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Spiritfarer beginner’s guide: 9 Things to know before you start

Spiritfarer is a complex emotional exploration of death hidden beneath the trappings of a simulation and management game. In Spiritfarer, you assist spirits on their journey after dying to find peace in the afterlife. The previous ferryman of the dead retired and you have to fill his shoes. Armed with the Everlight (a fantasy multi-tool), your feline companion, and a rickety boat, you set out to bring peace to those who are journeying through the afterlife. This article contains no spoilers, and in this Spiritfarer beginner’s guide we focus on providing our best tips to help you on your way in this fantastic game.

Spiritfarer beginner’s guide – 9 tips to know before starting your journey

1. Dive for loot

To upgrade your ship and satisfy your passengers, you need a wide variety of resources. Some are used to build new facilities on your ship and others are used to engage your passengers. One resource gathering activity in Spiritfarer is sailing to wreckages to scavenge loot from the debris. Each of the wreckage sites in Spiritfarer has a big box floating in the water that you can loot. But that is not all. If you look carefully, you will sometimes see a small golden area on the surface of the water. If you swim to these spots and dive, you will get a rare resource such as copper or even a treasure you can sell for a lot of Glim.

2. Don’t be afraid to sell your treasures

Because of your fishing, scavenging, and other adventurous activities in Spiritfarer, you will end up with a decent amount of treasures in your inventory. The descriptions of these items show whether you should sell them. So, if it says, “should be sold”, sell them and use the Glim to upgrade your ship.

3. Loot the houses when visiting towns

In Spiritfarer, spirits do not spend the entire afterlife at sea and you can visit different islands and small towns on your travels. Some of these towns will have buildings you can enter and in these buildings are some sweet free loot. It’s easy to miss, but if you look at the screenshot below, you can see that some windows reveal a lootable container. For lack of a better concept, these containers look like crystal balls and once you loot them the crystal ball part fades and only the pedestal remains. This is a very handy tip from our Spiritfarer beginner’s guide as you won’t have enough Glim to buy a lot of resources early in the game, therefore free loot is your friend!

4. Build a tall building as one of your first on the ship

Once you unlock construction early in the game, you can build a selection of buildings on your ship. We would suggest you take either your guesthouse or kitchen and build it as high as possible. This will help you catch more jellyfish if you encounter them on your journey. They move from right to left across your boat and if you have a tall ladder, you can move up and down to catch as many of them as possible. If you lack a tall building, the jellyfish passing high in the air will be out of your reach.

5. Cook a lot of meals for your passengers

The passengers in Spiritfarer, although they are spirits, still become hungry. As you gain more passengers, they consume enough food that you need to stockpile for days where you couldn’t cook new meals. Luckily you can add up to 5 ingredients in the oven resulting in a nice batch when it’s ready. Food doesn’t spoil, so cook away. Something to note, at the start of the game you can can only catch Herrings but later on you can upgrade your fishing rod and catch a wider variety of marine life. Most of the fish (not squids and shrimps) result in the same base meal, but you get more when you use rare fish.

6. How to open your inventory and open bottles in Spiritfarer

Once you have an upgraded fishing rod, you will sometimes haul in either a bottle filled with Glim or a bottle with a message. It’s not immediately obvious, but to open your inventory in Spiritfarer you simply press the “R” button. You can do this anywhere and you don’t use a special station to open your inventory. Here you can click on and open the various bottles. Bottles filled with Glim will give you varying amounts of Glim and bottles with messages in them give you hints to find new passengers or complete quests. Opening bottles will also result in you getting the empty bottles. These are used to catch lightning when you travel through a thunderstorm. Be sure to have some empty bottles on hand when you go through a thunderstorm.

7. Pay attention to the dialogue

It won’t be a proper Spiritfarer beginner’s guide, or any beginners guide for that matter, without an intangible and abstract tip. Spiritfarer delivers its narrative in small snippets of dialogue you have with each spirit. Pay attention to what each spirit has to say, as that is how you learn to know them and understand their struggle. There aren’t a lot of bombshell moments, so you can easily miss some fantastic storytelling if you skip through the dialogue.

8. Sleeping in Spiritfarer

Early in the game, your first passenger explains that you can sleep through the night and wake up nice and fresh the next morning. If you prefer ultimate immersion and want Stella to sleep through the night, go for it. Just know that there is no actual bonus to sleeping, and as your number of passengers increase, nighttime is great to prepare some food or other items for the next day.

9. Audio issues in Spiritfarer using Razer headphones

The last tip in our Spiritfarer beginner’s guide is not so much about the gameplay, but a technical issue. Audio is quite important in Spiritfarer, as the music and sound effects do a lot to set the tone of the game. At first, I thought my audio issues were ‘as designed’ and that Spiritfarer simply took an unconventional approach to audio design. This is most certainly not the case, and Spiritfarer has soothing and evocative audio for you to enjoy. So how do you fix your audio if you share the issues I had? If you are using a Razer device with THX Spatial audio, do not choose THX as your default audio output device in your Windows audio settings. I used the alternative option “Headphones (2 -Razer Nari)” and that fixed the issues I had. I tried to do it through Synapse, but the Windows default output device method worked better.

That is it for our Spiritfarer beginner’s guide, and we hope that these 9 tips will help you ease into a fantastic gaming experience. Spiritfarer is home to a variety of complex narratives. If you are interested in a deeper exploration of narratives in video games, check out our article on Cyberpunk 2077 where we discuss narratives in the light of some of the best philosophy on the topic.