Decay question/clarification

I’m on a regular server and I just built a rather nice base. I am going out of town this Saturday 1 PM will not be back until the following Friday around 1 PM.

I asked on the server and someone said I had 1 week and then my base would decay for 1 day - is this true? Will my stuff be okay if I log off right before I leave and log in right when I get back?

Thanks in advance


If you will be able to connect on Saturday morning for awhile you will be just fine. You can do your own math. Pick a repair hammer and check the decay timers, they are over 160 hours if I am not mistaken. So, unless you ‘ll experience a bug, you’ ll be just fine.
One thing you can do for safety is to place some really important things in your pets and thralls, they decay on 2 weeks not just one. This will give you the advantage to rebuild easy if things turn out not as wished.
I wish you a safe journey.


Great idea about the thralls! Thanks!

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It should be, as long as you can connect on time. The official servers are configured for maximum decay time of 168 hours, which is one week.

However… the devil’s in the details. I don’t know how much you know about how decay works in this game, so I apologize if I cover stuff that you already knew.

First of all, what we’re talking about here is the maximum decay time on the server. That doesn’t mean your base will necessarily have that decay. You can check what decay time your base has by wielding a repair hammer and standing close enough until a little popup comes up and it shows you the decay timer, the stability, and the structural health of what you’re looking at. If you’re on PC, you can also do that without a repair hammer, by holding the TAB key.

Here’s how decay timers work. Each building piece and placeable has a decay timer. (“Placeables” are things like crafting stations, doors, furniture, torches, etc.) The interconnected building pieces share the same decay timer. In other words, if you build one foundation and a wall on top of it, they’ll have the same timer, but if you build one foundation and run far enough away and build another foundation, they’ll have two separate timers. The placeables share the decay timer of the building they’re in or on. If you put a placeable down on the ground and it’s not within the claim of a building, its decay timer will be very short, and you’re likely to lose it eventually. I’ll explain more about that later.

Each decay timer has its maximum value – and I’ll explain soon how that’s calculated – and as long as you (or anyone in your clan) is close to a piece that has that timer, it will keep getting refreshed to that maximum value. So if you’re inside your base and its maximum decay timer is 56 hours, it will keep getting refreshed to 56 hours as long as you’re there, and will only start ticking down when you go far enough away or log off.

How is the decay timer calculated? Nobody outside Funcom has the exact formula, but we know that it depends on how many building pieces are interconnected and what tier they are. Sandstone and flotsam are the lowest tier, so they’ll have the shortest timers. The more interconnected pieces you have and the higher their tier, the longer the decay. The maximum decay time calculated by this function is further capped to the value set in the server settings. So maybe you built a big base and its decay timer would be 300 hours, but the server is configured to 168 hours maximum, so it will be 168 hours. This is important to understand, because of the summer vacation timer changes, which I’ll cover soon.

If the decay timer reaches 0, the building does not disappear right away. Instead, it enters “abandoned state”. The abandoned state lasts for 24 hours, and during that time any player can demolish your placeables individually or your whole building at once, by coming up to it and selecting the “demolish” option in the radial menu. So if your server is configured to 168 hours maximum and your building is big enough, it will have 168 hours before it enters abandoned state, and then 24 hours in that abandoned state. During those 24 hours, it will still be standing and you won’t lose anything unless another player demolishes it.

After the 24 hours of abandonment elapse, the building will be destroyed. However, the server does not do that proactively. If there’s no player in the vicinity of a building, the server does not simulate it. Instead, the server “catches up” when a player comes close enough. That’s why you’ll sometimes see a base disappear right before your eyes – it went through decay and abandonment, but there was no one there, so now the game went “oops, gotta take care of that” and poof! It’s gone.

Now, I mentioned summer vacations. Once a year, Funcom will reconfigure their official servers to double the decay timer for a couple of months, so the maximum decay for the server becomes 336 hours instead of 168. However, that doesn’t mean that the decay timers for the buildings are doubled. Remember what I said about the cap? If the decay timer function for your building says it will decay in 250 hours, that will get capped down to 168 hours under normal circumstances (because 168 < 250), but you won’t get 336 hours during summer vacations, because the function evaluates it to 250 hours and then it doesn’t get capped anymore (because 336 > 250).

