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Forager skill tree - Each skill and best route explained

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Forager skill tree - Each skill and best route explained

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Forager is a semi-idle adventure game where you start with a small island, collecting resources and, of course, foraging, to then unlock more items, crafting abilities, a skill tree, islands, puzzles and so much more. As the world grows larger, there are so many different options, you might get overwhelmed or not know which path to choose. In this article, we are focusing on the skill tree.

The Forager skill tree is basically a board of unlocks, which starts as four choices. Whichever choice you pick will unlock more options down the line, that are adjacent to them. You can’t unlock all of these at once and need to save up XP points from leveling up to unlock more new levels, which gets more challenging as you get deeper in the game. These skills are massive changes to the game, unlocking new items and ways of playing Forager. Each of these four choices falls into four main categories, though there are some adjacent and overlapping items!

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Economy Tree

Economy - Gain 40 coins instantly. This unlock will allow you to expand your land, given you have enough coins for that, and you can then get more resources through the added land.

Coinage - Every time you make a coin in the Forge, you actually get 5 instead of 1. Though money is not as important at the start of the game, you may want to follow this route later on, once you are consistently producing coins.

Trade - Unlocks markets that have items for sale. You can then gain more coins by trading items, which can be useful midgame. It’s a good option in this route.

Supply - The market itself will have more items for sale. This isn’t that useful, as most players use the market to sell items instead of purchase items since they can be crafted and made at a cheaper price. It’s not something you really need.

Commerce - Any items you throw away will instead be sold. This is just another way of making money, it’s not that useful and doesn’t change the game much. You also probably won’t be throwing away a bunch of high-value items, as you will be using them - or you can actually sell them on their own.

Banking - Unlocks banks, which generate money over time. This item isn’t necessary for early gameplay either, as money isn’t a big deal yet. If you end up unlocking trading instead, you can get enough coins from selling gems or items and may not need a bank at all.

Treasury - If you place banks next to other banks, they will boost each other to create coins 50% faster. If you have unlocked banking and are going down this route instead of trading (though trading does seem more useful), then it’s worth considering. Otherwise, no real reason to get this unlock.

Bargain - Reduces coin cost by 15% for anything you have to purchase. This is very good when it comes to buying large amounts of land, but at the start of the game doesn’t matter that much. If you are actually earning a lot of coins, you will find that it’s not needed at all.

Artistry - Any items you have crafted are sold for 25% more coins when selling them. You won’t be using this at the start of playing Forager and in the late game, you will find that you will be using all of your crafted items, so there is no real need to sell them. Again, this upgrade isn’t as useful or worth it.

Storage - Unlocks Vaults, which act like chests and can store 6 different items in them. This is great in the late game, especially as you find your inventory to be full most of the time. When you pick up an item from the group that you already have in a vault, that item will transfer itself into the stack in the vault, which can really help you stay organised as well. It’s an unlock worth considering once your inventory is constantly filling up.

Optics - Unlocks lighthouses which will double your light radius, so that at night it’s not so dark. This unlock isn’t that useful, as you can actually unlock a lantern that has a huge light radius close to the start of the game, instead of getting this lighthouse ability.

Architecture - Structures will get double HP and cost fewer materials to build. This is a great late game skill, as the structures in the later game are harder to craft and require materials that are more challenging to find to create them. It’s not really needed at the start, however.

Gambling - Unlocks slot machines. These are good if you are bored, but they don’t add much to the game. You can get more gems using them, but it requires way too much investment within the economy skill tree to really be useful in the long run.

Logistics - Doubles the effected area of automatized structures like lighthouses, mining rods, power plants and ballistas. This is a great late game skill as boosting mining rods can be super helpful, and this skill increases them to cover two islands at once.

Colonization - Land prices are 30% cheaper than before. It’s a great skill to consider for late game, as the land everywhere becomes much more expensive to purchase.

Capitalism - You get XP by selling items, allowing you to level up. This isn’t really needed in the early game, but in the late game, when you start to struggle to gain XP, this skill is more useful as anything that allows you to gain passive XP is helpful!

Industry Tree

Industry - Unlocks steel, glass, and gives you XP when you build a structure. This is a great skill to unlock after getting mining and woodcutting skills, as you start to build out your world. Steel is an item used in a lot of buildings, so you will need to unlock this skill sooner or later.

Craftsmanship - Unlocks royal steel and royal clothing, which are materials that you will need in the late game, meaning you will have to get this at some point, but you don’t need to in the early game and can invest in other skills instead.

Sewing - Unlocks leather and makes your sewing station work 25% faster. It’s the next unlock that you should pick after you get the Industry unlock if you are working towards automation, which is a great way to play the game.

Smelting - Furnaces and forages will work 25% faster than before. It’s a great skill if you are looking to craft items faster and not wait around as much - and it’s another route towards the automation skill, which is worth going towards to complete the game.

