Desirability is a measure of how appealing an area is to live in. As such, this advanced mechanic of Farthest Frontier only impacts shelters. A high desirability is a prerequisite for shelters to upgrade to higher tiers. As higher tier homes generate tax revenue, have increased occupancy, and are required for Town Center upgrades, this is very…desirable.
Certain buildings impact desirability around them. How large of an area they affect depends on each building. Some structures, such as a Small Garden, may not impact many homes, but a Theater can improve the desirability of nearly the entire town.
While all service buildings provide a feature for the town, some of them also have a desirability bonus. Building a Market not only provides deliveries to nearby homes and generates tax income, it also highly desirable.
Likewise, a Healer’s House provides an important service to all villagers, but shelters built in its proximity will benefit from greater desirability.
Note that a Shelter can only benefit from a service building’s desirability once. Duplicate structures do not confer any additional benefits.
Decorations offer more than just a pleasing aesthetic for the town. Proximity to decorations can have a significant impact on a home’s desirability.
Upgraded decorations have an even bigger effect, but these upgrades can be expensive to make. The more variety you bring to an area, the more the desirability will rise.
Note that having duplicates of certain decorations near a home will not improve its desirability further. Likewise, overlapping a structures of the same type, ex. Large Park and a Small Park, in one area will not have much of an impact, if at all.
Smaller decorations, such as gardens, benefit only a small area, but multiples of them still increase desirability.
Decorations are the most impactful method by which to increase desirability, and they make an area visually beautiful as well!
Many production buildings have a negative effect on desirability. This could be because of noise, or the smells and smoke they generate. An early example of this is a Smokehouse. While it generates delicious cured meats and fish, the smoke necessary for processing them is undesirable for nearby homes.
Some buildings, such as Compost Yards, affect a large area and should be placed far from residential areas.
There are also production buildings that have no effect on desirability. For example, a Fletcher Building has no negative impact and can be safely placed near shelters.
The only production buildings with a positive effect on homes are the Bakery and Well. The smell of fresh baked bread and water free of parasites can be pretty appealing.
When selecting a building for placement from the Build UI, you can see whether it impacts desirability based on the chevrons next to its name. Chevrons up means that the building will have a positive effect, while chevrons down indicates a negative effect. A dash , indicates that the structure has no effect on desirability.
Once you are ready to place the building, moving the placement preview around the town will show the impact it will have on the desirability of nearby homes. For example, placing a Compost Yard in the middle of a densely packed neighborhood will have a very negative effect on those homes.
Lowering a home’s desirability too much with new construction can cause it to become abandoned as the area no longer fulfills the requirements that home has.
Note that some structures, such as mines and Barns, have their own overlay info which overrides the desirability overlay. Mines still have a negative impact on nearby homes though and are ideally placed a distance away from residential areas.
As upgraded homes have desirability requirements, falling back below those thresholds puts them in danger of becoming abandoned. This can occur due to new construction, of or if existing buildings are destroyed due to lack of maintenance or raider attacks.
When this does happen, a warning appears over a home indicating that it will become abandoned soon. If nothing is done to remedy the situation, the Shelter becomes abandoned and no longer contributes to population occupancy. This can result in reduced happiness and even death as villagers suffer from exposure.
A home abandoned for a long period of time becomes condemned and will eventually collapse. If desirability is restored before this occurs, the Shelter will once again be inhabitable.
Note that Tier 1 Shelters have no desirability requirements and as such will never become abandoned because of low desirability.