The world has fallen into a new ice age and only you can lead the remains of humanity into a new age of survival in Frostpunk.
With more and more strategy and management simulation games making their way onto consoles these days, you might think yourself well prepared to deal with whatever these PC classics can throw at you. Well, you’re not ready for Frostpunk, because this post-apocalyptic survival sim is definitely going to kill you, so why not check out our list of essential tips for console gamers.
Use the tutorial
This might seem like an obvious one, but with so many rubbish tutorials these days, it’s easy to skip through them in the hopes that you’ll pick up the ropes. In Frostpunk, the tutorial is both useful and detailed, with new entries stacked at the top left of the screen and accessible with a click of the left thumbstick, by default.
Frostpunk has excellent controls that have been optimised for console, but even so, there are a lot of actions and features in the game that are completely unique. Frostpunk requires micromanagement to succeed, and learning how to navigate the building and radial menus when you’re not under pressure (as opposed to when everyone is freezing) will help you long term
Keep an eye on the temperature gauge
In the world of Frostpunk, the world is experiencing an ice age that threatens to extinguish the remnants of humankind. With each drop in temperature, structures farther away from your central furnace will get colder. Most buildings have heaters (and upgrades can be researched) but in some cases, a cold spell can dramatically reduce the efficiency of outlying buildings, and the people working in them may become frostbitten — ultimately losing limbs or dying
Watch out for drops in Hope, and increases in Unrest
At all times during Frostpunk, you’ll need to manage Unrest (the red bar) and Hope (the blue bar) which broadly indicate the feelings of your populous. At either peak Unrest, or when Hope is at its lowest ebb, you may be displaced as the captain of the city, and you’ll have little time to repair it. Several buildings can either reduce unrest or increase hope, with a number of actions at locations like the Temple offering actions to give a momentary boost
Make the difficult choices
Frostpunk is a game in which you can’t save everyone. Early choices will include making tough decisions like choosing to send children to work (adding to your workforce at the cost of a reduced hope) or agreeing to hold ceremonial burials (which gives people hope, but reduces their working time.)
Establish a flow of resources
During the opening days, your colony will only have access to piles of wood, steel and coal that are left near your furnace. Whilst gathering these deposits is necessary, you should look to build a coal mine and a sawmill as soon as possible. A source of steel can come slightly later, but it’s still good to ensure these things are in place early — especially coal, since you will only use more and more of it throughout the game
Do not neglect exploration
With the Beacon (one of the first research options enabled by the Workshop building) players can create a scouting team that will be able to explore the wilderness. Whilst the team can be hurt by certain events or even lost, exploring early on is generally a good way of getting more survivors into your colony, or obtaining materials in bulk. It’s also the main way of obtaining Steam Cores, which allow access to advanced buildings
Research is (almost) always good
There are many options for researching upgrades in Frostpunk, and unless you have three or more workshops (requiring five of the fairly rare Engineer grade citizens each) then you’ll likely have to prioritise your research to the goal of each playthrough. In the basic campaign, the endgame focuses on ensuring heat and survival, so the efficiency, heat output and range of your furnace, heaters and steam hubs will be key. Try to take the requirements of each scenario into account when planning your research
Live with the consequences
As you make decisions about who lives and who dies, you’re going to upset some people. Regardless, these decisions have to be made and annoying a small group of people is often better than having a whole section of your community die to exposure. It always helps to be prepared for unexpected circumstances including unrest, people leaving or even people arriving — the good news is that Frostpunk usually gives you a hint about what effect your decisions will have