What are the best buildings to start Frostpunk with and in what order should they be built? The best build order is one that gives you the best edge technologically, even if that means having a few more sick people under your care than you’d like to have. The goal is to have 4 Workshops built as quickly as possible while still keeping the populace happy enough to not exile or kill you, not run out of resources and to have a reasonably healthy workforce. This article should give you a very reasonable chance at success.
Build two Workshops in the second ring first, a Hunter’s Hut for gathering food, a Cookhouse for processing the food, the Beacon once it is researched and Medical Post, all on Day 1. Follow that with two Workshops, a Sawmill and a Child Shelter on day 2.
I’ve looked at websites and researched forums plus put lots of hours into experimenting and coming up with what I consider to be the best combination of all of these.
At the start research and wood are your main goals. Do not build tents right away. Since you are not building any tents, you need to turn the Generator on every night at 2:00 am and off at 4:00 am to keep people from freezing to death at night and to conserve coal during the day. This splits the night in half and keeps people alive and conserves the maximum amount of coal.
Assign all but 10 Engineers to gathering resources, 30 Workers to wood crates, 15 Workers to steel wreckage, 5 Workers and 5 Engineers to a Coal Pile. Keeping 10 Engineers idle will mean the Workshops get built sooner and faster. Research on the Beacon can be completed on the first day, the Beacon built, and a Scout Team sent out, all on the first day.
Build Two Workshops In The Second Ring
Get started on Research first, even before assigning anyone to gather resources. There should be enough wood available so build two Workshops in the second ring. Once the first Workshop is built completely staff it with five Engineers and research the Beacon. Staff the second Workshop with 5 of the other idle Engineers immediately as well.
Open the Book of Laws and sign Emergency Shift into law. This will cause Discontent to rise slightly.
Build A Hunter’s Hut
Food will run short soon. Build a Hunter’s Hut in the second ring since it’s well-insulated and can withstand the cold better than a tent. Don’t assign workers until 18:00 since it doesn’t operate during the day. Don’t reassign workers during the day to resource gathering after the Hunter’s return. After taking the time to eat and rest you will actually lose production from these workers instead of gaining it.
Build A Cookhouse
Build a Cookhouse in the second ring so the raw food the Hunters bring back can be processed into something at least a little tastier. A Cookhouse will process 2 units of raw food into 4 food rations.
Build The Beacon
Once the Beacon is researched build it immediately in the second ring and then start research on Sawmills. If you don’t you will probably run out of wood crates and your building and research development will be severely hampered until you can get Sawmills built and producing wood.
Assemble a Scout team as soon as you have the wood and send them out to the Lost Expedition. You’ll need to free up five workers from gathering resources, but since it’s free time you won’t lose any resource gathering as long as you don’t remove them from any of the sites working a 24 hour shift.
As soon as the Workday ends at 18:00 put two of the fully staffed crews gathering wood crates on an Emergency Shift. This will significantly increase Discontent but not to the point of having to worry about it yet. People could die due to the Extended Shift but it’s not likely since the wood crates will run out and the Extended Shift will end before a Worker becomes overworked enough to die. The last shift will end shortly before normal working hours because the wood crates are depleted so workers can be reassigned to another pile of wood crates without any losses in gathering.
When you get the message about people not having a roof over their heads don’t address it, which will cause Discontent to rise slightly.
Build A Medical Post
Build a medical Post as soon as you have enough wood. By now people will start getting sick so it’s time to start taking care of them. Build a medical post in second ring.
There may be enough wood to build the third Workshop but don’t build it yet. There are not enough Engineers to effectively staff it after staffing the Medical Post with three Engineers, which is the minimum number to make it effective. I prefer to staff the Medical Post with all the Engineers after it is built to protect them from injury and illness for a total of five.
At the end of day 1 two fully staffed Workshops are in operation, a Hunter’s Hut has been built and is fully staffed, a Cookhouse is ready for operation, a Medical Post has been built and is ready to be staffed, and a Beacon has been built and a Scout Team sent out to look for survivors and resources. Pretty good for a day’s work!
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Remember to turn the Generator on from 2:00 am to 4:00 am or a significant number of people will freeze to death in their sleep.
The Book of Laws will soon become available again, sign Extended Shift into law. Place all Workshops and resource gathering efforts on this shift. Discontent will rise.
The Scouts should reach the Lost Expedition site early in the morning and find survivors. Escort them back to the city. Once they have returned safely to the city send the Scouts out to the Steel Bridge.
Assign all the Workers to gathering resources but hold the Engineers in reserve, no need to take a chance on them getting sick and not being able to work in the Workshop.
Build Two More Workshops
Time to get ready for those new Engineers and ramp up research by building two more Workshops. Once fully staffed a total of 4 Workshops provides up to 166% research rate. Clicking on a Workshop will display what the current research is and about how long it will take to complete it. Once built you should be able to fully staff all the Workshops but one since there will probably only be 9 Engineers in the survivors.
Welcome the Engineers to their new home by placing them on Extended Work Shifts as soon as the Workshops are staffed.
