Tips and tricks for Windbound

Windbound Purple Trees
Windbound Purple Trees (Image credit: Windows Central)

As with most survival games, Windbound makes it difficult to stay alive. Kara can die of hunger, she might get injured by a wild animal, her boat can wreck on some rocks leaving her to drown, or she might not have the necessary tools needed to sail the seas.

If you're having any difficulty braving the randomly generated islands, we've got your back. Follow these tips and tricks to make it through the game's five levels.

Gather, gather, gather

Windbound Gathering

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

When you begin the game, you'll have absolutely nothing but a dagger and some clothes to your name. Start off by gathering all of the materials and food you can get your hands on. If Kara doesn't eat, she can starve, so you need to keep her fed.

As you gather more materials, Kara will learn more crafting options, which might just turn the tides in your favor. So always pick up a new material or try to hunt a new animal when you see one. You'll need to sail to other islands to locate more durable materials so you can create weapons and more reliable tools.

Don't eat the raw meat

Windbound Meat Cooking

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Unlike The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, eating raw meat in Windbound isn't a good idea. Kara will become temporarily sick, and it can be difficult to maneuver her while she's feeling the effects. Instead, always cook your meat on a fire before consuming it.

Cooking takes awhile, so make sure to give yourself enough time for the meat to cook without allowing Kara to die of hunger.

Use a Cooking Rack

Windbound Cooking Rack

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

It takes a while to cook meat or tan leather at a fire in Windbound. If you've got multiple things you want to do, you really ought to craft a Cooking Rack. This will allow you to cook/craft three things at once at your fire so you don't have to worry as much about your hunger level increasing while you wait.

After you've made a Fire, interact with it, and then provide two Sticks and three Thick Grass to add the Cooking Rack.

Build a boat and mast right away

Windbound Sailing

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

A canoe allows you to explore the map and discover new islands. It does cost more materials to add a mast to your canoe. However, it will make it a whole lot easier for you to navigate the seas with the wind's help. This, in turn, will make it so Kara can explore further before growing hungry.

As far as materials go, during the first part of the game, I recommend that you always try to have at least 12 Thick Grass and one Stick on you to make a simple Grass Canoe and Grass Mast in case of emergency. Your boat can get destroyed, so you will be happy to have everything necessary for a replacement.

Your boat is a safe haven from land animals

Windbound is a little glitchy in some ways. But fortunately, that can sometimes work in your favor.

As you progress, you'll come upon some dangerous land animals. You might not have the weapons necessary to take them down. If you need to escape, simply run to the beach, jump on your boat, and select Sail. Land-dwelling foes cannot hurt you while you're in this position, even if you don't go anywhere.

You can then either wait for the animal to lose interest or sail to another location to avoid them.

Craft a bag and pot ASAP

Windbound Bag

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

When you start, you'll only have a limited number of item slots. This becomes problematic as you continue to find valuable materials.

To give yourself more leeway, be sure to craft a bag as soon as you can to provide you with additional item slots. There's even a bag that slows down the degradation of your food, so I highly recommend you work on making that as quickly as you're able to.

You can also craft various types of pots for your ship that can hold several materials. Just be careful with what you put inside. If your boat wrecks, these items will disappear.

Gather food on every island

Windbound Purple Plumpuff (Image credit: Windows Central)

Windbound Rustcaps (Image credit: Windows Central)

Source: Windows Central

Whenever you make it to another island, immediately start foraging for food. We don't want Kara dying on us from lack of nutrition. Some islands have plenty of mushrooms to keep her satiated, while others might only offer wild animals that she will need to hunt.

Purple plumpuff mushrooms sprout from the ground on desert islands, while Rustcap mushrooms can be found growing on large tree trunks. These are some of the most healing items, not to mention some of the easiest foods to gather.

Once you know where the food is located on an island, plan your visit accordingly if there are plenty of mushrooms. Remember where they are and then pick them just as you're leaving to make them last longer on the seas.

Hold that bow taut

Once you've acquired or crafted a bow, you'll be able to shoot wild animals for food and materials. If you hold the string taut for several seconds, a glowing light will appear around the two ends of your bow. This is an indicator that lets you know that your attack will be more powerful when you release the arrow.

Whenever possible, aim your bow for several seconds until it gets as powerful as it can be before letting it fly. That way, you won't use as many arrows taking the beast down. By the way, if you successfully kill an animal, you'll be able to retrieve the arrows you've shot at it.

Stay away from coral reefs

Windbound Coral Reef

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

As you're gliding along the waves, you'll see plenty of colorful coral reefs. But don't let their beauty deceive you! These are actually really dangerous. If your boat bumps into them, it could get damaged enough to disappear, leaving you to drown. And standing on a coral reef makes your health go down.

Not to mention that the crabs that inhabit the reefs will try to jump on your canoe as you go by. If they are successful, they might just eat your boat away, causing you to sink into the ocean's depths.

Now, if you're in a dire situation without a boat, swimming from one coral reef to the next until you reach land might be your only option. But otherwise, they should definitely be avoided.

Scout out your next destination

Windbound On Tower

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

It's perilous to navigate the rock and coral reef dappled waters, especially if Kara is on an empty stomach. To save yourself some hassle, I suggest you always check out what's on the horizon when you're safely on land. If you see another island in the distance from atop a cliff or nautilus tower, then you can immediately head in that direction instead of blindly sailing the seas.

Locate your lost boat

Windbound Map

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Some of the islands you come across will be relatively large in the last few chapters. If you can't remember where you left your boat, simply open the map. You'll be able to see your location relative to your vessel.

Check out those tiny islands

Windbound Shrines

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

If you explore, your curiosity will be rewarded. There are really small islands throughout each level. While they might not house the next nautilus tower that you are looking for, spending the time to investigate them might lead you to discovering something useful.

For instance, you might find pots filled with hundreds of Sea Shards or maybe even a rock shrine that can permanently increase your health or stamina. Shrines with a yellow glow increase the stamina bar while shrines with a red glow increase your max health.

Windbound survival tips

Now you have a better idea how to survive the ocean-faring life found in Windbound. Good luck on your trip. Remember to keep Kara fed and stock up on the most important materials whenever you can. I hope you can sail safely and find all of the materials you're looking for.

Rebecca Spear
Editor and Reviewer

Self-professed gaming geek, Rebecca Spear, is one of Windows Central's editors and reviewers with a focus on gaming handhelds, PC gaming, and laptops. When she isn't checking out the latest games on Xbox Game Pass, PC, ROG Ally, or Steam Deck; she can be found digital drawing with a Wacom tablet. She's written thousands of articles with everything from editorials, reviews, previews, features, previews, and hardware reviews over the last few years. If you need information about anything gaming-related, her articles can help you out. She also loves testing game accessories and any new tech on the market. You can follow her @rrspear on X (formerly Twitter).