1.) If you’re soloing, avoid high population servers like the plague they are for loners. Go for servers with no more than 50 players.
Getting enough resources to start doing anything meaningful without getting killed is basically impossible without quite a bit of luck on your side, and really, how many times do you want to restart before you get “lucky”? There’s a reason most people on high-pop servers get their resources from the corpses of other characters that they killed. Nodes just aren’t plentiful enough on high pop servers. And pigs… man, fuck pigs.
- As soon as you can, make use of stash bags.
Once you have the essentials, go immediately stash them in a series of stash bag hidden in some distant corner of the map, so when you inevitably get raided and lose everything, you’re not back to square one. Stash bags are invisible until people are basically on top of them, so they’re very, very good things to use out in the boonies.
- Use natural walls as much as possible.
I built my base against the back of a stone column, then surrounded it with spikes and a wooden gate. People would look at it, decide it wasn’t worth the effort, and move on. It worked perfectly… until someone glitched through my gate and doors and stole everything.
- No one is your friend.
Absolutely no one. Especially on official servers. If you have a gun and you can’t avoid an encounter (avoiding is always best, BTW), SHOOT FIRST. If you kill them and the first thing they post in chat is, “God damn it, just died to a KoSer” or something like that, you can apologize, collect their crap, and return it to them if you want to be friendly. Or… you can not. Though being a solitary raider is tough, just as a heads up.
- If you absolutely must interact with another player without shooting at them, use voice chat to tell them your intent.
It’s still pretty likely that they’ll shoot you, but hey, sometimes you’ll get lucky.