Having recently completed Return of the Obra Dinn without using guides, we can appreciate the struggle. We recommend not using guides to complete the game, but have some spoiler-free tips below in case you would like to fast track!

There are various moments that serve as choke points in the game. If your experience is like ours, most of the comes in the mid-late game, when you have a good number of the easier officers but do not have some of the seamen, topmen, passengers.

General tips the game does not reveal

  • You do not need to understand ship lingo or the roles of officers, beyond what the in-game glossary contains
  • Nationality plays a big part in determining groupings, visual identification
  • Characters of similar roles like to spend time together
  • The book itself, from front to back, provides a lot of great details for deduction, by default
  • Don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith from time to time and guess. The best logic puzzles require some guesswork to move forward
  • Unsure if a character description is correct? The moment the game rewards you for solving three fates, check your “Crew” sheet on page three. If you had totally filled in a Crew member’s details and they were not marked as solved, something about the description is incorrect.
Return of the Obra Dinn Notebook

Most helpful Chapters for uncovering information

Please find a list of the most helpful chapters for me, starting with the most helpful and going from there:

  1. Chapter II: Part 1 – In my opinion, the most important chapter in the game. If this comes as a shock to you, check again and then check AGAIN!
  2. Chapter VII: Part 8 – This got me through some of the earlier sections. A lot to see and do here
  3. Chapter III: Part 2 – This is great for cleaning up a lot of potential missing pieces, since it happens later in the sequence of unlocked events
  4. Chapter VII: Part 1 – This chapter got me out of a mental block, midway through the game
  5. Chapter VI: Part 7 – Look at this one a couple of times