Favorite Starting Base Locations & Mid-Game Base Locations?

I’m pretty new to this game (I installed it this month), but I’ve already observed that farms don’t seem quite as good as I’d expected for base locations, but fire stations and hotel basements are oddly-effective. What do you guys find are good?

My personal favorites are labs (especially if they’re close-ish to town) and oddly enough, schools.

Labs almost always have an infinite water supply (the room with the locked metal door and leaking water), they’re fairly easy to clear or at least make some areas very safe (concrete walls and metal doors to keep the horrors in and away from you), they have LOTS of crafting supplies of nearly every kind (rags galore, metal, plastic, computer bits, pipes, wood), they tend to have some nifty books (though usually too advanced for a newbie), and they have some VERY nifty weapons/CBMs, when you can get to them. Just VERY short on food…

For a school, I usually set up shop at the back door on the other side from the cafeteria, kill the nearest stuff as needed, then drag the lockers from that one windowless room around outside to make “walls” with no ceiling (so, I’m not seen, but I have light). I can sleep in the windowless room (on a pile of zombie clothes) day or night, it’s almost always got funnels and containers, so I have a decent water supply (also safe from prying eyes), and at night, I can raid the cafeteria for food and the library for books. It can be a GREAT starter area (though you have to be careful of the horde that is likely out front bashing cars - keep your pile of loot OUTSIDE and not directly next to the walls in case a car fire spreads to the building). Worst problem is managing to kill the child zombies and the morale penalty that brings, but if you can draw them away, you can kill them with bush-fires to avoid both problems. Nail-boards can also help a good bit, as does any weapon (even low damage ones) with a good hit bonus.

An edge-of-town grocery store (the style with a back door) can also be decent, as can the stone-house-with-pool.

I can make do with any building, but i specifically search for sheet metal to craft a brazier or a fireplace.

But the best would probably be a LMOE, you can fish in the stream and get water forever, it gets even better if there’s a nearby swamp so you can carry a gallon drum full of salt water back to your LMOE to make salt.

A lava stream is also nice for permanent light/heat/fire, later on you can build a water well close by and plant oats/wheat/veggies.

The thing I like best about the farms is that you can get your car indoors, with enough space left to set up everything you need right next to it. Build some walls to close off the area between the barn and the other little building whatever it is, open up a door, and you have secure open air for daylight, funnels and solar panels.


What is ‘base’?

I havenr built an immobile base since… 4 or 5 months now? At least.

I dont choose based on explicit locations. I choose base on location and local geography. If it looks fun, or like a cool place, I build.

I once built my house in a garage intercity in 0.C with dynamic spawns on.
I once built my home on an island connected by bridges and covered in craters.
I once built a wooden house at the end of a street of houses in a large city
I once built a home in between 2 large city clusters and borded off the road and had NPCs wait like border guards.
I once made a home of a house by a river bordered by city and I would go around every othr week and clear out new zombie infestations.
I built a home by lava, a few times, though thats harder than it needs to be.
I made a home out of labs before Zlevels were a real thing I played with.

I build based on how inspired I feel by the location, how close it is to other things, and if I think itd be a cool house.

My personal favorite is Refugee Shelters. They have perpetual lighting, are usually scarecly infested, have a decent amount of built-in resources (Some food, water, clothing, furniture), and are large enough to do with as you please. You could even knock down a wall for a garage or dig up a floor.

Large Tents are criminally underrated. With a working motorcycle (which can often be found near the very same field campsite where you pick up these babies) you can easily drive to whatever side of town that provides you the best raiding opportunity, plop down 2 or 3 of them, and go crazy. Mid-Game unfortunately (for the moment at least) doesn’t have any options that are better than “30,000 pound Land Battleship”. Stationary bases just rely on too many variables to be reliable. They need to be a suitable building (Public Works, Lab, LMOE, Hotel, Farm, Mansion w pool etc.) in a suitable location (sandwiched between at least two LARGE cities with decent bit of forest around as well) and they require a metric TON of maintenance to be completely self sufficient. They’re doable, but there’s a reason that people who have played the game for any significant amount of time tend to favor deathmobiles.

I had a tremendously successful base by clearing out a Fema Camp. It was near a river, a large and spacious forest, and there were swamp tiles nearby. My set was something that resembled this:


H was my home that I was building. There was a kitchen and a lounge on the top floor. Underground would have been storage for excess food products and a bedroom.
$ was an entire tile devoted to solar panels. I had more than I could ever want or need.
O was my garage and main crafting station

4, 5, and 6 were tiles that I was uncertain what I would use them for. 6 was the natural entrance for the camp, and I began parking extra vehicles there.

was my farm land. I had way more plants that I could consume.

I have a particular building I prefer for my early base but I won’t say it since it seems like the devs are on a nerfing spree of wiping out everything I like about the game. Every time I play there’s something new that sucks.

