Decay Rate Server Message - What's The Meaning?

YANQ (Yet Another Newbie Question):

So recently this has been popping up at logon:

and visiting that URL displays this message:

"Greetings Exiles! Summer vacations are finally here! To continue our yearly tradition, we’re extending decay rates on all official servers on all platforms, from July 1st until August 31st (*). This means decay rates will be set to 14 days instead of 7. "

Which doesn’t tell me a whole lot and begs these questions:

  1. What decays? Buildings? Benches? Tools? Thralls? Followers? Food? Your own character?
  2. What exactly are the conditions that cause this decay? Not logging on for 7 days? Not being in proximity or “seeing” it for 7? Just no matter what (no, right)?
  3. Is the decay process began after 7 days or are whatever items just suddenly placed in a “Decayed” state?
  4. If something is decayed is that pretty much the end of it? Best to rebuild or something?

During the summer the decays timers on your bases were doubled to help people out with it being summer and people are usually busier in the summer. Today the decay rates were supposed to go back down to their normal timers. A full decay timer before was just under 7 days and for the last few months has been around 2 weeks. Hope that answers your question


@TeleTesselator , If you won’t log in for a week, you will loose everything you builded. However decay works to abandoned builds too , that means even if you log in a server but you won’t visit a long distance build, like outpost, you will loose it. So in a period of a week you must visit all your builds around the map.
2 tips…
1st never wait for a week, do it faster.
2nd, when you visit an outpost always carry a repair hammer, sometimes the timers get bugged and they don’t refresh.
The decay timer for thrall is bigger, any thoughts :thinking:.


if you hold tab while looking at a structure piece it will also show you the timer, saves you from carrying a hammer all the time


@Deleritas , Thank you very much my friend for this info. For me it is a bit useless because I play on Playstation, but it is very useful for all the pc players that don’t know it. On Playstation we have the repair hammer option only :joy::joy:.


Others have given great explainations in broad strokes, I’ll go into nitty gritty detail because this stuff can get really confusing and the game doesn’t teach you about it, at all.

Every building piece you place has a decay timer. Connected building pieces shared a decay timer. For example, if you place a foundation, then snap another to it, then snap a wall on one side, all 3 pieces will share the same decay timer.

The decay timer starts at a certain value and it ticks down, second by second, until it reaches 0. Once it hits 0, the building enters the “abandoned state”. While it’s in that state, anyone can demolish the whole building using the radial menu, even if they aren’t in your clan. The abandoned state lasts for 24 hours and after that your building goes poof.

That’s the “bad news”. The first bit of good news is that you can “refresh” that timer to its initial value just by being within the rendering distance of those pieces. You can see the value of the timer by holding down tab while facing the building piece and being close enough to it. You can also see it by having a repair hammer equipped.

The second bit of good news is that the value of fully refreshed decay timer depends on how many connected building pieces your building has, and also on their tier. The more pieces, the higher the timer. The higher the tier of those pieces, the higher the timer.

Every placeable – e.g. crafting stations, chests, wheels of pain, torches – also has a decay timer. The value of the decay timer is taken from the building where you placed it. If you didn’t place it in a building (or on the ground very close to a building), then the default decay timer it has will be very short, along the lines of 30 minutes or 1 hour, depending on which placeable it is and on the server settings.

I already explained how to prevent the decay, but there’s more to talk about in order to understand the message that popped up.

So, remember how I said that the “fully refreshed” decay timer depends on how big your build is? There’s another detail I didn’t mention there: that maximum decay timer is capped, per server settings. The game calculates the decay timer for your building based on its size and tier, and if that value is bigger than the server decay timer cap, it brings it down to the capped value.

Normally, official servers are configured to cap the decay timer at 168 hours (7 days). So if your build is big and in T3 and the game calculates that it should take 250 hours for it to decay, you won’t get 250 hours, but 168.

During the summer holidays, Funcom sets the decay timer cap on the official servers to 336 hours (14 days). Here’s something most people don’t understand, which can lead to building loss: this doesn’t slow down the decay or even change the current value of your decay timers.* This means that, if you had 100 hours on your timer before they changed the max decay to 336, you will still have 100 and not 200. Also, if your building was capped at 168 hours before the change, it does not mean that you will automatically get 336 after the change. Remember, you might have had 168 because the game calculated 250 and then brought it down to 168. If the cap is raised to 336, but your max timer is 250, then you get 250, not 336.

This can be super confusing for people, but it’s really important to get it right.

I already explained the decay process above, but I just wanted to mention that if your building is in “abandoned” state and nobody has yet demolished it, you can still refresh it by being there.

If your building was demolished while abandoned or if it fully decayed after 24 hours of abandonment, then it’s gone and you can’t get it back.

There are three more details that are useful to understand. One is how demolishing an abandoned building works. When a building is in abandoned state, you can long-press E (or whatever binding you use to interact) in front of a building piece or a placeable, and select “demolish”. It has the same icon as “dismantle”, but “dismantle” requires you to be the owner.

If you demolish a placeable, then just that placeable is destroyed. If it has an inventory, it’s dropped as a loot bag. If there was another placeable attached to it, then that placeable will lose stability and also be destroyed.

If you demolish a building piece, then all the connected building pieces will be demolished, too. Anything that derived stability from them will also be destroyed.

