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Merge Survival: Wasteland Beginner’s Guide: Tips, Tricks & Strategies for Finding Life and Happiness in a Dying World

Global warming! A terrible way for civilization to go. A thermonuclear war would have been a frightening death, but at least it might have been relatively quick. But global warming, pollution, and negligence, now that’s a slow, painful, undignified demise as nature proved to mankind that it could not be tamed. An apocalypse that went by unnoticed, or more accurately, deliberately ignored by everyone who had the power to stop it until it was far too late to reverse.

Eden slams their foot on the gas pedal, driving as fast as they could away from the gunfire, just as Liam yelled at them to while distracting the armed men away from their camper van. Eden thinks happy thoughts; after all, Liam once told them there’s no time to cry about anything when the apocalypse itself is following right behind you.

merge survival wasteland guide

As Eden’s tired little vehicle rattles its way across the rough roadless desert, they spot it: A tiny little sprout! Where there are plants, there’s breathable air. Eden parks the van next to the plant and inhales. For the first time in a long time, something other than smog-corrupted dust or sterilized, stale bottled oxygen enters their lungs.

It’s now or never, time to put everything Liam had taught them to the test. Eden sets up camp. Day by day, the little sprout grows into a mighty apple tree as Eden shows it some love and care. Precious water fills the still they set up. The base camp starts looking more and more like home, a safe haven in the middle of a hot, dry, polluted hell.

Even with the constant fear of raiders arriving to gun them down and take everything they’d worked so hard for, Eden finds time to rescue a dog, enjoy some expired ramen, and drink clean water. Humanity may be ending, but Eden, their dog Seed, and the not-so-little apple tree in their camp certainly do their part to slow things down.

merge survival wasteland gameplay

Welcome to our Merge Survival Wasteland Beginner’s Guide! Merge Survival Wasteland is, unlike its name implies, a fairly relaxing merge crafting game where you make various items to complete quests and progress Eden’s story as they build their base camp during the end of civilization. The board is persistent across all quests, rather than being a level-based game where the board is reset every round.

It has a highly environmentalist bent, with the loading screens mostly consisting of survival tips, tips on recycling and reusing old materials, and quotes about taking care of the environment before nature decides to take care of us violently. It encourages saving blocks for later, so the board will be fairly cramped after a while.


merge survival wasteland tight space
Might be time to clear some room… Nah, later!

Most of your time in the game will be spent on the Board, completing quests by crafting the items needed to progress. Quests are typically shown as very basic tasks to complete a bigger task, such as cleaning an abandoned park being broken apart into taking a deep breath by crafting Oxygen-based items, petting your dog, usually with Work Gloves or its upgrades, then sweeping the floor and picking up the trash with a Reed Broom and Garden Fork.

The Board will fill up quickly, but unlike most Matching or Merging games, you can’t actually lose and you can simply Sell items to get rid of them. That said, you can make your life utterly miserable by selling Production Blocks, which are critical to progression and incredibly difficult to replace once lost. Managing your board and Inventory Space, keeping an eye on your Production Block cooldowns, and plain old luck are needed to do well here.

If Selling, Sell The Common Junk First

merge survival wasteland get out
Now it’s time to clean up!

Say your board is getting rather cramped. This isn’t too big of a problem since blocks have free movement across the board, but it can get annoying, and you can’t spawn new blocks on a full board. In that case, you’ll have to sell some blocks. You’ll have to prioritize selling the blocks you can make with Production Blocks, and the lower their level, the better. 

This will also get you some money, though unlike reward blocks higher level items are worth less than the total amount of level 1 blocks used to form them. That being said, those higher-level blocks are worth more money for the space they occupy, so we’ll have a relevant tip about that later in the section for managing Coins and Gems.

Production Structures Recharge When Merged

merge survival wasteland merge charge 1
merge survival wasteland merge charge 2
Not the best time to do this, but this example gets the point across.

