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Resources are necessary to build and maintain a colony. All resources can be stored, with all non-grid resources able to be stored in their own storage pads or in universal storage pads, while grid resources have their own dedicated buildings.

Metals.png Metals, RareMetals.png Rare metals, Concrete.png Concrete and Water.png Water are directly extracted from the specific map being played, all others must be manufactured or imported.

Metals.png Metals, Concrete.png Concrete, Power.png Power, Water.png Water, Fuel.png Fuel, Oxygen.png Oxygen and WasteRock.png Waste Rock can be produced without any need for colonists, while RareMetals.png Rare Metals, Food.png Food, Polymers.png Polymers, MachineParts.png Machine Parts and Electronics.png Electronics are unavailable to produce in-depth without sufficient population.

Many buildings need regular maintenance every few Sols due to dust accumulating on them. This means that it is possible for a colony to be locked in a critical downward spiral where lack of a resource can result in the shutdown of other mining and/or production buildings.

Resource Overview[edit]

Basic Resources[edit]

Basic Resources are produced directly.

Metals.png Metals[edit]

Metals are, along with concrete, the primary building materials in the game. They can appear in surface deposits, sub-surface deposits, and deep deposits. They can be processed into MachineParts.png Machine Parts and are needed as maintenance for most of the basic infrastructure and production buildings, including pipes and power cables. Sufficient amounts exist on the surface for early game requirements with drones and rovers, but sub-surface and deep deposits will require workers.

Concrete.png Concrete[edit]

Concrete is usually the second resource a player will start utilising after metals. It only appears in surface deposits, yellow and very noticeable on the map, but unlike other materials is not collected by drones, nor requires workers. An automatic extractor building will scour the ground when placed on these deposits, causing visible terrain deformation. Like all extractors, this also produces dust and waste rock. Concrete is usually required in large amounts for domes.

Later on, research allows WasteRock.png Waste Rock to be converted to concrete.

RareMetals.png Rare Metals[edit]

Rare metals are your primary source of income, they can be exported to your rockets, with a max capacity of 30 per trip, with the export price determined by your sponsor and commander profile (politician only). They appear in sub-surface deposits and deep deposits and so require colonists to staff the mines. In rare cases, certain anomalies may give you small amounts of extracted rare metal.

While not directly required for construction or maintenance, rare metals can be processed into Electronics.png Electronics, requiring the player to balance their production.

Food.png Food[edit]

Food is needed to keep colonists alive. It is produced in farms of various types, all of which require workers and so can't be produced until the colonists themselves are there to require it. It can, however, be imported with cargo rockets and passenger rockets will usually come with sufficient food for the first few days until those farms complete their first harvest.

While specific crops types exist in the game, they all convert to various amounts of food resource upon harvesting.

Each colonist consumes about 0.2 Food.png Food per Sol.

Grid Resources[edit]

Grid Resources cannot be imported and require their own storage buildings.

Power.png Power[edit]

Power is needed to run all buildings and domes and also to recharge rovers and drones, it is produced from variously available generators, none of which directly require another resource as fuel. Multiple power generators are usually required and it is the maintenance they need that pushes the player to expand.

Excess Power production is wasted, although the Superconducting Computing Breakthrough can change that. Cable faults can happen during Disasters and cause loss of power.

Water.png Water[edit]

Water is a very useful resource, not just in itself, but as an ingredient to further resources. It is a milestone to discover your first water deposit. It can be found in sub-surface and deep deposits, with automated extractors, but can also be produced in very small amounts by Moisture Vaporators, which are also automated. It is constantly required for domes to avoid colonist dehydration, as well as farms to grow Food.png Food. Additionally, it is an ingredient for Fuel.png Fuel and is used in subsurface heaters.

Excess Water production is not wasted as extractors will wind down production to avoid draining deposits unnecessarily. Pipe leaks can happen during Disasters and cause loss of water.

Oxygen.png Oxygen[edit]

Oxygen is used to keep colonists alive. It is produced from a MOXIE building, which does not require workers and is constantly required by domes. It is consumed by Fungal Farms. It currently has no other purpose.

Excess Oxygen production is wasted. It uses the same pipe network as water and can be shared without any issue, but similarly, it can be lost to pipe leaks just as water can.

Advanced Resources[edit]

Advanced Resources are created from Basic Resources and are necessary for all but the most basic colonies.

Fuel.png Fuel[edit]

Fuel is primarily required to launch rockets back to Earth, but has many other uses found through research. It is produced via a refinery or Rockets (for rocket only) if sponsored by the International Mars Mission, the first is usually among the prefab buildings brought on the first rocket. It is produced from Water.png Water.

While it is fluid, it is not a grid resource and is not transported through pipes. There are a large number of upgrades which directly or indirectly improve fuel production and use, not listed are regular techs improving crops and Botanists or colonist traits which can also have an effect.

  • Oligarch, Hydro Engineer, Rocket Scientist.
  • International Mars Mission, Russia.
    • Paradox Interactive costs more fuel to launch rockets, but greater number of breakthroughs and highest resale price of rare metals out of the hard sponsors.
  • Moisture Farming, Hygroscopic Vaporators, Water Conservation, Water Reclamation.
  • Advanced Martian Engines, Fuel Compression, Passenger Modules, Low-G Hydrosynthesis (build refineries), Orbital Engineering (cheaper refinery prefabs).
  • CO2 Jet Propulsion, Compact Hangars, High-Powered Jets, Martian Aerodynamics, Fueled Extractors.
  • Adapted Probes, Deep Scanning, Deep Water Extraction, Extractor Amplification, Micro Fusion and Subsurface Heating (water storage doesn't freeze).
  • Core Water, Dry Farming, Cryo-sleep, Giant Crops, Magnetic Extraction, Nano Refinement, Overcharge Amplification, Plasma Rockets, Prefab Compression (water reclamation), Superior Pipes, Vector Pump.

