an attempt at writing a helpful resource of information to be used during playtest
Skullborn is still in early playtesting stages, so things can change drastically and quickly, as the developer is still working daily on the game and releasing updates regularly.
This guide has been written based on my personal experience and my own knowledge of the game.
For further info or help, join the discord community! (See home screen in the game to get there).
Note: This guide will only cover gameplay, not how to join the playtest phase or any technical issues running the game.
The game is currently very basic when it comes to movement and action.
It’s possible to configure movement which by default is the usual WASD for foward, left, backwards, right. Moving the mouse will also move the camera, left click of the mouse is usually for attacking and right click doesn’t do anything yet (unless you are in build mode) .
It is possible to roll forward by pressing shift.
There are some shortcuts displayed in the top right corner that help remind you what buttons to press for various things like changing camera view (V) from 3rd to 1st person.
(I) opens the inventory, which is a basic grid, which allows you to see the equipment and materials you currently carry. At the start you will have nothing in here.
(K) opens the crafting tab, from the same window as the inventory (so you can switch between them easily just with a mouse click) we will talk about crafting in a dedicated section.
(M) (not listed) opens the map, which is also another tab of the “inventory” window. This shows your current location, nearby crystals and buildings placed by players.
The game uses X,Y coordinates to help you navigate and find your building site again, or simply to try meet with people you know.
if you press (Q) you enter building mode, which changes a bit what all buttons and mouse actions do, so this will also be discussed in a dedicated section.
Skullborn requires the player to collect materials from the environment. There is different type of materials, which I’m going to separate in 2 categories:
- ready to use materials
- raw materials
Some materials can be gathered and used immediately. This category currently includes:
Stone can be collected by destroying rocks found on the ground. Currently each rock gives you 1 stone cube.
Wood can be collected by breaking trees. Each tree will first turn into a log and then into several wood cubes.
Cactus plants can be destroyed and will each give you a handful of cactus slopes (which is half a cube, more on material shapes later)
Mushroom will immediately give you a handful of mushroom cylinders.
Raw materials currently consist of metal ores:
They are dropped by killing elementals and rather than being specific to a biome, they seem to be placed depending on their proximity to the sea.
Copper can be found on orange eyed, orange veined elementals nearby the shores.
Iron can be found nearby in orange/red eyed, black/grey veined elementals.
Further inland you will find silver eye/vein elementals that drop platinum ores.
Even further away you will meet the blue eyed/veined elementals that give you mithril ore.
Similar to how they spawn, elementals can be “summoned” by activating a crystal in a similar area (more on this in the crystals section)
All these ores you gather will also need a Furnace to be placed nearby an activated crystal to be turned into the final block of metal with the shape of choice. (More on this in the smelting section)
These magical artifacts are scattered throughout the map and currently serve multiple purposes:
- activate to sync to a player
- provide power to furnaces
- set the player home point
In their natural state, a Crystal will be floating and will have a purple color with orange reflections.
By going closer to a crystal you will find out whether it has already been synced to a player or of it’s free to be activated.
Once activated, you will have 2 percentages displayed on screen and a yellow/blue circle under the crystal.
Blue circle = player in proximity. This increases the % of sync of the player with the crystal. This needs to be 100% to complete activation for the player.
Yellow circle = player too far. The crystal cannot sync to the player.
Elementals will keep attacking the crystal until the sync reaches 100%. There’s 2 type of elementals that spawn: one is the usual “chubby” elemental, while another “skinny” elemental shows up during this type of events. Spawned elementals during the even should be of the same type of the area that you are in, but the skinny elementals tend to drop copper ore regardless of the location.
The other % displayed is the “life” of the crystal. If it reaches zero, you failed to sync the crystal.
A good tactic to keep some of these under control is to build a wall around the crystal to prevent most of them from reaching and attacking the crystal.
The chubby ones will manage to come through the walls most of the time, though, or they will start throwing stones from a distance, so kill those first!
