Hunger is the value representing how well fed your character is and affects the speed of regeneration of major attributes. Hunger is depleted by Hard Stamina regeneration. If hunger reaches zero it will start to deplete your Soft HP resulting in a hunger fainting and death.
Another part of the hunger system is Food Complexity. The more ingredients were used in the cooking process of a given meal, the greater the complexity of that meal. Complexity is calculated when eating food.
- Example: If you start with a fish which has 100 quality, then fry it and eat it, you will end up with 20 complexity of your eaten food. But if you begin with the same quality fish and add with quality 100 potatoes, onions, wine and cabbage (five ingredients!!!), the result could be fish stew with 100 quality and 100 complexity once you will eat it. Five ingredients is the maximum you can use per recipe.
The game server stores the Food Complexity of last 5 meals your character has eaten. The sum of these numbers is used in the calculation of Food multiplier.
The Food multiplier directly affects the amount of increase of ALL of your skills. The Food multiplier consists of two parts: Hunger and Complexity summed over the last five meals eaten. Food multiplier formula is as follows:
- FoodMult = Last5MealsComplexity × Hunger × 0.0001
Take a look at that table of possible food multiplier values:
Last 5 meals Complexity
In brief, gathering mushrooms and berries, then catching fish and frying it will be more than enough to survive and obtain maximum attributes regeneration speeds. But if you want to significantly increase the progression of your skills, you should eat complex meals from a good cook or become a good cook yourself.
Hunger and food quality information is also available at you character parameters screen
Starting from patch 0.20.0 it is also important for your character to have a versatile diet - eating various 4 or 5 ingredient dishes causes multiplier to go higher. Does not affect food with 3 ingridients or less.