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The Forest is an immersive survival horror game with which I’ve had a lot of fun over the years. My gaming group and I have played this game multiple times, honing my lumberjack skills and, more importantly, becoming an expert spelunker. I’ve explored every inch of the island.
Above and below, I’ve drawn upon all my close calls with the grotesque mutants. Discovered which caves have the best loot and how to navigate the hellish nightmares. In this The Forest caves guide, we’re going to share information that will give you a significant headstart in the game, allowing you to stay ahead of the growing mutant threat.
Believe me; you’re going to want to work fast. There’s little time to idle because the island can be dangerous. If hunger and cold haven’t got you first, the cannibal tribes and mutants will get you!
Bottom Line-Up Front
The Forest is an unforgiving game as the difficulty soon increases as deadlier cannibals and mutants appear on the surface. To make matters worse, you are left to your own devices to survive, and it’s straightforward for new players to get consumed by this endeavor and neglect exploration. However, this will likely result in their death.
In The Forest, your time is very precious. Therefore you will want to set up a primitive camp as soon as possible and explore the Hanging Cave and Dead Cave. As well as the Submerged Cave and Chasm Cave. You’ll be able to pick up essential items such as the Rebreather and weapons like the bow.
Caves can be intimidating to new players, but they’re beneficial as loot will spawn back, giving you an endless supply of resources. However, they are also very dangerous so make sure you are well prepared.
The Submerged Cave is my favorite cave as my buddies and I felt like explorers, and it would be the cave that would spark our interest to explore the game further and unravel the mystery of The Forest.
There are many cave systems in The Forest, and it’s very easy to get lost within them. Endnight Games did a fantastic job with the caves, as the interior of each cave is unique, allowing the experienced spelunker to identify their subterranean whereabouts. The caves are essential to the main plot of The Forest, and if you want to beat the game and rescue Timmy, you will have to descend.
Exploring the caves can be extremely rewarding as you’ll find many valuable items, such as my favorite sticks of Dynamite, which can be used to knock down multiple trees at a time and kill significant threats such as Armsy.
You must obtain key items to progress through the caves and the story. These key items will allow you to pass through treacherous terrain such as deep water with the Rebreather in Cave Three or blocked passages with Dynamite in Cave 1.
Be prepared to be stalked by terrifying mutants and cannibals within the caves. I’d also recommend bringing food with you into the caves. I always bring torches or flashlights into the caves as they are veiled in darkness, and the little lighter reveals very little of my surroundings.
This is incredibly dangerous as you’ll quickly lose your bearings in the dark, and you don’t want to stumble across a Virginia in the dark!
There are 16 cave systems in total some are small, only containing a few items. In contrast, others are huge and flow into other cave systems in the game. The caves may seem intimidating. However, they can be used as shortcuts to get around the map and seek shelter from cannibals on the surface. As a couple of weeks in and cannibals will be spawning left and right.
Essential Gear for Spelunking in Caves
If you’ve watched The Descent or any horror movie, you’ve probably shouted at your TV about how stupid characters can be in these situations. To not end up like these unfortunate souls. I recommend you collect the following gear and supplies. These items will allow you to explore deeper in the caves and gain access to some restricted caves.
- I highly recommend that you obtain these items before fully exploring the caves. You won’t be able to access certain areas without them, which will waste valuable time.
The Climbing Axe is an essential tool that will allow you to climb walls. Climbable walls have a flat surface and light grey coloring. Short red ropes can also be spotted at the top of the wall. Unfortunately, the Climbing Axe cannot be used to climb down into the Sinkhole or other rocky terrain.
- The Climbing Axe is found in the Ledge Cave (Cave 9).
- You can access the Ledge Cave from the Wet Cave by using Dynamite. However, I recommend just accessing the Ledge Cave surface entrance if you haven’t got explosives.
The Rebreather could be one of the most essential tools in the game to progress in the story and delve into the maze-like cave systems. You’ll need it to explore many caves such as the Coaster Cave, Kanji Cave, Hell Cave at the bottom of the Sinkhole, and the Wet Cave and Submerged Cave.
As the name suggests, the Rebreather is an equipable item that allows you to breathe underwater; the pack also gives you a small light source granting you vision when submerged in water.
To use the Rebreather, you will need Air Cannisters. However, you will only be able to carry four at a time. Each canister will provide you with 5 minutes of air. The Rebreather is a fantastic item that I love to use. I feel immersed and have a sense of wonder as I listen to my character exhale bubbles into the water.
