Sons of the Forest Starter Guide

Last Update: March 25, 2023 9:23 AM /


Sons of the Forest Starter Guide - cover

Our Sons of the Forest Starter Guide will explain the HUD, tell you the game's basic mechanics, and explain how to set up your first base.

Quicklinks: HUD Explanation | How the Inventory Works
How to Use the Backpack | Sons of the Forest Starter Guide | F.A.Q.

Sons of the Forest HUD Explanation

Sons of the Forest puts you in the shoes of a trained soldier on a mission to rescue some VIPs. Unfortunately, your helicopter ride to your target goes badly wrong and your mission will change from rescuing others to keeping yourself alive.

Before we dive into our Sons of the Forest Starter Guide, let's take a moment to go over the HUD and explain some of the game's core mechanics.

Sons of the Forest Starter Guide - HUD

  1. Building materials needed
  2. Muscle - We believe this increases as you perform physical labor, increasing your melee strength.
  3. Hydration - A measure of how much water you have in your body.
  4. Hunger - A measure of how much food you have in your body.
  5. Rest - How well-rested you are. Sleep restores it, but certain items (such as Energy Drinks) can increase it artificially, which is indicated by a pink bar.
  6. Minimap - This shows the immediate area around you. There is also a full-size map.
  7. Armor - This shows how much Armor you have based on what equipment you're wearing.
  8. Health - A measure of how much damage you can take before you die. This is capped by how hydrated, fed, and rested you are.
  9. Stamina - Your short-term energy. Stamina is depleted by running or performing physical labor.

How the Inventory Works in Sons of the Forest

The Sons of the Forest Inventory can be accessed by tapping I on PC (or down on the D-Pad if you're using a controller.) This will lay out your pack on the ground, allowing you to see all of its contents by looking around.

Sons of the Forest Starter Guide - Inventory

You can equip or use any item by simply clicking on it. Tools (such as the Axe) will be immediately equipped in your hand. Consumables such as Food and Medicine will be eaten instead.

How to Use the Backpack in Sons of the Forest

In addition to your full inventory, you also have a small Backpack that you can access. This is Sons of the Forest's version of a quick select. You can access the Backpack by holding down the inventory button (I on PC, down on the D-Pad on controllers).

Sons of the Forest Starter Guide - Backpack

You can select which items you would like to go into the Backpack. From there, you can easily select which items you would like to add to the Backpack by selecting the Backpack in your inventory and moving items onto it or off of it.

Sons of the Forest Starter Guide

Our Sons of the Forest Starter Guide begins right after you wake up from the helicopter crash. There's a lot to do, so let's get moving!

Random Spawns

First things first, it's important to note that there are a total of three potential spawn points in Sons of the Forest: the beach, the forest, and the mountains. All three of these spawn points are in the northwest corner of the map.

This Starter Guide was written from the perspective of spawning from the mountain spawn point. That said, you can easily adapt the first few instructions to whichever location you spawn at.

Grabbing Loot

Press "I" to open your inventory and click on the Emergency Pack to open it. Click on the Axe to equip it. Then, open your inventory again and click on the GPS to equip it in your off hand.

You're going to see some GPS markers on the map -- these are the current location of other people from your helicopter. It's a bad idea to immediately run to them, though, so we're not going to do that just yet.

Instead, we're going to loot the area around the helicopter. Run along the river and you can open a red case; grab the items inside. Then, cross the river and open the black case closest to you.

You're going to see a man flailing around on the ground in front of you. Leave him be for the moment.

Move over to the helicopter wreck. You'll find 1 red crate, 2 green crates, and 2 yellow crates. Open all five of these and loot the items within. If you pick up a Tarp, you may have it in your hands; you can press I to open up your inventory and switch to something else. If you get stuck and can't put it away, you can place the Tarp on the ground and then pick it up by standing near it and holding C.

Next, go over to the injured man. Interact with him and you'll be able to revive him and get him somewhat back into shape. Interact with him again and you can order him to follow you.

Moving to a Campsite

Now we're going to get moving. Bring up your GPS map with M. You'll see a bunch of markers on it. The purple markers show where your teammates are; we're going to move toward the nearest purple marker.

Sons of the Forest Starter Guide - 01 First GPS Goal

Keep moving down the mountain toward that purple marker. There's an icon that looks like a white tent; that's a cave. There are some Cannibals in this area, so keep your distance from it for now.

Your first stop will be in the forest near the waypoint, and not right next to it. Here's where decided to set up my first camp:

Sons of the Forest Starter Guide - 02 First Camp Location

This clearing is a good spot to set up a basic camp. We're not going to get too complex, though -- we need to Build a simple shelter so we can save the game.

Press B to bring up your Building menu, then press X to shift to the prefabricated Buildings.

Sons of the Forest Starter Guide - 03 Prefabricated Buildings

We're going to Build a Hunting Shelter. This is one of the simplest sturdy structures that can be constructed.

