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Emily, or Zoe if you’re on her discord, is a Conan Exiles guide contributor and long-term fan. She’s been raiding bases since its release, mixing in some Rust, Archeage, Apex Legends, Hearthstone, Don’t Starve, and Horizon Zero Dawn. Video games have been a core aspect of her life since she was a child with an N64. When she needs a break, she’ll switch genres and start a new kind of adventure, though survival games have always been a favorite.
Latest posts by Emily Parker (see all)
- Conan Exiles Elevator Guide - October 14, 2022
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Those that have not checked out Conan Exiles before may not know what makes it different from other survival games. Of course, there’s inventory to manage and sprawling bases to build. There are definitely resources to collect and monsters to slay. The game follows many of the same formulas that its peers in the genre have perfected. So, what makes Conan Exiles stand out in a sea of open-world survival games? It doesn’t even have dinosaurs with machine gun hats. There has to be something, right?
I personally love the intricate base-building mechanics and adult theme that is relatively unique to Conan, but the one feature that truly sets the game apart is the purge. The purge is a guaranteed PVE experience located directly on your base. Sure, it’s an added level of difficulty in an already challenging game, but it helps even the playing field on PVP servers and adds variety to your experience. I’ve always been drawn to base defender games, and if you’ve always wanted a sprinkle of that in your survival game, you may also enjoy the Conan Exiles purge.
TL:DR: Time For a Purge
Instead of relying on player versus player mechanics like Rust, or random chance like Minecraft, Funcom sends an army of jerks called the purge straight to your doorstep at regularly scheduled intervals. This army can be comprised of NPCs, monsters, or animals. There is a purge bar on your main screen; once it hits 75%, the purge will be more and more likely to attack your base.
If your purge is comprised of NPCs, they may be captured and broken on the wheel of pain. If they are named, they can actually add more significant bonuses to your crafting stations than other T4-named thralls out in the world.
The admin of the server controls the frequency of the purge. You may even find servers where the purge has been turned off completely. On a multiplayer server, everyone’s purge bar fills during pre-determined hours. On a single-player or co-op server, the purge bar will only fill while you’re online and accomplishing tasks. You can set your own purge preferences when playing single-player and co-op, which adds a lot of exciting challenges to the game.
The level of your enemy visitors will be determined by where your base is built. If you build near the southern river, the purge you spawn should be stopped by T1 buildings and walls. If you build in the middle of the map or the jungle biome, you will need to upgrade to T2 walls to hold back a purge attack. If you build in the north (around the volcano or frozen areas), you will need at least T3 buildings and walls to hold off the purge.
My Experience With the Purge
The Conan Exiles purge didn’t steamroll me on my first adventure in the Exiled Lands, but it sure did the second time around. Experienced players will note that a base near the river is a far easier purge to weather than the rest of the map. I remember my second world fondly, but forcing a base near New Asagarth just because you like the trees is not a wise decision. It is always best to build your empire down by the river when it comes to fresh Conan players.
Since my tumultuous and angry start with the purge, I have learned to love the challenge. In single-player, I’ve been known even to bump the purge settings up just to kick the tires on a new base build. I’m a massive fan of animal followers, and the purge is a great excuse to collect them all. I have learned to accept the sad reality that an annoying named human thrall is the most potent follower, but my collection of base defenders will always be a veritable zoo.
Purge: Nuts and Bolts
There are some core concepts that will help you understand how the purge works and potentially avoid any purge-related pitfalls. The first is that the purge will spawn while you are offline under standard server settings. Your base and thralls should be hardy enough to withstand the purge without your help.
Do you have multiple bases and outposts? The purge may attack any of your bases, and unfortunately, you won’t know which until they start heading there. This is true for both multiplayer and single-player.
The purge is set to attack the first building it reaches, whether that be a wall or a watch tower. If your buildings are not connected to one another, they will count as different bases; spawning different purges. This can be a good thing, though. It may spare your main base from the purge attack that round. It can also be a bad thing if you have valuables stored in your outpost.
There are some locations in the game where a base can be built that the purge will not spawn on at all. This is an intended feature down by the southern river. It’s a beginner area, and turning off the purge makes sense. Other areas are additions and potential oversights. If you’re having trouble spawning the purge, your base may just be in one of these “dead” zones.
Additionally, the purge may decide to spawn in the middle of your base if you try to build a base in the water, on a plateau, or in an otherwise hard-to-reach area. If their CPU brains cannot figure out how to reach your base, they will show up in your living room.
