In this Breakwaters Guide for Beginners, I'll tell you what you need to know to get started with this new action-adventure survival game from Soaring Pixels Games.
What is Breakwaters?
Breakwaters is an action-adventure and survival game from Soaring Pixels Games that had a solidly successful Kickstarter, raising just over $98,000 against its original goal of $10,000. It was more widely announced in Summer 2021, but its Early Access launch got delayed by a month to squash some nasty bugs in multiplayer.
The world of Breakwaters is filled with massive Titans that wreak havoc on the land. You (and perhaps some of your friends) have the power to stop them, but it won't be an easy journey -- especially with crabs, sharks, golems, and all sorts of other challenges before you.
Before we get started, I should also mention that Breakwaters is launching in Steam Early Access and it definitely shows. You should expect bugs, glitches, and occasionally janky behavior as you play. Don't expect a totally smooth experience! With that said, let's get going!
Breakwaters Guide for Beginners - Beginning Your Journey
Your adventure in Breakwaters begins with creating your character and a world. This is fairly straightforward as far as these things go; select from some cosmetic character options, generate a new world, and you're in.
Once the world has loaded, you'll find yourself on a desert island with an NPC. You have no tools, food, or water, and there's no time to waste if you want to stay alive. Speak with the NPC and you'll be given your first quest to get some berries and coconuts. Berries can be found by punching bushes and coconuts can be found on the ground or by punching trees. Eat some berries and coconuts and talk to the NPC again; you'll then be given a quest to make a Builder's Bench.
The Builder's Bench is the foundation for any sort of building or advanced crafting in Breakwaters. Don't get too invested in the island you're on, though -- you're going to be leaving it for somewhere much bigger in a short time.
The early-game Builder's Bench quest is also a good time to get some necessary equipment. Start by crafting a Crab Shell Axe.
How to Make a Breakwaters Crab Shell Axe
The Breakwaters Crab Shell Axe can be crafted in your inventory. You'll need the following items:
The Crab Shell Axe will be used for gathering most of your materials and as a weapon for much of the early game.
Your next goal will be to gather the materials you need to actually make the Builder's Bench.
How to Make the Breakwaters Builders Bench
The Breakwaters Builders Bench requires Seagrass and Tree Branches.
Get the stuff you need and place it near the NPC. Don't worry about building a base around it or anything; you will be getting off this island within an hour at most.
Before we progress further in this Breakwaters Guide for Beginners, it's also a good idea to make some other early-game equipment. You may run out of inventory space -- simply throw any unneeded material on the ground and pick it up after you've crafted these items. Next up is the Cloth Bag:
How to Make a Breakwaters Cloth Bag and Increase Your Inventory
The Breakwaters Cloth Bag can be crafted at the Builders Bench and can increase the size of your inventory pretty cheaply.
The Cloth Bag increases your inventory in two critical ways -- it gives you ten additional slots for storing items and it allows you to store more items on each square of your inventory.
Finally, we're going to craft a Leaf Hat; this item will reduce the depletion of your Hydration meter by providing you with a small amount of Shade. This is also made at the Builders Bench and only takes 10 Seagrass to make, but it also gives you +1 Shade.
A note: you may be tempted to craft a Shovel. Don't bother -- you're going to be getting one for free very soon (as in the next couple of minutes). Now that you have all of your early game equipment sorted out, it's time to move on with your quests.
The Mystery of the Yellow Crystals and the Titan Ruins
The next task this NPC will have for you is to gather up some Yellow Crystals. These crystals have the magical ability to push away water and you're going to need them.
Yellow Crystals are easy enough to find, especially at night. Search for them on foot and smash them to bits with your Crab Shell Axe. Make sure not to throw anything away -- you'll be able to sell items in a short amount of time.
You're also going to need to get Empty Bottles. These can be found all over the beach. Gather a total of two bottles and 16 Yellow Shards; hold onto any excess materials you acquire in the meantime. Go to your Builders Bench and craft 2 Refined Yellow Crystals.
Talk with the NPC again and he'll give you a Treasure Map instruct you to head to the Titan Ruins. These are pretty hard to miss -- they're the only large stone structure on your island.