I would also reccomend crafting a cannon as it makes your life easier.
So now you should have some ores and an active crystal. What do to next?
Let’s explain further the crafting system!
Crafting in Skullborn is mainly done in 2 ways:
- create buildings in the world (see build mode section)
- create blueprints for buildings you placed in the world (see build mode section)
- unlock blueprints to craft equipment
- customise and create your own equipment
Since there are no levels and statistics in Skullborn, crafting better equipment is the only way to get stronger and survive taking more damage.
To be able to craft the first items you will need to collect some stone and wood, which you can get simply by hitting rocks and trees with your bare hands.
Once you collected 50 wood and 50 stone you should have unlocked most of the initial crafting recipes:
- slingshot and stone axe in the weapons section
- stone helmet and stone chest in the armor section
- furnace and portal in the place-ables section
You might have an item chest recipe unlocked but it’s currently not working.
Ideally you want to place a Furnace nearby the crystal (to power it up) and then place some ores in it. After a while you will get cubes of the metal you placed in the furnace that can be used for weapons, armor or building as you please. Better armor and weapons are unlocked once you have enough blocks but it shouldn’t take more than 20-30 blocks.
My reccomendation would be to make a stone axe and activate a crystal nearby the shore. This will spawn copper elementals that are easy to kill and give you plenty of ores to get you started. Place a furnace once the crystal is activated and when you move your mouse over the Furnace you will get an action to use the furnace by pressing (E).
This opens the Furnace window with your inventory. Drag and drop the ores you want to smelt into metal blocks. Currently it’s not possible to select how many ores or split them into smaller stacks, so you will just have to accept to put all your ores of that type in the furnace for the time being.
Smelting takes some time and seems to take longer for more advanced metals. You should soon have a nice stack of copper blocks ready to be used though!
This will unlock more items:
- Copper axe and cannon in weapons
- Copper helmet, chest and boots in armor
You should try make everything before moving on to higher level elementals.
Instead of making the item with the default look, it’s possible to “customise” the item. It will still require the same amount of blocks to get the item started, but the game will then enter the equipment editor, which will allow you to use all the blocks in your inventory and create something bespoke! You can also change the name of the item so pick your name carefully as these names will create “blueprints” from which you will be able to recreate the same piece of armor or weapon that you made before.
Note that the base armor or equipment you customise stays the same, so if you are crafting a mithril cannon it will be as strong even if you start using copper, iron or platinum in it, allowing you to create interesting designs. This is further helped by the various shapes and positioning of the blocks that can be achieved by rotating the block on it’s XYZ axis by pressing the corresponding key on the keyboard while placing the block in equipment editing mode.
You can also use the mouse to look around with the camera and place items anywhere, while to move up and down you will need to use shift and ctrl keys.
It’s possible to upgrade the furnace to create metal blocks of different shapes.
The default shape is cube, but you can get slopes by upgrading the furnace with 80 copper cubes, and once it’s upgraded you can upgrade the furnace further to create cylinders by using 100 iron cubes.
To upgrade the furnace you will need to mouse over the “mold” stand and you will see it change shape, so it’s easy to remember which furnace makes which block.
Once you enter build mode, you will see a green cube starts previewing where you are placing your selected material in the “world”.
You can change the material you are using by pressing and keep pressing R to display on screen a “wheel” from which you can mouse over the item you want to select (no need to click!)
If the material you want to use is not present on the wheel, you can enter the inventory from build mode by pressing (I) and, where usually there’s a your character with the equipment, you will see the same wheel. Drag and drop the material/shape you need into the wheel and close the inventory.
Now pressing R will show you the new material/shape in place of the previous one.
If you are trying to place a block with a shape other than cube, you might also want to change orientation of the block. You can also achieve this like in crafting mode by pressing XYZ for each respective axis. Each time you press the block will turn once in that direction.
Once you are happy with the block and want to place it, you can left click and place the block.