Polymers.png Polymers[edit]

Polymers are advanced resources, used in the construction of more advanced buildings and all domes and in the maintenance of larger domes and batteries. They are produced from Fuel.png Fuel and Water.png Water in polymer factories, which require workers and are placed outside of the dome. They can also be found in very small quantities as surface deposits.

Polymers are also consumed as part of Art Stores, which is not recommended until polymers are being produced on-planet.

Electronics.png Electronics[edit]

Electronics are advanced resources, used in the construction of advanced infrastructure buildings and in the maintenance of drone hubs. They are also used for producing drones. They are produced from RareMetals.png Rare Metals in electronics factories, which require workers along with the rare metals themselves and so are among the last resource productions most players will produce.

Electronics are consumed as part of Electronics Stores, which is not recommended until electronics are being produced on-planet.

MachineParts.png Machine Parts[edit]

Machine Parts are advanced resources, used in the construction of buildings and in the maintenance of most production buildings and Wind Turbines. They are produced from Metals.png Metals in machining factories, which require workers.

Machine Parts are not directly consumed like the other advanced resources, but are typically needed in much greater numbers for maintenance.

WasteRock.png Waste Rock[edit]

Waste Rock is a byproduct of extractors, even water extractors, as well as a result of surface rocks being cleared for other construction. It is stored in its own storage and cannot be placed in universal storage, nor transported by the transport rover. Its "use" is as a mechanism to force the player to maintain drone coverage for extractors, although it can later be converted to other useful materials.

The Waste Rock Liquefaction (Engineering) technology unlocks the Waste Rock Processor building, which converts WasteRock.png Waste Rock into Concrete.png Concrete.

India has a unique building, the Metals Refinery, which converts WasteRock.png Waste Rock into Metals.png Metal.

Brazil has a unique building, the Rare Metals Refinery, which converts WasteRock.png Waste Rock into RareMetals.png Rare Metals.

Obtaining Raw Resources[edit]

Almost all raw resource deposits are located by scanning, from meteors and rarely from anomalies.

Surface Deposits[edit]

Immediately upon first landing on Mars, various small metallic meteoroids can be found on the surface, which drones and transport rovers are able to collect, although they will not process them automatically unless needed for construction or until there is space on an appropriate stockpile. Over the course of the game, meteor impacts have a chance to produce additional amounts of resource. This is almost entirely just metals, but polymers can sometimes be found.

Concrete deposits can also be found as large multiple hex patches on the ground, which requires extractors to obtain. These extractors differ from other extractors in that they can be seen visibly deforming the terrain. Concrete extractors will only extract from the area within the block in front of the extractor seen when placing the building, not from outside or the area directly underneath the extractor itself. Thus a single concrete extractor will usually not be able to completely exhaust a deposit.

Subsurface Deposits[edit]

Once initial production has been set up, further resources can be obtained from deposits, which appear as blue hexes with the resource's icon. These can be exploited with extractors. Unlike with concrete extractors, these extractors consist of a smaller building, surrounded on all sides by 2-3 hexes of "reach", seen in light blue when placing the building. All extractors need is an appropriate blue resource hex to be within that reach, which means multiple extractors can be placed around the same single deposit, or a single extractor to be able to exploit multiple deposits if grouped closely. Also unlike with concrete, a single extractor will continue to produce until the deposit is completely exhausted.

Water extractors are automatic, while both metals and rare metals extractors require workers. All extractors produce waste rock and produce dust which extends in 5 hexes from the edges of their buildings.

Deep Deposits[edit]

While not immediately exploitable (barring certain sponsors), there can also be deep resource deposits, which appear and function just like the subsurface deposits, only with a red ring around the edge of the blue hex.

The Deep Scanning ability is needed to be able to even see deep deposits and so is not normally available in the early game. Each resource type that is available in deep deposits then requires its own research before extractors will be able to mine them.

Resource grade[edit]

The size of the deposit determines the amount of the resource that is available to be extracted. The grade is a representation of quality and determines the ratio of waste rock-to-resource produced per Sol, higher grades the more resources per Sol. The lowest grade produces the most waste rock.[1] The resources extracted by grade are shown below:

  • Very Low: 3
  • Low: 4
  • Normal: 5
  • High: 6
  • Very High: 7

Game concepts
Governance Main menu achievements.png Commander ProfileMain menu easy start.png SponsorsDome basic.png DomesBuilding drone hub.png BuildingsColonists.png ColonistsResearch.png ResearchMetals.png ResourcesOrbital probe.png Exploration
Utilities Drone.png DronesRc rover.png RC vehiclesRocket.png Rockets
Events Main menu quit.png DisastersUnknown.png MysteriesBuilding statue.png MilestonesMicro fusion.png Wonders
Meta Main menu mod editor.png ModdingMain menu mod manager.png ModsMain menu options.png PatchesMain menu paradox account.png Developer diariesUnknown.png AchievementsMain menu load game.png CommunitiesSensor tower.png IRC
  1. Forum: Waste Rock Farming - Ivan_Haemimont (Haemimont) (2018-11-23)