Resources are necessary to build and maintain a colony. All resources can be stored in dedicated buildings or storages.
Metals, Concrete, Power, Water, Fuel, Oxygen and Waste Rock can be produced without any need for colonists, while Rare Metals, Food, Polymers, Machine Parts and Electronics are unavailable to produce in-depth without sufficient population.
||Since very early human history, metals play a vital role in the art of creation. From simple copper tools and nails, to iron decorations to entire structures made out of steel. It would seem their role is not exhausted on Earth, but will continue to serve as an accessible and vital resource for all our needs on Mars as well.|
||On Mars, water is a rare and difficult to obtain commodity. As such, turning the Martian regolith into traditional, water based concrete was deemed unpractical very early on during the planning stages. Luckly, Mars is rich in another element with which a different type of concrete can be made - sulfur. Sulfur-based, waterless concrete is literally the foundation for every aspiring Martian city. Concrete Extractors placed on spots rich is sulfur in the Martian Soil, dig up the sulfur-rich regolith and store it as ready to use mix.|
||After millennia of acting as a status symbol, in modern times rare metals are widely used in electronics and for medical procedures. Still, although one of the vital on the Information, and subsequently the Space Ages, precious metals still retain their monetary value.|
||Making the Martian soil fit for farming, even with the protection of Domes, takes heavy alternations. First, toxin removers are applied to rid the martian regolith of toxic substances like perchlorates. Then, the use of chemical decompressors to break down common Martian compounds and make nutrients out of them is employed. And finally, specifically designed bacteria to further modify all nutrients made into a more plant-use friendly form, is introduced.|
||Extractors produce Waste Rock as a by-product. Waste Rock can be stored in Dumping Sites or disposed around the Extractors. Extractors will temporarily stop working when there are not enough Drones to carry our the Waste Rock.|
||The Martian soil is utterly un-hospitable for plants to grow, but simple lichen may eventually take hold and will begin to improve the soil quality - paving way for more sophisticated plants which will hasten the whole process.|
||Using the CO2 from the Martian atmosphere and hydrogen (from water) we can produce fuel to fly our rockets back to Earth. The process uses a series of relatively simple chemical reactions to produce methane and oxygen which are used as propellant for both our rockets and shuttles.|
||Some of the most important and widely used materials on Earth are made from polymers. While the dependency on such materials on Mars is artificially circumvented as much as possible due to the scarcity of the molecule, their importance cannot be avoided all together. Plastics, rubber and more advanced insulation have a fundamental role to play in creating and maintaining pressure differentials between habitats and external areas.|
||Technology and electronics go hand in hand on Mars the same way as they have, and will continue to for centuries to come, on Earth.|
||Back on Earth, we humans are dependant on machines to sustain our advanced way of life; to power our industries and make possible our vast transportation systems. Here on Mars machines are also tasked with making life possible to begin with, on top of potentially maintaining all of their previous obligations.|
Grid Resources cannot be imported and require their own storage buildings. They are transported via Pipes or Power Cables, which can suffer leaks during Disasters. Each grid network can be highlighted by clicking on it in the Command Center.
Funding represents a colony's bank account on Earth. While money are useless on Mars they are used to buy Spacecraft, order Resupply and Outsource Research from Earth. Additional Funding can be obtained by exporting Rare Metals, accomplishing Mission Goals, researching the Martian Patents and Martian Copyrights repeatable technologies and accommodating colonists with the Celebrity or Tourist Trait. Certain Anomaly and Mystery choices can also lead to additional Funding.
The USA Sponsor provides additional Funding periodically, the Europe Sponsor provides additional Funding every time a technology is researched and the Brazil Sponsor provides additional funding each time a colonist lands. If the Space Race DLC is installed the Blue Sun Corporation and Paradox Interactive Sponsors each has a unique building that grants Funding.
Almost all raw resources are harvested from Deposits. Deposits are discovered by Scanning a sector and hovering over an unscanned sector reveals what resources it is rich in.
Surface deposits can be seen from the surface of Mars and are the easiest deposit type to harvest.
Metals and Polymers deposits can be harvested by Drones and RC Transports, Harvesters and Constructors. They are harvested automatically once a building requires them or an appropriate storage building is constructed. Additional surface deposits can be created by meteor impacts. Dust geysers also create Polymers surface deposits when whey erupt.
Concrete deposits can be found as large hex patches on the ground, which requires Concrete Extractors or RC Harvesters to extract. These extractors differ from other extractors in that they can be seen visibly deforming the terrain. Concrete Extractors will only extract from the area in the front of the extractor which can be 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.
Underground Deposits appear as blue hexes with the deposit's resource's icon. These can be exploited with extractors. Unlike Concrete Extractors, these extractors consist of the mining building surrounded on all sides by 2-3 hexes 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.
Water extractors are automatic, while both Metals and Rare Metals extractors require workers unless the Extractor AI Breakthrough has been researched. All extractors produce Waste Rock as a byproduct.
Additional underground deposits can be discovered by certain Breakthrough technologies.
Deep Deposits can only be discovered by Deep Scanning a sector, which requires the Adapted Probes technology. The Blue Sun Corporation Sponsor can also discover deep Metals deposit from the start. On the map they appear like underground deposits but surrounded by a red ring. Each resource type that is available in deep deposits then requires its own research before extractors will be able to mine them.
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 resource produced per Sol-to-waste rock, higher grades the more resources per Sol. The lowest grade produces the most waste rock. The resources extracted by grade are shown below:
- Very Low: 3
- Low: 4
- Normal: 5
- High: 6
- Very High: 7