Foundation Game Beginner Guide & Walk-through

In this Foundation guide you will find helpful tips to get started building a successful Medieval city! Beginning with the heart of your map, the Village Center, I will walk you through the first steps to build your village.

This guide assumes you have already selected your terrain map. For tips about terrain options, check out map selection.

Planning Your Village Center

You’ve just started a fresh game of Foundation and now is the time to lay the groundwork, your “foundation” to a successful sprawling village or kingdom.

Your first step is going to be making a choice of which Territory to purchase, this is a very important decision as this is where your Village Center will be and once placed you can not move it to a different area on the map.

The Village Center is where all of your immigrating villagers, known as Newcomers, congregate and rest. This is also where Soldiers will check in once they have returned from campaigns for the King.

Take a few moments to survey your land, think about the future of your village and how you might expand. I recommend choosing a Territory that has both Berries and Stone nearby as these resources will be very important starting out. If you have selected a map with rivers, lakes, or coastal areas you may want to be closer to this area if you like the idea of creating a fishing village.

Purchase Your First Territory

Click on your chosen hexagon to purchase your first Territory, this one is free and costs no weekly taxes. Next place your Village Center by clicking on the hammer icon to access the Build menu.

Just remember, the Village Center can’t be moved. Later in the game as your village grows you can always make other villages and town centers but there is only one Village Center per map.

Welcome Villagers

You’ve selected your first Territory and placed your Village Center and now you are ready to begin building your village. Meet your first 8 villagers, these hardworking men and women are known as Serfs (more about them later). You will be assigning each a job in the next steps but first let’s get familiar with the game interface.

Village Stats & Starting Resources

Looking at the top of the screen you can see various statistics and troubleshooting options for your village.

You start with 500 Coins, 10 Berries, 10 Cloth, 40 Wood, and 20 Tools. Coins and Resources will be needed to build and grow your village. Eventually you will gain access to other Resources.

Hovering your mouse over the Villagers section will show the Population and types of villagers, their Happiness, and Immigration status. Learn about Villagers Needs.

Finally there is the Buildings menu, this is where you will be able to quickly see what projects are under construction and ways to pinpoint worker issues, missing resources, raw materials, storage, and zone problems.

The game offers a handy tutorial accessed from the top left of the screen, just click on the ? for helpful tips. Your game settings and save options are in the top right, look for the cogwheel.

Time To Build! Builders Workshop

Your Serfs are ready to work! Access the hammer icon and place your Builders Workshop which will allow your villagers to construct buildings or monuments. Once constructed, select the Builders Workshop and in the pop-up menu, assign a Builder.

Assign Jobs

There are a few ways you can assign jobs to your villagers:

  • Click on the Building you want to assign the villager to and assign the jobs here.
  • Click on an individual villager and select from the drop down of Employment.
  • Open your Book on the bottom Menu and select Villagers or Buildings, here you can see a snapshot of all your villagers jobs and which buildings need workers.
Sawmill, Lumber Camp, and Warehouse

What To Construct First?

You’ve now unlocked access to 9 buildings. It’s up to you what you want to build though it is recommended to follow along with the Quest that guides you and will help you unlock additional buildings and resources. Quests will be offered as Opportunities in the bottom left of your screen, click a quest for more information or to complete it.

Here is a break down of your starting buildings and what they offer your villagers:

  • Gathering Hut produces Berries.
  • Granary to store and trade food, goods, and luxury resources.
  • Market to sell food and goods to your villagers for coin.
  • Well is very important, water source for your villagers.
  • Lumber Camp produces Wood.
  • Stonecutter Camp produces Stone.
  • Forester Hut allows Forester to plant trees in a reforestation zone.
  • Sawmill produces Planks in exchange for Wood.
  • Wooden Bridge allows villagers to cross rivers or gaps between mountains.
  • Builders Workshop can be placed for villagers to construct projects.

Build a Lumber Camp

To construct more buildings you need to gather Wood. It’s time to build a Lumber Camp.

Notice when you place the camp there is a red circle around it, this building is not desirable and will lower the Desirability of an area when you place it. It’s best to put the camp as far away from your Village Center as possible. I like to place mine close to the Territory border. Don’t worry, you can always remove and build new camps later in different locations.

Once you have placed the Lumber Camp assign a villager with the Woodcutter job.

Setting Up Zones

You will need to paint Extraction Zones for your workers to gather resources. To set up a Zone click on the Paint menu, looks like a brush. You begin with three options to set up zones and more unlock later.

Zone TypeWhat It DoesColor
Extraction ZoneAllows villagers to extract resources.Blue
Reforestation ZoneAllows Forester to plant trees.Aqua
Forbidden ZoneVillagers will not walk in this painted zone.Red
Residential ZonePaint an area for villagers to build houses.Green
Hunting GroundsAllows Hunter to hunt Boar.Orange
FarmingCrops can be planted in this zone.Yellow

You want to paint a blue Extraction Zone on your berry plants, loose stones, and forests. Villagers who are assigned the jobs of Gatherer, Miner, and Woodcutters will now be able to extract the needed resources in these painted areas.

Paint the Reforestation Zone in an area where you want the Forester to grow trees. This area can be painted on top of the Extraction Zone if you want to have a constant cycle of Wood for your Woodcutters to gather.

The Forbidden Zone is handy to paint if you want to keep your villagers from accessing an area.

Residential Zone can be painted for villagers to build their houses on. Unlocked with quest.

Hunting Grounds can be painted for the Hunter to hunt Boar. Unlocked with Hunter’s Hut.

Farming crops can be painted by interacting with the farm building, for instance the Wheat Farm, select the Paint Crop Field option and paint the area where the Farmers will grow crops.

