A Dark Room Walkthrough

A Dark Room created and owned by DoubleSpeak Games. Images used for educational purposes only.
A Dark Room created and owned by DoubleSpeak Games. Images used for educational purposes only.

Inspired by Candy Box, A Dark Room is a simple text-based game that quickly balloons into something far more complex. Your rush to survive a cold night evolves into building a community, exploring a blasted landscape, and, in the end, fleeing to a better place. This walkthrough will help you get through each step of the game; you can give it a try here.

The Dark Room

First steps. You can quickly turn the Dark Room into a lit one by lighting and stoking the fire. Keep doing this until a stranger staggers into the room. Persist until she's warmed. Eventually you'll unlock a new area: a Silent Forest. You're just getting started.

The beginning room in A Dark Room. Here, after some upgrades, you can perform a large number of tasks.
The beginning room in A Dark Room. Here, after some upgrades, you can perform a large number of tasks.

Starting Your Village

Yes, now it's time to build a village. To do this, you must accumulate resources, starting with the absolute minimum of Wood and working your way up from there. This will require some waiting. For now, keep collecting Wood until you have enough for a Cart. A Cart will allow you to collect more Wood whenever you Gather.

Keep collecting wood and you'll soon have enough to build a Hut. Do so and your builder will assure you that it will quickly be filled with villagers. She's telling the truth, as workers will move in within a minute or two. Thus begins your little village.

Although Traps are another viable concern, and the first thing you can build, you should focus on building Huts. Huts get progressively more expensive as you buy more, but each one will raise your village's population. The more villagers you have, the more people will be collecting wood every ten seconds. Build Huts up to the maximum of 80 population and your village will be ready for greater feats of production. If Huts aren't an option for building yet, simply wait until you have more Wood.

Your village in A Dark Room. Your options expand as you gather more villagers and craft more items.
Your village in A Dark Room. Your options expand as you gather more villagers and craft more items.

Building Your Village

Much of this portion of A Dark Room is a waiting game. You need to accumulate resources and build structures as they become available.

  • Traps. Mentioned earlier, Traps are useful for gathering Meat, Teeth, Fur, Cloth, and Scales. The more Traps you have, the more of each item you'll get. Scales are particularly scarce, so you'll want to max out your Traps—which can be difficult, as creatures from the woods will periodically tromp in and destroy a random amount. Be prepared to rebuild your Traps often. Trap efficiency improves if they're Baited.
  • Trading Post. Once you collect at least one Fur from a Trap, you'll unlock the Trading Post. The Trading Post allows you to purchase other resources and unique items. It's usually better to find these items on your own, but in some cases (namely the Compass) you don't have much choice in the matter.
  • Tannery. Collecting a single Fur also unlocks the Tannery. Constructing one allows you to reallocate Gatherers to Tanners. Tanners use up the Fur you collect from Traps and turn it into Leather at a ratio of 5:1. This will eat up Fur quickly, but you need Leather to proceed. Not much choice.
  • Lodge. Collecting Meat from a Trap will unlock the Lodge. Lodges allow you to reassign Gatherers as Hunters and Trappers. Hunters gather Meat and Fur, which are really handy early on; Trappers change Meat to Bait, which will make your Traps more effective.
  • Smokehouse. Collecting meat from a Trap will also unlock the Smokehouse. The Smokehouse will allow you to appoint Charcuitiers, who will turn Wood and Meat into Cured Meat. Cured Meat isn't useful now, but later it will allow you to go on adventures and not starve.
  • Workshop. Once you have some Leather from a Tanner, you can build a Workshop. Workshops allow you to construct various items, most of which are useful while you're adventuring. The range of items you can make and build expands as you collect new resources.

Other Issues

While you're building, you'll likely get hit by periodic problems. Things like to steal into your room at night, and if you don't bother to check, they'll filch your wood (and they may manage to take some even if you do check). You may also find your Traps smashed by wild animals, and if you're particularly unlucky, your villagers will be attacked and killed by wild beasts. These are temporary setbacks, but you'll have to deal with them.

With the bad comes the good, and periodically you'll receive visitors to your village. They have a variety of requests, most of which will benefit your village in some way.

Now's a good time to start piling up a lot of Fur and Leather. You'll need both for the next part of the game: A Dusty Path.

A Dusty Path in A Dark Room. Your adventures in the outside world begin here.
A Dusty Path in A Dark Room. Your adventures in the outside world begin here.

A Dusty Path

Once you have enough resources (400 Furs, 20 Scales, and 10 Teeth, or less if you encounter a Nomad), you can buy a Compass. The Compass unlocks a Dusty Path, which encompasses the rest of the world outside your tiny village. It's out here that you'll fight enemies, scavenge for items, and discover just how messed up things have become.

