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Puzzles & Survival Buildings Guide

Learn about all of the Buildings you can add to your Sanctuary and how to use Nova and the Research Lab.

Welcome to our Puzzles & Survival Building Guide! If you haven’t come from there, be sure to visit our ➡️Puzzles & Survival Master Guide⬅️ to find everything you need to know to succeed in this game. This guide will take a look at all of the different buildings that are a part of your Puzzles & Survival base.

Buildings Guide: Start with the Sanctuary

As we mention in our World Guide, your Sanctuary is your base of operations. There are a multitude of buildings with different functions that you’ll have to take advantage of to grow strong enough to survive in the world. We’ll be going over each one, their functions, and tips to get the most out of them.

Note: If you ever want to know what benefits you unlock at each level, simply tap on the building and tap the little information icon in the top right to learn more.

Shield Your Sanctuary

Puzzles & Survival Building Guide - Shielding Your Sanctuary
The shield icon in the bottom right will tell you how long you have left on your shield. | Image: 37 Games via HGG / Jeffrey Hsu

While this isn’t a building, it’s a very important function of your Sanctuary. When you first join the game, your Sanctuary will have a 7-day shield protecting it from other players. Once this period expires or you reach HQ level 10 (whichever comes first), you’ll be vulnerable to attacks from other players.

You can prevent attacks on your Sanctuary by deploying either a 2, 8, or 24-hour shield. Simply go into your Bag and go to the Military tab to use them.

You can obtain more 2 and 8-hour shields by completing your daily quests and looting the reward chests. Both types of shields are incredibly common, and most players end up with a huge surplus of them after a while.

24-hour shields are much rarer, being obtained on rare occasion from the Mystery Shop or by spending 1,000 Diamonds for them. We recommend saving the 24-hour ones for events like Valiant Conquest where you’re constantly in danger.

Note: Taking any aggressive actions such as marching on another player’s base/encampment or even scouting them will break your shield and prevent you from deploying another for a few minutes. Thankfully, the game will warn you if you an action would do so.

Additionally, shielding your Sanctuary does not prevent attacks on troops encamped outside. For example, any troops that are out gathering are still vulnerable to being attacked.

However, it will prevent you from starting a fight at a tile if another player’s troops arrive first. This is known as bouncing and can be used to avoid unwanted fights (most commonly by deploying a 2-hour shield).

Resource Buildings, Boot Camps, and Infirmaries

One of the first things the game prompts you to do is to clear out an area in the south of your Sanctuary. This will grant you a couple plots of land that you can use to build the following:

  • Resource Building – passively generates its respective resource over time until it reaches its cap.
    • Upgrading it increases the rate it generates resources and its cap.
    • Simply tap one resource building to collect from all of the same types of buildings.
  • Boot Camps – increases the speed and number of troops you can train at once.
  • Infirmaries – increases the number of wounded troops that can be healed.
    • If your infirmaries are full, excess wounded troops are killed off.

Best Base/Building Layout

As you level up your Sanctuary, you’ll gain access to additional plots of land, culminating in 35 spots in total for these minor buildings once you reach HQ level 15. The best base set up for efficiency once you’ve unlocked all the plots of land is the following:

  • 1 Farm
  • 1 Lumber Mill
  • 1 Virology Lab
  • 10 Bootcamps
  • 10 Infirmaries
  • 6 Steel Plants
  • 6 Gas Fields

IMPORTANT: However, there are a couple chapter quests that require a certain number of buildings to be built and leveled up in order to unlock Nova and complete the tutorial. So do the following:

  • Build 2 Farms and level them up to Level 2 to complete one of the chapter quests.
  • Demolish 1 Farm (tap on it and tap the hammer in the top left corner, do free removal).
  • Build 1 Lumber Mill, Infirmary, and Bootcamp.
  • Build 4 Virology Labs, upgrade two of them to Level 8 and two of them to Level 6.
  • Once you unlock Nova/finish the tutorial, demolish all but 1 of the Virology Labs.
  • Fill the rest of the plots of land with the above efficient set up.

