The Long Dark achievements
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The Long Dark

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Skilled Survivor in The Long Dark

Skilled Survivor592 (30)

Get all skills to level 5 in a single Survival Mode game.

  • Unlocked by 9 tracked gamers (0% - TA Ratio = 19.73) 3,512  

Achievement Guide for Skilled Survivor

AuthorSolution
Zlodziey
177,238 (68,750)
Zlodziey
Achievement not yet won
TA Score for this game: 3,118
Posted on 02 August 17 at 10:07, Edited on 09 August 17 at 11:21
This solution has 1 positive vote and 0 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
EDIT: The following is based on the preview, so consider this a work in progress, I'll update whatever I can. Suggestions are welcome :)

Most of the achievements here seem doable, even if grindy, but this one might be nasty, I didn't manage to do it yet (even before the save-erasing update) despite playing A LOT of the game.

If you're going for it I'd suggest playing explorer or voyager sandbox, since rifle skill requires bullets, and you might just not find enough on stalker or interloper.

I'd suggest starting in mystery lake - plenty of resources and a nice-to-navigate map make it the best starting point in my opinion. Also, not a lot of wolves and alternative routes that let you avoid them, if you're a stalker. Basing in the dam building (or the trailers by the bridge, even better, they weren't there in the preview ;) ) or at the trapper's homestead should give you easy access to fuel, game and an interior location fireplace (down the stairs at the dam) and a good base to make exploring trips. Just remember that this game will try to kill you - watch where and when you sleep, and always keep a flare and a stim handy. And don’t climb unless you’re sure it’s safe. Seriously, I lost my two best survivors due to underprepared climbing.

The skills (in the order you'll likely master them) are as follows:
- carcass harvesting
- cooking
- fishing
- archery
- fire starting
- rifle firearm
- mending

Few tips for that cheevo (would be grateful for any updates, I know the community is a rather lively one :) ):

1. Carcass harvesting
- for the frozen ones you’ll need a hunting knife or a hatchet at first, as you gain levels you can do most of the harvesting with your hands;
- keep in mind you can always make a fire next to a carcass to unfreeze it;
- I've noticed that the more you harvest with your hands the quicker the advance is, so it probably advances with time rather than quantity harvested, so use bare hands when possible;
- try to hunt around noon - it gives you the most time with fair temperature for harvesting animals;
- if you go for the rabbits and need the meat right away, leave the guts and pelt unharvested and harvest them indoors when the rabbit unfreezes. It's also a great way to pass time if you get your daily sleep rythm messed up;
- there’s a handy book for that, but it often goes to waste since it’s the easiest skill and often you max it out before you even find the manual.

2. Cooking
- you’ll need some food and a fire;
- cooking should come naturally as you run out of ready-to-eat food (which is usually pretty fast);
- I'm not sure if cooking advances per item or per time spent, validation would be helpful; if it does advance per item than go fishing, cooking time is halved vs regular meat :)
- try to make any piece of tea (rose hip or reishi) you come across, they're pretty useful and easy to do and advance the skill a bit;
- it takes a while, but will be your goal if you play stalker (I do, I’m still not sure if there’s enough ammo around so would advise against it ;) ) anyway, since lvl 5 allows you to eat food without the risk of getting parasites i.e. wolf and bear meat;
- there are books for this one, but it comes naturally, so no stress. Takes quite a while though.

3. Fire starting
- you’ll need fuel (any wood basically), tinder (birch bark, tinder plugs, newspapers, cat tail plants) and something to light it (matches, firestarter, lens, lit flare if you’re desperate);
- this one advances pretty slow, especially if you want to save matches, like I do :)
- magnifying lens is super helpful, it has a ton of uses but only works in direct sunlight - so usually where the wind can kill your fire; there's sometimes one in the camp office, but most of the times you'll have to visit coastal highway though;
- don't be afraid to waste a bit of accelerant, as you gain levels it becomes obsolete and it helps out a lot at first;
- use sticks and if you've got enough food branches - it doesn't hurt your tools and there's plenty of them around;
- always try to use the best materials for starting chance - when you come across books, grab them, use cedar wood or sticks if you can't get those, if you have both kind of matches use wood ones first and so on. I'm only trying to save my firestarters for later if I get any, cause they lose more condition if you fail to start a fire than if you succeed;
- books help a lot, especially with the pretty hard first levels.

4. Fishing
- you’ll need a fishing hut, some wood for a fire, a good-old bedroll, sth to break the ice (prybar is great, but can be done with a knife, hammer or a hatchet) and a lot of fishing tackles (line made from guts + hooks made from metal scrap);
- it takes an awful lot of time, but is usually very safe if you’re dressed well;
- not much more to say about that one, pretty straightforward;
- books for this one are pretty effective and I think there’s one guaranteed in mystery lake (either in one of the huts or by the furthest cabin doorway).

