Rend is a violent proving ground. It’s a game that tasks you with fighting, mining, hunting, and crafting your way through a hostile land, all in the hope of reaching Valhalla. You won’t be alone in this task, however, as Frostkeep Studio’s unique fantasy survival game drops you into its strange land alongside a host of other players you must also work with in order to ascend.
But, as you should expect, proving yourself worthy of such an honourable fate is far from an easy task. To help you out we’ve put together some Rend tips to get you started on the long road to Viking heaven.
Below, you’ll learn the differences between the various factions and character classes, the importance of staying hydrated, which animals you should focus on while hunting, the nuances of the game’s rather deep levelling system, and we’ll even give you advice on how to go about crafting and exploring in the early hours of the game. You’ll be a Rend expert in no time at all, we promise.
So let’s get started. Before we get to snacking on watermelons, however, we need to address the thorny subject of which side you want to be on.
Before you create a character on a server in Rend you’ll need to pick a faction. There are three river factions in the game: the sly and cunning Revenant, the intelligent Conclave, and the brutal Order.
All three factions occupy the same game world and will constantly compete over resources. This usually comes to a head during the Reckoning, which is a scheduled event where the shields around each faction’s base fall, allowing players to raid each other for items and souls. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
After entering the server, your first steps will be to start crafting some basic gear. To do this, you’ll need to punch trees and collect grass in order to obtain roughwood sticks and raw fibre. This will then allow you to craft the ingredients necessary for creating an axe, a bow, and a hammer. Then you can set about mining some rocks.
It’s worth noting that while you’re harvesting and mining, you’ll be able to use the right and left mouse button to yield different resources. For instance, cutting a tree with the right mouse button will gather sap and logs, whereas pressing the left button will gather sticks. This goes for rocks too – holding down the right mouse button will gather flint, while the left mouse button collects crumblestone.
Now you’ve got some basic equipment sorted you should start gathering food and supplies so you can start exploring further afield without the risk of starvation or dehydration. Every adventurer in the game has both a thirst and a hunger bar. These can be refilled in a number of ways.
As an example, you can drink water directly from a source, or you can craft a waterskin so that you can carry water and drink it on the go. If you can’t find a water source in your immediate surroundings, there’s no need to panic, as you can also eat watermelons to satisfy your thirst as a last resort. These can be harvested from the ground and will also briefly stop you from starving.
What to hunt
While you can eat watermelons to fill your hunger bar, the most efficient method is to gather and cook meat. For this, you’ll need to hunt different animals out in the world and then put their meat on a campfire alongside some fuel.
Arguably the easiest animals to hunt early on are the passive boars known as Gruntlings, which can be found roaming the land. You‘ll be able to identify them from their smaller tusks and their general disinterest in you. If you attack them, these creatures will try to run away, so make sure to equip your bow and follow them closely.
Picking your battles is extremely important in Rend. Target an animal who is much stronger than you early on and it’s difficult to get away from the hurt it will bring. So take your time to learn the different species, and make sure you avoid wolves and larger creatures with tusks.
How to level
Levelling in Rend requires getting to grips with a number of aspects. First, you should know that you’re able to level up and designate points into specific skill trees depending on the class paths you pick. So far, so familiar.
Your available options are warlord, assassin, shaman, and pathfinder, each path offering different advantages. The assassin class allows you to improve your damage output, reduce fall damage, and increase your stealth. Meanwhile, the pathfinder class focuses more on exploration and buffing faction pets.
Besides classes in the game, you’ll be able to improve on specific abilities by performing actions out in the world. Harvesting enough watermelons and fibre, for instance, will improve your gardening traits, while using a bow will increase your proficiency with long-ranged items and allow you to craft upgraded weapons.
It’s a clever system, but one that takes some getting used to as there’s a lot to manage. Nevertheless, if you keep on top of it, you’ll be able to hone your character’s traits and imbue them with your personal touch.
Improve your standing
One of the unique twists Rend brings to the open-world survival genre is its faction system. When you join a server you are placed into a faction. By helping the clan you increase your standing with the rest of the faction, and expand the permissions you have for building. This system is designed to deter griefers and anyone trying to deliberately undermine the collective efforts of a single faction.
There are a number of ways you can level up your faction ranking. If you use your resources to research an item for your faction then your standing will go up. You can also place flagged resources into your warehouse at the main outpost to earn more experience points, or collect souls by hitting floating blue orbs out in the world before depositing them at the tree in the centre of the base.
If in doubt, talk to your team using local chat to find out what they need and adapt your playstyle accordingly. In Rend, working together makes all the difference.
Building a base
Everybody needs a little privacy sometimes, which is why Rend lets you build your own base in order to get away from the rest of your faction. To build it, you’ll first need to create a tool called a construction hammer, made from tensile vines, crumblestone, roughwood branches, and dross metal (also one of our favourite music genres). Once this tool is crafted you’ll be able to open a menu, by pressing B, that lets you create foundations, walls, and staircases. Dream home, here we come.
Rend smartly blends familiar base-building, survival, and team-play aspects into an action-packed concoction which feels at once unusual and enticing. The game’s deep gameplay systems, Nordic themes, and three-way factional warfare promise to converge into something unique.