The Forest Effigy Guide

A Complete The Forest Effigy Guide [2022]

Cannibals are everywhere in The Forest. They have camps all around the island, and you need to find someplace safe to build your base. And they will still come for you at night even when you think you are safe. So, this survival building game‘s developers gave the players an option; if you want to survive against the savages, you need to become a savage yourself.

No, you do not have to eat other people to ward them off. I am talking about effigies. In real life, they are sculptures, and their size ranges from life-size to gigantic. People usually use them to represent a particular individual during a protest. Here in The Forest, they serve a different purpose.

The effigies in The Forest can ward off cannibals from a particular place. So, they are pretty helpful to build in your base. However, there are inconsistencies with the effigy as sometimes, cannibals will still approach it. Read on further into our The Forest effigy guide to understand how it works and how to build it.

Bottom Line Up Front

head

The effigy is a structure made using sticks, rocks, and the body parts of cannibals. It will scare off some cannibals when you light it on fire. You can only build them if your sanity level drops below 90%. To create one, you need to go to the “effigies” tab in the Survival Guide. Below is a list of the possible effigies that you can build, along with the materials needed to make them.

  • Small Effigy: stick (x4), rock (x3), arm (x3), leg (x2), head (x3)
  • Large Effigy: stick (x10), rock (x6), arm (x9), leg (x4), head (x9)
  • Arm Effigy: stick (x4), rock (x3), arm (x7)
  • Custom Effigy: stick (x2), rock (x3)

What is an effigy in The Forest?

An effigy is something you can construct to ward off cannibals, and they come in many shapes and sizes. If you have one, you must light it up; otherwise, its effects will not occur. You can make effigies using various body parts of cannibals placed on sticks with stones acting as a foundation. Be prepared for the upcoming horrific view because they look bizarre and gross when placed.

You can find them in the “effigies” tab in your Survival Guide. The amount of time it takes for the effigy to become extinguished from its flames ultimately depends on its size. Some would take 10 minutes, while others can last for 20 minutes.

How does an effigy work in The Forest?

head egg

How an effigy works are like how red paint works in the game. They are designed to keep cannibals away from you. You have to burn the effigy for it to work, but there are a few exceptions. Some of them will still attack you even if you have an effigy nearby. According to the developers, this behaviour could be intentional as they commented that they built their AI with some “fuzziness.”

The effigies also do not stop cannibals from attacking you when you provoke them. For example, they will see you going towards them as an act of aggression. Attacking them first can also trigger their fighting spirit. They would simply ignore the effigy and attack you without hesitation.

According to the developer’s community moderator, its size determines the range of the effigy’s effects. On November 2, 2015, he said:

“[Effigies] do not make [cannibals flee]; however, they do keep them away from the effigy up to a certain radius. [The radius of small effigies is] about a few feet, [medium ones are] a bit more, [large ones are] 10 feet, and [custom] effigies should scale to a degree depending on how many body parts are on it.

These are most effective for temporarily driving them back from you for a moment of respite (they shouldn’t attack you in the radius unless you antagonize them further) or filling gaps in your walls and [defenses] if they are damaged or not yet ready.”

What effigies can you build in The Forest?

The game lets you build four types of effigies: the small effigy, the large effigy, the arm effigy, and the custom effigy. I will discuss each type individually to skip to a particular style if you want to.

Small Effigy

Small Effigy

  • Materials needed
    • Stick (x4)
    • Rock (x3)
    • Arm (x3)
    • Leg (x2)
    • Head (x3)
  • Updated added: v0.01
  • Burning time: 10 minutes
  • Dropped items
    • Bone (x5)
    • Skull (x3)
    • Rock (x3)

Players consider small effigies as the cheapest ones you can build. You only need to kill three cannibals to do so. In comparison, large ones require you to kill nine, while the arms effigies require you to kill four. The protagonist building the effigy will structure it in a ‘K’ formation.

They would impale the tree cannibal heads on the upper part of the sticks. They place the three arms on the stick, going diagonally upwards, while the two legs are at the center of the structure. They would then attach the design to the floor using rocks. It will burn for 10 minutes and leave behind five bones, three skulls, and three rocks when extinguished.

Large Effigy

Large Effigy

  • Materials needed
    • Stick (x10)
    • Rock (x6)
    • Arm (x9)
    • Leg (x4)
    • Head (x9)
  • Updated added: v0.01
  • Burning time: 20 minutes
  • Dropped items
    • Bone (x14)
    • Skull (x9)
    • Rock (x6)

You should build a large effigy if you wish for something that can burn much longer. It is the largest one available in the Survival Guide. It is also the most expensive effigy to build due to its size. You would need to kill nine cannibals at least to create one of these. It burns for 20 minutes when you light it up and drops 14 bones, nine skulls, and six rocks when extinguished.