The world beyond the village is treacherous. You'll want the following before you head out, which means gathering a lot of Fur, Leather, Cloth, and Wood:

  • Four or five Torches
  • Nine or ten Cured Meats
  • The Waterskin
  • A Bone Spear
  • A Rucksack
  • L Armour

Leaving town without these items is possible, but inadvisable. If you don't die of starvation or a lack of water, you'll be killed by the beasts and scavengers in the Path's wastelands.

Embarking on a Dusty Path takes you onto a world map. You can explore this map at your leisure, but there are a few things to bear in mind while you look around.

Each time you take a step, you'll use up one Water. Each time you take two steps, you'll use up one Cured Meat. Keep a close eye on these numbers! If either one runs out, you'll 'die' and be kicked back to the village.

You'll randomly run into antagonists as you wander. The further you go from the village, the tougher they get. If you lose a fight, you'll be kicked back to the village.

If for whatever reason you don't return to the village under your own power, you'll lose everything you were carrying. This includes items you picked up and items you started with, notably whatever weapons you had. Permanent items (armour, Rucksack, Waterskin, etc.) will not be lost.

As you explore, you'll uncover more of the map. Return to the village successfully and these areas will remain uncovered for subsequent journeys. Die, however, and the portions you explored will be filled in again.

During combat, Cured Meat can be used to restore 10 HP. Be careful not to rely on Cured Meat too much, as you'll still need it to survive wandering.

You can use multiple weapons in combat. For example, if you had a Bone Spear and an Iron Sword in your inventory, both would show up during a fight, and you could use one while the other cooled down. In this way, your character can constantly be attacking.

Your first goal should be to find an iron mine, denoted on the map as an I. Clear out houses (H) and other caves (V) until you come across an I. Though filled with semi-difficult beasts, a cleared iron mine will allow you to make your workers into Iron Miners. Iron can be used to create a slew of new items at the Workshop. You'll want these items for expanded exploration:

  • Cask
  • Wagon
  • I Armour
  • Iron Sword

With these items, as well as more Cured Meat (in the 20s), you'll be better suited to exploring the edges of the wilderness. Keep on the lookout for a coal mine (C). Similar to the iron mine, coal mines can be cleared out, allowing you to recruit Coal Miners.

The world map in A Dark Room. After a while, this is where the majority of the game's action will take place.
The world map in A Dark Room. After a while, this is where the majority of the game's action will take place.

Back in the Village

With Iron and Coal discovered (and presumably unlocked, if you liberated both types of mines), you can create some new buildings and open other new options. The big one now is the Steelworks, which allows you to assign Steelworkers. Steel, which you may have found in small quantities in caves, allows you to build a slew of new equipment for adventuring:

  • Water Tank
  • Convoy
  • S Armour
  • Steel Sword

Steel Swords will occasionally pop up while adventuring. The rest you should buy before setting out on your next adventure; they'll allow you to go a lot further and repel much stronger opponents. Keep a Bone Spear, an Iron Sword, and a Steel Sword on you as you explore so you can dish out a ton of damage in short order.

Further Dustiness

With better items, you can now move beyond the meagre borders of the village and search new areas in a Dusty Path. You're strong enough now to leave the trees and explore the wastelands, though be wary of gun-toters. Bolas, which you've probably found while exploring towns, are fantastically useful against advanced enemies. So too are the Rifles they drop. Don't attempt to explore the edges of the map unless you have roughly 40 Cured Meats and a ready supply of Outposts that can restore your water.

Your main concern now should be to discover the sulphur mine on the map, which won't be that far from your village. Be warned: It's guarded by some potent soldiers who can wipe you out if you're not careful. If you're having trouble getting past them, wait until you've gained all of the Perks from visiting Masters before you run into battle. Once you have Sulphur in plentiful supply, build an Armoury. This will unlock Armourers, allowing you to churn out Bullets much more quickly than if you bought them from the Trading Post.

An Old Starship

As you're wandering the map, you will eventually come across a W. This is the landing spot of an Old Starship, which you ultimately have to fix up. Its hull needs work and its engines need upgrading; both require Alien Alloy. As you've probably discovered, Alien Alloy is quite rare, but ultimately worth it.

A Dark Room's final challenge hinges upon worthy engines and a strong hull. Add a point to Engines and your ship's responsiveness will improve. Add a point to Hull and you'll be allowed another hit. Another hit in what sense, you ask? Simple enough: You're headed into space.

