‘Conan Exiles’ Guide: Tips To Surviving In The Beginning

Living in Conan Exiles' desert is no easy task.

Conan Exiles is now available on the Xbox One in addition to the PC. It can be a brutal and unforgiving survival game, especially at the beginning now with some of the new mechanics introduced by the Frozen North expansion. Here are a few tips to help get started on your journey through the Exiled lands.

Pick Up the Water Skin When You Spawn

The very first thing to do after you get past the Conan Exiles character creation is to pick up a Water Skin sitting on one of the rocks at the initial spawn point. Each spawn point is laid out slightly differently but this is essential to help get you started on your way to the main part of the map.

Two of the first lore items is there as well. One is a giant slab of rock with writing on it. The other is a small book sitting next to the Water Skin. Take a moment to interact with both of these.

Get Cool

The second most important thing to do after spawning is to make cloth armor. The new temperature mechanic in Conan Exiles will cause you to overheat immediately in the starting desert before you can reach the river. This leads to an increased rate of dehydration and possibly death even with the couple of gulps of water provided by the water skin.

The cloth armor will bring your character’s body temperature back down to a normal range. This will grant you time to pick up rocks, sticks, and other items to make basic stone tools and weapons. It will also give you time to enjoy some of the lore objects leading out of the desert spawn.

Staring out mostly naked and unequipped in Conan Exiles.

Get Equipped

Begin crafting tools and weapons as soon as possible as you make your way out of the starting desert. Pick up as many sticks, stones, and plant fiber as you can on your way out of the spawn desert.

The stone pick is a craftable item from the start, so begin with that as it is excellent for getting bark from trees. Meanwhile, the stone hatchet is obtainable at level two and is the preferred method of getting sticks from trees. Both the hatchet and pick can be used as a defense, but a stone sword and maul are better suited for the purpose when they are unlocked at level four.

Bows and arrows unlock at level five while the surprisingly useful daggers can be crafted at level six. Players can dual-wield these for fast attacks. They are also cheap to make and will harvest extra hide from creatures.

Where to Start Living

The south side of the river at the bottom of the Exiled Lands map is where you’ll want to first make camp. The major dangers for new Conan Exiles characters there are the larger Shalebacks, Imps, and the occasional crocodile. Meanwhile, there is an abundance of basic resources and a few NPC camps to raid.

Move to the north side of the river once you feel comfortable you are properly leveled and equipped to take on hyenas. They have a long range at which they will decide to attack a player, making them one of the more annoying wild creatures in the south.

Craft a bedroll as soon as you can once you’ve made it out of the spawn desert. You will need to remember to use it to set a spawn point in case you die. Keep in mind that bedrolls are good for one use though. You’ll need to craft a bed for a permanent spawn point.

A storage box for all the resources and items you are gathering. This will give you the space necessary for all the wood and stone you will be harvesting to craft your first rudimentary base. Look for spots that are out of the way of creature spawns and try to keep it hidden when playing on a PvP server.

The starting area of Conan Exiles.


Starvation is a very real concern for your Conan Exiles character. You can start by eating insects collected by harvesting plants. However, the easiest way to keep your belly full starting out is by collecting plant fiber and seeds from plants to make gruel in a campfire. It only takes five plant fiber and 1 seed to make 10 gruel. This makes it a cheap, plentiful, and light foodstuff that won’t soon spoil.

Another cheap food source is Shaleback eggs. Nests are plentiful south of the main river and will replenish 11 points of hunger and five points of hydration. The eggs respawn fairly quickly as well, which makes for a good supply of food for Exiles on the go.

Those that prefer meat in their diet can make shredded roast by harvesting feral flesh from smaller creatures. These spoil rather quickly but replenish a good chunk of health for starting players. Larger chunks of meat can be harvested from larger creatures. Just remember to cook them before eating.

Guide: How to get to the Frozen North


As you level, consider your point placement into your characters attributes. These are the seven that are currently available in Conan Exiles along with what they affect.

  • Strength – how much melee damage your character does
  • Vitality – the amount of health for your character
  • Agility – how fast your character moves and dodges while wearing different levels of armor
  • Accuracy – how much ranged damage your character does
  • Encumbrance – how much weight your character can carry
  • Grit – determines your character’s stamina pool for running, climbing, and combat
  • Survival – determines how long food will keep your character full after eating

There are obvious benefits to all of these and players can tinker with the attributes to fit their play style. Grit is vitally important, however, as stamina management is a major component of Conan Exiles since it affects so much of what your character can do. Meanwhile, Survival may not sound as important but does free you up from having to hunt for food as often.

Conan Exiles rewards more XP from killing creatures and NPCs than from crafting and harvesting. Keep that in mind as you work towards improving your character.

[Featured Image by Funcom]