Weirdly, the number of bones dropped does not correlate with the number of limbs required to make it. You only need 13 limbs in total, yet there are 14 bones. So far, the developers have not commented about this. Plus, why should the players complain when they can get more bones for their bone armour?

Arm Effigy

Arm Effigy

  • Materials needed
    • Stick (x4)
    • Rock (x3)
    • Arm (x7)
  • Updated added: v0.03
  • Burning time: 10 minutes
  • Dropped items
    • Bone (x7)
    • Rock (x3)

Do you have a large stash of the cannibals’ arms within your base? Firstly, that is super creepy, and secondly, you can build an arm effigy. They are primarily made using arms, with sticks holding them high and rocks solidifying the structure. Its form is similar to the small effigy. However, the game’s protagonist places all the arms on top of it.

You will need to kill four cannibals if you wish to build one. When you do so, you would have an extra arm. You can do whatever you want with it. Who knows? It might be suitable for barbecue night with the lads! Like the small effigy, it will burn for 10 minutes, and when extinguished, it will drop seven bones and three rocks.

Custom Effigy

Custom Effigy

  • Materials needed
    • Stick (x2)
    • Rock (x3)
  • Updated added: v0.25
  • Burning time: conditional
  • Dropped items: conditional

Alternatively, you can just make your effigy the way you want it made using the custom effigy. It is an effigy that you can customize with various limbs or heads. You would only need to build its base so that you can add in the body parts you want to burn later. It only appears as a stick standing upright when you place it on the ground. On its base are stones holding it firmly together.

Its burning time depends on how many body parts you put on it. By default, it will burn for 10 minutes. However, adding an arm, leg, head, skull, or bone will increase its duration for 65 seconds each. Adding a torso will increase it for 50 seconds instead, but adding more sticks does nothing but grant you the ability to pile on more body parts.

The maximum amount of time that a custom effigy will burn is 20 minutes long. It will leave behind bones when extinguished, although the number of bones is the same number of limbs you put on it. They can also be used as decoration if you wish. Many players have used them to decorate their base. For instance, one player made a throne using custom effigies.

What are cannibal effigies in The Forest?

Cannibal effigies, also known as mutant effigies, are structures made by cannibals to scare off the players. Like player-made effigies, cannibals make them using various body parts such as limbs or heads. You would often see them unexpectedly in environments near your base.

You can also find them in caves, the cannibals’ villages, and their hunting grounds. Sometimes, they even appear randomly throughout the map. There are different cannibal effigies, each with a purpose or a meaning. They would use other people’s body parts that arrived on the island, like the plane crash, but they would also use parts of their own kind.

When you find one, you can destroy it and collect its drops. The drops are usually cloths, skulls, sticks, or rocks, but some have other unique items. Some effigies cannot be destroyed, however. The indestructible ones are usually effigies using the bodies of the plane crash passengers. Below, we will explore the different cannibal effigies throughout the game.

Read also: Comprehensive The Forest Caves Guide

Cross Effigy

Cross Effigy

  • Dropped items
    • Stick (x2)
    • Cloth (x1)
    • Rock (x3)
    • Skull (x1)

The cross effigy is a structure of sticks with a bottom-half circle formation held upright. A skull sits at the top centre of the effigy. Among its decorations include two umbrellas and a pair of sunglasses. However, you cannot get these items when you destroy them. These accessories hint that the skull might belong to a civilized person and not a cannibal.

When you destroy it, it will drop two sticks, a cloth, three rocks, and the skull that was perching on it. They can be found in caves and in places near the player’s base.

Female Effigy

Female Effigy

  • Dropped items
    • Stick (x2)
    • Cloth (x1)
    • Rock (x3)
    • Skull (x1)

The female effigy is a structure made of upright sticks, with its top-end being circular. Inside the circle is another smaller circle, and inside that is the head of a female. The head is kept on the effigy through knots made from its blonde hair. The hair is tied to the circle.

As you might have noticed, you will get the same resources from destroying the female effigy as from the cross effigy. They are prevalent around shorelines and beaches, and because of this, many players theorize that these effigies may symbolize the sun. The cannibals often go to the beaches to perform ritual worships, so there may be a correlation to these structures.

