Icarus Guide: How to Build a Shelter and Survive Exposure

Icarus Building Shelter Exposure

Since you’re on an uncharted planet in Icarus, you’ll have to contend with wild animals, as well as changes in the weather. To be fair, though, the whole mechanic seems a bit odd. Imagine wearing a high-tech Envirosuit for space exploration, and yet you’re at the mercy of mother nature whenever there’s a slight drizzle. In any case, here’s our Icarus guide to help you build a shelter so you can survive exposure to the elements.

Note: For more information, check out our Icarus guides and features hub.


Icarus Guide: Building Shelters to Survive Exposure and the Weather

Crafting Tech Tree

After you’ve leveled up a bit in Icarus, you should have enough points to unlock some tech tree blueprints. You’ll want to obtain the following:

  • Wood Beam – We don’t need to build it, but it’s a requirement to unlock the rest.
  • Wood Floor, Wood Wall, and Wood Ramp/Roof – Each requires a tech point to unlock. For materials, each piece needs 12x fiber and 20x wood.
  • Wood Door – Requires 8x fiber and 10x wood.

Icsrv Bggd Bld Sh Expo 1

Using Cheap Materials or Building a Stronghold

Icarus is a fairly odd game that has various modes. One mode, Outposts, provides a relaxing sandbox experience. Indeed, this is where you’ll want to exercise your creative flair by building massive bases and strongholds since there’s no timer. On the other hand, the Prospect missions all rely on a session-based timer (usually lasting a week once you launch it). Because of this, and due to having only a handful of mission objectives, you don’t actually need to build gargantuan castles. In fact, you could just stick to the wooden structures mentioned above.

An ideal small shelter in Icarus would have at least six wooden walls, a couple of roof structures, and a door. For the walls and roofs, you can hold the “R” button to switch to a different variant. Walls with openings can be used to allow doors to “snap” into place.

Note: You can mouse over a built structure to dismantle it, causing it to return to your inventory. If you right-click on the item and destroy it, you’ll refund some of the materials that you used so you can craft again. This is a decent way to earn additional XP.

Icsrv Bggd Bld Sh Expo 2

Indoor Amenities, Beds, and Repairs

If wooden beds and bedrolls are surrounded by walls, the game will think that they’re in a shelter. This allows you to interact with a bed, turning it into a makeshift spawn point in case you die. If you need to sleep, however, then there needs to be a nearby campfire. Try not to place campfires near wooden structures or they’ll burn down. It’s also why we want to avoid the thatched structures in the crafting tech tree since they’re more likely to catch fire. Alternatively, you can just place the campfire outside the shelter.

Note: Built structures have a durability status. You need to repair them from time to time due to wear and tear or animal attacks. You can use a tool such as a Wood Repair Hammer for this (10x fiber, 4x stick, and 8x stone).

Icarus Building Shelter Exposure 1

Traveling Further and Avoiding Exposure

What exactly is the exposure mechanic in Icarus? Well, periodically, you’ll receive warnings about extreme weather phenomena (i.e., strong winds, showers, storms, and the like). If you’re out in the open, you’ll see the exposure bar increase. You’ll then begin to slowly suffer from stamina drain and slower movement speed. If the exposure bar is filled, your character’s HP will gradually decrease until you die. That is why staying inside a shelter in Icarus is important.

Here are some ways you can avoid exposure while traveling further on the map:

  • Dismantle your mini-shelter to keep them in your inventory. Rebuild your base when you reach another location.
  • Find a cave and stay inside during storms or extreme weather. Just watch out for cave worms.
  • If you can’t find a cave and you don’t want to use up a lot of resources, you can just have one wooden roof. This can be built adjacent to a mountain, though there are times when it’d crumble due to texture overlap. If this occurs, you can just plop down a couple of wooden walls, then select the wooden roof and rotate it. If placed at an angle, you can stay under the roof and avoid suffering from exposure to the harsh elements (seen in the image below).

Icarus Building Shelter Exposure 2

Icarus is available via Steam. For more information, check out our guides and features hub.

Jason Rodriguez
About The Author
Jason Rodriguez is a guides writer. Most of his work can be found on PC Invasion (around 3,400+ published articles). He's also written for IGN, GameSpot, Polygon, TechRaptor, Gameskinny, and more. He's also one of only five games journalists from the Philippines. Just kidding. There are definitely more around, but he doesn't know anyone. Mabuhay!