4 costly mistakes to avoid in your first playthroughs of This War of Mine

This War of Mine notoriously doesn’t have a tutorial, expecting the player to learn as they go over multiple (failed) playthroughs. We aim to fix that with this short guide.

If you love This War of Mine, you’ll love our curated list of the the 10 best wilderness survival games available in 2018.


1) Going for a vegetable garden before rat cages

 

Going for a vegetable garden straight away may seem sensible, but it’s an expensive upgrade: you need to get an advanced workshop and a heat lamp first, which is extremely difficult to achieve without running out of food first.

Rat cages are a good way to get early-game raw food without incurring the expense of a vegetable garden.

 

Rat cages are a good way to get early-game raw food without incurring the expense of a vegetable garden.

 

You can use the rat meat (don’t worry, it’s just called “raw food” in-game) to make cooked meals, which are far more effective at keeping your survivors fed than uncooked vittles, and don’t require the addition of vegetables.

These traps are made in the improved workshop, and are quite expensive in themselves (less expensive than the vegetable garden, however). You can only create a maximum of two, and you’ll get 2 raw food every 1 to 4 days for each trap.

That’s a total of 4 cooked meals every 4 days (though you may want to hold on to some of it for trap bait); more than enough for the early game as long as you feed your survivors efficiently.

Speaking of which…


2) Feeding your survivors too often

 

When everything around you is crumbling, it’s best to focus on the essentials. Friends, shelter and, of course, food.

So it’s no surprise that keeping your survivors fed and watered is a key part of success in This War of Mine. Your survivors will get hungry over time, and if they aren’t satisfied, they will eventually die.

Further, the hungrier they get, the slower and less useful they will become as well. So it pays to keep their bellies full.

 

You should only feed your survivors every other day.

 

But that doesn’t mean you should be feeding them every single day. These are, after all, desperate times, which calls for desperate measures.

As long as you have cooked or canned food (which you should to start with, at least), you should only feed your survivors every other day. This will keep them well-fed and operational without impacting too heavily on your food supplies.

Feeding them every time they get slightly hungry will result in little to no true gains at this early stage other than a morale boost, which unless you’ve been killin’ and murderin’ a lot, you don’t have to worry about yet—and it’ll deplete your food reserves too quickly.


3) Stealing too much (or too little)

 

Stealing and murder are the easiest methods of getting what your survivors need—most of the time. Doing it in desperation, or with the right survivors, can be a very powerful strategy to keep your group alive.

Characters like Roman are almost designed to help you kill and steal, and having them in your party can be a valuable asset when you need to get your hands dirty.

Failing to take advantage of these skills can lead to an early death for your group—if you refuse to steal food when your entire party is starving and unable to scavenge or make their own food effectively, then congratulations: you have plenty of moral fibre.

But also a bunch of new graves to dig.

 

Don’t be afraid to do the wrong thing in This War of Mine. But don’t rely on it in every playthrough—karma eventually does come back to bite you in the arse.

 

That being said, This War of Mine is part game but also part political protest, in that it tries to simulate the horrors of being a civilian in a war—average people don’t just kill and steal without consequences.

These can be psychological, and doing the “morally wrong” thing such as theft and murder can drive a survivor into depression and eventually suicide.

Other consequences are more direct: being caught and killed, depriving your group not only of your ill-gotten gains, but also of another pair of hands. Not to mention the people you tried to steal from aren’t likely to welcome anyone back to the group with open arms…

Don’t be afraid to do the wrong thing in This War of Mine. Sometimes it’s the only way you can get ahead in a city where neighbour has turned against neighbour. But don’t rely on it in every playthrough—karma eventually does come back to bite you in the arse.


4) Focusing too early on the metal workshop

 

The metal workshop can seem like an absolute necessity for survival. You use it to craft tools and eventually weapons, armour and ammo.

However, it takes a lot of resources (especially in the early game), and often you can find or trade tools that you need, rather than trying to make them. It’s not really required, and shouldn’t be a priority for your first few days.

 

Often you can find or trade tools that you need, rather than trying to make them.

 

This does depend on your start, however. If you get a lot of characters who aren’t suited for an aggressive build of any sort (otherwise known as “passive start”), you may want to build one simply to be able to get tools without relying on scavenging or theft.

Combining Bruno and Katia gives you an excellent alcohol/bargaining team that can net you pretty much whatever you need, tools included—or Roman can simply go out and steal. Either way, the metal workshop is useful, but not absolutely necessary for success.


 

What’s your favourite way of playing This War of Mine? Let me know in the comments below!

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