Foundation Guide – How to not starve late game


Welcome if you are reading this guide. In this guide, you will learn many Tips and Tricks, such as the basics of Foundation. You will learn how to play Foundation and you will find here how to not starve late game

You can use this for knowing a bit more about the game so you can use what is said here every day.

Many game players have posted frustration with their cities collapsing in upon themselves once they reach certain population marks I am here to explain a few things that make this so.

This guide is going to take a few things for granted. We are going to assume that you know most of the basics of the game, and instead, we are going to focus on players who are having issues with expanding their economies.

I will be hopefully editing this as I learn more and the game is updated.

Hope you have fun.

Known Issues

For those of you too impatient to read the whole guide or are positive they are doing nothing wrong, here are issues that I am aware of with the game that may be preventing you from growing your city.


Pathing issues? – Once a city is so big, the game seems to have issues with pathing. The game seems to put villagers in a pathing queue that can severely impact (mostly farmers) your villagers’ ability to move around. The workaround for this bug is to play only on 1x speed. Technically the game will still take 1-2 seconds at a time to determine pathing, BUT this does not scale like it would on higher speeds. In other words, this bug’s effect is multiplied by your speed multiplier.

Warehouses – Buggy as all hell in general. I suggest using these as little as possible. They make the previously listed bug worse because you are just adding more pathing to be calculated, but also I have found warehouses can cause certain job types to just quit working altogether for some reason.


So first and foremost, I want to make this very clear; Distance matters. The exact level of how much it matters is unknown to me, but I do know this; it matters a ton. While your villagers are travelling from point A to point B (Usually from house to a market, job, or well) you are getting no use out of them. They do not fulfil their needs while walking, and they sure as hell do not produce food or other resources for you. This is the basic principle throughout this guide.

Needs: I have the suspicion that villagers will also leave work when certain needs exceed a certain level. With needs slowly rising over time, this means a wheat farmer that takes several minutes to get to his job is likely to plant one bushel of wheat before leaving work to go back home.



The good news is your market tenders do not need to be at their stall to sell their goods. The bad news is like everything else, distance matters. Try building several market stalls all over your city. It is kind of a pain, but very doable. In the screen shots, you can see I have a market set up in about a 1-1 ratio. (hex-market) This enables me to play the game where markets make sense from a city building point of view, but they are efficient enough for buyers to come to buy their merchandise without ruining my economy. Since market tenders do not need to be at their stall to sell, I do not worry too much about them having to travel long distances to retrieve their goods from food places. It is still a good idea to make sure a food production facility is not too far away.

Job Placement

In its current state, the game is garbage at placing villagers into jobs. Note that if you click a job place it has an ellipses button in the top right-hand corner of the job’s window. If you click that button, it will display the closest villagers to that job, as well as the villager’s current job. If you click a villager here, it instantly assigns them to that workplace. While also not perfect, this will give you a very quick way to see if there are any unemployed villagers nearby. If not, I recommend prioritizing. Most people complain that food is impossible to maintain at a high level, so maybe you take some of those stonecutters or woodcutters off their jobs and turn them into foragers? Try to remember that the further away a villager lives from their job, the longer they spend doing nothing for themselves or your economy.

Building Placement

I have already touched a bit on houses being far away from jobs, but as you may guess it is a little more complex than just that. Housing districts need to be close to jobs, but jobs that require other jobs (Wheat farm – mill – baker) should ideally be close to each other as well. This is for the same reason as for why houses should be close to jobs: The more your villagers walk, the less they get done. You can see examples of this in my screenshots. Note how my farms are in the middle of a cluster of mills and bakeries and my sheep farms are next to weavers which are next to tailors. This allows your workers who are processing or finishing goods to walk 5 meters from their job to get the resources they need to do their own part of the process. Mind you, villagers also need to walk to their work site (Lumberjack-Trees) So try to place work buildings for primary resources as close to the gather point as possible. You should also make every hex as self-sufficient as possible. For some resources (like clothes and luxuries) it is not as important to have every single hex capable of making them, but as far as primary villager needs (like food) ALWAYS make sure that hex has some capability of providing that. On a water map, this means probably berries (if available) bread and fish. Of course not all resources are available in all hexes, but always minimize the amount of hexes between any given resource. This is especially true for food


