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Enshrouded beginner’s tips before you start

Be the best Flameborn Embervale’s ever seen

Enshrouded art showing a player facing off against a couple Fell Image: Keen Games
Jeffrey Parkin (he/him) has been writing video game guides for Polygon for almost seven years. He has learned to love just about every genre of game that exists.

There’s a lot about Enshrouded that’s just part of the survival crafting genre of games — crafting and workbenches and cooking, for example — that makes it feel familiar. But there’s also enough different and unique about it that the mere act of diving in can be really intimidating and confusing.

Our Enshrouded beginner’s guide will give you tips from our 50 (or so) hours with the game to help you get started exploring Embervale.

Enshrouded is a survival crafting game through and through

If you’re familiar with the genre, you already know nearly all of the beats to Enshrouded. That’s not meant to be disparaging — it’s not the old derivative vs. homage distinction. Enshrouded just hews to the genre in ways that make it familiar.

You pick up materials to make workbenches to make new items to make new workbenches to make better items, lather, rinse, and repeat. Enshrouded has its own takes on the genre and mixes in some elements from other genres as well, but the basics are there. Basics like…

Pick up one of everything to unlock new recipes

You’ll start your journey as the (a?) Flameborn with a few recipes for things like torches and a simple axe. The first way you’ll unlock new recipes is to just find new resources. Pick up (at least) one of everything you find — the first time you place these new items in your inventory, you’ll unlock new recipes.

The other way you learn new recipes (and progress the game) is by finding other survivors.

Progression in Enshrouded is tied to survivors and their quests

You’re not alone in your journey through Embervale. There are other survivors — five of them — who will aid you. In the story, these are other Flameborn (like you) who you have to journey around and wake from their magical slumber. Waking them up means traveling to their Ancient Vault, doing some light dungeoneering, and then summoning them to your base.

Functionally, these other survivors are a lot like quest-giving workbenches. Finding the Blacksmith, for example, allows you to start working with metal. The Hunter unlocks furs. The same goes for the Farmer, Alchemist, and Carpenter.

Enshrouded official art of an elaborate base with a farm Image: Keen Games

As you add survivors to your base, they’ll all come up with new quests for you. The Blacksmith needs a crucible. The Hunter needs her hand spindle. The Alchemist needs his mortar. The Farmer needs her kettle.

Their quests aren’t just busywork, though. They’re how you progress through the game. They’ll unlock new technologies and materials for you, add new workbenches, and send you out into the world to explore new locations and new biomes.

Getting to those places means walking across Enshrouded’s giant map, and that means…

You’re going to walk a lot in Enshrouded

Yes, Enshrouded has some very cool traversal tools like the wing suit-like glider and a grappling hook. Your opportunities to use those, though, are going to be fairly limited. Instead, you’ll be doing most of your exploration on foot.

When you’re on one of these hikes, stick to the roads as much as you can. First, it’s just easier to see where you’re going and it’s less likely you’ll run straight off a cliff. But, more importantly, being on a road makes your stamina drain more slowly — the “on the road” condition means your stamina drains 90% as fast.

The other reason you’ll be walking so much is…

There aren’t many fast travel points

For as vast as the world of Embervale is, there aren’t many fast travel options. There are only five permanent ones, in fact. There’s the Cinder Vault where you begin the game, and then an Ancient Spire in each of the four biomes — the Springlands, the Low Meadows, the Revelwood, and the Nomad Highlands.

You can also fast travel to any Flame Altar — basically the starting point for a base — you’ve built. You start off able to build two of them, but can increase that number eventually with upgrades to the Flame Altar, but early on it means that you can have a base and an outpost and that’s it. You can always destroy a Flame Altar and build a new one elsewhere after hiking there (see above).

Flame Altars are cheap to build — they only require 5 stones that you can find just lying around on the ground. And that means you can make your own (temporary) fast travel network.

The only place you can’t build a Flame Altar is in the eponymous Shroud. Speaking of which…

Treat the Shroud like another biome

The Shroud is, as the game says, a “ruinous fog.” You’ll usually find it in the low-lying areas of the map, but it pops up in random locations as well. Entering the Shroud means you become Enshrouded (hey!) and a timer starts counting down. When the timer runs out, you die.

Enshrouded official art of a player in the Shroud Image: Keen Games

And that all makes the Shroud seem worse than it actually is. Sure, there are (slightly) nastier enemies there and your time there has a limit, but it’s not an instant death sentence. In fact, there’s a lot of useful stuff that you’ll only find inside the Shroud — like Shroud wood and torn cloth.

With a little time and not too much work, you’ll increase the timer up to nearly 10 minutes. And that means you can treat the Shroud like just another biome. Respect the timer, but don’t avoid going there out of fear.

When you’re not traipsing through the Shroud or marching off on a quest for one of the other survivors, you’ll need a home base. Which brings us to Enshrouded’s best feature…

Spend some time on your base

There’s just something super satisfying about Enshrouded’s building mechanics. There are a ton of pieces to assemble in a variety of sizes. Play around with the shapes and how they fit together. Building up (and out) your base is just as satisfying as the exploration and combat.

For more Enshrouded guides, learn where to find salt, where to find metal scraps, and how to make metal sheets.

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