This guide describes the base building mechanics of the game and recommendations on how to build said bases, from initial layout to logistics and upkeep. Please leave any suggestions or corrections in the comments section. (Note: This guide is a work-in-progress.)
(I am actively working on this guide; I just figured I would publish it early now that a decent chunk of it has been completed)
There are very few sources of information for players who wish to harm themselves with the process of base construction in this game. The goal of this guide is to make this horrible process more accessible to players, improve the general quality of bunker bases throughout the game world, and to give people who otherwise would not have ever thought about base building a glimpse into our hellish realm.
Before you decide to become a base builder in Foxhole, I have a few warnings you should recognize:
- Building in this game demands an extreme amount of your time and seldom rewards you outside of the “fun” of the process.
- Building mechanics in this game are very unpolished and frustrating, and they likely will not change.
- Other players *WILL* hinder your ability to build and undo many hours of work, and such actions are not considered against the rules of the game.
- Other players *WILL* refuse to repair your bunker during artillery barrage or come to a*sist when you are getting PVE-ed
Base building is truly a path of self-harm. I do not recommend anybody do any of this, especially if you plan on working alone (as I do).
The wiki page and subreddit are also good sources of information, although I have found that much information there is occasionally out of date. I will do my best to update this guide as often as I can.
What is structural Integrity?
Before even thinking about building anything, it is important to understand the Structural Integrity (SI) mechanic.
In this game, a single bunker is any number of bunker PIECES (i.e. the square and triangle pieces that you can piece together and dig) connected together and not separated by trenches. All of these bunker pieces share a health pool which usually increases with every addition of a bunker piece, but will also reduce its SI. SI determines the actual health of the bunker, which is always less than the health of the individual pieces combined. In other words, adding bunker pieces will increase the health pool of the bunker but will yield diminishing returns. For this reason, building single bunkers with many bunker pieces is not advised; after a certain point, additional pieces will begin to REDUCE the overall health of your bunker. For example, if a bunker piece alone 100 health points, a bunker comprised of two bunker pieces will have of 190 health points, because the structural integrity decreases slightly when combining two bunker pieces.
Another aspect which impacts structural integrity is the construction of additional structures in the bunker piece, such as garrisons, generators, and observation bunkers. The functions of these will be explained in a later section, but understand that constructing these onto bunkers will reduce its structural integrity further and by different amounts.
Selecting a Location
This is an important step of the process which will influence your work for the remainder of your time spent in the current war. You are free to choose any open spot near the front, although you risk your base simply being PVE’d by a solo tank player during construction because nobody bothers to go to your base. Alternatively, you could choose a location at the very rear where resources are plentiful and safety is guaranteed, although your base will either never get used or be steamrolled at the end of the war when pop has plummeted.
If you intend on constructing a concrete monstrosity that stands for weeks, halts offensives, and turns the tide of war, it is essential that you choose a location with a balance of the two aspects I mentioned above, among other aspects. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- ALWAYS ensure that your bunker core is placed along a road. Without road access, logistics becomes a ma*sive pain, and nobody will help you resupply your base when the enemy comes.
- ALWAYS place your bunker complex in a strategically important area; its purpose is not to preserve itself, but to protect other important structures or locations on the map. This can be anything from a relic base/town base, a choke point (valleys or bridges), or even a road intersection.
- Ideally, said important structures or locations are mines, fields, refineries, factories, or seaports. This will make supplying your bunker easier, although such luxuries may not be available if your bunker intends to protect a relic base. In any case, having an understanding of where the nearest sources of certain resources are located is essential.
- Understand that terrain and obstacles can hinder your ability to build. It is best to avoid trees, hilly terrain, and other obstacles. Sometimes, rocks or buildings can be used to your advantage, but more often than not, they will serve to be a weakness of your bunker base.
