This is a general guide on how to play the Battle Royale streamer's game Darwin Project as an Inmate.

(work in progress)

Bare Minimum

  • You can sprint in all directions
  • Jumping and rolling in combat drains your stamina while locking you roughly in an animation. Perform at your own risk.
  • Try to move unpredictably. This extends to baiting axe swings by running in close and narrowly dodging
  • You can draw back your bow then cancel it to try to bait the enemy into thinking you'll be stationary
  • Beware of cabins. Fights in cabins are very dangerous. Time your attacks, don't just swing sporadically
  • As a new player, play semi-defensive, sure. But also try to fight frequently so you can learn combat first hand.
  • Temporary truces are allowed. Teaming is not. (A Moderators comments on teaming)

Getting Started

An Ice Age is coming to the Canadian Rockies and you must be prepared! Welcome to the Battle Royale styled game set in a bleak dystopian landscape consisting of seven equally sized zones.

Before starting your first game, go into Options and verify the keyboard and mouse bindings. There is nothing worse that expecting a movement or action to be on a specific key due to where they are commonly located in other games only to find that isn't the case here. Next, check the sound options and make sure the voice chat input and output are correct. Voice chat is important in Darwin Project as it is the only direct interaction players have with the Show Director. They can provide players will helpful information and are more likely to do so if you interact with them.

Next, you will want to go into Equipment from the main menu and make any changes prior to starting the match. This will open up the Crafting Wheel. There are only two choices that cannot be changed. Those are Armor and Fire. Everything else can be switched out. Click on each one and get familiar with the options.

Crafting Wheel Overview

Once a player has a few resources, they can use the Crafting Wheel to create Perks, Powers, Cloaks, Boots, Arrows, Fire, and other useful items. Before they can do this however, the player will need to decide which items they want to create. The crafting wheel comes with a set of default choices, but once the game has started, these cannot be changed. That is why it's important to prepare before leaving the Lobby. Most items take Leather, Wood, or Electronics.

There are three items that can not be crafted but are also beneficial. These are the First Aid Kit, Speed Drink, and the Warm Coffee. These items can be found in chests which are scattered into every zone.

The most commonly crafted items are:

  • Armor - Provides additional damage protection
  • Cloaks - Provides additional warmth
  • Fire - Provides warmth. Unfortunately may also show other players where you have been and make it easier to use tracking.
  • Arrows - These are vital. Players will start the game with 5 basic arrows. Craft more of these, or one of the others. Fire arrows do increased damage.

Tip: Consider crafting 2-3 arrows, boots, and armor first. They take more resources, but can pay off in the end. Also, hide while crating if possible, as crafting does take a few seconds and the player is unable to look around while doing it. If hiding in trees, be sure it's a large tree that you cannot walk through. If a player can walk through it, an arrow can be shot through it.

Basic Gameplay

Once the game begins, all players will be moved into the Arena from the Lobby. They will be spread out among all seven zones so there is a good chance players will have a minute or two to collect resources. Do this right away as the resources are needed to craft necessary items. Watch for Deer, Chairs, Electronics, Chests, and start chopping every tree in the vicinity for Wood.

Basic Inmate Controls 

  • Movement - W, S, A, D
  • Jump - Spacebar
  • Sprint - Hold L Shift
  • Toggle Crouch - C
  • Melee Attack - LMB
  • Aim - (Hold) RMB
  • Harvest/Interact - E
  • Open Crafting Wheel - (Hold) Q
  • Powers - R, F, G
  • Tools - 1, 2, 3
  • Speed Boost - 4
  • Health Pack - 5
  • Warm Coffee - 6
  • Toggle Voice Chat - T
  • Toggle Mute All - Y

Melee attacks

  • Moving forward toward the enemy and attacking will do a single swing of the axe.
  • Leaping while moving forward will do an overhead attack with a slightly longer range.
  • Moving forward and leaping mid attack will perform an uppercut and will knock the enemy backwards.
  • Attacking while leaping without forward movement will perform a side swing.

