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The harsh world of Conan Exiles is filled with all manner of demon and beast, but you’ll find your first and most consistent enemy will be your own stomach. Sure, in a pinch you could eat raw feral flesh, and if you have ten points in survival you might even get away with it – but sooner or later you’ll want to progress beyond raw survival and begin to properly thrive, and mastering food is the first step.
Packing the right foods will give you optimal health regeneration, occasional stat buffs, resistances against extreme temperatures and so much more.
But with hundreds of foods, consumables and alcohols to pick from, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. This guide will help you cut down the clutter and make real progress.
While food often plays a secondary role to aloe potions in healing, the right foods absolutely make a huge difference in performance. Progressing knowledgeably from roasted haunch in the early game to pork feasts and religious feasts in the endgame and pvp will make your playthrough smoother and give you the edge you need to win.
The Quick Overview
Firstly, don’t panic! Many of the food options are there for flavor’s sake, if you’ll pardon the pun, and don’t differ too much from each other in functionality. Eating any food will grant you a sated buff which will begin to heal you over time, while taking damage will interrupt this buff and you’ll need to reapply it by eating again.
As a general rule of thumb, the harder a food item is to acquire and cook, the more health it will heal over time – this isn’t always the case though! If you’re ever unsure, open your inventory with I, then click the “stats” tab at the top. You can see precisely how much your sated buff is healing you per second.
Note that healing from foods will also apply to thralls if you place the food in their inventory, which can mean the difference between losing your favorite companion and living to fight another day. Even a tier 1 exile fighter can kill the Kinscourge with proper food and armor, and having better food than your enemy will keep your thralls alive in pvp encounters.
While on horseback, you’re actually not able to consume aloe potions at all, so your only source of healing will be from your food. It goes without saying then that choosing the right foods for where you are in the game is crucial.
See also: Conan Exiles Horse Guide
What to Eat Early
In the early game, easily obtained foods with reasonable healing will be more than enough. Roasted haunch, obtained by cooking exotic flesh, is quite easy to farm in bulk. Rhinos, reptilian monstrosities, elephants – most large creatures will yield exotic flesh, which heals for 6 health every 3 seconds.
It doesn’t sound like much but between fights and while you’re out farming it can add up quickly considering how low your health will be, especially once you consider that producing aloe potions will not become as easy until you obtain better sickles, so conserving them by relying on food is crucial.
Keep in mind that certain foods will fill your food and water meters simultaneously. Fat grubs for example can be obtained right on the starter river on the ground further to the west towards the dregs. You can harvest these bugs with a hatchet or a pick, just swing your tool then crouch to make sure the animation collides with the bug for greater yields.
Their healing is quite low, but the food and water they give will sustain you as you move into areas with little water like the unnamed city and the volcano.
For the crafty survivalist, placing a piece of compost inside a compost heap will also spawn fat grubs for free up to a stack of 50 per compost heap, which can give you a steady source of food and water no matter where you live and saves you the trouble of having to build a well to quench your thirst.
While it will stop producing grubs after you hit a stack of 50, once you remove that stack of grubs it will begin to produce them again, so it is essentially an infinite and free source of food.
While grubs and exotic flesh can get you through much of the early game, eventually you’ll need to progress beyond that if you want to survive, and to do that you’ll need to do some traveling.
Throughout the game world there are a number of specialty cooking recipes scattered about, they’ll look like little books on the floor. There are 10 cooking recipes and 3 brewing recipes in total, found in these locations:
- Specialist Cooking I – On the floor of the Summoning Place in H5
- Specialist Cooking II – On the top of the north east tower of Skyholme Ruins in E9
- Specialist Cooking III – Next to a bench inside one of the huts in C11
- Specialist Cooking IV – On a table inside the large hut at B11
- Specialist Cooking V – On the bench outside the cabin at Trapper’s Cabin in G9
- Specialist Cooking VI – On the floor of the Summoning Place in H5
- Specialist Cooking VII – On top of the scaffolding of the right leg at Muriela’s Hope in E7
- Specialist Cooking VIII – On the ground just before the stairs at the Tower of Bats in F5
- Specialist Cooking IX – On the ground next to the hut at Lian’s Watch at G9
- Specialist Cooking X – On the bench next to Drifter’s Rest at L5
- Specialist Brewing I – On a bench in the southern portion of The Den at E8
- Specialist Brewing II – In front of the obelisk at B11
- Specialist Brewing III – Inside a chest underneath the Black Galleon at I7
Like I said earlier, don’t panic over the variety, for the most part these are neat easter eggs for you to find that will give you fun recipes to cook with friends and drinks to brew when telling your stories of conquest around a roaring fire. Specialist recipes will require the use of a stove, however, and the stove itself will unlock a number of recipes, so keep this in mind moving forward.
