The Long Dark: A Guide To Research Books

The Long Dark is a survival game, so you’ll have to explore every nook and cranny of the game world in order to find things that’ll help you survive the Canadian wilderness. It doesn’t matter the difficulty you’re playing in; this game will challenge your skills with everything it has.

Besides looking for shelter or food and water supplies, there are other things you can do to increase your chances of surviving. For example, you can perform specific actions in the game to increase your skill level, making you a better cook or a better hunter. In total, there are nine Survival Skills in this game, and improving them to higher levels will make things easier for you.

Each skill has different tasks or actions you can perform to improve and get them to the max level. However, the fastest way possible to improve a skill is by finding and thoroughly reading Research Books. Each skill has a specific Research Book that increases that skill’s points. Here’s everything you need to know about them.

Uses For Research Books

Research Books really have two uses; you can read them to gain Skill Points, increasing your Survival Skill level faster, or use them to start a fire. While fire will keep you warm (and alive), there are other items you can use as tinder, so it’ll be more useful to use the books to increase your skills.

Keep in mind that there are multiple copies of the same book scattered all over the game’s map; this means you can read the same book (but not the same copy) several times and receive the benefit every time you do.

Things To Keep In Mind When Using Research Books

Similar to regular books, Research Books will be scattered all over the place. However, they seem to spawn more inside caves, buildings, and cars.

Make an effort to find the books related to the skills you’ll use most in the game (like cooking or fire starting). Having a higher level in key skills will mean you’ll use fewer resources.

You’ll also need to bear the following in mind:

  • You can’t read Research Books in the dark or if your character has 0% fatigue, calories, thirst, or an affliction.
  • Some Research Books won’t work past a specific skill level. For example, the book “Frontier Shooting Guide” will only give you skill points until you reach level 3 in the Rifle Firearm Skill.
  • Research Books are only available in Survival mode.
  • There are some book-related achievements you can unlock. For example, reading all types of Research Books (in a single save file) will unlock the “Penitent Scholar” achievement.
  • You could also unlock the “Book Smarts” Feat, which requires you to spend 250 in-hours reading Research Books. Once you do so, you’ll get an extra 10% benefit from each book you thoroughly research.
  • Each Research Book’s cover will give you a hint as to what Survival Skill it increases. For example, the “Survive the Outdoors!” book features a lit match, and it’ll improve the Fire Starting Skill.

Different Types Of Research Books

In the game, you’ll be able to find up to 10 different types of Research Books, each one corresponding to a specific Survival Skill (except for the Rifle Firearm Skill that has two different Research Books you can read to increase that skill). These are all of them:

  • Stay on Target: This book increases the Archery Skill. Its cover is green and features an arrow. Stay on Target will give you 10 Skill Points for every copy of the book you thoroughly read. Doing so will take five in-game hours.
  • Field Dressing Your Kill, Vol. 1.0: Reading this book will take ten in-game hours and give you 10 Skill Points in the Carcass Harvesting Skill. This book cover is red and features a rabbit being cooked in a fire.
  • Wilderness Kitchen: Once you’ve read this book, you’ll obtain 10 Skill Points in the Cooking Skill. It takes five in-game hours to read “Wilderness Kitchen.” The cover for this book is orange and has a campfire where something is being cooked.
  • Survive the Outdoors!: Reading this one will add 10 Skill Points to your Fire-Starting Skill. It takes five in-game hours to read this one fully. This book cover is dark blue and has a lit match on it.
  • The Frozen Angler: Reading this book takes five in-game hours, but you’ll obtain 10 Skill Points in the Ice Fishing Skill once you do. The cover for this book is light blue and features a dead fish.
  • Sewing Primer: Find and read this book if you want 10 Skill Points in your Mending Skill. It’ll take you five in-game hours to completely read this one. This book cover is orange and has sewing tools on it.
  • Frontier Shooting Guide: This one will give you 5 Skill Points in the Rifle Firearm Skill. It only takes four in-game hours to read this one thoroughly. The cover for this book is green and has a deer being hunt down on it.
  • Advanced Guns Guns Guns!: This one will give you 10 Skill Points in the Rifle Firearm Skill. It takes 25 in-game hours to read this one completely. This book cover is green and has a sniper rifle on it.
  • Small Arms Handbook: Once you’ve read this book, you’ll gain 10 Skill Points in the Revolver Firearm Skill. It’ll take you five in-game hours to read this one. The cover for this Research Book is light blue and features a revolver as well as some bullets.
  • Practical Gunsmithing: You can completely read this book in five in-game hours. Doing so will grant you 10 Skill Points in the Gunsmithing Skill. This book cover is brown and features different pieces from a large weapon.

NEXT: The Long Dark: The Difference Between Feats And Challenges 

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Miguel Amaro is a highly motivated person with a passion for knowledge and gaming who’s finally giving his newfound interest in writing a try. Before working as a writer, Miguel earned a Business and Administration degree and worked in Marketing. He is also trying to get to High Warlord in Classic WoW.

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