Skull Bag Effigy

Skull Bag Effigy

  • Dropped items
    • Stick (x2)
    • Skull (x6)
    • Leg (x1)

As the name would imply, the skull bag effigy is composed of a brown sack full of skulls inside. The bag is open on its front so you can see the inside. The bag is standing upright through sticks, and above the bag is a ribcage. Branches protrude from the structure, likely to support the bag’s weight. A single leg cleanly cut off is tied below the sack.

Through the sack’s opening, you can see six skulls. You also get six skulls when you destroy it. However, its appearance would infer that there are many more skulls within the bag. Also, it is currently unknown what the bag is made of. It might be dried skin as it resembles a person’s torso.

Camera Effigy

Camera Effigy

  • Dropped items
    • Stick (x2)
    • Cloth (x1)
    • Rock (x3)
    • Skull (x1)

The camera effigy is simply a stick with a head atop. The structure looks like a cross, yet its arms are significantly small, and it got its name through the camera in the head’s open mouth. The camera is tied on the head using a long string that goes through the head’s empty eye sockets and the opening from the neck.

The head is severely dried up, with its nose no longer attached. There are shreds of cloth on the base of the pole. The camera is a white digital camera with a small rectangular frame, probably owned by one of the plane crash passengers. You can find these effigies in caves and wooden huts. They would even appear near your base sometimes.

Two-Headed Effigy

Two-Headed Effigy

  • Dropped items
    • Stick (x2)
    • Cloth (x2)
    • Rock (x2)
    • Skull (x2)

True to its name, the two-headed effigy is composed of two heads impaled on a standing pole. The top end of the stick separates into two, each with one head. The heads are upside down and highly bloody, indicating that they may be recent. There are a lot of slashes on the faces, especially on the cheeks and near the eyes. Their eyes are seemingly gone, possibly extracted.

The heads belong to white males with short, black hair, but the skin has turned pale already. They are seemingly tied to the pole using internal organs like the intestines. It even comes out from the mouth of one head going to another. You can sometimes find them within caves and near your bases, but you can also find them out in the open.

Tooth Brush Effigy

Tooth Brush Effigy

  • Dropped items
    • Stick (x2)
    • Booze (x1)
    • Rock (x3)
    • Skull (x1)

The toothbrush effigy has a bizarre name, but it is directly related to its appearance. It is simply a standing stick pole with stones at the bottom acting as the foundation. At the top of the pole is a cracked skull without a jaw bone. Grass and ferns grow from the skull’s crack. A white toothbrush is sitting among the grass, hence the effigy’s name. You can see them during cannibal rituals.

In some versions of the game, players can find a blue bottle among the grass too. However, some say that the developers removed the bottle for unknown reasons. This blue bottle maybe booze, as the effigy would drop booze when destroyed. The skull and the rocks seem to have been overgrown with fauna, as moss occupies its cavities and surfaces. This occurrence indicates that it may be ancient.

V-Shaped Effigy

V Shape

  • Dropped items
    • Stick (x2)
    • Rock (x1)

This effigy is composed of two sticks in a ‘V’ formation with rocks on their common end acting as the base keeping it standing. At the top end of one stick is a string that is attached to the top end of the other stick. Several objects hang from the line, namely a finger, a toe, and a bundle of twigs.

It is not clear from who these body parts are from, although their appearance could indicate that they are still relatively fresh. Furthermore, you can find a cut leg at the base on top of the rocks. The leg’s purpose may be for structural integrity. Like other effigies in this list, you can find them in random locations on the map. However, they may also appear at cave entrances.

Tall Stick Effigy

Tall Stick Effigy

  • Dropped items
    • Stick (x6)

The tall effigy differs significantly from others. For one, it does not have a body part attached to it. Two, it is incredibly tall, possibly towering at 20 to 25 feet (which is 6 to 7 meters) high. It is primarily a wooden pole ending with three prongs, similar to a trident. The three prongs have a string attached between them, making it look like a slingshot.

Although it is unclear, there seems to be feathers or leaves hanging from the prongs. A dead frog is impaled on the pole going through the centre. You can find these effigies near cave entrances because they are markers for them. However, you can also see them being placed randomly on the map. Sometimes, cannibals would even put it near your base.

Boar Skull Effigy

Boar Skull Effigy

  • Dropped items: N/A

Boar skull effigies are the only effigies aside from fresh human effigies that are indestructible. Since you cannot destroy it, you cannot harvest resources. It also has a simplistic design: a wooden pole with a boar’s skull attached at the top. The skull seems to be clean, indicating that the cannibals may have washed it thoroughly or the cannibals built it a long time ago.

