Grounded: How to get the level 2 Insect Axe and Insect Hammer upgrades
Rank up your tools — it'll pay off in the long run!
Grounded is an awesome game, and is no doubt one of the best survival games available right now. Like many games in the genre, a huge part of Grounded's gameplay loop is harvesting resources that you can then use in various crafting recipes for weapons, armor, consumables, base structures, and more. Without these resources, surviving in the hostile and unpredictable Backyard will be a difficult endeavor.
Most basic supplies you'll need can be collected using simple early-game tools. However, more advanced resources like Mints and Crow Feathers will require you to use the level 2 Insect Hammer and Insect Axe upgrades. Here's a look at everything you need to know about obtaining them, including what materials you'll need, where you can find them, and more.
Grounded: How to get a Level 2 Insect Hammer
Insect Hammers are the level 2 hammer, required to harvest Mints for Grounded's most powerful weapon, the Mint Mace. Insect Hammers are also potent one-handed weapons in their own right, and can be used to harvest a variety of higher-level crafting materials whenever a Busting tool is required.
To craft one at a Workbench, you'll need the following items:
- 4x Stinkbug Parts
- 4x Berry Leather
- 1x Bombardier Beetle Boiling Gland
Getting these items in Grounded primarily requires battles with Stinkbugs and Bombardier Beetles, though you'll also need to hunt down some berries that you can harvest and create Berry Leather from as well. You'll be in a fair amount of danger while collecting these materials, so you should craft some Acorn Armor from Acorn Shells and other common parts found near the big oak tree on the eastern side of the Backyard.
Stinkbug Parts drop from Stinkbugs, which hide around the western side of the map to the north of the big rake in a large dry open area. They are flat and brownish in color, and far larger than most bugs you've probably seen so far. They often roam south to the east of the rake in packs of up to four mobs. You can pull individuals away from the group using a bow and arrow, or by throwing a rock. Stinkbug bites hurt quite a bit, so make sure you block them carefully. When they engage, they will spray noxious gas in an area of effect around them. Move away before that happens. Once they've released gas, they can't do so again for roughly 20-30 seconds, giving you plenty of time to attack. Note that if you're having trouble with their gas attacks, a Gas Mask can help you survive them.
You'll also need a single Bombardier Beetle Explosive Gland, which can be tricky to obtain due to the aggressive nature of these critters. Bombardier Beetles are large bright green bugs that engage by shooting acid from their abdomens which cannot be blocked, and bite incredibly hard. You can cheese the fight by shooting them from afar, but once you get one in a safe place, strafing away from the acid and timing blocks well can see you through the fight pretty easily. They can be found all over the large rock where the rake is perched on to the west side of the map.
Last, you need Berry Leather, which is crafted from three Berry Chunks. You'll need 12 Berry Chunks in total. Berries can be found on the hedges on the southeastern edge of the map. Climb under the hedge and throw rocks or shoot arrows to dislodge them, then hack them up with an axe. The area is a hotspot for Larvae and Orb Weaver Spiders, however, so be careful. Check out our guide on how to find Berry Leather in Grounded for more information.
Once you have all the materials, the final step of the process is to analyze all of them at a Research Station so that the recipe for the Insect Hammer becomes available at your Workbench. You can then craft it and begin using it.
Grounded: How to get a level 2 Insect Axe
Insect Axes are the upgrade of the basic Pebblet Axe, giving you the ability to chop down much bigger weeds for more efficient construction material crafting. The Insect Axe is also a solid one-handed weapon, with decent stats all around. Crafting one of these bad boys requires less footwork than the Insect Hammer does overall, but you'll have to tangle with some nasty bugs to get the necessary resources.
To craft an Insect Axe, you'll need to track down the following materials:
- 1x Ladybug Head
- 3x Bombardier Parts
- 4x Spider Silk
First, you're going to need a Ladybug Head, from — you guessed it — finding and killing Ladybugs. These beautiful critters tend to roam around the Grasslands and Flower Bed biomes. The former is the central area you begin the game in, while the latter is distinguished by the colorful flowers found around the big oak tree and Koi Pond to the east. They are fairly common, but you may have to search around for a while before finding one. They hit quite hard and can stun, too, so be sure to block and sidestep their attacks carefully.
Next, you need three Bombardier Parts. As mentioned above, Bombardier Beetles roam around the big rock by the rake on the western side of map. They spray acid and hit really hard, so strafe around, use the best armor and weapons you have, and practice those blocks. It might be worth saving before taking them on.
Finally, you're going to need some Spider Silk. If you're not confident to fight Orb Weavers or Wolf Spiders yet, you can grab some from baby Spiderlings that hang out near the big rock, close to the location where the Bombardier Beetles are found. On the eastern side of the rock, there's a crack in the ground that leads to a big spider den where you can often find three or four Spiderlings taking shelter. Note that killing spiders like Orb Weavers isn't too hard with Acorn Armor and an Ant Club, but Wolf Spiders are a significantly more dangerous threat and will require good blocking skills.
Once you have all the bits, head to a workbench and craft your spiky Insect Axe. Don't forget to analyze the materials first, too, as you'll need to do so before the Insect Axe recipe actually becomes accessible.
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.