Carpentry - Unlocks torches to keep your island full of light and structures cost 25% less wood to create. It’s an alright skill to get, but if you get woodcutting instead, you will actually have a lot of wood to use. Torches aren’t that useful in late game and mainly exist to make your island look good, which might be important to you!

Masonry - Unlocks Braziers and structures cost 25% less stone and brick. Braziers are a light source, but there are other ways of gaining light. You will use a lot of stone and brick when building, however, you will have a lot of stone and coal by the time you actually are able to unlock this, so it’s not worth it unless you target this skill.

Machinery - Unlocks flower press, which will let you craft raw materials for use, like gold and iron ores. This isn’t that useful, as resources spawn a lot in Forager and the materials required to craft resources use a lot of materials, so it’s not really a route to go down.

Physics - Unlocks power plants, which then speed up the production of all of the buildings that are around it, including furnaces, forges, sewing stations. It will help you craft items faster, which might be more interesting in the early game, but isn’t needed mid-game or towards the end of the game when you will be producing loads of stuff.

Automation - Unlocks Mining Rods, which then allows crafted items to collect themselves. You can then upgrade this in the Economy Route to cover two islands at once. It’s great for collecting items quickly and making the game more ‘idle’ as you collect items without actually moving around. It’s very useful throughout the entire game.

Drilling - Unlocks offshore drills and gives you a 25% chance to find coal when you dig. The offshore drill will give you oil, which is needed to make plastic, that can then be used to craft other materials. You will normally have enough coal to craft anything if you get the geology skill, which makes this skill far less useful.

Manufacturing - Unlocks factories while structures have a 20% chance of producing double items. This is a great investment as the chance of double items works for everything craftable, so if you are making anything, it will help you out!

Textile - Unlocks gloves and boots. This may sound like not much, but gloves increase attack speed, so it’s good for fighting and keeping on top of enemies without much investment. These items can be upgraded over time.

Jewellery - Unlocks amulets, which can be upgraded over time. Gems will sell for 20% more coins. It’s a great skill to get, as amulets give resource drop boosts and effects all drops, so it makes sense as a good, passive upgrade. It’s particularly good to unlock after textiles.

Ballistics - Unlocks Ballistas and allows handheld bows to shoot three arrows at once. This is good if you want to just fight through all of the islands, but enemies do have a limit on how many spawn on each island, and you can easily defeat them without this!

Engineering - Unlocks droids, grenades and gives a 25% boost on the speed of structures. It’s a good unlock, but both grenades and droids do require lots of rare materials to craft, so the real reason to use this unlock is the added speed to the structures.

Lasers - Doubles the damage dealt by drones and mining rods - this is a good skill if you are using mining rods to continue your game, as they will gain more resources at a greater speed. If you are making drones, it will help out there too.

Foraging Tree

forager skill tree Foraging - Unlocks beet and wheat which will spawn in the world. Cotton spawns will increase. It’s a great skill (and necessary in the game), however, it’s best selected after economy so that you can then get the woodcutting and mining skills.

Woodcutting - Trees will drop 50% more wood, which is a very important skill to have and is essential to the game, really.

Mining - Rocks drop 40% more minerals, which is the skill to unlock after woodcutting. All rocks are affected by this skill, so it’s a pretty powerful option!

Prospecting - Gem drops from rocks increase 10% and finding rare items when digging increases by 30%. Gems are a great source of coins and are required for crafting more complex items, so it’s a good mid-game skill to unlock.

Geology - All rocks will now drop coal. This should be unlocked early, as coal is useful when you need to craft gold and iron, that is really needed in the mid and late game.

Deposit - Unlocks a quarry that spawns a lot of ore on an island. This skill is worth considering, as you will need lots of coal, stone, gold, and iron for crafting recipes, but at the same time, it does take a lot of investment to get to this skill.

Fishing - Unlocks cooked fish and allows fishing traps to catch items 50% faster. It’s a great skill, as it will give you sand and cooked food at the start. I always pick this skill as soon as possible to have enough food to not worry.

Cooking - Unlocks cookpots, sugar, mayonnaise and cheese. This is a good skill if you like cooking, however, it’s not that useful in the game as you will find lots of food and not really need it until mid or late game.

Voracity - Gain 20% more energy from eating food. You won’t really need this as there is so much food, there isn’t much point in unlocking it.

Calciverous - You can eat rocks to restore energy. This is a very silly skill, and there isn’t much need for it with the number of food options out there.

Gluttony - Gain XP when you eat. It’s good since you will eat a lot, but it does take a lot of investment in the foraging skill tree to actually get it. So if you are nearby, sure, otherwise don’t work towards it.

Gathering - Unlock 4 inventory slots and 25% more XP from plants and crops. It’s a good unlock at the start of the game, but you should go for more resource skills first, as XP is not yet important. The inventory slots might be tempting, but you can craft a medium backpack which will give you 8 more slots instead of 4.

