Terrain Tool

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The Terrain Tool is a large two-handed terraforming and Resource-collecting tool that is standard-issue among all Astroneers. The tool has three Attachment Slots for small Items: two on the right side and one on the top. Small Canisters and augments are commonly placed directly onto these slots.


An Astroneer using the Deform Tool in Lower mode.

Players can use the Terrain Tool to lower, raise, and flatten the shape of Terrain on whatever planet they happen to find themselves, all at the pull of a trigger.

Excavate Mode

The Terrain Tool's "Dig/Excavate" mode can be used to dig out terrain, for creating ditches, digging tunnels, and gathering Resources. All Soil gathered goes into any unfilled Canisters attached to the player's Terrain Tool or Backpack. If there is no space for soil, it will be destroyed, indicated by a burning nozzle at the back of the tool.

Elevate Mode

By engaging "Raise/Elevate" mode (Left Alt by default), the Terrain Tool expends stored Soil in order to raise the terrain. Use this function alongside level mode to create ramps and walls. Using the Elevate mode requires enough Soil from stored Canisters.

Flatten Mode

"Flatten/Level" mode (Left CTRL by default) is used to flatten terrain to the angle of the currently-selected terrain's voxel. The Terrain Tool will take a sample of the target terrain's grade, specifically of the triangle the middle dot points at, when activated, replicating that grade over the desired area. This method is an excellent way to generate smooth ramps for large vehicles or quickly cover dangerous holes and chasms. Using the Level mode requires enough Soil from stored Canisters in order to fill in gaps, and will refill the canisters using terrain that is dug into.

Resource Collection

Any resource nodes that are broken free of the Terrain using the Terrain Tool will be shattered into small flakes and sucked up by the Tool like a vacuum. These pieces will automatically stack on the rear port of the Tool until there are enough to form a full Resource stack. If there are no inventory slots available, the stack will drop to the ground behind the Tool.

If a different resource type is collected, the current partially-finished stack will be preserved in its own virtual inventory; it will be restored the next time you gather the same resource type again.


Comparison of Tool effect area sizes

Main article: Augments

Augments can be attached to any of the three attachment slots on the Terrain Tool in order to alter the functionality of the Terrain Tool, however they will drain power when used:

  • Inhibitor Mod: Allows the collection of surface materials and coloring of terrain without deforming the voxels of said terrain.
  • Boost Mod Increases the terraforming speed
  • Wide Mod: Increases the terraforming radius
  • Narrow Mod: Reduces the terraforming radius
  • Alignment Mod: Creates a flat plane based on the direction of gravity.
  • Terrain Analyzer: Stores the color of the mined terrain, to be reused later to paint the terrain with the stored color

Note: If the Wide Mod and the Narrow Mod augments are both attached to the Terrain Tool at the same time, the one closest to the top will take precedence.

Other Functions

  • Hose: Flashes at different frequencies to reflect where soil is moving, and how quickly.
  • Additional storage slots: The Terrain Tool's attachement slots can be used to store any small objects
  • Widget usage: Allows some Small items such as the Small Solar Panel and Small Wind Turbine to be used from the Terrain Tool
  • Painting: With the combination of the Inhibitor Mod and the Terrain Analyzer, terrain color can be altered to match whatever the Analyzer stores


  • Adam mentioned the Terrain Tool's model is based on a leaf blower.
  • It is possible to jump and then build Terrain beneath the player, allowing one to craft a large vertical column to stand on.
  • It is possible to dig beneath vehicles that have become embedded in the ground to free them, though special care must be taken to dig far enough beneath them to prevent causing them to sink deeper.
  • Elevating terrain beneath any superficial objects automatically detaches them from the terrain, meaning that the Terrain Tool can easily place a small amount of soil on ceilings or floors to completely remove stalactites, harvest plants, or send large boulders flying.
  • If your canisters are full, the Terrain Tool will begin to burn the soil it collects.
  • The Terrain Tool has a few nicknames: Terrain Brush, Terrain Gun, Deform Tool, Terraformer, Tool, and Terrain Manipulator
  • Pressing C or V can let you cycle through modes despite being in Adventure mode