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Core Keeper Getting Started: A Comprehensive Guide

Core Keeper is a thrilling sandbox survival game that offers a unique twist on the genre while incorporating familiar elements. However, one of its standout features – the lack of tutorials – can be both a draw and a drawback. While some players appreciate the challenge, others may feel lost and discouraged.

In this Core Keeper Getting Started guide, we will provide you with a crash course on everything you need to know to start your journey in Core Keeper. From the basics to defeating your very first boss, we have you covered. Let’s dive in and unlock the secrets of this subterranean world!

Before You Begin: Setting the Stage

Before you embark on your adventure, there are a few essential steps you need to take:

Create A World

To start playing Core Keeper, you need to create a world. Each world is randomly generated, ensuring a unique experience every time you play. You have the option to choose between a Normal or Hardcore World. In a Normal World, death is not permanent, making it ideal for beginners. In contrast, Hardcore World imposes permanent death, adding an extra layer of challenge. Select the world that suits your playstyle and preferences.

Character Creation

Next, it’s time to create your character. Take your time to customize their appearance, keeping in mind that most of their outfit will be covered with armor during gameplay. Additionally, choose your character’s background, each of which offers unique starting points, such as specific skill points and starting items. Whether you want to start with a fishing rod or prefer a vanilla start, the choice is yours.

Playing With Friends

Core Keeper offers a seamless multiplayer experience, allowing you to progress together with friends or bring your solo character into your friends’ worlds. Each player needs to create a character, and then one of you can create a world or join an existing one. With the ability to have up to 30 active worlds at a time, you’ll never run out of space for your adventures. Coordinate with your friends, share the Game ID, and join the world together.

core keeper friends world
Image by Anthony

What to Expect From Your First Few Hours

Once you’ve set the stage, it’s time to jump into the action. The beauty of Core Keeper lies in its open-endedness. Whether you want to build a subterranean base or take on challenging bosses, the choice is yours. Here’s what to expect from your first few hours:

core keeper mushroom
Image by Anthony

Mining: Acquire Resources for Survival

Your first priority is to collect resources by mining the Wood covering the Core. Use your trusty fists (left mouse button) to punch through the Wood and gather it. Once you have enough Wood, access your inventory by pressing TAB and craft essential items such as Torches, Pickaxes, Shovels, and a Basic Workbench. Set up the Basic Workbench, choose a direction, and start digging!

Go on Your First Mini Adventure

Exploration plays a crucial role in Core Keeper. Venture into the underground caverns to discover valuable resources and hidden treasures. Keep an eye out for sparkling walls, as they indicate ores waiting to be mined. In the early stages, you will mainly encounter Copper ores. Collect as much as you can, as Copper is a versatile material that can be used for various purposes. Don’t forget to gather mushrooms and berries to satisfy your hunger. While you can eat most food items immediately, it’s wise to save them until you return to your base.

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Exploring Yields Great Rewards

Exploration in Core Keeper is rewarding. By mining walls and breaking boxes in the caverns, you can stumble upon incredibly valuable items. Keep an eye out for jewelry that grants stat bonuses and lanterns that illuminate your surroundings. Even if you return empty-handed, you are still discovering resources, gaining stat points, and expanding your map. Remember, every moment spent exploring is a step towards progress, even if you don’t find mountains of loot.

Returning to the Core: Building Your Base

Once you complete your initial exploration, return to the Core with your inventory full of goodies. To establish a solid foundation, build essential structures at your Basic Workbench. Craft a Furnace, Anvil, Cooking Pot, and Salvage and Repair Station. These structures will enhance your base and provide valuable functionalities. Additionally, utilize your Cooking Pot to prepare meals using mushrooms and other ingredients for a more substantial food source.

What’s Next?

While you can continue to explore and refine your base, most of Core Keeper’s content is unlocked by defeating bosses. Prepare yourself for the first boss battle against Glurch the Abominous Mass. Defeating Glurch will unlock new features and open up the world even further.

core keeper getting started
Image by Anthony

Core Mechanics: Mastering the Essentials

To thrive in Core Keeper, understanding its core mechanics is essential. Familiarize yourself with these elements to enhance your gameplay:

Interact with Everything

The “Interact” button (default key: E) is your best friend in Core Keeper. Use it to interact with various objects, such as Crafting Tables and Cooking Pots. Additionally, you can open and close doors with the same button. Get comfortable with the “Interact” function, as you’ll be using it frequently throughout your journey.

Mining: Unleash Your Inner Miner

Mining is a fundamental skill in Core Keeper. You can effectively mine walls using your fists (left mouse button), but using a Pickaxe will speed up the process. Remember to craft and use Torches to light up your surroundings while mining. As you mine more, your character’s proficiency will improve, leading to faster mining in the future.

core keeper mining
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Crafting: Unleash Your Creativity

Crafting is where your creativity shines in Core Keeper. Utilize your Basic Workbench to unlock various crafting options. For example, you can craft a Furnace to turn ores into ingots, a Cooking Pot to combine food items into meals, and a Salvage and Repair Station to repair and reinforce tools. Expand your crafting abilities by creating a Copper Anvil and a Tin Workbench. These tools will grant you access to more advanced crafts.

