The first time you swing a cleaver in Conan Exiles, you begin to realize what the game is all about. Most games take a pretty passive approach to collecting resources. Maybe you shoot and kill a deer and then open its inventory to retrieve some venison and a horn or hoof. Perhaps, at best, there is a little harvesting animation while you’re sifting through the dead beast’s inventory, conjuring up the idea that your tiny character is processing its corpse.
Not in Conan. I remember feeling let down when there was no prompt to search an inventory on the first rabbit I managed to catch and kill with my bare hands. It took me all day, running behind it while simultaneously starving to death. I did all of that for nothing? A quick online search showed me that the cleaver was the tool I had been looking for. A couple of stones and branches later, I had a cleaver in hand, ready to swing. None of us are fully prepared for the pummeling, blood, and physics engine that goes into harvesting a corpse in Conan Exiles, but I guarantee all of us had a laugh.
TL:DR: Meat the Cleaver
The cleaver is predominantly used in Conan Exiles to collect meat from corpses. These can be animal, human, or demon corpses and anything in between. Different meat drops from various corpses and the quality of your cleaver will not affect the type of meat you collect.
Instead, a better cleaver will collect more meat and by-products per corpse. There are seven different cleavers in-game, from the basic stone cleaver (3-4 meat per swing) to the Maw of the Hyena (8-9 meat per swing). The best craftable cleaver is the star metal cleaver at 7-8 meat per swing.
Most animals in the game drop feral flesh, but some specific animals drop higher-tier meat. Use the cleaver to process gazelle and antelope to get savory flesh, Kudo and shoebills for a shot at exquisite meat, boars for pork, and elephants and rhinoceroses for exotic flesh. If you’re looking for abysmal flesh, you will need to head to the dregs and take on the abysmal remnant.
A cleaver collects fangs, heads, arms, and other parts as its by-product. Build a grinder and fluid press to make the most out of a cleaver’s secondary drops.
How to Craft a Cleaver
You’ll be able to learn the apprentice butcher feat from the very beginning. The feat is available to Exiles from level one onwards and includes the recipe for the stone skinning knife.
You’ll only need 10 stone and 5 branch to craft the basic stone cleaver and 8 stone to repair it when it breaks. You may not even use it until it breaks because upgrading to the iron cleaver is a no-brainer if any of your base operations rely on meat or bones.
You’ll need a furnace to process iron bars for an iron cleaver and level 15 to learn the journeyman butcher feat. The iron cleaver needs 30 iron bar and 5 branch to craft at the blacksmith’s bench. The iron cleaver collects 4-5 meat per swing versus the stone cleaver’s 3-4 meat per swing, but its durability is where you’ll notice a difference.
The iron cleaver is three times as durable as the stone cleaver. It’s not necessarily the cost of ingredients to repair that makes this an important feature, more that it’s annoying and dangerous to repair tools out in the world.
What the Cleaver Collects
A cleaver pulls meat and other parts from downed enemies. Meat will be your primary objective when using a cleaver on corpses. Sometimes a downed mob will have an inventory to loot, but more often, you will be deciding which resources you harvest via which tool you use to harvest their bodies.
If you’re looking to decapitate some heads, sever arms, or chop off fangs, a cleaver will also be your go-to tool. The cleaver works in conjunction with the grinder and fluid press to collect valuable parts and process them into usable items. Sometimes you may pull more specific items by using a pick or hatchet, but meat is a valuable enough resource that it’s usually wise to use a cleaver and pull parts as a secondary resource.
How to Use All This Meat
If you’re still struggling to survive, the cleaver is perfect for collecting enough meat to grill over your campfire at night. Meat has much nicer HP regeneration when compared to gruel, or worse, seeds and bugs.
Even feral flesh (shredded roast when cooked) regenerates three times as much health as gruel. You can even eat raw meat directly without being poisoned if you dump enough points into survival to get the first perk.
After your first couple of hours in the game, it will no longer be difficult to find food just to keep your sated meter full. You’ll be ready to start making food focusing on health regeneration.
You can either use a dryer or a stove for meat to step up your carnivore game. A dryer will make your meat last longer but often decrease its effectiveness at healing. A stove can turn your meat into complicated dishes that significantly increase their healing benefit.
Your sated meter (hunger gauge) will need to be full to apply a sated regeneration buff. The better your food is, the more health you will regenerate when fully sated. To make the most of your meat, consider some simple recipes on the stove to get you started. If you put feral flesh (the easiest meat to acquire with a cleaver) straight onto a campfire, you’ll end up with shredded roast, which has a sated buff that heals 3 hp every 3 seconds.
If, instead, you put that feral flesh on a stove with 5 honey, you can cook some honey glazed roast that heals 5 hp every 3 seconds. Beehives passively produce honey, which is a significant upgrade for minimal effort spent on extra ingredients.
Cleaver Secondary Items: Fangs, Horns, and Heads
The cleaver will not always be the best tool to collect certain items, but you will likely still find enough of them in your inventory that you may not care. The cleaver hacks off heads, arms, and legs in addition to any meat available from the corpse. In addition, you’ll find fangs, horns, tusks, glands, and chitin in your inventory from using the cleaver on corpses.
