How to Get Food in Raft: Barrels, Islands, and Fishing

A beginner's guide to the best ways of finding food in Raft.

Learning how to get food is one of the first things you need to do in any survival game and Raft is no different. It’s relatively straightforward to gather plastic, planks, and palm leaves via your trusty hook. Yet food isn’t something you can just grab out the ocean. At least not consistently or in the standard way. Late-game players will have already figured it out, but for the newcomers, here are some of the best ways to get food in Raft!

In the 1.0 version of Raft, there are three main ways to get food in the early game: barrels, islands, and fishing, each detailed below. Any food is necessary for survival, but the option you choose at any given moment will likely vary depending on your current situation.

how to get food in raft barrel

Barrels – How to Get Food in Raft

This is the simplest tip for how to get food in Raft. Every barrel you come across has a chance to have raw potatoes or raw beets inside. Just throw your hook at the barrel and reel it in to see what you get. While convenient, this method rarely gets you more than one or two items of food, if it provides any at all. It’s far too unreliable to do consistently.

The best thing to do with potatoes and beets is to instead plant them in crop plots. Located in the “Food & Water” section of the crafting menu, a small crop plot can fit up to three beets, potatoes, or flowers. Even if you only get one or two potatoes from a barrel, crop plots can help you exponentially increase your stock by multiplying your vegetables. After which you can cook potatoes and beets on a grill before eating them.

Just be careful. Wildlife can make off with your food supply both intentionally and unintentionally.

Birds will fly onto crop plots to steal growing plants directly. You can identify them by the squawking noise they make. If you see one perch on your plot, just run up close to scare it away. You can also build a scarecrow as a sort of “shield” against avian enemies. This won’t work on the shark, however, which can destroy foundation boards at the edges of your raft. For this reason: don’t build structures on the outside of your ship at all. At least not before it’s been reinforced. Keep grills, plots, and storage towards the center of your vessel.

how to get food in raft pineapple island

Islands – How to Get Food in Raft

It might seem like your raft is floating in an endless ocean at first, but there are actually a ton of islands that you can encounter. In order to reach them, you’re going to need another tool: the paddle. You can find the paddle in the “Navigation” section of your crafting menu. To make one, you’ll need planks, plastic, and rope.

Then just wait for an island to come into view. Use the paddle near the water (i.e. at the outer edge of your ship) to maneuver your raft towards it. Unless you’ve crafted a throwable anchor, you’ll have to run your raft into the sand on the beach to keep it from moving.

Really, though, you should build an anchor… Don’t ever get off your raft unless you’re sure it’s secure. There’s no easy way to retrieve it, so it’s a pain to have to swim after it.

Once you’re on an island, the main things to look for are fruits. Pineapples and watermelons can be found growing on the ground. You can also get mangos and coconuts if you chop down trees. In any of these instances, you’re likely to find seeds. While these can be grown into plants and trees, you need a medium or large plot crop, which you likely won’t have access to yet at the start of the game.

how to get food in raft fishing

Fishing – How to Get Food in Raft

For beginners wondering how to get food in Raft, this is by far the easiest, most reliable, and most filling way to do so. Fish can also be used to craft items like shark bait. That makes fishing something you should do even if you’re not in it for the nutrients.

The first thing you have to do is craft a fishing rod. You can find it under the “Tools” section of the crafting menu. Make one using planks and rope (which you can make yourself if you need more). Now, all that’s left is to do is fish, which is actually very easy to do in Raft. Click and hold the left mouse button to cast your line into the sea, then wait for a bite. Once you get one, just click the left mouse button again to reel the fish toward yourself. You don’t need bait.

Once grilled, fish fill your food gauge by more than almost any other meal in the early stages of a Raft game. That makes it a great way to keep yourself fed that requires no extra space for things like crop plots.

Now you know how to get food in Raft! If you want more tips on the game, check out our guides on what to do with blueprints, what to do with vine goo, or how to pause. Whatever you do, now you won’t be starving while you do it.