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Primitive Survival - Traps, Fishing, and other Surprises!

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Here's the thing - I'm a huge fan of Vintage Story and especially its wilderness survival mode. I also have a keen interest in real life primitive survival. This mod is my attempt to meld the two to provide you with a more realistic early game experience, and is largely inspired by extreme survival shows like Naked & Afraid.   Primitive Survival also adds some new end-game type elements to entertain you later in the game.

Note: A huge THANKS goes out to @Unclesid for providing a few real cool fish for this mod!


"This is seriously the best mod for this game there is. It's so amazing that I hope it all gets integrated into the base game to some degree, because I couldn't imagine playing without it at this point. The functionality is superb." - l33tmaan

"You're kicking @$$ with this mod brother. Best one I've played so far. Looking forward to what else you have planned!" - PapaCheddar

"I'm pretty sure your mod is my favorite out of all of the mods I've used so far (if I had to lose all but one mod, I'd probably keep this one). It's very near perfect in terms of what I enjoy in mods like these (it creates new gameplay options, offers immersive ways of doing things, and is not overly complicated)." - Ariel



  Latest Version 2.5.6 - for Vintage Story v1.14+



Previous Versions 


















Use this one for Vintage Story  v1.13.4:


Other previous versions, along with the complete source code for everything I've worked on related to Vintage Story is available on Github.




Single Player?  We've got you covered:

  • Run the game.
  • Choose Mod Manager in the main menu.
  • Click the Open Mod Folder button to open file explorer.
  • Copy the .zip file you downloaded here (don't extract it).

Multiplayer?  Primitive Survival is featured on the two hottest Vintage Story servers in town!  You decide:

RabbitTech Survival Modded!    or    VSo: Conquest of Blocks!
1299375570_RabbitTechSurvivalModded.jpg.df7557fd07942e78f3222adda2e8fa4f.jpg       cob.png.43d740af2784b3439b4a0d12ac629845.png




The in-game handbook contains more than enough information to get you going.  Look under Guides - Primitive Survival: Quick Start Guide.



A couple of items that are essential for this mod are stakes (used for primitive fences, weir traps and snares) and cordage (used to make limb lines, trotlines, fish baskets, snares, and monkey bridges).

Stake (Shapeless) - A knife (one of various types), and a stick



Cordage (Shapeless) - Three cattails or wildvine tips, or two wild vines






There are three types of traps - a deadfall, snare, and pit trap.


The deadfall and snare are very similar in nature. They are designed to kill small animals on contact. The only real difference is that the deadfall might kill a chicken or a hare (or a baby anything), while the snare might be able to take down bigger entities (like a fox or a boar) as well. In both cases:

  • Larger entities (like a player or a wolf) will only take a minor amount of damage when coming into contact with one of these traps, and will trip it.
  • Only a baited trap will actually attract animals to it.
  • Once a trap has been tripped, you can sneak - right click to set it again (with nothing in your hand).
  • You can right click on any unbaited set trap to bait it (with a wide variety of food in hand).

Deadfall - A stone (one of various types), and a stick



Snare - Cordage and a stake



While not a trap on its own, a handful of sticks can be sharpened at both ends to create a bundle of wood spikes, which can then be pushed into soft ground to create a pit of spikes. They're a little painful to walk across, and even more dangerous to fall on.


Bundle of Wood Spikes - A knife (one of various types) surrounded by sticks



To make a fully fledged pit trap, use these same wood spikes but also push them into the sides of the top edge of your pit. Note: You can weave them together to span large areas. The next step is to add three layers of dry grass or some other plant based materials to seal up the surface. Pay attention to what it says in the hud. It walks you through the process.  The final step is to add a layer of dirt or sand to the top. With proper planning, your pit cover will be 100% camouflaged which could be interesting in pvp play.

Watch: Primitive Survival - Pit Trap

With dirt or sand in place, nearby mammals can tell that something still isn't quite right, and are attracted to your pit to investigate (increasing your odds of catching something).  Note, you can also partially disassemble your pit trap by clicking on it (with nothing in your active inventory slot).

Once you've started clay forming, you can make a mold for a Bed-O-Nails, which act as a much deadlier version of wood spikes (and can be placed on any surface).






There are currently four methods for fishing - a fish basket, weir trap, limb line, and trotline. They have some similarities but also some distinct differences. In general:

  • Right click to remove fish (with nothing in your hand). Careful though, they're a little slippery!
  • Right click on a hook or fish basket to bait it (with a wide variety of food in hand).
  • Right click on a baited hook or fish basket to retrieve the bait (with nothing in your hand).
  • A fish might simply steal your bait.

