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.
The best base locations
Where to build? You can put your camp just about anywhere, and it's a snap to move it whenever you want, but here are a few spots we recommend.
Whitespring Golf Course
There's lots of room to build on the golf course at Whitespring Resort, and it has the added benefits of lots of patrolling robots to keep you safe from monster incursions plus proximity to all the shops and vendors inside the resort.
The downside is, lots of people build at Whitespring so you may have your spot taken by another base when you login, and you'll have to try a different server.
Gilman Lumber Mill
It's a pretty serene spot where you won't be interrupted, with the added bonus that busy bots trundle around collecting wood and stacking it up. One less resource you'll need to gather yourself.
Just north of missile silo Site Alpha in The Savage Divide there's a nice flat spot to build a camp, plus a sweet little pond perfect for setting up some water purifiers. The area gets a lot of traffic, however, as players regularly visit Site Alpha to launch nukes, which means your base may be discovered and plundered.
There's a decent spot to the west of Morgantown Station, and as with all train stations, it's got access to a vendor where you can sell your spare junk and use the stash chest. It's also close to the airport if you want your base to be near a recurring public event. On the other hand, there's a lot of player traffic in the area for the exact same reason.
Near Tyler County Dirt Track
If you're planning to take over public workshops whenever you play, building near one is a good idea. Tyler County Dirt Track is a good spot—the workshop is easy to clear, it has an aluminum deposit, and there's the river nearby you can use as a water supply.
North of Sunnyside Station
Just north of Sunnyside Station and Southeast of Palace of the Winding Patch you'll find an unassuming hilltop. What makes this location great isn't just the proximity to the vendor at the station but a lead depost you can place an extractor on.
Southwest of Watoga, and just east of Relay Tower EL-B1-02, there's a nice secluded clliffside area with a small pond, perfect for water purifiers. It's close to Cranberry Bog for when you're looking for some action. YouTuber Cordless VII has a beautiful base built here.
Now that you've got a spot picked out, here are some tips on building your camp.
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.