8 Tips and Tricks for The Long Dark: Wintermute

I love getting my Long Dark on. I have been playing The Long Dark for a long time now, and consider myself a pretty sharp survivalist. Like a whole lotta people, and I do mean a whole lot, I was psyched for the release of the campaign episode this week. With my honed skills, I set into the game, ready to crush the feeble Wintermute storyline. I was in for some nasty surprises, and died about 3 more times than I thought I would (I thought I would die zero times). Below are some hot tips for old and new players.

1. Crafting Menu

Collect rose hips to make some medicine? Easy! I have done this a million times. After collecting a nice number of rose hips I returned to my fire to boil those sweet little berry-things up. Shockingly, I couldn’t find the option to cook the rose hips. I was genuinely wondering, “How do I brew these rose hips?” Like a total dummy, I assumed I only needed more. After collecting every single rose hip in the area, I was stumped.

The Long Dark Crafting Menu

Enter the crafting menu. Part of the changes made recently is where the game menus are, and how to access their sweet, sweet information. Turns out you need to prepare the rose hips before boiling them over the fire. I did not, in fact, need to collect every rose hip. This is the hottest tip on the day. Know where the stinkin’ menus are.

2. Main Quest Menu

The other most important menu you should familiarize yourself with is the main quest menu. When you are given a task to do, or when you have no idea what to do next, consult this menu. It is shockingly helpful. The menu gives pretty strong clues about what to do next. If you regularly check your main quest menu (press “J” on PC), you should trot along at a comfortable pace.

The Long Dark Mission Page

3. Side Quest Menu

It can be a little hard to notice that there is a main and side toggle at the top of the missions menu. The side quests aren’t critical, but they are fun. You may find yourself given a quest with some juicy side information given about wonderful little loot treasure troves somewhere on the map. The side quest menu keeps track of these, and helps give ideas about where to go.

The Long Dark

Some items in the world cannot be found till the side quest is activated. Looking for a sweet little flare gun? Better get the side quest first, or else you will never, ever find it.

The Long Dark Flare Gun

4. What I Know

An intriguing little tab, that I didn’t feel like clicking, is lurking in your menu. I was confused about some of the backstory going on in the dialogue and wondering what the heck was going on. Once I found the deviously hidden-in-plain-sight button, it opened up the world of The Long Dark. I learned a ton about the setting of the game in 5 minutes. It made everything make a lot more sense. Find the menu, and read up. It is fun. Or at least interesting. Just do it.

The Long Dark

5. I’m the Map

If you clicked that link, please take the time to flush out your eyes with a caustic fluid.

Unlike the sandbox gameplay, Wintermute has a map! And it is a pretty good map too. I didn’t even think to look for it in the menu because why would The Long Dark have a map? It never had one before. Well it does, and if you don’t check it, you’re a fool. The map will indicate where all the quests are, and be generally aesthetically pleasing.

The Long Dark Map

6. The Meat Sweats

After a particularly large meal at McDick’s (like a 12 patty hamburger, true story) the natural human response is to suffer from the meat sweats. Like real life, if you are carrying around a lot of stanky meat in The Long Dark , Will Mckenzie will get the meat sweats. Sort of… If you murder every animal you can, and rip the guts out and skin them all, carrying it around like a bloody mountainous trophy, some critters will take notice. Notably wolves.

The Long Dark

You may, or may not, have noticed that sometimes these three squiggly lines show up at the top of the screen. These indicate how much meat sweats you have. The more raw meat, guts and hide you are lugging around, the stinkier you are. The game is crawling with wolves. This increased scent is very effective for attracting wolves, so minimize how much you are carrying around, life will be so much easier.

The Long Dark

7. Safe cracking

If you happen across a safe, you can crack it. Play around with knob till you hear it click. Then turn it the other way till you hear a click. Make note of the position. The turn the other way and listen for the click. String those tree numbers together and BOOM! You have just committed a felony. Not only will you learn great winter survival skills, but now safecracking. I’m looking forward to more educational classes given by Hinterland Studios. Fingers crossed for how to clean up a murder scene in episode two.

The Long Dark Safe

8. Roasted Rabbit

This tip will answer the question you didn’t know you should be asking.  The Long Dark affords a lot of options to the player. I had this perfectly natural question. If I shoot a rabbit with the flare gun, will the rabbit die? (And hopefully be fully cooked).

The Long Dark Flare Gun

After several perfectly aimed attempts, I can say with total confidence that the flare gun has no effect on rabbits.

The Long Dark Flare Rabbit

Armed with this stellar advice, you are now ready to frolic in the cold, northern expanse of Canada.

Looking for more guide information? Check out

9 MORE Tips and Tricks for Surviving The Long Dark Wintermute

For  helpful information about enduring the cold North from authentic locals, click here and here.

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9 responses

  1. Andy says:

    Plan your day before you go exploring. ”I am going to this cave today then maybe some fishing after”. It helps to know what you want to do so you do not get caught in very cold weather at night looking for shelter. This has helped me a ton in this game. If the weather is very bad just pass time or sleep. You will end up using more resources trying to hike in bad weather then sleeping through the weather.

  2. Kes says:

    While you can’t shoot a flare into a rabbit, you definitely can into a wolf. It’s so much more fun when the wolf that’s running around crazy is glowing red, plus you’ll see them coming from a mile away!

  3. enricofairme says:

    Any tips to make the game actually fun?

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