It can be difficult to find a location to place your bunker, especially on Shard 1 where all of the ma*sive clans will have built ma*sive bunkers in every important region on the map within a few hours of the beginning of the war, but these bunkers will inevitably become destroyed, and people are always needed to jump at the opportunity to construct bunkers in newly occupied regions.
The Bunker Core
As the name implies, this is the core of your bunker base. It is the square piece with the ramp that you spawn in and the area which needs to be accessed in order to resupply the bunker and manage unlocks. As was mentioned in the previous section, it should be located along a road so that it can be accessed by trucks to resupply the bunker, or by armed vehicles to rearm themselves. Also remember that this is the location at which players will spawn and resupply, so make it easy for people to walk to and from the bunker core. This will make it more likely that players will actually spawn here and use your bunker.
You are free to vary the shape of your core, but there are many in-game requirements to keep in mind and some preferences that I have that you should consider. A bunker core must be comprised of at least six (6) connected (not by trenches) bunker pieces, and the square piece that you intend on turning into the actual bunker core piece (the bit with the ramp) must be constructed with a Construction Vehicle (CV) and MUST BE TIER 1 in order to build. Keep in mind that the rest of your bunker base must be connected to your bunker core in order for garrisons and such to be constructed.
I advise against constructing your bunker core larger than the necessary six pieces. This will result in a greater bunker footprint and reduced structural integrity, making your bunker more vulnerable to artillery and takes up space near your bunker core which could be used for garrisons to protect your bunker or allow vehicles to access your bunker. I would also advise against constructing any garrisons, generators, and observation bunkers on your core, as they will also reduce the structural integrity of your core.
Below is the style of bunker core I, among many other builders, ALWAYS construct with minimal variations. It is the minimum size and with corner pieces to further shrink the footprint. This design also enables vehicles to access the structure from the other side if the ramp is pointed away from the road. A crane (which has been temporarily removed for clarity) can also be placed on top of the bunker, reducing clutter around your bunker.
Upgrade progress can be seen on the right side of the bunker base menu (seen below). Upgrade progress is furthered by “player activity”, which the devs have not fully explained. However, it is known that the most important aspect to this is the number of players who have set their spawn at this bunker, followed by the amount of supplies brought to and contained within the bunker base. It is also suspected that player proximity, respawning, and the a*sembly of items can impact the speed, but the most important aspect is simply setting player spawns.
Voting is another important part of unlocking base upgrades. Although doing so is not believed to add to “player activity”, voting ensures that the player activity you contribute is focused onto a single item instead of being split among the other unlocks by default. You can only vote on a base upgrade if it is actively being unlocked and a green checkmark inside of the square indicates that you have done so. Completed base upgrades are shown in solid white squares, and upgrades in progress are shown as partially filled squares, with progress indicated by the dark background being filled in by the lighter background. Unavailable upgrades are similar to the incomplete upgrades, but the icon will also be subdued. Some upgrade icons will be filled in with red in stead of white, indicating that the required number of bunker modifications (see: Bunker Modifications) have not been met.
In order to encourage players to set their spawn and vote for the appropriate upgrades, I recommend that you leave a sign by your bunker base core that asks players to do so. Remember to not place the sign too close to the bunker base, as that will obstruct access to the bunker base.
Below is a table of each upgrade and the approximate amount of time it will take with only one player with a spawn set, with upgrade times decreasing with additional players or other “player activity”. They are listed in the order in which I (and many others) recommend they are completed, although this order can be tweaked to suit your situation.
