Beginner's guide to Below

Jan 10 2019 5 min read

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Below was created by the disciples of the Dark Souls principle: you get thrown into action and don’t get a tutorial or helping hints. It will be very frustrating at times and require a lot of planning ahead.

At the beginning of the game, you find yourself on an island, looking for the means of survival. Everything you get is the result of your experiments, luck and correct decisions. This page contains tips that will help with your journey across the island.

In Below, you experience character progression while exploring the surroundings and doing all you can to stay alive. Exploration is vital for survival in this game. Each new location, dungeon and chamber brings you deeper inside the island, giving new ways to avoid death.

While moving, you gather food, materials, weapons, keys and armor. Monsters give loot, essential for you to keep going. The purpose is to prepare for a journey, survive and make the life of the next explorer easier.

Death in Below is a part of the game

Each journey Below begins on the beach. Somewhere between the starting point and the island depth your character dies. It doesn’t have to be caused by a mistake of the player; it’s just the way the game works. Moreover, death should be a part of your strategy.

Once your character dies, a new one emerges on the same beach, ready to go along the same path and loot the corpse of the previous explorer along the way.

The four main things you’ll be doing in the game:

Preparation for the journey. Each new life is a quest for the corpse of the previous adventurer and a trip beyond. Make sure you always have a supply of bandages, torches, and, of course, food.

Corpse loot. That can be tricky if the previous adventurer is far from the closest fast travel point. Yet it’s necessary because you need to recover essential tools and supplies.

Discovery, exploration, gathering, fighting monsters. After looting the previous corps, you will very often start looking for new campfires, as they are the fastest way to travel around the island. There are also shortcuts, doors, dungeons and other places of interest you want to discover, open or explore. At this point, remember that your current mission is to make the life more comfortable for the next adventurer, who will be searching for the corpse of the current one.

Dying. Eventually, the current explorer will die, unless you clear the game (which you won’t in dozens of iterations at least). Be prepared to die somewhere close to a blue campfire or at least to the place you want to get to once the corpse is looted.

The chase for the Lost Lantern

Lantern is an essential tool in your inventory, as it provides light in the dungeons and opens some of the doors. Lantern consumes Gems, so you’ll need to keep a steady supply of them.

When you die, Lantern drops near your corpse, and it doesn’t matter if upon death you have it in your inventory. This means that sometimes your previous body with most of the supplies and the lantern are in two separate places. Here are the two possible scenarios:

  • You die, carrying Lantern. In this case, you recover your Lantern while looting the corpse.
  • You die, before looting the previous corpse with Lantern. In that case, you need to find the lantern near the immediate place of death and then go looking for the rest of the supplies.

The only indication of the places of Lantern and the corpse can be found on top of the minimap. The game shows if what you are looking for is on a lower or an upper level.

The things that kill you in the game

Below is a survival game with different things that can kill you. You die when you run out of health, here are the things that take your health away:

Attacks from monsters. The obvious advice of the day: make sure you kill monsters before they kill you. Apply Bandages and Elixirs to replenish the lost health. Hunger. To the left of the screen, there is a stomach-shaped icon with the hunger gauge that will be dropping over time. If it drains completely, you’ll start losing your health. Raw food won’t keep your belly fool for a long time, so you’ll need to cook it using the recipes.

Cold. Some levels of the game are cold, putting your character at the risk of freezing. Light a brazier to get worm again if the snowflake gauge says you are about to start losing health. You can also find some winter clothes to slow down the freezing.

Thirst. Luckily, there is plenty of drinkable water on the island. Don’t forget to get enough of it on your journeys inside the dungeons.

Campfire is your best friend in Below

Campfires in Below can provide a fast travel point and also allow to cook food. Remember, that they aren’t permanent unless you spend 25 Gems, and there might be merit in keeping the campfire unlit in case if you need later.

If you spend the Gems on a campfire, it turns blue and turns into a one-time fast travel point. It will be burning until you teleport to it and will turn into a regular fire again. This mechanic makes blue campfires a good place to die nearby.

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Good luck and have fun on your journey Below!


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