In addition to receiving a text warning when the purge is queued, you’ll also be able to find it on the map. When the purge spawns, a red crossed-swords icon appears at its spawn point. Everyone can see this icon, even if the purge is not headed for their base. There will be a 10-minute delay that the player should use for battle preparations before the purge reaches its intended base.
Unfortunately, the purge will attack anything in its path. If your base is between the spawn point and the intended base, your base will be the one struck. This means that you won’t have the intended preparation time, and in some cases, the purge could be a higher level than you’re used to. This is a fun way to mix a stale game up, but it can be devastating for unprepared players.
The purge difficulty for your base will be determined by what zone your base is built in. The server admin can cap this feature, but the default setting is for the purge to go up in difficulty for bases that are built-in more challenging zones.
Bases built in the southern portion of the map should only experience level 1 and level 2 purges. You will need some defense thralls or animals, but T1 walls and buildings will be enough to hold these levels at bay. Be aware that some areas around the southern river will not trigger a purge spawn at all.
If you’ve progressed to the middle of the map or the jungle area to the east, and are thinking of setting up a permanent base in these locations, keep in mind that level 3 and level 4 purge attack these areas. Your base will need to be made of T2 materials, and you will definitely need some defense thralls or animals and should consider some long-range options.
If you’re brave enough to build a base in the northern portion of the map, be prepared for level 5 and 6 purge attacks. These attacks would be best handled with archer thralls, high-level greater variant animal followers, and leveled fighter thralls with good armor and weapons. A base made with T3 building materials is a must for surviving a purge attack in the northern high-level zones.
The Conan Exiles purge is slightly randomized but a guaranteed nuisance; it may not come when you expect it, but it will bang on your door eventually. It can smash a fledgling operation into the ground, especially if it’s been built in more difficult areas of the map.
The purge meter fills on multiplayer servers as time passes, but on single-player and co-op servers, players will need to gain experience for the meter to fill. Once the meter reaches 75%, there is a chance the purge will spawn. The chances increase as the meter climbs into overflow.
The purge may attack while you are logged out unless this setting is turned off for your server. The idea is to have a well-defended base without relying on your combat skills to see it through a purge (or PVP) attack.
On a single-player server, the purge will only attack your base, and your purge meter will reset after the attack. On a multiplayer server, things get more complicated. During the hours a purge is permitted to spawn, the purge will take turns spawning per clan or single player. You may not be the target before the timer runs out, especially if your map has a lot of single-player bases.
The Best Purge Defense Build
The purge is a bit buggy. There are ways to cheese the purge completely, but I personally don’t understand the incentive to do that, so I won’t include them in my base build suggestions. If you are in single-player, simply turn the purge off if you don’t feel like dealing with it. Similarly, consider choosing a purge-less server if you don’t want to defend against it in multiplayer. If you’re just looking to get an advantage over other clans by cheesing the purge, it’s best you set out on that adventure on your own. I don’t need the bad karma.
For everyone else that simply wants a fair shot against the hoards of NPCs, there are a couple of helpful base concepts to learn. Instead of telling you a specific base to build, I’m going to list my top purge-worthy considerations instead.
Elevate Your Archers
Get your archers into the air. Build platforms, decks, and watch towers. The purge will attack the first building it reaches; as long as your archer tower is behind a wall, they will be able to fire uninhibited until the wall is breached. Be aware of angles and overhangs! If your base design leaves archer blindspots, purge NPCs will likely find them at some point. Archers are your number one defense against the purge.
Mind the spikes! Place palisades around your entire base to apply bleed damage to the advancing purge. Be warned; your own thralls will also love to throw themselves on these spikes. It’s best to keep your melee thralls separated from any palisade area. Keeping them inside the walls has the added bonus of mitigating damage if the purge decides to spawn inside your base.
A choke point is an area to trap the advancing purge near your base, usually using walls, natural formations, and fortifications. Archers are strategically placed to eliminate the purge while funneling it into this small space. In addition, palisades stack bleed damage and help to take the attack down quickly.
Funneling the purge into a choke point is an art, so don’t expect everything to go smoothly on your first try. Keep in mind that to create a choke point, you’ll need to address the 360-degree nature of your base. The purge may approach from any direction, so you’ll want to have several murder tunnels for them to pile into on a standard base.
The Best Purge Defenders
Archers are the best purge defenders, but animal companions are the cheapest purge defenders. Some animals even have ranged capabilities, though none but the sandreaper queen will hit as hard as a fully leveled, geared, and named archer thrall.
