One way to gain power in Grounded is to make good use of the various Enhancement Stones. These allow you to significantly increase the defense and durability of your armor pieces. They also save components on occasion. Finally, at high level, they will give you specialized tools, in order to survive more easily against bosses and the most formidable enemies.
Required tools and unlocking the forge
To start, you need at least level 1 Stone Hammer . It won't take long to craft the level 2 Insect Hammer, in order to extract the majority of the materials you will come across. Much later you will need a level 3 Hammer.
It is also necessary to advance a little in the main story, by activating the strange machine, then by going to save BURG.L in the laboratory of the oak tree . You must then use the computer screen, and buy the "Forge Post" upgrade for 100 Brute Science . This gives you access to the items you need to craft Fragile Veneers.
Find Fragile Marble
To build the Forge Post, you need a piece of Brittle Quartzite and a piece of Brittle Marble. You will also need huge amounts of it later to craft stones and upgrade your equipment. So take your hammer, and keep an eye on the lookout during your expeditions, in order to spot the large red or bluish stones that give materials. They're all over the game, sometimes in the form of already-shattered shards that you can pick up straight away. But the chances of finding them in caves and canyons are much higher. This is for example the case in the cave of the Secret Four-Leaf Clover.
Here is a map with the areas in which you can find marble (among others). It is not exhaustive, since there are some everywhere in the game, but these are some notable areas. Look for galleries or crevices, then keep your eyes peeled. Please note that the marble does not reappear after extraction. There is no point in searching the area again a few days later.
Craft Fragile Veneers
Once in possession of Marble stocks, use a Workbench to craft Fragile Veneers.
Use the Forge
Using them isn't very intuitive, especially if you forgot to craft the Forge Post . As you must have understood, it is during this stage that it is required. Interact with the anvil, then select the pieces of gear you want to upgrade, which will consume materials. However, there are a few things and tips to know:
- We strongly advise against upgrading level 1 equipment (apart from the Gas Mask). Reserve your materials for level 2 and 3 equipment.
- Upgrading a piece of gear fully repairs it. This is a good way to save materials, killing two birds with one stone. Level 2 and 3 equipment is often quite expensive to repair.
- You can upgrade equipment to level 5 with Brittle Stones, then you need Strong Stones and Cubes, then Jewels.
- From level 6 you can no longer repair equipment normally, you need glue. So be careful before upgrading your gear too much.
High level progression
- Each upgrade to a piece of equipment improves its stats and resistance by 5%, up to level 5. At level 6, you sometimes have to choose between a larger stat bonus (+10%) and a special bonus for armor pieces. This is a permanent choice, and you must craft a new item for the alternate choice.
- From level 8, you need enhancement jewels obtained from beetles and supreme stones.
The situation continues to escalate for V, after a series of missions gone wrong. Here's a walkthrough guide for the sequel, with secrets and items not to miss along the way, like an iconic piece of Johnny Silverhand's armor.