Timberborn Gameplay Tips For Beginners

A collection of useful tips, occasional madness and sleep deprived ramblings that will probably make sense, all gained by playing, failing and reading. Until 7am in the fluffing morning.

101 Part 1 – How Not to Kill Your Beavers – Water, Food, Building and Priorities, Jobs, Wood, Stores And Housing

– Before we start in full – this guide assumes you’re familiar with the tutorial, so know how to set up logging and zones etc. Because it would take way to much space to explain it 😛

– Derp, got food and water values wrong. Fixed now.

1) Don’t panic.

2) Water 1 – Water is life and fortunately you can build dam blocks right from the start, so the first thing you should do when starting is dam the nearest river asap and also try and get floodgates 2 sooner, rather than later. But we’ll discuss dams and power in a later sections. Due to time pressure, you want to dam the smallest distance possible, later on once you’ve got forestry started and have flood gates unlocked, then you can go nuts.

3) Water 2 – And in the same vein – build water storage, the ratio is 1 beaver, 2 water per day from available sources. Roughly you want twice the amount of water storage you have beavers. Pump’s are fairly efficient so you can get away with 1 to start with. Ideally they should be located somewhere with 2 block deep water. But to start with, place them upstream of your initial dam.

4) Getting Stuff Done – Want something built or hauled asap? Prioritise it, especially you should tick the option to prioritise haulers for this building for pumps, water tanks, food to start with. This can be exploited to get a dam’s first layer built more easily without resorting to putting a path on top of that layer by layer caking priorities on the dam wall’s levels. Or prevent an expensive building eating all your resources when it’s being built.

5) Food 101 – Early berry patches will not last you, get a farm up immediately after building the dam. beavers need 2.25 food per day, but droughts can kill your plants and you’ll need a safety net of food stores. However, to fulfil Wellbeing you need all three foods, say hello to future planning fun. And a lot of math if you want to optimise…

  • Ideally you want 2 farms, 1 set to plant, 1 set to harvest. But at the start go with 1 farm and leave space for another one because you will need it. With 1 job slot open and fill it when you can and switch priorities when need be.
  • Start off with carrots, they mature quickly and without a reservoir without 2 layers of water stored, you run the risk of a long drought killing your crop. Leave 1/2 the available green space for potatoes and plant once you’ve got a 2nd farmhouse set up.
  • Once you’ve got the initial boom of building and got some wood spare you can build a grill to get grilled potatoes. Should also have some storage by now for the spuds, uncooked and cooked, but farms can hold 50 units of each crop.
  • Roughly half and half carrots and potatoes works to satisfy Nutrition I and II. Wheat requires about 1/2 the land potatoes does though, so you don’t need much to provide a plentiful supply.
  • And if playing with the Folktails, get beehives asap, you’ll need to put more farmhouses down, but they provide a 25% boost to crop growth. Which means you’ll be swimming in food if you can feed the grills wood.
  • Use new Districts for wheat or save some flat land for it. As you need 30 gears and 20 planks for it on top of lumber, and it’ll take a while to get the industrial infrastructure for gear production up and running. Never mind having a constant power supply. Plus inventors to unlock the Grist Mill and Bakery.

6) General Build and Research

Build at least 2 inventor’s huts when you can and get forester asap, it’s in wood. Unlock flood gates 2 asap, then what ever you need. Dynamite’s definitely worth focusing on though, since it makes storing water far easier and cheaper. As levee’s are very expensive when mass building. Otherwise, for basic wood industry you want 4 plank and 1 gear factories to start with, and unless you’re mass producing gears, keep the ratio to 1:4 when expanding. Because you will need a lot of planks. Otherwise:

  • In Paths the highest priority is stairs, levees and wooden platforms. With them you can access more of the map and build bridges allowing for better pathing and thus allowing you to build further out from the district building.
  • Housing wise – Larger the better, simply because you can rapidly house homeless populations. But even the mid tier and mini lodge options can be useful to fill in space in apartment builds. Unlock as need be.
  • Depending on game difficulty and the map being used, you can easily just have 3-4 inventors and produce points on X3 game speed while you get other things done. Though for the big stuff, you are going to want to build more of them. As 3000 research points is a pain to reach otherwise.
  • Unlock decorations etc when you can spare the points, the bonuses can be very, very useful to boosting productivity.

7) Jobs and How to Effectively Use Them Early On – At the start you have limited adults with which to get started and no forester either. So to help keep the logs flowing pause any lumberjack flags once all the adult trees are harvested while you wait for the saplings to grow. Along with scrapping flags when you’re done. Or if you need to harvest crops, open up the jobs at the farm.

  • Though where this is most important is in emergencies or recovering from mass die off. It is pretty tedious though to turn off every building you don’t need, but that’s what pausing the game is for. So get pausing anything that isn’t water/food/hauling.

