10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting V Rising

A vampire looks at the viewer from their coffin.

screenshot: Stunlock Studios / Kotaku

I’m playing an apex predator in V Rising, and I’m mere steps away from my fortified abode as the sun comes up. Just before I manage to open the gate door, a carnivorous plant shoots a mouthful of gunk at me, depleting my last sliver of health. [Record scratch. Freeze frame.] You’re probably wondering how I got into this situation.

In V Rising, you begin as a fragile new vampire in a world where anything from deadly plants to the mere act of the sun moving through the sky and eliminating that patch of shade you’re standing in can kill you. You’re weak, you have no resources, and you’re potentially bewildered by the world that now stretches before you. V Rising is a wonderfully systematic game that allows you to be playful about how you choose to grow your powers and influence. However, it comes with one major caveat: the game is very light on teaching you how the game works, preferring to teach you through repeated failure. If dying a dozen times within the first hour doesn’t sound appealing to you, then read on for some of the most valuable lessons I learned as a fledgling vampire.

Pick the right place to build your fortress

This is the single most important decision that you’ll make in the early game. While you can always dismantle your castle and try again, you only get a percentage of your resources back, so moving can be as prohibitively expensive as it is in real life. Since there’s no automatic way to transport resources across the map, the vast majority of your time will be spent running back and forth between enemy strongholds and your own castle.

Don’t settle down too quickly. Your map will indicate what types of resources can be harvested at each location, and you should scope out a location that will allow you to access as many different types of resources as possible. Enemies will respawn in this game, so also check that the patch of real estate you have your eyes on isn’t next to any particularly deadly creatures.

Use the right tools for the right resources

Your sword is ideal for harvesting plants, your ax is the most efficient at chopping wood, and your mace is most suited for mining stone. But you can’t collect a higher-tier material if your weapon isn’t the right level. If you want to mine copper, then you have to upgrade to the reinforced bone weapons. If you want to mine jewels, then your weapon has to be copper or better. By keeping all of these weapons up to date, you can save yourself from having to double back to your base whenever you find a rare material node.

Build mist braziers as soon as you’re able

In V Rising, sun exposure can kill you in seconds. Once you’ve built a fort, you can craft mist braziers that provide artificial shadow from the sunlight. Best of all, they use bones as fuel, which is one of the easiest materials to get in this game. It takes a few seconds for the shadow they generate to expand, so you’ll still want to have something to hide behind while the brazier activates its effect. Don’t forget to pause them when the sun goes down, or you’ll have wasted a lot of bones.

Use the daytime for crafting and the nighttime for hunting

There’s nothing worse than having to wait around for the sun to set while you’re trying to hunt down a major boss. Try to time your ventures for when the night has just begun. During the day, it’s a more efficient use of your time to turn on the mist braziers and convert all your hard-won resources into gear, structures, and better crafting reagents.

Avoid the treents and the golems at all costs

Don’t be like me. I built my first base next to both of these creatures, and now I have to dodge certain death every time I try to sneak back into my own castle. The golems are pretty easy to ignore, but the treents look a lot like actual trees. Here’s a tip. If you see a short, light-colored tree in a clearing, then it’s probably a treent. Avoid it as much as possible, because it kept one-shotting me when I got within its attack range.

A treent attacks the player vampire.

screenshot: Stunlock Studios / Kotaku

These minibosses usually stand motionlessly in place, but they can be aggro’d by passing wildlife or bandits. So be extra careful if they’re not where you expect them to be.

You can’t fast travel if you’re carrying resources

Don’t be like me and spend a ton of time collecting far-off loot, only to find that you can’t immediately transport your plunder back to base. The only way to get around this is by throwing away everything that you’ve collected or storing it in a treasure box.

Use the wolf form to run around the map faster

The Alpha Wolf is the first V blood carrier that you’re expected to fight in the game. Tracking it down can be a pain, but the payoff is worth it. If you defeat it and extract its blood, then you can transform into a wolf by going into the ability wheel. The wolf form has the added advantage of ensuring that wild wolves won’t attack you while you’re traversing the wilds, though you’re still fair game for the roaming bandits.

Consider ambushing a boss instead of going to their lair

Some bumps like to hole up in their air, but there are several that like to go on midnight strolls. In fact, you’re probably better off trying to fight the Alpha Wolf while exploring the wilds, since it doesn’t stay in any one place for long enough to have a “lair.” I was able to kill Lidia the Chaos Archer despite being underleveled because she accidentally got into a scuffle with Goreswine the Ravager. Take advantage of chaos where you can, but don’t be overconfident. Else you might end up fighting two bosses at once.

I actually recommend sniping Goreswine while he’s going out for a stroll, rather than trying to fight him at the graveyard. The graveyard is filled with necromancers that can summon countless hostile skeletons. Take it from an expert: it’s much harder to kill Goreswine when 20 undead warriors are chasing you at once.

You can throw plant fiber away

I’m one of those people who holds on to everything in case it’s useful later. Go ahead and throw away your plant fibres. You’ll end up accumulating a lot of them while harvesting other materials, and you won’t use them very often except for occasionally repairing some gear.

Blood quality matters

Each enemy has a percentage that represents the potency of their blood. Elite enemies generally have a higher number. You get better combat bonuses if you’ve sucked up better blood, and drinking from a new victim overrides your previous blood quality. Different blood doesn’t stack, so you need to cancel out your bloodsucking if you realize that your prey’s quality is too low (left click while extracting blood to kill your victim instantly). This also means that you should be careful not to use your blood to restore health if you’re carrying high-quality blood. You want those bonuses to last as long as possible.

Plan ahead if you’re trying to turn someone into your minion

Later on in the game, you get the ability to turn hostile enemies into your loyal servants. There’s just a few catches: You have to build a coffin for them to sleep in, and you can’t turn into a wolf while you’re controlling their minds. Which means that the both of you are vulnerable to being ambushed by enemies. If they die, then you’ll have to try again with someone new. Try to figure out the easiest route home ahead of time.


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