Sunkenland: 10 Beginner Tips for Getting Started

Don’t get overwhelmed; use these Sunkenland beginner tips to get started on the right path

Sunkenland is an up-and-coming ocean survival game developed by Vector3. At first glance, the world of Sunkenland is relaxing and peaceful. What isn’t so apparent is that before long, swarms of well-armed enemies will be storming your base to kill you and destroy what you’ve built.

Though there is plenty of relaxing gameplay to be had in Sunkenland, it’s also fair to say the world can be pretty hostile. If you’re just dipping your toes into this title, it might be a bit overwhelming to try and deal with everything at once, especially with the threat of raids on the horizon.

Don’t worry; we’ve already put ourselves through the wringer and emerged with these 10 beginner tips to help you get started in Sunkenland.

1. Prioritize what you need

Inventory Space is Limited in Sunkenland
Inventory Space is Limited

Inventory space in Sunkenland is limited, especially at the start of the game when the player has no storage or backpack to speak of. While you’re eventually going to need 40 stacks of scrap metal, you don’t need it all right now.

When diving and looting bases, especially early on, it’s extremely important to be particular about what you carry in each inventory slot to ensure you don’t waste time making extra trips or have to dump resources into tiny boxes that can be hard to find again.

Trying to clear every location to 100% is time-consuming and often frustrating. Prioritize resource nodes and loot containers that are most likely to contain what you’re looking for and leave the rest for later.

2. Learn where to find resources

Harvesting a Barrel for Cloth and Wood in Sunkenland
Harvesting a Barrel for Cloth and Wood

Building on the importance of the previous entry, players will have a much easier time surviving overall if they know where to find what they need in Sunkenland. Sure, it’s easy to assume that breaking wooden barrels will give you wood, but you might be surprised when you end up with a bag full of cloth instead.

First, players should familiarize themselves with what kind of loot each node or container typically yields. Our How to Find Resources in Sunkenland guide can help you identify container types and inform you of what they carry. Second, players will benefit from knowing where to find those containers.

For example, it’s somewhat obvious that the Refinery is a good place to find fuel and chemical barrels, but it might be less obvious that the School is one of the best locations to find wood and leather.

3. Mind the time

Mind the Time in Sunkenland
Mind the Time

It might be sweaty under the midday sun, but at night, it gets cold on the open ocean. Once night falls in Sunkenland, your character will begin to slowly (or rapidly if you’re in the water) freeze to death. When your screen starts shivering and is slowly covered by ice, that’s a sign that you need to get somewhere warm.

The best ways to combat the cold are to wear a Warm Jacket or to stand near a fire. The warm jacket is great for keeping out the chill but takes up your chest slot can’t compare to proper armor when bullets are involved. Fortunately, a bonfire can be crafted with just a bit of wood.

Additionally, any burning light source, such as a hanging lantern, standing torch, or fire bowl, also counts as a source of heat and can keep you warm. In terms of indoor lights, the fire bowl has the largest light radius (second only to the bonfire) and, therefore, the largest heat radius as well. 

4. Build LOTS of storage

It's Important to Have Enough Storage Space in Sunkenland
It’s Important to Have Enough Storage Space

As we mentioned, inventory space comes at a premium in Sunkenland, and you’re going to be gathering a lot of stuff. From extra ammunition to clothing, food, seeds, and even parts you can’t use yet, it would be a shame to throw all of this stuff out or litter the floor of your base with it. If this tip seems obvious to you, then you haven’t fully grasped just how much storage we’re recommending you build right off the bat.

Keep in mind that the type of storage container you build matters, as some storage boxes offer more space while others boast a higher damage resistance and are harder to break into. While wood and metal shelving are great set pieces and useful for cleaning your inventory before you leave your base, they take up a lot of space and don’t store much in return.

5. Set up defenses ASAP

Sturdy Player Defenses in Sunkenland
Sturdy Player Defenses

Your first couple of days in this new world might be relatively peaceful, but before long swarms of enemies are going to show up to try and take you out of it. Every few days, a new wave of enemies will attack your base and attempt to destroy what you’ve built. You might be able to handle the first couple of attacks with nothing but a spear, but these waves will progressively become more dangerous, spawning more and more enemies with better weapons and armor. 

If you want to survive these raids, you will need defenses. Regardless of what kind of base you’re building, it’s important to prioritize building defenses early on, as they cost a hefty chunk of resources and take time to set up strategically.

