The complete SCUM beginner's guide - crafting, metabolism, loot

Published: 21:23, 06 October 2018
Updated: 09:23, 09 October 2018
bulky guy in red coat carries his precious cargo across majesic vistas

Fighting rabid zombies, giant mechs and hostile players while keeping your belly full can be a challenging task in Scum. With little tutorial, it's not quite obvious how to cook a stew at times, rather than ending up in one yourself.

Croatian studio Gamepires' Scum is a hardcore survival game with some complex ideas and deep survival mechanics, never before seen in the genre. The Steam Early Access title deposits you in a vast open world filled with various locations to explore, zombies to maim and players to fight, team up with, or devour. Your main goal at all times however remains one thing - survival.

Fresh Spawn

First of all, you should craft a simple backpack and wooden or stone spear. This should take no more than 5 minutes and will prove to be essential from the get go. The backpack will give you extra inventory space for food or items that you would otherwise have to leave behind because one can only fit so much in a pair of pockets.

A spear is a reliable weapon for both hunting and zombie piercing. However, it’s not as effective as a baseball bat or axe, while still better than fighting dangerous, brain-hungry puppets with your bare fists.

It pays to cut your prison clothes into rags and rag stripes which can patch up any wounds you accumulate. These remain viable up until late-game, since medkits and bandages are scarce. Villages and towns provide for a lot of textiles that can serve the same purpose.

Gamepires Scum screenshot of player running across a bridge of something like it Scum

Eat your veggies

Scum is all about survival, and to survive you must keep that belly full. Luckily, coastal Croatia is an inexhaustible source of various fruits and vegetables. Make sure to look for gardens, orchards, vineyards, and cornfields. If you prefer meat, then go skin butcher some animals. Be careful when cooking meals though, keep them simple and use fresh ingredients, otherwise run the risk of sickness. Poorly prepared meals can cause diarrhea, which may not sound like a big deal, but sudden noise can easily alert enemies.

The easiest way to stay fed would probably be a human meat diet. Puppets are quite numerous and it takes but a main and a chop to turn them into steak. Preparing zombie meat requires a fireplace, skewer and some patience. Nothing beats a good cannibal barbecue in the great outdoors, while enjoying a breathtaking sunset and contemplating your humanity.

There is no need to panic if your energy levels stay low in spite of a nice meal and sip of soda. Everything you eat and drink in Scum will have to work it’s way through your stomach before it has any notable effect.

Build a camp

Random respawn can be deeply frustrating, so setting up some shelter right away is a smart move that will save you a lot of precious time and energy. Once lodging is taken care of, your camp can be designated as a spawn point with enough Fame points.

Scum's game world is enormous and travelling any distance can be a tedious affair, even without hostile players.

Choose a nice place to camp, make sure you’re close to water and food, but keep a low profile because you don’t want uninvited guests. Precious items are best stored in stashes, which you will have to build yourself. It's worth keeping in mind that a stash will rarely deter looters.

Gamepires A dark night in the woods, yet someone has laid a barbecue trap Scum

The Second Amendment

Guns are exceedingly rare in Scum and acquiring them basically means you've reached the endgame. Before you can use them in all of their full-auto glory magazines and ammo are required. Note that you can fire a gun without a magazine but you’ll have to reload after every shot.

Scum is jam packed with a variety of guns which makes searching for matching gun parts even tougher. Your best shot would be restricted zones, which are guarded by robot sentries. These areas hold the most valuable loot, such as military helmets, vests, large rucksacks, weapons, attachments, ammo and grenades.

Robot sentries will ruin your day shortly after announcing their presence, so make sure to stay out of their line of sight and open spaces. Patience is the key when looting restricted areas. Be mindful of the robot's patrol path, stay out of sight and you’ll be fine.

Player crafted ammo is a viable alternative, so consider stashing gunpowder and scrap metal in case you need a refill before going into the wilderness.

Mixed bag of tips

A great deal of systems that tend to be self-explanatory in other survival titles are anything but plain in Scum. Something as basic as reloading can be a tad convoluted, and many encumbrance and nutrition mechanics are more intricate than they first appear.


Scum doesn't really have any sort of tutorial and since we’re talking about a fairly complex game, you may even find yourself stuck on loading your magazine. First, you need to drag the bullets to the magazine with your mouse, then make sure the gun is in your hands and finally drag the loaded magazine to an empty attachment slot.

Gamepires Scum character stares directly into the Sun risking his eyeballs Scum

Items can be made with different materials

Let’s assume you want to craft something, you check for the required materials and one of them is a rope, and of course it's the one thing you don't have. Don’t go rope hunting just yet, you can switch to alternate crafting materials by clicking the small arrows on each item in the crafting menu. For example, a rope alternative is an improvised rope made with rags and rag stripes.

Avoid water if fully geared

Swimming is a big no-no when you’re wearing a military helmet, vest and large rucksack filled with hard-earned booty. You will sink like a rock. You can still save your soul by dropping your gear and paddling for the surface, but that will only leave you gasping, disappointed and with most of your valuables in the Mariner trench.

Water bottles can be refiled

Don’t throw them away! When you drain a bottle, just refill it at lakes, rivers or water pumps. This way you don’t have to waste time searching for soda or water whenever you have as much as a salty thought.

SCUM, survival battle royale by Gamepires and Croteam

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A man with an axe running through a forest in SCUM

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