Once you take off, you'll wind up in a fast-paced space sequence, soaring through what appears to be an asteroid belt. You need to dodge, weave, and blast through increasing numbers of space rocks. How much time you spend pumping points into Engines and Hull is up to you, but at least five points in each are recommended, if not more. It costs a lot to purchase Alien Alloy, so if you do come across any in the field, make bringing it back to your village a priority.

Weave through the asteroids successfully and you'll complete the game… and loop back to the beginning. No rest for the weary.

More by this Author


Aaron Stone 3 years ago

What about how the charm is used? If you find a murky swamp, 'W', and give the charm to the person there, you get the Gastronome perk (greater increase in HP – health points – per cured meat). All perks are not given by 'The Master'.

Perks: (i) Evasion (given by master); (ii) Precise (given by master); (iii) Barbaric (given by master); (iv) Scout (if you learn "scouting" from the woman 'who's been all over' and sells maps); (v) Stealthy (if you 'spare' the thief instead of hanging him).

There's so much information left, much of which can be found from .

2 years ago

how much do maps cost from the scout?

Rob M. 2 years ago

Just beat the game! Didn't know it was keeping score, I got 34853.

Skhye 2 years ago

How do I keep the villagers from turning into slaves? Is it possible? It seems to happen after I click "Gather wood." Can I get through the game without clicking that button?

Taal 2 years ago

I've played fairly far, and someone quit my browser as a joke. The game saved, but the room is freezing and I don't have enough wood to light the fire......:(

What do I do?

Sephira 2 years ago

Get some more wood?

Lotti 2 years ago

I accidentally lost the jewel I found. Where can I find more? I've been looking everywhere.

Mary Beth Sica 2 years ago

Why did my villagers turn into slaves? Can I fix this?

Tyler 2 years ago

Pro tip: do NOT use weapons. If you fight using only your fists you gain skill as a martial artist. Eventually you gain the unarmed master skill and can kill almost anything in one punch.

Tecnoturc 2 years ago

To those of you who think the people in the town are slaves; they are not! When you click the button "Gather Wood," it is actually yourself getting that wood. The townsfolk also come on their own free will and work where it is needed for the greater good of the town (delegated by you, the mayor.).

Mr awesome 2 years ago

How/what dose a bullet do

Gates 2 years ago

But it actually changed the word 'Villagers' to 'Slaves' and you get a sentence saying 'They are slaves.' After several other similar thoughts...

Ronnie 2 years ago

I just don't understand how to fight using the game on my phone. It is very confusing

Geofry 2 years ago

Just finished the game on my iphone, after 338 minutes. Probably could have finished faster, but I wanted to explore the whole map before going into space. Also died many times because I forgot to keep an eye on food and water o.O ...

Fighting in the game is time-based; you want to keep hitting attack 'buttons' (the screen shows text with timers, rather than square buttons, but you tap the text to use that attack), as they are available (the timer bar is full and blue). You also need to keep an eye on your HP; as it is time-based, if you don't attack and kill your opponent, they will keep attacking you every few seconds until you die. I found bolos to be a key survival item when facing the tougher mobs; use a bolo first to stun them, then attack them with all the other weapons at your disposal as fast as you can before they revive.

Also, you can use multiple weapons, so just because you found or built a steel sword, you should still take an iron sword, and a bone spear with you; you will be able to use all of them to attack and take down your opponent faster.

Joshy 2 years ago

I think the villagers are slaves as you are a Wanderer. That's why everyone wants to fight you and you know how to fly the ship.

Brooklyn 2 years ago

I'm trying to collect fur to build a trading post but whenever I get any fur from traps it just goes back to 3 fur automatically. Is anyone else having this? How can I fix it?

Hmmm 2 years ago

You are probably using the fur to create another supply like leather

Alicia 2 years ago

How can I leave the dusty path without dying in order to keep all my items?

Josh 2 years ago

"Embark" button disappeared

Any solution to this?

And Alicia: keep an eye on your water and cured meat, every 1 step requires 1 water, every 2 steps require 1 cured meat

Vicki 2 years ago

AHH! this game is so... i want to quit but i can't! Like how long or what does it takea to get to the next lvl? im still at A Fire Lit room! it has been 3 days!!! TT__TT

alex 2 years ago

Here are the perks from the code:

Perks: {

'boxer': {

name: _('boxer'),

desc: _('punches do more damage'),

notify: _('learned to throw punches with purpose')


'martial artist': {

name: _('martial artist'),

desc: _('punches do even more damage.'),

notify: _('learned to fight quite effectively without weapons')


'unarmed master': {

name: _('unarmed master'),

desc: _('punch twice as fast, and with even more force'),

notify: _('learned to strike faster without weapons')


