How to build your Fallout 76 base without getting completely frustrated

Fallout 76’s building system is not substantially more friendly and intuitive than the settlement building of Fallout 4. It’s a bit like a camping trip with your dad if he bought a tent yesterday and refuses to read the instructions for putting it together. If anything, the multiplayer considerations throw an extra stick in the spokes, resulting in a lot of frustration. 

With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some tips and reminders to make C.A.M.P.-ing slightly less painful than it initially feels.

Don’t panic when it isn’t where you left it 

Eventually, you as a proud C.A.M.P owner will find yourself logging into a Fallout 76 map in which your meticulously designed barn loft has vanished and someone else’s sloppy shack is standing in its place. Don’t panic. Next time you place your C.A.M.P in a new location, check the build tab that says “stored” to find your base saved (mostly) as it was.

I often found my main structure and what I’d placed inside it laid out properly but any defenses or crafting stations I left on the ground outside were stored separately. The icon in the left sidebar may just be a single tato plant, like mine was, but your base should be there. If it’s not (because that’s reported to be an unfortunate possibility) you’ll be up an irradiated creek without a board.

Make your C.A.M.P a blueprint (or several) 

Save yourself the heartache and make your base into a blueprint by swapping from build mode to edit mode (which also lets you move the placement of your current objects) and hold the key prompt at the bottom of the screen to create a blueprint. You’ll need to actually walk over and select the structure you want to blueprint—presumably so individual structures in some sprawling compound can be saved and arranged separately. 

After selecting the relevant structure, you can save and name the blueprint. This will let you place down the same structure even if it gets packed up against your will. Beware: blueprints will use components that you have stored (meaning it won’t waste new resources) but only if the components are stored separately. Anything that’s still grouped, like your forcibly stored C.A.M.P, will not be counted. You’ll need to break that structure out into pieces. 

Keep a small footprint

Even if you’ve blueprinted your C.A.M.P, you may struggle to place it down in a new location. West Virginia, for all its natural beauty, is full of uneven terrain that Fallout 76’s building system is constantly at odds with. I found myself begrudgingly unsurprised when my modest two by six foundation house didn’t want to be placed down in a hilly forest. 

What was infuriating was finding that it also didn’t want to be placed on the flattest and more manicured golf green I could find. Despite the perfect terrain, Fallout 76 still complained that part of my structure was floating. To combat this, many players are building structures supported by a single foundation piece (see the helpful video above by monkeypuzzle on YouTube) that grows outward as it rises. This doesn’t lead to the most aesthetic or structurally-sound designs, but getting Fallout 76 to tolerate placing a single foundation piece has proved easier than a larger, more beautiful structure. 

Go shopping AND exploring 

The Whitesprings resort has quickly become one of my favorite locations in the game. It’s a safe haven of beauty harkening back to the Tenpenny Tower of Fallout 3 but with none of the same signs of nuclear fallout. Whitesprings’ marbled floors aren’t the only feature that remains untouched by the apocalypse. The basement is full of Mr. Handy units in boutique shops happy to finally have new customers. The Studio 58 store has plans for a number of fancy furniture pieces to bring your masterpiece C.A.M.P up to pre-war standards of cleanliness. 

Plans (and food recipes) can also be found while exploring the wide wasteland of West Virginia. You can often spot them as a red spiral notebook with papers shoved in it sitting on shelves or desks. Plans are also given out as rewards for certain events. If you really want to have every decor option at your fingertips, you’ll have to leave the house occasionally. 

Read the fine print

Don’t forget to read your plans after you find or buy them! It sounds obvious, and it is, but a quick Reddit search confirms I’m not the only dolt to furiously dig through the building menu for an object I swore I found plans for only to realize the plan is still sitting in my inventory “Notes” section waiting to be consumed. 

Be wary of plans your already own when speaking to a vendor as well. A number of players have wasted caps buying plans that they’ve already unlocked. This sounds obvious too, but it’s easy to get carried away on shopping trips sometimes.

The best defense is extra defense 

After being awoken from my beauty sleep atop my spotless new bed by gunshots and the guttural shouts of super mutants on multiple occasions, I decided it was time to build a few turrets to welcome them. I quickly found that leaving turrets on the ground outside just meant I would quickly waste resources repairing said turrets when low level ghouls decided to snack on them. 

If you’re going to invest in defending your new homestead, don’t half-ass it. Build a partition for your turrets. Put them on a second-story balcony where ankle-biting mole rats can’t immediately reach them while you scramble to get outside with your shotgun and chase them off. If your defense is worth doing, it’s worth doing properly.