How easy/hard is it to survive in each region?


Recommended Posts

I've been playing this game for a while now (just over a year and a half), and I think I know a thing or two about the various regions in the game. I'll assign each region a difficulty from 1 to 10, where 1 is very easy, 5 is medium, and 10 is hard.

Ash Canyon  [6] -- I haven't spent enough time here to be sure of the accuracy of this rating, but, I think survival here is slightly easier than in Timberwolf Mountain or Hushed River Valley. This is largely because this region has lots of natural resources and high-tier loot, similar to the former, but it also has several shelters scattered throughout. The main challenge of living here is to not get lost, as there are many canyons and plateaus of differing elevations, all connected via climbing ropes. Oh, and try not to fall off the rope bridges when you're crossing them... it's a long way down.

Bleak Inlet [9] -- I'd consider this region to be one of the most challenging to survive in for any significant amount of time. While there is fishing available as a food source and the ammunition crating workbench is close by, along with a nearby forge in Forlorn Muskeg, the region is full of timberwolves. Regardless of how careful you are, you're going to get into a fight with them sooner or later. The region's also very windy and chilly, lacking good shelters aside from a cabin in the northeast, the Cannery Worker Residences, and Pensive Vista. I don't really recommend living here for an extended period of time.

Broken Railroad [7] -- Surviving here for any length of time is surprisingly difficult. Although you do have a forge nearby and a giant lodge, one of the biggest issues you'll face is wolves... all the time. Especially on higher difficulty levels, you'll be spending a lot of your day trying to get out of the way of wolves, and finding enough ammunition for your firearms will become a problem until you've made a bow. The region is also quite small, limiting the amount of stuff you'll find if you start out here, and there really aren't that many deer around to hunt for food.

Coastal Highway [2] -- surviving in Coastal Highway is generally pretty easy. The weather is quite mild and there's lots to be found in the various houses scattered throughout the region. Forging is easy, as a trip to the Riken is only a day's walk away, and there's plenty of buildings that are perfectly suited to calling your home, though Jackrabbit Island and the Quonset Garage are two of the most popular. If you need lamp oil, there's lots of fishing huts all over the ice. The only danger here is the somewhat high density of predators. On the ice, they're rather easy to avoid, but they can sneak up on you unexpectedly in the forest.

Desolation Point [5] -- Finding shelter here isn't a big issue, and the weather here isn't generally too bad. You have a forge close by in the Riken, and deer to hunt on Little Island. Inside Hibernia, you've got almost limitless storage space and a workbench. If you stay on the ice, you should be able to avoid most of the wolves in the area. Be careful if you want to explore the big cave in Desolation Point, for Scruffy the wolf lives there and can be quite difficult to shoot in the dark. If you do manage to kill Scruffy, though, you'll have two deer carcasses to harvest in safety.

Forlorn Muskeg [10] -- I'll tell it to you straight up. Trying to live in this region for an extended period of time sucks. As if weak ice and roaming predators weren't troublesome enough, this region is very chilly and windy, with frequent fog and no interior locations (aside from a cave in the north of the region). It is extremely easy to get lost, and the region doesn't really offer anything that other regions don't have to warrant living here. Unless you want the ultimate survival challenge, just come here for the forge, do your forging, and go back to another region that's easier to live in.

Mountain Town [4] -- Although this region is supposedly "easy", it can be harder to survive here than you think, especially for somebody new to the game. Sure, there's tons of shelter in town and lots of buildings to search through, along with a fair amount of hunting and foraging outside of town... but Mountain Town is known for having a lot of wolves, even on lower difficulties, and has a couple tricks up its sleeve, like the Paradise Meadows Farmstead needing a key and the Orca Gas Station needing a prybar to open. If you're a new player being chased by wolves, you could be in for a rude surprise.

Mystery Lake [1] -- A classic region and with good reason. As far as ease of survival goes, Mystery Lake is pretty well up there. It has relatively few predatory animals compared to most other regions, ice fishing opportunities on its namesake lake, temperatures are fairly mild, and the layout of the map is not especially complicated, so getting lost is less likely than on many other maps. Even forging and ammunition crafting aren't a problem, for it's not too far to Bleak Inlet or Forlorn Muskeg to do said activities. There's lots to hunt all over the map, along with an entire dam to loot for essential supplies. For new players, I'd recommend Mystery Lake anytime.

