Bethesda’s latest post-apocalyptic RPG Fallout 4, has a Workshop feature that has unforgivingly taken up most of my time. Combining a sliver of Minecraft’s building gameplay with a few of the social aspects of The Sims, you too might just find yourself worrying about keeping your crops alive in a brutal Mad Max-esque environment instead of hunting down mutants.

Yes, I’m serious.

It’s fitting that this game is set in Boston, because freedom is a huge theme in Fallout 4. You have the freedom to play your character as a brute or a charismatic thief. You can use makeshift shotguns or machetes to survive in the wild. The same goes for Workshop mode, as you could potentially hunt mole-rats for days and skip this aspect of the game altogether. Once you get started, though, you’ll find Workshop mode to be a welcome distraction from the end of the world.

When building a survival bunker, functionality is far more important than looks. With that in mind, you’ll want to think tactically as soon as you find sanctuary in Sanctuary. I’ll be revealing no spoilers here, but there’s a quest chain you can pick up once you defeat your first boss in Fallout 4 that systematically walks you through a few essential steps of building a working town of your own. You’ll need to do so if you want to have a safe place to repair and modify your guns and power armor, as well as store the items you find in the field. As for building supplies, the town of Sanctuary will have plenty of broken down houses nearby ready to be scrapped for parts.

Since building underground isn’t an option in Fallout 4’s Workbench mode, I opted to build a three story steel structure to house and protect the citizens in my first town. You could just patch up an existing rickety structure, but the decaying walls weren’t doing it for me. The first story of the building I created was assembled using prefabricated pieces with walls and ceilings already attached, though without any openings for windows or doors. This completely protected floor, which is surrounded by a perimeter fence as well, will serve as a basement to safely work on weapons, armor, food, medicine, and other crafts. A set of stairs leads up to the roof of this “basement” area from the outside as a primary entrance, with a second set of stairs leading down in the center for access.

Building on top of the first floor, the second floor will serve as the main housing area for local folk. Plenty of beds, a bathroom, a radio, and a few chairs should do the trick here. A set of stairs leading up will grant access to the third story, which uses alternating prefabricated wall and window pieces all around so townsfolk can defend against outside raiders should they show up. On the very top of the building I placed a radio tower, which connected to a power supply on the third floor, in order to attract a larger population. As the town grows, so should the amount of food, water, and defenses available. Eventually you’ll want to build a second structure, then a third, then expand to other towns, and then organize trade caravans between them to give you easy access to supplies.

This is but a brief, broad introduction to the town building features found in Fallout 4. In time, and with the right components, you’ll have a few settlements full of working shops and NPCs with all sorts of goodies for trade. There are more elements to explore and expand upon than what was mentioned here, but discovering them is half the fun. Good luck, former vault dwellers!

Fallout 4 is now out on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam.