Guide on getting through the first 5-10 levels relatively quickly.
The first unlocks I grab when leveling are the bow, stone arrows, campfire, bedroll, and stone knife.
The bow and arrows are going to be your ticket to fast leveling as you’ll see shortly, and if you didn’t play the beta weekends you’re going to need a little practice to get the hang of nailing those critical hits. The stone knife will let you skin animals for the necessary fur to make a bedroll, and net you leather, meat, and bones. Skin every animal you kill, save all of the bones/fur/leather for later. Once you have enough fur, make a bedroll.
While I’m taking in my surroundings, I try to find a cave to shelter in. The beta did not have enemies in caves, however at launch it seems there are worms that will attack you if you go too far in. My solution is simple, don’t go far in. Using the mining pick, create a hole just big enough for you to jump through, and setup your campfire/bedroll right against that stone wall. You should be able to stay out of worm aggro range here, and it will allow you to have shelter during storms, and a place to sleep through the night.
It’s important to mention that you shouldn’t make the hole go all the way to the ground. Leave enough stone that you have to jump up and into the hole. This way you can fire your bow at the local wildlife/predators through the entrance you just made to your cave abode.
Once you hit level 5, you can unlock wood structures. To be honest, nearly all of it is a waste of points. However, by unlocking wooden pillars and wooden ramps/roofs, you can create a structure that will let you more easily see and hunt wildlife for faster xp gain. I’ve included a picture of my setup.
Since I started off in a cave as previously mentioned, I built this right outside the cave against a mountain wall. It’s not expensive to make, doesn’t take long to build up, and provides excellent view distance. As soon as possible, unlock bone arrows (which is why we’ve been saving bones from our kills up to this point). Bone arrows make a huge difference in getting those one-shot kill crits. WIth some practice, you can one-shot wolves/deer from hundreds of yards away.
And you’re going to want to kill every wolf you see. Wolves net you 1600-2000 xp. To compare, goats/deer are 1/3 of that at best. Typically I will sleep in the bedroll until morning, eat my food to buff up, climb into my makeshift deer stand, and scan the area. If I notice any trees that are blocking my line of sight, I’ll cut them down until I have several lanes to look down. Most of the time I won’t come down to skin an animal right away, especially with wolves because sometimes they travel in packs.
With this method, I managed to make it up to level 15 in no time, crafting newer items/tech as the levels progressed.