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The only way to survive in 7 Days to Die, or virtually any survival game is through crafting. It is how players will provide themselves will tools, shelter, armor, medicine, and nourishment. When first starting a new game, players will be introduced to the Crafting System through a series of "Survival Quests" that will have players building basic items such as tools, cloth armor, a campfire and a bedroll. Materials required for these early items can be gathered without the use of tools but gathering with tools is always faster and may produce better results.
To gather without tools, line up the reticle that is located in the center of the screen with the plant or item to be harvested and left click with the mouse. The player will damage (basically punch) the item to collect from it. Players will be able to see the damage represented by a number with a remainder of durability. This gives the player an idea of how much effort it will take to finish gathering. Gathering without tools only applies to basic organics.
Pro Tip 1: Always finish the harvesting or gathering from trees even if you think you have gathered enough material from it because doing so gives the player a sizable bonus amount of the materials as the object is destroyed. (This may also apply to other organic-type objects that take more than one swing).
Pro Tip 2: If you are playing with friends, decide who will work on Tools , who will concentrate on Weapons, maybe someone else for Clothing, etc. This way players can make better quality items faster and for each other rather than everyone trying to level everything at the same time.
Pro Tip 3: Gathering for Crafting levels your actual character level a lot faster than running around looting, although looting does increase your Scavenging Skill. Find a mine and dig for a while. or go on a tree-chopping binge. Before you know it, you will have increased a level or two. Putting points into specific Skills such as Mining Tools (Skill), Miner 69'r and Construction Tools (Skill) helps with gathering faster which turns into leveling faster. Adding points to Sexual Tyrannosaurus reduces overall Stamina use, including it's use during gathering (mining can be very tiring).
Pro Tip 4: While looting, scrap items you don't want. Multiple things can be scrapped in 7 Days to Die including Tin Cans, Doorknobs, and Faucets. Brass is required for making bullets. Don't pass up scrapping brass items or melting them down in the forge. Use a wrench if you have one to break down beds. On top of cloth materials, they may provide Springs, used for crafting other items. To scrap an item, click on the item in your inventory. If it can be scrapped, you should see the option in the window that above. Doing this while looting helps reduce the amount of space used in the inventory. Scrapping an item will break it down into a base material that is used in crafting.
Pro Tip 5: The only gun that can be crafted is the Blunderbuss (as of Alpha 14.7). All other guns must be assembled from its individual pieces and the player is required to have learned the appropriate schematic. Since most guns cannot be crafted, this tip may seem irrelevant to crafting but it's still important because new players may not realize that a low-level quality gun, may contain one or more high-level parts. Granted, those parts may need repairing to use, but it's the only way to 'create' a higher level gun. If you have the ability to take a gun apart, don't throw any looted ones away before doing so. Disassemble (use the Assemble option) them first. Weapons can also be forged into scrap materials that can be used for crafting other items.
How to Craft
To craft an item, open the inventory by pressing Tab on the keyboard. From the Character window, players can also access it by left clicking on the icon at the top of the Character UI that looks like a hammer. Using the left side window, select the item to craft. In the right side upper window, players will see the materials needed to craft the item and whether or not they have enough. If they don't have the items in their inventory, the word CRAFT will be grayed out. Players can decide how many items to craft by using the right and left arrows or by changing the number directly. The amount of time it takes to finish all items is displayed directly above.
Players will need to have enough room in their inventory to collect the items, or crafting will stop when the inventory is full. Once room is made in the inventory, crafting will automatically resume unless canceled by the player. Players can continue to play the game while crafting. It does not require their character to stand in one place. Players can cancel crafting an item at any time by selecting the process in one of the four boxes in the lower left side of the Crafting interface. Hovering over the box will cause it to display a large red "X". Clicking on the "X" will cancel the crafting of that item.
Some crafted items can be salvaged. This may come in handing for players creating multiple items of one type to level their crafting skills. Salvaging and crafting can be done simultaneously but they use the same four box space in the Crafting UI. This means if all four boxes are used for Crafting items, then players cannot salvage until at least one of those boxes is available.
There are nine crafting types listed in the Crafting UI. They are:
- Ammo/Weapons - Melee and ranged weapons such as guns, knives, clubs. Ammo includes rounds, shot, and arrows.
- Basics - Tools and items players will need first, all in one convenient menu
- Building - Items needed to build a base or reconstruct damaged ones.
- Clothing - Items worn by the character to protect them from heat, cold, rain and reduce injury from enemy attacks.
- Food/Cooking - Create consumable items.
- Decor/Miscellaneous - Signs, furniture, torches, sandbags, refrigerators, cabinets, etc.
- Medicine - Medicine is used for healing. Splints, bandages, first aid kit.