Early (infected, chain smoker, melee + a handgun for that hulk, bear) - any house inside a smaller town with a water source somewhat closeby (can be up to one map screen away even, but is ussualy alot closer, snatch a gasoline tank 60l + a motorbike or car or something and u bring back tons of water anyway) then i loot all the surrounding towns first, build up foodco, e forge, chem lab powered by a car engine inside that house, lvl up skills, reading books, craft… hit one or two megastores for dodging etc…

Early 2. > next time i restart im going straight into the Vault. Everything a new char needs is there. With tons of books and food and everything… u can stay there for years.

Mid Game - A 20 ton humvee with 7000-9000 cargo space (remove doors) move the foodco etc… inside from early base house and drive around wherever i want… dont rly drive through zeds much thou, better to stop vehicle and deal with the horde than to constantly repair it and risk destroying foodco etc or gasoline, diesel, water tanks, quantum panels, reactors, wheels…

Late Game - Who knows… thinking of settling again (for fun) building a fort from scratch, since i heard that maps just go on and on without any end in sight… was driving south for 2 ingame years now, clearing some towns in between (larger towns i can clear in a day, 3 hitting hulks with nodachi without taking dmg now, which kinda makes settling somewhere boring, but exploring at this point also, the fun is dissapearing…)
Thought there will be an ocean or something in sight sooner or later hehe, the char eats small amounts by now thanks to bionics (i think) got enough food for 3 years with me or even more… like 5000+ ammo and weaps and armors and power armors of all kind, life is easy anyway, the most trouble comes from addictions hehe

Building houses is for chumps, and by mid game I expect to be permanently on the move, but early game I do keep an eye out for certain things:

#0: Any solar car that runs. Solar cars are more or less silent, and even if it’s lost half of its panels, that’s generally plenty to periodically travel from one town to the next searching for book supplies, to the nearest river, or just somewhere safely out of town. Cars keep you dry, provide light if needed, and seats are about as comfortable as beds. The storage is great too, and they save me time later on, since as soon as my early game reading binge is over I’m generally searching out one of these bad boys anyway to turn into a mobile base.

#1: Mansions: Normal zombies only means it’s fairly easy to clear the whole place even early on, and has the potential to spawn a lot of useful stuff, like katanas and even atomic lighting if you’re lucky. Slightly random whether they’re suitable or not, but if they have a library and an indoor pool they’re solid long term base material, especially since they tend to turn up near forests for easy hunting/foraging. Being out in the woods, they’re also highly insulated from hordes, if you’re playing with them.

#2: Schools: If you don’t mind slaughtering hundreds of child zombies (and why would you?) these are only slightly more risky than mansions and almost as good. Funnels are common for water supply, and books and food are all over the place (not HEALTHY food, mind you…). A quick nap is plenty enough to remove all the morale penalty, and after that you can sit around and read. While not as remote as Mansions, they’re frequently on the outskirts, making them another safe choice with hordes.

#3: Roadside Stops: While they don’t have much in the way of books, the service stops on the side of the road typically have toilets with 500 water each - effectively unlimited considering how long I’ll be staying there, and with almost no enemy presence.

#4: RVs: It doesn’t even need wheels, so long as an RV has a good supply of water in the tank it’s a perfectly viable early game shelter, and any battery remaining can go towards supplementing that or cooking up dinner. Luxury RVs include solar panels already installed, so they’re almost perfect.

#5: Magma vents: Jesus may be your co-pilot, but Satan is my nightlight. Infinite cooking, infinite dim light for reading, and you can train most zombie threats over the lava to soften them up, or straight up kill them, before they reach you. Roof very much optional, since the vent will help keep you warm even in cold weather.

#6: Stone House with a pond: These are pretty rare, but consistently contain a katana. The previous owners don’t appear to believe in curtains, which can make security an issue with hordes. My current game was lucky enough to find one spawned on the outskirts of a town next to a pair of turrets for infinite light.

#7: Shopping Trolley. 200 storage with no encumbrance, safety from spitters, and you can easily use it as a portable shrub to kill enemies in perfect safety - keep it facing a pursuer, let them step onto it, hit them a few times then move one more space and they’ll be constantly climbing over the trolley and never actually hitting you. Many of my more successful games involve just living out in the open, my worldly goods stashed in my trolley until I find somewhere more permanent (at which point the trolley is made foldable and deployed whenever I move more than five steps from my car-base).

Spitters are chumps. Even in groups of 2 to 3, you need to be tied down in melee to be a t risk from them.

That said, they arent weak. They are perfectly strong for a support role monster.

Yeah if you are like surrounded and a spitter comes round the corner…

That way i learned to always try and have an escape route… no matter how well armed i am.