- The Rebreather is located in the Submerged Cave. Next to a pool of water attached to a Skeleton with a bunch of air canisters around it.
- Air canisters can be found in the Wet Cave (3) and the Submerged Cave.
Explosives such as Dynamite and Bombs can be used to open up blocked passageways in caves and can be used to open up locked containers to retrieve parts to craft the powerful Flintlock Pistol.
One of my favorite uses for explosives is to throw them at a clump of trees. It’s cool to watch lots of trees tumble and fall and a great source of logs. My friends and I have cleared large areas of the island using this method, angering the locals.
You can craft explosives, but it’s a long-winded process requiring many items. As you’ll need:
- Booze, Circuit Boards, Coins, Wrist Watch, and Electrical Tape. You can only carry five bombs at a time.
- It’s much easier and faster to retrieve Dynamite from the Hanging Cave (2) next to the Modern Axe. Note that you will only be able to carry five sticks of Dynamite at a time.
A Flashlight is an invaluable tool that will grant you a large radius of light. It’s the best light source in the game as it’s portable and can be recharged using batteries. I’ve often found batteries lying around in suitcases in caves, as caves surprisingly have a lot of resources in them.
- The Flashlight is more accessible to obtain than the other tools. As you can pick it up in the Dead Cave (1), Chasm Cave (7), and Submerged Cave.
- You can access the Dead Cave through the squeeze south of the Sinkhole. Although you’re much better entering the cave through the climb down. As this entrance will lead you directly to the Katana and Flashlight.
Read also: Comprehensive Katana Guide.
If cannibals haven’t knocked you out, this is the first cave you should explore. It’s a relatively big cave and connects to the Wet Cave (3) and Ledge Cave (9).
However, to gain access to the Ledge Cave, you must blow up a blocked passageway with explosives. You can get access to the Wet Cave using a climbing rope. However, you won’t be able to explore far as you’ll need a Rebreather.
There are still key items to collect in the Dead Cave as you obtain a Flashlight and Katana, a great weapon that allows you to strike enemies extremely quickly, so it’s worth paying a visit. Both items are located relatively close to each other.
To obtain them, you’ll need to enter the second entrance to the Dead Cave and follow the straight cave tunnel marked by wooden planks on the ground. Make sure to follow the tunnel right as there is an Armsy in the left passageway.
After a short while of walking, you’ll come across a room on your right. The Katana is next to the dead man, sitting in front of a laptop. The Flashlight is just at the entrance of this room. I recommend breaking the laptop into pieces and looting the room. There are valuable items here, such as a wristwatch and circuit board items, that can be used to craft explosives.
The Hanging Cave is located above the cannibal village and is appropriately named. Originally you were dragged to this cave if a cannibal killed you.
However, now you will be tied to the ceiling by your feet and left to dangle in the cave. The game tells you to get your trusty lighter out to reveal your axe on the ground. This is a brilliant update, and I love how this was implemented into the game. You must make your way out of the game from the down up.
Sooner or later, it will happen to you, so it’s best to be prepared as you’ll be left in critical health. However, it’s not all bad as you can obtain the Modern Axe, Compass, and Map in this cave.
- The Modern Axe can be found in the Hidden Stash room, a room more easily found by entering the cave from the village entrance. The Modern Axe is the best tree-cutting tool in the game next to the Chainsaw and explosives, so don’t leave the cave without it.
- The Compass and Map can both be found on the corpse of a dead rock climber. Near where you are left, tied to the ceiling. However, you must explore the world for details to be drawn into the map. Getting captured is probably the easiest way to obtain these items as you awake next to them.
The Wet Cave is located at the bottom of a river. However, you need a Rebreather to access this entrance. Therefore I recommend you enter the entrance near the brown tents instead.
Or explore the Submerged Cave first. This cave is hard to navigate if you don’t have access to a Rebreather, and it can be accessed through the Dead Cave by climbing down a rope. Be careful, though, as you’ll need the Climbing Axe to venture deeper although you can jump down without it, you won’t be able to return this way.
This cave is significantly more dangerous than the previous caves mentioned as it is filled with pale cannibals, a more potent variant, and all kinds of mutants such as the Armsy and mutant babies. There is a silver lining, though, as you can obtain the Chainsaw in this cave. I highly recommend loading up on supplies to tackle this cave, don’t forget to pick up the fuel for the Chainsaw as it will not work without.
