aggressive in their behavior towards humans.


“Male” cannibals are bald, seem to lack genitalia, and are more common than the female cannibals. They also adorn themselves with trinkets and jewelry, some of them wearing skulls and torches, perhaps to signify rank or authority in a group.


“Female” cannibals have hair, breasts, and wear short skirts. They often patrol with male cannibals and it would seem there gender-equality in cannibal society. This culture goes so far as to leave graves to honor their dead, composed of the primitive effigies seen around the island.

Cannibals dwell in the caves, venturing out in patrols to investigate The Island. If they spot a human, they will utter a cry and crouch down, circling around them and investigating. If they attack, they will do so by grouping around the enemy and striking simultaneously, using primitive weapons to beat the target to submission or death. Sometimes a lone cannibal will attack while the others appear to flee: this may be either a ruse to flank the target, or a genuine retreat while one covers the others.

Cannibals are strong seemingly beyond normal human limits: In this screenshot a female cannibal leaped at least ten feet and climbed into a tree. With these abilities they can overwhelm an unaware target.

“Cave Dwellers” – In the cave systems below The Island, strange mutants lurk. These creatures I have only seen two examples of, and I will give them unofficial names.

“Gorgon” – The Gorgon is a mutant composed of what seems to be several female cannibals somehow fused into one abomination. They are immediately aggressive and will attack on detecting the player.

No visible sensory organs are apparent on the Gorgon. They will attack by raising up the front pair of legs and rushing their target, attempting to clobber them with brute strength. Their attacks are relatively easy to dodge to the side, but are very durable and direct combat is not advised.

“Asura” – A multiple armed behemoth, the Asura is aggressive and territorial. They have been witnessed fighting each other, but a normal human would not last long if struck by such a creature.

Like the Gorgon they are very durable and not easy to kill. Avoiding them is advised. As a side note they have incredibly weird butt cheeks.

The Forest PC Review: First Impressions

From having only played an hour so far, I would say that this game has a lot of potential. The Forest takes hunting, crafting and building to the survival horror genre, creating a unique and compelling experience altogether.

Atmosphere: Graphics and Sound

The atmospheric tone of the game is excellent. It’s very dark and creepy, especially if you venture into the cave systems. The lighting is well done, both inside the caves and outside, and the sounds are simply brilliant.

The mutants/tribesmen–whatever they actually are–add a more ominous element to the game, and they work surprisingly well early on in the game’s stage.


A lot of features in the game are good and simple, such as the crafting menu and your player’s inventory. There’s almost no hassle when using them, and you won’t get confused. The only bad thing about the crafting is that once you place a blueprint down, you can’t remove it to build somewhere else (at least I haven’t found a way to yet).

If you’re a fan of survival games, The Forest is definitely for you. You can get a spear and use it to go fishing. Aside from fish, I’ve only seen lizards and rabbits so far as a food source, as well as energy bars.

Bugs to watch for

There are quite a few bugs that I’ve noticed while playing, but that is to be expected in alpha. Certain objects, such as some rocks and containers, have no mass and you can walk through them. Some tools, such as the second axe you find in the game, can be replicated repeatedly. I had amassed a large stack of them at my camp by accident while switching to other tools. I wouldn’t worry too much about the bugs right now. The development team of this game seems very promising, and I have the utmost faith that they will fix them to the best of their abilities.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this game to any fan of survival or horror games.