Hushed River Valley [7] -- I don't know why this region gets such a difficult reputation. It is absolutely brimming with natural resources and hunting opportunities, and the ice caves offer great shelter no matter what the weather (do be careful -- one contains a wolf). If you're caught away from an ice cave, you can always use one of the other caves, which do provide a warmth bonus. Predator density is moderate, and who's going to say no to the ability to carry an extra 5kg using the Moosehide Satchel? How about having up to four wolf carcasses ready to harvest? There's a wolfskin coat right there. There are no beds in this region: you must bring a bedroll. The nearest workbench is in Mountain Town, and the nearest forge in Forlorn Muskeg, so keep that in mind.

Pleasant Valley [5] -- This region might be "advanced" according to its official description, but, especially since the Crossroads Elegy update, it's really of more of a moderate difficulty region. While it is a large region with changeable weather, there are quite a few bears and wolves, and it's easy to get disoriented in the featureless fields, you should be fine as long as you don't wander off the roads and you pay attention. There's plenty of food and clothing to start you off in Thomson's Crossing, and the Crash Site is loaded full of food and clothing too. Hunting opportunities are plentiful, and you're highly likely to find some excellent loot in Misty Falls Cave. Don't forget Signal Hill either, which often has an Expedition Parka!

The Ravine [2] -- Although marketed as a transition zone, long-term survival here is certainly not impossible, if you do it right. The best strategy is to combine this region with the eastern part of Mystery Lake and use the trailers next to Carter Hydro Dam for sleeping in, while, in the daytime, you hunt deer and rabbits and cure their hides in the caves located in The Ravine. Once cured, you can craft items in the workbenches located in the dam. The area is loaded with birchbark, and there's no predators to think about as you carry your smelly hides around. If you need to craft ammunition, Bleak Inlet is only a short trip away.

Timberwolf Mountain [7 (9 in Interloper)] -- This region is notorious for its frequent blizzards, lack of shelter, and high predator density. However, if you know where to go, there are large areas of the map that don't have many predators, and don't forget the cargo containers! If you have a hacksaw (and you're not playing interloper), you'll find all the supplies you'll need to start off within the first few days. With good clothing, you can use the caves with interiors as long-term bases, as they're warm no matter the weather. Just remember: bring a bedroll. The importance of this here can't be overstated, as once you leave the Mountaineer's Hut, that's it for beds.

  • Upvote 3
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A very nice topic and useful information. I agree mostly but not completely. First, these difficulty rates can change significantly according to the game mode. 


For instance, largest threat is wildlife on stalker mode while weather conditions and famine are on interloper mode. It's very tough to survive in PV or TM on interloper mode since they have really terrible climate (considering cabin fever). I don't remember the climate of HRV but FM is relatively warm region according to those above, not to mention you can harvest hundreds of cat tail stalks on FM. For stalker mode, I think it's not that hard to survive on TM or PV (3 or 4 maybe).


On the other hand, I believe CH is the easiest region among all, easier than ML. It has the warmest climate which is best for interloper mode and plenty of food resources around. If you choose your base wisely, you can avoid wildlife more often. 

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find that people tend to overlook BR as a place to settle down (after level 5 cooking). The maintenance shed has a forge, work bench, and a great porch area for cabin fever, outdoor fire, and outdoor storage. The two wolves patrolling the yard are easily dispatched from inside the porch. If they respawn while you are away, there are multiple entrances and cars to hide in. It's comparable to living in the Quonset, except you can't fish (made up for with all the wildlife close by) and it can be a long trip to other regions.

  • Upvote 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't been playing too long but I have to say that I found Pleasant Valley quite difficult. The landscape really is tough to find things and getting caught outside in a blizzard for a few days really out me to the test. I have owned this game for many years but only recently really started to play it. Love the game and the challenge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Salty Crackers said:

I find that people tend to overlook BR as a place to settle down (after level 5 cooking). The maintenance shed has a forge, work bench, and a great porch area for cabin fever, outdoor fire, and outdoor storage. The two wolves patrolling the yard are easily dispatched from inside the porch. If they respawn while you are away, there are multiple entrances and cars to hide in. It's comparable to living in the Quonset, except you can't fish (made up for with all the wildlife close by) and it can be a long trip to other regions.

