Sandbox Mode, also known as Survivor Mode, inserts the player directly into the world of The Long Dark to experience all the challenges of survival.
The choice of Experience dictates how harshly the world will treat the player throughout their journey in The Long Dark.
The easiest experience available. Best for exploration and learning in a low-stress environment.
- Abundance of items.
- Needs bars drop slowly.
- Wildlife will not attack the player unless provoked.
- Safe starting location.
- All fires stop character from freezing.
- Decay of all items is much slower than other experience modes.
- Allows for five active feats.
An experience that balances exploration with challenge.
- Balanced number of items.
- Normal needs.
- Hostile wildlife will not appear for the first twelve to twenty-four hours.
- All fires stop character from freezing. Chance to start at night.
- Decay of all items is slightly slower than Stalker.
- Allows for four active feats.
A punishing survival challenge.
- Few items to be found.
- Needs bars erode quickly.
- Immediate hostile wildlife and in greater numbers.
- Starting a fire does not immediately save character from freezing.
- No chance of an indoor starting location. Chance to start at night.
- Allows for three active feats.
The most difficult experience available. For expert players looking for the ultimate survival challenge.
- Very few items. Certain tools have a limit to how many times they can spawn across the entire sandbox (e.g. Hunting Rifle will never spawn on this difficulty).
- Minimal starting resources (Player often starts with just a set of poor clothing and nothing else in their backpack). Most items need to be crafted.
- Less numerous but more dangerous wildlife.
- The world becomes more hostile the longer the player survives.
- Allows for two active feats.
- Choosing region to spawn is not possible. Higher chance to spawn at Forlorn Muskeg or Pleasant Valley.
- Several cargo containers do not spawn in Timberwolf Mountain.
Players can adjust their own experience in this mode. For players looking for experience separate from standard Survival Mode.
The player may select any region they want as their starting point. The player also has the option to randomize their starting region. Each region is unique, has different advantages and drawbacks, and are all interconnected.
If the Interloper Experience is selected, then the starting region will be randomly chosen. In Interloper, you will not spawn in Mystery Lake or Coastal Highway, and the number of possible spawn locations are limited.
The current regions are as follows:
Mystery Lake [beginner] - connects to Coastal Highway, Pleasant Valley, and Forlorn Muskeg
Coastal Highway [intermediate] - connects to Mystery Lake, Pleasant Valley, and Desolation Point
Pleasant Valley [advanced] - connects to Mystery Lake, Coastal Highway, and Timberwolf Mountain
Desolation Point [intermediate] - connects to Coastal Highway
Timberwolf Mountain [advanced] - connects to Pleasant Valley
Forlorn Muskeg [advanced] - connects to Mystery Lake and Broken Railroad
Broken Railroad [intermediate] - connects to Forlorn Muskeg
Mountain Town [beginner] - Connects to Mystery Lake and Forlorn Muskeg
The choices are male or female, with the only differences being the player character's speaking voice and the body shown in the Clothing screen.
The player is alone, not dressed for the cold, and carries only a meager amount of supplies. The player must find food and shelter before nightfall, when the temperatures drop and the wolves are at their most alert. The amount of supplies one starts with is dependent on the experience mode selected.
Depending the sandbox difficulty, the players may either find themselves in a house or outside in the cold.
- ↑ Steam, The "Silent Hunter" Update (v.233) -- We've Added Bows & Improved Hunting!, viewed 22 May 2015, <http://steamcommunity.com/games/305620/announcements/detail/235656499654813808>.