Seven Good Reasons Why Is Frostpunk So Hard


In Frostpunk I always seem to be on the verge of extinction. If it’s not a cold snap it’s a shortage of resources or manpower somewhere. And then there’s all the sick people to worry about, plus I worry if I am about to be executed or exiled. How can you manage all this?

Frostpunk engrosses you to the point of developing tunnel vision, it’s very easy to get distracted and to forget to manage other aspects of the game. The situation is always desperate, which adds to the difficulty, plus resources and manpower are always in short supply.

One reason the game is so hard is because it is so engrossing. I develop tunnel vision a lot of times. I simply focus on an immediate crisis or shortage, only to neglect to supervise my other resource gathering operations, watching the weather or to issue new orders to my Scouting Team. Part of the game’s ability to “pull you in” is also part of what makes it so hard.

Another difficulty is that the situation is always desperate. There is always either a cold snap coming, sick people, or a shortage of resources for research, which always seems to take a back seat to everything else, but that’s also a recipe for disaster. Freeing up Engineers and Resources for technological research is always a big challenge.

You never have enough people or resources to go around. This means you need to pay close attention to resources, medical care, food, people’s needs and research, plus be able to juggle your citizens accordingly to send them to where they are needed most, even if you have to pull them of another important task.

Uncertainty about which path to take is another hard decision. Do you ramp up research at the expense of food gathering? Do you use extended shift and then try to deal with the additional Discontent? Each decision has long-term consequences.

I have trouble figuring out how much raw food Hothouses and Hunter’s huts provide. Going to the economy screen helps but to me the numbers shown at the Hothouse or Hunter’s Hut are not intuitive.

What tech should be focused on first? Heat looks like the obvious choice, but when should you focus on the other branches? I find it hard to decide if I should focus on one branch and get ahead in it or spread my research out over all the branches evenly. Even then, there are branches within the branches to focus on too.

One last major difficulty is deciding what to do when adding people. Do you build homes for them in advance or wait until they get to the city so they can help build the homes? Food gathering needs to be planned for and adjusted as well. It’s hard to do that in advance because you will probably need more workers, but they won’t be available until the survivors arrive.

Other Frostpunk articles on this site:

Frostpunk Steam cores, can you make them?

How to construct streets in Frostpunk

Is Frostpunk worth buying?

How Do You Make Frostpunk Easier

To make Frospunk easier consult the tutorial when in doubt, use the Economy screen frequently, use pause a lot and use the Book of Laws.

I’ve found that going back to the tutorial helps. For instance, I couldn’t remember if putting the Generator into Overdrive consumed more coal. It’s not entirely obvious when you look at the Generator, consulting the tutorial did clarify it for me.

Use the Economy screen frequently. It gives a breakdown of income and how much is going out, and what’s consuming the resource. This screen will also give you a prediction of exactly when a resource will run out if there is a shortage, allowing you to plan ahead a little better.

At easy people are more optimistic and less likely to exile or execute you, at extreme they have a really bad attitude so your rule and life may be short-lived.

Use the Book of Laws. For example, passing the Extended Shift law will allow you to gather resources a little bit faster. Good to use if you can manage the Discontent. These do not cost resources to implement although a lot of them will require you to construct a building so the law can be put into effect.

You can use the Difficulty setting to make Frostpunk easier. This is especially useful if you are having trouble with one particular aspect of the game. Use the settings to set an aspect of the game you are not having trouble with to easy so you can focus on learning the harder parts of the game. You’ll have to do this at the start of the game, it can’t be done after the game starts.

I love the pause option, it gives me plenty of time to think things through. You can pause the game with the time setting bar at the top of the screen or just press the space bar to pause and unpause the game.

How To Change Difficulty In Frostpunk

You change the difficulty setting in Frostpunk at the start of the game since it can’t be adjusted once the game starts. It is done at the Customize Scenario screen.

Clicking on the Customize Scenario button will take you to a screen with five options. You can set the overall difficulty to Easy, Medium, Hard, or Extreme. You can also tailor People’s Needs, the Economy, Weather, or Society’s Attitude independently of the other settings.

The Difficulty setting of Easy gives you more time to recover from mistakes plus you will be issued fewer challenges while Extreme means there will be almost no time to recover from a mistake. Adjusting this slider increases or decreases the Difficulty setting of the other four sliders as well to the same setting.

People Needs is basically their medical and hunger status. Setting it to easy means people will be less likely to get sick and it will take longer for them to get hungrier between meals. At Extreme they are more likely to become ill and get hungrier faster.

Economy set on easy makes research faster, provides more available resources and allows you to gather resources faster. Extreme does the exact opposite, resources are gathered much more slowly, research takes longer, and resources are scarce.

Weather on easy makes temperature drops slower with fewer cold days. Extreme makes the temperature drop quickly and when a cold spell occurs it lasts longer.

The last setting is Society’s Attitude. At easy people are more optimistic and less likely to exile or execute you, at extreme they have a really bad attitude so your rule and life may be short-lived.

Rich Gallien

I've always liked board games like chess and PC games, especially space based strategy games, which lead to the creation of this site. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it and updating it with new games!

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