Getting Started

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Welcome to ECO. Thank you for supporting the game!

This guide is meant as an introduction for players who are brand new to the game. Keep in mind that the game is in constant flux. The pages this guide links to may not contain up-to-date information.

All information in this guide is up to date for Alpha 5.5.1 as of 3-26-17.

For instructions on how to download and start the game, see the ECO Wiki main page. As soon as you enter a game server, consult this guide.

User Interface[edit | edit source]

Upon entering the game, you'll be presented with the avatar editor. Choose how you look and hit Save. You can always change your appearance later.

First, familiarize yourself with the user interface:

Nutrition panel[edit | edit source]


  1. Nutrients — reflects your current nutrient balance, which affects skill points gained per day. Hover over the pie chart for more nutrition details and to see the contents of your stomach.
  2. Calories — Needed to perform labor. Calories are gained from eating food and decrease slowly over time.
  3. Skill points — The number reflects the current skill points. The bar reflects progress to the next skill point and shows your current skill gain per real-life day. Click on the number to open the skills menu.

Toolbar[edit | edit source]


  1. Hand contents — Some items are too heavy to put in your backpack, and must be carried either with a tool or in your hands.
  2. Quick access items — Use the 1 to 0 buttons on your keyboard or use the mouse scroll wheel to select an item.
  3. Weight — how much weight you can carry. If this limit is reached, you can't add any more items to your backpack.

Menu Bar[edit | edit source]


  1. Chat window (Hotkey:C) — opens the chat log, which also includes information about the world and its ecosystem
  2. Backpack (Hotkey:B) — opens your inventory
  3. Avatar window — lets you customize your character
  4. Graphs — opens a browser window outside the game that shows the graphs about the world
  5. Laws — opens a browser window outside the game that shows the current laws
  6. World map (Hotkey:M) — opens a real-time map of the world, showing terrain, resources, players and land plots

Navigation Bar[edit | edit source]


Shows day, time, coordinates, and facing direction.

Controls[edit | edit source]

  • W,A,S,D: Move forward, left, back and right
  • Space: Jump
  • E: Use object
  • Tab: Toggle UI Mode
  • Enter: Open chat / Send message
  • Esc: UI Mode / Game Menu
  • Left mouse button: Tool action
  • Right mouse button: Place Item / Use Item
  • E (while placing object): Rotate item left
  • Q (while placing object): Rotate Item Right
  • Shift + Left Mouse button: Split item stack (May still be bugged in 5.5.1; works for some players and not others)

When you first enter the game, you will be in UI Mode. This makes the mouse cursor visible, so use the mouse to click on the menu bar and open the chat log, backpack and world map. Press Tab to deactivate UI mode and use the mouse to look around.

If the menus are too large or too small, hit Esc to bring up the Game Menu and move the Interface Scale slider. If your game is moving slowly, you can also reduce draw distance and graphics quality through this window.

First Priorities[edit | edit source]

Friends[edit | edit source]

ECO is designed as a cooperative game, and working with other players is far more effective than blazing a path on your own. If there are other players on the server, hit Enter and say hello. Find the other players on the map and head towards them. Usually, you will want to establish your base around other players’ bases.

If you’re alone, don’t worry! The game can also be played solo.

Skills[edit | edit source]

You'll see on the bottom left of your screen that you have 9 skill points, and a measly skill point gain of 8/day. Skill points accumulate slowly over time, when you are online and offline. Your first task will be to boost this skill point gain by finding food.

Click on the number "9". This will bring up the skills menu. Click on the Survival skill tree. Use the scroll bar at the bottom of the window to navigate horizontally in the skill tree.