Headquarters (HQ)

Upgrade Benefits: Higher level cap, bigger march capacity, larger infirmary

The most important building in Puzzles & Survival is your Sanctuary, as it determines the current level cap for your base. You can only upgrade your other buildings up to the level of your HQ.

Upgrade requirements for your HQ tends to be rather costly due to the sheer amount of resources and time required. Thankfully, each upgrade also provides a substantial boost to the troop size of your marches and your infirmary cap.

Additionally, your HQ level is displayed next to your city on the world map. Typically, you can gauge how strong a player is by the level of their HQ.

If you happen to obtain any skins or special effects for your sanctuary, you can apply them from here. They often provide minor stat boosts to your troops or economy. However, you’ll usually only be able to obtain skins/effects by paying real money.


Upgrade Benefits: Higher defensive bonuses for troops and more defending troops

The first line of defense for your Sanctuary. The wall determines how many troops can participate in defending your base as well as providing a defensive bonus to them. If you have more troops than your wall can sustain, it’ll choose the highest tier troops to defend.

You can assign heroes to provide stat boosts to your troops at home by tapping on ‘Defense Info’. Early on, we recommend choosing heroes that provide boosts to all troop types, as all of your stationed troops will participate in repelling invaders.

Once you become stronger and specialize into a specific troop type, then you might want to reconsider your defensive hero lineup. And don’t worry, the heroes you assign to the wall will still apply their bonuses even if they’re sent out on a march.

Note: If your wall’s health is depleted to zero, the game will teleport your sanctuary to a random spot in the world. This is a fairly rare occurrence, as most players won’t spend the time and effort to deplete your wall to zero.

Watch Tower

Upgrade Benefits: More info on enemies and eventually damage boosts

Gathering information about your enemies is crucial to success, which is why the watch tower is so valuable. The more you upgrade it, the more information is provided to you when other players march upon your Sanctuary and encampments out in the world.

Additionally, it also provides you more information when you go scouting enemy locations. Knowing their exact formations, stats, etc. is invaluable for calculating if you can win a fight.

Best of all, it even provides a damage boost to all your troops at the highest levels. Though it will take you a while to reach that point (level 31+).


Upgrade Benefits: Additional resources protected and higher antiserum capacity

Unfortunately, there’s a very likely chance your Sanctuary will be attacked one day and you’ll lose the battle. If that happens, the attacker will be able to steal as many on-hand resources as their troops can carry.

However, the warehouse protects up to a set amount of each resource, and additional attacks will not result in further loses. Additionally, the level of your warehouse determines how much antiserum you can carry at a time.

At higher hero levels, continuing to level up can cost a staggering amount of antiserum. If you can’t physically carry that much antiserum on you at once, you won’t be able to level up. Plus, any additional antiserum that exceeds your capacity is just thrown aside and lost forever. Naturally, you’ll want to prevent that from happening and increasing your warehouse’s level is the best way to do that.

Fighter/Rider/Shooter/Vehicle Camp

Upgrade Benefits: Access to higher tier troops at certain levels.

These buildings are where you’ll be training your troops to fight zombies and other players in the open world. In general, you should aim to have these churning out new troops 24/7 to steadily increase your might.

Certain upgrade levels are especially notable, because they unlock the next tier of troop you can train. If you’re at the point where you can upgrade to those levels, try to do so immediately. Going up a tier makes a huge difference in your troops’ performance.

Training Troops Tier List

Troop TierLevel Unlocked

You can also upgrade old lower tier troops, if they’re stationed at your Sanctuary. Simply select the lower tier troop and hit the large up arrow by their portrait to upgrade them to the highest tier available. Upgrading troops takes only a fraction of the resources and time in comparison to training a brand new batch of your highest tier troops.

If you’re using speed ups to repeatedly train/upgrade troops for an event, we strongly recommend setting the slider to an increment of 5 minutes (like 10 minutes and 30 seconds) and tapping the lock button next to the slider to keep the amount trained consistent. This will help reduce any awkward wait times or wasted value from using speed ups.

Trap Factory

Upgrade Benefits: Access to higher tier traps and increased trap capacity

IMPORTANT: Traps are currently broken and do NOT function at all. There has been no word from the developers on when this function will be restored. Currently, their only value is building 250 of them for the daily quest.