You can check your painted zones any time under the Visibility menu. As you progress through the game you will gain access to more zones.

To remove a painted zone simply select the zone paintbrush, hold right click and paint over the area to erase the zone from the map. Make the circle larger or smaller by holding the CTRL key and scroll.

Gathering Berries

Produce Berries for Food

Your villagers need access to food, now build a Gathering Hut near the Berry plants. Paint the blue Extraction Zone onto the berry plants then assign a villager the Gatherer job.

Now your Gatherer will begin collecting berries for the village and store it in the nearby hut.

Build Stonecutter Camp

Next build the Stonecutter Camp nearby the loose rocks and paint them with the extraction zone. Assign a Miner job to a villager and they will begin mining stone.

Place a Granary for Food Storage

The Granary is a place to store your food Resources, both raw and produced foods. Build the Granary nearby the Gathering Hut.

Be sure to leave enough space around the Granary and don’t block the green arrows, this is where your villagers access the building.

Assign a Transporter to the Granary and then assign Berries as a Resource under the Storage section of the Granary menu. You can access all this by clicking on the Granary. Your Transporters will now gather Berries from the Hut and place them into the storage of your Granary.

Build a Well and Market

Place a Well near the Village Center. Water wells will be important and need to be placed in various spaces as you expand. Villagers will automatically visit the Well when they need water.

Next build a Market and assign a Market Tender to the Market Stall. Click on the Market Stall and assign Resources (the Berries) to the stall. Now your villagers can purchase food.

Sawmill and Forester Hut

You should have 2 villagers left that need assignments. Next place a Sawmill near your Lumber Camp and assign a villager the Carpenter job, they will make Planks from Wood. These will be used for construction and trade.

Then build a Forester Hut in the forest nearby and paint a Reforestation Zone in the area where you extract wood. You can paint right on top of the Extraction Zone. Assign a Forester and they will begin replenishing the trees your Woodcutters have cut down this way you have an endless supply of trees and wood.

Setting up houses for villagers.

Build Houses for Villagers

The Residential Zone paint should be unlocked now. To access this click on Paint then select the green Residential Zone and paint a good size area so your villagers can build houses.

In Foundation your villagers will build their own houses and upgrade them when conditions are met. They will also create their own roads naturally as they travel back and forth across the land.

Lord Manor and Great Hall

You need a Lord Manor in order to have a Great Hall so you can promote your villagers ranks as your Medieval city grows.

To start, open the build menu and locate the Lord Manor, place the peg down and build the mandatory parts, a Core building with a Door, also place the visitors white arrow nearby. At the start of the month you will have the option to promote villagers in rank from Newcomer to Serf, Commoner, and Citizen.

The Lord Manor will also hold a residence for a Bailiff, Tax Collectors, and expand on your Treasury. Learn more about the Lord Manor.

Trader visiting town.

Setup First Trade Route

Open your Book and unlock your first Trade Route by clicking on Trade (F3), then Trade Routes and pay 20 Planks to enable trade with Northbury.

To accept trades you need to unlock the Warehouse by purchasing the option from the Estates panel in your Book. Then build the Warehouse near the Lumber Camp or Stonecutters Camp.

Setup your first trade route by assigning Tools as a Resource to the Warehouse. Now open your Book again and in the Trade tab set up to Buy 20 Tools (or whatever amount you want) in the Resources section. Click the Green up arrow and type 20 into the box.

When the Trader passes through your town, they will sell the Tools to you.


Congratulations! You just unlocked an expansion to your Territory. Purchase another hexagon near your village to expand it.

This action will complete the Expansion Steam Achievement to purchase your first territory expansion.

Provide Services to Villagers

Setup Services for your villagers by building a Rustic Church. Your villagers have a need for Services also known as Faith.

You want to place a Rustic Church nearby the Residential area or Village Center so they can fulfill this need. Start simple by placing the mandatory parts, 1 Core, 1 Door, and a Bell Tower. Villagers will go to the Church when their Services need is low.

Wooden Keep for your Soldiers.

A Keep for Soldiers

Now build a Keep and recruit Soldiers. Again, start simple build the mandatory Core and Door. You can always edit and add on to your buildings later.

As new villagers immigrate assign some as Soldiers to the Keep. This will unlock mission quests for the King and your Army. More info about Soldiers and Missions.

Name Your Village

Finally, don’t forget to give your village a name and select a Lord or Lady to oversee it. Go to your Book and in the top left section click on the quill to edit the name of Village and your Lord/Lady names.

What’s Next?

You have created the foundation of your village, from here you want to grow in whatever manner you choose! You should have unlocked more buildings and that gives access to new resources.

You can always remove buildings and rebuild everything (except the Village Center) has the ability to be demolished though at a possible cost of your villagers happiness or your economy. Plan ahead when making major changes and you will survive!

Some of our additional Foundation guides are:

Foundation has several Steam Achievements you can go for, like A growing village! 100 Population and A thriving city! 500 Population as well as building various masterpiece monuments, etc. The achievements must be completed on a map without Mods installed. I have a “vanilla” map just for this purpose and I highly recommend playing through the game for sometime before graduating onto Mods.

Don’t forget to Save! The game will auto save for you and it’s a good idea to save the game in your Settings too.

This guide is up to date as of version 1.8.1 and we’ll be adding to our Foundation guides as content updates are released, so be sure to check back. In the meantime, have fun and good luck with your villages!

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About the Author

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Exploring video games are one of my favored hobbies, and with a fondness for the MMORPG and Simulation genres, I set out on a quest to write guides and share my gaming adventures.

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