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Survival Mode is the sandbox survival mode of The Long Dark.

During Survival Mode the player may travel freely between all Regions of Great Bear Island, with the narrative created by their own actions and ability to survive. Survival Mode is a permadeath experience; once the player dies the save cannot be reloaded.

Experience

The choice of Experience dictates how harshly the world will treat the player throughout their journey in The Long Dark.

Pilgrim

XpMode Pilgrim.png

Wander the quiet apocalypse to chronicle the passing of an age. This is the poetry of survival.

The easiest experience available in survival and story mode. Ideal for exploration and learning in a low-stress environment.

  • Great Bear Island is abundant with items.
    • High-quality and abundant starting supplies.
    • High-quality items may spawn.
    • Fir may spawn.
  • Needs erode slowly.
  • Wildlife will not attack unless provoked. (All Wildlife flee from the player, unless attacked or harassed.)
  • Safe starting condition (indoors, during good weather, in hospitable Region).
  • Decay of items is slow.
  • All Fires prevent freezing (regardless of ambient temperature).
  • Automatically wake from sleep when freezing.
  • Allows five active Feats.

Voyageur

XpMode Voyageur.png

Equal parts hunter and hunted, your struggle to survive will eventually lead to mastering the elements.

An experience that balances exploration with a challenge. Available in survival and story mode.

  • Great Bear Island has regular items to be found.
    • Moderate and mid-quality starting supplies.
    • High-quality items may spawn, but are uncommon.
    • Hunting Rifle may spawn.
  • Normal Needs.
  • Hostile Wildlife will not spawn for the first 24 hours.[1]
  • Chance to start at night, outdoors, during poor weather, or in an inhospitable Region.
  • Moderate Decay of items.
  • All Fires prevent freezing (regardless of ambient temperature).
  • Automatically wake from sleep when freezing.
  • Allows four active Feats.

Stalker

XpMode Stalker.png

Your demise awaits behind every hilltop, shelter, and tree. Only the strong survive.

A punishing survival challenge. Stalker features numerous and aggressive Wolves and Timberwolves. Available in survival and story mode.

  • Great Bear Island is sparse with items.
    • Limited and/or low quality starting supplies.
    • Incomplete starting clothes; head will be exposed.
    • High-quality items may spawn, but are rare.
    • Firearms and ammunition may spawn infrequently.
  • Needs erode quickly.
  • Hostile Wildlife may spawn immediately, are more numerous, and are found in more locations.
  • Detection radius for hostile wildlife is extremely large.
  • Start will be outdoors: chance to start during night, poor weather, or in an inhospitable Region.
  • Fast Decay of items.
  • Fires do not automatically prevent freezing ("Feels Like" Temperature must be raised above 0° C).
  • No automatic waking from sleep when freezing.
  • Allows three active Feats.

Interloper

XpMode Interloper.png

You are not part of Mother Nature's plan, and you will bear the full force of her wrath. The true test of Human VS Nature.

A punishing survival experience. You are an unwelcome guest in this cold, hostile world. Best suited for expert players looking for the ultimate survival challenge. Available in survival and some chalenges mode only.

Custom

XpMode Custom.png

Use our custom toolbox to craft a unique experience between Survival and Exploration - an experience all your own.

For players looking for their own experience, separate from standard Survival mode experiences. Players can create a custom experience here, with over 50 different variables which can be adjusted to their liking. These variables include:

...as well as many others.

Creating a Custom Experience Mode generates a code, which may be shared with other users for the same experience, including across platforms.

NOTE: No Feats progression will occur in Custom Experience Mode. Up to 5 previously unlocked Feats are available for use.