The quality of your cleaver will also affect how many of these items you pull per proc. It does not raise your chances of finding these items with a cleaver, just the amount you will net if you do happen on them.
Build a grinder and fluid press to make the most out of the cleaver’s secondary items. A grinder will turn bones and related articles (fangs, horns, etc.) into bonemeal for your compost heap. A fluid press will turn parts into bones, hide, chitin, and blood. Processing down these animal parts once you return to your base is a bit of a bonus.
Which Animals to Hunt and Process With Your Cleaver
Once you decide on the kind of cleaver you’ll be swinging, it’s essential to know what type of meat you should be going after. Feral flesh is fine when you’re just starting and is found on the shalebacks and crocodiles around the starting area. It is more efficient to collect leather from them, though, as feral flesh is pretty low on the food tier in Conan Exiles. It also drops from most predatory animals, even at higher levels. If you are ever short on feral flesh, there will always be plenty of places to grab more.
You’ll find savory meat on most game animals throughout the Exiled Lands. If you stumble upon an antelope or gazelle, I highly recommend a cleaver to process their corpses. They will be your first shot at savory meat, which is a much more versatile food source than feral flesh.
Even if you only put it on the campfire, grilled steak is a valuable resource for leveling up thralls. It will give them a 14% chance to level up their vitality stat if they consume it from their inventory while leveling.
The aggressive, larger antelope is called a Kudo, and they have a high chance of dropping exquisite meat when processed with a cleaver. I barely ever leave a Kudo standing unless I happened to leave my cleaver at home.
Exquisite meat is arguably the most valuable and versatile cleaver resource in the game, and it’s accessible from nearly day one. It will come in handy when taming pets and cooking advanced dishes on the stove. Even if you only put it on the campfire, cooked exquisite meat applies a sated healing buff of 7hp per 3 seconds. That’s better than many more complicated stove recipes! Shoebills (jungle birds) also have a decent chance to drop exquisite meat.
When the recipe calls for raw pork, it’s time to head to the highlands to hunt boars. Boars are relatively easy to take down, though the trip may be long depending on where your base camp is located. Wolf cubs prefer raw pork in the animal pen and can be cooked straight into cooked pork rinds at the campfire.
These will heal 7 pts per 3 seconds, and pork works well in oven recipes to make more complicated food. Raw pork is a simple solution to a high sated buff. It heals the same as exquisite meat (7 pts every 3 seconds) but drops much more dependably when using a cleaver on a boar corpse.
If you’re in the mood to hunt some enormous creatures, elephants and rhinos drop exotic flesh. You may hunt rhinos at level 20+, but I recommend level 30+ for elephants. You may notice exotic flesh is often the best meat to feed animal babies in the animal pen, but if you’re planning to cook it on the campfire, you’re better off hunting Kudos or shoebills for exquisite meat.
Exotic flesh cooked directly into roasted haunch only heals 6 hp per 3 seconds. In addition, elephants and rhinos are among the few animals that drop thick hide when processed with a skinning knife, so unless you are sure you don’t need any more thick hide, it may be better to fill your tannery first.
If you are level 30+, consider taking exotic flesh back to your oven, along with one egg and five dried desert berries. These three ingredients are the recipe for one of the cheapest and most efficient healing foods in the game: the exotic feast. Exotic feast heals 14 pts every 3 seconds.
While it isn’t the highest possible sated buff that a player can achieve, it’s undoubtedly the easiest advanced meal to craft. It’s also an epic item to keep in your human follower’s inventory. While your thralls level, exotic feast will add a 7% chance to level their STR stat and a 7% chance to level their VIT stat, which are usually the only two stats to care about while training a thrall. It also applied the top health regeneration buff (10 pts/second) when they find themselves in a tight spot.
As you can see, there’s nothing particularly difficult or epic about most of the animals you will hunt with a cleaver in mind. That is, except for one. The abysmal remnant is a boss meant for a cleaver, and it’s no easy feat to take one down.
The boss itself should be doable, especially if you’re already hunting elephants, but you’ll need to fight your way through the Dregs to get to it. Once you kill the beast, process it with a cleaver to receive abysmal flesh. Abysmal flesh has some very specific uses, but one of the main ones is trying to raise a sandreaper queen from a locust spawn in your animal pen.
Shorten your time commitment and increase your haul by upgrading your cleaver. The better your cleaver is, the more meat and secondary items you will harvest per corpse. This feature is not essential when harvesting common meats but becomes very important when hunting hard-to-find or dangerous animals.
Your very first cleaver, the stone cleaver, will pull 3-4 meat per swing on a corpse. The iron cleaver jumps up to 4-5 meat per swing but will last three times as long as the stone cleaver. This upgrade is a massive jump in durability and a significant reason to upgrade to iron as soon as you can afford it.