During my streams, and online, I see people saying ALL the time that more warehouses are needed. Warehouses should serve only two functions in your economy; trade and storage. This is especially important to remember an early game (sub 300 vils) because warehouses take up space and possibly villagers. (labour) When you do place warehouses, if they are for trade, do NOT put any labour in them. Traders from outside your city will come and drop off the goods. From there, the labourers of various buildings will come to get what they need. Transporters, from what I can tell, do not deliver materials to be processed at buildings, they only take goods from buildings to be stored. This can, of course, be used to your advantage, by making a warehouse for primary resources (like wheat) next to a processing building (like a mill). I still do not recommend this though due to what I explained in the previous section.
***WARNING***As of warehouses are shown to bug out farms as well as many other aspects of the game. If your farmers are not working, warehouses that store wheat may be causing (or partially causing) the issue.

How to Expand

When you decide to start expanding for whatever reason, keep some things in mind. Are there any houses in your previous area that have not upgraded in density? If so, disable density upgrades for it. The reason for this is new villagers will move into older houses if you do not, which means some of your immigrants will live very far away from the new jobs being created in your new area. For this reason, I also recommend making sure every single villager has a job before expanding. This allows you to use the “assign available villager” button without worrying too much that your villagers are walking for minutes to get to work. I would also build a market and a housing district and wait for people to move in BEFORE assigning jobs in your new expanded area. This means only people who have moved into your new area will be working in your new area. Of course, there may be some overlap, but try to minimize that. People should ideally live work and shop all in the same hex.


Rotate builders in your economy. It is kind of a pain, but how much good is the builder that needs to walk several minutes to pick up resources going to do when he also needs to walk another several minutes to drop off the materials? Rotating builders based on the zone you are currently expanding is a good way to get around this.

Late Game – Excess

Once you start breaking into larger numbers of villagers, it is a very good idea to start building excess wherever and whenever you can. You will find that once you have so many villagers (IF your layout is time/labour efficient) you will have more villagers than you need. Use the villagers to stockpile resources starting with primary and working your way up. Buildings will be more efficient in the presence of excess. Excess allows your villagers to carry large quantities of primary or secondary resources instead of trying to pick up 1-2 at a time. I usually only worry about the stupid amount of excess towards the 300+ villager mark. This is because I build my towns to look at least somewhat realistic and due to this, inefficiencies are bound to add up by that point. Having excess helps cut back on that to a noticeable degree. Excess can also help make your economy more resilient towards fluctuations. (which will happen)

Basic Things to Never Forget

Make sure every housing district has a well. Also, bakeries should be built with a well next to them.
Make sure you assign your berry bushes as an extraction zone. I know it sounds stupid, but I forget to assign it all the time and then honestly wonder why nobody is gathering from the bushes.
On maps with rivers or small lakes, if you build on both sides of the water, build plenty of bridges. The pathing in this game is not too terrible, so give your villagers options so they can be more efficient.
Some buildings can be built to be taller. I actually had a viewer on my stream tell me this, it never occurred to me that when I placed a building, the up and down arrows meant I could actually increase its height. In some cases doing this will increase a building’s splendour contribution, and in other cases, it increases capacity. In ALL cases though, it does increase the upkeep cost
Get at least one bailiff. You can have more than one, but I have not tested to see if the effects stack. Some effects are different from each other, so to be safe I usually get 2 bailiffs, a market and a happiness bailiff.
Build a tax office in every housing district. (Edit: This could be based on your own definition, but given that you should be placing 1 market per hex, I usually go with the same as far as tax offices. (Thank you GamerTeah for pointing this out)) You do not have to actually build a proper manor to place a tax office (or most other “Lord’s Manor” add-ons). Like any other job, try to make sure the tax collector lives close by.


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Written by mearowene

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