style="width: 640px; height: 340px;" alt="TTH Logo"

So you want to be a LEGO Leonardo DaVinci, eh? I won't mince words here
- the road is long and fraught with frustration. Building with
three-dimensional bricks in a two-dimensional space presents its own
series of unique obstacles to overcome. In an attempt to lessen the
growing pains associated with mastering these mechanics, I've assembled
a list of some useful builder tips that should get any fledgeling brick
artist on the road to greatness.

Rotate, Rotate, Rotate

One of the first frustrations you may encounter is being unable to fit
your bricks into the precise configuration you require. Sometimes when
you’re assembling, the right bit fails to snap to the right bit and
insists on attaching the wrong corner to your half-done creation.

When encountering this obstacle, always try rotating the piece using
the arrow keys, or the “rotate 90 degrees” button on your UI. Some
pieces that can be fitted in multiple directions seem to have a form of
priority assigned to different segments, and rotating the brick as
you're manipulating it can result in lining up this high-priority bit
in the correct placement.

style="width: 213px; height: 177px;" alt="rotate1"
  alt="rotate2" src="">

Buggy Hinges

Any time you put together two pieces that can rotate or hinge on one
another you can use the Hinge command to initiate said rotation. Be
cautioned that it may take several mouse clicks, and plenty of
patience, before the pieces register what you are attempting to tell
them and allow themselves to be rotated. One method that works most of
the time is to click on the brick you wish to rotate, and then click on
the green arrows that appear and drag the piece into its new rotated
position. Utilizing hinges drastically increase the options available
to any builder, allowing you to create angles that are simply
unavailable in the default snapping arrangements.

style="width: 250px; height: 264px;" alt="hinge1"
src=""> style="width: 292px; height: 264px;" alt="hinge2"

hinge3 src=""> style="width: 233px; height: 400px;" alt="hinge4"

Models to Bricks

Throughout your adventures in LEGO
you're bound to have gathered a number of
pre-built models. But, being the unique and talented artist that you
are, you have no use for these prefabricated monstrosities. Fear not!
It is a painless task to disassemble them on your property and render
them into usable piles of bricks which can then be used to further
design your own creations.

When on your property, enter “build mode” by equipping your thinking
cap. Select the model from your inventory and place it into the world.
Now switch over to “brick build mode” and click on the model you have
just placed. This will put you into an edit mode wherein you can
interact with the model brick by brick. If you now click and drag,
highlighting the entire model, you can “Put Away” the entire model and
it will be broken into its component bricks as it enters your brick bag.

style="width: 280px; height: 500px;" alt="model1"
src=""> style="width: 344px; height: 500px;" alt="model2"

You will be warned when performing these steps that the model will be
lost forever. But for a skilled brick builder this is no big loss
because you can re-assemble them by hand at any time using the bricks
that were yielded in the model's destruction.

This is a great way to get a good starter collection of bricks going,
since models are cheaper than bricks when considered on a
brick-by-brick basis. However, you have less control over the
individual bricks when using this method, so its up to you to determine
the usefulness of this strategy.

Buying Bricks and Models

In every zone, you will encounter at least one vendor selling bricks,
and at least one selling pre-made models. For any brick builder, it's
worth taking note of the type of bricks that each vendor sells. As a
good general rule the higher difficulty a particular adventuring zone
offers the more exotic the pieces sold by vendors in that area. As
such, areas like Avant Gardens and Nimbus Station have vendors that
sell very basic bricks (great for building large structures or basic
shapes) while more dangerous locales such as Forbidden Valley will have
vendors selling odder bricks and stranger models.

At this time, purchasing either is extremely cheap (we're talking 10
coins per brick, and many models as low as 100 each) so don't be afraid
to drop some hard-earned coins if you need just the right brick and
can't find it during your adventures.

Can't find the brick vendors? Don't be afraid to ask your fellow
minifigs for directions!

style="width: 550px; height: 225px;" alt="vendors"

Basic LEGO Geometry

alt="3to1" src="">A
single block's height is equivalent to 3 plates.

Keep this conversion in mind whenever building with a combination of
blocks and plates. You can use this to your advantage to create smooth
elevations for stairs (so minifigs don't have to jump to reach places)
as well as geometric shapes like gently-sloping hills, logarithmic
curves, perfect spheres and more!

style="width: 640px; height: 210px;" alt="slope"

Basic LEGO Physics

There are two simple rules of physics to keep in mind when performing
the most basic of builds in LEGO

style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">1) Two bricks
may not occupy the same space at the same time.

style="width: 299px; height: 220px;" alt="intersect1"
src=""> style="width: 244px; height: 220px;" alt="intersect2"

Collision detection of individual bricks has been implemented but the
mechanic is occasionally overzealous. If you are attempting to place a
brick and the game engine is telling you it’s an invalid location,
check to see if another brick may be nearby and impeding placement.
Despite consisting of nothing more than polygons and vertices, the
bricks in LEGO Universe
attempt to act like real physical objects in this regard as much as

style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">2) Gravity
can be overcome!

Although the first few bricks you place will need to connect to the
ground, from there on out you can connect them freely to other bricks
and then remove the first bricks you placed. Using this method, it's
easy to create a support structure or scaffolding, lay your creation on
it, and then remove the supporting bricks. This will result in
creations that defy gravity. Great for creating the illusion of
floating castles, spaceships in flight, and more!

style="width: 309px; height: 250px;" alt="gravity1"
src=""> style="width: 294px; height: 250px;" alt="gravity2"

Use Existing Ideas for

alt="visits" src="">Find
yourself lacking an idea for your next brick-constructed masterpiece?
Try visiting some fellow players' properties for inspiration. You'd be
surprised what somebody's simple home may do to get your creative
juices flowing.

Seeking some inspiration from beyond the confines of style="font-style: italic;">LEGO Universe
itself? Then have a look at this collection of instruction sets made
available online by the makers of LEGO themselves. The database is
completely search indexed, making your next project no further than a
click away.


Click here to browse the LEGO Building Instruction database!

Share Your Creations!

Everyone wants to see what you've come up with. Please feel free to
leave a comment in our forum thread to show off your creations. The
Maelstrom will only be defeated if we work together to imagine new and
exciting creations!

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our LEGO Universe Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Profile 20pic
A longtime fan of competitive gaming, Jeremy got his first chance to work in the field as a writer for eSportsMax. Now eSports Editor for TenTonHammer, he looks to keep readers aware of all of the biggest events and happenings in the eSports world, while also welcoming new fans who aren't yet sure where to go to get the most relevant information. Jeremy always looks to provide content for new fans and veterans alike, believing that helping as many people as possible enjoy all the scene has to offer is key to its growth.