Farming - Unlocks the windmill, shovel and bread. The shovel is the main drive behind this skill, as you can use it in the game to dig up dirt, ores, and to plant crops. You won’t really need the windmill to make bread, as there are other ways to get HP that are faster.

Agriculture - Unlocks sprinklers and crops whilst animals will produce 25% more resources. Unless you want to farm a ton in this game, you won’t really need this and can spend your time mining or cutting down trees instead.

Looting - Enemies drop coins when you kill them. Coins are nice, but you will get more in selling and crafting, so there isn’t much long term gain from this skill.

Hunting - Unlocks a short bow, arrows, and cooked meat. You don’t need this until late game, as your pickaxe can be used to kill enemies and there are other food options out there.

Magic Tree

Magic - Allows fairies to spawn in the world. When collected, Fairies will give you a full heal and allow you to regain a small amount of stamina and some XP. This is a great way to gain health, especially if you are struggling with the monsters that appear early on. Overall, however, the Magic Tree skills aren’t as useful as other skill trees.

Brilliance - Earn 20% more XP every time you normally would earn XP. This is good for the late game, when you struggle to earn XP and need more of it, as it’s a good passive trait.

Combat - Unlocks the basic sword and increases dodge chances by 15%. The sword can be used as a replacement for your pickaxe, but you will need to work at it and upgrade the sword to be level 4 to then change it out. The sword is also able to gain pickaxe benefits like burning resources.

Frostrike - Unlocks Spirit Crystals and gives a 50% chance to freeze enemies. Spirit crystals let you craft new equipment, which can help boost your HP and energy. Freezing enemies is good if you are struggling to kill them, but enemies can often be killed easily without actually freezing them. If you’re not struggling, you can wait until late game to unlock this.

Inscription - Unlocks Inscription tables which allow you to craft books. Books can then give XP boosts, which might be helpful in the late game, but there are better options in this skill tree and in others to get more XP anyway.

Novice scrolls - Unlocks the ability to create basic level scrolls. Scrolls are hard to craft, with materials that are challenging to find, and aren’t normally worth the time and effort you’ll need to put into them, so this skill isn’t actually very worth it.

Expert scrolls - Unlocks the ability to create better scrolls, but again, these are hard to craft. They aren’t actually worth it in the end, so it might be better to invest in other skills instead.

Alchemy - Unlocks cauldrons which can be used to make potions. Potions are more powerful than scrolls, but are also even more challenging to make, due to the materials. Because they take so much effort, they aren’t really worth it in the long run.

Novice Potions - Unlocks the ability to create basic level potions. Again, potions are more powerful than scrolls, but they aren’t worth it, so following this investment isn’t really the best option.

Expert Potions - Unlocks the ability to create even better potions, however, see the above two notes - it’s not really worth it in the long term.

Reagency - Cauldrons and Inscription tables work 50% faster. Though this will help you create these items quicker, the materials to actually make them is still not worth it and the amounts are too big to still make this investment a good choice.

Transmutation - Cauldrons can now be used to turn steel into any kind of jewel. This is an okay investment, though gems can be farmed through other means, however, steel requires more gold and iron to craft. It really depends on how you are playing.

Spellbind - Buffs will last 50% longer and you will get passive XP from consuming potions or using scrolls. If you have ignored the above advice and already spent XP to follow the route of using potions and scrolls, consider getting this. Otherwise, you probably don’t need too, because it’s not a great way to get XP and there are so many better options.

Faith - Unlocks shrine. Shrines will give boosts to different elements of the game, which can be useful but isn’t that useful. It’s really up to you, and if you need sand, this is a good way to get a lot of sand quickly!

Summoning - Shrine recharges twice as fast and buffs will last 50% longer than before. This is useful if you are using shrines a lot (and they are a good investment, so it might be worth following these skills).

Renewal - Recovers energy every time you kill an enemy. This skill is really great, especially when you have not unlocked many islands yet, as you won’t need to eat if you keep killing all of the enemies that appear.

So, what skills should I use?

Phew. Now that we have listed every single different skill and what they will do, we should talk about why I have gone about writing that specific skills are more useful. It is well-known that the mining rod and automation are overpowered in the game, so grinding to get to the mining rod is the main strategy most people take - so that they can then have all of the items on islands being collected quickly and used for production and crafting. This is something most people work towards, so this guide is weighted towards that.

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However, if you want to play a fun little farming game, invest more in farming and cooking. Want to spend all of your time killing monsters as easy as tapping them? Get new weapons and invest in that part. The best thing about Forager is that you can shape the game to how you want to play and make the game what you want it to be - so do consider what you want to get out of the game when choosing what skills you want to invest in.

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Jupiter Hadley
Jupiter Hadley
Jupiter is a prolific indie game journalist with a focus on smaller indie gems. She covers thousands of game jams and indie games on her YouTube channel, letting every game have a moment in the spotlight. She runs, a calendar of all of the game jams going on in the world, and judges many jams and events. You can find her on Twitter as @Jupiter_Hadley