5. Firearms
- you’ll need a rifle and a lot of bullets (and a rifle cleaning kit eventually);
- tricky one, keep an eye on any books you might find, there’s sometimes one at the dam, at the trappers cabin, camp office and at the cave by the lake overlook, though I think they’re mostly randomly distributed;
- don’t you dare to waste any bullets!  If you miss it’s better to reload a save. Sounds cheesy, but hey, it’s a grind and you know it 
- there seems to be an increase in bullet locations since the official launch, but it's pretty subjective so far; I got around 32 bullets in Mystery Lake (plus 15 at hunter's cache) and 27 in both Muskeg and Railroad on stalker, it's been worse usually, but it might just be RNG luck
- always check under the shelves or cupboards, single bullets are often hidden or hard to spot;
- I use the rifle mostly on bears and consider shooting wolves or rabbits a complete waste, but it’s not a general rule really 
- from voyager difficulty up your survivor will breathe, sometimes quite heavily, swaying the sights; I couldn't get a grasp on what factors it I guess it might be effective range - the further you aim, the more sway you get. Or not. Looking into it smile nope, it's not that either, no clue still, it doesn't seem to vary with the stamina or rested levels but it does vary a lot. Sometimes it's steady, sometimes you can barely aim. Crouching doesn't seem to help it (other than that you can get a bit closer to animals). It's best to lower the sights for a bit and aim again, since the most precise aiming moment seems to be the very first second.

6. Archery
- you’ll need a hatchet to get the saplings for the bow (maple + guts) and arrows (birch + arrowhead + feather)
- bow is hard to find really, mystery lake has only one possible spawn (at a hunter’s blind by the unnamed pond) I know of, but it saves your life if you manage to get the arrows;
- you can get arrowheads from broken arrows, so recycle them; there’s two guaranteed broken arrows at the dam (by the door to the lower dam in the big hall downstairs, just turn around when you get to the lower dam)
- feathers lay around dead guys or animals sometimes, shouldn’t be a problem;
- saplings are a finite resource, so waste as little as you can;
- never let an animal run out with your arrow! It will die eventually, but is quite often impossible to find and arrowheads are priceless;
- needless to say, avoid misses – they lower the arrows’ condition;
- your best bet (and a pretty natural thing) is to bait a wolf with a decoy (guts are best for this, just remember not to cure them) and position yourself facing his slow walk, then aim in the chest area - head and chest hits are usually fatal; you're going to be defending yourself from wolves anyway on anything but explorer all the time, so this shouldn't be a stray from the regular exploring;
- aiming is pretty straightforward, just remember that an arrow drops, so if you're far away you'll have to aim higher; the rest is just developing your own feel, no universal advice I know of;
- don’t hunt rabbits with a bow – arrows tend to mysteriously disappear after a hit, seen that a couple of times;
- if you miss a lot in your hunt just reload a save;
- if you don't waste too much you should be okay with materials, lvl 4 halves the condition loss;
- no books for this one found one! I think they introduced those with an update, or perhaps I was all outta luck with the preview.

7. Mending
- you’ll need something to sew (kit or a fishing tackle) a non-full condition piece of clothing and materials (cloth, leather, guts and pelts)
- cloth is easy to find at coastal highway, in mystery lake you can get a lot by breaking down fancy chairs (a lot in the cabins by the lake); leather is pretty rare and it’s best to break down leather clothes for it and the guts and pelts run around and try to kill you;
- use kits first, tackles just take more time and there’s no reason to save kits for later – there’s nothing tackles can’t do that a kit can;
- if you’re having a hard time breaking clothes just let a wolf attack you, though it shouldn’t really be a problem, clothes lose condition over time – spending a night outdoors should give you a few percent and that’s all you need based on current experience I believe that the skill doesn't rise per action, so it's either per time spent (so use tackles) or condition improved (play with wolves), will look into that further looked into that further smile I'd say it has sth to do with the amount of materials you use up - urban parka works wonders and for some odd reason repairing a bedroll is the best;
- cloth is a finite (even if rather abundant) resource, so try to craft your own clothes and repair those with guts and hides as soon as you can;
- this one is really grindy, I didn’t get past level two in a regular game even once. There’s no books for it, of course. introduced at launch, there's sewing primer that helps a bit (cheers sasha!), but it's still a grind, I'm around level 2,7 and on my 75ish day now; I guess I shouldn't have killed all those wolves smile.

Hope this helps in any way and happy hunting!
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