8) WOOD IS LIFE – Grow maple, gives you 8 logs for 24 days growth, shrugs of droughts with ease. To start with though, you will probably want some birch, because you may need some logs asap, but make sure to put down some maple and replace the birch once you’ve got your first harvest of maple going. 1 Forester to 2 lumberjacks usually results in regular drip feed of wood from my experience, as maple’s take awhile to gnaw down and overlapping foresters can help keep planting up. Also place 1 lumber pile near the forester.

9) Storage – There’s 4 good places to build these, near district boundaries (we’ll get to that later), next to production buildings, close to Distribution Hubs/Drop Off Points and under or by houses. Wood storage you especially want on the borders and next to planks and for the starting faction, you’re especially going to want to put them on the boundaries and by foresters. As as they can only store 180 logs and you’re going to need a lot of logs. Get warehouses when you can, as they provide a massive amount of storage and can be stacked on top of each other with some work.

11) Housing – With Folktails Housing is how you grow your population, so you want some excess housing if you want more children. And if you want them fast, you’re going to need to cut working hours and have more leisure buildings etc. But some otherwise general housing tips:

  • To start with house everyone you have + 1 extra 3 person lodge for more kids or to house them once they’ve exited the pod(s) if playing Iron Teeth
  • Houses are stackable, so get stacking once you’ve unlocked the relevant platforms and stairs like I suggested. And remember to make paths on the platforms too.
  • Helps though to plan for adding in leisure, deco and monuments in the future, and leaving a 9×10 (for the stairs) or more square and building in a C-shape, with some storage included can help with that. e.g. here’s the two I use: [imaginary pic here [fix it ffs-ed]]
  • As for where to build – since green land can be at a premium at the start, usually any area of grey, dry land will do. And can even be expanded via platforms and dynamite. And since area of effect monuments give is as high as the map, feel free to build up as high as the pathing will allow for.

101 – Part 2 – Power 101, Builders + Haulers, Distribution Posts 101 and Wellbeing.

Split into 2 for more room to explain things + the eventual pictures. Editing brought to you by Tired Lion – Breakfast For Pathetics, which fluffing rocks.


11) Expansion! – To build a new district it must be connected by a road with a district gate to another one, which can create problems on more hilly maps. However, overlap districts, combined with placing storage in the over lap makes districts more effective and can allow another district to build the stuff in the overlap. Which is very useful for expensive buildings. Generally though, you want to expand up river and create the largest body of water you can + get metal scrap so you can get dynamite.

  • For example on the Prairie map, the best spot is the dry valley next to the C shaped hill. As you can dam the river and the valley using the hill and get a decent starter dam that will provide you with 1 level of water for droughts. And can be expanded to provide 3 levels with temporary labour Districts.
  • Next place on that map would be at the exit of the lake so you could dam it to create a 3 layer high lake, giving you plentiful water for pumping. Also the dam can be used to channel water for power production.
  • Important – you can plant trees and they will still grow underwater, so you can use this to get the logs you need until you can solid distribution set up.
  • Though generally you want to aim to get a 3 layer deep dam set up. Which is why my usual River’s End district for damming the lake in the Prairie map is sitting unoccupied in the current save.
  • Generally you want to set up forestry and potato farming and processing if you can in every district, as you’re going to need the logs.
  • Also read 12), you’re going to want to know how to use the limits to avoid killing your beavers by sending off all their food/water or running out of wood products etc. As otherwise they will send everything you need to survive.

12) Power 101 – Rather annoying it is, basically stick to waterwheels, as with the buildings in the power menu you can chain them together to produce massive amounts of power. Which you will need. And with floodgates you can have them running all drought if you dammed enough water. Anything powered by windmills will eventually shut off when the wind drops, and since wind drops effect the whole district, say goodbye to making anything. Don’t worry, I’ll be doing a whole section on it 👿

  • example here of the initial set up + upgrade – need to edit the pics.
  • Although, given the variability of wind speed across the map, in theory you could set up a map wide power network to average out the wind speed variability for Large Windmills. Placing power transmission parts on platforms. Royal pain to do though due to the need to sometimes dynamite land for water canals.
  • Hamster Wheels are also an option, especially for low power needs, like small scale local plank, gear production or for a Grist Mill for wheat. But it doesn’t scale like water wheels or even windmills can.

13) Builder Huts and Hauler Posts – You will need them, also when they’re not building stuff, builders act as haulers, making it very worth building them. Haulers you will never have enough of until you build a very high population district, but can be run at 4/8 usually until you have enough unemployed or high hauling needs.