|Provisional Garrison (Tier 1 AI)||<30 minutes||AI with sufficient player activity|
|Small Garrison (Tier 2 AI)||<24 hours||AI without player activity + No decay with supplies|
|Rifle Garrison (RG)||<30 minutes||Allows RG construction|
|Large Garrison (T3 AI)||<72 hours||Reduces upkeep supply cost|
|Machine Gun Garrison (MG)||<1 hour||Allows MG construction|
|Anti-Tank Gun Garrison (ATG)||<24 hours||Allows ATG construction|
|Observation Bunkers (OB)||<1 hour||Allows OB construction|
|Concrete Structures||<24 hours||Allows T3 bunker construction|
|Howitzer Garrison (HG)||<72 hours||Allows HG construction|
|Deployment Point||<72 hours||Allows players to deploy here from the home region|
|Advanced Bunkers||<72 hours||Allows SC/IC construction|
Pillboxes and Watchtowers
Pillboxes and watchtowers are incredibly cheap to construct and are very effective. Although I do not recommend their inclusion in large, advanced, bunker bases, they are incredibly useful for securing town perimeters and logistics routes, as well as for protecting the build area during the construction of a bunker base.
All three (Rifle, Machine Gun, and Anti-Tank) types of pillboxes are useful, and I recommend that you place all three in roughly equal proportions wherever they are needed. Friendly infantry can enter these pillboxes for protection and the pillboxes will automatically shoot enemies if AI is enabled.
Watchtowers provide map information (the location of enemies and friendlies) within 80 meters of the tower to those with radios. I recommend that you spam these everywhere you need them with overlapping range.
Garrisons, Engines, and Observation Bunkers
As mentioned previously, all of these structures will reduce the structural integrity of the bunker by various amounts. Unfortunately, the precise amounts of SI reduction are unknown, but the relative values are well understood.
Rifle Garrisons (RGs) have a range of ~30 meters (measured from the center of the bunker piece) in all directions and will shoot at any enemy infantry within range if AI is active. If players are able to access the interior of the garrison, they can enter the second floor of the structure (by pressing Q by default) which gives a better view of the surrounding area and makes shooting into trenches easier. The AI is still functional when a player is inside.
Machine Gun Garrisons
Machine Gun Garrisons (MGs) have a narrow field of fire (~90 deg) and have a range of ~35 meters, and similar to the RG, will shoot at any enemy infantry within range if AI is active. They can deal with large quantities of infantry, but due to their inflexibility, I recommend they are only used in special circumstances, such as in the case of a bunker built in a choke point (e.g. bridges, between mountains, etc.).
Anti-Tank Gun Garrisons
Anti-Tank Gun Garrisons (ATGs) can only be constructed on Tier 2 bunkers and have a wide field of fire (~180 deg) with a range of ~30 meters. They will shoot at any vehicles in range if AI is active. However, ATGs have an additional “retaliation” or “aggro” range of ~50 meters within which ATGs can shoot at vehicles they have received damage from. ATGs are very effective at deterring attack by vehicles, especially in the early-mid war.
Howitzer Garrisons (HGs) can only be constructed on Tier 3 bunkers and have an intermediate field of fire (~120 deg) with a range of ~400 meters. They can shoot at any enemy (infantry, vehicles, emplacements, pillboxes, and even other garrisons) in retaliation to bunker damage (e.g. HE grenades, rockets, tank shells, and artillery). HGs are incredibly effective at deterring attack by any means.
Engine Rooms (or Generators) provide electricity to your bunker base with the aid of utility pipes. They must be filled with diesel to function (maximum capacity of 200) and, when full, will provide power for 48 hours. Electricity is necessary for garrisons to function at night, with sufficient power indicated by a searchlight on top of the garrison.
Because engine rooms significantly impact the structural integrity of bunkers, it is recommended that you keep engine bunkers separate from your garrison bunkers.
Observation Bunkers (OB, Observation Tower, etc.) are essentially the same as watch towers but with double the range (~160 meters) which can be further increased by bunker modifications. They require much more energy than garrisons.
Layout and Construction
Generally speaking, I recommend that RGs are placed along and within your bunker base with their fields of fire strongly overlapping. Although they have a significant field of fire, they can only handle a small number of enemies at once, so they can be vulnerable to mammon rushes by large numbers of infantry.