Health and Food: Sustaining Your Survival

In Core Keeper, managing your Health and Hunger meters is crucial. Your Health only drops when you take damage, while Hunger slowly drains over time. Unlike many other games in the genre, Core Keeper’s Hunger meter depletes at a slower rate and can be easily refilled. Food is abundant underground, so gather ingredients and use your Cooking Pot to prepare meals. By consuming cooked meals, you can boost your stats and maximize your effectiveness in battles and exploration.

core keeper health and food
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Combat: Ready for Battle

Combat in Core Keeper is straightforward. Each item you hold has a melee or ranged attack value. Naturally, weapons deal more damage than tools like shovels and pickaxes. Pay attention to the enemy’s pre-attack flash, which gives you time to dodge their strikes. Remember, in Core Keeper, slow and steady wins the race. Don’t hesitate to retreat, heal, and regroup when faced with tough enemies.

The Death Penalty: Overcoming Setbacks

Death in Core Keeper is not the end, except in Hardcore worlds. After death, you will respawn near the Core, retaining any items in your top inventory bar (Hotbar). However, you will drop everything else. To reclaim your lost items, locate the tombstone marking your place of death. Be aware that items you retrieve may suffer minor durability penalties, so repairing your gear may be necessary.

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Farming: Cultivating Your Subterranean Garden

While farming in Core Keeper is relatively simple at its current stage, it will be further expanded in future updates. To begin farming, acquire a Hoe and a Watering Can. Prepare a designated area by tilling the land with your Hoe and then plant seeds. Water your crops regularly with the Watering Can until they reach maturity. Farming provides a sustainable source of food and resources.

Boss Battles: Conquer the Challenges Ahead

Boss battles are significant milestones in Core Keeper, unlocking new features and content. Each boss offers unique challenges and rewards. After defeating the first boss, Glurch, a whole new world of opportunities opens up. Prepare yourself, find the boss arena by rummaging through nearby caves, and prove your mettle in thrilling battles.

Understanding the Core Mechanics: Pro Tips and Insights

Now that you have a solid grasp of the core mechanics, let’s dive deeper and explore some pro tips and insights:

Become A Fishing Pro

Fishing is a valuable skill to develop in Core Keeper. Facing some initial challenges, mastering the fishing mini-game is well worth the effort. Cast your rod (right mouse button) while facing a body of water, and when the “!” symbol appears above your head, strike with the right mouse button to start the mini-game. Reel in your catch when the fish icon turns orange, avoiding snapping your line by reeling in during the red phase.

fishing core keeper
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Buffs and Debuffs: Utilize Your Advantages

Pay attention to active buffs and debuffs displayed below your Health and Food meters. These icons provide valuable information about your character’s status. Certain buffs, such as food bonuses, can significantly enhance your performance. Keep an eye on them and replenish when necessary.

Skill Trees: Unlocking Hidden Potentials

As you progress through Core Keeper, you earn skill points by engaging in various activities. Once you accumulate five points for a specific skill, you can allocate them in its respective skill tree. Unlock powerful bonuses and customize your character’s abilities to suit your playstyle. Remember, if you’re not satisfied with your choices, you can reset your skill points for a fee.

skill trees core keeper
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Cooking Mama: Discover Delectable Recipes

Cooking plays a significant role in Core Keeper. Experiment with various ingredients and discover delectable recipes. While recipes remain hidden until you create them yourself, we have some fantastic early-game dishes to share:

  • Hearty Pepper Wrap: Heart Berry + Bomb Pepper. This meal grants a temporary speed boost, perfect for the first boss fight. Heart Berries and Bomb Peppers are readily available in the wild, so ensure a steady supply.

  • Spicy Tulip Salad: Bomb Pepper + Glow Tulip. This refreshing salad provides a movement speed boost and a subtle blue glow around your character. The prolonged illumination is invaluable for exploring dark caves.

  • Orange Berry Pudding: Heart Berry + Orange Cave Guppy. Fish for the Guppy, and this filling dessert will reward you with a temporary max health boost and increased mining damage.

There are numerous recipes to uncover in Core Keeper, each offering unique buffs to aid your adventure.

Showdown With Glurch: Prepare for the First Boss

Defeating Glurch the Abominous Mass is a significant milestone in Core Keeper. To emerge victorious, follow these steps:

  1. Track down Glurch: Glurch spawns near the Core, and ground-shaking indicates its presence. Dig through nearby caves until the screen starts shaking, indicating Glurch’s proximity.

  2. Gear up: Before the battle, equip a complete set of Copper Armor. Secure a Wood Bow from Static Slimes or locked chests. Additionally, cook a few Hearty Pepper Wraps and consume one to boost your movement speed.

  3. Engage Glurch: Enter Glurch’s arena with confidence. Use your Wood Bow to deal damage from a safe distance. As the battle progresses, Glurch will enrage, becoming faster and more erratic. Avoid the slime puddles on the ground, maintain your distance, and continue shooting. With strategy and determination, Glurch will fall, granting you access to your first merchant.

