Unless you disable Raid Events in your world settings, you need to prepare your base to withstand continuous raids from enemy factions. In this guide I will be talking about what worked for me and what didn't to help you navigate this portion of the game. I was upgrading my defenses as I leveled up and tried new things until I hit what worked for me.
By the way, I would not recommend to turn off raids completely, unless you just don't want to be bothered by them, but they bring another element to the game, give a pretty solid XP boost if you can kill the raiders, OK loot drops and also allow you to capture some of the higher tier Pals much earlier than when you would encounter them in wild.
Can Raids Happen When I Am Not In My Base? YES!
I have read in many articles online that raids can only happen if you are in your base. WRONG! Raids can happen when you are not present in your base. Even in single-player! And you might not always be in a position to get back in time to help defend.
I got a Raid alert when I was in a dungeon. The raid was happening at my base pretty far away.
I was in a dungeon when one of my bases got attacked. It is very rare for this to happen, but it can, so you need to plan for that! When I got out of the dungeon, I could see in which direction was the attack happening due to the enemy pop-ups, but before I got there, the raid was over. Looking at the screenshot now, you could actually tell which base is being attacked by what shows up in top right, this was my 'Coal Base' which had no Pals in it at the time.
I would only assume that when playing on a server that runs 24/7 this would happen more frequently and your base would get attacked while you are logged off.
Quitting the Game Ends the Raid in Single-Player
I discovered this by accident when the raid spawned at the same moment I clicked on 'Return to Tile' button to exit the game. I went back in and the raid was gone. I tested this few more times when the raiders got closer to my base and it worked every time. I have not tried to do this once the raiders were actually engaged in combat with my Pals, didn't want to risk it, so can't what happens in that situation.
It is a pretty cheesy way to avoid raids, but if you are in a horrible spot and think that you won't be able to handle a raid in the moment, and don't want to turn off raids completely, it might be something you would like to resort to from time to time. I guess it could be helpful if a raid happens when you are out adventuring and can't get back in time to help defend, should you need to.
This shouldn't work on a dedicated server since the server is still running without you logged in, so be careful.
Raider AI Behavior
Raids seem to spawn on a nearby dirt road, so when picking your base you can try and guess where a raid might be coming from. There are raids consisting of land units only and raids of flying Pals that come in the late-game but from my observation the flying Pals follow the same pathfinding as land units if the path to your base is unobstructed.
Raiders' goal is not to completely destroy your base but to damage it, you, and your Pals. I have had raids where me and my Pals got completely wiped, but then raiders took down only few buildings and left.
There are three "phases" to a raid:
- Raiders spawning and en route to your base.
- Raiders attacking your base.
- Raiders giving up and trying to escape.
In phase one and three, raiders will not attack you, meaning if you can catch them on the way to (or from) your base, you pretty much have a free reign over them. Once they reach your base and start attacking, they often focus the player over everything else if you are in range, so be careful. If you want your Pal companion to attack raiders outside the base, you need to attack them first to "enter combat" then your Pal should start attacking.
Once enough raiders are killed, or if they couldn't reach your base to begin with due to various reasons, or if enough time has passed, they start to flee to their spawn point and despawn. If you are fast enough, you can take that opportunity to ramp up few more kills or try and catch some of the Pals in the raid.
This section is work in progress.
I have not managed to find an extensive list of raider factions online, so I am going purely based off the screenshots I made during my gameplay. I will try to update whenever I get a more accurate info, though the lower level raids might be problem in this regard since I am nearing level 50.
It would be nice to know the level ranges for each raider to have a better idea when to expect specific enemies, but I am not sure if what I am seeing right now is adjusted to my current level (46) or not. I would be glad if you guys could chip in and tell me in the comments if you have seen any of these in lower levels; or anything else I might be missing. Thanks!
All Fan Girls
- [16-39] Lovander
Brothers of the Eternal Pyre Doomsayers
- [~39-41] Reptyro
- [~37-41] Brothers of the Eternal Pyre Martyr - Flamethrower, Assault Rifle
Free Pal Alliance Hardliners
- [~16-17] Free Pal Alliance Devout - Crossbow
Free Pal Alliance Eco-Terrorists
- [~39-41] Lyleen
- [~36-38] Free Pal Alliance Devout - Crossbow, Baseball Bat
Herd of Extremely Ferocious Wild Pals
- [~41] Incineram
- [~41] Incineram Noct
- [~41] Leezpunk
- [~41] Vanwyrm Cryst
Herd of Famished Relaxaurus
- [~46-48] Relexaurus
Herd of Ferocious Flying Pals
- [???] Beakon
- [???] Galewing
- [???] Nightwing
- [???] Suzaku Aqua
PAL Genetic Research Unit Elites
- [~41] Lunaris
- [~40-41] PAL Genetic Research Unit Executioner - Flamethrower, Pulse Rifle
- [~40] Syndicate Gunner - ???