- Resources - Crafted materials (cannot be gathered or harvested but are required for other items)
- Tools/Traps - Tools used for gathering and "unlocking" doors, cabinets, etc. Traps are used to confine, damage and/or slow enemies.
How to Level Crafting
The easiest way to level crafting in the beginning is to craft multiple items of a given category. Any crafting will increase proficiency up to the maximum but the higher the level of proficiency the player is attempting to obtain, the less chance of gaining a point per item crafted (also referred to as "diminishing returns").
For a player just starting and wanting to level the crafting of tools and weapons, for example, they should start by crafting multiple Stone Axes and Wooden Clubs . Initially, they will gain one point in durability/quality with each item created. As they reach 100+, they will start to see occasional items crafted with the same quality number as the previous one rather than one higher. As the player reaches 300, it is better to move on to a more advanced item to continue leveling with. Leveling is cumulative per skill type, not per crafted item, so if a player can make quality level 300 cloth armor, they can also make the same quality of leather armor.
Quality and Durability of Crafted Items
Quality of an item starts at 1 and is at it's best at 600. The better the quality, the more damage it can take before it is broken. There are several levels indicated by color and number. The color is represented by a bar under the item in the player's inventory or action bar.
- 1-99 - Tan
- 100 - 199 - Orange
- 200 - 299 - Yellow
- 300 - 399 - Green
- 400 - 499 - Blue
- 500 - 600 - Purple
As an item loses durability or use, the colored bar will diminish from the right to the left. Once this bar is gone, the item is broken and will need to be repaired or otherwise replaced (not all items can be repaired).
One way to increase the chance of producing a better quality item is to put points gained during leveling the character into specific Skills. For example, putting these additional points into Armor Smithing increases certain attributes that will allow players to craft heavy armor faster, at better quality and repair it more efficiently. It will also reduce the rate of durability loss. Players can access this menu by pressing "N" on the keyboard or from any other open window by clicking on the 'graduate' icon at the top of the UI.
Crafting Equipment and Schematics
Unless a player is in Creative mode, there is no "gimmie" in crafting. While a majority of items can be crafted using the crafting window, there are plenty of items that cannot. They require equipment such as a Forge , Campfire , Cement Mixer or a Workbench . These items must be crafted as well and players must acquire the knowledge to do so. For example, before a player can craft Cement , they must build a Cement Mixer but before they can do that, they must put 10 points into the Concrete Mixing Skill. This will teach them the ability to make a Mixer as well as Concrete. Once the Cement Mixer is created and placed, players can view the recipes available in the Mixer by targeting it with the reticle in the center of their field of view and pressing "E" (PC) on the keyboard when prompted. This is also the case with the Forge, Campfire, and Workbench. Each has their own inventory slots and recipes.
Crafting Related Skills
Quicker Crafting 0/5 - 10 points per rank - Reduces the time to complete crafting items by 10% per rank.
Armor Smithing - 0/100 - Craft scrap or iron clothing faster and of better quality. Decrease repair penalties and get more from repair kits
Tool Smithing - Craft handheld and motorized tools faster and of better quality. Decrease repair penalties and get more from repair kits
Gun Smithing - Decrease repair penalties per point - Reduce the time it takes to craft ammunition.
Tailoring - Craft plant fiber or cloth clothing fast and at better quality. Decrease repair penalties and get more from repair kits.
Leatherworking - Craft leather clothes faster and at a better quality per point. Decrease repair penalties and use fewer items.
Science - Craft medical, chemical, mechanical and trap items faster and at a higher quality (if applicable).
Miscellaneous Crafting - Craft anything from this group faster per rank
Construction Tools - Do more damage and craft faster with Construction Tools.
Workbench - Learn to craft a Workbench. Prerequisite of 20 points into the Construction Tools Skill.
Players will need Schematics to learn how to craft specific weapons including rockets and hunting knives even if they have put points into a related skill. Schematics can be looted from pretty much any storage container, cabinet, trash can or garbage pile but the best place to look for them is in bookcases and file cabinets. They can also be looted from Supply Crates .
The only gun in the game that can be crafted is the Blunderbuss. All other guns including pistols and rifles must be assembled from parts acquired through looting or disassembling other guns and will require the player to have learned the appropriate schematic to do so. This is current as of Alpha 14.6. Previously players were able to create molds for parts. Whether or not this will come back is unknown.
For specific weapon assembly, check the article for that specific . Most guns require 3 - 4 base parts and the schematic for that specific gun type. Players only need to learn the schematic once. For example, creating a Sniper Rifle requires having learned the Sniper Rifle Schematic and these items:
Once a player has all the items, they can click on one of them in their inventory and choose Assemble from the window above. This will assemble the weapon. A Flashlight is good to have on a weapon but is not required to assemble it. Players can always add one later.