Newcomers Guide

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The purpose of the newcomers guide is to give new players a quick overview of the Shartak game, provide a few basic tips and help you to find your way around the island more easily. It is not a comprehensive guide that tries to cover every aspect of Shartak. However, there are many links included in this guide that can point you to more detailed articles.

Things to know about Shartak

  • Free browser game
    Shartak can be played on any computer or device with access to the Internet and a web browser. There is no need to install anything else and everything is stored on the server. Shartak is free to play but donations are welcomed. They provide some minor benefits to your character without giving big advantages over other players.
  • Pacing
    Shartak is a slow-paced game. You won't be slaughtering enemies left and right, every action costs some action points which slowly regenerate over time. Depending on your play style it might not take longer than 10 minutes per day to enjoy the game.
  • Goals
    Shartak is what you make of it. There are no predefined goals that you have to achieve. You are free to explore, heal, hunt, fight other players, join a clan, trade or just sit and have some beer with your friends in a tavern. It's up to you to set your own goals. Players also organise contests and other events by themselves, you can join them or even make your own.
  • Persistent environment
    Your character will be in the game regardless if you are logged in or not. This means he or she can be killed or healed while you are away. Real time interactions are not that common in Shartak, players kind of "take turns" logging in and spending their action points whenever they see fit. After 7 days of inactivity, your character "hides" and is then protected from being killed. Once idle, you will not see anything that happens in the same location.
  • Roleplaying
    Shartak is a roleplaying game, and while not being mandatory, roleplaying is encouraged. This means that you are not playing as yourself but rather create a character with his or her own background story, appearance, values, etc. While many players act as if Shartak was in the Colonial Era, there is no official setting for the game.

Tips for starting out

  • Education: The Shartak Wiki contains a lot of useful info for beginners.
  • Tutorial: Before doing anything else, follow the in-game tutorial. The tutorial is risk-free and grants 100 XP, enough to obtain your first skill of choice.
  • Preparation: Shartak is a dangerous place. Make sure you have plenty of supplies before venturing too far from your starting location. See the Inventory section for concrete tips.
  • Navigation: Getting around in a hostile jungle environment is not easy. Until you acquire a GPS unit and/or the Exploration skill, be wary of getting lost.
  • Hazards: The islands of Shartak are filled with dangers and death is rather common. It is not the end though, you can continue playing as a spirit or respawn fairly easily.

Character basics

Every action in the game costs some AP. There are different costs for various actions. When your AP reach zero you cannot do anything until at least 1 point has recharged. Everyone regains them at a rate of one every 20 minutes up to a maximum of 75 or 80, depending on your class. This means that a full recharge (from 0 to max AP) takes around 24 hours. New characters get a larger one-time pool of points.

There are decimal fractions that are not shown on the User interface, they are counted by the server nonetheless (e.g. talking costs 0.1 AP).

They show how much damage your character can take before dying. You can restore your own HP by eating, drinking or using medical supplies to heal yourself. Healing herbs (natives) and first aid kits (outsiders) also allow you to heal other players. When the HP reach zero your character dies and enters the spirit world. From there you can be returned to life by one of the island's NPC Shamans or continue your existence as a spirit and haunt the living. Death is a rather common occurrence in Shartak but is merely an inconvenience. You do not lose any items or experience points upon dying.

Take a look at tips for staying alive later.

Some actions like healing or inflicting damage earn you experience points. Accumulated XP may be spent to purchase new skills and improve your character.

More information on the sources of XP.

Creating a character

There are some permanent choices you will have to make when creating a new character.
Important: There are no ways to change your character type, class or home camp later in the game.

Natives and outsiders

These are the two main factions of the game. By choosing a character class you automatically pick a side. The two factions have different settlements, specific skills and items. You can not understand the language of the opposing faction and are unable to use some of their items without acquiring special abilities. There is no automatic recognition of characters from the other side either.

Outsiders have better scientific knowledge, they can use GPS for navigation. Scientists among them have good healing abilities. Natives are more familiar with the wilderness and the spirit world. They can distinguish between poisonous and edible berries, experienced shamans are able to summon or exorcise spirits.

The two factions are not necessarily at war all the time and in all places. There are some friendly people on both sides. Some of the characters also spill a lot of blood among their own kin instead. However, generally one should expect more hostility from the other faction.

Character classes

Each player belongs to a certain class. The significant differences lie in Hit points (HP) and a few class-specific skills that are exclusive to that group (very rough description in brackets).

Native classes:

  • Warrior (can effectively use powerful weapons)
  • Scout (best at moving through dense jungle)
  • Villager (finds more items, can be a decent healer, hunter or trader)
  • Shaman (can manipulate the spirits)
  • Cannibal (can refill their health quickly, very hard to kill)

Outsider classes:

  • Soldier (can effectively use powerful weapons)
  • Explorer (best at moving through dense jungle)
  • Settler (finds more items, can be a decent healer, hunter or trader)
  • Scientist (best at healing)
  • Pirate (can plunder other settlements).

This is a permanent decision and it will determine what you will be able to do in the game, choose wisely.

Home camp

Depending on your class you might have a choice of your home camp. Respawning there is always the most effective way to come back after the death. You do not have to spend most of your time at the home settlement but it is probably a good idea to check the town pages before choosing one.

Pirates always start in Shipwreck, other outsiders might pick Durham, York or Derby.
Cannibals live only in Rakmogak, other native classes can choose from Raktam, Wiksik and Dalpok.

