How to play guide for Frostpunk

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This page will serve as a basic How To Play Guide For Frostpunk. While there isn't a ton of information available at this time, we urge you to check back often, as new information is being added all the time! Feel free to edit this guide with any tips, tricks, and suggestions. For a guide to master the higher difficulties see Advanced Tips.

Controls[edit | edit source]

Visual map of Frostpunk keyboard controls. Click on the image for a clearer view.

Starting out (first couple days of the Demo)[edit | edit source]

Introduction and Disclaimer[edit | edit source]

This guide is created by observing the Frostpunk Demo and as such the information at hand may be incorrect with what you will have once the game is out and/or more information is released. It is most likely not going to be morally acceptable by everyone due to certain Laws that will be enacted. To clarify any choices that are made in the guide are purely out of a game perspective and do not in any way reflect my own morals.

With the disclaimer out of the way I will now start explaining a few things that will happen in this guide. I will start out with the Laws that I will enact and the reasoning behind why I chose these specific ones.

Child Labour (This is selected because it enables us to use our 15 children at the start to help out with basic things, such as gathering resources)

Radical Therapy (This is chosen because we want people to recover as quickly as possible since at start we will have a lot of gravely ill. Some of them will become amputees but don't worry; in the mid-game prostheses can be made to allow them to rejoin the workforce.)

Double Rations (Makes it so that sick people recover faster. This is extremely useful for getting your people up and working quickly.)

Fighting Arena (Provides a building that will decrease discontent each day.)

These are in no way mandatory for you to choose yourself since you're free to do as you wish, they are just the ones that I will be using in the guide. Now, research is a thing in Frostpunk and it is conducted inside the Workshop and I will cover the few starting technologies that I will use for this guide. Just like the laws I will provide you a small list with an explanation why these over the others.

Steam Hub (New Building. Chosen because the ability to spread out my buildings closer to the resources whilst keeping them warm is invaluable and to quickly increase base heat zone area)

Faster Gathering (Rather basic upgrade that increases the speed of my workers when gathering Coal, Wood and Steel. Super useful early on since it allows faster construction of things due to resources being available faster)

Hunter's Hut Upgrade (A flat upgrade to the Hunter's Hut that will now provide us with 20 Raw Food/day instead of 15 is immense)

Just like the Laws these are completely up to you if you want to research as well or not, I found these 3 to be more useful for me early on than the other technologies. Some other really good starting tech is Boilers, Coal Thumper, Sawmill and Steelworks the latter three are more permanent solutions at gathering their equivalent resources (Coal, Wood, Steel).

Preparation phase[edit | edit source]

Time is of the essence in Frostpunk, your people need things to keep them working, healthy and satisfied. Here is a small guide that will help you out in the beginning of the game. It's recommend that you pause the game as soon as you can, once you've paused look around and see where you have some resources (Coal, Wood, Steel) and start assigning your workers to the different resources. Before you un-pause take a look at the Book of Laws and enact your first law of your choosing. The specific laws that will be enacted for this guide are; Child Labour, Sustain Life, Double Rations and Fighting Arena in this order, a law can be enacted once every day.

First steps[edit | edit source]

You start out with a total population of 80 (50 Workers, 15 Engineers and 15 Children), at the start only your Workers and Engineers can do actual work so you have a working capacity of 65, unless you decided to sign the Child Labour Law. This means you have enough people to work 4(5 with Child Labour) different piles of resources at max efficiency (each pile has a max capacity of 15) and you will be left with 5 idle workers. Use these 5 workers to start constructing some Buildings, my recommendation would be to build some shelter of any sort (Tent, Bunkhouse) so that your people do not sleep on the ground, you will need 8 of either a Tent or a Bunkhouse to provide 100% shelter for your people. Getting a Medical Post constructed early on is recommended to treat your sick as soon as possible, because your people will get sick working in these harsh conditions. Once the working hours are over you should start up the Generator (You may start it beforehand but there is no real need since most of your people are out working in the cold anyways), getting a Workshop up and running at this time too is highly recommended since getting some early research in to help boost your overall productivity of various things is invaluable. The moment the Workshop is up assign the maximum (5 Engineers) so that you can start chewing through the technology tree, here are a few good starting technologies to pick up early Steam Hub, Faster Gathering, Hunters' Gear. In what order you decide to pick these up is for you to decide based on how you want to play the game and progress, if you want to continue following this small "starting out guide" for a good solid start then select Steam Hub first. Once Steam Hub is researched (Takes 7 Hours) select Faster Gathering and Hunter's Hut Upgrade after that.

You've hopefully managed to get shelter for your people, a Workshop and a Medical Post up by the start of day 2. If you haven't managed to get all of that up yet try to get it quickly since we need to start focusing on providing Food Rations for our people or they will starve to death. To get started the game provides you with some Raw Food to convert into your first batch of Rations, these will not last long. To begin converting Raw Food into Rations you need a Cookhouse so construct one of those, preferably as close to your Stockpile as possible. We need to keep the Cookhouse inside a heat zone and since we can't expand the generator currently we will use the Steam Hub to give us an additional heat zone. Place a Steam Hub nearby the Cookhouse but not close enough so that you can't fit a smaller building between your Cookhouse and Steam Hub, it does not need to cover the entire building for it to gain benefits off the new heat zone. Now that we have a Cookhouse constructed and working it will start producing Rations at a rate of 2:1 (2 Rations per Raw Food).