BR is my favourite place to settle down once I've gotten to a certain point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Keep in mind: these difficulty ratings are based on Voyageur and Stalker difficulties mostly, as these are the gamemodes that I play on mostly. In general, playing The Long Dark on Interloper is almost like playing a whole different game.

On the subject of wolves and bears: until you get to level 5 cooking (or if you're in Voyageur), wolves and bears are very annoying because once you have a wolfskin/bearskin coat, you don't really have much use for their carcasses... unless you want to cook the meat to level yourself up. Levelling up your cooking, though, is fairly easy to do making tea and coffee, along with heating up every tin you come across. (I know there's the trick of harvesting ravaged deer carcasses, 0.1 kg at a time, but that's got the drawback of making your character really smelly!)

If you're playing in Voyageur or have level 5 cooking, I've heard that the Foreman's Retreat makes a pretty good base. If you kill the bear who wanders nearby, there's no predators to worry about in that whole area, you've meat for days, and, if you get bored of bear meat, there's always deer you can hunt.

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the big problems when considering the difficulties throughout the game is that people don't give enough information about their experiences.

Some people are very ready to detail their Interloper experience, but forget to mention that they edited their save file to get over a few problems.

People who are describing their achievements, or difficulties, forget to mention that the were playing at Pilgrim level.

I wish people were completely straight about their games.  This is not a competition between players, it is a challenge between the player and nature.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don’t consider myself a serious player, although I’ve been playing since 2017 I think...I don’t do interloper. Cause I like having guns and such in the game. I do set the weather to “worst possible in all respects” and animal respawn rate to longest. I use a stalker base. I want savage predators and relentless brutal cold, but I want to be able to shoot the predators. The only easier adjustment I make is I disable parasites. I don’t like killing animals and not eating them. Ok that said....


I have had epically long stays in BR. I like using the office cause it’s an outdoor base with superb storage and a workbench inside the warehouse. I’ve spent 200 days there before. It’s the only map i haven’t been mauled by a bear on, and I almost always kill a moose there. Bring a bow and it’s easy. 3 out of 10

I generally have very long stays on TWM as well. I kinda specialize in outdoor bases in brutal conditions. My prior sandbox I lived in echo ravine for 16 days. I will say I die by predators more on this map than any others (thanks bears!). But I eat a lot of em to...I’d give it 5 out of 10.

FM is harder than most to have long term survival on. Nasty predators and the weather sucks. There’s colder places but the disorientation potential is crazy high. That being said, I’ve recently had a 42 day stretch there. I give it 8 out of 10.

BI is the hardest for me. Like 10/10. Everything there eats or freezes you.

AC is the second hardest, 9/10

HRV has lots of stuff. Once you get oriented in it, 4/10.

The rest i think the OP is spot on.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

FM is pretty easy to navigate after you've been through there several times, but once the fog inevitably rolls in, it's still quite disorienting for me. The biggest problem with long term living in FM is the lack of indoor space. Spence isn't the worst location, but you have to go to an outdoor cave pretty far away to cure hides and firewood isn't too plentiful nearby.

Marsh Ridge isn't too bad. No predators, deer and moose, indoor cave to warm up if needed, great snow shelter spot, but the closest workbench is at Spence and maintaining a snow shelter can be a bit of a pain long-term.

I've never lived long-term in a snow shelter, but I've been meaning to experiment with a few unconventional spots, like the Hermit's Cabin in Milton Basin. With crafted clothes, you won't need a fire every night and with the addition of crampons, you could hike up to Paradise Meadows for crafting. I don't know how viable it is as I've never tried it, but it might be an interesting place to consider.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Really cool topic , I have been playing interloper pretty much the last 3 years and there are some regions that have yet to stay extended periods of time on and I had a nice run going where I was staying 50 days in each region but didn't finish. My personal interloper ratings-->

Mystery Lake (1) I  know the map so well so I know all the routes to avoid wolves. The weather is good and has the most sunny days that I can use the magnifying glass rather than matches. Lots of deer and fish on the lake and the bear is an easy kill if you get the one that spawns at the back of the lake. Spent 460 days on this map on my current interloper run (over 500 days) I only had to leave to  forge and loot for cloth and now to test out Bleak Inlet.