As you increase in food tiers, you’ll find they require quite a variety of ingredients. Dried berries, dried meats, honey and salt will all be required, so let’s cover how to produce those first.
Honey is as easy as building beehives and improved beehives. You can place bees and queen bees, obtained from harvesting plants and bushes, inside these beehives to speed up production, but you do not need to do this. They will gradually produce honey until they are full whether you place something inside them or not.
Fish traps on the other hand require bait in the form of insects, bees, queen bees, or grubs. You can use compost heaps to produce grubs for an infinite supply of bait, so long as you don’t mind the micromanagement.
Salt can be produced by placing stones or crystals into a grinder and giving it time. Spices are produced from the same station, but you’ll place plant seeds into the grinder instead, though you can also convert bark into spices with the use of a named alchemist in an alchemy bench.
See also: Conan Exiles Planter Guide
Dried ingredients are produced at a dryer. Dryers use bark for fuel and typically produce foods that last much longer. There is no crafting menu for dryers, just place your food items and bark into the station and press “play” at the top.
While not necessary for too many useful recipes, cooks themselves also bring with them a number of unique recipes and can also speed up the rate at which you cook food when placed into a station. Tier 1 cooks allow for honey bread, honeyed eggs, and mystery meat soup. Tier 2 cooks allow for honeyed gruel and honeyed jerky, an easy to farm early game food source with an incredibly long decay timer.
Tier 3 cooks craft iced tea, which will keep you cool and quenched in hot biomes, while tier 4 cooks can cook bone broth and an egg surprise. The lone fisherman, a unique named cook found in the center of Sepermeru on an island, also brings with him a recipe for a spicy dried fish combo.
See also: Conan Exiles Vines Guide
Foods as Buffs and Utility
With those prerequisites out of the way, we’ll talk about the possibilities these new ingredients create. This is also where we start to see some of the utility of foods coming into play. Foods like Herbal Tea, obtained from specialist cooking III, won’t give you any sated buff at all, but instead fill your thirst meter and give you a slight buff to your stamina regen.
This will stack with whatever food you’re eating, making it the perfect companion beverage to bring into battle whether it’s pve or pvp. Ambrosia, crafted at a mitra altar in exchange for one lingering essence, will increase your strength and vitality by 1 point. Purified flesh, cooked at a yog altar in exchange for one unblemished meat, will increase your strength and grit by one point.
These two buffs will stack with eachother and last for 10 minutes, so they’re worth incorporating into your diet for tough fights. It’s not much, but those few extra points can enable more adventurous builds.
See also: Conan Exiles Honey Guide
Alcohols are a bit different. While used in many recipes, they can be consumed on their own to give you buffs after you reach certain levels of drunkness.
After 3 drinks you’ll gain 3 points in vitality, and after five drinks you’ll gain 3 points in strength. Be warned though – 5 drinks will give you alcohol poisoning which will drain your stamina until you’re all out and leave you exhausted until it goes away.
Cleanse away the alcohol poisoning with any cleansing gear you have (a Mitra’s Justice unique mace, for example), or use cureall potions and set antidotes to get rid of it early.
The Best Foods for Healing and Climate
Once you have access to all those ingredients, you can finally start to produce proper foods such as lasting feasts from specialist cooking V heal 13 health every 3 seconds and cooked pork feasts heal for 15, and the two of these are (relatively) easy to farm for their tiers. The key to success is settling on recipes you can farm easily in your situation.
