Sheltered: The Bunker Survival Simulator

I picked this up on Steam a few days ago and am trying to figure out how to survive.

Your family of four takes shelter in an underground bunker. You start off with just the basics, and have to upgrade and craft a habitable shelter, then keep it going. You can send out expeditions for supplies, and you will meet people who want to trade, shelter with you, or fight. Haven’t seen much fighting the early game is pretty much just getting set up to survive, and the game does not hold your hand at all.

I’m starting to figure out how to get set up - you need 2 sleeping items, shower, toilet, etc, plus a few upgrades.I keep making mistakes though, and the consequences are usually pretty brutal. On my longest run so far (19 days), I recruited a few people, but they wouldn’t go on expeditions because their loyalty wasn’t high enough. So they just ate my food and sucked up my resources. I’m not recruiting anyone anymore until I can figure out how to feed them long enough to become useful. It helps to figure out what parts you need for the freezer and try to keep an eye out for them. I haven’t been able to get all the freezer or incinerator parts yet on any playthroughs, so thats been a stumbling block.

The game is pretty challenging and requires patience, but I think it will be rewarding. I’d recommend it at this point, and even more so if it goes on sale. Has anyone else picked this up? What’s your opinions? Got any tips?

I bought this for the PS4 a few days ago, to help fill the time while I’m waiting for Fallout 4’s new survival mode, to give it some grit. Sheltered, though, is gritty to the point of despair. Like the darkest sitcom ever, with the whole family sharing a bucket to shit in, while the cat starves to death.

I do like the challenge the game offers, but it does appear to be crazily difficult. Unless I’m mistaken, you can’t eat meat at all until you’ve constructed the freezer, firstly having to upgrade your workbench twice, thus requiring randomly finding parts for both upgrades and the freezer itself, all while avoiding death by thirst, hunger or radiation poisoning. Ditto for the recycling machine.

It certainly seems worthwhile making 2 or 3 extra water butts early on, as without water you can’t send people out to scavenge. And remember to take regular breaks from playing, to cheer yourself up. Maybe read Raymond Briggs’ ‘When the Wind Blows’ as some light relief…

Yes, the difficulty is pretty brutal. It’s definitely made for people who like challenging games with a good learning curve and some randomness. I’ve picked up some tips for surviving at the very beginning, but you do have to get that freezer going within the first 5-6 days I think, or you’re going to have a lot of problems.

You need a sleeping bag and a bed (build the bed first thing so people can rest), toilet, shower, 2nd medium water butt, mop and bucket, the first workbench upgrade, and an extra room to hold all this. You also want to upgrade your workbench, generator and water filter right away. This will all take you a few days to get set up.

Someone suggested moving the workbench upstairs right away, because having it in the light speeds up crafting. When you build placed items like beds I don’t know if it makes a difference but it does if you’re making gas masks. Of course you can build lights and put them downstairs.

One person said "as soon as you start, keep sending out the 2 adults on missions right away, and do this constantly for the first few days. The kids can build stuff (give them high smarts and traits that help with crafting), while the adults can run out and gather resources for the first few days. Even if you don’t find that much food you’ll still get plenty of parts to start off with, and you can use or trade them. Keep track of what freezer parts you need - your starting equipment is random- and keep an eye out for them.

I’m thinking of making the adults high on physical stats and resource gathering and the kids geared towards crafting. I’m also debating when you need to allow company. You need to build loyalty before they’ll go on expeditions, but guests will eat your food and take up your beds, toilet time, etc. So I’m thinking at least 5-6 days to get set up before you invite anyone in. Maybe once you get a freezer to store meat?

Some suggestions once you get set up with food: someone suggested building a bookcase gives you tons of XP. Backpacks were highly recommended for expedition storage, and don’t forget to make/trade for gas masks. Once you do get a freezer, snare traps are supposed to get you some decent amounts of food and cat and snake pets can also catch rats.

Have you looked at “This War of Mine”? I haven’t played “Sheltered” but reading the description reminds me of the former.

I was checking it out on Steam and This War of Mine does look really cool with very positive reviews. I put it on my wishlist and will probably pick it up in the near future. It’s hard to get a sense of gameplay from the 2 videos provided on Steam though. Just a few glimpses of people walking around, negotiating, and fighting.
Sheltered mostly takes place in the bunker and is a bunker management simulator. You send out expeditions to specific locations on a map, and get radio messages when the explorers encounter a location or person. Exploring is just one or two screens where they show the person you encounter or the items at that location. You don’t wander around random screens looking for stuff like This War of Mine seems to. I mean, exploring in Sheltered is a crucial and vital part of the game, but most of the time your view is going to be of this small bunker and your focus is going to be managing the people inside it while you equip and send people out. The survival/management elements seem to be similar, but This War of Mine looks a lot more detailed and involved.

I’ve gotten a lot of tips on Sheltered from Steam, apparently I’m not the only one who is having some difficulty at the beginning. This guide was pretty helpful, although raids have been changed to occur much later in the game, so you don’t need to worry about trapping your base until at least mid-game.

The key to surviving in the very beginning is get set up with 2-3 medium water butts, freezer, and snares in the first week, as well as the basic shelter facilities (shower, toilet, beds, etc). It might take a while to find hinges, metal, motor, etc, for the freezer but you can go around 10 days or so before you run out of food. Once you get past the initial week and have a steady supply of food and water the game is not that difficult.

Some tips Take the dog or the horse as a pet, and send him on missions. There is a “toggle” button on the map screen when you’re choosing locations, selecting this allows you to take the dog (or the horse). The dog is great in combat, the horse can hold a lot of loot.

I was visiting 2-3 locations at once (made satchels), looting everything, and hauling it back. But someone suggested visiting 10-15 locations at a time, with a specific loot list in mind (Fuel, gas masks, hinges/motor for the freezer, etc). Yes, it takes more water and you will leave a ton of stuff behind, but you will get more of the items that you actually need. If you leave stuff behind, I don’t know if you can go back to that spot for the same stuff later. Someone has said that you can apparently re-visit locations and they will get replenished after a few days. So you don’t always have to visit unexplored locations (which get further and further away). Haven’t tried re-visiting yet though.

You also want to broadcast for traders and scan frequencies pretty much constantly. But don’t let anyone in until you have a freezer and some snares set up for meat. Once I did that I never ran out of food and could invite 2-3 people in and kept 2 teams out on expeditions pretty much constantly. It seems to take about a week or so before their loyalty goes up enough to send them on an expedition. In the mean time, have them fix stuff constantly, especially your filters and generator.

You definitely want tons of water butts (4-5) ASAP after initial setup, because the max amount of distance/locations are affected by how much water you have, plus water does make a good trade item for traders who visit your shelter. Just don’t trade too much water away at once or you will run into problems until it rains.