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Once Human is here, and if you’re new to the type of game, we have you covered. Once Human’s tutorial will teach you the basics of building a base, understanding the map and activities, and then progressing through the game. If you want a bit more context or information about some of the few first features and events you’ll encounter, our Once Human beginner’s guide is here to help you. We’ll give you plenty of Once Human tips to accelerate your learning.

Once Human Beginner’s guide

Before you do anything, you want to select a server. There are two server types, one for PvP and another PvE. Both do different things as the season progresses and we’ll explain the differences between PvP or PvE servers.

PvE servers have exclusive world boss-type content, while PvP servers offer more PvP events around the map, and in some instances around your base when certain activities are performed. If you’d rather fight big-world bosses, go PvE. If you want to fight other players in a big guild versus guild battles, defend your base or raid other bases during player or world events, then go PvP. There seem to be more advantages to PvP servers for rewards, but there’s more risk to it. It’s worth noting.

Now that you’re on the server, the first thing you need to do is design your character. Players can customise their character and their weight stats. Note that three weight characteristics offer different buffs and cons. Think of these as build modifiers for different melee weapon types, stamina modifiers, and base carry weight differences. If you want to use more melee weapons, then consider either more strength or swing speed, depending on your preference. Inventory management is also very nice to store more items on loot tuns, then consider going bigger. If you want some more defensiveness consider going in the middle bracket.

  1. 64KG or less – 80KG base load, 15% attack speed buff, 10% less damage from melee attacks, and +25 maximum stamina.
  2. 65-85kg – 90KG base load, Torso DMG reduced by 10%, and Stamina recovery speed increased by 20%.
  3. Over 85KG – 100KG base load, attack speed is reduced by 10% but gains 15% damage. Rolling speed is reduced by 20% and weapon stability is increased by 15.

It’s important to note you’ll get more buffs to all of these features throughout the game. So, it’s a matter of what you want to start off with immediately buffed.

With all that done, it’s time to actually play the game. You’ll get basic combat and movement tutorials to get you on your way before dropping you into the open world.

When you’re in the open world, we recommend following the questline, as that will teach you the basics to questions, basic crafting, base building and other features. You can turn off and do your own thing and that’s fine, but, the tutorial does give you free things rather early on to help you out. It’s important to do this because it helps save resources and gets you your starting vehicle.

Deviants

As part of the tutorial, you’ll get an introduction to Deviants. Deviants are special powers that have abilities and passive buffs to your character. These will alter your playstyle slightly. You’ll naturally get more as you play through the game. 

Be advised that you need to store these in your base in a Cradle building piece. Syncing them allows you to store and use various butterflies, aka deviants for their powers. You’ll naturally learn more about these as time goes on, so don’t worry too much about them in the early game. Use the basic one during the tutorial and use it from time to time to get a feel for how they work.

A survivor looting a magical chest from a location in an open world apocalypse setting.
Exploring the open world offers many quests, POIs loot, and other events that take place. Image capture via VideoGamer.

World Map Content

When playing the game, you have quests on the world map that you can find. Either via the main storyline, or via side quests near towns, settlements, or along the road near POIs. We recommend doing these for more tasks around the POIS, which you’ll want to do anyway.

Upon arriving at a POI, they’ll typically have a few tasks for you to explore and loot. These places will give varied items for crafting and resource collection. Some POIs have things called Mystic Chests, which normally give you pretty good blueprints for armor and weapons. You want these to increase your player power when you craft them at your base.

Make sure to properly complete these side quests, main story missions and map POIs to start levelling up, and getting gear, and resources. All of this helps you to progress the game in a  few different areas.

Again, focus on the main storyline first, as you’ll naturally start finding these side quests and POIs and what they connect to.

Survivor shooting a mutant zombie with a crossbow in a game.
The Crossbow is a must-craft in the early game and will carry you for a while. Image captured via VideoGamer.

Best Early Game Weapons and Armor

When you first start the game, we recommend crafting a crossbow. They are very strong and easy to use for very easy killing basic monsters, or targeting boss weak spots. They even feel better than some of the assault rifle drops we got from chests or other loot sources.

If you want better weapons or armor, one of the best ways to get a really good weapon and armour unlocks is via the Mystic Crates These crates award random blueprints, which you can use to craft armor and weapons. They are often located at POIs on the map with purple markers on the icon.

