Welcome back!

Sign in or create an account to enjoy GINX perks, enter competitions and access exclusive features.

GINX TV > Guides & Tutorial > Aloft

Aloft Beginner's Guide: Gameplay Tips, Mechanics, Game Modes & More

Before ascending to the skies in their Airship, we've highlighted a few things that may help them, from gameplay, mechanics, and more for Aloft.
Aloft Beginner's Guide: Gameplay Tips, Mechanics, Game Modes & More
(Picture: Astrolabe Interactive)

Aloft is the co-op sandbox survival game from developer Astrolabe Interactive, first announced in January 2023, with a demo available for PC via Steam. The game garnered much attention at the PC Gaming Show in June 2024 for which it announced a Multiplayer Demo and has been extended to celebrate its milestone of being one of the most played demos during the Steam Next Fest.

The developer confirmed that the game will enter Early Access later this year, but as players await its launch, those looking to jump into the game should keep abreast of a few things to help with their in-game experiences. So, before diving into Aloft, we've compiled this Beginner's Guide to highlight key gameplay features, mechanics, game modes, and more.

Traversal Is Centered Around Sailing & Gliding

The first general piece of advice for players starting in Aloft is its flying system, highlighted in its official announcement and subsequent Multiplayer Demo trailer. How players navigate its beautiful open-world environments will be on foot but mainly in the air through sailing and gliding.

Gliding can be unlocked early by progressing with the tutorial and crafting a Glider. (Picture: Astrolabe Interactive)

This is key to helping them explore neighboring floating islands throughout the archipelago and travel to them using an Airship. Gliding will be the first to unlock through progression after learning the blueprint for the Glider Stand, which a Glider be crafted and customized to their liking; they can set off on their adventures by using the Glider to soar into the skies with some trial and error.

After mastering the basics of Gliders, they can set off to nearby islands, explore and locate resources, learn more knowledge, find more blueprints, and purge the islands of the corruption that plagues them. This is extremely important as they'll be able to craft numerous items to build a home and upgrade their Airship, which will help them travel to islands they won't be able to access with the Glider.

Once they've unlocked these Ship Upgrades, they can turn their home base into a flying Airship to continue their explorations and find more knowledge. Likewise, they'll find more resources, more enemies to defeat, and blueprints for crafting and upgrading their home, Glider, and Airship.

Shipping Off With New Parts

Their floating island can also be a mode of transportation by placing down Ship Upgrades discovered in the open world. (Picture: Astrolabe Interactive)

We've mentioned that gliding and sailing are the game's flying system's key mechanics, allowing players to access the floating islands across the archipelago. As for the sailing feature, players will find multiple blueprints or recipes across these islands before turning a floating island into an Airship, which lets them craft Ship components.

These can be obtained by locating anchors on the islands and interacting with them to learn blueprints or recipes for these components before they can be crafted by accessing the Crafting menu and finding the Sailing tab. Once crafted, they can be placed on any floating island, including the starting island, which we recommend for the early hours of the game, and before they know it, they've turned an island into an Airship and can be used to travel across the archipelago.

As the game is currently available as a demo on Steam and will be entering Early Access later this year, this feature is still in development and has a few grey areas with some aspects missing. For example, when placing rudders and sails, they can't be picked up and moved elsewhere on the island, but they can be rotated before being placed, so players must be sure of where they place Ship components on the island.

Get The Field Guide As Soon As Possible

The Field Guide will help players identify what tasks they must complete to cleanse the island from corruption. (Picture: Astrolabe Interactive)

The Field Guide plays a massive role in their explorations of the islands and is a valuable tool in helping them purge the islands from their corruption. To get a Field Guide, they must find a couple of resources, notably Leaves, Rope, and Wood, which combining the items will give them Leaf Cloth and Paper.

This can be done within their Inventory before taking these items to the Workbench and using them to craft the Field Guide. Once they have a Field Guide, they can use it when exploring a corrupted island to learn how to purge the corruption and improve its ecosystem.

Key objectives will be identified after studying the island's ecosystem, which can be viewed within the Field Guide. Some objectives will vary from island to island, such as planting trees and flora, introducing animals and bugs, and adding a Decomposer element, like healthy mushrooms at the trees' base, to help revive the ecosystem.

Crafty With Ideas

Gain knowledge and build a Workbench to begin their crafting projects, which can aid them in exploration, purging corruption or satisfying hunger needs. (Picture: Astrolabe Interactive / Ashleigh Klein))

As mentioned in our previous tip, the Field Guide can be produced by using specific resources to craft this tool. Crafting is first introduced to players when they learn how to craft a Workbench, which is essential and can be placed anywhere on the starting island for the time being.

Once crafted and placed, players can interact with the bench to access the Crafting hub, where they can browse through the many tabs and craft new items using resources. However, they won't find any blueprints or recipes here, as they will have to place various resources into the hopper to unlock or "learn" a new blueprint or recipe before they can craft it.

However, the Workbench isn't the only place where they can craft items, tools, and more; this can also be done from within their Inventory. This excludes furnishings, items, and components for constructing their homes, which have a separate menu to access in-game, which we'll explain further.

Get Creative Or Go Comfy

Don't forget to forage and mine valuable resources, like Leaves, Stone, and Wood, which are essential in crafting. (Picture: Astrolabe Interactive)

Aside from the Multiplayer mode, which was recently introduced for a limited time as a demo, the game features two unique game modes with different gameplay experiences. Creative and Peaceful Modes are available for players to toggle, and each mode presents unique gameplay elements that can help them along their adventures.

Creative Mode is geared toward players striving to invest more time in crafting items for their home and Airship, as well as various Machinery, items, and consumables. This mode essentially sees infinite resources spawn across islands, making crafting much easier or helping players build their homes more efficiently.

On the other hand, Peaceful Mode is for those who wish not to have enemies spawn on corrupted islands and can progress in reviving islands without any interruptions. This could mean they may lose out on receiving various resources that these enemies may drop, which can help them craft specific items to help remove the corruption and more.

Build, Build, Build...

Yes! Players can build their dreamy home atop the floating island using multiple building components, like foundations, furniture, and decor items. (Picture: Astrolabe Interactive)

The game also boasts a building mechanic, key to constructing their home base on a floating island above the clouds in Aloft. Currently, placing building components is a little tricky as they don't respond or snap back as they should; however, players will have a variety of components, including foundations, walls, doors, windows, furnishings, and plenty more, at the start of the game.

They will also be able to craft and place greenery items like grass roofing and wall pieces to enhance their homes further. Additionally, they can create farming sections on their home base and build a workshop area to place various crafting equipment and benches like a sawmill, a Research lab, and an Upgrade Station; the latter two will come in handy when dealing with more challenging objectives to purge the corruption.

As we've stated before, the game is still in development, and players will experience a myriad of technical and gameplay issues for which the developer is continuously working. They'll be adding plenty of new features, mechanics, items, and bug fixes to improve their experiences in-game, for which the demo is available to download from its listing on Steam for PCs.