Our Stranded: Alien Dawn Guides will teach you the basics and give you some tips for succeeding in this challenging survival colony sim.
Stranded: Alien Dawn Guides
- Survivors Guide
- Research and Observations Guide
- Exploration Guide
- Crafting and Unlocks Guide
- Building and Defense Guide
- Farming Guide
- Cooking Guide
- Events Guide
Stranded: Alien Dawn Starter Guide
A handful of Survivors have crash-landed on a planet. Supplies are dwindling and hostile wildlife roams the land. There's no telling what's out there -- you'll have to plan ahead if you want to keep everyone alive.
Stranded: Alien Dawn has an excellent tutorial that is worth playing to help you understand the basic mechanics. It's quite long, too -- it will take you around an hour to complete it. While it teaches you basic mechanics, there are still a lot of gaps in teaching you what you need to know to survive; read on for our Starter Guide!
Choosing Your Survivors and Landing on the Planet
A game of Stranded: Alien Dawn begins by choosing 1-4 Survivors. There are a lot of interesting potential combinations here, but for now, let's start with an easygoing team on Medium difficulty:
This team has very few downsides and quite a few upsides. It's a good setup to learn the game.
Next, start the game. Immediately pause the game and set up the Activities for your Survivors by going to Manage > Activities:
Make sure to turn off Simple Priorities and set the numbers up exactly as you see above. Survivors will perform tasks marked with 1 first. It's unclear how two tasks with the same number are handled; I imagine that it works on a left-to-right priority. (As an example, Emelin will Harvest plants before she Plants any new ones.)
Next, set up the Schedule by going to Manage > Schedule:
This is fairly self-explanatory -- Survivors will generally follow this Schedule. They will occasionally break with it -- they might stop Working to eat if they're very hungry -- but you always have the option to override them.
Save the game once this is all set up -- now it's time to get to work.
Building Your Camp
Priority 1 is to get started on Building your Camp. I'm fond of the configuration depicted above. You don't want to build everything in one go, though -- here's how you should put this Camp together, in order:
- Designate a few nearby trees for Cutting and have at least 1 Survivor get to work.
- Designate the Landing Pod for Scavenging and have another Survivor get to work.
- Assign Vanessa to Observe whichever of these is closest:
- Berry Plant (Beefberries)
- Densely-leafed Plant (Chew Root)
- Orange Mushrooms (Glitter Cap)
- Squash-like Plant (Buttermelon)
- Tall Leafy Plant (Graincob)
- As soon as you've gathered some Scrap, build 2 Scrap Metal Shelters right next to one another and assign Greyson to build it.
- Assign another Survivor to cut some Blade Grass.
- Once the two Shelters are built, place four Sleeping Places indoors as depicted above. If you've found Synthetic Textiles, you can make Beds instead and get a Happiness boost.
- Build two more Shelters a few spaces away and place the following Crafting Stations inside:
- Research Desk
- Cook Stove
- After you've built the Research Desk, start Research on the following:
- Construction Basics
- Wooden Fortifications
- While this is going on, build another 2 Scrap Metal Shelters nearby. Fill them with Shelves so you can store your items.
- Place a Storage Area outside.
- Build a Wooden Table and four chairs.
- Observe the purple Twisted Plant to unlock Veggie Leather.
- Craft a Punching Pole with your Veggie Leather.
- Start gathering useful resources in the immediate area.
Fighting Against the Clock
This little shantytown will keep the rain off of our Survivors' heads for a little while, but it's hardly ideal (and difficult to defend). Upon unlocking Weaponsmithing, have Greyson get to work on Crafting 4 Spears. Arm your Survivors with them as they become available.
This is also where we should check the Happiness of our Survivors. Note the "Survivor's Determination" Pleasure -- this is a temporary buff that gives your Survivors +50 Happiness. Unfortunately, it will gradually reduce until it's gone forever. This is, in effect, a countdown to your Survivors having a difficult time keeping up their Happiness.
We'll have to counteract this gradual depression by getting Pleasures -- positive Happiness buffs. That starts, first and foremost, with Food.
Cooking Up Something Good
First, let's start with setting up a Farm with whatever Food you've managed to find. Don't make it too large -- I'd recommend a 6x6 field. Next, look around for plants you can harvest and have Ken get to work on that.
Next up is Cooking -- Remember, we've assigned Emelin to Cooking. Go to the Cook Stove and set it to make Until 6 Veggie Soups -- this will ensure that there is always a supply on hand.
Finally, Emergency Rations. Go into each Survivor's menu and disable "Raw Food" and "Emergency Rations" on the "Allowed Consumables" tab. Eating Raw Food can make your Survivors ill. Emergency Rations, on the other hand, won't make anyone sick -- but they will effectively last forever as long as they're stored underneath a roof. You'll want to save them just in case things get really dire and you're totally out of Food.