DIFFICULTY PILGRIM VOYAGEUR STALKER INTERLOPER CUSTOM HARDER
GAME START
Baseline resource availability Very High High Medium Low -
Starting time of day Noon Random Random Random midnight
Starting weather Clear Heavy Fog Heavy Fog Heavy Fog Blizard
Indoor spawns permitted Yes Yes No No -
Survivor monologue Yes Yes Yes Yes -
ENVIRONMENT
Length of day multiplier 1x 1x 1x 1x -
Weather variability Low Medium High Very High -
Blizzard frequency Low Medium High Very High -
World gets colder over time None Low Medium High -
Wind variability Medium Medium Medium Medium High
Aurora frequency Medium Medium Medium Medium High
Fire overcomes ambient air temp Yes Yes No No -
Endless night (v1.83) No No No No Yes
HEALTH
Calorie burn rate Low Medium High Very High -
Thirst rate Low Medium Medium High Very High
Fatigue rate High High High Medium Very High
Freezing rate Low Medium High Very High -
At-rest condition recovery rate High High High Medium Low or nothing
Condition recovery rate High High High Medium Low
Hypothermia recovery time Low Medium High Very High -
Frostbite rate Low Medium High Very High -
Cabin fever No Yes Yes Yes -
Intestinal parasites No No Yes Yes -
Dysentery Yes Yes Yes Yes -
Sprains Yes Yes Yes Yes -
Food poisoning Yes Yes Yes Yes -
Broken ribs No Yes Yes Yes -
Rest as a resource Yes Yes Yes Yes -
Fires prevent freezing Yes Yes No No -
Wake up player when freezing near a fire Yes Yes No No -
Birch bark tea crafting (v.1.64) Yes Yes Yes Yes No
GEAR
Item decay rate Low Medium High Very High -
Loose item availability Very High High Medium Low -
Empty container chance modifier None None Medium High -
Stick, branch, and stone respawn frequency Very High High Medium Low -
Starting gear allocation Very High High Medium Low -
Rifle availability Yes Yes Yes No -
Revolver availability (v.1.64) Yes Yes Yes No -
Harvestable plant availability High High High High Low
Reduce container item density None None Low High -
WILDLIFE SPAWNS
Fish spawn chance High High High Medium Low/Nothing
Wolf spawn chance Low Medium Very High High No
Timberwolf spawn chance (v.1.64) Low Medium Very High High No
Deer spawn chance Very High High Medium Low No
Rabbit spawn chance Very High High Medium Low No
Bear spawn chance Low Medium Very High High No
Moose spawn chance Low Medium Very High High No
Time to wildlife respawn Medium Medium Medium Medium Low
Reduce wildlife population over time None Low Medium High -
Wolf spawn distance Medium Close Close Close -
Predator grace period No Yes No No -
WILDLIFE BEHAVIOUR
Wildlife smell range Low Medium High High Very High
Scent increase from Meat/Blood Medium Medium Medium Medium High
Passive wildlife Yes No No No -
Wildlife attacks during rest No Yes Yes Yes -
Wolf fear Medium Medium Medium Medium Low / No
Timberwolf morale (v.1.64) High Medium Low Low -
Wildlife detection range Medium Medium Medium Medium Long
WILDLIFE STRUGGLE
Struggle bonus High Medium Low None -
Struggle condition damage modifier None None None High -
Struggle clothing damage modifier Low Low Low High -
Struggle damage severity Low Medium High Very High -

Choose Region

Main article: Region

The player may select any region they want as their starting point. The player also has the option to randomize their starting region. Each region is unique, has different advantages and drawbacks, and are all interconnected.

If the Interloper Experience is selected, then the starting region will be randomly chosen. In Interloper, you will not spawn in Mystery Lake or Coastal Highway, and the number of possible spawn locations is limited.

The current regions are as follows:

Mystery Lake [beginner] - connects to Mountain Town, Coastal Highway, Pleasant Valley, and Forlorn Muskeg

Coastal Highway [intermediate] - connects to Mystery Lake, Pleasant Valley, and Desolation Point

Pleasant Valley [advanced] - connects to Mystery Lake, Coastal Highway, and Timberwolf Mountain

Desolation Point [intermediate] - connects to Coastal Highway

Timberwolf Mountain [advanced] - connects to Pleasant Valley and Ash Canyon

Forlorn Muskeg [advanced] - connects to Mystery Lake, Mountain Town, and Broken Railroad

Broken Railroad [intermediate] - connects to Forlorn Muskeg

Mountain Town [beginner] - Connects to Mystery Lake, Forlorn Muskeg, and Hushed River Valley

Hushed River Valley [advanced] - Connects to Mountain Town

Bleak Inlet [advanced] - Connects to Forlorn Muskeg and The Ravine

Ash Canyon [advanced] - Connects to Timberwolf Mountain

Gender

The choices are male or female, with the only differences being the player character's speaking voice, hands, and the body shown in the clothing screen.

Start

The player is alone, not dressed for the cold, and carries only a meager amount of supplies. The player must find food and shelter before nightfall, when the temperatures drop. The amount of supplies one starts with is dependent on the experience mode selected.

Depending on the sandbox difficulty, the players may either find themselves in a house or outside in the cold. In harder difficulties, it may also be approaching nightfall or already dark, and, in some cases, bad weather may move in quickly.

Length of day multiplier

Concretely, this affect the spacetime aspect of the experience. Giving more control and multiply the in-game moving speed by day. In x4 you can walk 4x more in a day like in 1x. Making the world virtually "smaller".

  1. Character is in timed activity: There is no gameplay difference when your character start an "action", like to sleep, craft, cut, read a book.
  2. Management activities are directly linked to the multiplier, like writing note, checking map, make free space in bag, looking landspace and else. In x4, you have 4x more time for this content.
  3. All others parts of the game are impacted, like in slow-motion (irl point of view) or in turbo boost (moving, hunting and else), depending the point of view.


Trivia

  • Although survival mode is intended to be a permadeath experience, some players back up game saves periodically so that if they die, they can load the backed-up save and continue. This practice is called "save scumming"

Gallery

References

  1. Steam, The "Silent Hunter" Update (v.233) -- We've Added Bows & Improved Hunting!, viewed 22 May 2015, <http://steamcommunity.com/games/305620/announcements/detail/235656499654813808>.
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