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by evilbob65535

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FAQ by evilbob65535

Version: 1.11 | Updated: 11/20/2020
Highest Rated Guide


Game Release: May, 2018

Guide Release: November, 2020

Version 1.0 - release

Version 1.1 - added "FAQ," split up some sections, reordered a few things, finished the walkthrough section

Version 1.11 - very minor corrections

No part of this guide may be used or copied without permission from the author. You can contact me through the GameFaqs website or at evilbob65535 at yahoo dot com.

CONAN EXILES - Beginner's Guide and Walkthrough

Welcome to a beginner's guide to Conan Exiles, a violent, sexy, fun, grindy, brutal, horribly buggy survival game with just enough of a story to give you purpose. This guide will focus on The Exiled Lands, the original map for the game. The Isle of Siptah is an expansion map, with a different set of circumstances for survival.

Before we start, there are a few things you need to know.

Death Comes to Us All

First: you will die in this game. A LOT. If you play on a PvP server, you'll die even more. The default setting for this game is, like Minecraft, to lose everything on you when you die. You have two choices: you can either embrace this as part of the fun of the game, or you can play single-player (or host your own server) where you can disable "drop items on death." However, what many people don't mention is that what's even worse than losing your stuff is losing a horse or thrall you invested hours in and were also using as a portable storage device. No setting can save you from this, but careful gameplay can. This guide will hopefully help with that.

A Lot of Stuff Makes No Sense - But It's Still On-Brand

One of the best Conan short stories is called "Red Nails." (Seriously - it's worth a read.) It features pirates, a dinosaur, dying civilizations, and magic - all within the first third of the story. Expect a hodge-podge of crazy gritty fantasy tropes - but it's all true to the source. The world-building in this game is nearly flawless.

The Game is a Little Racist - Which is Unfortunately Also On-Brand

Robert E. Howard, the original author of the Conan short stories, was a brilliant, depressed, racist, sexist, story-telling genius. Both he and Lovecraft - a contemporary and sort-of friend - contributed a massive amount to the worlds of science fiction, and were both hard-core racists. Howard seemed to be softening his stance before his untimely suicide, but the game has issues, and some of it is because of the source fiction. For example: throughout most of the game (excluding the very beginning and very end), the darker a human's skin color, the less powerful they are. I really wish I was joking about that. The racial descriptions of the darkest-skinned people in the game are pretty bad. Oh: and one of the biggest parts of the game is to actively participate in enslaving people to do your will until they die.

I'm not trying to sell you one way or the other: but it's something that deserves to be pointed out.


Part of this point of this game is that there is no tutorial. The developers clearly believe this is a feature, not a bug. The game actively refuses to hold your hand - in fact, if you ask, it will slap your hand, and then cut it off as a warning to others. As such, there is very little advice in-game. The "Journey" steps are about the closest you get, and they aren't much. There are some NPCs and random books scattered about here and there, but most are hard to find even when you know where to look, and while the story they tell is cohesive, it's not sequential. It's also told from multiple, antagonistic perspectives - which is part of what makes it so interesting.

That said, there are some resources you need to bookmark now. (I am not associated with any of these.) The first is the wiki:


The next is a map. There are shockingly few out there and one recently (as of this writing) shut down so here's your best bet:


There are also LOTS of discord servers out there: small groups of folks who focus on certain mods or clans or what have you. It's worth finding some of those for help.

Solo vs. Multiplayer?

The very first question you'll need to ask yourself is: do I want to play with other people? Only you can answer that question, but regardless, I still recommend playing on single player for at least a few hours just so you know what the hell you're doing and don't get needlessly slaughtered in multiplayer while you're also trying to learn the game. Some people enjoy the added tension of trying to avoid human foes while in an already stressful environment: if that's your bag, great! Otherwise, don't be afraid to learn the ropes first. This guide will try to make a distinction when it leans more toward one side.

Mods and Server Settings

There exists a robust (if small) modding community (as of this writing). Mods fix, improve, and expand on so many parts of this game that I highly recommend you play on PC if at all possible, just to access the mods. That said, the base game is certainly fun on its own. Also, the downside of mods is that Funcom's game updates are weirdly hostile to mods - all mods will break almost every single time the game updates - so this adds substantially to the difficulty in getting the game to work.

If you do play single-player or host your own server, here are a few settings that you may want to note.

  • NPC Respawn Rate (Combat) - Recommended setting: 2.0. The unclear explanation actually means: the higher you set this, the slower NPCs will respawn. If you're playing by yourself on a server, you may want to bump this up so you don't get swamped by mobs re-popping when you're leaving a cave or something that you just cleared. Late-game, you may want to set this lower so you can get thralls to spawn more often. But the important thing to note is: on single-player, this doesn't really work. NPCs will still respawn if you leave an area, regardless of the setting - that's just how the game works.
  • Harvest Amount Multiplier (Harvesting) - Recommended setting: 2.0. The #1 thing you see on just about any private server is this boosted up. This game is GRINDY. Doubling the resources you get only slightly reduces the grind - nothing more. I've tried a lot of settings and much higher seems like you're just cheating, but lower is just too painful. Try a few settings yourself and see what you think. Also, boosting this will boost your XP gain very slightly as well, since you gain XP for harvesting.
  • Thrall Crafting Time Multiplier (Crafting) - Recommended setting: 0.25. This is the most confusing setting in the game, but what it means is: when you are breaking the will of a thrall, setting this higher makes it take longer, and lower means it takes less time. (Do not set it to zero - that will mess it up and take forever.) This is another personal choice of course, but thralls take a million years to break. Setting it to 1/4 the regular time still doesn't even feel like cheating.

You can mess with anything you'd like, but I'd recommend those settings for a slightly smoother and slightly less grindy experience, while still experiencing the game's best.

This Game is an Unfinished Buggy Mess - But it's Still Fun

Multiple years and several massive expansions later, Funcom still hasn't bothered to actually finish their game. There is a section near the end (and a whole boss) missing, in a way that makes the story make less sense. I'm not sure why they've never bothered to finish the game, but it's probably because they've also never bothered to fix massive bugs that have been around for years as well. This game is hard; this game is brutal. But dying to a bug makes it feel unfair, and you WILL die to a bug at some point in this game. If you're playing single player, it's pretty easy to "correct" a bug by giving yourself admin powers, but anyone else will just have to grin and bear it. Please come in to this game with this in mind, because it will ruin your day.

That said: this game is also really fun. It's quirky and mysterious and challenging and beautiful. The world-building is amazing, the story is interesting (if sparse), and the game is gorgeous. For every time that a bug ruins your day, you'll have multiple cool as hell experiences.

But, due to the way the developers tend to spend time adding content instead of fixing bugs or finishing the game, the core gameplay structure has changed - a LOT - since it was released. Entire methods of acquiring important resources have been upended - repeatedly. This means that while this guide will hopefully stay relevant for a while, you can and should expect that parts of it will suddenly become obsolete when the developers decide that resource X should now be severely restricted for some reason. These nerfs are sudden and unpredictable - just like the invisible bugged-out sandstorms that rage across the land to this day - so you can think of them as being "part of the fun," or at least: on-brand for how this whole game works.