In this guide I show you how to build your first base, which consists of a thatch house and a campfire. I also go over a few of the things to watch out for when picking a location for your base.
A good location for a first base would be an area fairly close to water, but not close enough to be threatened by the aquatic life. You'll probably want to make sure you aren't too close to more agressive dinos, which include Dillos and Raptors. The next big consideration is flat land. Building on a slope won't be easy and you'll need additional Engrams for things like supports.
When you are placing the structure segments, be careful and take your time. If you place them in the wrong spot, or they shift at the last moment, you'll have to either accept them as they land or demolish them. Demolishing poorly placed segments is easy enough, but you don't get all of the resources back.
Depending on where you are standing, the segments can suddenly shift position. So make sure they are where you want them and that the green outline is stable and not jumping around.
If they do shift at the last moment, you may have to demolish the segment. In this case you won't lose a lot of materials with the simpler building materials like thatch or wood. This can get costly when we start talking about metal. Keep some extra raw materials handy just in case you need to make a few extra segments to replace anything that ends up badly placed.
The foundation will be the first part that you must install. You'll want a flat area so that you don't run into problems requiring additional Engrams, such as posts to support the structure, at least for your first base.
Also keep in mind that if you do demolish a foundation segment it will also demolish anything built upon it. This includes walls, roofs built on the walls, and any other objects like beds and storage crates. The only exception to this rule is the Vault, which is not destoyed with the foundation.
The walls can jump around the snap points a bit, so be careful when you install them. For your first thatch house you won't have to worry about window segments as there don't seem to be any for thatch. Wood is another story, but for a simple first base, all thatch will do the trick nicely. It's also cheap to construct.
If you do decide to demolish a wall after you have placed it, keep in mind that any objects placed on it will also be demolished. This can include the roof and any objects that install on the face of the wall.
The door frame is the same size as a wall segment. You'll also need the Engram for a door, which is constructed and installed seperately. On the upside, it is pretty much impossible to install the door in the wrong spot.
A downside would be that if you demolish the door frame you'll also demolish the door if it has been installed. On top of that you'll have the same chain demolishing effects as though it were a wall segment. This means that roof segments and other objects installed on the door frame area may well be demolished along with it.
So far the roof is the only part that I have installed wrong and had to demolish. Be very careful, because it doesn't have to be centered over the foundation. I didn't have my camera angle right and until I backed up after installing it. I couldn't tell that the roof was half over the foundation and half hanging over the ground outside.
These are perhaps the most tricky parts to install. It really comes down to your camera angle. Make sure you can see the whole roof segment and the entire area you want it to cover. Also make sure it isn't jumping around on the snap points before you click to place it!
The advantage to a single-foundation house is that it is easy to build resource-wise, and will fit into a small place. It also provides some protection and will let you have, for example, at most, two storage boxes or one sleeping bag. Possibly a bed. And it is a safer place to logout than in the bushes (usually!).
But the disadvantages are many. For one, it's a pain to place anything inside, because its too small. And if it's only one wall segment high, you can't place a large storage unit inside, because these are at least one and a half wall segments tall.
The solution is to build a one-by-two foundation sized hut, or better yet a two-by-two hut. Also, it's a good idea to make the walls two segments high so you can fit decent storage and other stuff too!
The ideal minimum size is a two-by-two foundation with walls that are two segments high. Keep in mind a Vault requires a wall at least three segments high. For the more advanced crafting stations, two by two isn't big enough. But for a simple starter hut, this will do fine.
There are also sloped walls and roof segments that you can use. Although initially those come up to having three more Engrams to unlock, so you may want to wait a bit for that.
The first obvious difference is that each type of roof material requires 3 additional Engrams if you want to put on the sloped version. And that means if you want the metal ones, you need the stone ones, and if you want the stone ones, you need the thatch ones, and so on. So for Thatch that's only 3 extra Engrams, but for wood it's 6, stone is 9, and metal 12. This is because you'll need each tier.
Other than the look, there is at least one big advantage to the sloped roof. You can make one side of your house higher than the other. One side could be two segments high, the other one segment high, and you can bridge the height gap by sloping the roof down from one side to the other. That can save on materials, especially since the sloped wall segments are a decent bit cheaper to build than the full-sized ones.
You'll need the Sloped Roof Engram along with the ones for Sloped Wall Left and Sloped Wall Right. That's 3 Engrams. And there is a set for Thatch, Stone, and Metal. They are cheap, but buying them can add up.
For each strip of sloped roof you'll need a sloped wall at each end. In the hut I built in the video I used two sloped left, and two sloped right. Then to finish the roof, I used 4 sloped roof segments.
When trying to install the sloped roof remember you need to start from a sloped wall segment or it probably won't work. It won't land where you want it to land. So place your end pieces first, with the sloped walls, and then continue with your roof.
The most painful part of building in Ark is the fact that once you place something you can't move it! The only real option you have is to demolish it. Sure you'll get xp from crafting a replacement, but remember that you only get part of your resources back when you demolish something.
There are a few things to watch out for: Windows, doors, trapdoors, and ladders can be a real pain if you put other objects too close to them. Also keep in mind that it could be much less of a headache to simply build a wee bit bigger before placing a bunch of things. Otherwise you may end up demolishing some or all of those objects when you do add more space.