Traps are defensive units that do damage to enemy players’ troops when they attack your Sanctuary. While they won’t win the battle for you, they can reduce the attacker’s forces and turn the tide in your favor.

However, each type of trap can only hurt a specific troop type.

  • Throwable (mine symbol) traps beat Riders
  • Arrow Tower (security camera symbol) traps beat Shooters
  • Terrain (barricade symbol) traps beat Fighters

Unfortunately, only the Tier 4 traps are really worth building in mass. We recommend building traps that target the troop type that counters your troop specialization (ex. terrain traps if you’re Shooter focused).

If you happen to reach max trap capacity and want to build more (mainly for the daily quest of build 250x traps), you can delete some traps by selecting the ones you have and hitting the cancel sign button.

Research Center

Upgrade Benefits: Access to higher tier research projects

This is where you’ll be able to start research projects to provide permanent buffs to everything you do. Research easily provides some of the biggest boosts to your overall strength, so you’ll want to identify which ones are best suited to your specialized troop type and playstyle.

As is the case with buildings, research projects will ramp up exponentially in terms of costs as you progress further down each research tree. While you’ll eventually be able to unlock everything, you’ll want to prioritize projects that complement your play style. To that end, we recommend focusing on the Development tree first, as the benefits are too good to pass up.

Research Lab

Upgrade Benefits: More daily interactions with Nova and lower cost to upgrade her skills

Despite its name, the Research Lab isn’t responsible for handling your technology. Instead, it’s the central hub for everything related to Nova – your companion who was infected at the start of the game.

Once you complete all the story chapter quests and obtain enough Antivirusine to cure her, Nova will be able to provide massive buffs to nearly everything you do in the game. This ranges from boosting your troops’ performance in combat to increasing the economy of your Sanctuary.

However, given the sheer importance of Nova and confusion about how she works, we’ve made a separate stand-alone guide about her. Once you’re done learning about Nova, simply come back here and continue reading.

Supply Depot

Upgrade Benefits: Additional free attempts per day and eventually more resources

There are few things better than free stuff, and the supply depot gives away free resources! Depending on the level of your supply depot, you can claim X amount of resource packages each day.

Each time you claim a pack, the amount in that pack increases for the day, so it’s best to focus on one. After you claim all your free packs, you can continue to claim additional ones for diamonds, with the cost increasing each time you do so (not recommended). These will all return to their initial values with the daily game reset.

Notably, once you upgrade the Supply Depot to level 31, you’ll get triple the amount of resources you normally would from it.

Noah’s Tavern

The tavern is where you go to recruit new heroes and obtain additional hero fragments with your Recruit Coins (mostly earned from events and daily quests). There are 3 tiers of recruiting, each providing access to higher rarity heroes as you ascend.

Note that you’re not guaranteed a full blown hero every time. You’ll often receive only 1 fragment of a hero, with the occasional 10x fragments. Additionally, you’ll sometimes obtain various items instead like antiserum or AP restores.

IMPORTANT: While lower rarity heroes are largely all obtainable through the tavern, only a handful of 5-star heroes are in the recruitment roster for Adv. Recruit. You can check which ones are available by tapping the card icon along the far right.


You will always have 5 free Basic Recruitments each day, with a 10-minute cooldown between each one. The Int. and Adv. Recruitments will also occasionally provide a free one but at a slower rate (1 day for Int. and 2 days for Adv.)

We strongly recommend holding off until you have enough tokens to do a 10x recruit, as it reduces the cost by 1 token. Additionally, if you can, try to wait until there’s a Hero Frag Event (usually Monday) before spending your tokens in mass. This will let you get some very nice rewards.

Hero Exchange

Recycle frags for heroes that are fully enhanced already. | Image: 37 Games via HGG / Jeffrey Hsu

You can also sell off excess hero fragments for exchange points from the Hero tab by tapping on the ‘Bag’ option at the top. You can then use those exchange points in the tavern (tap Exchange at the top) to obtain specific hero fragments.

While the selection isn’t super impressive, it does let you reliably obtain a couple specific 5-star hero fragments (Ulrik, Fox, Requiem, and Ephraim).