If you’ve got two identical Production Blocks, it may be a good idea to let them go on cooldown first by using them up before merging them, at least if you’ve got Energy to burn and a quest to finish: If you merge two Production Blocks whether or not they’re empty, used or untouched, they will recharge instantly.

Again, this is mostly useful if you’ve got Energy in reserve and want to break open a high-level Dirty Block, or if you’ve got a string of quests to finish and all of them require that Production Block you’re about to upgrade.

Keep A Low-Level Production Block Handy

merge survival wasteland tool container
Fewer drops mean less randomness.

Another idea is to keep a low-level Production Block handy: While upgrading Production Blocks generally makes them better by allowing them to randomly make stronger materials and last longer before needing a cooldown, they also tend to start dropping a second item with its own item tree. While vital for progression, you’ll notice this gets annoying when the Tool Container suddenly starts spamming you with Garden Forks when you need Cleaning Gloves!

Meanwhile, the lowest usable level of some Production Blocks will normally make only one kind of item, case in point the lowest level usable Tool Container makes nothing but Cleaning Gloves. After getting an upgraded Production Block, try to get a low-level version of it, then either keep the low-level Block forever or merge it only once you have enough dupes to upgrade your main Production Block of that type, and not before.

Note that this is a tip for earlier items or items with roughly even rarities for their multiple item types such as the Toolbox family, Tool Container family, and any other Production Block that starts out able to produce only one item: There isn’t any point not to merge later Production Blocks like the Survival Bag and Trash Can, since those start with two available items anyway, and the Apple Tree rarely ever makes Twigs once they become available since those are a rare item.

Production Tiles Have Cooldown Timers

merge survival wasteland no merge
No! Not while we’re so close!

Most Production Blocks (there are some exceptions such as the Still) like the Toolbox expend energy to generate Material Blocks such as Nails and Work Gloves. You’d think being able to watch Ads for Energy means you can spam them pretty hard, but nope! If you use a Production Block too much, it’ll enter a cooldown period of roughly 45 minutes to 1 hour, where you either have to wait or throw Gems at it to cool down immediately.

Save Container Blocks For Future Quests

merge survival wasteland boxes
Expired ramen as far as the eye can see, we’ll never starve again!

Container Blocks, in particular Wood Piles and Ration Boxes, are best saved for when they’re needed, especially early in the game when they cannot be crafted. Usually, they’re to be used only in any quest that requires some sort of food item or wood.

Sometimes, the game will ask you for some of the mid or lower-tier items that can be merged from their drops, so trying to spam them and merge their contents into high-tier stuff immediately can make it tougher for you to finish quests that may require oh say, Biscuits or Level 2 Wood Piles.

You can use Piggy Banks and Batteries anytime as long as you’ve merged them to their highest tiers though. That being said, you can get one lv1 Ration Box every day, and you can eventually get Base Camp crafting stations for all other container blocks barring Batteries and Piggy Banks.

Get Level 2 Firewood Blocks Early On

merge survival wasteland distiller
You want a low flame to keep the heat going longer.

Early in the game, you may find yourself being given Wood Piles, a form of Container Block that releases Log Piles and Twigs. While it may be tempting to level the Twigs to Level 3 Firewood (The maximum that block goes) by merging them whenever possible, it may be better to keep them at Level 2 early on: You will eventually unlock a Distiller, a device in your camp that boils impurities out of dirty water to make it drinkable.

It specifically takes Level 2 Firewood and Lighters, which are unlocked once you get the Survival Backpack, then merge 2 Matches, which drop from said bag. Once you feed it a Lighter and Level 2 Firewood, it will spend 6 minutes distilling a Cup Of Water block for you. Later on, you can get a more advanced Distiller that uses more advanced blocks as material, but that’s for later.


merge survival wasteland piggy bank
Just because the apocalypse is here doesn’t mean you can stop saving up!

Gems and Coins can do a lot to make life easier in the game, but only when used wisely since hyperinflation means everything is rather expensive. This means you will normally guard both jealously until you find something in the Shop that will either allow you to inch toward a long-term goal like a new or upgraded Production Block, or something cheap but annoying to find like [Cloth Gloves].