Build A Sawmill
Wood, not coal, will be your primary constraint. Sawmill research should be completed soon and when it is build a sawmill as soon as you have the resources. Build it to get a wood resource coming in after the wood crates are exhausted. Sawmills can produce up to 80 wood per day (unless on extended shift, which will produce more) and have a base heating level of 1. They can be staffed with up to 10 Workers.
Start researching Steelworks.
Once a pile of steel wreckage is depleted assign the Workers to another pile of steel wreckage.
Once Steelworks research is finished research Heaters, then finish the first level of research except for Coal Thumpers. After that research Drawing Boards.
Build A Child Shelter
The next law to pass when it becomes available is Child Shelters. Hope will rise but you will need to build a Child Shelter. Failing to meet the time requirement to build it will have a significant impact on Hope and Discontent.
Build Two More Sawmills
Build two more Sawmills so you have plenty of wood coming in. Discontent will be pretty high, there is a cold snap coming, and people are going to soon demand you do something about the lack of housing. After assigning Workers to the Sawmills take any extra workers and assign them to coal gathering.
Once your Scouts reach the Sturdy Shelter send them to the Steel Bridge.
Sign Engineer Apprentices into law. This will educate your kids and provide some added research capability to your Workshops.
Build 12 Tents
Build 12 tents so you can house everyone. Place as many of them as you can in the first ring. Cluster them all together so a steam hub can heat the outlying tents when needed. This also gives you more benefits from buildings with an area of effect. Each tent that is built to house someone reduces Discontent slightly and protects 10 of your citizens. Not only will this lower the number of people falling ill it will also significantly lower discontent. You might not get them all built by the end of the third day but they will be finished by early morning on the fourth day.
Since tents have been built for everyone, you won’t need to turn on the Generator for the night.
Once your scouts arrive at the Steel Bridge, they will discover an Automaton. Rather than sending it back to the city dismantle it. This will give you two steam cores that you can use to build two Automatons if you want.
Send your Scouts to the Weather Station next.
Build Two Gathering Posts
The cold snap has arrived (-40F) so it’s time to think about protecting your Workers as best as you can. Build two Gathering Posts close to 4 coal deposits. Keep any extra Workers busy gathering resources.
Build a Steelworks
Scrap steel will soon be running low so build a Steelworks. Steelworks will also provide better protection to your workers.
After your Scouts explore the Weather Station send them to Winterhome.
Build Another Hunter’s Hut
Build another Hunter’s Hut to increase the food supply. You will be running short due to the survivors who have been added to your populace. Hunters Huts operate at night and have 12-hour shifts, at the end of which the Hunters return with the food. Upgraded Hunter Huts can bring in 20 raw food per shift. Once they return, they can be assigned to other jobs during the day.
Build Another Medical Post
There will be lots of sick people by now and you will probably get a request from the people to build another one anyway, so if you haven’t already built another one build a second Medical Post. Medical Posts operate 24 hours a day and are efficient with three Engineers. They can be outfitted with heaters and can care for 5 patients. You will need to staff it with three Engineers and turn on the heater if needed before the people will consider your promise fulfilled.
Since tents have been built for everyone no one will die if you don’t turn the Generator on at night even though the temperature is -40 degrees F.
Pass the Radical Treatment Law. This will allow the gravely ill to be treated at Medical Posts but some patients will end up having limbs amputated to save their lives.
Once Drawing Boards have been researched start researching More Scouts so you can find survivors and gather resources faster.
If you’ve followed the outline in the article reasonably well, your Scouts should arrive at Winterhome on day 5. Winterhome no longer has anyone alive and Hope falls to an all-time low in your city. You feel compelled to give your citizens a sense of purpose so you must take one of two paths, Order and Discipline or Faith and Spiritual Strength. You can read my article about making that decision at this page on my website.
What To Research First In Frostpunk
Although research is listed in the main article it’s scattered, so here is a summary of what to research first.
- The Beacon
- Finish the first level of research except for Coal Thumpers, the order is not necessarily important, tailor it to your needs and playstyle. If Coal starts running short for some reason it’s easy and fast enough to come back to the Coal Thumpers and research them later.
- Drawing Boards.
- More Scouts
Not all research needs to be completed at one level before the next level can be unlocked. You can unlock the next level at any time as long as you have the resources.
What Not To Do In Frostpunk
Don’t build tents until at least day 3.
Don’t forget to turn on the Generator during sleep periods from 2:00 am to 4:00 am until tents are built. This provides enough warmth to unsheltered citizens to keep them from dying in their sleep. One time I forgot to do that and 24 out of 80 people died in their sleep the very first night.
Don’t forget to leave enough room in the first ring for at least 8 tents, making it easier to keep them warm.
Don’t ignore the goals in the lower left screen.
Don’t use up all your wood after the wood crates run out, remember to save some for building the Sawmills.
Don’t reassign Hunters from the Hunter’s Huts to new tasks during the day and then reassign them to the Hunter’s Huts at night again. At first it may seem like getting double the labor out of your workers since Hunter’s Huts operate at night but actually, after the workers rest and eat, you lose production from them in the long run.