Survival skills are a player's trainable abilities that may be leveled through gameplay. Any given skill can be trained by various actions that relate to the skill. Performing any of these various actions grants the player skill points in that skill.

Overview[edit | edit source]

Survivalskills.jpg

Skills are increased upon successfully repeated tasks. When a task is complete, an icon for the relevant skill with a plus sign will show up on the lower right of the HUD, and experience in that skill will be rewarded. Achieving higher levels in skills can give players various advantages, dependent on the skill level.

Skills do not carry over between Survival mode games or challenges, unlike feats. When the player dies, they lose their survival skill progress.

In Survival mode, skills can also be increased by researching the research book that corresponds with the skill.

Skills[edit | edit source]

Primary skills[edit | edit source]

Players have access to eight primary survival skills and are able to track the progress and status of these skills through the journal in the game menu. Clicking on a skill area will display a description of the player's current level, as well as a list of any bonuses for that level.

Image Skill Description
Archery skill.png Archery Archery is used to hunt animals with the use of a survival bow.
Carcass harvesting skill.png Carcass Harvesting Carcass harvesting is used to harvest meat, hides, and guts from wildlife.
Cooking skill.png Cooking Cooking is used to cook raw food for a number of reasons, including increasing the condition of raw food and preventing food poisoning prior to consuming food.
Fire starting skill.png Fire Starting Fire starting is used to start fires, which are used to generate heat, food, melt snow, and purify water.
Ice fishing skill.png Ice Fishing Ice fishing is used to catch raw fish, which are used for cooking and for creating lantern fuel.
Mending skill.png Mending Mending is used to repair cloth or leather equipment, such as clothing.
Firearms skill.png Rifle Firearm

Rifle firearm is used to hunt animals with the use of a hunting rifle.

Revolver Firearm Revolver firearm is used to scare animals. Can be used during a melee fight.
Gunsmithing Gunsmithing is used to craft new bullets for the revolver and rifle, as well as repairing them using firearm cleaning kit .

Secondary skills[edit | edit source]

Players also have access to three secondary survival skills, which are not tracked by the journal in the game menu. The skill status can only be viewed while attempting to perform an action related to that skill within the game menu.

Skill Description
Cleaning Cleaning is used to repair hunting rifles and the revolver. Keeping a rifle in optimal condition reduces the likelihood of the rifle jamming.
Repair Repair is used to repair a variety of metal tools, such as hacksaws and heavy hammers.
Sharpening Sharpening is used to repair bladed tools. Higher levels in the sharpening skill reduce the amount of time required to sharpen, and additionally increase the amount of condition restored to a tool by sharpening.

Increasing Skill[edit | edit source]

Each Skill can be increased by performing it's corresponding action(s), or by reading Skill Books associated with it. Duplicates of the same Skill Book can each be read, each granting independent skill bonuses (e.g. two "Wilderness Kitchen", each for 10 Cooking Skill Points), but many books cannot be read at Skill 3 or 4, giving the error "Your skills are too advanced for this book".


Archery can be increased by 1 point per crafted Simple Arrow, per hit with the Survival Bow on living wildlife, or for 10 points by reading "Stay on Target".

Carcass Harvesting is increased at a rate of 1 point hour spent harvesting wildlife carcasses. It can also be increased for 10 points by reading "Field Dressing Your Kill, Vol. 1".

  • Slower harvesting times (e.g. with bare hands)increases Carcass Harvesting Skill faster than with tools (e.g. a Hunting Knife).

Cooking is increased by 1 point per Cooked food or drink item at an active fire, or for 10 points by reading "Wilderness Kitchen".

  • Warming canned food and beverages to 'Hot', as well as melting/boiling water does not increase Cooking Skill.
  • Cooking Skill can be quickly increased by cutting carcass' meat into 0.1KG pieces (via aborting the harvest with the 'ESC' key), and cooking these small pieces. Cooking Teas and Coffee are also a fast way to increase skill.
  • Cooking Skill points are gained upon picking up a cookable item which has finished cooking, so items which burn do not grant Cooking Skill since they are destroyed.

Fire Starting is increased by 1 point per Campfire or contained fire (e.g. Fireplace, or Fire Barrel) lit, or for 10 points by reading "Survive the Outdoors!".

Ice Fishing is increased by 1 point per saltwater or freshwater fish caught, or for 10 points by reading "The Frozen Angler".

Mending is increased by 1 point per Clothing item successfully repaired, or for 10 points by reading "Sewing Primer".

  • Failing to Mend a Clothing item yields no Mending Skill.
  • Fast ways to gain Mending Skill are to repair additional pieces of clothing. Such means may include repairing duplicate clothing (e.g. an extra copy of the Wool Ear Wrap you're wearing) in case the worn one is destroyed, or by crafting expendable clothing such as Rabbitskin Hats and repairing it at 99% condition (with 1 Rabbit Pelt and 1 Cured Gut).

Rifle Firearm is increased by 1 point per hit with the Hunting Rifle on living wildlife, or for 5 by reading "Frontier Shooting Guide", and 10 by reading "Advanced Guns Guns Guns!".

Revolver Firearm is increased by 1 point per hit with the Revolver on living wildlife, or for 10 by reading "Small Arms Handbook".

Gunsmithing is increased by 1 point per Rifle Round or Revolver Ammunition Harvested, Bullet crafted, Gunpowder crafted, or Rifle Round or Revolver Ammunition crafted, or by 10 by reading "Practical Gunsmithing".

  • Harvesting Car Battery yields no Gunsmithing skill.

Cleaning is increased by 1 point per Cleaning action with Firearm Cleaning Kit on a Hunting Rifle or Revolver.

  • Attempting to Clean a firearm cannot fail.
  • Hunting Rifle Skill and Revolver Skill increases the amount of condition repaired with the Cleaning action.
  • Maximum Cleaning Skill is 100.

Repair is increased by 1 point per Repair action with Simple Tools or Quality Tools and Scrap Metal, on a Hacksaw, Storm Lantern, Heavy Hammer, Flashlight, Simple Tools, or Quality Tools.

  • Failing to Repair yields no Repair Skill.
  • Maximum Repair Skill is 100.

Sharpening is increased by 1 point per Whetstone action on a Hunting Knife, Improvised Knife, Hatchet, or Improvised Hatchet.

  • Attempting to Sharpen a tool cannot fail.
  • Maximum Sharpening Skill is 100.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The Achievement "Skilled Survivor" requires increasing all Primary Skills to level 5 (their maximum), and does not require the Secondary Skills to reach their maximum (100).
  • Because firearms will never spawn on Interloper, the "Skilled Survivor" Achievement is unobtainable from an Interloper playthrough since Rifle Firearm and Revolver Firearm can only be increased in Interloper by their corresponding skill books, there never are enough books present to reach Skill 5, and Skill Books cannot be used past Skill 4 ("Your skills are too advanced for this book"). Despite this, Gunsmithing Skill can be increased to maximum (5) on Interloper, by reading "Practical Gunsmithing" and harvesting Car Batteries for their Scrap Lead, and turning these into Bullets.
Survival skills
Hunting ArcheryRifle FirearmRevolver Firearm
Gathering Carcass HarvestingIce Fishing
Crafting CookingFire StartingMendingGunsmithing
Other CleaningRepairSharpening
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