ATGs should be placed along the perimeter of your bunker base, pointed outward (obviously) or wherever you expect the enemy to approach. It is not necessary that their fields of fire overlap strongly, as they are sufficient alone, although more is always better. Some like to place multiple facing roads or within choke points.
HGs, should you choose to plan far ahead and include these within your bunker base, should be placed behind other garrison pieces as part of the same bunker so that they will retaliate when your RGs/ATGs are attacked. They are incredibly effective, but they also significantly impact the SI of your bunker.
When placing your bunkers and trenches, I recommend that you place all of your desired “footprints” (the sticks and string) before you begin digging. This is because when you are constructing very space-efficient/compact bunker layouts, complete bunkers can prevent you from placing other bunker pieces nearby, as the “hitbox” of complete bunkers are larger than the footprints. In the case that you fear enemy attack before the completion of concrete, I also recommend that you avoid placing any garrisons and to entirely rely upon pillboxes. This is because destroyed garrisons do not leave behind a rubble “footprint” which can simply be rebuilt and may require you to completely demolish your bunker base to re-place your garrison pieces.
Below are some bunker shapes/designs that I use and recommend:
The Corner Piece
The 5-garrison “Meta”
Because engine bunkers significantly impact SI, keep them separate from the rest of your bunkers. The most recommended engine bunker involves a 1×3 bunker structure with two engine rooms inside. However, some prefer 1×2 with one engine for additional SI, or 1×1/1×2 with only engine rooms for space efficiency. Below is an example of a series of 1×1 engine rooms.
I recommend that you build an observation bunker separate from all of your other bunkers near the center of your bunker base (near your core). I also recommend that you DO NOT connect this (and accompanying engine room) to the “energy grid” of your other bunkers, as the OB requires 1000W of electricity instead of 600W. Because engine rooms provide equal energy to all bunkers, this would mean that you would have to supply every garrison with >1000W of electricity in order for your OB to function.
What about trenches?
Within the confines of your bunker base, the only purpose of trenches is to serve as utility lines and connect your various bunkers to your bunker core. Alternatively, they may also serve as a means for players to leave your core and enter other bunkers without being exposed to artillery. Ideally, they should not be designed to be fought from.
However, outside of your bunker complex, they are incredibly valuable, as they can provide cover for your infantry and expand your area of influence. I highly recommend that for every trench you construct, you place barbed wire facing the enemy and sandbags facing behind, in order to make the trench difficult to use for the enemy.
Octagonal trenches are also highly recommended (required, basically) if you wish to include an artillery battery in your bunker.
Storm Cannons and Intelligence Centers
Upkeep and Maintenance
Every bunker base requires supplies in order to prevent the decay of structures. Generally speaking, there is a ~24 hour “grace period” following the construction of a bunker during which decay will not occur and supplies are not consumed. However, following the grace period, these structures will take damage and, eventually, completely disappear.
Bunker supplies (Bsups) are used to prevent the decay of bunkers and trenches. With the Tier 3 AI (Large Garrison) upgrade, each trench and bunker piece will consume one per hour. However, when your bunker base is supplied with Garrison Supplies, they will not be consumed. They cost the same as Garrison supplies and are useful when you wish to only maintain bunker structures without pillboxes.
Garrison Supplies (Gsups) are used to prevent the decay of all structures. This includes the previously mentioned bunkers and trenches, as well as pillboxes, watchtowers, sandbags, barbed wire, tank traps, storage boxes, shipping containers, concrete mixers, field guns and emplaced guns (when placed outside of trenches).
How many do I need?
At the upper right of your screen, you will see how many supplies are consumed per hour (if your bunker contains supplies). Take this number and multiply it by however many hours you wish for your bunker to continue standing to calculate how many supplies you need. This applies to town bases and relic bases as well.
This is all we can share for Base building mechanics of the game and recommendations – Foxhole for today. I hope you enjoy the guide! If you have anything to add to this guide or we forget something please let us know via comment! We check each comment! Don’t forget to check SteamClue.com for MORE!
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