Need a new cooperative survival experience? ICARUS might scratch your itch for that naked-and-afraid style of gameplay. Dropped into a mission with nothing, you’ll have to scavenge just to survive the early moments — wolves are waiting to eat you at night, and storms can wreck everything you own easily if you’re not taking cover under a ceiling. The starting hours can be brutal for new players — and while this game has been in beta for a long time, it did just release fully on Steam. If you’re one of the many new players, then you’ve got a few things to learn.
Making it to Level 15 can be an excruciatingly long challenge. If you’re sick of sneaking around deadly predators and want to become an apex hunter yourself, you can use a very simple strategy to grind up to Level 15 with very little effort. Tough enemies don’t stand a chance against your mightiest weapon: the bow. Learn all the steps to becoming a perfect survivor with our early game grinding guide. This is the best way to rapidly earn XP early in the game. Now you can get the tech you want faster.
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Getting Started | Level 1-5
Right as you begin, you’ll need to start gathering resources to make tools and gear to survive. While exploring, you’ll also want to find a small cave. Start collecting food, sticks and stones. For the first few levels, you’ll need a cave for shelter, and the following items in (basically) this order.
- Unlock At Level 1-2: Axe, Pickaxe
Use sticks and stones to craft an Axe and Pickaxe, then start cutting down as many trees as you can. Mine any mineral nodes you encounter and avoid enemies like wolves or other animals until you craft a Stone Knife.
- What To Unlock Next: Stone Knife, Bow, Stone Arrows, Campfire, Bedroll
Once you find shelter, place the bedroll at the entrance of a cave with a campfire. If you go too deep into the cave, you may encounter worms — build a small wooden wall (later) to defend and kill the worms safely. For now, you’ll want to start hunting and skinning animals with the Stone Knife. Keep all the materials from skinning animals, as they’ll be required for the bow. The bow is how you’ll be earning most of your XP.
For proper shelter in the cave, cut yourself a small area you can jump into that’s got a ceiling and is far out of range of the worms. If you make a raised edge for your entrance, you can also use your little cave shelter to easily snipe anything outside without putting yourself in danger.
Build all this, and you’ll be ready for really gaining levels easier.
Hunting Wolves | Level 5-15
With the Bow and a stock of Stone Arrows, you’ll be able to safely hunt wolves and other wildlife like deer. Instead of wasting your time with all the new Wooden Structures, only unlock the Wooden Ramps. With a ramp, we can make a hunting stand.
- Build a Wooden Ramp hunting stand, and craft a Bow + Wooden Arrows as early as you can. Stand on the ramp, and you can snipe wolves / any other animals. Aim carefully, and you can score instant kills.
From your vantage point, you can snipe wildlife during the daytime safely. Don’t go and collect your spoils right away — clear out as many animals as you can before skinning them and hauling the goods back to your base. Wolves often travel in packs. Wolves net about 1800~ XP per kill, which will help you gain XP to unlock more crafting options very quickly. You’ll be able to safely grind through the dangerous early levels of the game with just the bow.