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Sons Of The Forest Kelvin guide: How to heal Kelvin, can he die, and do you need to feed him?

Learn everything you need to know about Kelvin in Sons of the Forest

The player waves at Kelvin as he stands dazed in Sons of the Forest.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Endnight Games

Want to know more about Kelvin in Sons Of The Forest? Kelvin is king in Sons Of The Forest. An ally who survives the helicopter crash at the start of the game, Kelvin is your first companion in Sons Of The Forest, and he's incredibly useful. While the crash leaves him in a shocked state and unable to speak, Kelvin is still capable of carrying out a wide array of orders, and can follow, fish, fetch wood, and build small shelters to help you survive the cannibal-infested island.

In this guide, we'll break down everything you need to know about Kelvin in Sons Of The Forest, including how to find him, whether you need to feed him, if he can fight and die, and a wealth of other important info that you'll need to know.

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Looking for ways to survive your first few days in Sons of the Forest? Watch the video above for 15 essential tips.Watch on YouTube

How to get Kelvin in Sons Of The Forest

When you start a new game, you and Kelvin crash onto the island in a helicopter. When the cutscene ends and you gain control for the first time, have a look around the clearing to find Kelvin injured on the ground nearby.

To get Kelvin as a companion, simply find him on the ground and help him up. This will initiate another short cutscene in which you get Kelvin back on his feet. Once this ends, you can start giving Kelvin commands.

How to use Kelvin effectively in Sons Of The Forest

A player stands by a river in the woods as Kelvin crouches by the water in Sons of the Forest.
If you have bigger exploration and crafting projects to tackle, Kelvin is excellent at taking care of relatively mundane tasks like snatching fish right out of the nearest river. | Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Endnight Games Limited

When Kelvin is your companion, you can issue commands with a notepad by interacting with him. Below, you'll find a full list of commands that you can give Kelvin in Sons Of The Forest:

  • Follow me
  • Get [item] and [drop here, give to me, or follow me]
  • Build [shelter or fire]
  • Stay [here or hidden]
  • Take a break
  • Clear [5, 10, or 20 meters]
  • Take [item]

Out of all these commands, we recommend using Kelvin to build a shelter for your first night. You can always make a tent in Sons Of The Forest, but ordering Kelvin to make a shelter frees you up to collect resources, craft weapons, and find important tools such as the Rebreather.

The "Clear" command is also a consistently excellent one throughout the game, as it makes Kelvin start clearing nearby land in a 5, 10, or 20 meter radius. This isn't a combat command to clear enemies. Instead, he'll start chopping trees, making it easier to build a base. This also lets you get plenty of logs, so that you can start building while Kelvin keeps chopping.

The "Get" commands allows you to order Kelvin to collect sticks, rocks, logs, or fish. With a doubt, the best option here is fish. Food isn't always easy to come by in Sons Of The Forest, but Kelvin is a fishing pro.

If you order Kelvin to get fish, he'll wander to the nearest water source, assume a crouched position, and just grab fish straight out of the water. He'll keep doing so for a short while, or until you give him another command, which makes Kelvin an excellent source of food in Sons Of The Forest.

The "Take" command is also noteworthy, both to hand off weapons and other important tools to Kelvin, but also if you just want to give the poor guy a new change of clothes. Like Sons Of The Forest's other recruitable ally, Virginia, Kelvin can don a wide variety of outfits over the course of the game. These include a Blazer, a Hoodie, a Leather Jacket, a Tactical Jacket, a Tuxedo, and even a cute pair of pink Pyjamas.

Kelvin FAQ: Everything else you need to know about Kelvin

There's so much to learn about Kelvin, and while we've covered the basic facts above, the rest is easier to organise in a nice little FAQ. If you're wondering how to feed Kelvin, whether Kelvin can die, or much more, we have all the answers.

Do you need to feed Kelvin in Sons Of The Forest?

