flares are tools that are crafted using the Fabricator.
They allows the player to illuminate dark areas like Caves with a stationary light source, thus making it easier for the player to defend themselves or to spot resources.
They can also be found in Lifepod 5 at the start of the game
Flares can be ignited and thrown by selecting it from the toolbar and pressing the right mouse button. This will cause the player to throw the Flare slightly forwards, and then it will sink until it hits another object. An active Flare will emit a red light for about ten minutes.
The player can also pick up a Flare after it has been ignited. The ignited Flare stays lit when in the players hand, illuminating an area around the player.
The Flare will not despawn. Because of this, the player can regularly throw a Flare when exploring an intricate cave system. If the player needs to leave they can simply follow the trail of Flares back to safety.
Since some hostile creatures are attracted to light sources, such as Bone Sharks, the player can toss a Flareso that it sinks away from the player, thus distracting the creature.