On the other hand, things like rushing Production Block cooldowns are small wastes of money that are nonetheless capable of piling up and making it harder to move forward in the long term.

Don’t Sell Blocks Until It’s Absolutely Necessary

merge survival wasteland sell time
Okay, maybe it IS time to make some space.

Usually, you won’t want to sell blocks if you can help it since the board is persistent. You can make and merge a ton of blocks for one quest because the game won’t give you the blocks you need now.

Then you notice later that half your mission objectives in the next set of quests are already fulfilled by all the junk you hoarded from the last set of quests! The only time to sell is when you’re already almost out of space, and by that we mean you barely have one row’s worth of open spaces left!

Never Sell Production Blocks

merge survival wasteland selling block
You fool! You’ll doom us all!

The game lets you sell Production Blocks for some silly reason, which is an immensely stupid thing to do. Your main unlimited Production Blocks are absolutely essential to progress and, while technically replaceable, are incredibly difficult to do so.

The Toolbox, Still, Apple Tree/Sapling, Tool Container, and Reformed Box are absolutely needed to progress the quests since they make the very basic blocks needed for most of the quests. They can also be upgraded to create more and higher tier material blocks before cooling down.

Sell those, and you’ll likely get stuck! Thankfully, the game will warn you if you’re about to sell any Production or Container Block, or any of its respective low-level component Blocks.

Merge Piggy Banks and Batteries Before Use

merge survival wasteland piggy bank
Higher–Higher tier Reward Containers have a chance to drop higher tier rewards.

While other container blocks might be best used after merging but may be needed for use immediately, for the Piggy Banks and Batteries this is never the case. Since they don’t drop actual material blocks, you’ll never really need them for quests, and they’re worth the most if you can merge them before using them since they’re destroyed once empty, unlike normal Production Blocks.

Merge Gems, Coins, EXP, and Energy Blocks Before Use

merge survival wasteland max exp
Greater than the sum of its parts.

Gems, Coins, EXP, and Energy Blocks are usually given to you as rewards, either from Container Blocks such as Batteries and Coin Banks or by merging high-level Material blocks together. You can merge these reward blocks too, and doing so raises the amount they reward by quite a lot, with the highest-level Reward Blocks being worth roughly twice as much as the total worth of the lv1 reward blocks used to craft them. The only reason to collect Reward Blocks early is if your board is out of space, and even then you can still sell less valuable Blocks first to make space.                                                                        

Save Gems For Production Block Parts

merge survival wasteland shop
Nothing quite worth spending on at the moment.

The writer had spent their gems to cool Production Blocks down only to see parts to craft said Blocks on sale in the shop. Avoid such idiocy! Make sure you save all your gems to buy Production Block parts like Wooden Rods, Zipper Locks, Tarps, and Lv1 Stills.

That way, you can more quickly upgrade your Production Blocks and have them last longer or have spares in case they go on cooldown while you still have Energy to spend and a quest to finish. You can also save these Gems to repair auto-Production Blocks like Stills and Solar Panels after they inevitably break down. Gems are a precious resource that can be tough to find, and you should save these Gems for the long haul.

Never Use Gems To Rush Cooldowns

merge survival wasteland no merge
Throwing money at a problem doesn’t always work, that’s how this apocalypse happened in the first place!

Using Gems to rush cooldowns is a great way to waste them. Not only does this make it harder for you to buy items to upgrade your Production Blocks with, but the reset Production Block goes on cooldown again!

You’ll quickly notice that a Production Block that rushed its cooldown with Gems tends to go on cooldown much, much faster than something that was allowed to wait for the whole cooldown, meaning your gems didn’t go as far as they could have. Our writer immediately regretted doing this when they saw Wooden Rods for sale in the Shop.

Backpack Storage

Backpack space is pretty tight, and new backpack slots will rapidly ramp up in price as you buy them. Make sure you use them well: A good way to use those slots is to store either Container Blocks, Water Blocks, Ration Blocks, or high-level Material Blocks. Container Blocks, in particular, are a good choice, since you typically only need to use them after you’ve merged them to their final level, meaning leaving them on the board unused is a bad idea.


merge survival wasteland base camp
A little patch of life in the middle of a dying planet.

