List of tips for new players on how to play as thrall, crew, and general tips.
Original Reddit Post
This originally came from a reddit post on the Dread Hunger subreddit. For better formatting and discussion, please refer to: https://www.reddit.com/r/DreadHunger/comments/oafgmi/my_tips_for_new_players_especially_those_who_have/ – [reddit.com]
This is much less a social deduction game than many other popular games, such as Among Us, Secret Hitler, etc. As crew, your goal is to push the ship and get out, not discover and kill the thralls. As thrall, your goal is to stop the crew from pushing the ship and getting out, not remaining anonymous and killing the crew.
The game has a lot of survival elements. Regardless of if you’re crew or thrall, you always want to make sure you’re keeping an eye on your food / cold and planning accordingly.
Your inventory will feel very cramped very fast, and it is in your interest to think ahead and figure out what items you’re looking for, which means learning generally which items you want to craft. Good items to craft for both sides early on in the game are barrels (for carrying coal as crew, carrying gunpower as thrall) and ice picks (allows scaling ice walls, as well as a good melee weapon).
Your class is meaningful, in the sense that the bonuses it provides can be powerful, but also meaningless, in that it is still everyone’s job to do everything. Hunters being able to harvest meat fast means they can perhaps lean into keeping the meat stocks high, but that doesn’t mean that is all they should be doing. They should still be bringing back coal to the ship, for example. Each class will change slightly how you go about what you’re doing, but your goals are still always the same: escape with the ship, or prevent crew from escaping, and you are responsible for accomplishing these goals, not only doing whatever your class gives you a bonus to.
I can’t emphasise this enough: your goal is to push the ship to the end and win the game, not discover the thralls. This is not a detective game. Your primary focus should be pushing the ship, gathering coal, etc. and not playing detective, looking for thrall clues, etc. It is good to keep it in mind, of course; you shouldn’t just pretend thralls don’t exist. But during the day, while its warm out, focus on advancing the ship. Keep an eye out for thrall-like behaviour, but do not make sussing out the thrall a primary objective.
On the other hand, if you see behaviour that is thrall-like, you need to act fast. Again, this is not Among Us. You do not have multiple rounds of voting + emergency buttons to kill the thralls. There is a possibility that you will only see a thrall once or twice in the entire game. Do not be afraid to kill players that will not cooperate (ie, refusing to show the contents of a barrel, is out for lengthy periods of time but has no coal to show for it, outright refuses to do basic things like go certain places together, is hesitant to share what they’re crafting, doing, etc.). It is exceedingly rare that you have more than two opportunities to kill a thrall in a match, the first one being at the very beginning. Do not be afraid to be bloodthirsty. Even if you are wrong, winning with one crew member dead is winnable, and generally, games that you lose to killing crew on accident are a fraction of the amount of games you will lose to thralls being allowed to do clearly ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ right in front of your eyes. This is by far the most important tip I would give to all new players.
Pushing the ship very far very early is an extremely effective strategy. The further you go, the more of the map you can access, which means more resources. Getting to the downed ship night 1 is extremely powerful, as it provides another shelter against the cold, crafting benches, etc. and also threatens a very early nitro, which puts a lot of pressure on the thralls, both psychologically and just by virtue of the fact that they have less time to prepare.
You need to understand that thralls generally win the game when crew goes for nitro, either by killing the crew at nitro, or by spirit walking behind the crew and placing a bomb on the ship. With this in mind, you need to choose how you want to divide who goes to nitro and who, if anyone, defends the ship. There is no set meta for this, however, I highly advise you keep no more than 1 person on the ship. Thralls hiding at nitro camp with bone charms and guns are surprisingly competent and can easily kill 3+ crew with enough totems. You need a strong enough force at nitro that wiping is a nonissue. Many good players I know argue that you should leave the boat abandoned, go to nitro all together and that you have enough time to make it back to the boat to repair all together. I tend to agree with this assessment, as it also staves off the possibility of a thrall pretending to be crew staying on the boat ‘defending it’ actually getting ready to blow it up with his partner.
I’ve said it so many times, but I feel the need to say it again. This is not Among Us. You do not need to stay hidden. You do not win the game by going undetected, you win the game by stopping the crew from advancing the boat. Far too many new players feel the need to ‘blend in’ with the crew. Blending in with the crew can work, but requires extremely precise play, as you also open yourself up to being sussed out. It is far safer to spend the game away from the crew, jumping from cannibal camp to nitro camp collecting bone charms, building totems, and making a bomb to blow up the ship. Yes, the crew will know who you are. This is a disadvantage but the ability to prepare unhindered by the need to blend in far outweighs it.
Use bone charms to see crew positioning, especially when it comes time to do nitro. This can often determine if / for how long you fight them at nitro versus blow up the ship. Additionally, if you can coordinate with your thrall partner, double cannibals on one person who is out of position is very frequently a kill, which wastes crews time and resources. When you go to the blow up the boat, you can also see how many they left to defend and their position, which should give you a better chance at killing them.
When going to blow up the boat, build bear traps. They make navigating the ship a mess and will absolutely catch out even experienced players.
Don’t totally ignore coal as thrall. If you manage your inventory well, it can get you to a very large bomb very fast by providing an overflow of gunpowder.
When fighting the final fight (either at nitro or on the boat), I highly suggest spouting random ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ to throw off the crew. Even if they know exactly who you are, just yelling ‘he’s over here in the brig its the navigator’ can completely mess up crew, especially crew who have not been paying attention all game and aren’t sure themselves who the thralls are. Introduce as much doubt as possible.
If you can’t tell from earlier, I highly advise against a ‘blend in’ playstyle as I think it is unnecessary risk for very little gain. However, if that does interest you, I will give you some advice to be as effective as possible.
My best advice would be that you want to give the crew the impression that their teammates are just a bunch of idiots who have no idea what to do. Ask people to repeat things. Be confused. Misunderstand. Make ♥♥♥♥ up about people (that can’t easily be verified).
Generally, direct action like poisoning food and sabotaging boiler are very ineffective and very easy to catch, and if you die in the process it is almost never worth it as you are leaving your partner to fend for himself. On the contrary, you need to demotivate the crew. Sound exasperated. ‘God I dont know dude the doctor said he was going to grab coal but he hasn’t been back in forever ugh idk dude this guy’s probably just a tater’. Conjure stories about how you absolutely put two coal in the boiler, and someone stole it. Your goal is to create infighting, demoralise the crew, and waste as much time as possible by being absolutely useless. Beg for food, weapons, mats, anything you can. Do just enough (or lie convincingly) that it isn’t obvious you’re a thrall, you’re just a useless crew.
Whine, a lot, especially when someone’s trying to take control of the crew. When someone says ‘alright lets all go do nitro together’, whine. ‘Ugh are you sure like I dont see doctor anywhere he’s probably just gonna blow up the boat and no one ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ believed me earlier when I said I saw him with a bone charm because you all are idiots so we probably just lose lmao’. Stop at nothing to be a complete waste of oxygen, but still act in ways that crew would, bring back coal occasionally, give people unpoisoned food, etc. Just do it slowly and complain the whole time and god dude I put more in the stove but I think the ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ captain took it and ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ its probably all poisoned anyways jesus christ this game is so over ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ hell.
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