If you get lucky, there’s a Hunter 500 Frag pistol that’s a very strong weapon blueprint you can get in the early game. It’s something to consider farming for when you’ve done the basics to progress a little faster.

Outside of that, you will get memetic points, which are basically tokens to spend on unlocking new technology. You can specialise in crafting if you want to and get better weapons and armor for your crafting stations.

After that, the same rules apply for better gear as you level up. Continue to check on the memetics for new blueprint unlocks at the building. And when you move area, go and farm the various POis for more schematics.

Building your camp

Building your base is an important part of Once Human.  Base building is key to storing items and placing your crafting stations, alongside fun decorations you can place. You’ll be told to make a small camp during the main quest, but keep it small in the tutorial main quest stuff and then build on it later on.

Unlike other games, Once Human has a portability feature, allowing you to save the layout of your base and store it. You can then move your base’s zone around to a new spot if you want to migrate areas.

The other tip we have for building camps is to watch your boundaries. Each camp has a square field around it to indicate your buildable area. Avoid conflicting with pre-made structures like large boulders, roads, landmarks, settlements and more, as it can make building a little awkward.

In addition, try and build in the centre of your area. This will prevent you from building too close to a boundary limit. You can upgrade your base size if that happens, but it requires resources and technology to do so. Building in the centre enables you to properly use your entire zone and not have to dismantle and rebuild projects from scratch when you do encounter that issue.

A picture of a player made base in Once Human.
You’ll need to build a player base to set up your crafting stalls, storage, and other needs. Image captured via VideoGamer.

Weapon mods

When you start getting better gear and items, you will find random keywords on items. If you open your inventory, you will find you can hover over the item, and press the inspect menu to get more of an idea of what the keyword does. 

There’s also a button that allows you to view all keywords. This will help you learn what weapon effects exist in the game, and what you want to loot or craft yourself. This is where you can really express your playstyle and work out what playstyle and build you prefer using.

Survival Mechanics

Once Human isn’t that big on survival mechanics, but, there are a few to keep an eye on.

  • Energy – Acquired via sleeping. This buffs HP and melee damage.
  • Hydration – Affect sprint and stamina. You can restore it by purifying water or acquiring other beverages via loot or cooking technologies.
  • Sanity – Sanity is a purple bar that takes over your health bar and affects the max HP you have. You get this by fighting enemies in polluted areas marked with the dense atmospheric fog parts of the map. You can purify this with sanity pills or certain foods.

We recommend building a bed in your base when you get around to making one to address energy. Also, many of these survival features are improved and buffed via your cooking skills. If you want to play that role in your team, improve your cooking unlocks via your memetics for your group to help them out.

You can reset your Memetics if you want to and change the unlocks you want access to. However, it can come at a cost. Image capture via VideoGamer.

Memetics

Memetics are your technology feature. We mentioned this in the weapons part, but, in general, you’ll be engaging with this a lot. For the sake of the beginner’s guide in Once Human, you should ideally stick to the basic crafting stuff in the early game. Don’t worry too much about building parts and furniture, as you tend to need a lot of mid-grade or high-grade materials which are hard to get at the start. The ones ou do need are typically fairly obvious for base construction or main quest-related content. In addition, the crafting station modifiers are the most important for crafting needs and forging early, mid and late-game materials for other projects. 

Don’t start investing too much in weapons and armor, as you’ll find you can easily get recipes to craft weapons you won’t have found materials for yet. You’ll find this with post-game stuff that requires tin for example.

Cooking is also nice for better food and drink buffs, but it’s not too necessary in the early game. Save your memetics for as and when you need them in the early game, then specialise your build once you’re more established in the game.

If you make a mistake you can respect your memetics. Though, the deeper you get, the more costly it becomes to do so. Keep that in mind. It’s part of the reason we recommend saving them till you’re more familiar with what to expect. Early game respecs are pretty much free. Feel free to try a few things out yourself and get a feel for how the system plays before committing to a research tree.

About the Author

Craig Robinson

Craig is a Guides Writer for VideoGamer. He is a big-time MMO fan, with interests in competitive games like League of Legends, and Rainbow Six Siege. When he’s not sweating games, you can find him get

Once Human

  • Release Date: 9th July 2024
  • Platform(s): Android, iOS, PC
  • Genre(s): Adventure, Shooter, Simulation