Sons of the Forest: How to save your game

Man sitting by a tent
(Image credit: Endnight Games)

With death around every corner in Sons of the Forest, you'll want to save your progress often. But you'll need to do a quick bit of building first.

Wondering how to save your game in Sons of the Forest? It's a question I had almost immediately when I started playing the new early access co-op survival game. Sons of the Forest drops players into a deadly environment with starvation, dehydration, illness, fall damage, and deadly cannibals around every corner, so saving your game often is as much a key to survival as crafting, cooking, and combat is.

But you can't just go to the menu and click save. First, you need to do a quick bit of building by creating a shelter. Don't worry, it's easy.

How to build a shelter to save your game

You'll need the following to build a shelter:

  • 1 tarp
  • 1 stick

When you scavenge the containers at the helicopter crash site at the beginning of the game, you'll find a reflective tarp in one of them. Pick it up and start searching for a stick on the ground: you'll see plenty of them once you've left the snowy starter area and descended to a lower altitude.

When you spot a stick, pick it up. Then open your inventory by tapping the I key, and select or equip the tarp which will be stored in the upper right-hand corner of your inventory screen. With the tarp in your hand, look at the ground in front of you. You'll see the outline of a square, which you can rotate with the Q and R keys if desired. When you're happy with the spot, left-click and you'll place the tarp on the ground.

Now just move close and look at one corner of the tarp until you see a white, dotted-line arrow pointing up. Left-click again. As long as one stick is in your inventory, you'll see yourself prop up that corner of the tarp with the stick. And that's it, you've just built a shelter. Here's the whole process, which only takes a moment, in a gif:

Now when you move close to the shelter, you'll see two prompts, one to save your game (hold E) and one to sleep (hold Z). You can also prop up the rest of the corners of the shelter by using more sticks, but it's not required.

You can save the game any time you're at your shelter, and it'll also show up on your GPS map as a house icon. To move the shelter, smash the stick with your axe and the tarp will fold itself back up so you can add it to your inventory again.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.