Grounded: How to get into the Sandbox
Here's how you can get to and explore one of Grounded's most unique — and dangerous — biomes.
The Backyard of Obsidian Entertainment's unique survival game, Grounded, is full of danger. Still, few of its biomes are as hazardous as the Sandbox in the southwestern portion of the map. Filled with scorching hot sands and plenty of hostile critters, the Sandbox is not a place for novice explorers. However, for those that have more experience and some decent gear, the Sandbox is worth venturing into since it holds several valuable resources.
Unfortunately, getting into the Sandbox is almost as difficult as traversing the biome itself, as it's protected by high walls that prevent you from entering the area from ground level. With that said, there's a relatively simple and safe way to get into the Sandbox that players can take advantage of as long as they have some basic supplies and don't mind a little climbing. Here's what you need to do.
Grounded: Getting into the Sandbox
Getting into the Sandbox in Grounded is a fairly long journey, but it's also a completely safe one as long as you're careful. To begin, you'll need to head towards the Picnic Table biome to the north of the Sandbox itself. This is because ultimately, the key to entering the Sandbox is climbing up to the top of the Picnic Table first. While this may seem like an impossible task at first — the Picnic Table is even taller than the Sandbox is — there's a large shovel near the table's southeastern corner that you can tip over and use as a ramp.
How to knock down the Leaning Shovel
The Leaning Shovel is your ticket onto the Picnic Table, but you won't be able to climb its handle unless you knock it down. Fortunately, doing so is very easy; all you need to do is blow up the rock that the shovel is leaning on by throwing a Bratburst or Splatburst explosive at it.
Once this is accomplished, the Leaning Shovel will topple over, causing its handle to fall until it hits the bench on the Picnic Table's southern side. You can now climb up the handle to reach the bench, beginning your ascent to the top of the table.
How to climb the Picnic Table
Now that you've reached the Picnic Table's southern bench, it's time to climb all the way to the top of the area. From the banana peel located under the Leaning Shovel's handle, travel west along the table's bench until you reach a plastic spork that provides you with a safe way to drop down on top of the wooden beam that connects the bench you're on with the one on the table's northern side. Note that the various Bees flying around are neutral (for now) and won't attack you, so there's no need to provoke them.
Travel across this beam and jump up the nails at the end of it to get on the northern bench. Climb up the stack of books until you reach a cooler with a large red button on the side of it. Equip any of Grounded's tools you have handy capable of being used for Busting and smack the button to make the cooler's handle fall to the side, providing you with a ramp that leads to the top of the Picnic Table.
Entering the Sandbox
Now that you're on top of the Picnic Table, you'll need to travel to the middle of the southern side of the table. There, you'll find an open red notebook with a Field Station underneath it, as well as a zipline that leads straight to the top of one of the Sandbox's walls. Note that you'll need 12 of the Silk Rope material in order to actually use it, so make sure you bring some with you.
While on top of the Picnic Table, nearby Bees will turn hostile and rapidly attack you if you go near the pot of honey on the table's eastern side. To be safe, it's best to travel to the notebook via the table's western edge so you won't have to deal with this potential threat.
After ziplining to the top of the Sandbox's northern wall, look to the east, and you'll see a large mound of sand built up in the biome's northeastern corner. This mound gives you a way to drop into the Sandbox without taking any fall damage.
Grounded: What's in the Sandbox?
In the Sandbox, you can find a wide variety of different resources to collect and landmarks to check out. You have to be careful while exploring the Sandbox during the day, though, as the sun makes the sand inside of it hot enough to build up and inflict the Sizzle status effect. When the Sizzle meter builds up, your movement speed will be reduced and your character will take damage slowly over time. Thankfully, you can cool off by standing in the shade provided by the various plastic toys and other items located throughout the biome. You can also avoid dealing with Sizzle completely by exploring during nighttime.
In terms of hostile bugs, the Sandbox is dominated by aggressive Antlions that can take a beating and dish out quite a bit of damage, too, making them dangerous opponents. You should be able to take them on one at a time without too much trouble, especially if you use a weapon that causes slashing and/or salty damage. However, if two or more attack you at once, you'll need to kite them to avoid being surrounded. Note that the Sandbox is also filled with groups of Black Worker Ants that pour out of a tunnel connected to the Black Anthill area. These mobs are neutral to the player (unless attacked) but will frequently engage Antlions in combat. They almost always lose in these fights due to their low health and damage, but running towards a group of them is a great way to distract Antlions and escape to safety.
Both the Antlions and Black Worker Ants are worth killing and/or looting, as parts from the former can be used to make heat-resistant Antlion armor while the remains of the latter are needed to make a Black Ant Shovel. This tool allows you to dig up pieces of buried treasure in the Sandbox that are marked by sparkles in the sand during the day. The resources you can find in the sand include:
- Crow Feather Piece
- Gum Nugget
- Mint Shard
- Salt Shard
- Spicy Shard
- Sunken Bone
Some notable locations in the Sandbox include a plastic sand castle mold near the eastern wall where a Wolf Spider nests; an oasis-like area in the southeastern corner of the biome that provides access to a Field Station, shade, water, and grass; and a large sand castle to the southwest.
The Wolf Spider is a deadly opponent, but you can lead Antlions into its nest to instigate a fight between the two insects. Whoever comes out on top will be severely weakened, allowing you to easily finish them off and loot the corpses. You can then use the mold as a shelter from the heat. The oasis area is also a fantastic place to set up a temporary outpost, as it has everything you need to make a simple base and doesn't get patrolled by Antlions often. The sand castle is worth visiting, too, as its filled with plenty of buried treasure. Be ready for a fight, though, as the castle is typically filled with Antlion defenders.
Throughout the biome, there are tons of items and resources that players can pick up off the ground or find within containers. Here's what you can expect to find as you explore the Sandbox:
- Apple Bits
- Billy Hog Bite
- Cookie Sandwich Bits
- Clover Leaf
- Cool Style Nugget
- Cool Tough Nugget
- Grass Plank
- Plant Fiber
- Rad Style Nugget
- Rotten Food
- Spicy Shard
- Spoiled Meat
- Style Nugget
- Tough Nugget
- Weed Stem
- Candy Cornlet (During Halloween)
Grounded is officially out now on Xbox and PC for $30, and has quickly proven itself to be one of the best Xbox games of all time for fans of survival games thanks to its unique and creative theming, content-rich open world, and deep crafting, upgrade, and combat systems.
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Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.