This is all good for now but we still need a solid source of Raw Food or our Cookhouse is going to run out and we will have a starving city, to do this we will need to construct a Hunter's Hut so place two of these inside the new heat zone created by the Steam Hub, or you can place one outside the heat zones. Once constructed it will produce up to 15(20 with Upgrade) Raw Food/day each. Keep in mind that a Hunter's Hut is active for 24 Hours before it brings you back Raw Food, this is why we construct two of them so that we can create a near constant stream of Raw Food by making sure that when one comes back the other one goes out to hunt. Once all of this is done you should have a solid start for your city.

What now?[edit | edit source]

With those first steps out of the way, you should have a solid start for your city and this is where I conclude the guide, I've shown you how to get yourself up and running and sustaining your people in the long run. Some things you might want to do from here on out is researching some key things so that you have a more "permanent" solution for your resources (Coal, Wood, Steel) these would be the Coal Thumper, Sawmill and Steelworks. All of these buildings need to be placed on the outskirts of the city near their appropriate resource (well, the Coal Thumper you can place anywhere, but the outskirts are recommended), such as placing a Sawmill near the frozen trees and Steelworks nearby the Iron Deposit. Researching the Beacon is good too since this will allow you to start doing exploration where you can gain Steam Cores, People, information about other cities and general resources.

Another good thing if you're having problems with combating the cold is to research Boilers, its an upgrade to most of your workplaces that allow you to toggle a boiler that will increase the heat level in the building. You might also want to upgrade the homes you've created for your people if they still live in Tents to Bunkhouses since a Bunkhouse provides a Heat level of 2 compared to 1 but does cost more in terms of Wood and Steel.

Hope you found this helpful in your adventures to sustain your Frostpunk city.

Tips and tricks[edit | edit source]

Roads[edit | edit source]

You can build roads to the starting piles to increase the speed that your people gather at, be wary that roads are not free and cost Wood. Buildings prefer having roads connecting them together for maximum efficiency due to workers not having to walk through snow. So a nice early "tip" would be to build a road around your first layer of buildings so that any buildings you connect to the second ring already have roads.

You can build roads in-between two directly adjacent buildings.

Early Priorities[edit | edit source]

Despite being essential to survival, coal consumption in the early game is very low (6 per hour), as such the priority for gathering should be wood and to a lesser degree steel. All workers should be sent to gather, essential early buildings ideally should be constructed after the first day work shift. The emergency shift law may be used to boost gathering, provided Discontent is fairly low. This is preferable to Child Labour so the option to use children as apprentices later remains available. Regarding buildings, the Cookhouse, Hunter's Hut and Workshop should take priority before housing to avoid raw food consumption, begin food production and kickstart research respectively. As the temperatures are relatively mild in the early game (-20) making people sleep outside will not cause excessive illness. The Beacon, whilst not essential, can provide a quick and easy source of additional labour and resources in the early game. Boosting research early and acquiring sawmill blueprints will prevent wood shortages and provide the means to build housing on masse. Using the ceremonial burials law and getting a cemetery is an effective early game means of bolstering Hope. Finally the Medical Post should be built generally after or just before the sawmills depending on levels of sick. At this stage there shouldn't be more than a dozen sick people.

Workshop and Research[edit | edit source]

To conduct any sort of research in Frostpunk you need to construct a Workshop, getting one up as early as you can is extremely recommended since you can increase your peoples abilities at gathering, unlocking new buildings and upgrades to help you tackle the cold.

Gathering Post[edit | edit source]

Gathering Post Is a small early game building that works in a radius, inside of the radius any piles of resources it finds it will start gathering, assuming there are people assigned to the building. Very handy to construct if you got 2-3 piles of resources nearby but do not have the manpower for all the piles.

Steam Hub[edit | edit source]

Early research building that will provide a small heat zone once constructed, each Steam Hub consumes about half as much coal as the Generator so be careful to not over spam them. A building doesn't need to be fully inside the heat zone either to actually get heated,

Heat Zone[edit | edit source]

There is no benefit in overlapping multiple heat zones with several Steam Hubs or overlapping the Generator with Steam Hubs.

Buildings Placement[edit | edit source]

When placing buildings it is very beneficial to plan ahead, the benefits can take form in numerous ways such as reduced coal consumption or greater hope/discontent/workplace efficiency bonuses. For example, housing ideally should be built close to other housing with spaces provided for Fighting Arenas, Houses of Prayer or Guard Posts in order to maximise the effects they provide. Similarly building only workplaces (day shift) around a Steam Hub can reduce unnecessary coal use by shortening the operating hours of the Hub to match the workplace shifts. Buildings such as Resource Depots should be built in exterior unheated areas as they have no workforce and suffer no penalties from the cold.

Efficient Emergency Gathering[edit | edit source]

Should an essential resource such as Coal fall to dangerously low levels, coal reserves may be sufficiently restored in the short term by micromanaging automatons to run a night shift and restoring the human workforce in the morning. Since Automatons are generally less efficient at gathering this maximises resource intake without a Discontent penalty or overwork death risk.

Basics[edit | edit source]

Fight The Cold[edit | edit source]

We need to get the Generator working. It provides heat and power to other Buildings. Without it we freeze to death. Stockpile some Coal and start the Generator.

Basic Survival[edit | edit source]

The Generator hums with reassuring warmth, but we should not take it for granted. If the Generator goes down, the City dies. Be mindful of Coal reserves.

Now Food - there is no City if we starve to death. Cheapest way to acquire food will be hunters since they don't need a steam core to build or needed to keep warm.

Survivors[edit | edit source]

With basic Resources secured for now we can try to rescue those that we left behind. Build a Beacon, scout the Frostlands and save as many survivors from our expedition as possible. You'll need a Workshop to design plans for more advanced buildings.