  • You’ll know when you need more by checking how

14) Distribution Posts and Drop Offs – Welcome to hell, population you. Since beavers haven’t invented 1 wheel cargo wheel barrows, trains or cargo barges, they can only haul 23kgs of goods. Which amounts to crap all if you set up lots of routes. Don’t do that, instead each distribution post should only send 1 to 2 things to only 1 to 2 places, although posts feeding districts that are starting up can send everything to begin with. Drop off posts should be right next to haulers or places using the cargo.

  • To avoid the hub giving away all your stuff you need, you can set limits in the hub’s panel for how much you want of each item, low = amount you want to keep locally, high = the threshold stuff will stop being imported. Especially important for outposts sending food to other outposts, as if you don’t set a limit you will run the risk of starvation.
  • i.e for food, it’s usually better to send potatoes or flour than grilled potatoes or bread, because they take up less space. However, on starting a new place, you’re better off sending grilled potatoes or bread until food processing is sorted there..
  • Water can be safely hauled, and should be because not every outpost is going to have a water source.
  • For logs, you’re better off just putting log piles in the zones of district overlap and using haulers to do the dirty work. But if you really, really need to move them, you’ve going to need multiple distribution hubs with the full 10 workers
  • Probably the most efficient way to use these is to chain them, making sure to send stuff only to the nearest district, rather than a far one. That way you can multiple deliveries done in 1 work day.

15) Comfort, Recreation and Awe etc – Actually worth building, as they increase work speed, walking and growth rate. Books for example give a massive 30% buff to work rate. So build them when you can.

Managing Crises 101

Originally part of section 2, ran out of space lawl. But hey, makes it eaiser to find.

[edit] Ugh, oh for a better text editor with steam.


Crisis Management 101 – Unless you’re hyperaware at all times, statistically speaking things will go wrong. Maybe you forgot to set a district limit at the Drop Off Point or Distribution Hub and sent all your food/water off. Maybe you forgot to seal a dam up properly and flooded you water pumps or just didn’t build enough pumps and had your population boom. Fear not, for you probably don’t need to give up just yet. Even if the deaths are piling up in the event ticker.

  1. Don’t Panic. Pause the game and go though the ye olde “Orientate, Observe, Act” mantra, and work out what’s needed and how bad it actually is.
  2. See What Resources You Have. Chances are you probably have a stock pile or harvestable plants in the ground or in a store house. Or lots of water stored in another district. So retask Distribution Hubs (or build them and free up 8 workers for them) from sending anything other than food and water and set them to deliver those.
  3. Beavers Can Survive More Than You Think. Basically from my observations they can go 1 day without food or water, they’ll still flash the water/hunger icons, but they wont die and those 1st to reach those states gets resources first. So you can string a population along with deliveries until the cause of the crisis is sorted.
  4. Job Reallocation – Unless you need to build stuff, restask any builders, and any factory workers (bar Grist Mills of course) to fill needed jobs. Namely Water Pumps, Farms, Food Processing and Haulers. Why Haulers? Because sometimes food needs to be processed and due to the distances involved the worker can’t get themselves. Also water needs to be stored to prevent it evaporating during a drought.
  5. Sacrifice – At the moment there’s no negative effects fro beavers dying of anything, which means if you only have enough resources to keep a certain number of beavers alive, you can make a district and send them there to die. Though you’re going to need to turn buildings off to ensure vital stuff stays functional.
  6. Save Scum – Sometimes things are too f*cked to unf*ck or you brain’s got the dumb and can’t see a solution despite this guide and provided you didn’t turn it off you should have plenty of autosaves to turn to.
  7. Learn From It – i.e. what went wrong, how did it go wrong and what’s needed to prevent a repeat? It might be you need more water storage, or more food, or even more dams. Could be you grew your population outside of the available resources or failed to set up Distribution Hubs properly. Probably the most important step, and who knows, maybe you’ll learn to do it irl 😛 [/list]

Dams And You – A 101 Guide To Dams.

WIP obs.

Sections ideas so I know wtf to write (and can scive off for some food)

1) Intro

[draft is a draft]

You might think this game is about beavers, but you’re wrong, it’s about dams. Mighty, majestic, towering dams of mere wood. Holding back gigalitres of oh so heavy water, threatening to flood you if you fail to master damming. Which use to help keep your beavers alive so they can build more dams, through the worst of droughts where even the deepest of lake can dry out. And your tiny 1 level high dam ain’t going to save you then. No, all there will be is dead beavers and no one to build more dams.

Fortunately for you this game provides you some very nice tools and the minions to fulfil your dam requirements. Minions who think they are star of the show, but will work night and day even if you feed them only potatoes and leave them homeless with nothing fun to do. Just remember to water them and keep the replacements coming as the current ones attempt to escape their grim reality and fate.


Anyhow, now that’s out of my system (ADHD can be fun) – To survive droughts as they intensify you’re going to need to build dams and lots of them. And depending on the terrain it may be something massive or something relatively small, but remote and a pain in the rear to get to/supply. So my aim here is to take some of the headache out of building dams. So you can move onto stupidly big mega projects like greening the whole map or flooding everything. And just maybe start thinking hard difficulty is possible.

