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How to get the Shovel in Sons of the Forest

Where to find the Shovel Cave, and how to get in and out in one piece

How do you get the Shovel in Sons Of The Forest? The Shovel is an essential tool in Endnight's survival horror, Sons Of The Forest. Without it, you cannot hope to progress beyond the early game, because it's required to access important items like the Sons Of The Forest Keycards.

Using the Shovel, you can dig up buried objects, graves, and - most importantly - hidden bunker hatches containing lots of unique loot. The bad news is that finding the Shovel isn't straightforward, and you need to get a few other items first before you're ready to take on the cave in which you find the Shovel.

Follow this guide to learn the exact Shovel location in Sons Of The Forest, and how to obtain the Shovel itself with ease.

On this page:

Sons Of The Forest Shovel location

Expand map
To get the Shovel, you must first get the Rebreather and Rope Gun. All three locations are shown on this map.

To get the Shovel in Sons Of The Forest, head to the cave system marked on the map above. The cave is found along the edge of a stream not far from the western edge of the island's central mountain. You'll know it by the three bodies mounted on spikes outside the cave entrance.

You need a few items in order to navigate this cave and obtain the Shovel, so before going inside, make sure you have the following items:

  • Rebreather
  • Rope Gun
  • Grenade or Time Bomb

The Rebreather is the first item you need to get, and is found in a cave on the north coast of the island. It helps you breathe for far longer underwater, which is important for accessing the Shovel because the Shovel cave has a couple of long underwater sections. Follow our guide on how to get the Rebreather in Sons Of The Forest for full details.

The Rope Gun, also known as the Zipline Gun, is located in a cave to the south-east of the Shovel cave. You need the Rope Gun to access the main part of the Shovel cave, so don't even bother going after the Shovel before you've got the Rope Gun. Consult our guide on how to get the Rope Gun in Sons Of The Forest to learn more.

Finally, you'll need explosives in order to exit the cave after you obtain the Shovel. So make sure you have either a Grenade or a Time Bomb in your inventory before you delve into the Shovel cave.

How to get the Shovel in Sons Of The Forest

In this video, I reveal the quickest path to the Shovel in Sons Of The Forest, and in the process I show how you can simply run past all the enemies in your way instead of fighting them if you wish.

The Shovel cave contains a great many Cave Cannibals and Mutant Babies, as well as several Fingers and Twins (and one Sluggy, but you won't have to fight it). So you should also make sure to bring along a powerful early weapon, such as the Stun Baton or Pistol.

When you arrive, we'd recommend making a Tent outside so that you can save your game. You'll also find Rope on the ground nearby.

If you want a quick step by step walkthrough of the Shovel cave, then consult the step by step list below, or check out the video walkthrough above. If you want a bit more detail on how to get your hands on the Shovel, then continue reading for a full walkthrough of the cave.

How to get the Shovel:

  1. Use the Rope Gun to ride the zipline above the drop in front of you.
  2. Dive into the water below and follow the tunnel underwater.
  3. Fight the Cave Cannibals waiting for you after you resurface.
  4. Collect the Wetsuit from the ground where the Cave Cannibals were waiting.
  5. Once you reach the end of the path, slide down into another pool.
  6. Follow the lit path to the right of the pool, looting containers as you go.
  7. Head through the crack in the wall and kill the next group of Cave Cannibals.
  8. Follow the path and kill or bypass the Fingers and Twins in the next cavern area.
  9. Kill the Mutant Babies in the corridor at the end of the cavern.
  10. Press onward past the suspended corpses in the ceiling.
  11. Dive into the water and follow the underwater tunnel using the Rebreather.
  12. Kill the Cave Cannibals and Fingers waiting for you after you resurface.
  13. Follow the path to the right and clear the final cavern of Twins, Fingers, and Babies.
  14. Loot the Shovel from the worker's corpse at the end of the cavern.
The player in Sons Of The Forest prepares to use their Rope Gun to attach to a zipline in a cave.

