Exploration Mode is one of the main Game Modes in Ylands. Players must collect Resources, Build structures, hunt Animals, manage Hunger, and explore the world (including Random Encounters) in an effort to survive and thrive. The DLC and many of the Player-Created Games use Exploration Mode.
In Exploration Mode, Players have an Inventory and can gather Items. These items may be combined using certain recipes to create Tools and other items. This process is known as Crafting. Many crafting recipes require a particular Workstation. In Exploration Mode, the player is able to receive damage from the environment and from hostile Creatures. If the player receives enough damage, they will die and respawn at the last saved spawn point (usually the initial spawn point or a slept-in Bed). In the Exploration DLC, the player will keep his equipped Clothing but all the items in his inventory will fall to the ground in a pile. The player must return to spot where they died (displayed by a tombstone on the Map in the Exploration DLC) to reclaim their items.
Ylands offers an open, sandbox style world where there are no predefined goals. However, like most survival games, it has a basic structure. Players collect materials and resources to learn new crafting recipes and better survive in the world. Over time, the player will travel to other Ylands to discover new resources and further their crafting knowledge. As of yet, there is no "proper ending" or achievements in Exploration Mode but the developers have mentioned plans of boss battles in future updates.
Terrain can't be modified with tools or soil, like Deposits, Rocks and Tree stumps can be destroyed for their earth based materials such as sand from palm trees and marble chunks from green covered rocks.
The Exploration DLC
In Update 1.5: Enhancing Exploration, the Exploration DLC was redone with map stability in mind. Each map is only 2-4 ylands but the player can travel to any new map by sailing a Claimed Raft, Boat, or Ship to the edge of the current map. This makes the Exploration experience effectively endless.
The World Map (called by pressing M) consists of different regions, one for each Biome.
Each Region Map has approximately 10 single player maps (blue) and 10 multiplayer maps (purple). With the exception of the home island, these can be deleted when the player is not visiting it and a new map will generate in that slot. The maps can also be shared with the player's friends, or renamed from this screen.
On single player maps, the player is Mayor and can control the Co-op Mode settings if they change the map to multiplayer. They can also discover Custom Scenarios, which are large islands with interesting topology and structures that were created by the developers to make the game interesting.
Multiplayer Exploration maps allow multiple players to connect to a server, sharegame, or peer-to-peer locally hosted map. This enables them to interact with one another and work together or against one another in order to achieve their goals.
For an example of someone playing Exploration (Experimental), watch this stream.
This is the previous type of Exploration game with each map consisting of 6-8 Ylands of various Biomes. These maps can be opened in Editor and any item can be added, including the Creator Cube. This makes it easier to create new blueprints on these maps.