That being said, Grounded is also a survival game. Before players can explore and make discoveries, they need to be able to survive. Players starting a run of Grounded should find a weapon and shelter quickly.
If the player doesn't want to put themselves at risk in melee combat, they can opt for the classic bow and arrow. But arrows are a limited resource, and players need to gather thistle needles to keep up their stock.
As one might expect, thistle needles come from thistle plants. They're spread throughout the map, and there are a few visual markers that players can use to spot them from afar.
The first is the dark purple flowers at the top of the stem. The color contrast makes this easy to spot in the distance. The second is the large, stiff, thorny leaves around the stem.
To harvest the thistle needles, players just need to walk right to the thorny stalk in the center of the plant and pick them up. There's no need for any of Grounded's tools.
The needles run up the entire stem, but players can use the thistle plan's leaves as platforms to access the higher ones. That being said, there is a risk of fall damage, so they should have a dandelion tuft before trying.
In-game, players can find the blueprints for arrows simply by analyzing a thistle needle or a mite fuzz, harvested by killing lawn mites. Players can use 5 thistle needles and 2 mite fuzzes to craft 10 arrows.
Arrows aren't very useful without a bow, however. The simpler sprig bow is crafted with 3 sprigs, 4 gnat fuzz, and 2 crude ropes. The sturdier insect bow is crafted with 2 spider chunks, 2 spider fangs, and 2 silk ropes. That being said, players should be well-prepared before hunting Grounded's spiders.
If the player wants to build a melee weapon instead, they can put their needles toward a spiky sprig instead. It's crafted with 3 sprigs, 5 thistle needles, and 2 crude ropes.
Lastly, if the player is well stocked on weapons, they can instead use their thistle needles to reinforce or decorate their base. Thistle needles are part of the crafting recipes for acorn fences, acorn curved fences, acorn railings, and spike strips.
Grounded is available now on PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.