Remember that enemies will soon begin spawning with ranged weapons like crossbows and guns, so be sure to construct barricades you can take cover behind, as well as traps to protect your walls from melee attackers.

6. Don’t fear the fins

Spear Fishing for Marlin in Sunkenland
Spear Fishing for Marlin

Most players will rightfully want to craft a pair of diving fins as soon as possible. If you don’t, you should, as these valuable items double your movement speed while swimming, which is extremely important since you’ll be doing a lot of swimming. However, making a rudimentary pair of fins requires hunting down marlins, a large, powerful fish with a deadly spike on its nose.

It’s reasonable to assume these fish are dangerous, and some survivors will wait until they have better gear before facing these giants. However, marlins in Sunkenland are remarkably docile and will only react to taking damage from the player by attempting to swim away from them. Even sharks, which will likely deter many players from visiting certain locations without decent gear, are slow and pretty easy to deal with once you have a pair of fins.

7. Fix your stuff

Utilizing the Repair Station in Sunkenland
Utilizing the Repair Station

With so much to do, it’s easy to forget to take care of your equipment and base. Whenever you take damage from any source, any clothing and armor you wear will also degrade based on how much damage it absorbs. The more your armor degrades, the less protection it will offer you. Additionally, enemy raids will regularly cause significant damage to any defenses, boats, or other structures they can reach.

Letting your stuff break down is a recipe for disaster. You’ll need two items to avoid this eventuality: a Repair Hammer and a Repair Station. The Repair Hammer is a simple tool that allows the player to view the health of any damaged structure or vehicle when looking at it, as well as restore that health by striking it. A Repair Station is a machine that quickly restores worn clothing or armor to full durability.

We recommend checking all your defenses with the Repair Hammer after every raid and repairing your equipment whenever you return to or leave your base.

8. Craft multiple Air Tanks

Re-filling a Spare Air Tank in Sunkenland
Re-filling a Spare Air Tank

When you can finally craft your own air tanks, it’s a game changer that allows you to stay underwater longer and explore more treacherous environments for better loot. However, players will quickly realize that their air tank doesn’t last nearly as long as they might hope and may waste lots of time with trips back home to refill their O2 supply.

The solution to this is to simply craft multiple air tanks. Not only does this save you a lot of time by allowing you to keep diving for longer without returning to base, but players can also swap out their air tank on the fly underwater. This can help you explore larger structures without having to surface and even save your life in an emergency.

9. Always carry Bandages

Several Different Effects can Cause Bleeding in Sunkenland
Several Different Effects can Cause Bleeding

The one status effect survivors fear above all others: Bleeding. In Sunkenland, every hit from a sharp melee weapon, projectile, or shark has a chance to cause you to start bleeding. Crossbow bolts, in particular, have a noticeably high chance of inflicting this effect on players. Players who are bleeding will slowly begin to lose health and eventually die if they aren’t treated.

The solution to bleeding is bandages, of course, and they work 100% of the time as soon as they are used. That said, we recommend carrying around at least a stack of 5 at all times (we always keep a full stack of 10 on us, though.) Carrying around so many might seem excessive, but just wait until you have to stop yourself from bleeding out 12 times in a single firefight and see if you still feel that way.

10. Sell your spares

Selling Spare Resources and Equipment can be Profitable in Sunkenland
Selling Spare Resources and Equipment can be Profitable

You are going to be picking up literal tons of stuff in Sunkenland. In addition to materials, loot containers, and certain resource nodes will also contain lots of clothing, broken items, decorations, and treasure. Treasure marked with a “$” sign is meant to be sold and serves no other purpose, but we suggest selling off a lot of the other extras you pick up as well.

Chances are you won’t need the 40+ shirts you pick up during your dives, and the chest full of hatchets you took off those raiders isn’t doing you much good either. Eventually, you can build a recycler that can reclaim a few base materials from these, but the yield isn’t worth the storage space, so it’s much more efficient to take them to the trader to swap for silver or other goodies.

It’s also usually safe to sell certain resources that you pick up frequently but rarely use (charcoal, in particular, is a good example of this since you get some every time you cook food or smelt ore.)

Dive to survive

The open world of Sunkenland is deep, beautiful, and dangerous. There’s lots to do, lots to explore, and lots of ways to get yourself killed. Now that you know the beginner tips and tricks behind surviving the early game, you can focus on developing your base, improving your gear, and conquering the high seas!

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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