The Long Dark: How To Improve The Cooking Skill

It doesn’t matter the genre, or when a game was released, almost all video games have an in-game item that replenishes characters’ health. It could be a potion, some food, a spell, or an ability. In the end, they all do the same thing; make players live a little longer.

In survival games, the mechanic is a little different. Since these games are all about putting your wits and survival instincts to the test, you’ll have to catch, hunt, or trap your food. That’s precisely what happens in The Long Dark, a first-person survival game in which you’ll be thrown into the Canadian wilderness, and it’ll be up to you to make it out alive.

What Can You Cook In The Long Dark?

There are a variety of cookable items in The Long Dark, for example:

  • You can obtain raw meat from animals like rabbits, deers, wolves, bears, and mooses.
  • There are four different fish types that you can obtain raw fish from.
  • You can also cook canned goods you’ll find in the game world, like pinnacle peaches, tomato soup, or pork and beans.
  • There are also cookable drinks in this game. Cooking things like coffee, tea, prepared reishi mushrooms, prepared rose hips, or prepared birch bark will give you beverages such as a cup of coffee or a cup of tea.

How Can You Improve Your Cooking Skill In The Long Dark?

Cooking is one of the easiest skills to level up since you’ll gain Skill Points every time you’re cooking a food or drink item, and as you can imagine, you’ll be doing a lot of that in this game.

  • A good trick for leveling this skill even faster is to find animal carcasses and harvest tiny pieces of meat until you have a good amount to start cooking. Smaller meat cooks faster, and every time one tiny piece is done, you’ll receive a Skill Point.

The game makes it easier for you by allowing your character to cook things on any fire; it doesn’t matter if it’s a campfire or a contained fire. Another good thing to keep in mind when focusing on leveling this skill is that you can cook drinks and food and even some variety of food items you’ll encounter scattered in the game.

Keep in mind that the only item that’s required for cooking is fire. However, having things like a recycled can (which you’ll use to cook drinks and canned foods or boil water) or a cooking pot (which grants benefits such as reduced cooking times or being able to boil more water at a time) will make things much easier for you.

Moreover, while cooking is such a basic skill, it has a learning curve. If you remove your raw food before it’s completely done, it will still be considered raw, but leaving things too long on the fire will result in the item being burnt.

Why Should You Increase Your Cooking Skill In The Long Dark?

It’ll take some trial and error to know what works best with each prey, but after successfully catching or trapping something, the work isn’t over since you’ll have to cook the meat you just got. This is when your character’s Cooking Skill will become pivotal for surviving the game’s harsh environments since cooking raw food will offer many benefits like:

  • Increasing the raw food’s condition
  • Reducing the risk of getting food poison
  • Getting bonuses from drinking hot beverages

Moreover, each different level of the Cooking Skill will give you different benefits and effects. This is exactly what you’ll get:

  • Level 1 requires 0 Skill Points, and it’s just the base level for this skill
  • Level 2 requires 25 Skill Points, and you’ll receive +10% calories from any item you cook
  • Level 3 requires 75 Skill Points and will give you 15% more calories from any cooked food item; you won’t lose calories when smashing open cans, and it’ll require 10% less time to cook things.
  • Level 4 requires 150 Skill Points, but you’ll get 20% more calories from a cooked item, you won’t lose calories when smashing open cans, the cooking time will be reduced by 20%, and the food will be ready 20% faster.
  • Level 5 is the final level and requires you to have 350 Skill Points. With this level, you’ll obtain 25% more calories from cooked items, won’t lose calories when smashing open cans, the cooking time will be reduced by 30%, the food will be ready 20% faster, and you’ll never get parasites or food poisoning from food. This means that your character can eat ruined cooked meat or any other ruined food once you reach this level, which is good since no meat will go to waste.

NEXT: The Long Dark: The Difference Between Feats And Challenges

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Miguel Amaro is a highly motivated person with a passion for knowledge and gaming who’s finally giving his newfound interest in writing a try. Before working as a writer, Miguel earned a Business and Administration degree and worked in Marketing. He is also trying to get to High Warlord in Classic WoW.

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