The Long Dark Survival Skills Guide – How To Gain XP, Level Up Skills And Gain Bonuses

By   /   Aug 1, 2017
The Long Dark Survival Skills

The Long Dark Survival Skills will help players understanding the skill system in the game as well as provide tips to improve their skills in order to be more effective in all sorts of situations the game might throw their way.

Like all the other survival games out there, The Long Dark also has a Skill system that allows players to better perform in the harsh wilderness and not only augments their abilities but also provides bonus stats.

However, unlike other games including RPGs, there are no skill points which players can personally invest to upgrade certain areas. Instead, players gain XP, which automatically improves their skills.

For more help on The Long Dark, check out our Survival Guide.

The Long Dark Survival Skills Guide

In our The Long Dark Survival Skills, we’ve detailed all the skills that should help you survive the wilderness.

The Long Dark Survival Skills

Instead of investing skill points, players gain XP in The Long Dark which automatically improves their skills. This XP is gained by successfully completing tasks and repeating them over and over again. When players complete a task, an icon for the relevant skill appears on the HUD indicating players have gained XP for that skill. Having gained a certain amount of XP, the skill will level up and provide players with some nice bonus.

Besides the constant use of skills, players can also level them up by finding and reading specific Research Books which are pretty rare. These books can be researched for 4 to 25 hours depending on the book. In order to research a book, players also need to make sure their surrounding has ample light and they a rent tired, hungry, thirsty or affected by any other affliction.

The survival skills that are leveled up by repeating tasks include Fire Starting, Cooking, Carcass Harvesting, Ice Fishing, Firearms Proficiency, Archery, and Mending. More details of each skill and how to improve it is given below.

Fire Starting

As the name suggests, this The Long Dark Survival skill is improved by successfully managing to start a fire in one of the possible ways. Players can start fires at campfires, inside fire barrels or at fireplaces inside some houses.

  • Level 1: 40% chance to start a fire
  • Level 2: 55% chance to start a fire, fire lasts 10% longer
  • Level 3: 65% chance to start a fire, fire can be started without tinder and lasts 10% longer
  • Level 4: 75% chance to start a fire, can start without tinder and lasts 25% longer
  • Level 5: 90% chance to start a fire at 50% increased speed, can start without tinder and lasts 50% longer

Cooking

This is increased by cooking food or preparing any drinks, however, warming up already cooked food or melting/boiling water does not improve this skill.

  • Level 2: extra 10% calories from cooked food
  • Level 3: 15% calories from food, no calorie loss when smashing open food cans, cooking time reduced by 10%
  • Level 4: 20% calories from cooked food, no calorie loss when smashing open cans and cooking time is reduced by 20%
  • Level 5: 25% improved calories, no calorie loss from smashing open cans, cooking time is reduced by 30% and there is no chance of parasites or food poisoning from cooked food

Carcass Harvesting

Players can increase this skill by harvesting meat, guts, and hides from the carcass of dead animals.

  • Level 2: reduced meat harvesting time
  • Level 3: 25% reduced meat harvesting time, harvest 50% frozen carcasses by hand, 10% time reduction in gut and hide harvesting
  • Level 4: 30% reduced meat harvesting time, can harvest 75% frozen carcasses by hand, 20% time reduction in gut and hide harvesting
  • Level 5: 50% reduced meat harvesting time, can harvest 100% frozen carcasses by hand, 30% time reduction in gut and hide harvesting

Ice Fishing

Increased by catching fish from fishing holes in the ice. Repeating this task levels it up improves fish quality and reduces chance of failure

  • Level 2: 8% chance of line break when catching a fish
  • Level 3: fishing time reduced by 10%, 5% chance of breaking line when catching a fish
  • Level 4: 10% increased fish weight, fishing time reduced by 20% and line break reduced to 3%
  • Level 5: 25% increased fish weight, 30% reduced fishing time and line break reduced to 1%

Rifle Proficiency

This skill determines the player’s performance with all sorts of firearms and is increased by landing successful hits on animals.

  • Level 2: critical hit chance increased by 10%, repairing weapon improves condition by 2
  • Level 3: accuracy range increased by 20%, critical hit chance by 15% and repair condition by 3
  • Level 4: damage increased by 10%, accuracy range increased by 30%, critical hit chance by 20% and repair condition by 5
  • Level 5: damage increased by 20%, accuracy range increased by 40%, critical hit chance by 30% and repair condition by 5 and weapon degradation reduced by 50%

Archery

This is increased by landing hits on animals or simply crafting arrows using wood

  • Level 2: bow sway reduced by 25%, arrow damage increased by 10%
  • Level 3: bow sway reduced by 50%, arrow damage increased by 10%, critical hit chance increased by 15%
  • Level 4: bow sway reduced by 75%, arrow damage increased by 10%, critical hit chance increased by 25%, bleed out time reduced by 25% and per-use condition loss reduced by 50%
  • Level 5: bow sway reduced by 75%, arrow damage increased by 25%, critical hit chance increased by 50%, bleed out time reduced by 50% and per-use condition loss reduced by 50%. Also allows players to fire Survival Bow when crouched

Mending

Successfully repairing clothes using sewing kits and other patches increase this Skill.

  • Level 1: 50% chance of successful repair
  • Level 2: 65% chance of successful repair, repair time reduced by 10%
  • Level 3: 75% chance of successful repair, repair time reduced by 15%, improves item condition by 10%
  • Level 4: 85% chance of successful repair, repair time reduced by 25%, improves item condition by 15% and reduces Sewing Kit quality reduction by 25%
  • Level 5: 100% chance of successful repair, repair time reduced by 40%, improves item condition by 25% and reduces Sewing Kit quality reduction by 35%

This is all we’ve in our The Long Dark Survival Skills Guide. If there’s anything else that you’d like to add, let us know in the comments section below!

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