KEEP IN MIND: placing a block is final, you cannot take the block back!
it’s possible to erase blocks by right clicking (you will notice the preview block becomes red) but you wont get the block back in your inventory!
To make it easier to build, it’s possible to drag an area and place multiple blocks at once. If you don’t have enough blocks, the preview will go from green to red and you can downsize until it becomes green again.
Note: this animation is a bit glitchy so it disappears, but the selection is still valid so be careful not to place more blocks than you wanted.
It’s also possible to right click and drag to delete multiple blocks, so be careful again not to delete more than you wanted!
Once you have finished building your perfect home, if you want to save it for future uses you can create a blueprint. Exit build mode and enter the crafting tab to find the “Blueprints” section.
To start creating a blueprint press the button in the window. This will close the window and ask you for a name of the blueprint. Once confirmed,it will enter an editor similar to build mode, but this time any blocks that already exist in the world can be left clicked to be added to the blueprint or right clicked to remove. Usually a whole group of blocks is highlighted to be added at once when connected, but some could be missed, so be careful to have selected all the blocks you need before hitting “enter” to complete the blueprint.
Once you have a blueprint created (you will get a confirmation message in the chat) you will find it in the Blueprints section of the crafting tab with a list of items necessary to recreate it. If you have enough materials, everything will be white, but if you see red numbers then you need to collect more of that material to make it.
Selecting a blueprint to be placed in the wold again will give you another green preview which allows you to overlay your building to the world as precise as you want.
My suggestion is to create blueprints of “floors” that can be built on top of eachother in a modular way, so that when you want to capture a new crystal you can place these as a barrier around it in no time.
Currently buildings around crystals and in the open world are not “protected” from griefing. If you really care about the building you just created, you should make a blueprint. This will also allow you to recreate the same house/building during server wipes during the development process.
The only protected buildings are houses in villages that players can buy for shards.
Now and then you will encounter villages, which are areas with groups of buildings that cannot be removed by the players (unless they purchased a house).
Villages are made up of 2 different type of buildings:
Houses can be purchased for 50 shards by players. Current mechanics of the game allow multiple players from owning the same house, but the last player to login will be considered the current owner of that house. This allows for playtesting purposes to interact with the houses without limitations.
Shops host Globlins that will buy materials off you for shards that can be used to purchase houses.
Currently they will not buy old equipment from you, though.
Once a player purchases a house, they can do whatever they want with it. You can delete the entire thing and rebuild from the ground if you wanted to, or simply alter the look to make it more personalised.
The houses that make up the village were designed by playtesters in an event which awarded special deer antlers to those that contributed.
Portals and Homes.
Portals are a good way to mess with the game and glitch into the quantum realm travel long distances.
The only 2 ways to travel long distances are portals and setting a home at a crystal or a house in a village.
Setting a home requires either an active crystal or a purchased house. Simply mouse over the crystal or the house sign to set the home point.
Each time you want to teleport back home, you simply need to open the Map and click on the “teleport home” button.
Setting up portals
Each portal can be paired with another portal and one other portal only. This means you might need multiple portals if you are planning to visit multiple locations.
I suggest setting up a new portal before you go on a big adventure, so that if you arrive in a place you want to visit again you can craft another portal and connect them!
When you setup a new portal you can access the control block a the bottom center with (E). This opens a window that allows you to pair the portal with another or take note of the portal code.
Once you have taken note of the code, create the destination portal and do the same, but this time you click on the button to pair the portal and insert the code. If you are successful, a transparent blue animation appears inside the frame of the portal.
Now that the portal is active, walk through it to be teleported to the other paired portal.
Building around a Portal
It’s currently possible to remove the portal frame (including the controlling cube, be careful!) to design your own frame or embed the portal in your building.
If you remove the control cube the portal will be open forever between the 2 destinations.
This is all we can share for Guide – Skullborn Playtest for today. I hope you enjoy the guide! If you have anything to add to this guide or we forget something please let us know via comment! We check each comment! Don’t forget to check SteamClue.com for MORE!
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