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Sons of the Forest Kelvin Companion Guide: How to use Kelvin and other companions

Oh, Kelvin.

Update: Sons of the Forest has received a few updates since it first launched into Early Access, and some of these have changed how the AI functions in-game. We've updated this Sons of the Forest Kelvin Companion Guide to be up to scratch with any changes made to the game.

Kelvin has quite quickly become a beloved character in Sons of the Forest. He’s a little odd at the best of times, causes as much chaos as he is useful, and people love having this strange soldier for company.

Stranded on a vast island full of cannibals and mutants, your only friend, really, is Kelvin. That, and any other poor folk you roped into the horror-survival game with you. Kelvin, despite not being able to speak or hear, can prove an invaluable ally in a pinch.

So, here's our guide on how to use Kelvin and other companions in Sons of the Forest.


How to get Kelvin in Sons of the Forest

When you first kick things off in Sons of the Forest, your helicopter comes crashing down on the island.

When you awake on the island and can finally control your character, your first job should be looting the crash site. While doing this, keep an eye (and ear) out for Kelvin rolling around on the floor somewhere.

The player looks at Kelvin in the downed state at the crash site in Sons of the Forest
Here's Kelvin in the downed state at one of the helicopter crash sites.

When you find him, interact with him to help him to his feet. You’ll perform a check on him, and viola, Kelvin is your companion, and you can command him to do whatever you need, within reason.

If you’re looking to recruit the three-legged woman, Virginia, as a companion, we detail how in our guide on how to get Virginia in Sons of the Forest.

How to use Kelvin in Sons of the Forest

To use Kelvin in Sons of the Forest, you can give him commands using his notepad. All you need to do is approach and interact with him, and then choose what you’d like him to do.

The commands that you can give Kelvin are as follows:

  • Follow me
  • Build shelter, fire, or finish structure
  • Get X and drop here, give to me, or follow me
  • Stay here, or hidden
  • Take a break
  • Clear 5, 10, or 20 metres
  • Take item

On that note, Kelvin is pretty useful for gathering resources and building structures. You can ask him to grab things like logs, sticks, and rocks, deposit them wherever you want, and also then ask him to build a shelter, fire, or finish off a blueprint you placed.

When playing solo, Kelvin comes in clutch and saves you some time getting started before winter creeps in. You can also ask that Kelvin retrieves fish for you, which is great if you’re in dire need of food.

The player watches Kelvin fish in Sons of the Forest
Here's Kelvin looking questionable while catching fish.

The ‘Clear 5, 10, 20 metres’ command can prove useful too, which will have Kelvin chopping trees and gathering resources across an area, so you can prepare to build away. Similarly, if a fight breaks out, and you want to keep your companion safe, you can have Kelvin ‘stay hidden’. And if he’s annoying you, just tell him to take a break.

The player watches Kelvin chop down trees for logs in Sons of the Forest
ere's me making Kelvin engage in deforestation at gunpoint.

It’s also worth noting that previously, Kelvin could unintentionally become an agent of destruction in Sons of the Forest . If you’ve built a treehouse, for example, you'd previously have to take caution when sending Kelvin to collect logs, because if you were unlucky, he could foolishly chop down the tree your base resides on.

Fortunately, Kelvin no longer does this, so your bases are safe from this agent of chaos when you send him logging.

Do companions need food and water in Sons of the Forest?

Companions in Sons of the Forest, such as Kelvin and Virginia, do not need you to provide food and water for them. You’ll often notice Kelvin keeping himself catered to by snacking on berries and napping by the fire (too often, in my opinion).

The player watched Kelvin take a break by the campfire in Sons of the Forest
Kelvin will take a break, eat berries, and consume water all by himself. He might not be able to speak or hear, but he knows how to survive.

The only survival needs you have to worry about in Sons of the Forest are your own.

Can companions fight in Sons of the Forest?

Yes, and no. Kelvin will not fight in Sons of the Forest, but Virginia will.

So, when you’re protecting your base from hordes of cannibals, expect to see Kelvin do a lot of standing around. On the other hand, however, Virginia will help you out against hostile enemies. You can give her a weapon to wield, and off she goes.

That said, Kelvin will help alert you to nearby enemies by stopping and pointing at them. It's not very helpful when cannibals come running over to your base, but it at least warns you to prepare for trouble.

Can companions die in Sons of the Forest?

Yes. Companions like Kelvin and Virginia can and will die in Sons of the Forest. So, be sure to not use them as test dummies, because their blood will be on your hands forever.

Even if you have no intentions of killing them, the enemies around the island do. So, you’ll want to try to protect companions where possible. They’re quite sensible in that companions can’t swim, won’t follow you into caves, and are generally slow to catch up with you.

The player looks at Kelvin's corpse in Sons of the Forest
If Kelvin or another companion dies, they won't come back naturally. Here, I killed Kelvin for science, and I can confirm, he doesn't revive himself.

As far as I’m aware, companions don’t appear to die off-screen either. If Kelvin or Virginia do take too much damage during a fight, they will be downed. You can revive either of them by interacting with them, but once they’re dead, they’re gone for good.

That said, you can revive companions if you don’t mind messing with your game files or using console commands.


That’s all for our guide to Kelvin and companions. For more, don’t forget to check out Virginia’s capabilities as a companion, how to get Keycards, and how to get some golden armor for the end-game.

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