The fish basket is pretty straightforward. Place it in water but make sure there's free blocks of water all around it. Now hurry up and wait...and maybe one or two fish will find their way into your basket.


Fish Basket - Four cordage and four sticks



Building a weir trap is not so obvious. You simply build a fenced in area in the water with stakes, and then with nothing in hand, sneak-right click on the far side (center) of the fence to complete the trap. If the fence forms an "M" shape  your trap is complete.  Note: You cannot bait a weir trap.


Watch - Primitive Survival - Weir Trap

You might want to check on your fish basket or weir trap a little more frequently than something with a hook, since fish can escape quite easily. Also note that the occasional sea shell or other trinket might drift into one of these two traps.

The trotline and limb line are a little more complicated because you're also going to need hooks.


Hooks can be knapped with flint or one of several stones, or carved from a bone.


Bone Fishing Hook (Shapeless) - A knife (one of various types) and a bone



To place your limb line or trotline, face an object near water (i.e. a stake, fencepost, dirt block, tree) with cordage in hand, and right click. If you have enough cordage and there's a block to receive the far end of the cordage, you'll place a trotline. Otherwise you'll place a limb line. Once your line is in place you'll need to attach hooks (and perhaps bait them) by right clicking on a section of that line (with hook in hand). Obviously if your hook isn't in water you won't catch a fish.


Watch - Primitive Survival - Limb Line and Trotline

Once you've started clay forming, you can make a mold for metal fishing hooks and a mold for fishing lures. Lures are added to hooks just like baiting a hook, and like bait, they will also improve your odds of catching fish.



What do I do with all these raw fish? Cook them up on a fire and eat them of course, or substitute them for meat in your favorite soup or stew!  



For better inventory and cooking management, you can now fillet your fish first.  Worth noting that by doing so, you are removing valuable fish parts like the head, so you lose a bit of nutritional value.

Fish Fillet (Shapeless) - A knife (one of various types) and a raw fish








The premise here is that you can "cure" meat to create Jerky by simply cutting it up into small strips and letting it dry in the sun. So if you cut up your redmeat, bushmeat, or fish fillets, and they will start to cure automatically. Note: You can still cook it on a fire afterwards if you like (before it cures).



Raw Redmeat Jerky (Shapeless) - A knife (one of various types) and a piece of redmeat



Raw Bushmeat Jerky (Shapeless) - A knife (one of various types) and a piece of bushmeat



Fish Jerky (Shapeless) - A knife (one of various types), four fish fillets, and one salt






Build yourself a raft to travel on water with ease.  With a raft in your active inventory slot, jump in the water and steer your way to your destination.  The raft does the rest!


Raft - 9 logs, 4 cordage




Build some wooden lanterns to light up your life. 


Wooden Lantern - 1 candle, 1 copper plate, and 7 boards




Collect some earthworms and put them to good use.  Anywhere there's soil and a reasonable climate, you'll find worms, but you'll need to look (right click) on rocks and branches to locate them.  When you encounter a worm please remember - don't panic, breathe deeply, and maintain eye contact. Although they may look intimidating at first, they are in fact docile creatures.  

Handling and use:

  • Right click OR sneak right click to pick up or place a worm.
  • Eat them for a small protein boost.
  • Use them to bait your hooks or fish baskets.
  • Place them (sneak-click) on your farmland to both aerate and fertilize the soil.
  • Use them to make your own fertilizer. For example:
    • Dig a small hole and use a hoe to turn the bottom of the hole into farmland
    • place worm(s) in the hole
    • Eventually, the worms will turn that farmland into a block of pure worm castings
    • break the block of worm castings and use those drops to fertilize your garden.

Warning:  Don't introduce too many worms into your garden - eventually they will over-aerate/fertilize your farmland, turning it into pure worm castings, and the soil will no longer have the structural integrity to keep your plants growing.  You've been warned!

Pro-tip:  Worms will occasionally leave the area or are whisked away by a predator, so pick them up if you want to extend their use.  They will also die in extreme temperatures if left outside.



Throw your pelts on the floor or roof or walls to liven up your abode.





Make yourself a monkey bridge to get across large ravines or lakes with ease.


Watch - Primitive Survival - Monkey Bridge

Monkey Bridge - Two cordage and a rope




Build a metal bucket to move lava around, decorate your home, or maybe pour some into your pit trap to quickly dispose of undesirables.