The Base Camp is Eden’s home away from the apocalypse, and the story mostly revolves around their efforts to make it a comfortable yet sustainable place. The Base Camp is vital to completing Quests on the board: It has crafting stations that let you use normal Blocks deployed on the Board to create Container Blocks that drop materials you may need in Quests, but cannot create from normal Production Blocks.

This means you will likely hoard some emergency materials in case a quest requires something like Wheat or Broken Furniture contents. The Base Camp is also your main source of Water blocks, specifically the Cup of Water. Here are some tips relevant to the Base Camp’s abilities and usage.


merge survival wasteland exploration map
One man’s trash, another man’s treasure.

If you look at the bottom left of the Base Camp’s screen, you’ll spot a button with a compass icon on it. That’s the Exploration button, where you send characters out to look for stuff, or new places to find stuff in. Exploring the Base Camp’s map is a good way to get materials, in particular the things needed to create Production Blocks.

Early on it can be pretty annoying since the prices always go up and up every exploration trip after the first daily free trip per character, along with the lack of locations. Spend the early game telling Seed to search the Base Camp since they can’t do anything else, and tell Eden to look for new locations until you find a few areas that drop Production Block materials like the Workshop, Orchard, Factory (Especially the Factory, since the Toolbox will be your eternal bane!) or Hospital.

After that, you can have Eden search those places for loot until you get Sophia on your roster. Afterward, you can use at least 1 of them to look for loot while the other searches for new areas! As for Joy and Seed, Seed can only search in the Base Camp and Joy in the Base Camp and Market, since it would be unsafe for them to go elsewhere.


merge survival wasteland busted furniture
Now why we don’t just craft some GOOD furniture, we’ll never know.

The Crafting tables in the Base Camp are some of the biggest reasons for you to hoard blocks and keep your Board space to a small but tolerable minimum. The two Distillers, the Dry Tree, the Wheat Field, the Abandoned Furniture pile, and all the other crafting stations you can unlock by progressing the story can create various Container Blocks and other items if you have certain Blocks deployed on the Board.

While we suggest always collecting the Water from the Still, the water from the Distillers and the stuff you make in the other Crafting tables might be better off left in the tables or the Reward Inventory and only deployed on the Board when needed or wanted.

Always Collect the Water

merge survival wasteland water
Have a drink!

Once you’ve built the Still (Both the Board Still and the Base Camp Still), you’ll never want for water again provided you collect them punctually. The Base Camp Still drops one Cup of Water every hour and puts it in your Reward Inventory. The game will often ask you for a Cup of Water in dang near every quest line you run into at least once, and later on, will ask you for higher-tier water items. Pick them up, but don’t deploy them immediately!

Deploy Block Rewards Only When An Opportunity Presents Itself

merge survival wasteland 12 rewards
Dropping all the rewards immediately may result in a clogged board.

After a quest, you’ll notice the upper left of the Board’s screen light up with stuff. That’s what you tap to deploy Rewards and Crafted blocks to the board.

While you should always collect the water bucket once you get your camp Still running, you shouldn’t drop it into the board immediately: Your Reward inventory has infinite space, unlike your board and your actual Inventory, the downside being the fact you can’t pick which block to deploying into the Board from the Reward list, as it defaults to whichever is your newest received reward.

The best time to deploy those Reward blocks is if one of them is needed for a quest, or if some of them can be merged, especially if they’re new Production Blocks or Piggy Banks. Otherwise, they carry a high risk of clogging up your board in which case you might have to sell a few blocks.

This ends out Merge Survival Wasteland Beginner’s Guide. We hope this helps you keep Eden and their friends alive and happy in their corner of the end. If you have your own tips, share them in the comment section below!


Tuesday 9th of April 2024

Love this thank you. The only thing is I am trying to repair my on board still and can’t figure out how to do it.