This little shack hosts a multiple choice quiz show to test your game knowledge. Answer correctly and you’ll get a nice chunk of resources. Get it wrong…and you’ll still get half the rewards. You’ll want to do it whenever it’s available. The questions are rather limited, so you’ll pick up on the answers quickly.

Each time you take the quiz, you’ll have to wait a little bit longer until you can take another quiz. If you regularly do the quiz when it’s available, expect the timer to settle around 55 minutes. The timer resets to its original value with the daily reset.

Note: If the daily reset is about to occur and you know the timer on the quiz will be longer than the wait, you may want to hold off on the quiz.

Alliance Hall

Upgrade Benefits: Increases Sanctuary’s reinforcement cap, number/effectiveness of help timers

The Alliance Hall enables your allies to assist you by sending troops to reinforce your Sanctuary. You can also view which allies are reinforcing you here (and to send back their troops if you want to).

Additionally, the Alliance Hall governs how many times your allies can help you speed up the timers on your buildings, research, and healing. Higher levels also increase the amount of time shaved off with each help. Given how long some projects take at higher levels, you’ll want as much as help as possible in reducing the time it takes to finish them.

Hall of War

Upgrade Benefits: Increases your rally size.

The Hall of War allows you to launch war rallies against an enemy and governs how many troops you can host in the rally. Naturally the more allies you can host, the more damage your rally can do.

Note: In order to upgrade the Hall of War, you’ll need Building Engineering books. These can be bought only with diamonds. Thankfully, they’re cheap (only 5 diamonds per) and you only need a couple for each level.

Additionally, once you obtain the corresponding VIP levels (VIP 2 is the earliest), you can set up pre-made formations for your troop marches. Given the game doesn’t do a great job with its recommended march compositions, you’ll want to do this to save time and ensure you have the strongest march available at a moment’s notice.

Parade Grounds

This building simply gives you an overview of all the troops and traps you own. Notably it also showcases your troops’ food upkeep. For whatever reason, all games of this genre have this mechanic.

The more troops you have and the higher their tier is, the more food they consume. Troops will consume food no matter where they are, except for when they’re wounded and in the infirmary. This cost isn’t much of an issue given how easy it is to gather food, but it is a bit annoying.

We recommend depositing any food you have on-hand in your alliance’s warehouse, so your troops don’t eat it. Don’t worry about running out of food on-hand. It does not affect your troops’ performance or survival in any way.

Trading Post

Upgrade Benefits: Can transport more resources in one march and less taxes

Allies help one another, and the trading post allows you to send/receive resources to and from allies in your alliance. While this is mostly to enable veteran players to help out newer players, there are a handful of events where you’re rewarded for transporting resources to allies.

Each march you send out to deliver resources can only carry so much at once, but upgrading the trading post increases that limit.

Additionally, every time you send resources out to an ally, the game taxes a percentage of what you’re sending. It’s unfortunately unavoidable, but upgrading the Trading Post will reduce the tax rate.


The Puzzles & Survival Bank is technically broken up into two features. The first one you’ll gain access to is the Deposit, where you can deposit some diamonds for a set period of time to gain interest on them. It’s literally free diamonds for waiting. Yes, we know it looks like another cash shop feature, but it’s not.

While it won’t make you filthy rich in diamonds, it literally costs you nothing. There are varying waiting periods, but we strongly recommend going with the 30 day deposit. It gives you the greatest return. Just make sure you long and claim your diamonds on their due date. If you don’t, they’ll expire and disappear.

The second feature is the Auction House, unlocked later on at a higher HQ level. Here you can bid on Nanoweapon blueprints. Notably, you can obtain Apex-tier (the strongest) blueprints.

However, unless you regularly buy diamonds through the cash shop or hoard for months, you won’t be able to afford the bidding price. We recommend avoiding this feature. There are better ways to obtain Apex blueprints that won’t break your real life bank.

Mystery Shop

The Puzzles & Survival Mystery Shop is an exchange shop where you can trade primary resources for other resources or speed ups. The selection is random and refreshes every 3 hours.