Smith a metal handle (using one of several metal types).


Combine that handle with five metal plates (iron, meteoric iron, or steel) on the crafting grid to complete your bucket.



There's some other surprises in Primitive Survival that have been intentionally left undocumented.  Have a look at the Creative Inventory to get a glimpse at these "things that shall not be named".






Version 2.5.6 Release Notes

  • New: Raft
  • Fixed: Wooden lanterns recipe now showing up in the handbook

Version 2.5.5 Release Notes

  • New: Wooden Lanterns - A simpler (primarily for aesthetics) lantern made from various wood types (requires a copper plate but no glass) - throws more light than a torch but less than a copper lantern. thanks @Kai Effelsberg
  • Updated: German translation - thanks @Kiava
  • Updated: New textures for cordage, fish fillets, and fish jerky - thanks @Ledyanaya Sonya
  • Tweak: You can now right click OR shift right click to finalize a weir trap, or reset a deadfall/snare (since shift right click conflicts with Carry Capacity mod)
  • Fixed, maybe. probably: Disappearing fish, invisible fish, fish just behaving badly in general - Thanks @Willrun4fun @Tech_Rabbit @Papa Cheddar @Richard Adamsand others
  • Fixed, maybe. probably: Mod conflict with Farm Life and traps hanging game - thanks @KarsT@Lich and others
  • Fixed, maybe. probably: metal dupe issues related to molds and xSkills/XLib mod - lure mold now requires 100 units, bed-o-nails now requires 200 units - thanks @unjoyer@Tech_Rabbit  and others


Previous Version Release Notes


Version 2.5.4 Release Notes

  • New: updated Russian translation - thanks @Zigthehedge
  • New: German translation - thanks @Kiava
  • New: Attach pelts to vertical surfaces (as animal heads) @Vallen
  • New: Fish jerky and new grid recipe (1 knife, 4 fillets,1 salt) @l33tmaan
  • New: melt down lures and metal fishing hooks in a crucible
  • New: Soup and stew recipes added for all raw jerky types and mutated fish
  • Tweak: Fish satiety and fish fillet modifications - See the newly added tables in the documentation for details - thanks @Boomer Bill
  • Tweak: All jerky stack sizes increased to 256
  • Tweak: Made monkey bridge less expensive to craft (thanks @JakeCool19 for mentioning that on Discord)
  • Tweak: can now pick up worms with right click OR shift right click (shift right click conflicts with Carry Capacity mod) - thanks @Amenophiz
  • Fixed: Added missing textures in pot/bowl for Perch and Carp - thanks @samkee00
  • Fixed: metal dupe exploit melting down nails and spikes - thanks @Tels, @Shibby
  • Fixed: adding an oddball item (like a mechanical part) to an altar crashes the game - thanks @Hexedian
  • Fixed: nail and spike placement makes block face invisible glitch - thanks @Tels
  • Fixed: link to stake broken in guide - thanks Quixjote
  • Fixed: The male ram rug model was showing the female ram horns at the same time - thanks @lich
  • Known Issue/did not resolve: weir trap, fish baskets, limb/trotlines lose functionality after serious crash - thanks @TechRabbit
  • Known Issue/did not resolve: sometimes removing fish from trap causes the fish to flicker/fall repeatedly for several seconds
  • Could not recreate: investigate this mod and medieval expansion not playing nice together @Kai
  • Could not recreate: Tin bronze/copper in a lure mold just resets and adds metal to the crucible? Sounds like server lag @Nozarati, @TechRabbit
  • Could not recreate: disappearing fish. They will pop off the hook then just go poof before I can pick them up. Maybe ice related? - thanks @willrun4fun

Version 2.5.3 Release Notes

  • Added - Two new fish - Perch and Carp
  • Fixed - Orientation of the nail and spike molds in the mold rack - thanks @Jelani!
  • Fixed - Worm mechanic, worm castings - thanks @Jelani!
  • Fixed - Worms spawning causing server lag

Version 2.5.2 Release Notes

  •  Added: Complete support for internationalization.
  • Updated: In game Handbook Guide pretty much up-to-date.
  • Added: More complete Russian translation, again thanks to @ZigTheHedge!

Version 2.5.1 Release Notes

  •  Fixed: You can place pelts on surfaces other than dirt again.  Thanks @LocoMiner

Version 2.5 Release Notes

  •  Added: Earthworms.
  •  Added: Russian translation, courtesy of @ZigTheHedge.  So awesome, thanks again!
  •  Fixed: Added a patch to re-enable the creation of small pelts.  Didn't realize this got disabled in Vanilla recently.