One difficult but possibly useful trick is to start a swing just before using a teleport. The swing animation will complete after the teleport finishes, so this may be effective if teleporting to an enemy. Snowballs and arrows can be deflected with a melee attack, but the timing has to be perfect for this to work. A melee swing can be avoided by backstepping, but this takes perfect timing as well.  Traps can be broken with melee and ranged weapons.  There are no combo or special attacks for the Bow and Arrow. As mentioned bemore, different Arrow types offer different perks.  

Locating, Tracking, and Hiding

The easiest way to find players, if there are none close by, is to find Cabins with a radar map. These are buildings with a satellite dish on top. The radar will be inside in a corner. Other ways are to watch for smoke from fires, locating Clues, and following footprints. Items like the Hunter Boots or the Hunter Arrow can provide buffs that help you locate another player. If the Show Director places a Blood Moon on the map, all players will be visible to each other for 2 minutes.

If the Director places a Manhunt on a player, that inmate will be tracked for the duration. Using items around the map that are glowing red will track any players within range (that are not using Camo) for a short time. Using Hunter Arrows on an opponent will cause them to be tracked for five seconds.

If you are trying to hide, just keep in mind that smaller trees will not work for this. The best way to know if a tree will hide you, is to try to walk through it. If a player can go through it, so can an arrow or axe. Inmates also leave footprints for a short time, so ducking behind a nearby object to avoid a nearby player may not work as well as you might think.

How it all ends

As the game progresses, spectating voters and the Show Director will start closing areas off. Matches generally last between 10 and 15 minutes. As players are forced into zones, combat will decide who wins.

Game Modes

  • Solo - Free for all deathmatch. Last player alive wins the match.
  • Duo - 5 teams of 2 players.
  • Show Director - Controls the match and adds some flavor and fun to the arena.


  • Players will spawn in with 5 default regular arrows. Craft more of the preferred arrows asap as 5 wont last long.
  • Immediately start harvesting materials before enemies have a chance to close in.
  • Avoid long falls. They will cause a major loss of Stamina.
  • Kills return a small amount of health.
  • Deer do not return arrows. Consider using snowballs to kill them.
  • Watch for lava pits and forbidden zone alerts. Staying in a forbidden zone when the timer runs out will likely end in death for the player.
  • If a Manhunt has been placed on you, find a cabin with a radar to see where players currently are. They will have a satellite dish on top of them. This will help you decide if you want to place traps and tripwires, or simply move to another area.
  • Use long sprints sparingly so that it's available when you need to get away from an enemy. Short sprints are okay, especially between resources since gathering them refills Stamina anyway.
  • Use teleports and Electronic Mushroom jumps to cover larger distances. Avoid jumping for no reason or jumping in fights unless its to do a melee attack or combo. This action uses Stamina and excessive jumping could drain it enough that escape becomes impossible.
  • Use the microphone, especially if the Show Director comes to talk to you. Sure, not everybody likes or feels comfortable talking to people they don't know when playing games, but tips or hints from the Director are most often helpful, and they are more likely to come back if you interact with them.
  • Players new to the game may want to avoid immediately rushing out and finding players to kill. Consider avoiding enemies instead initially and take a bit of time to get to know the map and where things are.
  • Fires are good for warming up, but are quite visible due to the smoke they release. Use snowballs to put fires out when you are done with them unless you are planning to immediately leave the area. Always carry at least one extra wood to build a fire with.
  • If your zone is getting nuked and there are no nearby open zones, place a fire inside the zone getting nuked at the border of the forbidden zone and stay near it on the forbidden side until the nuke is over. This will help the player maintain most of their warmth until they can return to the currently nuked zone. Finish warming back up at the fire in the now-safe zone before putting the fire out or leaving it.
  • Crafting and other activities make specific noises when activated. Consider listening to the game and learning these sounds. They will help you detect what other nearby players are doing, and alert you to nearby items that may be useful.
  • Go into the Gameplay under Options and turn on "Harvest on Melee Attack". This will simplify harvesting.
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