You can not change your home settlement in the game except (with some restrictions) by submitting Feedback requesting the change.


You will be presented with an option to follow an in-game tutorial. It is a very good way to get familiar with the game and will also grant you an amount of Experience points (XP) enough to buy your first skill.

Skills and leveling up

There are two things you need to consider when buying your skills. Eventually you will be able to get them all (within your class restrictions) but at lower levels it is important to plan ahead and establish your priorities.

  • Your playstyle

There are many guides with "mandatory" skill lists but it actually comes down to what do you want to do in the game. Peaceful healers might not hurry with buying combat skills, characters that stay at home camps might want to ignore the exploration skills for some time. Think about how you would like to spend at least the early days in the game and plan accordingly.

  • Effectiveness

Or, a good future XP income. Costs of leveling up increase with each level. Some skills give you abilities that further grant XP, some bring other benefits. It is important to distinguish between the two types. Some of the more effective ways of earning XP include combat against players or NPC animals (ranged weapon skills for Soldiers and Warriors, melee for the rest), healing, visiting trading posts. Playing as a ghost might also bring decent amounts of XP.

See Tips and tricks for more advice on leveling up.

Items and inventory

Every player starts with some items in his inventory. By default you have 70 slots that can be expanded to 100 if you buy a backpack. You do not lose any of the belongings upon death and things can not be stolen. However, some of them are one-time consumables, others have a chance to break. Discarded items disappear from the game.

You can gain items by searching in certain places (e.g. resource huts) or buying them. Keep in mind that the majority of things can be obtained for free.

How to allocate the inventory space and what things to carry is entirely up to you. Obviously, a soldier would want to have some spare rifles and loads of bullets, a kind native would prefer to have a lot of healing herbs and a juicer would probably carry around lots of empty gourds. There are some items, however, that come in handy for many types of characters, here is a rough list.

Recommended items:

  • 2-3 machetes or cutlasses (if you wander out in the jungle)
    They can help you to cut down the vegetation, sometimes the jungle gets so thick it is almost impossible to pass without chopping.
  • 1 sharpening stone
    Blades can get blunt and they become next to useless in that case.
  • Knife or a dagger
    These are used to carve text messages on huts and trees.
  • Some spare weapons (if you engage in combat often)
    Every single weapon in the game has a chance to break.
  • Healing supplies
    The more you can afford, the better. The island has some dangerous animals and angry players.
  • Some spare gourds or bottles.
    They can be used to juice fruit and carry around fresh water, both are used for healing oneself.
  • GPS. (not usable by natives from the start)
    A very convenient gadget to find your way around the island.
  • Some gold coins
    You can sell unnecessary items at the trader's hut. Gold does not take up any space so it is always a good idea to convert some of the junk into coins.

Settlements and wilderness

Settlements (also called camps, towns, villages) play a major role in Shartak. They are generally the centers of roleplaying activity and also have resource huts and trading posts, the primary sources for supplies. Each camp also has an NPC shaman that provides easy respawns for the members of the settlement.

Settlement fixtures

All of the settlements are rather similar except for the shipwreck. Huts cannot be built or destroyed but they can be hidden by thick jungle vegetation.

  • Empty huts
    The most common type of hut. They can be found both in the wilderness (sometimes called ruins in that case) or at any settlement except the Shipwreck. There is nothing special about them. Some clans and players have laid claim to certain huts as their territory. Most of them do not particularly mind a friendly and polite visitor though.
  • Medical huts
    These huts can be searched for medical supplies. They are the best places to look for first aid kits (in outsider settlements) and healing herbs (in native settlements).
  • Ammunition huts
    Vital for Soldiers and Warriors. They provide both the blowpipes (native) and rifles (outsider), also their ammunition.
  • Trader's hut
    Here, one can barter and trade. Searching is useless in this hut. Visiting the same trader too frequently will result in worsened offers from him. Additionally, prices fluctuate a bit according to the current supply and demand of a particular good.
  • Home NPC Shaman
    They can revive dead members of the settlement, usually found in the center of the town.


Unlike other settlements, the shipwreck site holds only two structures. One is a regular trading post, the other one is the ship itself. The shipwreck has five rooms, each of them supplies different items.


Most territory of the island is covered in jungle. It grows over time and has levels of thickness that affect your movement and might impair the use of the GPS in tiles with much vegetation. There are also grasslands, swamps, beaches. Generally, searching the wilderness will yield fewer items as compared to the resource huts. Some of the things (e.g driftwood) have better finding rates in the areas of wilderness. You do not have to worry about it now though, all the necessary items can be obtained from the camps.

There are quite a few animals around, some of them less friendly than the others. It is a good idea to restock in towns before venturing out. Also, be sure to buy an Exploration skill or have a GPS, it is rather easy to get lost.

You can learn more about the island in the article about terrain.


  • Shartak Wiki: You are reading it now. It is the primary source for any information about Shartak , maintained and updated by the volunteer players. Not every corner of it can keep up with the latest changes but it is still the best "manual" for the game available.
  • Clans: There are many of them in Shartak, usually with their own specific agendas. Quite a few are happy to help the newcomers settle in.
  • Official Forum: For saying hello to other players, discussions, major events and more. A good place to ask for questions if you can not find an answer in the wiki pages.
  • IRC channel: Real-time chatting.

Helpful Links

These links should help answer any questions you might have:

The following more detailed class-specific gameplay and skill guides are written specifically for newcomers:

Also, be sure to check other articles in the Wiki, especially the ones that are provided on the front page.