Icarus: How Food and Hunger Work

Work hard, eat…a lot.

From the moment you step outside your capsule after falling out of the sky at an alarming rate, your hunger bar will be your biggest enemy. Well, that and wolves. Oxygen and water will be mostly manageable with little effort, but your hunger will be something to behold. Knowing how to manage hunger so that you can actually get other things done will be one of the primary tasks you must tackle when arriving on Icarus.

How do metabolism and hunger work in Icarus?

It works really well, thank you. There’s something about the mining of stone on some other planet that really takes it out of you, or even just huddling inside your leaky, thatch hut. No matter what, that hunger bar will drop faster than you did from space, and to tame the metabolism of a dying star, you must get a system going for keeping the hunger under control.

Icarus berry bush
Eating berries help you manage your hunger

Food is all around you, bleating and screaming past you at startling speeds. Here are some early sources of food in Icarus:

  • Collect berries from the woods – Berries will grant you a disappointing amount of reprieve from hunger, but on the plus side, they also provide you a bit of hydration.
  • Hunt – Animals will provide 1-3 raw meats for your consumption. You’ll get a small amount of hunger satisfaction from eating the raw meat, but cooking it will give you a lot more, so please cook your food first.
  • Fishing – An old mainstay of survival, fish will provide you nourishment like meat will, but does better cooked. 
  • Crafting – Remember all those stacks of wheat you happily collected and couldn’t eat? Grind these up into flour using an herbalist table. 

So far, so good; you know what is edible, but what about the fact that meat and berries are going bad right before your eyes? The decay process on Icarus is on hyperdrive, so you’ll need to keep an eye on how fast the raw products in your inventory are breaking down. 

Tips for managing the decay rate of food in Icarus

Here are some early-game observations that may help you out with food decay.

  • Only hunt for what you need at present – Instinct may tell you it’s a good thing to stockpile food, but on Icarus, that’s not going to work out for you. Hunt enough to feed yourself and your team and save your arrows for your next meal.
  • Cookable food has a double timer – The raw meat in your inventory will start to decay as soon as you harvest it, but that timer will reset once you cook it. The cooked version will start a new timer, so use the double timer for meat and fish to help you keep a bit of food on hand.
  • Eat berries right away – Berries can’t be cooked and, therefore, will have only the raw timer in your inventory. Berries grant only a small amount of nourishment, so use berries as a way to top off your hunger bar while out foraging or if your hunger and thirst are starting to get low.
  • Stockpile flour – Flour is nearly edible, but it doesn’t break down! So keep your flour handy and only create dough when you need/want some bread.
  • Train some perks – The perks system is vast, and the Naturally Preserved perk can help you elongate the time that food stays fresh in your inventory, so don’t be shy about buying this perk first if you are the dedicated group cook.

Managing hunger and metabolism

Metabolism will effect how quickly your hunger bar depletes and how frequently you’ll need to eat. Base metabolism rates on Icarus are quite a problem, so here are some ways to get that ravenous appetite under control.

Use perks and pastes to manage food consumption rates
Perks and pastes help reduce food consumption rates
  1. Train the Carbo Loaded perk. The first point you pop into this perk will grant you 10% reduction in food consumption up to a total of 25%. Points well spent indeed.
  2. Make a paste. Think of it like a thick potion. The Food Consumption paste will slow the rate of food consumption while the effect is active.
  3. Stay rested! Gain the Well Rested effect buff when using a bed roll. This effect gives you health and stamina boosts as well as a 5% reduction in food and water consumption.
  4. Eat berries right away. I’ve mentioned this one already but it’s still a goody. They don’t last long in your inventory, so use them to top off your hunger so you can keep going a bit longer before having to eat a proper meal.

Eating food grants you bonus buffs!

Icarus food grants the player buffs to stats
Eating food grants buffs to your character stats

Each type of food has a benefit to grant you when you’ve eaten it. Players who are familiar with how food works in Valheim will recognize how the food effects are stacking. Food buffs/effects will grant you bonuses to stats like maximum health and stamina, reduction in stamina fatigue, and so forth. You’ll see the food buff icons above your health bar on the HUD of all your active buffs. To see what stats each buff is providing you, press ‘TAB’ and click the Inventory tab to see a breakdown of your character along with the active effect buffs.

On to other tasks

Now that you’ve got your hunger (mostly) under control, you’ll be able to free your time up more for other things. Coordinate which foods you eat with what tasks you are planning to do to get the most benefit for your efforts. Load up on stamina enhancements with a bread buff before you go mining and health enhancements before you go exploring. You’ll be glad you did when a bear comes barreling down on you.

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About Squishface

Squishface is the co-founder and owner of Corrosion Hour; a RUST community and website dedicated to helping server owners with the administration and navigation of the ever-changing landscape of RUST. As a programmer with over a decade in the field and a decades-long love of gaming, she spends much of her time in code researching and developing ways to bring meaningful content to help players and readers.

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