Above Snakes’ unique take on the worldbuilding aspect is remarkable. Instead of procedurally generated map tiles (which is a common practice nowadays), the game puts you in the driver’s seat, letting you create the entire world from scratch. You begin the game with a single tile, and as you gain experience, you unlock more tiles/biomes that can be placed adjacent to existing tiles. There is an optimal way of setting up said tiles, which we’ll be discussing later in the beginner’s guide. But for now, here is a brief overview of the game.
Above Snakes is an open-world game focusing on survival, crafting, and exploration. The low-poly graphics, paired with an isometric POV and smooth ambient music, offer a relaxed gaming experience. However, the game is anything but easy, and you’ll have to be mindful of a lot of things if you want to survive. We have more guides on crafting recipes, fishing, gold farming, etc. to help you out if you’re stuck. Now, without further ado, let’s begin with the beginner’s guide.
Table of Contents
Tile Placement: How to manage your tiles
How does tile placement work?
You accumulate experience by engaging in daily activities. Once you reach a certain threshold, a new tile will become available, and it’ll be locked. You can’t place it right away, and you’ll need the Cartographer’s Table to unlock it in the first place. A tile is known as a “world piece” in Above Snakes.
Once unlocked, you can place those tiles as many times as you want. However, you’ll have to unlock a placeable tile by doing activities first. Press “C” to make a new world piece, aka tile.
When should you place the tiles?
It’s best not to place the same tiles repeatedly. Finishing any pending missions will unlock new tiles first; don’t place them instantly, and always be on the lookout for new tiles. For example, the first tile that you unlock is the Plains/Pine Forest tile. As you keep playing, you’ll discover more, such as Prairie, Lake, etc.
You should always place tiles depending on the resources you need at any given time. Placing a bunch of Pine Forest tiles is inefficient. You don’t get tiles back when you destroy them. Misplacements come at the cost of permanent progression, so check your requirements before deciding on a tile.
It’s best to place one of any given biome/tile type and keep the rest as reserves. For instance, the Pine Forest biome provides logs, deer, and honey. There are better food alternatives later in the game, and honey isn’t all that useful in Above Snakes. You’ll need beeswax to upgrade your workbench and tools, but planting four forest biomes for bees isn’t efficient.
One of the best ways to keep track of your requirements is through missions. The game leads you pretty well through the main and side missions. Whenever you see a new resource appear in one of the mission objectives, it’s usually time to plant a new tile.
- Must Read: Above Snakes: All Achievements Guide
Set up multiple bases
Instead of returning to the first house you’ve ever built, create separate homes all around the map, especially if you have a lot of tiles. We usually suggest 2-3 homes, each with at least a workbench and bed, so if you end up stranded at night, you’ll have a place to rest instead of backtracking all the way to your main base.
Do not discard anything in Above Snakes, even your old gear. Every item can be sold at the trade post, and selling scrap parts is a great way to earn spare change for the majority of your expenses.
Some junk may seem useless at the beginning, but it may be required to craft valuable items in the mid to late game. For instance, bones are required to craft the bone axe, zombie teeth to craft necklaces, etc.
Since you’re starting out, it’s better to hoard stuff because you never know when you might need something for a quest or to craft a specific item.
How to properly gather resources
When you’re gathering resources, make sure you’ve exhausted the source before leaving. In other words, only leave after the hourglass icon has shown up. If you leave before that, then the next time you return to the same source, it will continue from where you left off.
For example, you can gather berries three times from a bush before it’s exhausted. So if you leave only two times, leave, and return a few days later, then the same bush will get exhausted after you’ve collected from it only once. The same applies for fishing, searching for pine trees, mining rocks, and every other collectible resource in the game.
Craft a recipe book
A recipe book only stores the recipes that you’ve already cooked. Some recipes are simple, while others require more ingredients.
Instead of keeping everything stored in your head, craft a cookbook, and every time you cook something new, it automatically gets recorded in it. So the next time you’re preparing to cook a higher-tier food, you’ll have the recipe book for reference.
Chests respawn items after a while, but not crates and barrels. So once you’ve unlocked a chest, return to it after a while, and you can open it once more for some additional loot. Keep a stack of 10-20 keys for such encounters. If you’re out, you can always buy from the trade post.
Angle your trees
When you’re cutting down trees, angle them towards other resources, such as bushes, shrubs, other trees, and rocks. When the tree falls, it destroys all other resources in its path, saving you the time to individually gather the rest.
Visit NPCs and settlements often
Village tiles with NPCs usually have the most important loot, such as birch trees, coffee beans, and fish oil. The birch biome contains important resources such as birch bark and resin, which are available later in the game. Instead of waiting for the biome, you can farm one or two of the trees from specific village tiles.
Defeating zombies and other violent creatures in Above Snakes isn’t too difficult. It’s more of a laid-back experience. You can easily dodge their attacks and hit them with an ax. Once you unlock the bow and arrow, they stop being a threat altogether. You’ll be hounded by 3-4 zombies every night after day ~40. They are easy to take down, and by this point in the game, you’ll have plenty of healing items to mitigate the damage you take during combat. Just carry a few healing items with you all the time and you’ll be fine.
The workbench is the most important thing in Above Snakes that you’ll encounter. It lets you unlock more crafting stations and structures, such as the cartography table, tannery, sawmill, firepit, well, etc. Upgrade the workbench as soon as possible to the next tier to gain access to the latest gear.
Managing shelter levels
Depending on your shelter level, you’ll gain access to shelter perks. Some perks increase your damage while improving your sanity and fatigue.
A higher shelter level gives you more perks, and to get there, you’ll have to upgrade your workbench and build more structures. Do note that demolishing structures brings down the score, so avoid building unnecessary stuff.
Don’t Overdo Crafting
Don’t keep hoarding resources. Always craft what’s necessary and keep the rest for when you actually need it. Doing so slows down your overall progress and makes the game somewhat boring as you delve deeper into the difficult mechanics.
Maintain an emergency stash of food, water, healing items, and the stuff needed to craft them. For the rest, craft only when you need them.
In Above Snakes, the early missions and tutorials are enough to get you going, but as you keep progressing, the missions end and you’re left with no goals in particular. Unless you’re a hoarder, we suggest exploring the world. After the lumberjack mission, pack supplies and craft a workbench before heading out. Once you’re a good distance away from your home, set up a second shelter. Don’t simply keep hoarding resources; explore every objective you can find on the map. Good luck!