- The Chainsaw is a fantastic item that will allow you to quickly cut down trees and get rid of stumps. For some reason, cannibals hate tree stumps, which will attract and anger them. This explains a lot as my friends and I decimated the island with Dynamite, and we were sieged by cannibals every day.
- You can find the Chainsaw on a table surrounded by mutilated corpses. Ensure you have obtained the Climbing Axe, as you’ll need it to explore parts of the Wet Cave.
The Baby Cave is a small cave located at the bottom of the map. It’s a small cave with not that much to explore. You won’t find any key items here other than Cassette Tape two. The cave connects with the Hanging Cave and originally was not classed as its own cave.
Exploring the Baby Cave is required to complete the “Keep exploring hanging cave” objective in the Survival Guides To Do List. I honestly hate this cave. The Baby Mutants are super freaky and challenging to fight as they swarm and jump at you, don’t even get me started on the Virginia mutant. For a small cave, it sure is dangerous. Explosives are my go-to for ridding these nasty creatures.
- The Baby Cave is a great place to stock up on supplies such as Circuit boards, Meds, and Fuel Cans.
The Submerged Cave, as you can imagine, is filled with water. To traverse through this area, you will need the Rebreather. Luckily you can find the Rebreather in this cave attached to a skeleton by a pool of water.
You can access the Submerged Cave through the Geese Pond. However, you won’t get far without the Rebreather. So I suggest you use the southern entrance shown in the picture above.
- You can find the Rusty Axe and Flashlight and a bunch of collectibles. So it’s worth a visit. Be careful when exploring this cave; you’ll need to monitor your oxygen levels. I’ve been caught out a few times running out of air. Remember that you can only equip the Rebreather on land. However, doing so will automatically equip it when entering bodies of water.
The Lawyer Cave is one of the creepiest caves in the game, in my opinion, and one of my favorites. Exploring the cave reveals a lot about the story. As you can obtain key items here, such as the Camcorder and the Sahara Key Card that grants you entrance to Sahara Laboratories. I loved discovering these items for the first time as I did not see this plot twist coming.
I remember my friend and I hyper immersed in surviving on the island and discovering that there is more than meets the eye to the strange mutants and cannibals. However, if you want to complete this cave, you will need explosives and the Rebreather, so stay stocked up on air canisters.
At this point, I’ve collected a lot of drawings and documents regarding the Red Man. Piecing the evidence together, I figured out that the Red Man is the main antagonist of The Forest. The Lawyer Cave hints at the Red Man’s hatred for lawyers after losing custody of his child Megan. The Red Man is a scary character that even the cannibals are scared of. He can sometimes be seen wandering the island. I once spotted him standing on the Yacht’s deck, chilling me to the bone.
- Bring lots of explosives to destroy two blocked passageways, and kill any Virginias or Armseys you encounter.
The Ledge Cave can be entered through the Dead Cave if you have explosives. However, if not, you can enter it through its climb-down entrance, as seen on the map above. This is an essential cave to explore as you can acquire the Climbing Axe in this cave. You’ll also find Camcorder Tape 3 here.
The Ledge Cave gets its name from the long climbing ropes found at its entrance. This cave is huge, and you will need the Rebreather to explore it fully.
A cave is not essential to the story but an important cave nonetheless. This cave is located northwest and is close to the Sinkhole. This is my go-to cave for collecting resources as it has boxes of flares and explosives. There are minimum threats in this cave with a singular Cow Man.
- Red Paint can be found in this cave, and I highly recommend using it as it will scare Cannibals away from you.
Located northwest of the Sinkhole, the Chasm Cave links up with the Sinkhole Cave and is the main cave that leads down to the bottom of the Sinkhole. As a result, there are lots of Cannibals as well as blue mutants. I highly recommend that you stock up on supplies before delving into this cave. It’s a very lengthy cave, so you don’t want to backtrack for explosives and air canisters.
- This cave has many great items and collectibles, such as the Modern Bow and Tennis Racket.
Making your way through the Chasm Cave will eventually lead you to the Sinkhole Cave. Technically, it’s the same cave, divided into two sections leading out to the Sinkhole wall. Once you’ve made your way through this cave, you’ll be led down to the base of the Sinkhole.
