The Long Dark: Things You Need To Know To Survive Interloper

For a long time, The Long Dark boasted the Stalker difficulty as its most grueling. The community quickly tamed that beast and ran circles around what had been the most challenging dynamics. Long-time fans and enthusiasts begged Hinterwolf (the makers of the game) to throw something truly punishing at them, and so was born a difficulty so unforgiving that newbies the world over gulped – Interloper.

Surviving a single day on this mode is an achievement in itself, and only 4% of all Steam players have claimed that prize. You begin with nothing, and quickly start dying on a random map in literally any weather. This introduction sorts the curious from the determined, and this list can help from there.

10 Choosing Feats

Before the game even begins, it's critical to choose the right feats, assuming you have them all unlocked. The difference between feats and challenges can be summarized, as feats provide bonuses in later games.

In the game, the first thing to kill you will be the cold. Your character won't have a hat or shoes, and frostbite will be knocking at the door. So getting warm and staying warm enough to recover the condition is paramount to getting that one-day achievement. Cold Fusion adds a full two degrees to how warm you feel, which may not sound like much, but can mean the difference between restoring condition and dying in your sleep.

The second feat ideal for this challenge is Fire Starter. You won't have access to matches immediately, and they will be very hard to find. You don't want to waste a single one once you get your hands on a box, so Fire Starter makes doing it right the first time much easier.

A third feat to consider is Snow Walker, which recharges your stamina bar 20 percent quicker. Early in the game, you will need to be exploring and looting nonstop to find enough supplies to get you going. Being able to run more and spend less time outdoors is a huge boon for any experience level.

9 Know The Maps

When you get to the point where Interloper seems like the next step in playing The Long Dark, it's assumed you know the world front to back, inside out. This should include most places the player can spawn in each region, the closest shelter, wildlife territories, and the best spots to loot.

Knowing where you are, even if you spawn at night in a blizzard, is incredibly important, and can make or break a run. Play the game on easier modes, even a custom file just to learn where the bears are likely to be and whether that out-of-the-way cave is worth checking for a pair of mittens.

8 Fire Is Life

To build on map knowledge, it's great to know a few places matches can spawn, as well as any guaranteed spots on each map. That's because you won't have any way to light a fire at first, and many runs have ended due to hypothermia and dehydration. Checking toilets in the meantime is a precious source of potable water, but hardly sustainable.

Firestrikers, along with Magnifying Glasses which will never deteriorate and break, knowing where they're likely to be hiding is the second most important part of surviving Interloper.

7 Bedroll Possible Locations

Technically, a player can survive a long time just traveling from bed to bed, whether that be in a family home or a twig pile in a cave. But if you're looking to get to the Summit, or spend some quality time in nature at Hushed River Valley, it's good to know where a Bedroll is likely to be.

Spots like Stone Church, Camp Office, and Hunting Lodge basement are places they regularly turn up. Eventually, two bear skins and a load of cured guts can be turned into a Bearskin Bedroll, which is very warm. But, if the loot just isn't in your favor, and you find yourself getting frustrated, there are only four loot tables, and they're all available online. It's just a game after all, and if you're not having fun anymore, then what's the point?

6 Get To A Forge

As there are no weapons or tools (other than Hacksaws) in the game at the moment, your goal is to harvest some Maple and Birch Saplings, cure them, pick up a Heavy Hammer, and make your way to the nearest forge. There are currently three in the game; one at the Riken in Desolation Point, the Spencer Family Homestead in Forlorn Muskeg, and another in Broken Railroad Maintenance Shed.

Gather enough scrap metal for a knife, a hatchet, and at least ten arrowheads, thirteen pieces altogether. Pick up any coal along the way, and check those loot tables if you haven't come across a Heavy Hammer yet.

5 Collect Everything

In Voyager and Pilgrim, the amount of loot lying around is overwhelming, and if you want to be able to run at all then a lot of it needs to be left behind. There will be more food than Astrid can consume, and any base you build will quickly get overrun with Whetstones.

But in Interloper every resource is precious, and most of it is finite. Every piece of cloth in the first 50 days will serve you, and having a good supply of scrap metal will mean fewer necessary trips to the forge. Canned food will be rare, and despite there being over 1,300 cattails in every run, they are low in calories and precious when on the move. That ruined Cotton Toque might seem like a waste of carrying capacity, but the single Cloth it breaks down into can produce two bandages to save your life later.

4 Scent Matters

Up until this difficulty, you might not have spent much time thinking about how your character smells. But every other living thing on Great Bear Island knows exactly how you smell. Picking up raw flesh, such as a rabbit carcass, will cause one scent marker, as will fresh guts, and any meat. A quartered carcass will cause two scent markers, and attract predators from a further distance. They won't become hostile until they have seen you, and being downwind makes their detection range smaller.

The number of stinky items contributes more to the scent markers than their weight, so don't travel with too many. And when harvesting a carcass, drop the items as they appear in your inventory so as not to attract attention with your guard down.

3 Keep A Torch Lit

Fire really is everything in the beginning, aside from keeping you warm and making drinking water it's also handy in scaring off wildlife. Not everything cares that you're wielding fire, but when a wolf stops to growl at you, aim a lit torch at it to make it flee. Bears and moose won't run through a campfire, so if you have time make sure to put one down before taking them on.

In the beginning, your fire starting ability will be low, and you might waste precious matches on attempts. Instead, use one match to light a torch, and use that as many times as you need to get the fire going.

2 Hot Tea Makes Everything Better

Everyone knows a cup of tea helps in any situation, but particularly when running through the Canadian wilderness on negative calories. Tea is available in many forms, so make sure to pick up all Birch Bark, Reishi Mushrooms, and Rosehips you come across. They don't need anything fancy to prepare, and only 0.25ml of water will make you a low-calorie tea.

Not only will Birch Bark tea restore your condition twice as quickly and provide some energy, but the warmth will provide a Warming Up bonus. This will make the character feel four degrees warmer for two hours, which makes all the difference in the snow. Leave a cup near the fire to keep it warm while preparing other foods.

1 Beaches Are Your Friend

Coastal Highway, Crumbling Highway, Bleak Inlet, and Desolation Point all have picturesque beaches, though hardly tourist destinations. If you're struggling to find more saplings, or have run out of cloth to fix your bedroll, then it's time to start beachcombing. It's an incredibly rich resource of potential loot, including things that would otherwise be finite. Arrowheads, raw fish, knives, and even flare shells can wash up along the shore.

Thin ice is all that's stopping you from having a field day out there. Reduce your weight and remove all clothes to make your chances better. If you fall through the ice, put your dry clothes back on to warm up. Crampons increase the time you can stand on thin ice before falling through. Make sure to pick up everything, as that increases the rate of new loot turning up.

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