The second important detail to understand is what happens when the building fully decays without being demolished. The server does not run the simulation for the parts of the map where there are no players around. That means that a building can be fully decayed for days, even, without being actually destroyed and the server only destroys it when someone stumbles upon it. That’s why it’s sometimes possible to stumble upon a building and watch it crumble down before your eyes – it’s not that you were supremely lucky and just happened to stumble upon it at the very instant it decayed :wink:

The third important detail to understand is that there’s a bug with the decay timer and abandoned state. If there are players around the building when its normal decay timer reaches 0, the building might not go into abandoned state, even though the decay timer is stuck at 0. If that happens, everyone needs to go out of the rendering range (or log out), so that the game will update the abandoned state properly.

I hope I didn’t bore everyone to death with this, but it’s stuff that I learned by playing, sometimes in a painful and frustrating way :slight_smile:


@CodeMage , No, absolutely not boring, actually today from this post, after so many years of gaming I learned something too. I didn’t know how to demolish a decayed build in pve servers, I believe that if I hold square button I will have the same results. To be honest, even if I participate in pvp servers I never steal, never. My clan mates were laughing with me in this part. Sometimes I was killing my attacker and add something to his dead body :rofl::rofl::rofl:, only if someone was breaking my b… s I was skining his body and let his lootbag decay, I didn’t care for his pathetic inventory, I was interested only for his skin, I am a farmer dude :joy::joy::joy:. So basically I never tried to destroy others builds, but some did it to mine and now I know how, thank you very much once again m8 :+1:t6:


Whoa! Dude! That’s fully awesome! That answered everything perfectly and with the proper amount of verbosity! Not boring! at all! Funcom should pay you or at least add this to a pinned FAQ.

Very much appreciated, Thank You!

BTW, after reading that rendering distance matters for resetting the timers I wonder if it’s better to have it set to “Cinematic”. I Have that set anyway but kind of curious about any other suggestions regarding that aspect.


I don’t mind being looted in PVP… it’s expected. But I just wanted to add that some structures should for sure decay and be demolished by others. For example the server I play on some guy built walkways far out into the ocean and all over by the tower in IoS. He used the lowest tier and it breaks the scenery. It’s just a sidewalk with simple stairs where needed - many nearly or over 1,000 meters long and spaced 400 to 600 meters apart - all over the place. Also down the middle of shallow streams. o0 If he stays logged off long enough I’m going to be REALLY tempted to demolish some of them - UG! :wink:


Is there a way to do this on console that anyone knows of? I assume there isn’t because of the much more limited number of buttons but it would be awesome to not always carry my hammer

Then again I carry a bunch of stuff I don’t need and almost never use so I’d probably still carry it

To add to this, because it is important for PvP: you can demolish the door on its own, and the building will stay standing. This way you can go around, loot the benches, get a layout of the place, take pictures and then demolish it all later.


@CodeMage covered that:

A door is a placeable. Although he never specifically gave a reason or example of why you might want to demolish just the door. :+1:


Yep. Sadly, this is how many people on PVE-C servers find out about the decay for the first time. “Where are my chests and crafting stations? Is this a bug?” :frowning:

That was the reason why I started explaining, that placeables are destroyed one by one whereas the whole building is destroyed at once – and then I forgot to include the most important part :man_facepalming: :laughing:

Thanks @Barnes and @DaVice


We have a guy, right now on our server, who at one point accused someone of glitching into his base. He purportedly has 2,000 hours in the game and didn’t know they could just eat your decayed door. I like to make sure all solo PvPers are well-armed with info, but this fellow is an enemy. I’m reaching out to @TeleTesselator vicariously. :smiley:

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It’s how I learned but in the opposite way. On our unlisted dedicated private server my friends told me there was a decay rate but I never saw it. Then they took it down and I went server hopping looking for a place. I guess it might have been PvE-C I dunno but in an EL server at level 3 or something I came across a large complex that was decayed. And I could only destroy the doors but not individual blocks (and hadn’t noticed the destroy structure option). I went in and got what I needed (horse, armor, food, advanced weapons, healing potions) and then built a bench nearby, renamed it Fair Trade, and filled it with what I could from a rather long grind.

5 or 6 days later I came back to that place which was still there, and noticed the destroy structure option. Assuming it completely Abandoned for real I tried it on a small section - and everything fell into a common loot-bag - not carriable. That taught me the reason for only being able to delete a placeable. For the curious and the minor pilferers - obviously. :smiley: And the structure demolishing; for the chaotic evil/neutral. :stuck_out_tongue:

So it’s likely to be easily discoverable just from default intensions.


The explanations of the decay timer are on point. I run a server on ps4 called An Unexpected Journey. My server doesn’t have a decay timer set. To have a decay timer set or not is an option for private servers. Depending on what is going on in your life being on a server with a decay timer could mean alot of rebuilding. If you are on a server with out one you would need to check in periodically with the admins of the server to ensure your base is not taken down because it is mark as abandoned.


As someone who dislikes typing I have to applaud you for taking the time. It’s well written and explains the system very well. Kudos!


I appreciate that. I have never been a great typist.



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I hear you on the private server thing. The one we ran also had decay turned off.

Originally I was expecting the decay rates to be in months not days though. I don’t like complaining but 7 days seems totally ridiculous to me. Especially with some lower tier builds and placables being even less than that.

As @CodeMage explained so well I think I understand it as 7 days +24 hours if no one destroys it in that extra 24hrs though. And then after that it’s gone for good. Still seems about a month too short to me but hey…