The Flame in the Flood isn't nearly as difficult as many other survival-oriented games. That said, there is still a learning curve. I've put together this guide to help you attain survival mastery. If you're getting frustrated in The Flame in the Flood, never fear! We're here to help! Read on for my Flame in the Flood quickstart guide!
Over on our YouTube channel, I gave a bunch of tips for The Flame in the Flood when we streamed it, right before release:
If the video helps, let us know by subscribing! It helps a lot! :)
The Flame in the Flood Guide: General Tips
Take your time. Stop wherever you can safely do so. The early going is where I ended up dying the most often. It's hard to build up resources so that you can take the occasional setback in the mid to late game.
Locations typically have certain resources they frequently have, like alcohol at liquor stores. However, good items may appear anywhere. The one exception is the marina - if you don't have any upgrade materials or repairs to make, there's never anything there except for gas.
Loot first and ask questions later. Sometimes you'll come across a car or a box or something that takes time to open. Open that sucker immediately! Once you start exploring, you might encounter a hostile animal that causes you to run away, and you won't have time to be searching stuff.
Try to stock up on everything to start with, but your very limited inventory means you'll quickly have to make choices about what to keep with you. Extending your inventory is a good goal in the early game, either by adding space to your raft at marinas, or by crafting pouches from rabbit hides.
On the subject of inventory, every time you stop somewhere, try to unload as much as you can into the raft before you go exploring. Again, you might be pressed for time while scavenging, so if you don't think you'll need an item while you're out and about, leave it behind. You can also drop items on the dock screen and then sort through it again after you've done your looting. If you have, say, stuff that needs cooking and you're stopping somewhere without a fire, drop it and come back for it!
Eat stuff that spoils before you eat stuff that doesn't. Cooked yucca, jerky, and ash cakes are good "long term" food sources.
Pro Tip Sometimes you can "stretch" food by crafting it slowly. For instance, use a box trap to get a rabbit, wait a day or two, kill the rabbit, wait a day or two, get raw meat, wait, cook the meat, etc. Each stage has its own "rotten" timer. Often this is more trouble than it's worth, but it's a good trick to have in your back pocket.
Aesop will bark near stuff you can collect. If he's barking, chances are you've missed something you could pick up or search.
While on land near your raft, you can exchange stuff between your inventory and the raft's. I think you can actually craft using the raft's inventory on this screen, although you still need open slots to hold the crafted item in Scout's inventory.
If you know you're in dire straits, transfer any valuables to Aesop's inventory, as by default his inventory carries over to your next game. I will tend to bail if I have an injury I can't recover from - if I get mauled, for instance, and I don't have bandages. If I have leftover long-term food sources, I'll hand them over to Aesop just to make my next run a bit easier.
The Flame in the Flood Guide: Rafting
The rafting portion of the game isn't particularly hard, but there are a few things to know. One is that there are little supply caches you can find. These glow blue, and when you get close you can press the "dock" button to get a freebie.
Upgrading the raft requires 3 materials. Raft Schematics have to be found, but the other two are crafted from the same materials you use to repair the raft - "old lumber" and "nuts and bolts."
Pro Tip Do note that nuts and bolts are also used to make leather kits, so sometimes you're going to choose between upgrading the raft and upgrading your cold weather gear.
Upgrade-wise, I'd suggest grabbing the rudder early on. It's cheap, and it makes a big difference when trying to move sideways across the current.
Beyond that, upgrade the storage ASAP. Having more space to store stuff is a real lifesaver.
Of the other upgrades:
- I suggest getting the stove early, as it means you can generate fire for just the cost of a single cattail.
- The water purifier is OK but not super exciting - water's pretty easy to come by, especially in the late game when the rain gets more and more severe.
- The shelter isn't half bad, although shelter is pretty common. It was nice to be able to stop anywhere and rest, but broken down buses, abandoned shops, churches, etc, are pretty common.
- I didn't end up needing the better frame upgrade, as I infrequently hit things with the raft.
- I got but never ended up using the motor. Truthfully, I rarely missed a location I really wanted to land at once I had the rudder upgrade.
The Flame in the Flood Guide: Plant Life
It's important to keep as many Saplings as you can - they're fairly common, but they're used in almost everything so stockpiles dwindle quickly. Saplings are used in almost every offensive tool in the game - from snares to arrows.
Cattails are far more common than saplings, but they're also super useful to have around. You can eat them in a pinch - a whole stack gives 20 nutrition. They can also be crafted into rope or into tinder to restart fires that have burned out.
There are many other bits of plant life you'll come across that prove useful:
- In the early going, you'll likely come across corn. Corn can be cooked at a fire to make Ash Cake, which keeps forever and gives you far more nutrition per unit space.
