Start by killing rats until you level up to level 2; you can then find a steel sword from many places in the starting village. After you have upgraded your sword, feel free to walk around, explore a little, and talk to some NPCs around the village. When you feel ready, move up (literally) a bit to take on some bats so you can claim the axe that they drop, after you have killed some of them to level up to level 3. After some more slaughtering, and getting to level four, go all the way down the map to the beach area. There, in a chest and some other places as well is a set of leather armor. After acquiring these basic items, higher tier upgrades await you as you scale the map upward, eventually taking you to the final boss, the Skeleton King.
On getting started
The game features a leveling system, where the player levels up through battle experiences. At certain levels, new armour or weapons are unlocked and can be dropped by monsters or found as loot. There is also a chat function to chat with other human players, and an achievement system.
When the game starts, you will spawn in a village. You will have a sword (the one referred to as the Practice sword on the Weapons page), but no armour. You can speak to non-player characters (they stand still, have no names above their heads and when you hover over them with the mouse, the mouse pointer changes into a question mark) by clicking them. You can chat with other players by clicking the speech bubble icon down to the right and type what you want your character to say. If you walk to the edge of the screen, the screen will scroll. Start by leveling up, by attacking rats. You can find rats in the village. Attack a rat by left-clicking on it. Your character will walk up to the rat and automatically hit it with his sword over and over again, until it is dead. When an enemy dies, it sometimes drops an item. If it does, walk to the square where the item is dropped to pick it up. Weapons and armour will only be picked up if it is better than what you are currently using. If a dropped item is not picked up, it will start flashing after a while, and then disappear.
To the lower left of the screen is your health bar. It drops when you are attacked, and if it reaches zero, you die. Health is slowly regenerated automatically. It can also be regenerated by drinking health postions, that may be dropped by enemies or found in chests or caves. If you die, you will respawn. You can respawn infinitely many times. If you do, you will respawn at the start of the area where you died. You will retain your equipment, number of kills, et cetera.
When you have killed enough rats to reach level 2, steel swords will appear. You can pick them up by walking on them. The first time you do so, the steel sword will automatically replace your training sword. Higher-level weapons and also armour will be dropped by monsters or can be found in chests once you reach a high enough level to wield them. The armour and weapons pages tell you what kind of monsters drop various equipment.
Low-level enemies, such as rats or bats, will not attack you unless you attack them first. Enemies on higher levels may initiate an attack on you if you walk too close to them. If they do, your character will not automatically respond by attacking them, but you must click the enemy to attack it. It is also possible to run away from enemies, but they may be persistent. However, they do not follow you into houses or caves. Enemies that you have killed will respawn after a while.