Dark And Light Guide: Keyboard Shortcuts and Basic Tips

There's a surprising level of complexity in this survival simulator, and you want to know the basics before getting started with Dark And Light!

There's a surprising level of complexity in this survival simulator, and you want to know the basics before getting started with Dark And Light!
Recommended Videos

Offering the Ark survival experience with a stronger fantasy flavor, Dark And Light is difficult for new players to get into without some serious knowledge before hand of what to craft and how to play.

Due to major lag problems, FPS drops, and constant desync in Early Access, keyboard shortcuts can be a life saver. The less often you have to pull up menus to scroll through, the better.

Below we’ve listed out all the basic beginner info you need to know to get started with this survival sim. Want to get into the more advance topics? Check out our other Dark and Light guides here:

Dark And Light Keyboard Shortcuts

Some of the standard shortcuts aren’t what long time PC gamers will be used to, and you’ll need to know how to quickly order around your tamed creatures without highlighting them and pulling up a sub-menu. Here are the most helpful shortcuts (and don’t forget you can re-bind them):

  • R – Reload (also Open Container / Access Object when highlighted)
  • Q – Holster
  • C – Radial Belt Menu
  • Right Shift – Sprint
  • G – Drag Body
  • Control – Crouch 
  • Alt – Swap Hotbar Belt
  • A – Transfer Item
  • D – Drop Item (for many items at once, hover over the item in the inventory)
  • – Mount Follow
  • L – Mount Move
  • , – Mount Stay
  • J – Mount Passive
  • K – Mount Passive
  • H – Mount Attack
  • DEL – Remove On Screen HUD
  • END – Switch Camera
  • Mouse 3 – Center Camera On Player
  • O – Quests
  • P – House Info
  • U – Skills
  • – Toggle Auto Hide Chat Box

Dark And Light Basic Harvesting / Building Strategies

When first getting started, its important to construct a thatch hut with a door in a defensible position, preferably near a city. Eventually you will want to upgrade to better structure types. Remember that when you log out, your character and tamed creatures are still there — and yes, you can be killed and looted while logged out. Griefing is a problem, and you need to find ways to protect yourself.

Always be hidden somewhere first before logging out — like inside your house behind the closed door (although this isn’t completely safe, since other players can destroy your buildings). Note that if your structure is missing parts when you log in, usually doors, they haven’t actually disappeared, the textures just aren’t loading. It’s a known bug being worked on at the moment.

 Building A Home Base

Besides building a structure, you need to stay on top of hunger and thirst. Berry Jam (made with berries and grass) is a good early option for managing thirst and hunger, but it spoils quickly, so only craft it as needed rather than making several ahead of time. To keep objects, especially meat, from spoiling, get yourself a larder box (although note that the in-game text is wrong, you use Sulphur Powder for the box, not Silica Powder).

Finally, always search a corpse for extra loot before harvesting. Below we’ve listed out what you should focus on harvesting in the early stages of the game and with which implement.

Use your bare hands to harvest:
  • Grass from grass
  • Straw, magic shards, and twine from bushes, flowers, and trees
Use an axe to harvest:
  • Wood and apples from trees
  • Stone, sulfur ore, and straw from rocks and mineral veins
  • Meat, bones, and hide from corpses
Use a pickaxe to harvest:
  • Twine from trees
  • Hay from bushes
  • Sulfur from rocks
  • Gold from city barrels
  • Elemental cores from elemental corpses
Use a sword to harvest:
  • Shards, berries, flowers, and hay from bushes
  • Meat from corpses
Use a scythe to harvest:
  • Fur from animal corpses
  • Seeds from bushes

 Harvesting From Rock

From there its time to explore the world and learn how to craft and tame along the way! Have any other beginner’s Dark And Light tips and tricks that new players should know? Sound off in the comments section below!

About the author

Ty Arthur

Ty splits his time between writing horror fiction and writing about video games. After 25 years of gaming, Ty can firmly say that gaming peaked with Planescape Torment, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a soft spot for games like Baldur's Gate, Fallout: New Vegas, Bioshock Infinite, and Horizon: Zero Dawn. He has previously written for GamerU and MetalUnderground. He also writes for PortalMonkey covering gaming laptops and peripherals.