Frostpunk

A New Home: the Spoiler-Minimal Guide

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Frostpunk's greatest strength is its story. It throws plenty of curveballs at you, making your first playthrough of any scenario much more difficult and memorable than subsequent playthroughs. My goal with these guides is to offer advice on what you may need to focus on in each scenario, easing the difficulty of your first run without ruining the first-time experience. While scrambling to meet unforeseen demands could be argued to be a part of that experience, I'd argue that the risk of losing the game and needing to replay from the beginning at every new challenge is worse, especially for someone that is new to or bad at this type of game.

I'll censor each tip individually so you can pick and chose what you want to know. Let's dive in, shall we?

A New Home

First Arc

recommended research focus- scouts, food, and building materials

recommended resource focus- wood (especially for research!), food

Just follow the tutorial questline here and get a feel for the game. Remember to sign a law right away and get research started! Don't worry about hope and discontent right now, just survival. You can start affording to do the Right Thing later when your city is fully functioning, probably after arc 2 starts. Remember that laws cannot be repealed: if you want to eventually provide child shelters later, it means no child labor now.

Basics about hope and discontent- Discontent measures the anger of your people and how much they are willing to put up with. Bad situations with housing, food, healthcare, working hours & conditions, and heat are the main causes of this anger. Discontent is fluid and follows these situations closely: very little resentment lingers when the situations improve. Hope gives your people's lives purpose. It has more permanence to it and, unlike discontent, cannot be improved by simply running a functional city, only by following up on your promises and doing good, usually inefficient, things, such as providing child shelters and proper burials.

Basics about housing- People will freeze to death in their sleep if they are homeless and the generator is down. At the start, it's pretty warm, so you can pick one or the other! If you turn the generator on at night and flip on the overdrive, you can turn it off during daytime and postpone building houses until people start to complain. If you build everyone a tent, there's no need to ever turn the generator on, even for the night, until the temperature starts to drop.

Basics about the generator- Play with the overdrive. Master it. This game is about pushing your limits in tough times, then recovering; balancing overdrive plays a large part in that. Flip it on at night to keep people healthier, then let it cool off during the day. Turn it on and lower the heat to save coal if you'd otherwise just be sitting on 0% stress. Make sure to head into a temperature drop with as little generator stress as possible!

Second Arc

recommended research focus- coal, insulation, heat

recommended resource focus- none in particular

The tutorial is over. From this point forward, start thinking completely for yourself instead of doing what you think the game wants you to do. You will be given many terrible lose-lose choices to make. Just because your people demand something doesn't mean it's what you should do. You're the captain and you call the shots, so long as you don't upset your people so much that they throw you out of power.

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This arc is all about people. You will have to deal with social unrest, political factions, and crime. There are no real challenges relating to physical needs other than the usual drops in temperature. Remember when I said don't focus on doing the right thing? Now is the perfect opportunity to turn your city into a perfect utopia! Or just keep your people contained, somehow. Whatever works.

Third Arc

recommended research focus- healthcare, scouts, steam hubs

recommended resource focus- first steel and wood, then food and coal

Congratulations! If you've made it this far, you probably won't lose the game, even if you barely scrape by with a quarter of your population alive. Now it's about winning on your own terms as a sort of stretch goal. Just don't get thrown from power and you'll be fine. This arc tests and strains your city's infrastructure. You will need to provide healthcare and housing to a very large number of people, all while keeping your excess food production at an all-time high. Some new scouting locations open up during this arc! If you are fast enough, you can save some lives and even find some high-tier technologies that will be instantly researched upon your scout's safe return to the city!!

Grand Finale

recommended research focus- heat, overdrive, house insulation, workplace automation

recommended resource focus- let's hope you have everything you need by now! keep up the coal production!

What a brilliantly terrifying experience this part is. Make sure to unassign all workers from any nonfunctional workplaces or they'll just stand there in the cold all day. Don't read any of the spoilers here unless you're at this part of the game already and desperately need help. You'll be fine, right? You gathered everything on the game's checklist… Right…? Sure, let's go with that.

If you can't keep your people happy and they threaten to overthrow you, just make it to the end. Hope will skyrocket and discontent will plummet. If you're REALLY desperate for wood, steel, or steam cores during this part, you don't have to deal with the aftermath, so any food production buildings can be safely dismantled. If you're afraid of people starving to death, especially if you rely on hunting, you don't have to deal with the aftermath. If you can't possibly admit everyone who is sick to treatment before they die of illness, keep them alive however you can for now, you don't have to deal with the aftermath. If you read those spoilers (I told you not to!) and couldn't quite tell, I kind of wish that you had to deal with the aftermath, but maybe that's just me.

And that's it, that's the whole guide! Hopefully I could help some newcomers out. The first experience with every scenario really is almost magical and I'd love to relive it through you all, so please, tell me all about it! For the next one, I plan to just go in order and do The Arks, so look for that if this one didn't bore you to tears.

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