The first breakout video game of the year is also the most outrageous. Palworld, dubbed “Pokémon with guns” by the internet writ large, takes base elements of survival games like Rust and mixes them with collectible, edible little creatures for a satirical twist. (Yes, you can give your adorable companions machine guns to use.) Released Friday by Pocket Pair, Palworld had more than a million concurrent players on PC exploring the “Palapagos Island” and catching “Pals” during its opening weekend, according to SteamDB. The company claims it has already sold 5 million copies.
The game, currently in early access, is available for $30 on PC and Xbox. Palworld also dropped onto Microsoft’s subscription service, Xbox Game Pass, on its first day of release. Curious about Palworld, but not sure how to dive in? We played the game’s opening hours and have some tips to help beginners get started on this peculiar, addictive adventure.
Eat Your Pals
Catching adorable Pals and putting them to work at your base is one of the most fun aspects of the game, but surviving the first few hours of Palworld is easier if you’re down to fry them up and eat the crispy critters. Sure, you could technically do a vegan playthrough and survive just off berries, but what’s the fun in that? Early game recipes range from grilled Chikipi to Lamball kebabs.
Prioritize Daily Survival
When you die in Palworld, you die in real life. Just kidding! But you do drop all of your resources on the spot when you die, so self-preservation is absolutely key. In addition to eating the cooked Pal meat to stay full, be sure to build a fire at night so you don’t freeze to death. Though don’t get too close to the fire or you’ll burst into flames—a lesson we learned the hard way.
Be Prepared for Glitches
As you get started in Palworld, it’s crucial to keep expectations in check about the game’s level of polish. When we played through the first few hours of early access, we didn’t encounter any crashes or game-breaking bugs, but the whole thing felt pretty glitchy. For example, when we laid down to rest after a long day of catching Pals, our character’s hand floated in and out of their chest like a ghost. Also, if you want to play with friends, you may have trouble accessing co-op servers, as Palworld strains to handle the sudden influx of new players.
Gather Lots and Lots of Wood
Be prepared to pick up a ton of sticks and chop down tree after tree at the top of Palworld. The beginner’s area is full of resources to collect, so it doesn’t feel like too much of a grind. Stocking up on wood will help you build important structures for your base, like walls and a fire. Later in the game other resources will become more of a priority for your team, but focusing on wood is a solid way to start.
Build Up a Strong Base
Wherever you decide to build a Pal Box, that’s likely where your first base camp will be. Open up the missions in the Pal Box to see what you need to build next in order to ramp up the level of your base. Did you pick up cool items while exploring that you don’t want to lose on a new adventure? Try storing them in the wooden box at your base.
Catch a Variety of Useful Pals
If you’re a fan of Pokémon, you’re likely already aware that the animals’ type—water, fire, ice, etc.—matters. The same rules apply to Palworld. Even though you get a decent amount of experience points for catching your first 10 of a specific Pal, it’s in your best interest to gather a variety. Depending on the type, Pals can perform different jobs around your base.