Surviving Mars – Chart Guide – Building – Resources – Constructions Cost List

Surviving Mars – Chart Guide – Building – Resources – Constructions Cost List 1 -
Surviving Mars – Chart Guide – Building – Resources – Constructions Cost List 1 -
Did you know it’s cheaper to buy a prefab Drone Hub than buying the electronics needed to build one? This guide compares the cost of prefab buildings vs buying the components and doing it yourself (with drones).


Introduction and working assumptions

For a new colony on Mars, every bit of funding counts! This guide will compare the costs of buying a prefab building from Earth vs buying the components and building it yourself (this will be referred to as the DIY option from here on). 
This guide will compare the prefab vs the component costs based on standard Cargo Rocket prices. It will not take into account things such as: 

  • Price increases due to War Tension, Infection Level, or the Inflation game rule 
  • The Space Elevator charges half-price for all available resources. To find the DIY cost for importing with Space Elevator, take the numbers below and divide by 2. Spoiler alert, once you get the Space Elevator, it’s always cheaper to buy resources and DIY. 
  • Price decreases due to sponsors: i.e. Russia for Fuel Refinery, Japan for Drones and Rovers, or SpaceY for cheaper advanced resources 
  • Weight limits of rockets / supply pods / space elevator 
  • Convenience of prefabs 1: Once the rocket lands, the prefab can be built anywhere with a working drone commander, no need to transport resources to the construction site one by one. 
  • Convenience of prefabs 2: the prefab can be purchased before the research for that building is complete.


Resource import cost

When purchasing resources, both the cargo rocket and space elevator give the weight and cost for a set of 5 items. That is, you can only buy resources in multiples of 5. For ease of comparison, I will list the price of 1 component here: 

ResourceCost for 5 (Cargo Rocket or Supply Pod)Cost for 5 (Space Elevator)Cost for 1 (Cargo Rocket or Supply Pod)Cost for 1 (Space Elevator)
Concrete$30 M$15 M$6 M$3 M
Metal$50 M$25 M$10 M$5 M
Food$20 M$10 M$4 M$2 M
Polymers$70 M$35 M$14 M$7 M
Machine Parts$90 M$45 M$18 M$9 M
Electronics$100 M$50 M$20 M$10 M

The remainder of this guide will use ONLY the Cargo Rocket price, as the Space Elevator makes it always cheaper to buy components for DIY. 

Prefab buildings

This section compares the price of the prefab buildings that are available from the start of the game. No breakthrough required! 
Since basic resources (Metal and Concrete) can be obtained fairly easily from Mars, I often consider only the cost of the advanced resource. For completeness, both the “Advanced Resource Only Cost” and the “Total Cost” will be listed below. 

BuildingConstruction CostsAdvanced Resource Only Cost Total Cost Prefab Cost
Drone Hub12 Metals, 8 Electronics $160 M $280 M $150 M
Moisture Vaporator2 Metals, 5 Polymers $70 M $90 M $200 M
Fuel Refinery4 Concrete, 4 Metals, 5 Machine Parts $90 M $154 M $200 M
Stirling Generator10 Polymers, 5 Electronics $240 M $240 M $400 M
Machine Parts Factory10 Concrete, 10 Metals, 2 Electronics $40 M $200 M $400 M
Polymer Factory10 Concrete, 5 Metals, 5 Machine Parts $90 M $200 M $300 M
Electronics Factory10 Concrete, 5 Metals, 15 Electronics $300 M $410 M $600 M
Small Machine Parts Factory*4 Concrete, 4 Metals $0 M $64 M $150 M
Small Electronics Factory*4 Concrete, 2 Metals, 5 Electronics $100 M $144 M $200 M
Advanced Stirling Generator**25 Polymers, 10 Electronics $550 M $550 M $800 M

*The Small Machine Parts Factory and the Small Electronics Factory require the Colony Design Set DLC. 
**The Advanced Stirling Generator require the Space Race DLC with the International Mars Mission as your sponsor. 

