Outpost Building and Defense Guide – Tips & Tricks
Building your outposts close to several biome borders grants access to varied resources and allows you to observe the territorial in-fighting of different creatures (complete with loot strewn across the terrain) but can also be dangerous.
The hoe is mightier than the sword. Creatures cannot dig through the terrain, making “terrain walls” effectively impenetrable to them. Thus the perfect defense is built either with a hoe and a pile of rocks, any pickaxe, or ideally a combination of the two. Be warned that terrain alterations may cause stutter, just like placing objects (press F2 to check the number of “instances” loaded).
A hoe can be used to raise terrain while you’re standing on it, allowing you to quickly erect a pillar to stand on and shoot melee enemies below. Beware that you need a workbench nearby to do this. With practice, this is possible during combat.
Most creatures never jump down from ledges (Fenring and Blobs are exceptions). A deep pit (around 3 “blocks”) is also largely safe, and you can shoot enemies coming close to the ledge. Flying creatures may attack from above if you don’t build a roof, however.
Gates can be destroyed, but gaps the player jumps over when entering or exiting the base cannot. This trick can be inconvenient, however. Also, note that you can scale steep terrain walls by sprinting and jump-spamming, especially when moving towards a crease (corner) for better traction, while most creatures cannot.
The “Level Ground” option for the hoe uses the terrain height directly underneath you as the target altitude, though if you hold Shift while clicking, it’ll use the altitude of the terrain you’re pointing at instead. Using this knowledge well may save you a lot of stone and work while landscaping as it only expands stamina and hoe durability (pun not intended).
Workbenches disallow enemy spawns in their radius, making them surprisingly useful defensive tools. You can hide these in the outer perimeter of your walls or in small pits covered with a few floor tiles to make an area safer. Workbenches also stop dropped items from de-spawning over time, however!
If an invincible base isn’t enough for you, you can also build a “gangplank” for enemies to walk on above your pit base and put a campfire on it so they’ll kill themselves, then catch the loot when it drops down. Devious…
The most FPS-efficient method of defense is to build on a few terrain pillars. This minimizes terrain alteration “instances” yet allows you to ignore enemies running around outside, especially if the base entrance requires a quick hop to get on. Note that returning terrain to its roughly native height doesn’t remove the FPS hit (unless a true “undo terrain changes” tool is added to the game).
Doors and gates can be used to create a toggle-able bridge for carts. Another option to defend your bridge is to hang a gate from support above it and attach the floor piece to the gate with small gaps on the sides, causing the floor to disappear if it is destroyed.
You can place gates in the water to block enemies, who will not attack the gates, yet allow boats to pass when opened.
Surtlings die when walking in water, allowing you to convert their spawn point (shown as a giant fire geyser) into a Surtling Core plus Coal farm.
Most enemies have trouble moving or attacking while in water. A moat works, or you can submerge a Fuling village to pillage it regularly with minimal effort.
Using a combination of these ideas, you can turn any boss summon altar into an arena to your advantage. I won’t spoil the specifics, but most bosses can be “cheesed” one way or another.
Not just boss arenas, but any land area may be altered to the player’s advantage. Swamps can be leveled to avoid getting stuck in ponds, trees can be removed to improve visibility, bridges and canals may be created, and much more – keep the FPS hit in mind.