Put the Treasure Map on your Hotbar and use it; this will activate the location you have to dig in the game world and show you where it is. Climb on top and you'll see a pool of water. Equip your Refined Yellow Crystals on your Hotbar, select it, and throw it into the water; the water will recede and allow you to dig in the ground.
Your next step is to equip your Shovel and dig up the TItan Relic, but be warned -- this is going to upset the Turtle Titan that has been looming in the distance. As soon as you grab it, you'll see a red cone pop up on the screen -- this is an incoming attack that you're probably going to want to avoid.
Once the Titan has angrily blasted a beam in your general direction, it will return to meandering through the waters. You won't have to worry about it for some time, but it's probably a good idea to avoid going anywhere near it for now.
Return to the NPC and he'll give you the blueprints for a Boat Flare -- it's now time to leave the island.
Leaving the Island
Once you've acquired the relic, the NPC will tell you that you have to go to another island. Unfortunately, you don't have a boat (or the resources to build one) on this tiny island, so you're going to be calling in a little bit of help.
The NPC will give you a blueprint for an item called a "Boat Flare." This item can summon a sort of submarine that functions as a shop and as a taxi service. You'll need 2 Yellow Crystals -- not Yellow Shards -- and 2 Fire Coral, the latter of which is red coral that can be found along the beach. Gather these items and then craft a Boat Flare at the Builders Bench.
Before you use the Boat Flare, sort out your inventory. You're going to want to take 10-30 Palm Logs, 10-20 Coconuts, and your Crab Shell Axe with you to the next island. Fill up the rest of your inventory with anything else you deem useful. Next, you're going to have to swim out into the water.
Equip the Boat Flare on your Hotbar. You'll see a special interface come up -- the boat can only be summoned if the water is deep enough. Swim out into the ocean to a point where you can summon it, but don't swim too far -- the deep ocean is swarming with Sharks that can instantly kill you. Fire off the flare and the boat will appear.
You can now use the boat to automatically take you to the next island. There's a fee that will be charged -- if you can't afford it, sell some of your junk until you have enough Yellow Shards to make it. Pretty soon, you'll be on your way and landing on a new island.
The Pine Island and Your First Base
Now we're getting to the meat of our Breakwaters Guide for Beginners -- the Pine Island. This new island will become your home for some time, so we're finally going to get cracking on building a base. (This island may have a different name depending on your game version or the world, but I will refer to it as "Pine Island" going forward.)
First, follow the yellow flag quest marker on the map to meet another NPC. This guy will tell you about more ruins and a puzzle to solve, but he's also going to drop a critical hint -- it's probably a good idea to build a base.
There are very few enemies to worry about -- Crabs, Rats, Golems, and Slimes are your only real threats on this island and none of them wander too far away from their spawn locations.
The Pine Island also has a merchant on land that can sell you Bottled Water. I recommend building somewhere near him and relatively close to the water; I elected to place my building on top of a rock for now.
Strictly speaking, you don't even need a building -- again, most enemies aren't going to come charging at you if you stay far enough away. You also don't want to fight enemies near your home anyway; your melee attacks can damage your home.
At the minimum, I recommend that you build the following to start:
- A Builders Bench
- A Hammock
- 10 Wood Crates
Whatever you end up building, try to avoid building too close to the shore. Aside from the threat of Crabs, you also could run the risk of attracting cannon fire from the enemy boats that float around the outside of Pine Island.
There are some other items that you're going to want to build. Next up on the list is a Firepit, but that requires Redstone.
How to Get Redstone in Breakwaters
You can find Redstone by searching for reddish-colored rocks further inland on the Pine Island. Hit them with your Crab Shell Axe (or another tool) and you'll be able to pick up the pieces of Redstone that break off.
Build a Firepit, but don't use it just yet. Build a Demolition Hammer next and destroy the Firepit. Building the Firepit will unlock the superior Roasting Pit which allows four items to be cooked at once.
Before you actually place the Roasting Pit, a word of warning -- fire spreading is very much a thing in Breakwaters and you can burn your house down. It's best to place the Roasting Pit a little ways away from your actual home.
I also recommend that you build at least one Solar Still; this will provide a renewable source of water. You may want to explore the game's Farming mechanics, too, but there really isn't that much worth farming in the early game.