Prefab Spires

In order to ship prefab spires, you must have researched the Breakthrough “Prefab Compression”. At that point, all the regular spires can be shipped even if you haven’t researched them yet. I.e. you can ship an Arcology Spire before completing the Arcology research. The exception is the Cloning Vat, which requires its own Breakthrough. 

BuildingConstruction CostsAdvanced Resource Only CostTotal CostPrefab Cost
Arcology60 Concrete, 10 Polymers $140 M $500 M $700 M
Hanging Gardens40 Concrete, 10 Polymers $140 M $380 M $400 M
Water Reclamation System40 Concrete, 10 Polymers, 5 Machine Parts $230 M $470 M $500 M
Network Node40 Concrete, 40 Metals, 20 Electronics $400 M $1040 M $600 M
Medical Center25 Concrete, 25 Metals, 10 Polymers $140 M $540 M $500 M
Sanatorium30 Concrete, 20 Metals, 10 Polymers $140 M $520 M $600 M


Rovers and drones

Once the Rover Printing technology has been researched, you can print each of the RC vehicles (Commander, Transport, Explorer, and Safari) instead of buying them on a resupply rocket. 
Similarly, drones can be built on Mars with the Drone Printing technology and the Drone Assembler (out-dome building). 
Neither the rovers nor the drones can be purchased via the Space Elevator. 

BuildingConstruction CostsAdvanced Resource Only CostTotal CostPrefab Cost
RC Commander20 Metals, 10 Electronics $200 M $400 M $300 M
RC Transport20 Metals, 10 Electronics $200 M $400 M $200 M
RC Explorer20 Metals, 10 Electronics $200 M $400 M $400 M
RC Safari20 Metals, 10 Electronics, 10 Polymers $340 M $540 M $500 M
Drones1 Electronic $20 M $20 M $30 M


Rare Metal and electronics

Rare Metal is the resource needed to make electronics. It can also be exported to Earth, and the earned funds can be used to purchase electronics directly. So in a sense, choosing to build electronics on Mars carries a cost equal to the export price of the Rare Metal. 
Here, we compare the price of purchasing a “prefab” electronic vs using a unit of rare metal (and losing the export gains) to build it. 
When using Cargo Rockets or Supply Pods, one unit of electronics costs $20 M, while the export price of rare metal is between $20 M to $35 M depending on your sponsor. So it ranges from an even trade (not accounting for cost of fuel) to a slight gain. 
This transaction becomes much more interesting when you have the Space Elevator dropping the price of Electronics to $10 M per unit, while your export price remains between $20 M to $35 M. Suddenly, every Rare Metal you export can get you 2 to 3.5 Electronics
At this point, why would you make any Electronics on Mars? Capacity and self-sufficiency. 
Maybe your colony is so large that even the Space Elevator operating at full capacity is unable to provide all the electronics you need or unable to take away all the rare metals. Maybe you like knowing that your colony can be self-sufficient in terms of resource production / consumption. Or maybe you just want to give those engineers something productive to do instead of wasting time in a workshop. 
Anyways, if you have enough rockets and fuel (or if you get the Space Elevator fairly early), it may be worthwhile selling every single unit of rare metal and just buy all the electronics you need. 

Closing Remarks

tdlr: If you need to import electronics to build Drone Hubs or RC Transport, just buy a prefab instead (assuming you haven’t built a Space Elevator). If you’re running low on basic resources (Concrete + Metals) and need to import those as well, it may be worth it to buy some of the buildings in prefab. 
Surviving Mars continues our interest and excitement for starting a colony on another planet. It’s an excellent game that I would recommend to any sci-fi lovers and/or enthusiasts of base-building or resource management games. I hope each and everyone of you enjoy your late-night sessions of “just one more Sol”. 
Final disclaimer: I tried my best to avoid errors in both data gathering and calculations, but we’re only human. If you spot a mistake, please let me know. This is also the very first guide I’ve written, so any comments / suggestions / constructive criticism would be most welcome. 

Written by DrOmega

Hope you enjoy the Guide about Surviving Mars – Chart Guide – Building – Resources – Constructions Cost List, if you think we should add extra information or forget something, please let us know via comment below, and we will do our best to fix or update as soon as possible!

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