Farm Fortress explained

Posted by
December 17th, 2013 3:41 pm

Play Here

I talked a bit about my entry in the postmortem post, but some people might still feel the lack of a tutorial. With this post, I’ll try to create a sort of manual and strategy guide to the game, that tries to go from the basics to the tricks. First of all, a disclaimer: THE AI IS BROKEN. Yes. Crushed to little pieces by lack of experience. It may stop working or behave strangely (such as attack things far away), but this guide will consider ideal conditions for the game.


The interface is pretty simple, just what needs to be there.

  1. Gold and income counter: Displays your current gold and how much you’ll get with the current active farms (see Gameplay, below)
  2. Warning toast: Displayed when there’s a problem (out of gold or missing requirements)
  3. Action pad: When you have a tile selected, shows its name and the possible actions for it
  4. Action button: Shows the hotkey, name and cost of an action. Can be clicked or used via the hotkey.

That’s it, really simple and straightforward! Now onto the tiles!


Tile Types

Farm Fortress has a total of 7 different tiles, each with its unique function and characteristics.

From left to right, this image has all tiles in the game:

  • Grass: Everywhere in the picture, it’s the base tile form which you will build your little plantation empire.
  • Farmland: Created from grass, costs 5 gold, but requires at least one house to be able to build, and can be planted on. (see Wet Farmland)
  • House: The main structure of the game, costs 60 gold and is created from a Foundation, must be defended at all costs, and boosts farm incomes (see Gameplay). Can also build fences to the adjacent tiles.
  • Foundation: The base structure from which you can build Houses or Towers, costs 10 gold, but does nothing except block pathing.
  • Tower: Defensive structure, costs 20 gold and is built from a Foundation. Attacks nearby invaders, but misses most of the time if they are moving. Has the highest attack priority of invaders.
  • Wet Farmland: Created by planting on a farmland, costs 5 gold, exists for 5 seconds then returns 4 gold, then reverts to dry Farmland. Whilst wet, a tile counts to the periodic income, being the only form of profit in the game.
  • Debris: Exists when any tile (except grass) is destroyed by attackers, can be cleaned for 15 gold so you can build on the same spot again.


The game revolves on building farms, planting them to generate income and expanding defenses for security. When you reach a big enough farm, invaders start spawning, and your only option is kill or be destroyed. You start with 100 gold, so you can set up a simple farm of just one house and some cultivable land, then plant on your land to get gold to build more houses or farms, as well as towers so you don’t get razed by pillagers.


The income system is fairly complex, and is better explained in a methodical way:
Every five seconds, you get gold based on the number of farms and houses you control. 2 gold per crop, multiplied by the number of houses you have.
So, if you have the starter kit of 1 house and 3 farms, if you have all of them planted you’ll get 6 gold, plus the 4 for each crop for harvesting them, totalizing 18 gold, which is enough to replant all of them and saving a bit for the next harvest.
Since this cycle is rather fast, you can pile dozens of gold pretty quickly, allowing you to build more farms and increase your income even more.


In Farm Fortress, you build things initially from tiles, but later you get some more advanced things, such as fences, that start at your house and expand one-by-one in the chosen direction. You can build by selecting a tile then clicking or using the hotkey for a action.
Anything you build can be destroyed, and it is your responsibility for cleaning up and rebuilding things.


The survival part of the game, they spawn in couples as soon as you reach 6 farms, then two more for each two new farms you get. They have a very specific attack priority, so keep an eye out and design your defenses accordingly. Their sole purpose is to hinder your production and eventually destroy your farmhouses, if you let them do so. If you ever reach 0 houses, you lose.



Tips and Tricks

Note: This section may contain information that removes the exploration of the game’s mechanics, read at your own risk!

  • Plant your farms just before the timer is up, to minimize gold loss due to expired crops.
  • Attackers will focus your defensive structures, then aim for farms and finally your house, so you can make a layered system that is just the inverse of this sequence to guarantee safety.
  • Building additional houses in the early game might be a tad boring, but increases drastically the further income.


And that’s it! Thank you for reading this far, have fun!

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