Ravine (0) Plenty of game close access to both Coastal Highway and Mystery Lake. No wolves so no danger. 

Coastal Highway (2) I also know this map very well so I know the routes to stay safe. The only drawback I find is the crafting table is at the Quonset and the fishing camp. Both locations are not my favorites as wolves and bears hang out there. But again the weather is good for magnifying glass fires and plenty of fish including Cohoe salmon. 

Pleasant Valley (6) The weather sucks plain and simple I can find plenty of food especially rabbits near the farmhouse barn. With so many blizzards you start to dig into your matches more and hunting and scavenging you are walking long distances.

Timberwolf Mountain (7) I usually stay at Crystal Lake pretty much but there are always wolves on the lake so you are constantly having to pick them off so you can have some peace of mind. Fishing and game is good but it's cold and blizzardy. So you need to have plenty of matches and long walks and ropes for looting so you have to pack light and dress light which also means taking a hit on your health bar.

Desolation Point (6) The problem on this map is there is a lot of water and a lot of choke points. The Riken and Hybernia is usually where I hang out the coal mine has a nice supply of respawning coal. I usually avoid the lighthouse as the path out is always blocked with wolves. If you are a good hunter the other problem happens when you hunt everything all of a sudden there is nothing to hunt and no fishing. Then you have to take the dangerous Crumbling Highway to get out. 

Crumbling Highway(10) I hate this place you have to crawl through it to avoid wolf detection and there's very little to offer to make you want to stay. 

Mountain Town(5) Lots of man made shelters to hide in and plenty of good loot if you get there early enough. The problem is wolves everywhere and work bench locations are not the greatest. I spend a lot of time in the cave with the short rope climb up and cave hike to the Trappers cabin on Mystery Lake.

Forlorn Muskeg(7) Weak ice and fog are the biggest dangers and Spence Farmstead kind of sucks especially if you have to have a perma fire going sometimes (well when you are in forge mode) So many wolves hang out at the farmstead so going there to forge is dangerous that's why I usually end up choosing the Rikan for the first forging. And until you have level 5 archery shooting the wolves from the loft is not a viable option. 

Hushed River Valley (9) No craft table and confusing map (well I think I could do better now) but I die so often when I start here I can't imaging coming back. I think now that I know the map a little better I could do a lot better on it. Lots of game and using the ice caves effectively you can  move around all the good hunting spots rather safely just have to not take that one cave with the wolf in it.

Bleak Inlet(10) I have my 500 plus interloper on this map right now. Biggest problems are wind and timber wolves. Crafting table is in the Cannery complex so to make use you need aurora and key code to get in. So I'm currently in the complex and having shot a couple wolves with the bow  just to get in now I'm sort of trapped in here surrounded by more wolves so I have to try to kill even more of them just so that I can have a run of the place for a little while to wait for the  aurora to get into craft. A lot of extra trouble just to craft. Windy , I can't keep warm no matter what . On a sunny day on Mystery Lake with my current cloths I can pick sticks in the evening no problem. Here fat chance I get right to full cold within minutes of leaving the cabin.

Ash Canyon (8 tentative) Looking at the map the lower part there's one crafting table and one at the miners folly way up the mountain. So the problem I see is having to walk to the fish cabin to craft from the other base near the burnt out fish hut. In the high ground you have the problem of narrow paths with swinging bridges everywhere. The miners folly camp area looks good if you kill the bear. Just a lot of rope climbing so again you have to dress light if you want to pack any supplies. I haven't brought any interloper players here yet so not going to judge it too harshly though. Lots of saplings is a plus. 

Broken Railroad (7) Has some nice buildings and a forge so good for interloper players. Plenty of game to live well. Just a lot of narrow paths to move around so have to always use good stealth to move around safely. Map is small so not a lot of saplings etc. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now