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[Dev] Townhall & Upgrades

In the last few dev blogs, we sometimes mentioned that we upgraded our buildings and promised that we will talk about it in detail later. Wait no more, the day has come. In this blog we cover how we unlock new buildings and why we should upgrade them.

After we landed on an undiscovered island, we only have access to very few basic buildings. In order to change this, we need to build the very important Townhall. It is the first building that needs softwood boards produced by a sawmill. Once we have the necessary materials we can build it.

By constructing the Townhall we unlocked new buildings and the possibility to upgrade others. In addition to the very first buildings we can now build Coal & Ore Mines, Smelters, Animal & Crop Farms, Weaponsmiths, Caserns and Mints. Please keep in mind that the building list might change in the future.

In order to get access to every building in the game, we will need to upgrade the Townhall multiple times. Each upgrades unlocks new buildings and giving us the opportunity to upgrade our existing ones even further. The buildings in The Settlers are divided into several Tiers. Those upgrades unlock new Tiers. Tier 1 is called the Outpost level, Tier 2 Village level, Tier 3 Town level and Tier 4 is the City level.

Going back to the unlocked Tier 2 or Village level buildings: The Ore and Coal Mines provide us with the necessary resources to smelt iron for better military equipment.

Additionally, we also unlocked new food production buildings. In order to use the new food we need to upgrade our houses, as explained in the Food and Stamina dev blog, to have access to new recipes.

We can also upgrade all previously placed buildings, not only making them more efficient, but also granting them the ability to harvest / gatherer / produce new goods.

Let us take a look at the Gatherer, how the building evolves and what changes throughout the upgrades.

The Tier 1 Gatherer is available right from the start, has one worker and can only collect berries. This is sufficient when we start a new settlement, but with the growing needs of our workers we need herbs or mushrooms soon. Our basic gatherer cannot collect those resources. It is time to upgrade.

For this we need softwood boards. Once the construction is done our Gatherer can collect herbs and he or she gets company: A second gatherer will join to assist.

By upgrading our Gatherer Hut another time with softwood boards and stone we get third worker and the possibility to collect mushrooms. If we don’t fancy any herbs or mushrooms, we can simply turn this production / collection off in the building’s menu.

Upgrading buildings will be crucial later on: we can use more workers without consuming additional precious building space and we can harvest or produce other, better goods. We have to keep in mind that we need to provide more food as more workers occupy the building. This also means we should keep related buildings close together, reducing the transport routes. While upgrading a building the workers will stop working and don’t provide any products anymore.

Of course we want to offer you the choice to immediately place higher tier buildings, or to stay with lower tiers and upgrade them at a later point.

If we place a new Gatherer, it doesn’t have to be Tier 1, we can also build Tier 2 (or 3 respectively) directly. Sometimes, if we are short on higher tier resources for example stone, we might want to build some lower tier buildings. Tier 2 buildings only use wood, this saves us stone, which can be used somewhere else.

We may intentionally placing a lower tier building and upgrade it immediately. Why so? Here is an example:

To place a Tier 1 Gatherer we need 4 softwood logs.
To place a Tier 2 Gatherer we need 8 softwood boards.
To upgrade a Tier 1 Gatherer we need 6 softwood boards.

Upgrading only consumes 75% of the Tier 2 building costs, so you can save some materials through upgrading instead of directly building the higher tier. The downside is a longer construction time and the additional consumption of lower tier building materials. This is a nice playground for optimizer among us.

What is your stance on upgrading versus building several buildings of the same type to boost production? Do you like the evolution of the gatherer hut? Are you an optimizer or is this not your focus? Let us know and discuss it in the comments.


  1. Tan

    Love to see all the new buildings upgrade things where the gatherers get to harvest new things everytime they’re leveled up. Good to know how detailed the graphics are and how clear they are

  2. TSA_PharTing

    I like the evolution described, but am now also interested in the gathering zone, and how fast that zone would be depleted (especially if some crates of highly caffeinated drink washed up on the shores and all the gathers had become “self buffed” 😛 ) If it becomes depeleted, the building becomes useless and has to be demolished, or it can be retasked from “crop gathering” of a neighbouring farm??? 😀

    I’m much more into visually pleasing vistas whilst still providing viable and sustainable production chains to have a settlement ticking along. I hate visiting TSO islands that are stripped bare but still considered 100% productive.

    I do basic sums only on resource usage when they are tight. I do not want to have to go away and spin up a new spreadsheet to nut out the most economical way forward, I want to spend that time in the game.

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  3. BlueBlip

    The door decoration on level 3 gatherer, where did I see that :).
    Also as you explained it placing a tier 1 and upgrading immediately it costs 10 soft boards, meanwhile placing the tier 2 directly is only 8 soft boards so it is cheaper.
    Or you mean to say we can upgrade the tier 1 BEFORE actually building it and in that case it will use only 6 boards.

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  4. Amonimus

    There should be a limiter to prevent you from expanding the base, like production lines being too long, not enough population to assign workers or hazard. For a strategy game, it should be encouraged to juggle with scarce resources in a small space.

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  5. Diddle783

    the pictures look awesom, i like the fact that the first resources like the food or coming from the forest , i also like the fact we can upgrade especially if we have smaller maps can save a lot of space but also i like the look after upgrading, i love details in games

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