- "Use the Campfire option in the Radial Menu. You'll need all the fixings: a Firestarter, Tinder, and Fuel. Accelerant speeds up the process. Fuel types impact burn time and heat production. An active fire can be used to Cook and Boil Water, as well as keeping you from freezing to death."
- — In-game description
A fire is a pile of burning fuel that has been lit using the fire starting survival skill. To make a fire, players need a starter, tinder (optional with Fire Starting skill 3), and fuel. Fires provide and restore warmth to the player. Uncooked foods can be cooked on fires, and snow can be melted and boiled into potable water.
- Main article: Fire Starting
To start a fire, players have to "use" an existing firebox or campfire and select the "Start Fire" menu option. Players can also build a campfire using Radial menu > Campcraft > Fire. The fire-starting interface presents four slots: an ignition source (starter), tinder, fuel, and accelerant (optional). At the top of the screen, the player's current fire starting skill, duration of fire, and the chance of success with the currently selected materials are displayed.
Types of Fuel
|Fuel||Burn Time (no skill bonus)||Fire Start Chance Bonus||Temperature Increase||Weight||Burn Time Per Weight||Temperature Increase Per Weight|
|Book||18 mins||+35%||2.0 °C
|0.6 hr/kg (0.27 hr/lb)||4 °C/kg|
|Cedar Firewood||60 mins||+15%||6.0 °C
|2 hr/kg (0.91 hr/lb)||12 °C/kg|
|Coal||60 mins||N/A||20.0 °C
|3.33 hr/kg (1.51 hr/lb)||66.67 °C/kg|
|Fir Firewood||90 mins||0%||9.0 °C
|1.5 hr/kg (0.68 hr/lb)||9 °C/kg|
|Firelog||120 mins||+7%||21.0 °C
|1 hr/kg (0.45 hr/lb)||10.5 °C/kg|
|Reclaimed Wood||30 mins||-5%||3.0 °C
|2 hr/kg (0.91 hr/lb)||12 °C/kg|
|Stick||7.5 mins||+15%||1.0 °C
|0.83 hr/kg (0.38 hr/lb)||6.67 °C/kg|
Burn times are increased with higher levels of the Fire Starting skill, shown below (times rounded to nearest half-minute).
|Fuel / Firestarting Level||Level 1||Level 2-3
|Book||18 mins||20 mins||22.5 mins||27 mins|
|Cedar Firewood||60 mins||66 mins||1 hr 15 mins||1 hr 30 mins|
|Coal||60 mins||66 mins||1 hr 15 mins||1 hr 30 mins|
|Fir Firewood||1 hr 30 mins||1 hr 39 mins||1 hr 52.5 mins||2 hr 15 mins|
|Firelog||2 hr||2 hr 12 mins||2 hr 30 mins||3 hr|
|Reclaimed Wood||30 mins||33 mins||37.5 mins||45 mins|
|Stick||7.5 mins||8 mins||9 mins||11 mins|
Types of fires
- Main article: Campfire
A campfire is an open fire that can be placed into the world at the player's discretion. Players are limited in where fires can be placed, and campfires are subject to becoming windblown, depending on the weather. If the player has sufficient resources to start another fire, burnt out campfires can be relit.
Contained fires offer the benefits of relatively safe firestarting positions in unlikely places, such as indoors. Contained fires cannot become windblown and are unaffected by the weather.
|Campfire||2||Placed by the player.|
|Potbelly stove||1||Fishing huts, Camp Office, Lonely Lighthouse, Anglers Den|
|Furnace + Forge||1||The Riken, Old Spence Family Homestead, Maintenance Yard|
|Fire barrel||2||Carter Hydro Dam, Quonset Garage, Signal Hill, Hibernia Processing, Maintenance Yard, outside the Pleasant Valley Farmstead|
|Wood stove||2||Camp Office, Trapper's Homestead, inside some ruined houses|
|Fireplace||2||Mountaineer's Hut, Hunting Lodge, inside some larger houses.|
|Rim Grill||2||Bleak Inlet (inside a Cabin).|
|Stove||6||Pleasant Valley Farmstead, Community Hall, Hunting Lodge, Milton House, Paradise Meadows Farm, Fallen Lighthouse|
12-hour cap (stump).
Fire duration is calculated from the moment the fire was first lit, so a fire started without accelerant will have already used 5 minutes of life before it can be interacted with. Example: A fire lit from a book (+18 min) will only have 13 minutes of life remaining when starting is complete.
Wind can seriously dampen campfire duration, capping it at only 9 minutes. See campfires (above).
When a fire's duration reaches zero, it does not immediately go out. Rather, it lingers on in a state called embers. How long the embers last will not be visible. Typically embers burn out within 5 minutes, but they may last up to 10 minutes. Embers remain as hot as the original fire. They can be even be used to complete cooking or processing water.
In Pilgrim and Voyageur difficulties, being next to any fire prevents the character from losing condition due to freezing. Stalkers must get the fire hot enough to get Feels like greater than 0°C to stop freezing.
The furnace has a unique temperature cap of 200°C that only pertains to coal.
Coal cannot be used to start a fire. It can only be burnt in an already active fire. Coal is an important component for forging as it is the only fuel that can raise the fire temperature above 80°C. When coal is added to the furnace, it is not restricted by the 12-hour fuel cap and can be added repeatedly. The temperature will rise for each coal added, up to the furnace temperature cap of 200°C, though the time cap stands, and any burn duration in excess of 12 hours is lost.
A Torch can be taken out of any fire, regardless of what material was used to create it, by activating the button on the bottom right, which reduces the fire by 10 minutes duration and 1°C and exits the fire page with the torch in hand. The "Take Torch" button only appears when a fire has at least 10 minutes of duration remaining. Torches taken from fire will have 25-50% condition and can be extinguished right away for later use.
Outdoor fire bonus
Fires that are started in outdoor locations offer an outdoor fire bonus. This means that the Duration listed on the fire is inaccurate, and the fire will actually last up to 100% longer depending on the temperature. Colder temperatures will yield a longer-lasting fire, up until the bonus caps at -30°C, starting at -10°C. The bonus is determined based on air temperature (before factoring in the fire) at the survivor's position, meaning that if you go inside your outdoor fire will no longer receive the outdoor fire bonus. Even fires in pseudo-indoor areas like Mountaineer's Hut receive the burn duration bonus.
In regards to fire bonus, outdoor caves have a line separating the warm and cold sections. Standing at the back of the cave, a fire will receive a reduced bonus, down to 0% if the air temperature in the back of the cave reaches positive values. Utilizing this bonus, you can use significantly less wood to keep an overnight fire burning in a cave by standing in the cold section of the cave when interacting with your bedroll. Note that you will be subjected to the colder outdoor cave temperatures during your sleep, so consider your fire temperature accordingly.
- Melting snow for 10 minutes produces 0.5L Water (unsafe)
- Boiling 0.5L Water (unsafe) for 5 minutes produces 0.5L Water (potable)
Wolves will halt upon reaching a campfire, holding their ground. The player has approximately 10 minutes to react to the wolf. If this period elapses, the wolf will charge the player. Aiming a weapon at the wolf will cause it to flee for a short time. Successfully throwing a torch at the wolf will cause it to flee for an extended period. Contained fires, such as stoves in ruined houses, will not act as a deterrent and will be ignored by the wolf.