Version 2.4 Release Notes

  • New: fish fillet functionality for better inventory management/cooking - new item, new recipe, added to soup/stew recipes.
  • New: basic taxidermy - place pelts on the floor for rugs. Made them a little derpy to reduce z-fighting issues with large ones. Might need a better long term solution.
  • Updated: jerky, mushrooms, bread, poultry, pickled vegetables, red meat, bushmeat, and cheese to accepted bait types for snares, deadfalls, trot lines, limblines, and fish baskets.
  • Updated: 3rd person handheld fish so they're more like holding a lantern than a club. Changed 1st person to match somewhat.
  • Updated: Remove rotten fish occasionally from hooks and other fishing traps - they tend to pile up, especially on multiplayer.
  • Updated: Investigated fishing in general and made some minor changes to catch percentages.
  • Updated: Made deadfall and snare trap slightly more effective to hopefully scare off larger animals.
  • Fixed: some minor z-fighting issues with fish.
  • Fixed: (More than likely) intermittent weir trap crash - prevented collisions from unsetting trap AND prevented the sneak-click from recreating trap if it was already a weir trap.
  • Fixed: Removed giant weird shadow from deadfall and fish basket on land.
  • Fixed fish in soup/stew recipes now rendering properly in pots and bowls.
  • Fixed: Removed shapeless from monkey bridge grid recipe so it would pull items from the correct slots.
  • Verified: Logic around relics in fish traps (i.e. gears) - seems to be aok.
  • Verified: ozBillo's bushmeat mod together with this mod - seems good.

Version 2.3 Release Notes

  • Added metal buckets, along with smithing recipes for handles and recipes for the buckets themselves.
  • Fixed monkey bridge break/drops issues.
  • Fixed sounds for most everything.
  • Fixed bug that was allowing stakes to be replaced with other blocks.
  • Fixed steatite stair placement.

Version 2.2 Release Notes

  • Make yourself a Monkey Bridge!  Recipe and video above.
  • Fixed RC8 fishing crash.
  • Spike and Nail molds added for future use.
  • Made all rackable molds rackable.
  • Added several end-game type blocks for future use - not craftable - creative mode only!

Version 2.1 Release Notes

  • Use the bundle of wood spikes, some plant based materials, and dirt or sand to create a camouflaged cover for your pits.

Version 2.0 Release Notes

  • Sharpen a handful of sticks to create a bundle of wood spikes (for pit traps).
  • Make a bone hook with a knife and a bone.
  • Use clay forming to make molds for metal fishing hooks, fishing lures, and a bed-o-nails (for even better pit traps). Add lures to hooks to catch more fish.
  • Fixed a couple of bugs, including one that was preventing the book from appearing in game, and one that was preventing fish from entering fish baskets (it's a good thing I'm not getting paid for this!).

Version 1.3 Release Notes

  • Added all fish to soup and stew recipes.
  • Animation added to fish.
  • Fishing without bait is now much more difficult. To offset this change, I've made it a lot less likely that fish will steal your bait.
  • More updates to the end game items (the things that shall not be named), including some new gear types and a new elusive fish type.


Edited by Spear and Fang
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  • 1 month later...

I personally really like what I see here, and I wouldn't stress too much about "balance". Anything that adds new options will inevitably make the game easier than not having options, simply because fewer options means you must achieve something or fail. However, I think for a lot of mods like these, the increased options are not only attractive from a realism standpoint, but facilitate a wider variety of gameplay and gameplay styles and paces while adding additional content.

Mods like this make it more interesting to not rush so much and give more options for living a bushcraft living off the land sort of play.
Big thumbs up!

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The truth is that as an early access game there is a lot of room for innovation, as a "Minecrafter" I love the game but would never go back to the vanilla version, modded all the way.

The terrain generation is absolutely incredible but the world is in need of "things" buildings, plants ( think of Pam's Harvest craft) with all the fruit trees, flowers and cooking options, think of a version of Immersive Engineering.

Tyron is a one man show, and has a road map that he is been working relentlessly. But he also has an army of passionate followers, many of them know how to code. So please modders do your best!

The game has to be flexible, hardcore for the ones who like that tipe of game and more Zen like for people like me that like to build and explore and just unwind from a stressful day.