Whether or not the trade is worth it is up to you. Do note that the stars next to each exchange indicates how efficient/good of a deal it is. The more stars, the less you’re spending on the exchange. For that reason, we usually recommend always doing 3-star exchanges.

Of course, you should take into account if you can actually spare the resources for the exchange. Though if you see an exchange where you trade a resource for itself, you should always take it. For example, you give 600k wood and get 1000k wood in return.

Occasionally after making an exchange, another one will appear where you can use diamonds or real cash (don’t do this) to purchase a mystery box (you can tap on the box to see what’s in it first). These mystery boxes can contain rare items like a 24-hour shield, so it’s worth spending diamonds on occasion to get what’s inside.


The SWP Lab in Puzzles & Survival is a feature that most players will never utilize. There are several special superweapon items in each state that offer powerful unique benefits to whoever possesses them.

You can track the location of all the superweapons in the SWP lab, painting a permanent target on whoever owns one. Every time you attack and defeat the owner’s sanctuary, there’s a chance that the superweapon will transfer to you.

The problem is that it’s typically the strongest players in the state who own the weapon, so good luck trying to actually beat them. If you ever want to use one of these, you’ll either have to fully dedicate yourself to the game for a long time or befriend a player that owns one and convince them to loan it to you for a bit.

Gear Factory

Upgrade Benefits: Access to new/additional stat boosters and more Nanoweapon Parts

The Gear Factory actually governs five separate sets of equipment you can obtain as you level your Sanctuary up. Each one has different mechanics governing them, so we’ve put together an in-depth Gear Guide.

IMPORTANT: Lower tier equipment (indicated by stars) can be upgraded to higher tiers, so ignore those ads to buy high-tier equipment with real money. You’ll eventually gain access to them just by playing the game normally.

Wasteland Conquest

The giant golden globe that sits in your Sanctuary is less so of a building and more so a menu for a periodically occurring event called Wasteland Conquest.

This month-long event occurs about once a year in states that have been active long enough to determine the strongest player amongst different server clusters via a tournament bracket.

But that’s ultimately a topic for a different guide. What’s relevant here is that the winners of Wasteland Conquest occasionally schedule and host feasts where every player that attends gets a bunch of free goodies.

Simply attend the feast at the scheduled time and claim your gifts. There are three different gifts to regularly check at the feast:

  • The Gift Box in the bottom left.
  • The Sign-In at the bottom right.
  • The gifts that periodically spawn at the center host’s Sanctuary.

Depending on the size of the feast and the number of attendees, you can get boatloads of useful supplies. So do your best to not miss out on any feasts! Most hosts will usually schedule one with around 8 hours advanced notice, but there’s nothing stopping them from launching an impromptu feast as well.

Additional Building Systems

Besides each building’s individual functions and upgrading them, there are two additional systems tied to them that can make you stronger.

Glory Refinement (Gear Refiner)

Puzzles and Survival Glory Refinement
37 Games / Jeffrey Hsu

Glory Refinement is another level up system in Puzzles & Survival to provide additional stats to your troops but only with certain systems.

In order to level up these systems, you’ll have to meet certain pre-requisites first like having upgraded enough pieces to 5-star quality. Additionally, you’ll need Gear Refiners which are rather rare and can only be sporadically obtained from events.

The following systems have gear refinement levels:

  • Gear
  • Glory Levels
  • Chip
  • Module
  • Cube
  • Bioenhancer

Glory Levels (Marks of Glory)

Puzzles and Survival Glory Level Screen
37 Games / Jeffrey Hsu

Any upgradeable building unlocks a feature when they reach level 15 called a Glory Level. This feature provides additional stats to a specific type of troop, depending on the building. You’ll be able to see all the buildings and the stat bonuses they grant at the top of the screen when you check a building’s Glory Level.

You’ll need to spend Marks of Glory to increase these levels. These are often obtained as rewards from events. Additionally, you can purchase large amounts of them in the Pit’s Rare Earth exchange shop.

We recommend focusing on leveling up buildings that boost general troop stats and your specialized troop type. However, you may want to evenly level up your buildings to progress in the Ruins on the Glory challenge.



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