Stranded Sails – 10 survival tips for starting a new game

Stranded Sails is game of both exploration and survival. After you and your crew are shipwrecked on a cluster of remote islands, you’re tasked with building a base camp before going to search for them, unlocking new areas as well as tools and other resources to help in your venture.

Here are parts one and two of our Stranded Sails walkthrough.

There are some light shades of Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley in here. Although not as deep or complex, Stranded Sails sports a number of engrossing game mechanics that gradually unspool the more you progress. For those wannabe seafarers about to set sail, we’ve put together a list of 10 useful tips that will help you get off to the best start.

  • Stamina is key. For the first few hours of Stranded Sails, the amount of ground you can cover and actions you can perform is restricted by your stamina meter. Run out of stamina and your character will faint, beaming you straight back to the bed in your cabin. It’s not much of a penalty but should be avoided. If planning on long excursions during the early game, make sure you’re fully stocked on food items while also preparing a Stew for the Crew. Try to lay off the sprint button and try to avoid using the boat during nighttime.
  • Sleep often. It’s easy to forget that you have a nice(ish), warm(ish) bed waiting for you back at the cabin. Instead of relying purely on food and Stew to refuel your stamina, rest regularly. Unlike Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley, Stranded Sails doesn’t have a in-game calendar so don’t feel guilt for spending entire days in the sack.
  • The map is one of the most essential items in Stranded Sails and has two main functions you should be using regularly. These include a map marker, letting you place a waypoint that will appear around the edges of your screen, guiding you to destination. With the map equipped you can also fast travel back to base camp. This is a huge time saver and can be used anywhere in the game world.

  • Fiola’s farm is there for a reason and while it’s tempting to go off exploring, you won’t get far without a sustainable bounty of crops to fill your stomach. It can be time consuming but make sure you optimise your farm at the earliest opportunity, planting seeds, watering, and harvesting crops whenever back at base. Note that some crops, such as onions, carrots, and potatoes, need to dug up and replanted after being picked. Farming can feel like a chore though you’ll soon unlock ways of speed up the process.
  • Take time to explore every nook and cranny of each island. In doing so you’ll come across barrels and crates (these will shine, making them hard to miss) that contain crafting resources, food, and other useful items. You’ll also find wild crops that can be harvested, giving you need seed types that can then be farmed back at base.
  • Finding trees and cutting them down for logs is easy enough but other crafting components such as metal scraps and rope pieces are harder to come by. These can only be found on the nearby islands in crates and barrels that will periodically respawn though you’ll have to wait.
  • Learn to use the item wheel efficiently. On a gamepad, using the right stick: flick left or right to change between item categories (tools, food, seeds, etc.) then up and down to select items within a category. It’s much quicker than entering the inventory menu and will hopefully become second nature after a while.

  • Note that there are certain areas you won’t be able to access during those first few hours of Stranded Sails. These are typically signposted by ancient stone markers and can’t be used until later on, once you’ve unlocked kits which can build bridges, ropes, ladders etc.
  • Throughout your survival journey, make sure you constantly attend to the camp’s cooking cauldron. You’ll be introduced to Stew for the Crew early on and should prepare meals for your companions at every given opportunity. Not only does it provide a great way to top up your own stamina, it can lead to a series of helpful unlocks, rewarding you with upgraded tools. Keep note of each crew member and what their favourite foods are to unlock these rewards faster.
  • Choose what you craft carefully. Even if you’ve been hoarding every piece of driftwood you can get your hands on, there will be times when you need to commit those resources to progressing the main story quests or improving your base. For example, choosing between more farm space or a cabin for one your crew mates.

For more on Stranded Sails, read our full review. The first part of our guided walkthrough is also available in case you get stuck or need pointing in the right direction.

Written by
Senior Editor bursting with lukewarm takes and useless gaming trivia. May as well surgically attach my DualSense at this point.