If you’re in the highlands for example, pork feasts are easy to produce, since pork and leavening agent for the mead are in abundant supply. Berries are likewise everywhere, so producing the materials for this high performing food is incredibly easy.
Though at that stage in the game, much of your healing will come from aloe potions, so if you find foods like that to be too tedious, it’s not at all necessary to farm anything too adventurous.
See also: Conan Exiles Aloe Guide
Progressing in the map will also expose you to intense temperatures with the harsh colds of the frozen north and the intense heat of the volcano. Spiced foods will increase your temperature, while certain foods like ice and iced tea will reduce it. Once you’ve obtained a stove, the easiest spiced foods to produce en masse are the spiced steak and spiced haunch.
Both only require basic foods and spices, so they’re not at all hard to acquire, and later recipes like the savory feast will give you warmth and better healing. It’s a relatively new addition, but harvesting bird carcasses will now yield eggs, so savory feasts are much easier to produce and it requires no specialty cooking recipe, you only have to unlock the stove.
Those foods will easily carry you through the entire story, but pvp’ers sometimes need that extra edge. The best healing foods in the entire game are without a doubt the religious feasts, all of which heal for a whopping 17 health every 3 seconds while also giving you increased stamina regen.
The only catch is that they can be incredibly tedious to farm and require a tier 3 religious altar to even craft, but if you can stand it these can make a world of difference when it matters the most.
Feasts of set are often the hallowed meal of choice, as they’re relatively easy to farm, craft quickly, and if you’re on a pvp server you’ll likely already have quite a bit of set zeal farmed up from producing set antidotes which makes it convenient. Feasts of Jhebbal Sag are another easy to produce alternative for people looking for some variety in their diets, but be careful with some others.
Feasts of Mitra for example require essence to produce, meaning you’ll have to slaughter NPC’s to craft them, and Feasts of Ymir come with a warming buff which can be fine if you’re in the cold but fatal if you’re spending any time in the volcano.
How do You Keep Food from Rotting?
After spending all that time to obtain the best there is, you’re likely wondering how you can keep it from spoiling. In a pinch, foods will actually decay slower when placed into a cooking station.
Campfires, bonfires, and stoves will allow your food to stretch just a little bit longer, but once you’re a high enough level you’ll gain access to preservation boxes and improved preservation boxes which are your real storage methods. Once crafted, simply place some ice inside and now any food you store in these containers will never rot.
They halt the decay timer on all items that decay as well, not just food. Religious essences and even pets can be placed inside a preservation box to keep them fresh. Without proper food storage, any time spent farming expensive foods will be a waste, so be sure to have at least a few set aside before spending any real time obtaining proper foods.
See also: Best Pets in Conan Exiles
Question: Aloe Potions Already Outperform Food, When Would I Ever Need to Worry About It?
Answer: On horseback, you can’t drink aloe potions, so you have to subsist off food. Additionally, the best aloe potions take several minutes to craft and can be expensive for smaller clans, so stretching out your supplies with the right foods is a crucial skill.
Question: I don’t Have the Time to Farm the Best in Slot Food Items, are There Budget Alternatives?
Answer: Yes! I’ll detail why later in the guide, but there are multiple speciality cooking recipes that give you access to respectable options like lasting feasts, pork feasts and other similar foods that are incredibly high performing without being as tedious to farm as some religious feasts.
Question: Let’s Say I Only Have Low Quality Food and I Need Healing in a Pinch… Can I Make My Grubs Stretch Further?
Answer: Yes, the 5th vitality perk will cause all food to be treated like a miniature health potion and will grant you an immediate healing burst, with a short internal cooldown. If you’re ever really in a pinch, you can heal off even the worst of foods – and when you’re better off, you can use this healing to save on aloe potions.
Mastering your stomach is the first step to mastering the exiled lands, but once you’ve got a handle on how to satisfy your cravings the game will become much easier.
Optimal stats obtained from the best foods, high health per second from easily farmed feasts and easily obtained water from tea and grubs will go a long way towards minimizing the harsh reality of the exiled lands, bringing you that much closer to conquering your foes, and maybe even eating a few of them! Bon appetite!