Whatever you decide, you'll probably end up spending an hour or two getting everything set up. Once you're happy with what you've got, it's time to move on with the plot.
Solving the Ruins Power Puzzle with the Titan Relic (and Blue Crystals)
And now for the next step in the Breakwaters Guide for Beginners -- solving the Ruins Power Puzzle. This will unlock the ability for you to freely travel to other islands -- but first, you're going to need to get some Blue Crystal Shards.
Much like Yellow Crystals and Yellow Shards, you can find Blue Crystals and Blue Shards via large blue rocks that are fairly easy to find. However, there's a more abundant source: certain trees have bits of Blue Crystal at their base. Strangely, these trees also have a habit of moving along the ground occasionally.
Whether you go for trees or the crystal formations, gather up enough Blue Shards to make three Refined Blue Crystal at the Builders Bench. (You'll only need two, but it's good to have a spare just in case!) Then, head up to the Ruins. You'll see two hollow pools with a water symbol on either side. Throw one Refined Blue Crystal into each of the pools. Once that is done, you will be able to interact with the pedestal; a beam will activate pointing you towards another objective.
Return to the NPC. He'll tell you that you're going to have to travel to another island, and that requires building your first boat.
How to Build a Boat in Breakwaters
We're almost at the end of the Breakwaters Guide for Beginners -- you've traveled to a new island, established a base, and started unraveling the mystery of the Titans and the crystals. We're not done just yet, though!
Your next step will be to build a boat. You're going to need a new material this time -- Iron.
Where to Find Iron in Breakwaters
You can find Iron in red rocks with black streaks in them; these rocks look similar to the Redstone rocks. Hit them with your Crab Shell Axe (or another tool) and you'll get several pieces of Iron out of them.
To build a boat, you'll need to gather up the following materials:
- 10 Iron
- 28 Pine Logs
- 5 Redstone
- 12 Tree Sap
- 18 Seagrass
Next, use 5 Redstone, 5 Pine Logs, and 4 Iron Ore to build a Refinery. This new workstation will allow you to make advanced materials. Use the Refinery to convert the remaining 8 Iron and 23 Pine Logs into Nails and Pine Wood Planks, respectively.
Once you've crafted these materials and head back to the Builders Bench. Build a Boat Dock for 45 Pine Wood Planks, 32 Nails, and 6 Tree Sap. Place the Boat Dock on your Hotbar and head a little ways out into the water -- you don't want to build the Boat Dock too close to land.
An important note: try to avoid building your Boat Dock near any of the other ships floating around out there. Those ships are hostile and they have cannons; they can and will shoot your Boat Dock until it is a sad pile of splinters at the bottom of the ocean floor and you'll have to build another one.
Once the Boat Dock is built, hop onto the dock and use the Boat Dock station to build an Explorer. This will use up the remaining 24 Pine Wood Planks, 6 Tree Sap, and 16 Nails, along with the 18 Seagrass you've collected. Congratulations, you are now the owner of a shiny new Boat.
Captaining your Boat is a fairly straightforward process; take a look at this screenshot for an explanation of the HUD.
To keep it simple, all you have to do is deploy your sail and turn it until the wind meter is as high as it can possibly go. As you travel, you may need to turn your sail to adjust to the changing winds.
It can be a little difficult to tell if your boat is actually moving (especially if you are on open waters); keep an eye on where the hull meets the water. If you see it cutting through the water, you're good.
You can get off of your Boat at any time and it will automatically deploy an anchor to prevent it from drifting away. There's one important reminder that I need to reiterate -- don't jump into the water when you're in the deeper parts of an ocean! Sharks patrol these waters and they will one-shot you without a second thought.
Breakwaters Beginner's Guide - The Islands Beyond
Now that your Boat is done, you can head off to other islands and discover new things. Critically, there is a village nearby that you will learn about if you talk to the merchant on the Pine Island; aside from a quest item, this village has several merchants selling all kinds of valuable goods, blueprints, and upgrades.
The addition of a Boat allows you to explore other islands, gather new resources, and enhance your ability to make tools. There's a whole world to explore, so get out there!