Best Grounded base locations to build a hideout

Best Grounded base locations
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

The best Grounded base locations combine safety, resources, and simple accessibility, allowing you to craft and construct massive fortresses. A base in Grounded serves as a way to defend your loot, have fun with friends, craft new gear and recuperate from expeditions, but the reality is that after a while you'll likely have more than one base, setting up a network of variously sized camps throughout the yard. That doesn't mean that they all have to be as elaborate as each other, some acting as mere stopping points, but if you're out to build a new base and want some advice about the best place to do so, here's the best base locations in Grounded, and what they all have to offer.

The best Grounded base locations

The best Grounded base locations in our eyes, taking into considering all the most important elements for survival, can be broken up into the following areas:

- The Mysterious Machine

- The Oak Lab entrance

- The Hedge Ascent

- The Pond surface

- The Woodcutting Field Station

- Below the Javamatic

Grounded base locations best

(Image credit: Obsidian)

We've arranged these in rough order of discovery, but also because they form a rough network throughout the map, spaced out enough that if you place one at even half the locations here, you'll never be too far away from somewhere to call home. So when we use terms like early, mid and late game below, we're only stating when you can build them, not when they're useful. Handle them right, and they'll be invaluable to you right up to the end credits.

It's also worth clarifying that we're valuing the best base locations based on survival mode - not for visual flourish or style. If you're in creative mode with access to anything, there's all manner of cool places to build - the stump, the birdbath, the picnic table, the sandbox - but these places are pretty rough in terms of actual survivability.

Below we'll go into them in more detail, along with the particular advantages and disadvantages of each one. No location is perfect, and while it's not impossible to play the whole game from just one base, it's hardly convenient. Seriously Grounded, when do we get fast travel mechanics of some sort?

The Mysterious Machine early game base location

The Mysterious Machine base location

(Image credit: Obsidian)

This is probably the best place for a base in the game, because… well, it's so nice! One of the first locations in the game you discover, south of the Oak Tree, the Mysterious Machine has a lot going for it.

Advantages: This is the least intimidating spot in the game, and emphasises safety and ease of life. There's very few dangerous bugs here (though it's technically not impossible, we've seen Wolf Spiders and Stink Bugs veer off their path towards it), there's ample basic resources, a Field Station, a juice box to drink from, and it's pretty central to all the early game areas.

Disadvantages: While the Mysterious Machine has a lot of basic resources, there isn't much around you that's particularly advanced to use, so if it's the late game, you'll have to travel a very long way for tier 3 resources. Beyond that, we can't think of many flaws - it's just a very good place to build overall.

The Oak Lab entrance early/mid game base location

The Oak Lab entrance base location

(Image credit: Obsidian)

The area around the Oak Lab is pretty dangerous - Grounded Spiders of all kinds prowl the region - but it's a pretty useful area with BURGL and the lab nearby. While the game won't let you create anything inside the building, the braver players can build some basic constructions literally in the doorway to the lab, effectively creating an extension under the shelter of the roots and oak leaves.

Advantages: BURGL is handy to have nearby, not to mention all the perks that come with the lab itself. Resources aren't too sparse - there's a juice box nearby - and you're in a covered area that makes you hard to spot when it comes to enemies. Not to mention that you're even more centralised here than in the Mysterious Machine, and if you're in dire peril, you can flee into the Lab and hide away from whatever is harassing you - very little will follow you inside.

Disadvantages: Wolf Spiders. At least two of these horrors live underneath the Oak Tree, and they tend to go prowling during daylight and evening hours. If one of them sees you, it can ruin your whole day - so you'll have to build a small, sneaky base rather than anything more elaborately eye-catching. Honestly, this is probably going to be more of an outpost than a proper lair.