I know the above paragraph has nothing to do with your situation right now, but I wanted to explain that anyway, because many people make the mistake of assuming their base will have 336 hours instead of 168 and then they lose their stuff because they didn’t check :frowning:

Okay, I think I’ve covered the most important facts here. There’s more stuff to learn about the decay, but I won’t go into that here. I apologize for the wall of text, but I’m hoping this will be useful.

In short: you need to check what’s the maximum decay timer for your base specifically. If it says 168 hours, you should be fine (unless you run into one of the decay bugs) if you can log back in on time. And even if you don’t, you can still hope that no one will demolish your base while it’s abandoned.


To add to CodeMage’s nice summary, if you are playing PVP and have a friend around, have them hit your building with a weapon (Ie low single digit HP). Timer will reset if the building gets damaged.

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There was a trick that used to work on PVE(-C) servers: if any player placed an explosive jar down on your claim (without detonating it), that would refresh the decay timer for that claim.

Does anyone know if they patched this?

Actually I’m starting to wonder if jumping up against a fence (and taking damage which apparently makes the fence damaged as well and this applies to PVE and PVP so I’m assuming PVE-C as well) would work.

Actually I will be leaving for 10 days later this summer so if FunCom increases decay that would be great!

Thanks for your answer

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They patched that. No longer works.


No they won’t. You better ask someone (close) to join your clan and refresh your timers. Yet in August if I am not mistaken they change the decay timers from one week to two. So if you travel in August I believe you’ll be fine.

This topic is why conan exiles mainly have issues retaining people, that all your work can disapear because the game rules of decay timmer and purges aren’t 100% explained / showcased , unless you watch content on it , go to the forums or the wiki , or that you find nice people on your first server that notice you are a new player and explains it to you , I have done the latter so many times , and still after so many years of the game being out some new players have completely no clue about decay timmers or the purge like over 50 % of them …

anyways still a pretty perfect summary done by @CodeMage here :speak_no_evil: :hear_no_evil: :see_no_evil:


Yeah, that’s one of the two things I keep complaining about. The following is a conversation that happens with depressing regularity on official servers where I’ve played:

  • What the hell? I had an animal pen with several animals in it and now it vanished!
  • Was it on foundations or on the ground?
  • It was on the ground, why?
  • How long have you been offline?
  • A couple of days, WHY?
  • Let me tell you about this thing called decay timer and how it works…

The other thing that isn’t properly explained through in-game mechanics is the purge. However, if you bring that one up on the forums, you’ll get a lot of people saying how it’s actually fun that you stand the chance of losing everything without having any in-game hint about it. “Besides, you can always look it up on wiki, YouTube, or hear about it from someone on the server” is another typical argument about why it’s okay to set up your players to fail, but “hey, it’s actually all in good fun” is the one that baffles me more :wink:

Anyway, I’ll stop grumbling about it now. Hopefully, it will get addressed some day :man_shrugging:

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I don’t want to derail this topic, so I’ll try to keep this short.

My complaint about the purge is not that there’s no way to know that the purge exists or that the game will send a bunch of enemies against you. The lore is there in Sepermeru – talk to Gilzan the Treasure Hunter and read Razma’s Journal #8 – and there’s also the purge meter, so there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be aware of the upcoming purge before it happens.

No, my complaint is that the game doesn’t prepare you for what the purge will do.

For one thing, on a PVE(-C) server you can’t damage anyone’s buildings and neither can any of the critters or human NPCs. So when a bunch of scorpions starts attacking your buildings, it might shock you to see them start crumbling down.

On top of that, you might decide to build in an area where you’ll get one of the “swarm” purges – such as Cimmerian berserkers or Sobek cultists – and there’s nothing in the game that will prepare you for that. Even if your base is T3, a purge like that can still level it if you’re not prepared for it.

One last thing I’ll say here is that I’m not proposing to lower the purge difficulty or change the purge itself in any way. Purges are awesome and I love them. All I’m saying is that the game should do a better job setting the expectations.


True, please fix a purge topic. I would like to place my “worries” and “expectations” about it. Thank you :pray:t6:

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