2) Dam Basics:

So you want to build a proper dam? Well, you’re going to need the following:

  • Forester unlocked and forests grown and harvested and the wood industry to provide planks
  • Levees + Floodgate 3 unlocked, all the wood platforms + stairs,
  • Distribution Hubs and Drop Off Points + the population to fully staff 3 or more of them.
  • A suitable choke point in the terrain that can be blocked with Levees and Floodgates
  • A path that goes to or close to the area so you can place a district
  • Preferably some land you can grow hopefully maple trees on.
  • And some Dynamite set up and being produced will help a lot here. Mainly to allow water to not get trapped and to increase reservoir capacity. Which will in turn give you more water.
  • Preferably some watered land at the site you can grow trees on, even if you drown them after planting.

So find your ideal location, often the maps contain gorges or pre-existing lakes that can be raised in height to 3 levels or more. The smaller the space to span with flood gates and passes to block with levees the better. Because the faster you build it, the quicker you can fill it up before the drought hits.

For example, on the Prairie map there’s 2 good locations for major dams that you can hit early on, 3 if you rush it.

[insert pic highlighting the areas, think better in non olist sections so I can format better?]

  1. The exit for the lake is one and can give you a 3 high reservoir and has the wood available locally to get 2/3 levels and you can make a road around the edge of the map to get to it without needing to build anything. Though it is downstream of your starting area and so unless you’re irrigating via water dumps, you run the risk of crops drying out.
  2. Upstream of the starting area there’s a narrow gorge next to a hill with a depression in it. Reachable once you’ve got stairs unlocked and you can easily bump it up to 1 level high safely by sticking a line of levees across it. This can be done by building a district so it covers both sides of the hill, allowing you to build a dam across the dry flats. However, to get it up to 3 you’ll need 4 districts. 1 temporary one on the lowest part of the hill to build the route across + the stairs to get up 1 level at the edge 1 near the edge to set up forestry and gain access to the higher sections of the map. This allows you to keep building the levee dam on the edge of the map up two levels. Pretty easy to do though and no dynamite needed. Unless you want to increase capacity of course 😛
  3. Just upstream of Site 2 is the main gorge of the river. This is almost ideal to dam with a layer or two of levees + 6 to 7 Floodgate 3’s. Except for the fact there’s two gaps either side of the gorge [pics pleases], both of which will mean you can only fill the dam 2 levels before it starts leaking. And as the basin on the left is blocked by 2 layers high of ground, that’s 2-1 levels of water you can’t get back. There’s also the 2 passes in that basin that need to be blocked to prevent water loss. Takes 6 districts, 4 permanent ones, 2 temporary ones. 1 at the gap near site 2, 1 the upper land by the gorge we want to block that we need a temporary one on the flat land near the gorge to reach. And 1 temp one in the basin that you use to reach the future dry land near the ruins to set up a permanent one. Why? because there’s yet more options for dams + lumber to build them.

Site 1 is the easiest for new players to deal with, since you only need to send food, water and planks to get started and secures drinking water for your main settlement due to it’s shear size. Site 2 however provides something a bit more useful – water to power waterwheels through the drought. Meaning industry can work and not be subject to the variability of wind power or the lumber devouring of Iron Teeth power plants.

– right, dinner calls, so much more to do here, but at least I’m having dinner this time…


Old stuff


4) How to Build on the Cheap and Feeding Effectively Your Dam

2) Water management + Water Power

5) Long Term/Hard Difficulty Aims

6) ???

Part Whatevers the Whatevering.

I ran out of space in the last one lawl.

WIP Current- will probably sort out a dam and a power guide, but first I need breakfast and my bloody 4-bag cup of tea damn it.

Roughly other bits:


– Water and how to irrigate effectively + Cisterns

– District specialisation

– Drought survival

– Expanding the smart way

– How To on Distribution Hubs and Drop Offs.

– Whatever else my sleep (and now caffeine) deprived brain comes up with.


To Do/get started 4/10:

– Split starter section into 2, need to mention job swapping to get the most out of logging, the fact you need all three crops to get max happiness.

– Get started on Dams, 3 sectons – intro, how to build effectively, long term aims

– Power and You – show how you can build waterwheels under water and have them work, minimum flows need to run them and how to get effectively generate massive amounts of power. Also bits on how to route power effectively despite terrain getting in the way.

This is it guys!! I am sure that you will love Timberborn Gameplay Tips For Beginners that we have shared with you. We are always open to discussion and suggestions from you. Just let us what you thought about the guide in the comment section.

Also, we would like to thank The_Mess. He is the one behind this wonderful guide.