'barbarian': {

name: _('barbarian'),

desc: _('melee weapons deal more damage'),

notify: _('learned to swing weapons with force')


'slow metabolism': {

name: _('slow metabolism'),

desc: _('go twice as far without eating'),

notify: _('learned how to ignore the hunger')


'desert rat': {

name: _('desert rat'),

desc: _('go twice as far without drinking'),

notify: _('learned to love the dry air')


'evasive': {

name: _('evasive'),

desc: _('dodge attacks more effectively'),

notify: _("learned to be where they're not")


'precise': {

name: _('precise'),

desc: _('land blows more often'),

notify: _('learned to predict their movement')


'scout': {

name: _('scout'),

desc: _('see farther'),

notify: _('learned to look ahead')


'stealthy': {

name: _('stealthy'),

desc: _('better avoid conflict in the wild'),

notify: _('learned how not to be seen')


'gastronome': {

name: _('gastronome'),

desc: _('restore more health when eating'),

notify: _('learned to make the most of food')


Will 2 years ago

It won't let me do Anything with my star ship it keeps saying controls are unresponsive. I have the whole map unlocked and 34 alien ore. What do I do??

Anonymous 2 years ago

I think the average time to beat this game was around 3 hours?

Meanwhile, I'm derping along with a lousy 411 minutes. I didn't even explore the whole map.

I wonder why I took so much longer than other people.

Dave 2 years ago

How do u exit the dusty path without dieing? I collected an iron sword on my journey and I died and I can't find it now. Can someone tell me how to exit the dusty path??

Dave2 2 years ago

There is absolutely no reason to rush through this game. It's a game of exploration and advancement. Rushing is stupid IMO. Take your time and go at your own pace. Awesome game.

Dave2 2 years ago

Nothing wrong with a quicker start though, heh. My advice is skip traps at first and go straight for 10-15 huts before you build anything else.

1-2 traps is fine so you have something else to click but don't blow your wood on em. Then when your pop has room to grow and you bank some wood build everything else, like after a beast attack that kills most of your guys. This happened to me at about 14 huts. Then I got trading post, lodge, 10 traps etc while it refilled.

Jay 2 years ago

What does carbine do? Just found 2.

Jack 2 years ago

Accidentally left the game running for 2 hours and came back to nearly 50k wood and 25k Fur and Meat omg

Phoebe 2 years ago

People are steeling 1 wood, 1 meat, 1 fur every second! What do I do?

lisa 2 years ago

I have lost my builder! Do i need to start again?

i still have everything else, and have built up to armory. But can't replace traps.

Eli 2 years ago

Phoebe, there must be a thief in your village, the only thing you can do is continue carting wood until you find out who it is (which will happen automatically). Also, when you eventually find the thief, don't kill em, they will give you a perk.

Eli 2 years ago


Lisa, if you have found the starship, then this means your builder has left you, she won't come back. All there is left to do is fine the precious alien alloy and upgrade your ship. I recommend no less than 8 on your hull HP, then set off and find out what happens.

Eli 2 years ago

For those of you not returning with the goods you found, you need to head back to the A on your map before running out of food/water

Shaie 21 months ago

What do I need leather for after I have the workshop,waterskin, rucksack, leather armor? Is it worth using the population to make leather? What are the bullets for -- worth keeping around? ty.

Zak 21 months ago

I "found" the starships but there isn't an option to fix it on my menu? I just have the "!" , "village" "supplies" "merchant" and "dusty path". So what do I do? I already talked to the man and the builder deid, so what now?

John T 20 months ago

Same problem as Zak. Now what???

Fred 20 months ago

Zak/John T: Just keep looking for alien alloy on A Dusty Path. You'll use it to upgrade the ship. You should be able to lift off though.

Beate 17 months ago

I got 56935. Really liked the game. Good for when you are bored.

ruut 17 months ago

How do I upgrade my gatherers to hunters, tanners or trappers?

Jonny 17 months ago

I can't beat the sulphur mine!!! Pls tell me a good strategy.

(O__O) 14 months ago

Can't find the sulfur mine! Also got 2 charms early in game, took them out adventuring, lost them, how do I get more?

A_A 13 months ago

Charms are found in traps.

grzegorz 10 months ago

I have problem with fire- its like every ten minutes it's plaging my city. What's wrong?

Dominic 9 months ago

Leather is useless after a certain point.

Littlematch 7 months ago

To beat the sulphur mine, you need to first gather a rifle and some bullets by taking down soldiers in random encounter. Bring some med kit and wear steel armour. Then run the mine down.

TrippyBuilder 5 months ago

I don't wanna lose my builder and "she" sais not to go venturing WITH TEARS IN HER EYES! What does that mean why shouldn't I?

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