Housing: Create a Haven for NPCs

Creating a suitable home for NPCs is an exciting aspect of Core Keeper. However, meeting specific requirements is crucial:

  • House size cannot exceed 8×8 tiles.
  • Walls must have no gaps, apart from a single door.
  • The house must include a bed that is not used as a spawn point.
  • Place an appropriate summoning item, such as the Jar of Slime from Glurch.
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housing core keeper
Image by Anthony

Unlike other games, NPCs in Core Keeper require their unique summoning item placed within the house for them to move in. Consider these requirements when creating personalized homes for NPCs.

Tips and Tricks: Wisdom Gained Through Experience

To help you navigate the challenging world of Core Keeper, we’ve compiled some helpful tips and tricks:

Sleeping Is Great!

Craft a bed using your Basic Workbench to restore health effectively. Placing a bed also designates it as your spawn point. Choose your sleeping spot wisely, ensuring convenience and safety.

Torch Mining: A Clever Technique

When exploring or mining, use the Torch technique to light up your surroundings without placing torches individually. Hold a Torch in your hand while mining to illuminate your path. This technique negates the need for frequent torch placement, preserving your tools. Use it sparingly to maintain the darkness necessary for a captivating experience.

You’re OK if You Go AFK

In Core Keeper, your Food Meter only decreases when you’re moving. If you need to step away from the game temporarily, find a safe spot in your base and stand still. Rest assured, your character won’t starve, and your world will remain open until manually closed.

It Pays to be a Hoarder

In Core Keeper, don’t underestimate the value of basic materials. You may be tempted to disregard simple ores like Copper, but hoarding them pays off in the long run. Basic materials often become crucial components for late-game crafts and advanced technologies.

Become a Food Connoisseur

Take advantage of Core Keeper’s in-depth food system. Cooked meals provide powerful buffs, making boss battles and exploration more manageable. Experiment with various recipes and savor the benefits they offer. Don’t underestimate the impact of a well-cooked meal!

Pocket-sized Mine Carts

Mine Carts are efficient tools for traversing long distances underground. Before embarking on your journey, ensure the Cart is easily accessible in your Hotbar (top bar) rather than your inventory. This ensures that you always have it with you, even if you die and respawn at your base.

Things to Avoid: Pitfalls and Mistakes

While exploring Core Keeper’s captivating world, be mindful of potential pitfalls:

Don’t Rush!

Core Keeper rewards patience and methodical play. Rushing through the game may cause you to miss valuable resources and hidden treasures. Take your time to dig deep, discover ore deposits, and appreciate the intricate details of the subterranean realm.

Fights You Cannot Win

If you encounter an intimidating enemy, remember that you don’t always have to engage in combat. It’s possible to stumble upon bosses while exploring, but assess your capabilities before engaging. Empty your inventory at your base to minimize potential losses in case of failure.

Beware the Salvage and Repair Station

Exercise caution when using the Salvage and Repair Station. One misclick can irreversibly salvage your items, destroying them permanently. Take your time and ensure accuracy when utilizing this station to avoid irreversible losses.

Cloud Storage Errors

Be cautious of potential Cloud Storage errors. In some instances, the Cloud Save may not match the data on your local machine. If prompted with a prompt regarding conflicting data on startup, carefully choose to load the latest data for your game to prevent the loss of progress.

Long-Term Goals To Consider

As you progress in Core Keeper, consider these long-term goals to maximize your experience:

Build The Perfect Base

Unleash your creativity and construct a stunning base that reflects your imagination. Use the variety of tools and materials to build a headquarters for your mining expeditions. Strategically place crafting benches and tools for easy access, and make room for NPC houses. Enhance the security of your base by blocking entrances with Spike Traps.

Cross The Misty Threshold

Once you defeat Glurch and graduate from the initial stages, venture further and explore the misty depths. Discover the mist-shrouded chasms by digging in any direction, and build wooden bridges to access this mysterious realm. Be cautious, as the enemies here are formidable. Embrace the risks and rewards of venturing into uncharted territory.

misty core keeper
Image by Anthony

What Boss Do I Fight Next? (and How to Beat Them!)

While Core Keeper allows for non-linear progression, after defeating Glurch, you may want to set your sights on the next boss battle. Ghorm the Devourer presents an excellent challenge for your second boss encounter. Construct a tunnel coated in slime, place Spike Traps strategically, and let them do the work while you observe from a safe distance. Collect a sizable amount of Spike Traps (at least 150) to ensure victory against Ghorm’s mighty wrath.

Frequently Asked Questions

For more information and guidance, check out these additional resources:

  • Core Keeper Money Making Guide
  • Core Keeper Bosses Guide: Here Comes The Slayer Of Slimes!


With this comprehensive Core Keeper Getting Started guide, you’re equipped with the knowledge and strategies to embark on an extraordinary adventure. Embrace the challenges, leverage your expertise, and forge your path in this captivating sandbox survival game. Discover the depths of the subterranean world, conquer bosses, create spectacular bases, and unlock the vast potential that Core Keeper offers. Let the journey begin!

Note: The content of this article is for informational purposes only. Always refer to the official Core Keeper documentation for accurate and up-to-date information.

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