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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 begins their first base with the Habitat they land in. Later they may create new bases with a Habitat created in a Printer Module (blueprints need to be researched first) or from a Shuttle or Spaceship they have used to travel to another planet. After gathering at least one unit of Resin players can extend the base by adding more Base Nodes. These nodes can be used to store a single large sized or a pair of small sized items so a storm doesn't blow them away, or mount power generation or storage Equipment crafted on the Backpack. The back of a Habitat also has a pair of small attachment points for early equipment to be mounted.
Once at least one Base Node has been created it can be upgraded to a Platform which allows the player to add the equivalent of a main building to their base. Each Module adds different functionalities, such as creating vehicles, trading spare materials for needed ones, researching Artifacts, or smelting ores into ingots.
A Habitat can have at most six Base Nodes extended from it and each of these can have at most six connections (including the one from the Base Nodes, Habitat or vehicle it was extended from). The layout of a base can be treated as a sort of mini-game within Astroneer as placement of extensions can quickly turn a base into a mess of unusable or hard to access Modules with insufficient power generation or storage.
Oxygen[edit | edit source]
Oxygen is a resource consumed by a player whenever they are not Tethered to or inside a Habitat or vehicle. Players are given warning on screen at 50% and 25% Oxygen remaining. If a player runs out of Oxygen, they quickly suffocate and die. Using Titanium, a player can craft tanks to increase their Backpack's Oxygen storage so that they can remain untethered for longer. It is also possible to harvest Oxygen as a resource to replenish your supply manually.
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 terraforming/collecting tool. The player's Backpack used to regenerate a small amount of power over time(this was removed with the excavation update) and when tethered the player will receive power from base or vehicle storage or generation infrastructure if available.
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.