- [~37-40] Syndicate Hunter - ???
- [~36-41] Syndicate Elite - Rocket Launcher
- [~35-36] Syndicate Grenadier - Grenades
- [~36-37] Syndicate Cleaner - Flamethrower
- [~39] Syndicate Crusher - Gatling Gun
#1 Pick the Right Location for Your Base
I have talked about this in my Base Building Guide, the location you pick is probably the most important thing you can do to increase the chances to defend your base properly. You can still do it wherever, but an advantageous location will make it much easier. A good example is actually the spot near the waterfall in the beginner area, I'm sure a lot of you started there as well.
The structures are leftovers from my first base :)
This spot has great natural "walls" created by the cliffs above and below to provide cover from north and south and a small pond that covers east, so the only way for enemies to enter your base is from the west, as denoted on the screenshot above. Red arrows signify the route attackers take in this location to reach your base. For me, they either spawned at the top of the cliff or below, but both converged on the same spot, so that made it much easier to control them.
Granted, at this point in time I didn't know what I was doing, so my defenses were questionable at best, or rather nonexistent, LOL. But I have since learned from my mistakes and that's why I'm making this guide.
The blue question mark shows a potential second route the attackers could take, but in dozen of hours of me occupying this base and multiple raids, they never came from that direction. That is something you should keep in mind in any spot you pick, while there could be possible alternate routes that seem you need to cover, ultimately raiders might never take them, so map out their attack patterns and focus your defenses in the direction they come from.
#2 Do Walls Protect My Base? Yes and No.
First of all, avoid wooden walls and foundations if you can help it, they can burn down if you don't have any water Pals to put out the fire. And anything that is built atop a foundation gets destroyed if said foundation is destroyed, so smoothing the ground with foundations for a perfect wall setup can create significant weak-points in your defenses.
Create a Funnel
Walls work, but from my experience you should not wall yourself in completely, otherwise there will be problems. Through testing with various setups I have come to a conclusion that best way to use walls is to create a 'funnel' to guide enemies in a specific spot you want to fight with them, or to not let them scatter around your base. This can work very well as seen in the following screenshots.
You can click on the images to view in full resolution.
I have made an opening in my wall where I want enemies to enter and I placed Logging Site near it to have few Pals be always near this spot and to engage as soon as enemies approach them. I have also raised slightly elevated foundations to create an additional barrier, but not high enough so my Pals still have line of sight to the enemy. I've also put stairs from the other side so my Pals can walk over it if they need to. I chose to do it this way because walls are too high and could create additional problems here. What kind of problems? Read the next section.
Do Not Wall Yourself In Completely
If you wall your base from all sides and not allow any openings for the enemies, things can go very wrong. While it will stop enemies from entering your base, your Pals might get stuck trying to fight enemies from behind the wall to whom they do not have line of sight and enemy AOEs will wipe them out.
Wall stopped enemies getting in my base, but their attacks went through and killed all my Pals behind the wall.
And if you think a gate will solve your problems, think again. Gates are absolutely and utterly useless as of right now (patch v0.1.4.0). First of all, they have way less durability than the walls, so they are a weak-point to begin with, but their actual problem is they constantly bug out, so even if the sprite looks like the gate is open, it is in fact closed. And your Pals might get stuck on the other side and not be able to walk back in. And ofcourse not able to walk out to fight the enemy, so we are back at being walled in and getting shot through the walls/gate.
Pals stuck outside of my walls because the gate has bugged out and they cannot get back in even though it seems like it is open.
You could alleviate this problem to an extent if you build your walls at the very edge of the circle, but if the walls stick outside of it, they will deteriorate over time, unless you turned that off in the world options. But that could only fix the issue of Pals getting stuck outside of your walls, not the rest of the problems mentioned above.
#3 Do Base Defenses Work? Mostly No.
There are few types of defensive structures that you can build, but most of them do actually absolutely nothing, as sad as that is.
I am level 46 at the time of writing this guide, so I have tested out Sandbags, Mounted Crossbows and Mounted Machine Guns. Did not yet have a chance to test out Mounted Missile Launcher but I don't see why that one should behave any differently.
To put it simply - THEY DO NOTHING!
It might be due to the fact that the task reads 'COMMON_WORK_TYPE_Defense' so maybe the code is wrong right now and this particular task does not actually work with Handiwork as it should.
