The ATLAS objective with its minimal 1x1x1 hit-box is generally one of the easiest to defend with the right build. Generally speaking there are two types of builds you can do: the pyramid build, and the inverted build which I will teach you here. While the regular pyramid build is the easiest to move around, and thus very suitable for a combat focussed play style, it offers little space to place traps and is thus very vulnerable when not actively defended. The inverted build on the other hand is perfect for placing lots of traps, and is therefore the favourite of most Constructors. In this guide I will show you all you need to know to build the very defensive inverted ATLAS.
Note: this build is also suitable for the Retrieve The Data mission, although in that case there will be some pieces that you can only build after the payload has dropped. Many of the concepts shown here are equally well applicable to other objectives. Also, this build is for a completely free standing ATLAS; if the terrain does not allow the full build it has to be adapted, but that is material for another guide.
The Build (3 Stages of Complexity)
In this section I will show you three variations on the build with increasing complexity. Important is that these are definitely not set in stone; you can mix and match elements you like from each stage.
Stage 1 – Traps used: 4 Floor Launchers, 4 Ceiling Zappers
This is the bare essence of the inverted build; the ATLAS is surrounded by four ramps which slope up outwards. Under each ramp there is a floor piece with a Floor Launcher attached, and the roof piece over each ramp carries a Ceiling Zapper. The idea is that when husks attack the ramps, they will get zapped by the Ceiling Zappers (this trap zaps through the ramps) and flung back out by the Floor Launchers. Defensively this is the bare minimum, but when actively defended, and when under the effect of a Constructor B.A.S.E. with the Fully Contained perk (damage reflection, associated with Electro-Pulse Penny) and Power Modulation and/or Lofty Architecture (resp. self-healing/stronger walls, Power B.A.S.E. Knox/Penny/Kyle and B.A.S.E. Kyle), this can be all you need. Note that the build is open at the vertices of the ATLAS; there is some debate about this, but in general, when the husks are not slightly elevated above ground level (that is by a floor build at this spot or uneven terrain), they will not walk through these gaps. If you notice that they do walk through the gaps, you can quickly put up triangle walls in these spots. Generally, I always put them in for good measure, and when we start using the corner pieces these triangle walls will become necessary. If you're playing as a Constructor, the roof piece right above the ATLAS is the perfect place for your B.A.S.E. To get on top of the build you can add one of the entry points shown later in the guide.
Stage 2 – Traps used: 4 Floor Launchers, 4 Ceiling Zappers, 4 Ceiling Gas Traps, 4 Wooden Floor Spikes
A logical expansion of stage 1. For stage 2 the floors and roofs above the ramps are extended one more tile outwards, and carry a Ceiling Gas Trap and Wooden Floor Spikes. You can use any trap of your liking, but my personal preference is this combination, as the husks are slowed by the Wooden Floor Spikes while being severely damaged by the Gas Traps. Note that these additions are most effective on husks that are already flung back once, as husks approaching from different directions may just bypass this tile.
Stage 3 – Top view
Stage 3 – Ground level
Now this is what Kyle calls a Base. Is it completely over the top? Yes. Is it fun though? Absolutely. The main feature of this stage are the added entry points up onto the build at the corners (more on this later). As noted earlier, when utilising the corners like this, it generally becomes necessary to cover up the gaps at the vertices in some way. There is no need to add extra traps relative to stage 2, but when covering the gaps with low walls (preferred over full walls to preserve accessibility) instead of triangle walls, you can add Wall Dynamos there.
Wall dynamos on low walls in stage 3
One other option is to surround the corner pieces with walls and place Wall Darts on these, so they shoot across where the Floor Launcher is.
Building cost for each stage
Assuming all legendary traps, tier 3 building and regular building cost. 'Flower' corners in stage 3.
|Stage 1||Stage 2||Stage 3 (no additional traps)|
|Building materials||780 (13 structures)||1260 (21 structures)||2940 (49 structures)|
|Nuts 'n' Bolts||52||96||96|
|Duct Tape (equivalent to 3 Herbs, 1 Adhesive Resin)||–||8||8|
The Corner Piece Conjecture
As you may have noticed, I have shunned calling this build the inverted pyramid. This is deliberate, and the reason why brings us to an often poorly understood subject; the corner pieces on the inverted build. The corner pieces on an inverted pyramid would by definition have the three outer corners lifted, to complete the pyramid shape. This however, is not the best setup for multiple reasons:
- Husks do not attack these corner pieces, and thus they add no defensive value.
- Moreover, they greatly impede the accessibility of the build, both vertically and around it on ground level.
Adding corner pieces to the inverted build is optional, as they in no case add any actual defensive value, but when correctly placed they can offer a way to quickly move up and down the build to reach your B.A.S.E. or possibly Defenders you stationed up there. As alternatives to the aforementioned use of the corner pieces, I will show you three more useful options. Triangle walls or other means of covering the gaps at the vertices are necessary in all cases.
The infamous inverted full pyramid. Please do not do this unless you have a good reason that I am not aware of.
Jump pads at the corners
Jump pad at the corner
One way to get up onto the build is by placing jump pads at the corners of the build. These are very consistent, but can feel sluggish as you jump much higher than that you need to be.
Outermost corner lifted pyramid pieces (Flower build)
'Flower' corner piece
As in stage 3; this is my personal favourite. A pyramid piece with the outermost corner lifted leads up to the four edited roof pieces shown above. Not the most efficient on building materials, but elegant and supplies a smooth way up and down the build, while also possibly serving as cover against Blasters for instance. Pieces like this also force the husks to walk under the Gas Traps no matter where they came from.
Regular pyramid pieces at the corners
Regular pyramid at corner
Very occasionally I see players do this. I personally do not like this one as you have to jump in a specific way to get up, so I find it not very consistent, but this may get better with practice.
There are more options, so experiment and see what you come up with! Also be sure to feel free and only put an entry point on one or two corners of the build. There is no need for the build to be symmetric, and one entry point can often be sufficient.
I hope to have given you some inspiration on how to build around objectives like ATLAS' and data payloads. It is important to note that these build always work best in conjunction with some trap tunnels further out, and/or active combat, to minimise the risk of propane huskies, lobbers and flingers. Also stay critical of which materials you use, depending on elements and the stress that a specific piece has to endure in your mission. For illustrative purpose I upgraded everything to tier 3, but this is definitely not necessary for all pieces (like the triangle walls for instance). Experiment with where you can save materials, and be creative 🙂
That's all for me. Good luck saving the world!
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