Guide:How To Play Guide For Astroneer

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Astroneer Trailer

This guide will cover everything you need to know to get started in Astroneer, including information on the biggest topics like Resources, Modules, Vehicles as well as various others! Let's get started!

The Basics

You've landed on a unique landscape with lots to do and see. Once you get your footing, you'll have a chance to move around and start using your Terrain Tool to start digging.

A handy visual for all your Movement / Tools interactions and actions you can make.

Moving (walking and, less intuitively, driving around) is always relative to the camera, which you can rotate around your character by dragging while holding the right mouse button.

The controls for the game varies depending on if the player is using keyboard and mouse, or a Xbox One controller.

The Backpack

The backpack is your inventory and survival hotspot.

Once you've figured out the basic movements and camera controls you'll want to fetch some Resources so you can build your grand spatial empire. While you're out you're going to need to keep an eye on 2 things so you don't die; your Oxygen and your Power. The Oxygen is the horizontal blue bar at the top of your backpack (see right), and the Power is the vertical yellow bar in the center. Each of the bars will start to go down as you use them, the Oxygen when you're not connected in some way to the Shelter or to Vehicles, and power will decrease when you are crafting or using the Terrain Tool with augments installed. To increase power, you'll need to build a way to generate it, but more on that below.

The Q key on keyboard or XBONE_B button on controller will bring up the backpack, which is also your inventory. You have 13 (or 14 if pending a backpack craft) slots, and once you start using your terrain tool you'll collect "nuggets" of a resource, which will then pop into your backpack inventory (or on the ground nearby if your inventory space is filled). The top right and left give you better spots for tools and other useful items, but you can also place Resources there that you want to keep separate or just on standby.

Under the inventory space is a basic 3D Printing (crafting) spot, where you can begin to make some basic tools for survival.

Resources, Building, and Expansion

Let's start with collecting a few basic Resources which you'll need to expand your base. Start by collecting Resin and Compound, which are usually very nearby your starting point and also the basic Resources for building, both of which can be quickly found either in Deposits or inside broken space shuttles. Use your Terrain Tool to mine them up.

Assuming you have completed the small built-in base building-tutorial, go back to your Medium Printer and make a Large Platform A. Once it has finished printing, hold the F key on it, and connect the platform to your base.

Now, you should begin focusing on Power collection. To start, use your Backpack's Printer to make a Small Generator. The generator will provide power to your base Modules when you supply it with Organic, a resource you can obtain from digging up plants and foliage. The generator will continue using up Organic even if nothing is consuming power, so turn it off when you don't need the extra power! Collect one Compound, print a Small Generator, and attach it to your Shelter.

Once you have those tasks complete, a good module to build is the Smelting Furnace. The Smelting Furnace will let you use ore to create refined metals, metals integral to making other modules. The Small Printer and Medium Printer let you print larger objects than your backpack will allow. Then, use 2 Compound and 1 Resin to make a Research Chamber module. You'll now be able to collect more bytes from Research Samples, as well as research bigger Research Items. When done the research chamber will open and be ready for the next research object.

An electronic tablet with hologram imagery showing different printable objects to “buy” in research bytes.
A Research Catalog guide that is not quite up to date.

Press [TAB] to open the Research Catalog, then using the arrow keys, (or touch pad) and buttons at the top of the Catalog, you can navigate to find something you want to be able to craft. If your number of bytes at the top of the Catalog is enough for the cost of the selected item (if not already unlocked) you can press the green button twice to unlock it. Now you can print that item if you have the proper resources. Do this in the Tier 3 (3 dots connected to lines and another dot) section to find the Smelting Furnace and other handy Modules.

If you have any extra Compound, you can make Tethers with the 3D Printer in your Backpack, then place them using T or XBONE_D-PAD_DOWN. Clicking the tether will allow you to reposition it. Tethers will link to each other and provide power and oxygen to players within range. Read more on how Tethers work on the Tether page.

Power Sources and Energy Levels

The Solar Panel is used to generate power during sunlight which can be stored in a Battery.
A Battery is highly important to the continual growth and need for large amounts of power.

Nearly all of the Modules need power to function, so building a power source is key for growth and survival. Starting with the Small Solar Panel, which you can build on your person, that will give you a minimal amount of power, but later on, the Medium Solar Panel will give you power a bit more rapidly, at least while the sun is up. In the same regard, the Small Wind Turbine and the Medium Wind Turbine will provide power with the need for wind. The effectiveness of each power source varies from planet to planet, so check the in-game Astropedia when deciding which to build. Having and using Batteries will be a huge help to store power for later. Not all of the necessary resources will be available on your starting planet, but some working modules can be found among the Debris scattered all over.

To Infinity And Beyond

Ready to explore the infinite beyond? First, you will need to unlock the Small Shuttle in your Research Catalog. Then make a Solid-Fuel Thruster (again, from Research Catalog) with 1 Ammonium and 1 Aluminum with the Small Printer. Hold or press F/XBONE_Y to board the ship and then push C/V or XBONE_LB/XBONE_RB to takeoff to orbit. From there, you can either select a blue landing spot to land or press C/V or XBONE_LB/XBONE_RB once more to view the solar system. Once zoomed out, click on a planet in your white ring to fly to the planet, allowing you to land on and explore that planet and its making.

- when you start exploring, remember Tethers.