It is relatively easy to collect several greater variants and pack them into your base. Snagging animal babies is infamously easier than finding and capturing named thralls, and every single one has a chance to grow into a greater variant. Greater variants are the elite version of that species, with much better stats and often a nicer skin. No animal follower is more powerful than the most potent fighter thralls, but we’re talking quantity over quality here.
Station your greater variant big hitters in your base. Any puppies and kittens that didn’t turn out can be stationed outside as a bit of a buffer for the purge wave. You may even consider grabbing spiders or putting the time into breeding reapers for their long-distance poison attacks.
Find and train the best archers for a rock-solid purge defense. Stationing archers at elevated points is the best defense against the purge. You must ensure they have a line of sight on their podiums and walls, which should be considered while building your base.
You might be shocked to learn that Funcom has made this process thoroughly confusing or very simple, depending on your vantage point. Where it gets complicated is finding appropriate thralls to turn into your archers. The only stat you need to worry about for an archer thrall is accuracy. Just because an NPC’s name says it is an archer does not mean it will have high accuracy.
Named T4 thralls will always make the best thrall for any purpose, including archers. Named purge T4 thralls are the best you can get, with the highest base stats. Some factions have higher base stats, but other than that, it’s a crapshoot.
What you feed your thrall while it levels matters a bit. If you want to give accuracy the highest chance to increase every level, try leaving cooked fish in their inventory. A thrall with a 30% chance to level accuracy each level will now have a 44% chance to level accuracy.
See also: Conan Exiles Factions Guide
Conan Exiles Purge Thralls
Purge T4 named thralls have the best stats of any thrall in the game. It may seem odd to hear, but a club is the first thing established players grab when a purge is spawned on their base. Knocking out a valuable thrall in a wave of arrows can be tricky, but it’s worth the effort.
The best purge level for snatching named thralls is a level 2 purge. Level 2 has a 50/50 chance of being a thrall purge, and these purges often contain named thralls. If you are playing single-player, you can easily set the purge level to level 2 until you’ve captured the NPC you’re looking for.
Where you build your base determines the type of thrall that will attack. If you have a certain faction that you’re dying to fill your base with, make sure to build your base in this area. There are no special abilities for different factions, so this is purely an aesthetic choice.
Capturing Purge Thralls
Capturing thralls in a purge attack is the most challenging way to capture thralls. If you leave your defenses fully active, you risk slicing and dicing them up before you can knock them out. If you entirely disable your protection, you run the risk of them doing too much damage to your base.
There are a couple of tricks that I like to use to capture purge thralls. Some of these can even be used to capture thralls out in the open world. You should double-check that the purge marching towards your doorstep is made of humans.
The first step is to put any animal troops on passive; unfortunately, they don’t know anything but murder. Then, set your highest strength thrall to follow and equip them and the rest of your defense thralls with clubs. Next, equip your archers with knockout arrows if you have the resources for it. Otherwise, you’ll need to deactivate your archers.
There will be some animals and monsters you’ll need to kill on your own while your thralls club away. At the end of the fight, you should have your choice of humans to drag to the wheel of pain. Be careful with this method; always leave some defenses available to set to aggressive in case you get in over your head. Dragons have been known to show up with human purges!
Purge Thrall Bonuses
To be clear, purge thralls must be named to have any extra bonuses. Not every purge thrall is a named T4 thrall, but for this article, I am referring to T4 named purge thralls. T1-T3 purge thralls will have similar stats to their counterparts out in the world.
T4 purge thralls increase the bonuses other thralls of the same type would add to the station. Usually, this is crafting speed, but sometimes it can be durability, armor, damage, etc., of items made there. In addition to adding the highest crafting time bonuses (among others) to crafting stations, some recipes are only available when a purge thrall is stationed at the bench.
The most valuable purge thrall you can capture is the blacksmith. You will need to capture a T4 named blacksmith from the purge if you would like to craft legendary weapon repair kits at your blacksmith’s bench. This recipe is the only way to repair legendary weapons.
Purge alchemists unlock black and white dye at your alchemist’s bench. Purge cooks have three additional recipes when compared to other named priests: bone broth, cooked oysters, and egg surprise.
Lastly, purge archers and fighters come with much higher base stats. This is the only time the purge faction you spawn matters. Fighter thralls from different factions start with different base stats. Once you decide which fighter thralls you are interested in capturing, you can choose where to station your base.
