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Astroneer makes use of a variety of common survival game mechanics with a focus on creating a base from which the player can branch out and explore.
Starting Out[edit | edit source]
Astroneer's standard gamemode starts the player on a procedurally-generated Sylva following character creation and a landing sequence in the Dropship. Upon exiting the Dropship, a Shelter and a Landing Pad are spawned on top of a circle of indestructible black terrain which cannot be destroyed without the use of Dynamite.
The Landing Pad provides a Startup Package which supplies the player with one Medium Printer, one Medium Platform B, and one Oxygenator. All of these items can be deployed and used as the Player sees fit, though the ingame tutorial will suggest the Player place the Oxygenator on the appropriate Shelter socket so that it can supply Oxygen to nearby Tethers and connected Platforms.
Oxygen[edit | edit source]
Oxygen is a primary resource in Astroneer, and the most critical. Players require oxygen to live, and if they run out, they will eventually die. Fortunately, the early game provides two options to mitigate the risk posed by oxygen deprivation: Tethers, and Oxygen Filters. Additionally, the more permanent Oxygenator can be used to enable oxygen distribution across an entire base.
Tethers[edit | edit source]
Tethers are a key exploration tool throughout the course of gameplay. When adjacent to a platform connected to an Oxygenator, they will provide Oxygen to any nearby players and create a connection with adjacent Tethers. They are especially useful earlier on as players have a limited Oxygen supply, and key resources, such as Malachite and Laterite, will always be a significant distance away from the player's starting position.
Tethers are crafted in packs of eleven and are, by default, placed using T. One pack takes up one Tier-1 slot.
Oxygen Filters[edit | edit source]
Oxygen Filters are a consumable item that can be crafted for 1 Resin in the player's Backpack Printer. They provide a temporary supply of oxygen whenever the player is not actively tethered to an oxygen source. A single set of Oxygen Filters takes up one Tier-1 slot.
Power[edit | edit source]
Power is distributed across a network using a system of cables that extend from, and snap into, red sockets on Platforms and Vehicles. Tethers will also distribute power when connected to oxygenated platforms, but only to nearby Players.
A placed platform with a cable connection will be "pinned" to terrain, making it immovable until disconnected; vehicles, on the other hand, can move, and will remain connected until they reach maximum distance. Vehicles also use this system to connect to one another.
Power Generation[edit | edit source]
Power can be generated with a variety of items and modules. Astroneer offers a challenge by having players adapt to different Planets' environments; for example, Desolo, the moon of Sylva, has a very limited atmosphere, making it less than ideal for a Wind Turbine.
Renewable Power[edit | edit source]
Renewable power includes Wind and Solar energy, and is the primary power source in the early- and mid-game. These forms of power are temperamental as they are dependent on environmental conditions.
Non-Renewable Power[edit | edit source]
Non-renewable power requires fuel to run and is limited to the Small Generator and Medium Generator. When activated, a generator will produce a continuous flow of power until its fuel source runs out. This makes them ideal in the early-game where power is limited, and in the mid- and late-game as an emergency power source.
Power Storage[edit | edit source]
Power storage in Astroneer is done using Batteries. The Medium Battery is ideal for providing a consistent flow of power in a base when there is a shortfall in power generation, while the Small Battery is better used in the player's Backpack where it can provide power for their Terrain Tool's Augments.
Spaceflight[edit | edit source]
Once a player has constructed a Shuttle, they can activate liftoff and be boosted into orbit of the world they are on. From there they can either select the same or a new Landing Zone on the same planet or try to reach another planet within the system that is in range. Care should be taken to not prematurely venture into space until you and your space vehicle are properly equipped. If you travel elsewhere with insufficient Hydrazine, you may be unable to return until you find more. Not all Landing Zones are guaranteed to be a possible place to setup a base or be free of hostile flora either.
Deform Tool[edit | edit source]
The deform tool has three main modes of use. The [E] key pulls it off your Backpack or puts it back. Left clicking with it will cause it to dig the area its pointed at out. Holding [CTRL] key down then left clicking with the tool will cause it to try and flatten Terrain to the same plane of 3-dimensional place as the polygon where the tool started. Holding [ALT] down while using the tool can be used to fill in holes or build structures.