[quote=“pisskop, post:12, topic:12282”]Spitters are chumps. Even in groups of 2 to 3, you need to be tied down in melee to be a t risk from them.

That said, they arent weak. They are perfectly strong for a support role monster.[/quote]

I agree they’re not particularly dangerous unless you’re trapped somewhere, but I consider them more than annoying enough to consider immunity to their fields to be a noteworthy perk, especially since I always forget and pulp them like a chump. With a trolley those fields of acid do nothing except hurt any other zombies that are trying to attack you.

I find turnout gear and survivor fire-gear to be an adequate substitute of a trolley. At this point, I don’t raid a hospital unless if I have a boots, coat, and pants.

I like to make the ‘roving deathmobile’

I helps my packrat mentality slightly because otherwise I’d have every square filled with whatever might be slightly useful at some time filled in a base.

That said, I need to typically make said vehicle. I use a garage or a firestation.

But not ‘any’ garage. I typically pick one with enough vehicles nearby for parts. Since you can board and disassemble windows in the dark. I take 1/2 the back shelf down, and board the windows up. If my skill is too low, I believe I just make a bunch of tables and take them apart until it’s high enough. The vehicle fits in the garage, I make it typically around my searching the city. if the city is too small. I’ll just pack whatever I can into some vehicle and go.

I’m currently working on my “Mobile Base.” I’m in an interesting (and lucky) predicament. I’ve never made it this far before.

Do I go with the Humvee, Military Cargo Van, fire engine, or security van?

BACKGROUND: I have one fully-fuctional, fully-repaired electric car. It’s a standard, civilian electric car with one large electric motor. I haven’t augmented it at all except to add an extra 6 solar panels to it (it now has 10). I have a makeshift welder, welding goggles, around 1800 batteries, and mechanics at 9. No unlooted garages within 2 days’ sight (may be one public works though… don’t remember). I have 3 or 4 more swappable storage batteries from wrecked electric cars and can pick up their cases in a day trip.

DISCLAIMER: Yes, I edited my save / cheated to bring mechanics to 9 - I wanted to test how vehicles work. I didn’t expect THIS much luck though with vehicle spawns!!!

  1. THE HUMVEE: Immediately outside my main Fire Station base is a working diesel-based humvee in decent condition with a UPS charger. Nothing is totally broken but a storage bin. It’d take ~1200 batteries to remove all the diesel-based gear, repair it, and add on the solar panels.

  2. THE MILITARY CARGO VAN: Around 4 hours walking-distance from my main Fire Station base is a Military Cargo Van inside of a hazardous waste sarcophagus. I stuck one solar panel on it and rammed my way out of the locked doors with the van. It doesn’t have enough fuel to bring back to base (only 1% diesel left), so I’d need to install the electric motor there. I have Robust Genetics but am not immune to radiation poisoning - my radiation went to ~120 just from getting there, ramming the doors, and sticking the panel on even while in a cleansuit. I expect it’d take ~2500 batteries to repair it to full. I’m not sure if 10 solar panels is enough to drive any meaningful distance.

  3. THE FIRE ENGINE: Inside of my base is a working fire engine (another’s a 10 minute walk away). I can obviously do those installations without issue. ~2000 batteries to repair.

  4. THE SECURITY VAN: Lastly, there’s a security van one tile from my base. I think it has working wheels.

humvees suit my needs best, being the best natural armor, heavy frames, many headlights, and diesel and a chance fire grenade launcher. i can expand it to make a standard base ‘Industrious’ or keep it compact ‘ingominous’

personell carrier is num 3 choice. security van num2. suv num 4

[quote=“MarkJerue, post:17, topic:12282”]I’m currently working on my “Mobile Base.” I’m in an interesting (and lucky) predicament. I’ve never made it this far before.

Do I go with the Humvee, Military Cargo Van, fire engine, or security van?[/quote]

I know it’s not very macho, if you’re into that sort of thing, but have you considered just reworking the civilian car?

In my mind, a mobile base needs:

Bed (Car seats already work as beds)
Storage (x3 Cargo Spaces is generally enough to carry whatever you need)
Forge (Installed, it has 200 cargo space to carry everything you need for fabrication)
Kitchen Unit (Reliable, infinite hotplate and “take a drink” features)
FOODCO (Advanced food preparation and water purification)
Chemistry Lab (For creating jerrycans’ worth of mutagen)
Welder (Optional if you have integrated toolset).

You can fit all of that into a 2x4 space:


Including two seats, an extended Heavy Duty Frame bumper at the front for crashing into things like a lunatic, and armoured doors around everything (instead of quarterpanels) so you can easily open them up and gain crafting access even outside your vehicle, that’s only a 4x9 vehicle size in total, and you’ll still have plenty of space for water tanks and a turret or two.


I hope you mean ‘seat’