The way you spend your initial skill points depends on if you are playing solo or with others. If you have a group, players can specialize, becoming more efficient at certain tasks. If you're solo, you may have to end up waiting around for skill points. Remember that they accumulate while offline, as long as the server is running. Focusing on these skills in the Survival tree first will help you boost your daily skill point gain. Spend your first skill points on these skills:

Your first skills
Link:Logging Logging — Gives you an axe Link:Laborer Laborer — Gives you a shovel
Link:Gathering Gathering — Gives you a scythe, letting you harvest wheat and Plant Fibers. Link:Basic Crafting Basic Crafting — Gives you a workbench. Aim to get this skill to Level 2, so you can craft a hammer at the Workbench, allowing you to remove furniture and certain building blocks from the world.
Link:Campfire Cooking Campfire Cooking — Lets you cook, increasing the nutrition and calorie content of food. Aim to get it to Level 2, so you can cook more items. Link:Mining Mining — Gives you a pickaxe, allowing you to break up stone and ore to be picked up with your shovel.
Link:Hunting Hunting — Gives you a bow and allows you to craft arrows at a workbench. Link:Storage Storage — Gives you a storage chest and lets you craft more at a workbench. Since items in ECO can't be easily dropped or destroyed, this extra storage is important.

Food[edit | edit source]

A field of camas. Harvest it using the shovel

Now it's time to get moving. You will want to find food and eat it as soon as possible. Corn, beets and camas can be found in open areas. Huckleberries and Beans can be found in forests. Simply target these plants and press E to gather these foods. Camas, a purple flower, requires a shovel to harvest. Right click on the foods in your inventory or toolbar to eat them. Do not eat the seeds.

You will notice your nutrient balance change, along with your daily skill point gain. To increase the rate that you gain skill points, you will need to eat nutritious food and keep the balance of the four nutrients – carbohydrates, fat, protein, and vitamins – relatively even. Try to get a good supply of huckleberries, as these will be useful in supplementing your vitamin intake later on.

Once you've gathered some food (try to get 10 each of camas, beets, huckleberries and beans), it's time to start building your first house so you can start crafting and cook your food to make it even more nutritious.

Shelter[edit | edit source]

Using the axe to chop a tree into logs

Shelters can be built out of many different materials. In ECO, the material used to build the shelter determines what crafting tables can be used inside it. Your first house should be built from logs.

Find a tree and begin hitting it with the axe. Notice how your calorie count decreases with each swing. Eventually the tree will fall. Use the axe to break off any limbs remaining on the tree. Now you will be able to divide the tree into manageable pieces. Much like other terrain blocks (such as dirt, stone or sand), logs are carried in your hands rather than in your inventory. You can carry up to 10 logs at a time. Press E on the logs to gather them. If a log is too big to carry, you can chop it smaller with your axe. With the logs in your hands, right-click on the ground to begin building the footprint of your house. If you misplace a wood block, you can return it to your hands with your axe.

To begin crafting with a workbench, your house will need to have a volume of at least 25 cubic blocks. This is only counting interior space, not the walls or roof. This means your house must be quite large. Exterior dimensions of 6x6 or 5x7 will give you a large enough house to use a workbench. The walls should be at least 3 blocks high.

You will need to harvest several trees to make a house large enough to use your workbench. But watch your calorie levels! You don’t want them hitting zero. If this happens, you’ll be unable to perform many tasks. Use the food you have gathered sparingly to recharge calories.

If you want to stake a claim on your plot of land, use the Property Claim Flags in your inventory and place one in your house. Each flag placed will take up a 5x5 portion of a pre-defined grid. With your claim flags active, the zone you will be claiming will be green. Your claimed zones are yellow. Zoom in on the world map to get a clear picture of property claims. When a plot has been claimed, you will receive a deed. Use the deed to revoke the claim or transfer it to another person. You can also rename your deed by clicking on the default name and entering a new one.

Crafting and Storage[edit | edit source]

A basic starting house with research table, workbench, and two storage chests

Make sure your house is fully enclosed. Windows can be up to 2x1 blocks in size, and the doorway should be 1x2.

Put your workbench in your toolbar and you will be able to place it. Press E or Q to rotate the workbench, and the right mouse button to place it. Press E to access your workbench. Crafting tables like the workbench have a crafting, status, and storage tab. If the workbench is not functional, the status tab will tell you why. Notice that the workbench has public and private storage. Materials for crafting can come from both the workbench's storage and the player's backpack.

You can drag items between your backpack and the storage inventory, or even straight from container to container. Furthermore, if you’re carrying an item, such as logs, you can right-click a container while carrying it to immediately place it into the container’s storage.