No, you do not need to feed Kelvin in Sons Of The Forest. You also don't need to get water for him. Kelvin may occasionally eat berries, drink water, or sleep, but you do not need to issue these as commands or give him your resources.

Sons of the Forest image showing two players stood in a shaded cabin together in the woods.
Kelvin's truly a resilient fellow, and will take care of himself when you leave him to his own devices. | Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Endnight Games Limited

Can Kelvin fight in Sons Of The Forest?

No, Kelvin cannot fight in Sons Of The Forest. There is no way to give Kelvin a weapon, so he'll simply try to evade attacks during combat.

If you're wondering why Kelvin can't fight, it's because the crash made him deaf and put him in a bit of a daze. For this reason, we'd recommend keeping him away from dangerous situations.

While Kelvin cannot fight, he is able to warn you of incoming enemies if he sees them. He'll do so by running over to you and pointing in their direction, so consider using Kelvin as a lookout if you need someone watching your back. Just be ready to defend him when enemies do arrive.

Can you heal Kelvin in Sons Of The Forest?

You can heal Kelvin in Sons Of The Forest, but only when he drops to the ground. This will happen if he takes enough damage from either you or enemies.

To heal Kelvin, you must walk over to him and interact with him in his downed state. This will make you revive him from the ground, as you would a fellow player while playing Sons Of The Forest multiplayer.

Can Kelvin die in Sons Of The Forest?

A player stands over Kelvin's corpse with a bloody axe in Sons of the Forest.
You can kill Kelvin with your own two hands, but why would you ever do such a thing? Why! | Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Endnight Games Limited

Yes, Kelvin can die in Sons Of The Forest. He can either be killed by cannibals or mutants, or by the player.

Fortunately, Kelvin is already quite good at staying safe. He won't follow you into caves, for example, which means you're on your own if you want to get the shovel or find the keycards in Sons Of The Forest.

If Kelvin does succumb to the cannibal attacks, or if you decide to kill him yourself, then he won't respawn at all for the rest of your save. However, you can revive Kelvin (and Virginia, the other main companion) by tinkering with your save file.

Can you get rid of Kelvin?

If you'd rather get rid of Kelvin and work alone without killing him, that's also an option. Simply use the "Take a break" command to order Kelvin to rest. He'll go idle and stay roughly in the location where you leave him, but this allows you to run off and do your own thing without his help.

If you're looking for a more permanent solution to remove Kelvin from the island - or existence - then obviously just grab the nearest weapon. Be warned, though, that we'd strongly recommend keeping Kelvin alive, as he is incredibly useful for helping you survive in the early game.

If he's really annoying you, just leave him resting by a creek. You never know when you might need him back.

What updates has Kelvin received since Sons of the Forest's launch?

Kelvin's been through quite a lot since Sons of the Forest first entered Early Access in 2023. The game's subsequent patches have focused quite a bit on cleaning up his occasionally erratic behaviour (such as randomly dropping radios and destroying them in Patch 01) and becoming more resilient (no longer shall Kelvin burn to death while walking over firepits in your base, as of Patch 02).

Perhaps Kelvin's first adjustment in Patch 01 addressed one of his most notorious quirks: that he would frequently chop down trees used to build treehouses. This would send player bases crashing to the ground, and was an infuriating way to watch your progress disappear. This patch also balanced his food-gathering skills, ensuring that he no longer stood around catching fish indefinitely.

That wraps up our guide on Kelvin in Sons Of The Forest. If you've delivered Kelvin a swift death and now need to fend for yourself, take a look at our guide on how to make a fire. When you're ready to explore further, you can learn how to find useful tools such as the Modern Axe, Stun Baton, Pistol, Shotgun, and more.

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About the Author
Hayden Hefford avatar

Hayden Hefford

Former Guides Writer

Hayden was a guides writer for RPS between 2021-2023. They're a big fan of survival games, especially those that focus on the undead. Zombies. Walkers. Shamblers. Whatever you call them, Hayden is definitely a fan.