The Desert is a middle tier biome that is characterized by a sparse landscape with a limited supply of water and hostile desert creatures. The weather here is also very inhospitable, with temperatures ranging from uncomfortable to lethal. While not as dangerous as some the the higher tier biomes the dangers here present a challenge for the unprepared.
A quick rundown of some important steps to consider before entering this biome.
Before setting out into the desert the first thing a survivor must be aware of is how to obtain a supply of water and stay hydrated. Higher levels of heat will drain your water levels as you performs actions that deplete your stamina, and once dehydrated you will begin to lose health while also gaining torpidity. There are two ways to keep hydrated in the desert: A portable water container, or Cactus Juice.
- The bag will contain one full drink of water, however it will slowly drain over time by itself. For use in travel it's not recommended to bring a water bag with you.
- The copper kettle will hold two full drinks of water, and doesn't leak. As long as you don't deplete your stamina too often this should get you across all but the largest deserts.
The last method is through harvesting a Cactus. When harvested they will product two different items: Cactus, and Cactus Juice. When consumed they will provide water for a survivor. Though not as potent as a kettle they can be gathered and stored, allowing a survivor to keep a supply of "bottled" water on hand or in storage.
After obtaining some form of reliable water the next thing to consider is heat. The default temperature of the desert is 33°C, which will put most survivors in the Hot status immediately. This temperature is applied to the whole biome as a whole, and going underground or building a shelter does not protect you from the heat. In addition the temperature can quickly jump higher as the weather changes, and even from moment to moment.
- The default temperature of 33°C is uncomfortable, and will afflict the Hot status to low-fortitude, low-hyperthermic resistance survivors.
- Sometimes the Sunny Day and Wind weather will increase the temperature to 38°C, which will afflict Hyperthermia to low-fortitude, low-hyperthermic resistance survivors.
- There are mines in the form of quartz pits that contain valuable resources, but also comes with a standard temperature of 40°C. This heat will afflict all survivors with hyperthermia, unless they have have gear that increases hyperthermic resistance and at least a Fortitude of 10%.
- Sandstorms increase the temperature to 43°C, which is the hottest natural temperature in any environment. Without significant (over 200) hyperthermic resistance and at least a Fortitude of 20% the survivor will be in a constant state of severe hyperthermia. This effectively drains about 1.3 Health per second.
It is advised to stay mounted during a sandstorm. A single hit from a creature will drain the time you can stay in the desert, and in the case of the larger biomes can prevent you from being able to return alive.
Equipment & Mounts
Apart from the Morellatops all creatures in this biome are aggressive. The desert's natural dangers are exacerbated by the swift and highly damaging predators that roam the biome. In addition, there are two creatures that travel in loose packs ( Dungbeetles and Terror Birds) that will quickly surround the survivor when they are provoked.
For the safest travelling tier it's recommended to bring at least Iron-tier gear to fend yourself from most threats. It's also recommended to engage threats with ranged weaponry as the damage from desert creatures is significant.
The desert itself is in the middle in terms of how strong it's creatures are. A survivor should take precautions if they bring in a tamed creature from one of these biomes:
Creatures that were tamed from the Swamp will take the least amount of damage from desert creatures. The swamp-tamed Raptor is a safe and reliable vehicle of transport, and can handle everything but the Ankylo and the Carnotaurus. Be advised that while a raptor can deal a ton of damage they are also highly vulnerable to being outnumbered.
Flying is also a recommendation as well. Pteranodons are an effective mount for travelling across the desert, and for short stops. While incapable of defending themselves the lack of airborne threats allow them to travel unimpeded.
Terror Bird - The Terror Bird is a common and fast creature found roaming the desert. While it doesn't look threatening they deal the most damage of the smaller creatures, and any nearby Terror Bird will also engage the survivor, quickly overwhelming their target. They can keep up with a running survivor, but can be outran without enough time. If engaging make sure to check your surroundings for additional birds. If you can see another one in the distance, be prepared for the possibility that it will join the fight.
Dung Beetle - Also known in-game as the Dungbeetle, this is a massive beetle that is spread evenly around the biome. They move somewhat slower than the survivor, however their tough shells and small size make them hard to defeat. Like Terror Birds they also share a pack mechanic, and engaging will draw all nearby beetles to fight. The range of this mechanic is much bigger than the Terror Birds, and even unseen beetles will begin to move towards the survivor. Their damage is the lowest out of all the biome's creatures, but their damage is still significant against a lightly-armored target. It's inadvisable to engage them on a whim; even a powerful tame can be quickly dispatched if two or more beetles are targeting them.
Emperor Scorpion - This scorpion is the biome's most common residence. They can easily be evaded, and by walking backwards a survivor can attack the arachnid while move backwards. However, they are fortified with a high level of resistance to damage, and their attacks cause a massive amount of torpidity. Players and weaker tamed creatures will be quickly knocked out and dispatched within a few hits. For ground-based tamed creatures you are better letting them attack your target while you draw the scorpion's attention.
Arthropluera - A centipede-like creature with high health that is able to spit venom and whose attacks inflict torpidity.
Argentavis - A large bird. Has an alternate version called Argentavis (Desert), which is mostly the same aside from being able to pick up animals when tamed. Only aggressive at short distances.
Morellatops - A large, red dinosaur comparable to a camel. The only herbivore in the desert.