Once inside the cave, use the Rope Gun to ride the zipline above you. You'll drop down onto the edge of a pool of water. Dive into the pool and follow the underwater tunnel with the help of your Rebreather until you resurface.

The player in Sons Of The Forest shines their flashlight on a bloodied Cave Cannibal enemy in a cave.

Kill the group of Cave Cannibals waiting for you, and if needed, loot their bodies for Creepy Armor to protect you from further attacks. On the ground to the right is a Wetsuit which you can wear to avoid gaining the wet debuff while underwater.

The player in Sons Of The Forest follows a light source in a cave.

Press onward until you reach a watery slope. Slide down the slope into another pool of water. From there, get out of the pool and double back around the right-hand side of the slope, where you'll find a path lit by various floor lights. Loot the containers on the ground as you go, and remember this location as you'll need to return to it later.

A Twin enemy in Sons Of The Forest attacks the player in a cave.

Squeeze through the crack in the wall and kill the next group of Cave Cannibals. Follow the path at the end of this cavern, and you'll emerge into an even more dangerous cavern guarded by Twins and Fingers who you can either carefully kill one at a time, or simply run past.

The player in Sons Of The Forest scouts a large group of mutants in a cave from the safety of a body of water.

Continue down the path at the end of the cavern, past the corpses suspended in the ceiling, and then dive into the water at the end of the pathway. Once again, you'll emerge and immediately be faced with a group of enemies. You can either kill them normally or bait them into lunging into the deep water towards you, where they'll instantly drown.

The player in Sons Of The Forest loots the Shovel from a corpse in a cave.

Press onward and follow the path to the right, where you'll come across the final cavern, guarded by Twins, Fingers, and Babies. Once they're dealt with, walk to the end of the cavern and you'll see the corpse of a worker slumped against a wall. On the worker's body is the Shovel. Interact with the Shovel to pick it up.

How to get out of the Shovel cave

A player shines a torch on a writhing mutant in Sons of the Forest.

Once you've found the Shovel, you must turn back and retrace your steps in order to leave the cave. Head back the way you came until you reach the crack in the wall that you squeezed through just after the water slide.

As you approach, part of the side of the cave wall burst open suddenly, and a large writhing Sluggy mutant will appear. Don't be alarmed! It's trapped in the gap and cannot move. To exit the cave, you need to kill the Sluggy and follow that new path up to the surface.

This is where the explosives come in handy. Equip a grenade or time bomb and chuck it at the mutant. When it explodes, you'll be able to pass through the new path until you reach the exit of the cave. It takes a while to get out, but it's a simple linear path from here, with just a few Mutant Babies on the ground for you to kill or bypass before you finally reach the surface with your new prize - the Shovel.

How to use the Shovel

You can't use the Shovel anywhere you like in Sons Of The Forest. You can only use it at predetermined locations where there is something to dig up, such as a grave, or a bunker hatch.

Once you're at a location that you think has something buried, simply equip your Shovel, look down, and you'll see a marker on the ground showing where you can dig. Hold left-click to start digging. Be sure to move the marker around a bit so that you uncover everything in the area, because some things (like bunker hatches) require you to fully excavate them before they can be used.

Now that you have the Shovel, you are able to find some incredibly important items, such as the Shotgun. Those wanting to explore caves further should also learn how to get the keycards in Sons of the Forest, which also requires the Shovel.

That wraps up our guide on how to find the Shovel in Sons of the Forest. If this seems harder than you expected, there's no need to rush. Focus on meeting your basic survival needs first by learning how to get water in Sons of the Forest and how to make a fire in Sons of the Forest. If you want to whip up a base for your first night, consider finding the Modern Axe in Sons of the Forest, so that you can chop down trees faster.

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About the Author
Ollie Toms avatar

Ollie Toms

Guides Editor

Ollie is sheriff of Guidestown at RPS, and since joining the team in 2018, he's written over 1,000 guides for the site. He loves playing dangerously competitive games and factory sims, injuring himself playing badminton, and burying his face in the warm fur of his two cats.

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