Hailp I can’t find ores! (TL;DR)
- Moons don’t have uranium, planets don’t have platinum or uranium. Other than that, the ores are there and when you find everything, you will be surprised at how close it was. Keep looking.
- You are an engineer, not a miner. If you don’t have a specific ore, engineer a way around it. Can’t find Uranium? Build a mega solar or wind farm. Don’t have cobalt? Build a rover instead of a flyer. Don’t have gold? Keep flying, my friend, you’ll get there eventually.
- Find an alternate progression using the economy system, or just straight up piracy. You can sell components and complete contracts for cash, then buy the ores or ingots you need at NPC Stations. Or, piracy, matey (space only in vanilla game).
- Try starting somewhere else. Earth is one of the most popular places to start (I mean, I live there), but it’s also one of the more difficult to find ores. Titan is just about the easiest place to start because ores are plentiful, shallow and very easy to spot. Space is easy to find most ores, but can definitely take the longest to find all the ores.
- Use mods, such as Steam Workshop::Configurable Ore Detector+ – [steamcommunity.com] . Keep in mind that increasing detection range uses considerably more compute power and ore detection could fail completely when running multiple detectors at large ranges. Keep your range moderate (250-500 meters is adequate) and don’t leave multiple ore detectors on at the same time.
- If lack of an ore is truly killing your enjoyment of the game, turn on Admin tools with Alt-F10, then use Shift-F10 to spawn a small amount of ingots. Turn off Admin tools when you are done. Keep in mind this is basically turning on God Mode, so while it may solve your immediate problem, it may ruin your overall enjoyment of the game in the long term. You are much better sticking with the earlier options.
For new players (and even experienced players!) finding all the ores, or finding the ore you need right now can be a challenge. Rest assured, your game contains every ore that it should and you will usually find all of them that are available relatively close to you, especially on planets. In space, however, it’s possible, although rare, that a specific ore or ice may not spawn in a given volume of space, requiring travel of 50 km or more to find all the ores.
Since ores are generated completely differently in space and on planets/moons, this guide is separated into sections for each. This guide focuses on the vanilla game only – some mods change ore distribution, generation, etc or change ore detection ranges.
You can quickly make a GPS point by tapping Enter to open chat, then type /gps [text]. You can type the name of the of ore, the location, distance from your base, etc. For example: /gps Au Earth 8 km, means a gold ore patch on Earth 8 km from your base.
Ore Detection and Ranges
IMPORTANT: When you build an ore detector, by default it’s range is set to half. Anytime you build a detector, immediately go into the control panel and maximize its range.
Ore detection is based on continual calculation inside the volume of a sphere, so the range limits are definitely not precise and if your computer is lagging, ore detection range can suffer. This means that while the limit might be 50 meters for ore detection, the actual range right now might be anywhere from 30m to 70m. When moving very fast, ores may not show up until you are very close when moving toward them and remain visible 2 or 3 times further away than the standard detection range as you are moving away from them. Your hand drill will detect ores up to 50 meters away. Contrary to popular opinion, upgrading your drill does not increase its detection range – the Elite Hand Drill detects (nominally) at 50 meters, just like the basic one.
Small Grid ore detector vanilla range is 50 meters, just like the hand drill. This is actually worse, because you will generally be safe flying close to something with your jetpack, but when you are in a ship, you usually want more distance between you and the voxel. If you are flying safely at 25 meters above the ground, for instance, your detector is now only scanning 25 meters of voxel. The Large Grid ore detector range is 150 meters, so it’s a great improvement over the smaller one, but also requires more materials, energy, etc.
The best scenario in the early game is to build a small grid vehicle and attach a large grid detector, using a rotor, hinge or connector. In space you can build a very basic vehicle for doing this. On the ground a rover can be more economical, but moves much more slowly. Here are a couple of examples:
Steam Workshop::Light Ore Detection Truck (Survival Ready/Vanilla/No Scripts/No DLC) – [steamcommunity.com]
Steam Workshop::Hydrogen Ore Scout – [steamcommunity.com]
On moons, all ores except uranium can be found. On planets, all ores except platinum and uranium can be found. However, higher tier ores, such as gold, silver and platinum are more rare and usually deeper underground. Ore locations are not random, dynamic or procedurally generated. There is a color map for each planet that determines where ores can spawn and a configuration file that determines what ores (and ice) spawn there, how deep they are and how much ore (depth in meters) can generate. The exact shape of an ore deposit and how much it contains can vary between games, but if you find gold on earth and mark that spot with a GPS, in every new world you load, you will find gold in that spot.
Ores are marked by variations in color on the surface. In some places, these can very easy to spot, such as the Moon and Titan. Other times these can be very subtle, or covered by vegetation. A good way to spot these more easily is to zoom all the way out, or turn down your graphics/grass settings so they are not covered over. There is a good guide to the colors of the patches on different voxel (although it may be a bit out of date): Steam Community :: Guide :: How to find ores post-Survival Update – [steamcommunity.com] .
While ores can be difficult to find at first, on Earth you will generally find all ores available within about 12 km of your starting location. A good practice is to keep your drill out and fly close to the ground while recovering Unknown Signals, then stop and mark each ore location you find. On planets and in space, it’s a good idea to keep GPS markers on screen for each ore until you have found them all. That way you’re not checking spots multiple times. Once you find them all, turn the GPS points off until you need a specific ore.
Contrary to planets, ores in asteroids are generated randomly. Anecdotally, it seems that every asteroid contains at least two ore or ice patches. If you have only found one patch, you can keep looking for more, but it may be too deep for you to detect. It does not seem like ores are guaranteed to generate in any given volume of space, so you may not find a specific ore close to you, but rest assured, it will spawn somewhere.
From my experience, you will almost always find every ore within the first 50 asteroids you search. However, even using the large grid ore detector, ores can be deep inside asteroids, so you may search an asteroid all around and not see any ores, but they could be deeper than you can scan. If you have searched around an asteroid and not found anything, leave a GPS marker that it has been searched and move on.
If you have searched every asteroid in about a 20 km range from your starting location and haven’t found them all, take off in one direction for about 60 km (only 10 minutes at top speed) and start searching there. In one case, I didn’t find uranium anywhere near earth and had to travel about 200 km to find it. I had marked about 100 asteroids at that point without finding uranium, but I did not check every asteroid in between, so there were no doubt more patches in that space.
Here are some other ways to more efficiently search asteroids:
- Take off with your jetpack and nothing but basic tools. Use the hand drill to search asteroids and keep going in one direction until you run out of energy/o2 and respawn at your base. Take off in new a direction and keep marking until you die. Rinse and repeat.
- Take an oxygen bottle and the components for a solar panel, passenger seat (you only need 10 interior plate) and an ore detector with you. Build a solar panel, seat and ore detector at the asteroid so you can charge and scan the asteroid. This works great, except that you can’t move the ore detector around.
- Once you have gold and a jump drive, you can aim directly at an asteroid (using a camera to line it up helps) and reduce your range until it allows you to jump, then jump to the next asteroid. This can be a quick way of hopping from one asteroid to the next, with only minimal power usage.
This is all about Space Engineers – Where to Find Ores Tips + Gameplat Guide; I hope you enjoy reading the Guide! If you feel like we should add more information or we forget/mistake, please let us know via commenting below, and thanks! See you soon!
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