Select Hunting Shelter on the Build menu, then place it somewhere on the ground nearby. You're going to need 5 Logs, 6 Sticks, and 7 Stones. You can get Logs by cutting down a tree and then chopping it into Logs. Sticks and Stones can be found on the ground.

Once you've finished construction, you'll be able to interact with the Hunting Shelter. You can sleep or you can save your game. For now, let's just save.

Sons of the Forest Starter Guide - 04 Hunting Shelter

Visiting the First GPS Tracker

Now that you've saved, talk to the other survivor. Order them to stay hidden, then get moving to the nearest GPS point on the map.

When you get there, you'll find an unfortunate scene -- one of your companions is dead.

Sons of the Forest Starter Guide - 05 GPS Beacon Location

Run around the cliffs and head up. You'll find some supplies and a rope wrapped around the rock. Hit the rope with your Axe and the body will fall to the ground. Go back down to the ground and you can loot the body for some more supplies. You'll also loot a GPS Tracker, which you can place anywhere in the world to serve as a beacon that you can easily return to.

Return to your base camp by looking for the blue "K" on the map marking your companion. Save your game.

Upgrading the Axe

Next, we're going to get some equipment. We can find the Modern Axe nearby, so let's go grab it. Head to this location:

Sons of the Forest Starter Guide - 06 A Better Axe

You'll find a ruined camp with the Modern Axe, a fair amount of supplies, and a few dead people.

Building a Bigger Home

Once you've looted the camp, it's time to get moving to a somewhat more permanent location. While you're moving, make sure to loot any berry bushes you come across so that you'll have a little extra Food on hand.

Here's where we're going to go:

Sons of the Forest Starter Guide - 07 Small Log Cabin

When you get there, go into Build mode again and place a Small Log Cabin. We're going to have to chop down a ton of trees to get this made, but we have to do one more thing first.

Go into your inventory with I and look to the right. Pick up a Tarp and place it on the ground. Then, pick up a Stick and look down at the Tarp. You can then use the Stick to prop up the Tarp and make a very basic Tent. This will allow you to save your game or sleep while we're building the Cabin.

Sons of the Forest Starter Guide - 08 Tent

This area has some berry bushes nearby, some animals, plenty of trees, and a readily accessible source of water. It's a good spot to build a base, but it also creates some challenges.

The advantage of this area is that it's wide, open, and gives you plenty of space to Build. That is also a disadvantage -- it's very easy for enemies to see you and attack you. Pay attention to the space around you while you're Building so you don't get ambushed. Make sure not to work in the dark, either; you won't be able to easily see enemies if they attack you.

You should also be aware that Sons of the Forest has a slightly more complex enemy AI than the standard survival game. If you attack an enemy and they escape, they may return with better equipment. It's best to try to avoid fights, if possible, until you have some decent defenses in place or you are well-equipped for a fight.

Start Building the Small Log Cabin. All you need to do is to carry Logs over to the Small Log Cabin and place them. You'll have to cut down quite a few trees.

When the Small Log Cabin is finished, Build a Stick Bed inside. All you'll need is some Sticks and some Duct Tape. This will allow you to actually sleep and save your game in the Small Log Cabin.

We're almost done here -- there are just two more things to do. First, we're going to Build a few Standing Planters. These will allow you to plant Blueberries or Salmonberries, both of which are a decent renewable source of Food.

Finally, you may want to consider using the abundance of nearby logs to surround your Small Log Cabin with a Defensive Wall. It will take a lot of logs, but the additional safety may be worth the work.

That's everything we have to tell you for our Sons of the Forest Starter Guide. If you've found this helpful, please make sure to check out our other guides, too! Have fun!

Sons of the Forest Starter Guide - FAQ

Sons of the Forest F.A.Q.

What is Sons of the Forest?

Sons of the Forest is an open-world survival crafting game and a sequel to the 2018 game The Forest.

Is Sons of the Forest Multiplayer?

Yes, Sons of the Forest supports online multiplayer.

Where is the Sons of the Forest Save File?

The Sons of the Forest save file is located in:


Where "USERNAME" is your Windows username.

What Happens When You Die in Sons of the Forest?

If you die in Sons of the Forest, you'll respawn and wake up restrained in a tribal camp. You can then escape, retrieve your Backpack, and try to make your way somewhere safe. If you die a second time, though, you'll die for good and will have to either reload an earlier save or start over.

What Does the Muscle Symbol Mean in Sons of the Forest?

As far as we can tell, the Muscle symbol on the HUD represents your strength. It appears that you can make this increase by performing physical labor (such as physical labor).

That's the end of our Sons of the Forest Starter Guide. If you've found it helpful, why not check out our other guides below?

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A photograph of TechRaptor Senior Writer Robert N. Adams.
| Senior Writer

One of my earliest memories is playing Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System. I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I… More about Robert N

More Info About This Game
Learn more about Sons of the Forest
Game Page Sons of the Forest
Endnight Games
Endnight Games
Release Date
February 23, 2023 (Calendar)
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