The start of Raft can be daunting. Trapped on a tiny raft with no explanation, you need to survive — and it isn’t always clear what you’ll want to craft first. A shark is eating at your home, and the only way to collect resources is with your trusty hook. And that hook won’t last forever. Before you die of starvation or worse, these are the items you need to focus on unlocking first. They’re absolutely essential for survival. Put yourself on the path to success. The starting hours of Raft are easily the most difficult for beginner players, so try to focus on this gear — once you’ve got these items, you can begin hunting down those quest locations. Until then, these are the basics for survival.
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#1: Building Hammer
- Requires: x4 Plank, x2 Rope
The Building Hammer is the first item you need to survive. The Building Hammer allows you to build foundations for your raft and expand — use your starting hook to collect planks, then expand your raft. You can select what you’ll build by press [RMB]. Select the bottom option to repair foundations with planks. A basic essential item.
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#2: Wooden Spear
- Requires: x8 Plank, x3 Rope
The first weapon you need. The Wooden Spear has one use — keeping the shark at bay. When the shark chews up your raft, you’ll need a Wooden Spear to get it off. You can use your new hammer to repair damaged foundation blocks. The spear works exactly like you’d expect. You left-click to stab. You’ll need to build multiple Wooden Spears as you deal with more sharks. Be prepared to replace your spear when it breaks!
#3: Plastic Hook
- Requires: x1 Plank, x2 Plastic
Your starting hook won’t last forever. After making a spear, you’ll want to prioritize making a second plastic hook. To maximize your gains while using the Scrap Hook, aim for barrels or crates — those are filled with resources. The hook can also be used to collect Metal Ore underwater. But that’s something for later.
#4 & #5: Simple Purifier & Empty Cup
- Empty Cup Requires: x4 Plastic
- Purifier Requires: x6 Plank, x6 Palm Leaf, x4 Plastic
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Before you starve to death, you’ll dehydrate. You can’t drink sea water — you need a purifier first. You can’t use a purifier without an Empty Cup. After crafting both, use the Empty Cup to collect seawater, then place in the Purifier with [E]. Place planks in the Purifier to begin cooking. You’ll want to keep a cup of water cooking at all times. If you’re not busy, grab a cup of seawater and refill the purifier. You’ll always need more water.
#6 & #7: Wooden Fishing Rod & Grill
- Fishing Rod Requires: x6 Plank, x8 Rope
- Simple Grill Requires: x6 Plank, x1 Scrap, x3 Rope
The basics of hunger. You won’t live long without a Fishing Rod. Build it first. Fishing is extremely simple — you don’t need bait this early. Just throw your hook and wait. You can continue to collect resources with [E] near your raft and run around freely while waiting for a fish to bite. Once you get fish, you’ll want to grill them. A grilled fish gives you a much larger bonus to hunger. To use the grill, hold a fish and place it on the grill — then place planks to automatically start a fire. It takes some time to cook, and planks need to be refilled periodically to continue cooking. You can only cook small fish at first. Anything that can’t fit on the grill? Just eat it!
#8: Collection Net
- Requires: x6 Plank, x8 Rope, x2 Nail
Now that you’re staying fed, you can begin making life easier on yourself. If you’re staying on the junk pile, you’ll miss things while hunting for food or purifying water. You can’t keep collecting everything that floats by — to make your life easier, build some collection nets. These are placed in the water on the edge of your raft. They’ll grab anything that floats into the net. Annoyingly, nets can be attacked by sharks, so you’ll need to be prepared for an unpleasant surprise. Still, a few nets in the path will help you collect many, many more resources.
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#9: Sail & Throwable Anchor
- Sail Requires: x10 Plank, x20 Palm Leaf, x3 Scrap
- Anchor Requires: x2 Plank, x4 Rope, x4 Stone
To reach islands, you’ll need the sail. Otherwise, your raft will float aimlessly. With the sail, you can direct your raft toward islands — but you won’t be able to land without an anchor. If your ship floats away, you’ll be trapped. To avoid that, build an anchor before exploring the island. Because anchors are one-time-use this early in the game, I recommend saving up your stone and only dropping anchor when you find a really large island. You’ll need to explore islands specifically for Metal Ore — you can hook the metal ore, usually found on the outskirts of islands underwater.
- Requires: x6 Plank, x3 Rope, x3 Nails
The humble Streamer sounds like a useless little item, but it is actually vitally important early in the game. After building a sail, you can direct your raft however you want — and sometimes, you can direct you raft out of the junk pile. A stream of trash is found in the ocean, but only where the wind is blowing. After building a Streamer, follow the direction of the wind to get back-on-track and start collecting more resources. The rest of the ocean is dangerously low on materials.
#11: Triangular Wooden Floor
- Requires: x2 Plank
Once your raft is a safe size, you can start reinforcing the area you have with better foundations — but that costs wood. Eventually it will cost metal ingots to create impenetrable foundations to stop shark attacks. Before you’ll get items like Metal Ingots, you’ll only have wood — and with wood, you can craft Triangular Wooden Floor. This type of floor is much cheaper to build and you can use it to surround your ship. It costs fewer planks, so it won’t matter as much when the shark is chowing down. Use these triangular floors to add a little extra protection to your ship at a lower resource cost.