Extreme Cold Guide

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Before you start[edit]

If you picked a Sea Ice biome, then none of the below really matters. Build up a tiny indoor area, build turbines, research hydroponics as soon as possible (You only need to build a few), and sacrifice everyone except for your two ascetic psychopaths. Raids from mechanoids can be easily dealt with by hiding inside.

Getting off on the right foot[edit]

As with any landing, pause and survey the site. Plan your entire endgame base BEFORE you even start building.

If you wish to try your hand at harnessing an enclosed geothermal vent for heating then make sure to locate these early as it may influence where your first shelter goes.

You need to create shelter quickly, not only will your colonists get unhappy sleeping on the ground but they may not survive the nights. While you may have some grand scheme in mind for this biome, your first day is all about a roof and a door, anything will do, get it done as soon as possible as your colonists will quickly fall due to the extreme cold. Only when you have finished building something and you have a campfire to warm up then you should start hauling your resources.

Keeping in mind after you have done that try to keep an eye on your colonist's health as depending on how far you need to travel you will need hypothermia to be either non existent or very close to 1 percent (1% - 5% ideally before leaving the warm).

Don't build your walls out of wood, especially if you landed on an ice sheet - they are important fuel for your first nights! If your colony is a tribe, build your shelter deep into a big mountain to insulate precious heat, even if you don't plan on staying there later.

For the early nights, heating without electrical power can be handled if you have wood accessible by constructing a campfire in a small room adjacent to your shelter, this way the heat leaks through the wall but doesn't cook your survivors. If you are not getting enough heat transferred through the wall then add a forbidden door into the room with the fire to increase the temperature. If you need to dismantle this room later and the fire is still lit remember to remove the roof before heading in.

If you can manage the shelter and so on with 2 then sending a hunter out with the rifle is not a bad plan. Try and bag something hairy or woolly, the corpse isn't rotting anytime soon and you will want that going forward...

Planning for success[edit]

Heat and food, its all about these two when you get right down to it. The lack of one causing lack of the other.

While the warm weather lasts (assuming you started in summer and its not already lethal out because you have a death-wish) get as much hunting done as you can. You needs furs/hides to be able to create decent winter gear. If your biome has enough swing for a mild summer then set up a summer and winter dress code; Cowboy hats and jackets in summer, tuques and parkas in winter. You also need to start hoarding food, a freezer is a simple thing here (just build a room with a vent) and you can create huge larders pretty cheaply in these conditions. Another early game problem is the lack of "Stuff" to build your walls and structures, so make sure that stonecutting(after electricity of course) is the first thing you research.

You should start constructing/digging something that will hold/house your colony in a fashion you can sustain. Plan for emergencies and pay mind to backups more than usual. Storyteller stuff like solar flares can be lethal when they knock out your heating, having a few strategic campfires (or potato-powered bonfires) set up helps you through this sort of thing.

Another useful trick is to fully charge a battery and then reinstall it somewhere off the power grid. Batteries lose 5w per day while uninstalled or when not connected to anything. Thus it takes about a year for the spare battery's charge to drain down below 300w. If you have enough steel and conduits, you can keep multiple backup batteries. If you then get a conduit short and battery discharge (also known as a Zzztt) and get a blackout then you can reinstall backup batteries once more and go to emergency power. Spare batteries can also be brought along on caravans, for example, to power turrets when attacking an enemy outpost.

Always be thinking of the temperature and containing it when designing your base and reacting to events. Compartmentalization stops breaches in the outer walls from venting the entire compound.

Set up your farms as soon as you can spare the construction effort. If you have a summer grow season then get that in and planted up somewhere outdoors as soon as possible with a fast crop. If you don't have a grow season then you can still begin farming before going to all the hassle of unlocking hydroponics provided you have dirt on your biome. If you are in an ice sheet biome, potatoes are your savior as not much grows in the minimal gravel in an ice sheet environment. Build a quick room over the dirt and place the grow zone inside, then a heater set to around 14 degrees Celsius.(10 c is actually the threshold for growth but this covers fluctuations as the door opens). A sun lamp is the only option for sunlight for your crops as standing lights do not provide the necessary light levels (regardless of how many are built). Keep in mind sun lamps draw a considerable amount of power so always try to have different sources of power (wind turbine or solar panel). You should be able to pop a decent crop before winter however, especially if you can find rich soil and run fast species (such as rice).

Just in case a devastating power failure happens and your colony plunges into coldness and darkness, build a room around a nearby steam vent (about 10x10) as a place to seek refuge until the power comes back online. Many colonies have perished to the bane that is Cassandra Classic. Due to this, hydroponics also aren't a direct ticket to success, as plants will quickly die under the solar flare's wrath. Keep in mind, however, that in a biome that does have summer such as Boreal Forest, you can still get a Heat Wave. If it's early on and you've built all your structures around a vent, you can paradoxically find your whole colony downed by heatstroke. The upside is that cold snaps are not much of an issue in extreme cold biomes. In a tropical biome a cold snap is a big problem. But for your colonists, it's Tuesday.

As winter approaches and the first snows fall, get some paths designed for any outdoor stretches that your colonists repeatedly use. These need to be flagged as snow clearance zones; someone with the Cleaning task will then come and shovel. If the journey is any considerable distance you should pave it as soon as possible, once the real cold sets in you want the few moving around to do so swiftly.

Another option for routes you'll need to travel frequently is to set up pillars and roofs along the path. This will keep snow from accumulating with no effort from your pawns, and will also allow them to travel further during Toxic Fallout with minimal toxic buildup. Pay attention to where these pathways are relative to your killbox, however. Raiders can and will use them as cover, and sections of roof may collapse if the pillars supporting them are destroyed.

Tailoring the winter gear takes a pretty good amount of time unless you have a genius in your first 3, get it started in good time. Stripping downed raiders before they die may be a viable route to get un-tainted parkas and tuques. The gear may be poor quality but it will keep your colonists alive and save them time.


  • Plan your endgame base at the very start
  • Priorities
    • 1.Heat (Steel wall/dead raider bonfires as well as proper heat)
    • 2.Immediate food
    • 3.Insulating clothing
    • 4.Refuge and emergency power
    • 5.Mass Food (hydroponics)
  • Build near steam vents or into mountains (or both)
    • Don't use wood for walls as wood is fuel
    • Don't waste time - make your shelter immediately!
  • Research Electricity then Stonecutting (Stonecutting can go first if your biome has a warm season)
    • Start stonecutting immediately
    • Set up non-wood power sources even more immediately
    • Hydroponics are not the most essential nor the most reliable
  • Resources are limited
  • Tribal heat sources
    • Midgame bonfires can be made from anything flammable (Burn in small stacks for them to last longer, or burn flammable walls)
    • Campfires are only temporary if you don't have a constant supply of wood.
    • Build a room around all nearby steam geysers in preparation for short circuits and solar flares