You can see them on the island’s east coast and at the southmost hut within the cannibals’ main village. Look out for shipping containers as players have seen these effigies near them. The purpose of the structure remains unknown. Some players speculate that it is merely a direct reference to Nobel Prize-winning author William Golding’s famous novel, “Lord of the Flies.”

Fresh Human Effigy

Fresh Human Effigy

  • Dropped items: N/A

Fresh human effigies get their name because they will always stay new no matter what. They come in many shapes and sizes, but you cannot destroy them. You can find them all around the map, and some are even in caves. These effigies usually consist of the passengers from the plane crash being mutilated in many different ways.

For example, one effigy has a man crucified on wooden sticks with his clothes taken off except his underwear and wristwatch. A rope ties up his hands and feet, and the cannibals slit his wrists open, possibly bleeding to death.

Another effigy of a male passenger has his phone shoved down his throat, while another one is in a slash on his neck. He is kneeling, so his head is facing straight up the sky. The cannibals cut his stomach open, and his intestines spill out towards an empty suitcase in front of him. He still has clothes and his wristwatch on him, however.

Again, there are different types of these effigies, and be sure to look out for nearby items when you find one. Some act as containers for tennis balls that the cannibals use as flammable ranged weapons. Some of them even have a katana attached to its body.

How to make an effigy in The Forest

Effigies are really simple to build since you can make them as early as day one. However, there are prerequisites that you need to accomplish to do so, and the game may not explain them clearly. Thus, this trusty guide will help you figure out how to make an effigy. Just follow the steps below.

  1. Equip your axe. You can use the plane axe that you can get at the start of the game.
  2. Kill some cannibals. The number of cannibals you need to kill depends on which effigy you wish to build. Remember that one cannibal has two arms, two legs, one head, and one torso. For example, you need to kill three cannibals to build a small effigy. Cannibals can be spotted even in the daytime but are more prominent at night. Try searching for them in their huts and villages. They would also often wander around the map to scout the areas.
  3. Cut off the parts that you need. For example, if you need an arm for your arm effigy, use your axe to chop the arm. Sometimes, it may take several swings for limbs to come off.
  4. Lower your sanity below 90%. You cannot build effigies if your level of sanity is 90% or above. Killing cannibals decreases it by 0.5, cutting off their limbs reduces by 1, eating their limbs decreases by 3, and each second spent in caves decreases it by 0.001. You can check your sanity by visiting the stats tab in the Survival Guide.
  5. Go to the ‘Effigies’ tab in the Survival Guide. From there, you can choose between a small effigy, large effigy, arm effigy, and custom effigy.
  6. Choose one and place it on the ground. From there, you can gather the materials needed and complete the structure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What does the effigy do in The Forest?

Answer: It can scare off some cannibals, so placing it along your base is an effective way to use it. However, you should note that the cannibals will not always be afraid of effigies. Sometimes, they will ignore them completely. This occurrence is supposedly intentional by the developers. Cannibals will also ignore them if you attack them first or do something to elicit combat.

Question: How do I burn effigies in The Forest?

Answer: Make sure that you are carrying with you your lighter. Then, go near the effigy and look at its base. A certain key or button would pop up that you need to press. If you are playing on PC, the default key is E. When you hold it, you will then burn the effigy up.

Question: How long do effigies last in The Forest?

Answer: Effigies can burn from 10 to 20 minutes, depending on their size. A small effigy would burn for ten minutes, while a large one would burn for 20 minutes. Custom effigies are the most reliable as you can customize what body parts to put in and, in turn, how long the effigy will burn.

Conclusion on effigies in The Forest

There are only four types of effigies that you can build: small, large, arm, and custom effigies. They help keep some cannibals away from a particular place since the cannibals will become scared of these structures. However, it needs to be lit up to take effect. Depending on the effigy’s size, they can burn from 10 to 20 minutes. You can only build one when your sanity level is below 90%.

Statistically, the most efficient effigy to build is the custom effigy. It will burn for ten minutes, and each arm, leg, head, skull, or bone can increase it by 65 seconds. The cheapest one that can maximize the burning time to 20 minutes can be done by killing two cannibals.

Burn two cannibal bodies on a campfire, and it will drop six bones and a skull each, adding up to 12 bones and two skulls. You can then add ten bones into the custom effigy. When you light it up, it will burn for 20 minutes, and as a bonus, you have extra bones and skulls. You can even use eight bones and two skulls if bones are valuable resources for you.

Players cannot build cannibal effigies because only the island natives can make them. They would build these effigies in various places with different purposes. Some are built to scare away the players, while some serve as markers to particular locations like cave entrances or villages.

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