- You'll also come across mulberries. Despite what the description tells you, I've never gotten sick from eating them, not even a full stack at a time.
- Dandelions can be cooked with water at a fire to create a tea that cures snake bites, which is handy. Despite it not being mentioned in the description, they restore 1 nutrition as well.
- Devil's Trumpet can be mixed with meat (raw or cooked) to create tainted bait, which kills wolves with one dose. No combat required!
- Moldy Lumps can be combined to make Penicillin, but this requires a source of heat.
The Flame in the Flood Guide: Water
Water's not that hard to deal with. You'll need a jar to hold it, but jars are pretty common. Jars can be filled with clean water any time it is raining.
Pro Tip When it's raining, you can fill a jar, drink, and then fill it again for later.
If all that's available is contaminated water, you can purify it with a filter. Filters can be built with 2 charcoal, and one piece is available for free every time you build or encounter a campfire.
Later in the game, the rain comes more frequently and for longer periods. This makes water collection pretty trivial.
Pro Tip If you're near a source of water and thirsty, but also plan to rest, I suggest resting first and then drinking. Most static sources of water (wells, pumps, etc) can only be used once.
The Flame in the Flood Guide: Injuries
Injuries can be pretty severe. If you've got the right materials, you can heal yourself. Rags can be used to make either splints or bandages, which will fix most injuries you can get from animals. Brewing dandelion tea cures snake bites, and aloe cures ant bites and poison ivy.
If you haven't got the right materials to cure your affliction, or if it's pretty minor, you'll just have to ride it out. All negative side effects will wear off over time, but while they're in effect your stats will decrease at an accelerated rate.
Pro Tip The most minor negative statuses are being "wet" (as long as it is warm out), poison ivy and ant bites. Anything more than that is likely to kill you or drain your resources to the point where you can't continue.
The Flame in the Flood Guide: Animals
Use your saplings to make box traps and catch rabbits early on. You can cook the meat, and the skins can be used to craft many things. The first priority is building pouches to increase your carrying capacity. Later in the game, you'll need them to make leather kits, which are required for the best, warmest gear.
At first, you'll want to run away from any hostile animal encounters. Boars and wolves can really mess you up, and in the early game you've got little to no way to counter them.
As the game progresses, though, you'll gain more tools in your arsenal. By far the best is the Spear Trap. It's relatively easy to craft, and it will kill a boar or wolf in a single hit. Bears take a minimum of 2, although I've sometimes had them take 3.
Tainted bait is a good thing to have around for wolves, as I mentioned in the plants section above. Boars and bears won't touch it, though.
It's also possible to get animals to fight each other. Snakes will bite wolves and boars if you can get them to bump into each other. It takes 2 snakes to kill a wolf or a boar, but hey, it takes out two threats with no cost to your inventory! Bears will fight wolves, and the bears almost always win, even when the odds are stacked against them. It can give you time to distract the bear and steal what is in its stash, as well as give you some free wolf pelts/meat.
Pro Tip One interesting "exploit" around wolves and boars is that they cannot approach the dock. You are totally safe while on the dock screen, and there's even a little "safe zone" outside the dock. You can use this space to give yourself time to set up traps, or a place to stand while you throw bait. Just remember that if you set up a trap too close to the entrance to the dock, animals can't hit it.
The bow and arrow isn't well balanced, in my opinion. Arrows are expensive to craft and don't do near enough damage. They're also single-use. It can be useful in certain situations, but the vast majority of the time I'd pass on it.
Animal meat should be cooked prior to eating, or you can apply salt to turn it into jerky, which keeps forever. This is the only use for salt, so use it up!
The Flame in the Flood Guide: Clothing
Animal skins are used to make clothes. Clothes also require stitching kits, which can be made from hooks and fishing line.
More advanced gear requires tougher hides and also leather kits. As I mentioned in the animals section, you need rabbit hides to make these, so keep stocking up on rabbit hides even if you're past that rank in terms of gear and you're maxed out on pouches.
The best gear requires unique pelts from special animals. These appear later in the game and tend to run away if spooked. I've encountered them more than once on a single playthrough, though, so don't give up hope! The unique gear has special benefits, but is otherwise identical to "normal" bear hide gear.
If your clothes are inadequate to keep out the cold, your body temperature will start to drop.
Pro Tip Being wet from rain compounds the heat loss. You can rest in a shelter or sit near a fire to lose the "wet" status, or just wait for it to run out.
I think that's all the tips I've got for making life easier in The Flame in the Flood. Manage your resources carefully, grab all the saplings you can, and hunt those wolves!
If you've got any tips you'd like to share, leave a comment!