Potentially a bad code that breaks Pals' work task to man the turrets.
Pals often leave their post even if you assign them manually by throwing them at the turret, and even if they do stay at their post, they do not shoot from the turrets at all. I have tried putting them in different locations all over my base and assigning many different Pals (Yes, with Handiwork), but they just don't ever shoot from them. In the video earlier where I showcased my base defense you can see I recently added Mounted Machine Gun again to test it after patch v0.1.4.0 if some of the pathfinding fixes did anything for turrets, but Lunaris who was assigned to it simply runs away and uses her spells instead, so the answer would be no.
Who else was all hyped about recreating this image in-game? Seems like it was not meant to be :(
Traps and Mines
Those actually do work, but either only versus specific targets (Bear Traps - small Pals or Humans) or are spent once they trigger (Ice Mine, Electric Mine). They are hardly worth an investment of your resources and time putting them down over and over again. The status effects also last just few seconds so even when they work they are not very impressive.
Raiders frozen by Ice Mine.
Nearly every base defense guide for Palworld that I read says that 'Build an Alarm Bell so your Pals are alerted the enemy is coming!' or something to that extend. I have never built an Alarm Bell until now for the purposes of testing it for this guide. I never had problems with my Pals not attacking the enemies as soon as they get in their range.
Only thing I can see this being useful for is to set it to 'Focus on Work' status so that your Pals do not actively attack the enemy, but I don't know why you would want to do that. Maybe in the early game where you are the main line of defense so they don't get in your way, or maybe so they don't kill enemy Pals you are trying to capture? But like I said, I have been playing without Alarm Bell and didn't feel like I need it at all.
#4 What Is the Actual Best Base Defense? Your Pals!
I have tried it all and came to a conclusion that nothing is better at protecting your base than your Pals. Sometimes they can do a better job than you!
Hot tip: Keep some Pals that are nocturnal (don't sleep at night) in your base, not only will you be able to continue production overnight, but they will alert others when enemies arrive. Or maybe this is the situation where the Alarm Bell could have its use?
But for the Pals to be able to deflect an enemy attack you need to keep up their levels with yours. It does not have to be a 1:1 ratio, but somewhere in a ballpark of 5-10 levels behind you, the higher their level the better, of course. Because as you level, the levels of raiders increase too and raids with harder enemies will start to appear. Alternatively, you can catch new, already leveled Pals as replacements, the choice is yours.
As Pals level up, they not only have better stats but learn new, more powerful attacks.
This is my small mining base, I don't even have any defensive setup, just Pals protecting themselves. And they kick ass!
#5 Defending the Base Yourself
You will be the main defensive force in the early game where the raids are small and not as threatening, but you should be developing your Pals to act as protectors as soon as you can.
As mentioned in the previous 'Raider AI Behavior' chapter, you can kinda abuse the enemy AI to an extent if you ride out to meet them before they reach your base - they will not attack you while they are en route.
That way you can dispatch of them completely, or at least soften them up before they engage with your Pals. You can use basically any weapon to your disposal, but even at my current level 46, the weapon I love and use the most is Double-barrel Shotgun. If you get up close and personal and land a head-shot, it one-shots or two-shots most things. If I need to keep a distance then Single-shot Rifle is my friend. I am assuming once I can get a Rocket Launcher, that will be the ultimate clean-up weapon, but I am not there yet.
What you can do to increase your damage output is to either have Pals that are great combatants themselves, or if you're like me and prefer to take care of things yourself, find Pals that increase your stats.
Player Attack Power increased via various bonuses makes you deal a lot more damage.
In the picture above you can see that I have 270 Attack Power. Quite a difference from the starting 100. I have leveled it up 10 times by +2 increments to increase the base value and the rest is %-bonus stacking. Since %-bonuses works off base value, even small increases can have higher impact. I am riding a 3-star Beakon (+80%), wearing an 'Attack Pendant +2' accessory (+15%) and have a 4-Star Gobfin in a party (+20%).
Man, I do love Beakon! Not only for the buff it provides but because it actually energizes my attacks with electricity, so when I'm shooting, often times I stun my targets, easier to do with Double-barrel Shotgun since you shoot multiple projectiles in one shot. That's why I LOVE this combo. I actually managed to record a video of just the thing I'm talking about while writing this section and getting attacked in game, so here you have it, straight from the horse's mouth! :)
This setup could be much more improved, but I haven't bothered investing time into doing so just yet since I am doing fine as you can see. I wanted to showcase this as an example of what you can do.
And that is it folks! I hope you'll find some useful information here and if you have some tips that I did not mention, feel free to leave them for us in the comments below! Thanks!