This is an extremely dangerous area. There are Cow Man Mutants everywhere. However, you can make a run for it to the metal door at the back of the Sinkhole. Or even dive into the middle with the Rebreather to enter the Hell Cave.
The Hell Cave’s sole purpose is to lead the player to the entrance of Sahara Laboratories. As a result, it’s very short. There are no items in this area, so proceed to the Laboratory.
Sahara Cave and Laboratories
Entering the Sahara Laboratories was my favorite part of the game. I love how the environment suddenly changes from earthy rocks to a modern and clean aesthetic. You feel some relief to be out of nature but also a wave of dread upon you. Note that you are approaching the end of the game and story.
In the end, you will be given two choices to either use the Artifact to save Timmy by bringing down a plane leading you into the end game cutscene. Or you will be able to shut down the Artifact, which will open up the Artifact Cave exit/entrance leaving you stuck on the island.
I believe powering up the Artifact is the canon ending as it completes the main character’s story of saving Timmy. It’s also the ending that Endnight Games put the most time into by creating post-game cutscenes. Moreover, the final cutscene reveals there is a second island called “Site 2,” the location of the sequel Sons Of The Forest.
The Shipwreck Cave is a creepy cave found in a sunken shipwreck at the bottom left corner of the map. You need a Rebreather to get to the cave. Inside is a Crossbow, Crossbow bolts, and schematics to build a Coffin, Church, and cross. Seriously this is one of the creepier caves in the game just for the sheer number of bones and evil-looking schematics.
The Kanji Cave is a tiny cave located off the coast, directly out from the shipment containers. It’s an underwater cave, so you’re going to need the Rebreather to access it. It can be a struggle to find, but thankfully Endnight Games marked its location with a floating plank of wood. I highly recommend exploring this cave as it’s very easy to navigate, and you’ll find schematics for a Glider! and Tower.
The Coaster Cave is a small underwater cave located offshore west of the map in between the two islands. A floating piece of wood marks the cave entrance. It can be tricky to find; the cave is filled with water, excluding two air pockets for rooms. So make sure to bring four air canisters with you. You don’t want to get into the cave and find out you don’t have enough air to get back!
The Coaster Cave is very small compared to other cave systems on this list. Probably due to it not being connected to the central cave system and offshore in the ocean. So why on earth would I go there, I hear you ask. The Coaster Cave is home to the Log Track Schematic, a fun item that allows you to transport logs quickly over long distances.
This cave serves as an exit to Sahara Laboratories and can only be accessed if you shut down the Artifact. Note that once you exit the observatory within Sahara Laboratories, you won’t be able to return. Don’t forget to pick up the Artifact Ball on your way out. This item allows you to enable peaceful mode or aggressive mode.
Question: Can you Refill Air Cannisters for the Rebreather in The Forest?
Answer: You can’t refill used Air Cannisters for the Rebreather. However, items in caves respawn, allowing you to gather more Air Canisters from the Submerged Cave and Wet Cave. Note that changing an equipped air canister will result in losing the rest of the canister’s air. Furthermore, you can only equip the Rebreather on land.
Question: What is Sons Of The Forest, and When Will it Release?
Answer: Sons Of The Forest is a sequel to The Forest that features seasons and new friendly NPCs. Sons Of The Forest will release in October 2022 on PC via Steam and will include cooperative play. It has not been revealed if Sons Of The Forest will be released for PlayStation or Xbox in the future.
Question: Does The Forest Feature Co-op?
Answer: Yes, The Forest features an eight-player co-op. However, there are no dedicated servers, so you will either have to host or join a friend’s game. To save in The Forest while playing co-op, you must sleep on a bed. Quitting before doing this will result in losing items in your inventory. However, it will not affect building structures.
The Forest or, The Cave
In conclusion, maybe The Forest should have been called “The Cave.” It feels as though the caves wind on endlessly, and after playing for a good chunk of hours, I started to feel that island is very hollow. To survive, save Timmy and leave the island, you must delve into the cave systems and uncover the insane story of the island.
If you take anything away from this guide, remember to obtain the essential items before exploring deeper into any caves. This should take priority as unknowingly exploring caves can be a waste of time if you’re not prepared.
My friends and I uncovered the mystery of the caves after meticulously exploring them and returning to past caves. However, now that we know where the essential items are, we breeze past the game’s early stages. This may seem like exploiting the game, but you will soon realize that getting a head start against the cannibals and mutants is crucial.