Construction – Sons of the Forest

Constructing your own base is appealing for players looking to do more than just build a tent to stay alive. Luckily, Sons of the Forest has an intricate building system that gives players a ton of flexibility when it comes to creating shelters. The building process has been completely revamped since their last game, The Forest, but has also retained some of the same systems.

In simple terms, building is split between two modes: there is the classic mode from the last game, and there’s the new custom mode.

This is represented in the guidebook, which teaches and gives the player blueprints for their building endeavors. The guidebook can be equipped by tapping button xbox dpad up/ computer key b t. When the guide book is held in the player’s left hand, it is in the classic mode. Conversely, when it is held in the player’s right hand, it is in the custom mode. The player can switch modes while holding the guide book by holding button xbox x v2/ computer key x t/ playstation square button.

In the current state of the game, players will have to use both modes of building in tandem to take full advantage of all the elements. There are a lot of elements that aren’t in the custom mode yet, so players will need to switch to the classic mode to make things like furniture, storage, and traps.

The classic mode is much more straightforward to use, but it is also limiting when compared to the custom mode. After you have the guidebook equipped and have it in the classic mode (left hand), you will see that there are pictures of different things you can build. These pictures also have a list of resources to their right, which are what is required to build the thing in the picture.

To build something from this mode, you need to select the picture (with button xbox a v2/ computer key e t/ playstation x button) from the guidebook, then place the prefab blueprint (with button xbox righttrigger/ icon mouse left click v2). This transparent structure you placed, when approached, will show the resources you need to add to it (by pressing button xbox a v2/ computer key e t/ playstation x button). As resources are put into the translucent structure, the see-through parts will be filled in until it is completed.

Here’s a list of all the elements that players can build in classic mode:


Tree Shelter






The new building mode is completely different from the classic. Instead of selecting an element to build from the guidebook, the guidebook gives the player instructions on how to build what is depicted. Another way of describing it is the player builds the element themselves instead of with the help of a transparent blueprint.

The way the game allows players to build things themselves is by giving visual indicators for actions the player can do with a held resource (with button xbox righttrigger/ icon mouse left click v2). For example, when a player picks up a log and looks at the ground, there will be a white-dashed outline of where they can place the log. If they bring another log to the placed log, they will see a different white-dashed indicator showing where they can attach the logs together. All of these actions can be used to build your own house or base.

sons of the forest construction guide white dashed line
Dashed arrows and lines are the typical signs showing that you can perform an action

Indications of what you can do with resources are outlined in your guidebook, but some of them are hard to perform, or require a specific type of log that isn’t obvious in the guide. While holding an axe and looking at a log on the ground, you will see red-dashed lines showing where you can cut the log (with button xbox righttrigger/ icon mouse left click v2). Logs can be cut several ways, including widthwise into sections of 3/4, 1/2, and 1/4, and also lengthwise into long split halves.

One interesting feature is that some classic mode structures can be built upon with the custom mode. For instance, after the player is done building a lean-to, they can add onto it like they would a custom-made structure.

If a red icon of a broken log pops up while custom-building, that means a piece cannot be placed because your structure is damaged. The part you’re building on needs to be reset; you can dismantle pieces off a structure by looking at them and holding button xbox x v2 / computer key c t/ playstation square button.

sons of the forst cannot build sign

Here’s a list of all the different building elements and their instructions in custom mode:

One thing that you will learn very quickly while building is that it takes a significant amount of resources. A vast majority of your building will be done with things that are easy to acquire, like logs and sticks. However, some items can be tricky to find and (like most things) the game doesn’t give you instructions on finding them.

Let’s briefly go over the items you will need for construction and how to find them:

  • Logs
    • Can be found by cutting down trees.
    • Each tree produces around six logs.
    • Is the only building material not kept in inventory.
    • Can be carried two at a time for quicker building.
  • Sticks
    • Found by hacking at bushes with axe.
    • Also found on forest floor.
  • Tarps
    • Hidden in plastic bins around points of interest.
    • These bins can also be found at enemy camps and entrances of caves.
  • Rope
    • Almost always in enemy camps or caves.
    • Also, can be found in wooden crates that can be smashed open.
  • Rocks
    • Found along beaches and on the forest floor.
  • Tape
    • Can be found in plastic bins (like tarps).
    • Also found in supply rooms in facilities.
    • Can safely be found in 3D printer room.
  • Cloth
    • Found in enemy camps and cave entrances.
    • Can be found on corpses scattered over the map.
  • Bones / Skulls
    • Can be made by throwing a corpse into a fire and waiting.
    • Also found in caves and around mutant dwellings.

We hope this guide helped you in creating the coolest island base ever. What building mode do you like more? What do you wish the developers would add for you to build? Let us know in the comments!

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Kelson H.
Kelson H.

Kelson is a spud head from out west. He is most happy when holding a milky tea with too much honey and playing a sprawling role playing game or reading a fantasy novel. His video game tastes vary but his main genres are looter shooters, RPGs, and real time strategy games.

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