Survive on these unexplored lands as one of the only members left in Juan Ponce de Leon's expedition party as you embark on a journey to conquer the brutal Survival: Fountain of Youth! Can you overcome not only hunger, thirst, and brutal weather but also the unforgiving flora and fauna that line the landscape of the Island of Hope? Here are 10 tips & tricks to help you on your journey!
#1 — Careful with your starting items
As your boat crashes and burns, Survival: Fountain of Youth will give you control over the character and your first major choice of the game — and likely one of the most pivotal ones — your starting items.
You can make a selection from various objects, but you can only choose two. Different playstyles make some of these viable, but I personally recommend going for the food bag (which will help you later down the line with hydration) and the backpack, but experiment at your heart's content — this is your playthrough, after all!
#2 — Get a stable source of water
There are a lot of threats in the Island of Hope that will sooner take your life than shake your hand, and although many of these are feral creatures, the worst of your adversaries will be natural causes — dehydration, starvation, and illness. While protecting yourself from weather effects and finding food is important, nothing will be more perilous than lack of water, despite being surrounded by all of it (I mean seriously, we should be able to drink ocean water — let me make my mistakes and live (or die) with them!).
Getting a stable source of water is harder than it sounds, but once you get into good motion, it isn't unfeasible. Gather green coconuts around the beach, pick up shells to harvest molluscs from them, get a coconut and liana rope to create containers for rainwater, and you'll soon be swimming (teehee) in water.
#3 — Follow the story
Survival: Fountain of Youth does this really mean thing where it tells you that you are free to do as you please, deceives you, and then sets you up for failure. After the game tells you that you are now capable of surviving, take that with a large asterisk the size of the island because although you can stop following the story, it doesn't mean you should.
At the point where the game gives you free will, you are barely a beginner and are still getting accustomed to some of the elements. From not having a spyglass to not even having a reliable source of water — Illidan from World of Warcraft said it best — you are not prepared. Continue the story, learn some new tricks, and then consider entering full survival.
#4 — Use spears as a weapon over bow & arrow early
As soon as I got liana rope and some long sticks, I made myself a bow and arrow and decided to take the coward's way out by shooting everything from the comfort of several feet in distance — I essentially became the overused Skyrim stealth archer. Little did I know that this was a mistake, albeit a bit of a minor one.
By using melee weapons, such as the spears that you can craft from the long sticks around the world, you will be increasing your Strength stat slowly. Although this sounds unimpressive on paper, the capability to carry more items isn't only useful, it's bordering crucial. Beat up some short-eared dogs and gain some muscle mass to carry even more logs!
#5 — Map out the world as much as you can
This may not be immediately obvious when you finish the tutorial, but you can use your mapping tool in other places that aren't just the Cartographer's Tree. This mistake not only cost my wife several hours of her life learning the map (despite having the sense of direction of a goldfish), but it also made her run exponentially more difficult than my own.
Grab your sticks and campfire, burn them, get your mapping tool, and get as high as you can to map the world and learn more about your surroundings. Not only can you get a glimpse as to which enemies there are in any given area, but you can also find useful resources that are scarce at the beginning of the game. Knowledge is power, after all!
#6 — Heal your afflictions
The sun burns! Big surprise, right? By getting sunburnt, sick, and other forms of weather-based afflictions, you will start to suffer side effects that affect some of the stats in the game. Whether it reduces your hunger meter continuously (poisoned) or reduces your maximum stamina (fatigue), you will want to remove these to play as optimally as possible.
Your character is knowledgeable and the UI is informative, so you can very quickly find out where to get the information and necessary herbs to heal any of your afflictions in a pinch. Letting these stack can be detrimental to your performance, and it's always best to be ready for everything in the Island of Hope!
Bonus: Scorpion stings and snake bites are not only annoying (because owchie) but also detrimental. Poisoning is very common — at least for me. To make sure that this doesn't happen anymore, commit scorpion genocide and hoard a lot of scorpion carcasses to always fix your poisoning. Food is scarce enough without a status effect consistently draining it!
#7 — Don't work at night time
At night, there are a lot of problems that you can encounter. From snakes hiding auspiciously to scorpions getting the jump on you when you are foraging, you will face a lot more randomly generated woes.
To avoid getting injured (another status effect, not just because of the scorpion stings), try to work in the daytime or — at the very least — have light around you to prevent as many mistakes as possible.
And yes, this tip was strategically put after the poison one — I suffered a lot because of poison, okay?
#8 — Remember to spend your PP
Much like a pokemon, you can spend your PP to learn various abilities! Okay, not the best analogy, but it works enough.
As you research the world and discover new things, either by completing survival challenges or finding ancient relics left by the natives, you will get PP (perk points). These points can be spent to get a slew of upgrades that can affect your gameplay and offer you benefits according to your play style, such as reducing how much you need to sleep or becoming more resistant to poison.
Bonus: related to perks and levels, read the books you find around the world. These may sound like they'll just raise a bit of XP in any given field, but the truth is that they will actually give you access to an entirely new perk — and all it costs is 10 hours of your in-game time! Read before bedtime to get smart, kids.
#9 — Make a portable bed
Connecting directly with tip #7, you don't want to be spending too much time at night time; the places you will be traversing and travelling around are, quite frankly, a tad too big to have one single base camp. While I'd still advise that you create one camp for everything (preferably near the water and useful resources for ease of access), that doesn't mean that you won't need to go on a camping trip every once in a while.
Although you don't need to specifically go out on a glamping trip every other fortnight, you will want to be able to rest outside of the comfort of your own home in order to spend the time properly and avoid negative status effects. Nothing good happens after 2 AM — there are a lot of snakes and scorpions out on the loose at that time.
#10 — Don't misuse resources
Although this sounds relatively obvious, things in Survival: Fountain of Youth have egregiously long respawn timers, and — at least for me — this also applies to short-eared dogs. Despite how fun it might be to go out and hunt the bastards for growling at you from 20 miles away, this is a waste of perfectly good food that you might end up needing later on.
While enemies and resources aren't exactly scarce, the less you misuse them, the less you'll have to suffer the later on in your journey you get. If you take one thing from this article, let it be that resources are precious... and that scorpions suck, but that's more of a personal vendetta.
Congratulations, you are now fit to join Juan Ponce de Leon's expedition! With all of this knowledge at hand, how will you embark on your journey? Make sure you leave your tips in the comments, as I'm sure there are plenty that I missed.