To craft a campfire, you'll need some stone. Go find a block of exposed stone (HINT: go to the world map and look for gray patches) and use your pickaxe on it. It will break into rubble, allowing you to pick it up with your shovel. Take the stone and put it in your workbench. You'll need some logs as well. In the crafting tab, scroll down to find the campfire and click "Order". As long as you have a portion of the materials, the campfire will begin to craft, but will only be able to finish when all materials have been provided. When completed, the campfire will show up in the private storage of the workbench.

Cooking and Hunting[edit | edit source]

Hunting an elk with the bow and arrows

Place your campfire inside or outside. Crafting on the campfire works the same as on the workbench, but you will need fuel to cook the meat, so grab an armful of logs and put it in the campfire under the “Power” tab.

With level 1 Campfire Cooking, you can cook your beans and camas. With level 2, you can cook your beets and corn. Try cooking what you've gathered and balancing your nutrients. You should be able to reach 45 skill points per day. Logging off with a high calorie count and good nutrient balance ensures you will accumulate points while offline.

In ECO version 5.5, eating meat at the beginning of the game does not give a huge advantage, but you should know how to hunt because meat is a component of some advanced food recipes.

Gather some wood, then go to the workbench, and order up some arrows. Try to craft at least 40 arrows (you'll probably be wasting a lot!). Put the arrows in your backpack.

Practice firing arrows a few times to get a feel for it. Now, it’s time to embark on your hunting expedition.

See if you can kill a hare, turkey or elk. Both should die after taking two shots with an arrow. Press E on the carcass and you can pick it up. Now bring it back to your campfire. Cook your meat and enjoy. Later on, the Butchery Table will allow you to harvest the animal pelt as well.

Research[edit | edit source]

Now that you’ve mastered the basics of ECO, you’ll want to begin researching new technologies. To do this, you need to craft a research table at the workbench. This requires a lot of wood, stone and plant fibers. Plant fibers are harvested by using the scythe on grass.

At a research table, you can craft skill books, which will allow you to unlock new skill trees. Each book requires a large amount of materials, but one book can spawn an infinite number of skill scrolls, which players use to unlock the skill. Therefore, in theory, only one of each skill book is needed for an entire server of players.

The first skill books you will likely craft are the Carpentry Skill Book, Agriculture Skill Book and Cooking Skill Book. The Carpentry skill tree will give you access to new furniture and crafting tables, such as the Wainwright Table, which is used to make carts and roads. The Agriculture skill tree allows you to use the seeds you've collected to cultivate plants and feed hungry players. The Cooking skill tree will increase the nutrient value of food even further.

Further progression[edit | edit source]

As players progress in technology, roads and vehicles become vital for moving the large amounts of resources and materials necessary for building projects and research. Teamwork becomes even more important; since more skill points are required to gain necessary skills, players will be forced to specialize.

And, as technology increases, so does pollution. Burning wood and coal will increase greenhouse gases, potentially triggering sea level rise. Deforestation can devastate flora and fauna. Smelting byproducts can contaminate soil and water. Looking at the graphs from your server can illustrate these changes. Players can pass laws restricting certain activities if the world is at risk.

The goal of your gameplay in ECO varies from server to server. In some servers, players have a limited time to progress in technology enough to be able to destroy a meteor that is bearing down on the planet. In other servers, the gameplay is more casual.

The number one goal, of course, is to have fun and enjoy the game!

Tips & Tricks[edit | edit source]

  • If you ever get stuck in the world and can't move, type "/unstuck" in chat.
  • To pick up any crafting station (such as the Workbench) or other object, you need the Hammer, which is crafted at the Workbench with Level 2 Basic Crafting
  • Stumps can be destroyed with 5 swings of the Axe
  • Skills that increase yields and calorie efficiency are very useful when you have the skill points to spare. Level up the Forest Forager, Grassland Gatherer and Logging Yield skills (in tier 2 of the Survival tree) to at least level 2 if you plan on exploiting these resources. If you're moving a lot of dirt or stone, level up the Laborer skill further.
  • You can take items from a workbench or container without opening its inventory. Use a tool, like the axe, to hit the object, and the first item in its inventory will be added to your backpack. Use the shovel on the object, and the first item that is carried by the shovel (e.g. dirt) will be picked up.
  • Coal can be used in campfires and other crafting stations that require fuel. It burns longer than logs do. You can burn other wood items such as boards or arrows as well.

Further Reading[edit | edit source]

Other resources[edit | edit source]