Welcome to the Sheltered Survival Guide. With the release of Sheltered on Nintendo Switch eShop, we wanted to help you get off to the best possible start in this disaster-management game by developer Unicube. This guide will help you get started in the world of Sheltered and hopefully make you outlive the apocalypse!

Where to begin?

Sheltered offers three different game modes. Survival is the standard game mode, where your goal is to survive for as long as possible. You can also play two different scenarios; Surrounded and Stasis. These scenarios have set goals and victory conditions to them, but are more difficult. We recommend you start with Survival.

Creating your family

When you start the game, you will be creating four characters; two parents and two children. You’ll have a lot of options in terms of both appearance, perks and statistics, so you should carefully consider your choices. If you decide in advance which characters you plan to send on expeditions and which ones you’ll keep back in the shelter, that can help determine whether you want them to be smart for all the building and repairing back home or focus on strength for when they might be encountering dangers in the wild. Strength will help you fight both hostile survivors, faction members, beasts and shelter attackers. Oh and remember to pick a pet. There are pros and cons to all of them, but we’ll let you discover that on your own.

I’ve created my family and started the game. Now what?

The first thing you want to do is to send someone on an expedition. Resources are very tight early on and if you’re not aggressive in your search for more, you might end up running out. Water and rations in particular are crucial to your survival. It’s up to you who you send out and how many others you have joining them, but it usually works well if you send out two of your family members. When you select locations on the expedition map, you’ll notice that the further they travel, the more water they use. This is where you want to be slightly aggressive and spend more water than perhaps seems safe. Odds are it will rain within a few days, so if you’re careful with your water usage in the shelter, you should be totally fine. Oh, and when you send someone on an expedition, remember to equip them with a gas mask and a weapon and – when you acquire/craft them – some kind of bag or backpack, so they can carry more resources.

Keeping the shelter tidy

With some of your family now on an expedition, you want to start improving your shelter with whomever you’ve got available back home. Select your crafting table and make a few essentials; a bed/bedroll, a toilet, a shower and a mop. As soon as those on the expedition return, they will need to rest, so somewhere to sleep is crucial. You can’t send them back out if they’re too tired.

The mop is used to keep the shelter clean. Any time someone eats a ration or crafts something, it will make the shelter dirty. If left unattended, your shelter will attract rats, which will start eating your rations. This is a very easy way to unintentionally end your game early. Make it a habit to use the mop to clean the shelter several times per day; any time the Clean Shelter sub-menu is available on the mop, the shelter is dirty.

Another thing you want to do is selecting the crafting table and Rearrange Shelter. This will allow you to move most individual parts around, taking up less space. A few inches here and there could mean the difference between one or two beds in your early game. This also allows you to design the shelter any way you want, which will come in handy once you get further in and raiders can start attacking your home.

Exploring the world

Sheltered has a large world to explore and lots of items within it, that might potentially aid in your survival. When your expedition party finds something of interest, an indicator will show up above your shelter’s radio. Interact with it and you’ll be able to instruct the expedition party what to do next. Found a place worth exploring? Encountered strangers worth interacting with? It’s all up to you. You also decide whether you want them to act on their own, or if you want to take control of the situation – the choice is yours. You’ll occasionally encounter quest givers that need help in various ways, which are all optional. If you can spare the resources, lending a helping hand might yield worthwhile results.


There are countless resources available in the world of Sheltered, but some are more important than others. This is what you’ll want to focus on first, and why:
Food – Without food rations, your family will starve, and early in the game, when you’re unable to build a freezer to store fresh meat in, food rations are crucial.
Fuel – You need fuel to power your generator, which powers your entire shelter. If you run out fuel, your air filter etc. will fail, and you’ll meet an early end.
Tools – Make sure to bring back any tools you find. Each unique tool acquired will improve your crafting and repairing speed, which will make your life easier.
Gas Masks – You need these to go on expeditions.
Vinyls, books, teddy bears and medicine – These things can both help your survivors long term, but are generally worth grabbing for their monetary value, which you’ll need for trading.

Resources will randomly respawn in the world after a couple of days, so even though you’ve already cleared out a certain location, it’s worth going back after a while.

The radio

Your radio is absolutely essential. More than a tool for communicating with your expedition party, you can use it to summon traders, recruits and even scan for quests in the world. Early on we recommend you have someone broadcast for traders as much as possible, as they might have rations or other much needed items. We recommend tagging recipes at the crafting table for items you’d like to craft, which will very clearly indicate when you’ve encountered an item you need.


Alright, so the short version:
1) Start with the Survival mode.
2) When creating characters, make sure you’ve got someone focusing on strength to help you survive the many dangers of the wasteland.
3) Go on Expeditions early, and focus on bringing home food rations, fuel, tools and gas masks first.
4) Keep your shelter clean and tidy to avoid rats eating your food.
5) Be careful with your water usage. Using and cleaning the toilet, taking the shower or cleaning out the fish bowl all use water. Try to do these things while it’s raining.
6) Use the radio to broadcast for traders and quests.
7) Have fun!

There’s a lot to Sheltered, and while there are plenty more tips to give, part of the experience is discovery. We hope this guide helps you in your early days at the end of the world, and wish for a long and prosperous life for you and your family – even if you have to resort to more desperate measures to survive. Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Where can I play Sheltered?
Sheltered is available on Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS and Android.

Who developed Sheltered?
Sheltered was developed by Unicube.

Is there any available DLC?
While there is no paid DLC, we have launched two major free content updates to the game since launch; Surrounded and Stasis. These content updates are available on Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

What are the available game modes?
Sheltered has three game modes:
Survival is the normal game mode where your goal is to survive for as long as possible. You create your own family and build your shelter from scratch. We recommend players start here.
 is a scenario where you have to survive for 50 days with limited resources while under frequent attacks from other survivors. This is a timed game mode where you’re trying to survive until the end.
Stasis is another timed scenario where you’re trying to escape our dying planet before it’s too late. With a pre-built shelter, you have to focus on finish building the space rocket while gathering everything you want to preserve from our planet and the human race.

Is there any replay value?
Certainly. Beyond playing the three different game modes where your world and encounters are random each time, Stasis in particular offers 8 different endings for you to experience. We’ll leave it up to you to discover how to reach all of them.

Where can I stay up-to-date on everything Sheltered?
You can follow Sheltered on Twitter, Unicube on Twitter and Team17 on Twitter and Facebook. You can also chat to and share experiences and survival tips with fellow survivors on Discord.

Share Post