Each cleaver upgrade adds a couple more items per swing to the cleaver’s collection range and about a hundred more durability. Your best craftable cleaver, the star metal cleaver, will collect 7-8 meat per swing and is over six times more durable than the basic stone cleaver. Finally, the only legendary cleaver, the Maw of the Hyena, will collect an impressive 8-9 meat per swing before upgrades.
If you can’t reasonably afford to upgrade your cleaver, but you’re planning on collecting meat from some hard-to-reach creatures, consider installing a tool upgrade kit instead. These kits cost fewer resources than crafting a new tool but will increase the amount harvested per swing just like a better tool would. You’ll need to have a tinker’s bench built to craft these kits.
Very Special Cleavers
While the star metal cleaver collects the most meat per swing (7-8 meat) of a craftable cleaver, it is tough to craft. Star metal is not an easily accessible resource, and you’ll likely have weapons and other tools that take priority over upgrading your cleaver. Some other cleavers are worth mentioning for their unique properties and quality, but they take some special steps to acquire.
The Chef’s Trusted Cleaver is the most durable in the game. Razor Gord wields this cleaver in Flotsam, and you must be tough enough to take him down to have one for yourself. You’ll find Flotsam right before you reach Buccaneer Bay in N7. If you’re clearing the rest of Flotsam without too much difficulty, Razor Gord shouldn’t be an issue.
He is a miniboss, so be wary of aggroing too many other pirates during your fight. His cleaver has a whopping 1200 durability; you won’t be patching it up anytime soon. It is twice as durable as the star metal cleaver but only collects 5-6 meat per swing in the iron cleaver range.
The Chef’s Trusted Cleaver is a guaranteed drop, so as long as you can find Razor Gord, you will end up with his cleaver. This tool is the perfect cleaver for players who aren’t that concerned with how much meat they collect and want an equip and forget about it for harvesting corpses.
Next up, we’ve got the only legendary cleaver in the game and the one with the most harvesting power. The Maw of the Hyena is a drop on either of the werehyena bosses in The Den. You’ll find The Den in the northern stretch of desert in E8.
The cleaver has a chance of dropping from either Rake or Claw, who are not guaranteed to spawn but are often found in the center of The Den. It’s an advanced tool for high-level players. You will need to be comfortable crafting legendary tool repair kits to maintain this cleaver, and the bosses themselves are not easy to take down.
Last on the list is a unique circumstance cleaver, especially for the followers of Yog. After becoming an Acolyte of Yog, you may craft the Yog Cleaver, either by choosing it as your religion in the character creation screen or starting the process out in the wilds.
You must first build your Pit of Yog, which is likely on your beginner quest queue already. Bring 30 bone and 5 branch to the Pit of Yog to craft the Yog Cleaver. This cleaver will allow acolytes to remove unblemished human meat from human corpses.
Not only can you craft purified meat from unblemished human meat and make some of the most effective food in the game, but you’ll also be able to turn the meat into a manifestation of zeal, which players use to grow their religion throughout the game.
Leave It To Cleaver
Depending on your playstyle, the cleaver is an often overlooked but wildly useful tool in Conan Exiles. If you’re more of a run and gun, worry about health later kind of player, processing meat into anything more than a grilled steak may not seem like it’s worth the effort to you. You may never even upgrade past your trusty iron cleaver and take what you get when collecting meat from downed mobs.
If, instead, you like having efficient healing options on deck, and the most versatile followers in the game, hunting down and processing the best meat with your cleaver is the path you’ll want to take. You’ll rely heavily on your cleaver and its supporting stations: the stove, grinder, and fluid press. I’m more of a scatterbrained exile myself, but a good cleaver is always part of my arsenal as a recipe collector.
Question: What does a cleaver do in Conan Exiles?
Answer: Use a cleaver on corpses in Conan Exiles. It is the best tool for harvesting meat. You can pull meat and parts from downed mobs with the cleaver.
Question: What is the best cleaver in Conan Exiles?
Answer: Determining the best cleaver in Conan Exiles depends on whether you value durability or chopping power in your tool. The star metal cleaver collects the most per swing (7-8 meat), while the Chef’s Trusted Cleaver is the most durable at 1200 durability.
Question: How do you make Yog cleaver?
Answer: If you are an acolyte of Yog, you must first craft the Pit of Yog somewhere on your base. You’ll need this pit to advance your religion either way, but you’ll find a recipe to craft the Yog Cleaver for 30 bone and 5 branch in its inventory.
Question: Where do I get abysmal flesh in Conan Exiles?
Answer: You can harvest abysmal flesh from the Abysmal Remnant with a cleaver. The Abysmal Remnant lurks in the Dregs in D4. Lure any NPCs to the sacrificial circle and kill them to enter The Dregs. The dungeon is solo-able with a good shield. A bow is necessary to get to the remnant.
Question: What meat should I farm with the cleaver in Conan?
Answer: The most versatile, easy, and efficient meat to farm in Conan Exiles is exquisite meat. You’ll find the most exquisite meat drops from kudos. Depending on your base location, both pork (from boars) and exotic flesh (from rhinos) also work well.