Help! The Purge Won’t Spawn
Are you sure you want to figure this one out? Ok, ok.. the purge is actually a pretty fun part of the game and can be used to gain a journey step and some great thralls. I can understand why you would want to experience it, but it can be a difficult menu to navigate. Of course, if you choose a multiplayer world, just be sure to choose a server with the purge turned on.
If not, that means you’ll either be creating your own multiplayer world or that you’ll be giving single-player a shot. In either case, you should have access to a purge menu under your server settings. If you are troubleshooting a purge-less server, check the purge menu to ensure it is turned on. You’ll be able to tell you’ve checked the correct box when you see the infamous purge meter on your main screen near your other character bars.
If the meter is not filling up fast enough, there is also a frequency setting in the purge menu. The purge meter fills up based on your accomplishments, not time, so ensure you are gaining experience while testing your ideal fill speed.
Honestly, the menu UI is a disaster. It’s challenging to tell how much something is changing with each slide of the menu bar, and you can quickly get yourself in hot water. I highly recommend creating a test world and training on the server menu, including the purge menu. It’s best to mess with it before relying on it in a world you’ve dumped hundreds of hours into.
If everything appears to be in order with your purge menu, I have some bad news. It’s possible you built your base in a location that does not spawn the purge. Many sites along the southern river are designated “beginner-friendly” and will not generate a purge. Unfortunately, there are also other locations that seem to be broken in regards to the purge. The easiest way to check this is to build an outpost elsewhere on the map and see if the purge will spawn on it.
Not So Friendly Neighbors
The Exiled Lands are a harsh place to build a home. It may seem as though you’ve finally found some peace and quiet, and then the game sends a messy purge to your doorstep. Why won’t they just let you live? There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Once your base is built of suitable materials and your defenses are trained and well-equipped, the purge will turn into nothing more than a light nuisance.
On top of that, you can look forward to capturing the best-in-game thralls from purge mobs, and this is an adventure of its own. The entire mechanic adds diversity, hilarity, and difficulty to multiplayer servers and single-player games alike. It may be a kick in the face for new players, but that’s typically how the Exiled Lands welcomes you.
I appreciate the effort Funcom put into the purge, and I can’t wait to see the way it may grow in the future. For now, you’ll catch me building impractical bases and filling them to the brim with big cats and palisades. There may not be a thrall alive for me to capture at the end, but we’ll have had a good time.
Question: How often does the purge happen in Conan?
Answer: The purge is spawned by filling your purge meter. For single-player worlds, this is done by gaining experience and accomplishing tasks. How often the purge spawns will be determined by your play style. On official servers, and many other multiplayer servers, the purge has a time window in which it will spawn. It attacks one base at a time until the time window is over. Your base may be missed entirely or be attacked several times.
Question: How difficult is the purge in Conan Exiles?
Answer: This depends on where you’ve built your base. The purge has six difficulty levels, with the greatest difficulty capable of spawning dragons and world bosses. If you make your base in the southern desert in the beginner area, you should only experience level one and level two purges. If you put your base in the forested area, jungle, or other intermediate zones, expect level three and four purges. If you’re brave enough to have built a base in the frozen north, swamp, or volcano, then strap in for level five and six purges.
Question: Why won’t the purge spawn in Conan Exiles?
Answer: The first thing you should check if you can’t get your purge to spawn in single-player is your server settings. Often the purge is turned off and will need to be turned on and adjusted to your preferences. You should be able to tell if your purge is on by the presence of the purge meter. If you have a purge meter, but it refuses to fill, slide the bar in your settings to turn up the frequency. Make sure you double-check your purge difficulty settings, you want them set to default or you may end up with a much more difficult purge than your base is ready for.
Question: Are there some areas where a base won’t spawn a purge in Conan Exiles?
Answer: Yes! If all your settings seem to be in order, but a purge still will not spawn, unfortunately, it means you have built a base in a dead zone. There are intentional dead zones down by the southern river. This area is intended for beginners to get their start, and Funcom has taken mercy on them by suspending the purge on the river and its islands. There are unintentional dead zones across the rest of the map as well. These are found in added areas and boundaries. If you want to be sure a purge will spawn, build within the original Exiled Lands map.
Question: What are the best thralls in Conan Exiles?
Answer: The best thralls are T4 named purge thralls. They must be captured in a purge attack and cannot be found in the world. The best type of purge to catch these thralls is only a level two human purge. Named thralls have the highest chance to spawn in these purge waves. T4 Crafting Conan Exiles purge thralls will add the most significant bonuses and extra recipes to your stations, and T4 purge fighter thralls have the best stats.
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