Making a Hellscape into a Home
Now we're going to want to get to work on a proper home. Copy the layout seen above. This is a 12x12 structure with three 5x4 rooms on the left and a long 9x3 hallway on the right.
Each and every part of this Building serves a purpose:
- You need a minimum of a 3x4 room to give the "Private Bedroom" Pleasure. These rooms, however, are 4x5 -- they give you the ability to have two Beds in one room if two of your Survivors hook up. Greyson and Vanessa are married, so they'll be sharing one of these rooms from the get-go.
- The long hallway on the right is for storage -- you can put shelves on either side and have room for Survivors to walk down the middle.
- The large open area in the middle is for a Table and Chairs, a Dartboard, and any other Crafting Stations you'll want to have indoors.
This design allows you to continue expanding either up or down as needed. You can and will find other Survivors in the future, so don't plan for having just four Survivors; you will almost certainly find more as time goes on.
Naturally, all of this construction is going to take a lot of Wood. Designate a bunch of trees to be cut down and focus on setting up this structure. Once it's done, move all of your furniture from your old camp and dismantle the Shelters.
Defending the Camp
Having overhead cover is a good start, but this is just the beginning. You'll also need to protect it with some walls once you complete the "Wooden Fortifications" research.
Focus on building a wall surrounding your new house. Leave a small yard area outside and a gap of 2-3 spaces between the house and the walls. You should have two entrances into this yard -- one to the north and one to the south.
The main wall should protect your storage, your Survivors, and your Crafting Stations. Place a box of Fences at least 10 blocks away from the wall's border -- a smaller fort is easier to defend!
Unfortunately, you're likely to get attacked by wild animals in an organized group before you finish your home. If this happens, Draft all four of your Survivors and bring them close together. Keep any Survivors who are armed with ranged weapons to the rear and let your other Survivors protect them in melee.
Once the battle has ended, focus on Healing your wounded Survivors; remember, Vanessa is a great Healer! Rest up, eat a good meal, and then get back to work.
In the early game, it's possible that another Survivor may ask to join you. That exact situation happened to me in a recent playthrough, and that's where the magic of this Building design is demonstrated:
As you can see, I simply had to extend the structure in a line to add another room. You could do the same as you find more Survivors if needed. (You can, of course, decline to accept other Survivors joining you if you feel so inclined.)
While Greyson and the others are focusing on making your new home, there's another concern you'll need to figure out: Food.
Leaning into Farming
As I've previously said, you want to designate an area for Farming -- you can see the start of that in the previous screenshot. Keep it a good distance away from your base so that it doesn't take any damage from Animal Attacks.
Focus on planting Crops that will actually give you Food. You can survive a winter with raggedy clothes, but you can't survive without Food.
Preserving Your Future
Soon, you'll have Researched the following:
- Construction Basics
- Wooden Fortifications
Our next priority will be to Research "Pickling." This allows you to make Pickled Vegetables that will last indefinitely as long as they are stored under a roof.
Continue to build up your home and stockpile as much Food as you can. Also continue to Research new things beyond my initial suggestions. Don't obsess too much over Power, though -- that's not going to be easy to get going.
Powering Up... Next Year
Researching Electric Grids opens up a world of opportunities -- Freezers for your Food, Turrets to defend your base, Heaters to keep your Survivors warm, and more.
Unfortunately, it takes a lot of time to research all of the useful electrical stuff -- and it will take just as long to gather the materials you need to make them. That said, we've made a lot of progress. We have a home under construction, we have Farms going, and we're moving towards building up a formidable base.
Continue to stockpile Food and resources to ensure that you can survive the Winter. Beyond that, you'll want to expand into using electrica ldevices and making the most of humanity's best tech.
That's the end of our Stranded: Alien Dawn Starter Guide -- why not have a look at some of our other guides? They'll help you get a head start on the game!
Stranded: Alien Dawn F.A.Q.
What is Stranded: Alien Dawn?
Stranded: Alien Dawn is a survival game (and small-scale colony sim) developed by Haemimont Games and published by Frontier Foundry.
Is Stranded: Alien Dawn Multiplayer?
No, Stranded: Alien Dawn is not multiplayer.
Where is the Stranded: Alien Dawn Save File?
The Stranded: Alien Dawn Save File is located here:
X:\Users\USERNAME\Saved Games\Stranded - Alien Dawn
Where "X" is the drive you installed the game on and "USERNAME" is your Windows username.
Is There Combat in Stranded: Alien Dawn?
Yes, there is combat in Stranded: Alien Dawn. Your Survivors will have to occasionally fend off attacks from wild animals attacking your base en masse.