Spiritfarer is the beautifully sombre adventure game in which you must help spirits move on from the afterlife. Its fun and engaging gameplay, contemplative themes and sense of community have made it one of the best indies to date. However, after numerous updates, new characters and the introduction of the Farewell Edition, many new players are likely just discovering the game.

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While there are plenty of specific questions with specific answers about Spiritfarer’s gameplay, there are some more general tips and tricks you’ll need to know before jumping in. From knowing when to fish to just how many spirits should be onboard at any given time, these pieces of advice will help you start your journey into Spiritfarer.

8 Try Out The Local Co-Op Mode

Spiritfarer a mid shot of Stella and Daffodil running down a hill towards a wooden bridge with a grassy mountainside in the background

While Spiritfarer is perhaps best enjoyed as a single-player experience, there is the option to play with a friend. Player one will take on the role of the protagonist Stella while the other player will play as Daffodil, her cat.

While it may seem like there may be a power struggle between being the main character and simply her cat, for the most part, player two will be able to do everything Stella can. You can manage the ship, fish, collect resources and more. The only aspect you're locked out of is talking to NPCs. As a result, the local co-op mode feels fairly fleshed out and is a lot of fun. If you have a good friend to play with, then the more monotonous elements of maintaining a ship can be made significantly more enjoyable.

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7 Hug Your Friends

Spiritfarer a mid shot of Stella and Gwen hugging in a rowboat on a red lake and in front of a row of white trees

One aspect of your ship and spirit management you'll need to keep a close eye on is the moods of your various shipmates. Anything can lower their mood and watching it steadily decline is not particularly enjoyable. Fortunately, there are plenty of means to increase their overall happiness. You can cook for them or complete the various missions they'll give every so often. They all have character quirks and traits that if fulfilled will make them significantly happier.

However, perhaps the easiest way to increase their happiness is by simply giving them a hug. It's very easy to do, merely an option in a small radial menu. However, not only does it benefit you within the game, but the animation and warm feeling you get from doing it is a great way to cheer yourself up too should you need it. It's a nice little feature within Spiritfarer and it greatly heightens the overall sense of community you'll get while playing.

6 Fish Whenever You Can

Spiritfarer an extreme wide shot of Stella fishing at the edge of her boat on the right with an island in the centre of the frame and the sun slowly rising behind it

Fishing is one of the various mini-games in Spiritfarer and also happens to be an excellent way of gaining resources. You can realistically fish at any time of the day so long as you don't have other more urgent tasks at hand. It doesn't take much other than a little patience, perseverance and perception. However, once you get a hold of something all you need to do is reel it in and you've got yourself a nice piece of loot.

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However, the best use of fishing is perhaps to simply unwind. Sitting at the edge of your boat with either another player or the AI-controlled Daffodil and watching as the sun sets in the distance is incredibly soothing. It helps too that Spiritfarer's calming soundtrack helps perfectly set the mood and tone. Simply put, it is a very nice way to relax after a long day of tending to your ship.

5 Take Your Time

Spiritfarer a mid shot of Stella and Daffodil at Theodore's shop with a bike resting next to it and Stella carrying a large bundle of items in her hands

Spiritfarer has enough gameplay and narrative elements to keep you busy for a relatively long period of time. You'll sail the high seas, build homes, upgrade your ship, plant and care for all kinds of seeds and cook for your fellow shipmates. However, while it may be tempting to approach all of this as it were a traditional video game, the best way to appreciate Spiritfarer is to simply take your time.

Spiritfarer’s contemplative atmosphere and focus on themes of mental health, family and friendship make it a game worth investing time in and perfect for a fan of like-minded Studio Ghibli films. Rushing through each spirit, trying to upgrade too quickly, or simply playing it to pass the time won’t reward you in the same way that taking your time with each action will. Each moment in Spiritfarer is fleeting and there’s a very good chance you’ll be sombre when they’re gone so make the most of it.

4 Upgrade Your Ship

Spiritfarer a wide shot of two menus overlaid on top of a large docked wooden boat with the menus listing the various possible upgrades for said boat

Upgrading your ship is an incredibly important aspect of Spiritfarer and one that needs to be done as frequently as possible. Essentially, upgrading your ship allows you to construct new buildings and features. Sometimes upgrades will be locked off until you gain access to a specific type of resource, but for the most part, you should always strive to unlock everything possible.

One element of your ship you should prioritise is its size. Your ship starts off relatively small and can only handle a certain amount of buildings. However, the more spirits you take on, the more houses, shops and features you'll need to add in order to make them happy. There's also a good chance that when they eventually leave you won't want to demolish their homes. So, ensuring your ship is big enough is a great way to keep everyone happy.

3 Don't Overcrowd Your Ship

Spiritfarer a wide shot of Stella, Atul, Summer, Gwen and Buck playing various instruments on the edge of Stella's ship while the sun sets in the distance

You can stumble across new spirits almost any time throughout your Spiritfarer playthrough. They tend to be tied to a specific location, and most locations are accessible from an early stage. However, while it may be tempting to take on as many spirits as you can, it may end up being detrimental to your overall experience.

Having fewer spirits will allow you to focus on the ones you have as well as any remaining missions you may have started. It'll also allow you to have a more personal and meaningful connection with the spirits currently onboard, as opposed to dealing with a plethora of people all at once. While some spirits are needed to access other spirits' missions, for the most part, you should try and stick with only a handful at a time.

2 Loot Everything

Spiritfarer a wide shot of Stella bobbing around in the water beneath her ship surrounded by various items that have burst from a box

Gathering resources is a huge part of Spiritfarer as they are used for almost every aspect of the game's core gameplay. One of the quickest ways of doing this is by looting crates and diving spots throughout your travels. All across Spiritfarer's world are points of interest where you can usually find a handful of crates or boxes that can be looted. Once opened, you'll receive a number of goods you can use.

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Making sure to take the time to venture out and loot these boxes is absolutely worthwhile. For the most part, these special loot locations tend to be on the way to important objectives, so you don't have to worry about taking too many detours. Regardless, it is always worth checking these out, if only to top off your supply and save you a little bit of money.

1 Build Your Ship CarefullySpiritfarer a wide shot of a boat bobbing on the water with towers of buildings sat in the centre of it with a menu listing other available buildings on the left

Boat construction is another key component of Spiritfarer's varied gameplay. Whenever you meet a new spirit, they'll ask you to construct them a house and usually various other features. However, as you only have a limited amount of space, you'll need to arrange your buildings as efficiently as possible in order to fit everything you need in.

Fortunately, there are plenty of tips and tricks available to help you more efficiently organise your boat, and there’s a good chance that early on you’ll need them. Organising your ship can be incredibly difficult, especially if you don’t know in advance about the proper placement and size of certain structures. Whenever you build, especially at the start of the game when the boat isn’t as full, you should think carefully about where exactly you put each building.

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