I backed Coral Island in early 2021 and played the Alpha from July 2021 until Early Access in October 2022. At the time of this writing, the guide is based on my Alpha experience and things to keep in mind while playing. Success not guaranteed, but all good info to understand how Alpha players enjoyed the game.
I will attempt to update and change things as I learn new information. I will also be using this guide myself, so I will suffer through any mistakes and errors, as well.
I want to be clear this guide is for getting through the start of Coral Island in general. It doesn’t focus much on friendship and relationship building, that guide can be found here, which is still a WIP. In general, you can’t go wrong with a Coconut Drink from the Tavern (Fish n Sips). It’s cheap and universally liked. Additionally, giving any NPC a gift on their birthday is an instant first heart fulfilled. I found this out on accident!
When starting, the first thing I recommend is setting the days to be longer. There should be a “Game Time Speed” setting and you can make it as low as 50% so time moves slower. This will give you more time to get tasks done and have less pressure during the day.
You should start off with some seeds. Obviously, clear a little plot on your farm and plant/water them. Then meet with Mayor at the Shop; take time along the way to talk to folks. He should assign a quest to greet all the villagers and you’ll already have a head start! Buy more seeds from the Shop before you leave, preferably 2-3 of each plant (including flowers, but not grass). If it’s too much then just invest in the cheapest/shortest days one: the goal is to get some crops for easy gold.
Before heading anywhere else, stop by Sunny’s Beach Shack. You may get a cutscene for the Fishing Pole and Bug Net. After it’s done, be sure to purchase the Enhanced Bug Net for 1G. It’ll be an easy way to make money quickly. This was considered a bug and has since been fixed.
The two starting quests of gathering wood/stone and then greeting villagers should be pretty straightforward. Take the time to look at your map and find villagers you don’t know; they should be marked with a ? rather than a picture. After planting more seeds, use the rest of your energy to gather wood and stone. Make sure you also clear some trash and build yourself a makeshift chest to help with inventory management. Feel free to use any of the food given at the start to replenish your energy to continue gathering.
If you’re crafty, you can get your house repaired Day 1 and meet majority the villagers!
Each day, you should obviously spend your energy watering your crops and then spend most of the time exploring the island. Take time to scavenge the island and find random flowers and crops. Save at least 1-2 of these for any potential future quests. If you have a gift quest, give folks something disposable like trash or sap. They can’t lose any hearts starting out so it doesn’t matter if they hate it. Everything else should be focused on trying to make money and saving potentially important items.
Your first goal should be to try and raise 500G for the first backpack expansion. Once saving 1 of each item, sell the rest. If you come across bronze/silver/gold starred items, save those as there may be a quest which requires them (avoiding spoilers…). You’ll get lots of duplicates but chests are easy to make.
You will get a net and fishing pole via a quest within the first week by walking into the Beach Shack shop. Save 2 of each insect and fish. You’ll need 1 for the Museum donations when it’s open and then potentially 1 for a quest. If you find any odd gizmos or gadgets, save 1 of those as well. They may be artifacts for the Museum.
After establishing your farm with some crops and scavenging, you’ve ideally upgraded your backpack and probably unlocked mining and diving. Your focus should be spent in either area, probably mining is the easiest to translate directly to progress.
Save 2 of each gem mined, 1 for the Museum and 1 for any potential quests. Then use the metal to bars and start saving towards upgrading your tools. Thankfully, the game is rapid on updating your tools as it only takes 1 day. Start saving 2,000G for each tool and plan around when the Blacksmith is open.
As you get more appliances unlocked, you’ll start to be able to use all your materials (sap, trash, etc.) more effectively and see the purpose each item serves.
Again, continue to use all of your energy each day; once you harvest your crops, grow more! You should save ~20 energy since when you drop under you run slower and the screen loses color. You can always use the last of it on your farm before you sleep.
During alpha, the Furniture Shop had a neat trick where you could buy Furnaces for 100G and then sell them for 240G. If this continues for Early Access, I highly recommend using it to make enough money to sit comfortably and play through the story. ((Note: I have yet to confirm this for Early Access)). This is no longer the case.
After this point, I’m not quite sure what Early Access will bring. There has been some progress on quests and mechanics, but I’m afraid of dedicating time to drafting a guide in case something dramatically changes. There are other guides I will link to, assuming they are updated for Early Access. Information will be hit or miss the first week, but I’ll do my best!
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