Before you have even set foot in your procedurally generated Core Keeper world, you need to create your character. Aside from customizing their looks, you also need to choose their background, determining what items and stat bonuses you begin with. With seven different options though, it can be hard to know which is best to choose, especially if this is your first experience with the title.
While the game does explain how the various backgrounds change what you start with, it doesn’t provide any kind of context around them. How beneficial is a copper pickaxe, a small lantern, or a wood fishing rod? In this guide, we’ll tell you what the best backgrounds are for Core Keeper beginners and explain exactly how helpful each one is.
Best Core Keeper Backgrounds
If you’re playing Core Keeper for the first time, the Explorer is likely one of the best starting backgrounds. While every other background comes with a copper or wooden tool, the Explorer gets a small lantern to start. Unlike in Minecraft, torches can’t be held in your off-hand. If you want to light your path, you need to make them your equipped item. This means you can’t dig and see at the same time unless you put a torch on the ground. The small lantern, however, can be equipped in the off-hand, letting you mine and light your path at the same time. Out of all of the below items, it’s also the hardest to get for new players because it requires slime balls, which are only obtainable by killing slimes themselves. The rest can be built using resources obtained by mining.
The one exception is the Fisherman. Unless you happen to find one when looting the world, you cannot craft a fishing rod yourself until you’ve constructed the tin workbench — something that will take a non-insignificant amount of time for new players. Tin is much rarer than copper and will take effort to obtain. If you want to start fishing right out of the gate, choose the Fisherman. Keep in mind that tools don’t really break as much as they become much less effective. You can always build a workbench to repair that wooden fishing rod they give you to start.
Once you’ve played a character or two, your selection becomes much less important. At that point, choose whichever skill you’re most fond of. There are a ton of skills to unlock in Core Keeper, so if you have any favorites you want to get early on, use that background to start.
Core Keeper Backgrounds
An ordinary person without starting equipment but all the possibilities.
Starts with nothing.
Pros: None. There are literally only drawbacks.
Cons: You start with nothing except the clothes on your back.
An experienced traveler who always brings a few torches.
Starts with +3 Running Skill, a small lantern, and three food rations.
Pros: Free lantern! This is actually one of the harder early game items to craft because it requires slime balls from killing slimes. Until then, you can only get around with torches, which must be held in your active hand or placed on the ground. (The lantern can be equipped in your off-hand.)
A veteran miner, knowledgeable about breaking down walls effectively.
Starts with +3 Mining Skill, a copper pickaxe, and three food rations.
Pros: You can get mining right away!
Cons: A pickaxe is easy to make.
A fighter with great self-defense and the power to defend their allies.
Starts with +3 Melee Skill, a copper sword, and three food rations.
Pros: Starting with a sword is great if you plan on fighting.
Cons: A sword doesn’t exactly stop you from starving unless you know what you’re doing.
A culinary expert who prepares food for anyone in need.
Starts with +3 Cooking Skill, a cooking pot, and eight mushrooms.
Pros: You can restore more Food by cooking these mushrooms than the default Food Rations give.
Cons: Cooking pot is easy to make.
A seasoned farmer with green fingers eager to turn some soil.
Starts with +3 Gardening Skill, a copper hoe, and a watering can.
Pros: Gardening is the easiest way of producing lots of food — with this, you can start right away!
Cons: You start with no food rations. Watering can is easy to make.
A patient fisherman with a fishing rod at hand and an eye on the lure.
Starts with +3 Fishing Skill, a wood fishing rod, and three food rations.
Pros: You get a fishing rod well before you have the resources to craft your own.
The good news is there’s really no wrong answer here. Each and every background has its benefits and, ultimately, your decision is about how you want to play the game. None of the drawbacks are big enough to penalize you in the long run; each simply gives you a small boost toward doing whatever it is you enjoy.