Sons Of The Forest: How to Get and Use the Shovel

Looking to locate the Shovel in Sons Of The Forest?

The Sons Of The Forest Shovel may not seem all that interesting when you can find items like a Shotgun and Katana. However, it is probably the most important tool you can get your hands on if you want to progress and complete the game’s story.

This Shovel is a tactical model complete with a bladed head and what appears to be a collapsible handle. It can be used to dig holes, exhume graves, and unearth hidden entrances to bunkers around the island.

How to get the Shovel in Sons Of The Forest

Players can find the Shovel in the River Cave located on the island’s west side.

Accessing the River Cave will require using both the Rope Gun and Rebreather. You will also encounter a variety of cannibals and mutants on your way.

Near the end of the cave system, just before a huge opening, the Shovel can be spotted in the hands of a dead miner’s corpse. It will be easy to spot.

Digging up resources from the ground

The Shovel can dig anywhere there is dirt, sand, or snow. While you ultimately cannot dig very deep, digging up certain resources using it is possible. These resources are random and may include the following:

  • 1 Bone
  • 3-4 Coins
  • 1 Skull
  • 1 Watch
  • 1 Small Rock
  • 1 Canned Food

Tips and tricks for using the Shovel

Sons Of The Forest — Tips and Tricks for the Shovel

The Shovel can be used to dig when pointed at the ground. While it is equipped, a spade-shaped outline will appear on the ground to show the player where they are digging. Press the attack button (default Mouse 1) when this outline appears to start digging. Holding down the attack button while digging in this manner will cause the player to continue digging, and the player can move around or adjust their aim while doing this to dig up a larger area quickly.

Graves can be dug up to retrieve resources like Rope, Cloth, Canned Food, and Coins from inside coffins. Look for burial plots marked with wooden crosses to indicate where to dig. Several bunker entrances are also buried beneath the surface. Look for nearby survey equipment and a Shovel icon to help pinpoint their locations. These bunker entrances are also marked as points of interest on the map.

If necessary, it can be used for self-defense. That being said, keep in mind that it makes for a very poor weapon, despite its vicious appearance. Pressing the attack button while aiming it away from the ground will perform a short jab that deals minor damage. However, you cannot block, parry, or power attack with it. The player will opt to dig if you attempt to attack an enemy on the ground.

How to equip the Shovel

Once you have acquired it, you can equip it by following these steps:

  1. Opening your inventory
  2. Panning the mouse to the right of the crafting mat
  3. Selecting the Shovel by left-clicking on it
  4. The inventory will close, and you will have the Shovel in hand

How to add the Shovel to the quick-select bag

Alternatively, if you’ve added it to your backpack, you can access it through the quick-select menu. Briefly hold down the inventory key to pull out the quick-select bag.

This is much faster than panning the inventory screen whenever you want to switch weapons. If you have the Shovel on your quick-select bag, you can find it in either the short or long weapon slots.

While it is considered a long weapon but can also be added to the short weapon slot. The long and short weapon slots can be found on the left side of the backpack and hold weapons such as the Tactical Axe, Crafted Spear, Rope Gun, Torch, and more.

To add the Shovel to the quick-select bag:

  1. Open the inventory screen
  2. Add the backpack to the crafting mat by right-clicking on it
  3. If there is an item in both the long and short weapon slots, right-click on one to remove it
  4. Right-click on the Shovel to add it to the quick-select bag

How to assign the Shovel to a hotkey

If you’d like to have your Shovel in hand with a single keystroke, you can assign it to a hotkey by:

  1. Open the inventory
  2. Mouse over the Shovel to the right of the crafting mat
  3. With your mouse over the tool, press one of the ten available hotkeys (1-0) to assign it to that key
  4. Now when you press the assigned key, the Shovel will automatically be equipped to your hands


Can the Shovel be placed?

No. When holding it, the outline on the ground indicates where you will dig if you press the attack button.

How deep can you dig with the Shovel?

Not very deep. The player will strike hard earth and be unable to dig after about three scoops of dirt from the same spot.

Can the Shovel kill enemies?

Yes, though, it makes a very poor weapon in all regards.

Can the Shovel be dropped or traded?

No. It cannot be dropped or traded with other players.

Is the Shovel required for achievements?

Yes. It is required to complete the game, so it is necessary for the Fight Demons, Fought Demons, and Keep Your Friends Close achievements. It is also required for the Badger achievement.

Final thoughts on the Shovel

Sons Of The Forest — Digging in the Snow

On an island with secrets literally buried beneath the surface, a Shovel might be the only thing you need to get into those hard-to-reach places. Facing off with a cave full of deadly mutants might seem like a lot to deal with to get your hands on a basic tool. But trust us, and you’ll be glad you made an effort once you realize just how much the story relies on it.

Aaron Van Dyck's avatar

About Aaron Van Dyck

Aaron Van Dyck is a thriller novelist with a passion for survival games and exploration. He started writing at the age of 13 and has always been drawn to the sense of self-reliance and freedom found in open worlds. An avid urban explorer and RPG enthusiast, he enjoys dungeon crawling and has a particular love for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Far Cry 5, and Cataclysm: DDA. He's also a fan of shooters and action games with immersive stories and unique monsters to encounter.

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