Frostpunk is not an easy sim game. Take your eyes off your citizens for just one second and you’ll come back to a pile of frozen corpses. Luckily, there are a few tips you can follow to help you survive the frozen apocalypse. Bundle up, it’s going to get cold outside.
You’d think that food and coal would be your most important resources in the frozen post-apocalypse, but in reality it’s wood. Wood is needed for every building in the game. Wood is needed for every new tech you research. Wood is needed to increase your overall technology level. Wood is needed to build roads which are needed to expand your infrastructure. Heck you can even put sawdust in your food to make it last longer. By far, wood is going to be the resource you are always running out of. So make sure you secure a renewable source of wood quickly. Wall drills are probably the best source of wood, but even Saw Mills will keep you going long enough to survive a few weeks.
Tech Is Your Gatekeeper
The No. 1 killer in Frostpunk is lack of tech. You might be fine until a cold snap happens and you suddenly realize you haven’t researched the tech needed to increase your generator’s heating level. Your citizens might get sick and suddenly you realize you don’t have the tech needed to give them adequate care. Some new refugees might come in and you realize you don’t have the tech that allows you to generate enough food to feed them. You can, of course, start researching this tech immediately, but that tech costs wood (which you likely have to gather beforehand) and the research itself will take hours. By then, people will already be freezing to death.
When researching tech, always think one step ahead. Don’t research things that “would be nice” to have. Research things that will allow you to survive if an emergency hits. In general, you want to prioritize resources tech first, heat tech second, housing tech third and everything else last.
Constantly Switch Jobs
While reaching equilibrium is a good goal, it’s really not sustainable. Your needs will constantly shift and your workforce has to shift with them. If you see a cold snap coming up, you’ll need to shift a large portion of your workforce over to coal mining in order to stockpile for the coming blizzard. If you find a bunch of sick refugees, you need to take your engineers out of your workshop and dump them into your medical posts. You cannot hope to just sit back and eventually get to pressing matters. Always shuffle your workforce around to the place that they are needed.
Use Overdrive During Cold Snaps But Not Coldest Snaps
Turning your generator to overdrive doesn’t cost any resources. It does, however, cause your generator stress meter to rise and if it hits 100 percent, it explodes and you lose. You should only use overdrive when the temperature suddenly drops, because it should be able to last through cold spells without accumulating too much stress. When the temperature drops to its lowest, however, even overdrive won’t do much to save you. If clicking on overdrive doesn’t create a perceptible temperature change, then your heaters aren’t doing anything. It’s better to just turn the generator off in these instances in order to save fuel and hope that you don’t freeze to death.
Remember To Use Individual Heaters
Your generator only goes so far. In order to adequately heat all your buildings, you will need to research and fuel individual heaters. You can see the heater switch in the building info panel. If you can spare the goal, keep these heaters running during work hours in order to keep your populace nice and toasty.
Outside of individual heaters, you’ll want to use steam hubs to create warm zones around your city. Overlapping these hubs can provide lots of warmth, but they also take a lot of coal to run so make sure you can keep up with your demand.
Automata Can Work in Frigid Circumstances
Automata are your best friend. They don’t care about heat at all and they can do the work of a full 15 workers. You can station them far outside your city limits in the frozen wasteland and they will just keep bringing you resources. I highly suggest investing in automata early. If you can get all your resource generation handled by automata, you can free up your workers and engineers to handle matters closer to your generator. You can also keep your workforce home during cold snaps preventing them from getting sick while still generating resource flow with your robots.
Don’t Sleep on Laws
Laws are extremely important. They may force you into tough moral choices, but they are important moral choices. While you can put off signing laws, you really shouldn’t. Laws always provide some sort of benefit, at the expense of some other (usually more minor) drawback. For example, you can make your food last much longer if you turn it into soup, and all it will cost you is a little hope. Whenever the book of laws refreshes, sign something new. You want to have as many laws signed as possible by the time you reach the end of your playthrough.
Extended Shift is Your Friend
One specific law that you want to aim for is extended shift, the law that you get after emergency shift. Emergency shift causes your workers to work 24 hours straight which, to be fair, isn’t good for anyone. Extended shift, on the other hand, tacks on two extra hours to your workers’ work days. Mean, yes, but many times necessary for survival. Your workers can work extended shifts without really impacting hope or discontent too much, and two extra hours spread out over a whole month will amount to quite a few extra resources.
Don’t Speed Up Time During Work
It’s tempting to lean on that fast forward button, and during free time there’s no reason not to. After you have planned for your next workday, you might as well skip through your citizen’s rest period. However, I highly recommend keeping the game running as slow as possible during work hours. These are the hours in which your needs will change the most and you have to be ready to shift your workforce around at a moment’s notice.
Sometimes it’s Better to Stockpile
Frostpunk is not an RTS. You don’t necessarily want all your resources to be dwindling toward zero at all times. In fact, many times it is better to stockpile resources than to actively spend them all. For example, if you get enough coal to keep the generator running for a week, then you can take your coal miners off duty and put them on something else important, such as food. Stockpile enough food and you can put more time into research. Remember, your goal is to survive a winter, and it’s easier to survive a winter with stored supplies.
That’s all the tips we have for you right now. Come back later when we tackle each of Frostpunk’s three unique campaigns.