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Gameplay in Astroneer makes use of a number of mechanics which are not always easily understood.
Base Construction[edit | edit source]
A player starts their first base when the Dropship lands on Terran. At the moment of landing, a half sphere of indestructible black Terrain is spawned underneath the ship ('Hard' Terrain). The black terrain cannot be mined by the player, but can be blown up, so be careful when playing around with explosives near your base. When the player leave the ship, the original ship will disappear and get replaced by the Habitat and the Landing Pad. The Habitat has two small tier slots for early game storage. The Habitat also produces a small amount of power to assist player in starting their base.
When the player examines the Terminal on the landing pad, two Small Crates appear. Once unboxed the player has access to the Medium Fabricator, a device that will be frequently used for Base Building. Once the player has collected at least two Resin, they can construct a Large Platform. Other types of large platforms can be unlocked later once the player begins Researching and collects enough Bytes to unlock them. Similar to the starting Habitat, all Large Platforms have 4 power connections(Not including the XL Platform, which contains 8 power connections). Large Tier modules can be printed and unboxed on Large Platforms. Allowing the player to create vehicles, store objects, research Artifacts found in the world and smelt down ores into usable ingots. Large Platforms produce an infinite supply of oxygen similar to the starting Habitat, but don't produce power. This is subject to change in the future, as players are currently able to carry a platform around with them supplying them with oxygen. This is heavily frowned upon because it bypasses an entire gameplay element and takes away some of the fun of the game.
As of the Basebuilding Update players can start a new base anywhere. A small fabricator can be printed on the Backpack printer for one compound. This can be used to print the Medium Fabricator that is primarily used to create bases. A Habitat can also be printed at the Printer, but when deployed it does not turn into the Habitat that you get when starting a new game. Constructing a Habitat at the printer is not necessary because it does not offer any benefits over an ordinary Platform. It is mainly used as a form of anchor point in a base, as well as to protect the player from Storms.
Bases can also be built on Rovers, a Crate can be placed and unboxed on either a Medium or Large Rover. This can be especially useful when collecting Scrap because you cannot attach debris to any form of slot, bringing a Shredder with you allows for less trips back to your base. Although be warned that base modules that continually run such as the Research Chamber, Smelting Furnace or Shredder greatly deplete your rover's power when in use. Power generation and storage is important, as you don't want to run out of power and get stuck on the opposite side of the planet.
Oxygen[edit | edit source]
Oxygen is a resource consumed by a player when they are not tethered to an oxygen source, such as a Vehicle, Platform or Habitat. Oxygen does not deplete when the player is inside a Habitat or seat. Players are given warning on screen when there is 50% and 25% of the backpack oxygen tank remaining. If a player runs out of Oxygen, they begin to suffocate, the player will suffocate for close to 16 seconds. This gives you time to make it back to a Tether line or Rover. You can use Glass to craft Oxygen Tanks that increase your oxygen supply; allowing you to save compound and explore Tether free for longer. Oxygen Filters can be crafted from one Resin, which fill up your oxygen tanks for a limited period of time; see the Oxygen Filter page for more information.
Power System[edit | edit source]
Astroneer's power system uses a resource called Power. This resource is consumed by all Modules and vehicles and by the player when using their Terrain Tool. Power is one of the essential systems of the game. As you play, creating a stable generation of power and storage of it will be important. Power can be stored in the player's backpack, as well as Batteries and the internal batteries on Rovers. Power can be obtained early on in the game via the Habitat, which provides a small amount of power to help the play start out. Power can also be obtained via Solar Panels, Wind Turbines and Generators.
Space flight[edit | edit source]
Once a player has constructed either a Shuttle or Spaceship, added enough Hydrazine to it and at least added one Seat, 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 as if you leave 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.
Tethering[edit | edit source]
In Astroneer Tethering can refer to Player Tethering or Vehicle Tethering. Player Tethering is where a player tries to remain tethered to a base or vehicle directly or to a chain of Tethers which connect together as a chain from a base or vehicle to wherever a player wishes. As long as the player is near a functioning chain they will be 'tethered' to their base or vehicle and be continually supplied with Oxygen and possibly power.
When a Tether chain is correctly connected to a source of Oxygen the tether line will glow. Tethers themselves also glow with a moderate light making them useful for lighting your way in caves or finding a nearby source of Oxygen when out exploring the surface at night. Sometimes a storm will knock one or more Tethers out and this will need to be repaired before the entire chain will be functional again.
Vehicles can also be tethered either to other vehicles to form a convoy or Road-train, so that they move together and share power storage and generation or they may be tethered to a Module in order to recharge their power, transfer power from attached storage to the base or receive a upgrade from a Vehicle Bay.
Tool Use[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 height as where the tool started. Holding [ALT] down while using the tool can be used to fill in holes or build mountains.
Weather[edit | edit source]
Weather can currently be in one of a few states:
- Day (allows Solar and Solar Panel objects to function and generate power)
- Night (both solar generators cease functioning)
- Windy at any time (Allows Wind Vanes and Wind Turbines to generate power)
- Storming at any time (During a storm if the player is not in a drivers seat of a vehicle, in a Habitat or in a cave or safe enough hole they will get killed by flying debris. A storm is coming when things in the distance become progressively harder to see and the Astroneer begins hunching over and moving more slowly.