The Hedge Ascent early/mid game base location

The Hedge Ascent base location

(Image credit: Obsidian)

The Hedge Lab in the Southeast is what to do after the Grounded Oak Lab, but while most of the Hedge is pretty perilous, with Spiderlings in the branches and Orb Weavers down below, the actual Ascent - the area in the West Hedge with the paper clip - is surprisingly sedate, with resources to draw on and not too far from the Eastern route to the Grounded Upper Yard.

Advantages: With few enemies, lots of berries, and a field station and juice box in the branches just above you, there's certainly worse places to be hiding.

Disadvantages: You're in the far corner of the map, so most areas are going to take a very long time to reach. Resources are abundant, but aren't too varied, and when enemies do show up, they can be quite nasty. Plus you'll probably have nightmares with the Grounded Broodmother being so close.

The Pond's surface mid game base location

The Pond's surface base location

(Image credit: Obsidian)

You really want to be ambitious and make a statement? Once you get the Pond Lab Superchip from BURGL - which is what to do after the Grounded Hedge Lab - you can buy Buoyant Supports for 2500 Raw Science, which allow you to build structures on top of the Pond. Consider this high risk/high reward, for the emboldened adventurer.

Advantages: Underwater enemies tend to leave the surface alone (usually), so structures built there can be safer than thought. You're incredibly central to the map, can swim ashore for any resources you need, and the only peril in the pond that can threaten you in the late game is the Koi Fish itself. Plus - it's a floating base! That's very cool.

Disadvantages: Your resources are ample, but very limited in variety, plus you're not totally immune to enemies. Aside from the Diving Bell Spiders and other aquatic evils below that can come up to the surface every now and then, mosquitos tend to hang around the Pond and can be a real issue. Not to mention that if one of your supports breaks, your base could stop floating - and then no more base. Make sure you keep checking to make sure everything's secure and safe.

The Woodcutting Field Station mid/late game base location

The Woodcutting Field Station base location

(Image credit: Obsidian)

Once you're in the Upper Yard, safe areas are limited, especially near the Shed - with the exception of one little oasis! The woodcutting logs South of the Termite nest with the Field Station on top and the hatchet buried into it are pretty secure, with few threats able to reach you and easy access to late game zones and bosses like the Grounded Mantis.

Advantages: We've never seen an enemy bug make it to the raised top of the log with the Field Station, we're not even sure they physically can get up there. Plus there's that aforementioned Field Station to draw on, easy access to your lair by just running up the fallen log, and a decent range of resources beneath (though dry grass tends to outnumber the healthy stuff)

Disadvantages: Like the Hedge Ascent, you're backed into a corner and any commute is probably going to take a while. The limited space means construction is limited, and finding food can be a little tricky in this environment without going into some very dangerous areas.

South of the Javamatic mid/late game base location

South of the Javamatic base location

(Image credit: Obsidian)

West of the shed is the Grounded MIXR Modules and Javamatic, a modified coffee maker with cables running from it. The open ground South of the Javamatic is oddly safe - at least until the associated campaign mission we've linked to - and probably the best base building spot in the Upper Yard.

Advantages: Like the Mysterious Machine, the area is weirdly free of dangerous bugs (though you're never entirely out of danger in Grounded). The open ground makes building easy, and a wide variety of basic resources are amply available. After finding and clearing the Grounded Shed Lab location mission, you'll also get access to a vast storage room nearby, full of useful and rare materials. You're also right in the middle of the Upper Yard, so commutes aren't too painful.

Disadvantages: Once the campaign mission here kicks in, your base is going to suffer a lot of damage as bugs overrun the area. Plus while it's unlikely that enemy insects show up, on the rare occasions they do, they will be bad ones - this is the Upper Yard we're talking about, after all.

With bases in at least some of these locations, you'll have a good spread of hideouts to head to when you need rest and resources. The only two areas we've really omitted are opposite corners of the map - the Haze/Black Anthill in the lower left, and the Stump in the Upper Right. These areas are generally pretty nasty and base building here is hard - plus you likely won't be going to them often, so why take the risk?

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Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.