The addition of mods does not impact the original game or it's balance since they are an option you take, and you add them if you so wish, that said the mod page has to be updated. . . please and thank you.

And to all of my Vintarian friends have a great day! Peace and love. . . real or imagined.

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I spend a fair amount of time on Discord but am just seeing that poll for the first time, so thanks!  I must admit that my emotions are a little mixed right now.  On the one hand I'm extremely happy that fishing seems to be of interest to everyone, but on the other hand I wasn't under that impression at all (until seeing that recent poll). 

When I decided to build this mod, I had a good look at what was out there for mods, and had a look at this thread wishlist...

...and my feeling was that fishing simply wasn't going to happen any time soon.  As much as I love Vintage Story, I felt that the water was a barren wasteland and that digging holes to capture animals was a little...well...weird, so it seemed like I could build this mod and fill those gaps quite nicely for a long time to come.

Tyron's been doing a great job and I believe that he prefers to be a one man show, so I'd imagine he'll just tackle fishing himself.  If he wants to borrow any of my assets or ideas or whatever, I'd consider it an honor and move on to something else.  I'm just learning the ropes and he knows Vintage Story inside and out, so I'm sure he'd do a fabulous job with fishing.  


Edited by Spear and Fang
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I don't know how exactly Tynan was going about such things with modders for Rimworld, but since the Kickstarter several ideas which had been mods had been integrated into the game itself. The clear upside was, that the mods had not to be loaded as mods anymore but could be coded as integral part of the game, making them more stable and everything.


Maybe here is such an option as well. You already put lots of work into it and Tyron want to implement fishing just seemingly isn't sure yet how or something (I did not read the whole forum posts about it and memories can be a bit unreliable).

So why not get in touch with him? Getting your stuff into the game is likely less time consuming than tackling the whole stuff from the start just to get a feature working which is already working. Refining, balancing... that stuff will come with time and can be done on his end while you work on something else as you might be planning anyway.

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I've only been at it for a couple of months.  Tyron could surely implement this whole thing (but better) in a matter of weeks.  Again, my mod is out there and easy enough to find if he's looking for ideas or assets to expedite the process.  My code is meh...I mean, every time I refactor it I learn a few new things and want to refactor it again, so there's not much worth harvesting there.  I'm going to refine the fishing components a bit more and maybe add some new fish, but at this point I'm mostly leveraging it as a jumping off point to go in a little different direction...

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I need to test this out, how advanced is the fishing right now, does it take into account seasons, time of day, temperature, lattitude etc?
Perhaps this could be used for balance, harder to obtain fish in winter, or smaller specimens, perhaps even your coordinates could help determine the type of fish, lots of room for variety anyway.

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There's quite a bit going on behind the scenes, but nothing related to the things you've mentioned.  It's fairly basic but seems to be reliable and predictable game-play wise (which was no small feat, because modding in water presents a lot of unique challenges).  The fish traps all have their own unique and random behaviors and considerations, fish can die and rot right in traps (if they don't escape first) and bait can rot too (if it's not stolen first), different fish offer up different amounts of nourishment, and they're pretty tough to process (cook) and manage (inventory wise) since there's many types.  Honestly, I made it relatively easy to catch fish because that's only a part of the process.  I'm kind of enjoying playing it, but I'm a little biased.

I snared my first rabbit not too long ago so there's that too.

If you haven't taken it for a spin yet you might hold off until the next release (maybe in a couple of weeks).  I've got some basic animation working now for the fishes, which, along with the particles (bubbles) has made things a little more lively.

Edited by Spear and Fang
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  • 2 weeks later...

To be more realistic I'd like to see alternative ways to make firepits. For example using fat to fuel it and may be fur as alternative to grass in firestarter and bones as alternative to sticks. Probably fish bones and fat are not good enough but maybe seal creature would do the thing. Ability to butcher wiht only blade with much lesser speed.

Edited by Владислав Кудряшов
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On 11/8/2020 at 10:16 AM, Владислав Кудряшов said:

To be more realistic I'd like to see alternative ways to make firepits. For example using fat to fuel it and may be fur as alternative to grass in firestarter and bones as alternative to sticks. Probably fish bones and fat are not good enough but maybe seal creature would do the thing. Ability to butcher wiht only blade with much lesser speed.

Whew firepits is a little out of my league.  This is one for Tyron, so you might add it to #suggestions on the Vintage Story Discord.

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  • Spear and Fang changed the title to Primitive Survival - Traps, Fishing, and other Surprises!

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