This guide is based around my experience during a play through campaign, So I doubt the base building advice will work in survival but combat advice might. I am going off my experience. Also note that maps are procedural generated. So our map experience may be different. Please note that this was just my play style. I have never been that good at making a nice looking and organized base. This gave me space and easier energy management of my main base
Making HQ base management made easy
The main idea is to create an Outpost and manage most of your key buildings from there as they are safer. Some may call this an exploit. Once you have finished building your orbital scanner, you should soon be able to going out and explore other Biomes. This is when you can start. The first mission that I would suggest is doing Acid Plain Reconnaissance. Instead of completing the mission right away, explore as much as possible. You are going to want to explore to find a good placement for your outpost. The place where you come in is not always the best play to build the outpost.
This area should be full of Sludge, which is what make this a good place to set up an outpost. Once you have completed the research for Gas Power plants, the sludge will make it easy to power everything. For the map that I did, I used the geo scanner and found multiple Geo Thermal Vents for additional power and mud/water. With these resources, you should be able to move almost all of your key structures away from your HQ and build them at your outpost. So any structure that can share its functionality globally can be move here. So you can move your armory, research buildings and storage building to this Outpost opening up building space at your HQ.
The key here is that this mission/outpost map does not get any raids from attacking creatures. You only need to deal with the local creatures. Once you clear an area of the local creatures, you should be clear to build without the worry about creatures. I normally build a radar and rift gate at key building locations to be safe. So you could technically build across the whole map if you cleared it and not need to worry about creatures. This map still is not completely safe. You may not have to deal with creature hordes, but you will still need to handle Environmental events that can still damage your buildings such as meteor showers or earthquakes.
Besides everything being safer from creature raid, all of the additional power is very helpful. So the Sludge and Geothermal Energy have with the power hungry buildings such as Research. I also used the power to set up synthesizers for Carbonium and Ironium for when my mines run out. With the sludge you could also set up one of those cultivator farms that some consider overpowered if you wanted.
With most things built in this outpost, your main HQ will be easier to build your defenses. I believe that you really only have the key game buildings left at your HQ. You should only need to worry about managing power and your defenses.
Now for the main downside to this. You can only have 8 outpost. The game has it so that there are 8 rare resources Each has a map that is made to create a good output for that resource. So you will be short on one of those maps. There are ways to offset that. . I consider the 4 Primary Rare resources and 4 Secondary Rare resources. The Secondary ones are ones such as Ferdonite and the other 3 Nites. They are only needed for making items and gear. So if you have a good amount of one secondary Resource, You can remove the large one stockpiled resource and start a new one for the last needed resource. If you upgraded your equipment, those resources don’t have much use. The other option is to just set up a cultivator farm for it.
Other advice and observations from my experience
These are just things that I noticed. They are organized in no real order other than the order that they came to mind.
The Emergency Explosion skill can be a life saver when swarmed by creatures. Also a good tool to draw in melee creatures and just detonate.
Getting Dash skill that leaves a elemental damage trail is a very good thing to have throughout the game. The first that I got was one that leaves a Fire trail. It is the easiest to create as it requires Cobalt, while the others use a different rare material. Although creatures in the Volcanic Region are resistant to it. I found Cryo my preferred version as few things seem to have resistance to it and it slows creatures down. Weak creatures that give chase normally don’t survive moving though the trail if they are chasing you.You can also turn it into a form of a wall by circling back around and get the creatures to chase you through it.
I believe that you can find the craft Schematics for these elemental effects inside some of the pillars that you drill into. The Dash and Emergency Explosion skills make it much easier to defeat the the mobs of small creatures that come after you when you start the drill. I also noticed that these Schematics are unlocked for all future Campaign and Survival modes. The pillars can also contain mods or resources, but those don’t carry over.
When a nest occurs on the map, you should try to destroy all of the eggs before they hatch as they seem to normally contain rare resources.
As much as some don’t like it, try to scan and grab samples of the creatures and plants as possible. You will receive more resources from plants at checkpoints as you gain familiarity. This is similar for creatures, but you also learn their strengths and weaknesses. You will also get damage bonuses again them. Also some creatures and plants need to be scanned to unlock some alien research.
Get to know your plants. I know that we like slicing them with out sword to get resources, but some explode. So learn your exploding plants. You can also kill enemy creatures by making the plant near them explode. Just make sure that you are out of blast radius.
My main weapons that I always have tried to keep on my are a Sword, Spear, and a Blaster. I also use others like High Caliber and Nukes.
Sword is good for slicing the plants and its wide attack area helps deal with weak creatures that are charging at you. Yes the hammer has a wide range, but is slows your movement.
The spear lets you keep larger melee creatures at a distance and can go through multiple creatures in a single strike. Unlike other melee weapons, a spear does cold damage. So creature like the Gnerot who has resistance to Physical damage, a spear is a melee weapon that can do good cold damage to them while keeping you out of there melee range. Due to it being cold damage, the creatures were also slowed down. Also on the exploding plants mentioned above, you can normally destroy the plants while staying outside the blast radius.
I suggest the blaster as it is ranged weapon that can be good early to mid game, Even late game. It is good against ranged creatures, primarily use while exploring. But not as useful against strong enemies. The main keys are that it has splash damage and uses no ammo. So also a back up in case you run out of ammo on your other weapons.
On the topic of ammo. The games doesn’t really tell you, but restocking on ammo and other items such as mines do cost resources. I learned the hard way as my resource deposits ran out while I was out exploring. I ran low on a resource because I was using ammo when I didn’t have any active Ironium being produced. I think this is also true for all skill items except for Emergency Explosion and Radar Pulse. Most likely won’t be an issue late game especially if you have Cultivators farms or Synthesizers set up.
In certain cases, you can use the environment and creatures against each other. I already mentioned the exploding plants. In the cases of things like meteor showers and Volcano Eruption events, it give you a warning on where things are going to hit the ground. It will also damage or kill any creature in the area of impact. This also goes for when creatures try using an artillery type attack on you. If you see an area of impact, whatever is in it will take damage.
I am going to assume that each map has its own raids on some timer. Although there must be of rerolled of the spawns every time one occurs. I was at an outpost to quickly add some additional mines that would be outside my main defended area. I was not ready for defense when I got the notification for an incoming raid. I didn’t want to deal with it, so I jumped back to a save to a few minutes before it sent the warning. I waited and it still occurred a few minutes later, but they were spawning from a different side. So I loaded again, but this time left the map to go do things in another map for a time. When I just jumped back to that outpost again, a raid was going to occur again in about the same time that it would have if when I reloaded. So I am going to guess that the timer pauses when you leave a map.
If you get a research option to handling a specific rare resource, always bump that to the top of your research queue. You can’t really do any major collecting or farming of a resource until it has been researched.
Related to the above statement. If you are Cultivators/Harvesting and a plant says that it produces a certain resource, you won’t collect that resource until you have researched its handling.
You should try to always use your geoscanner to see if there are any resources nearby. On at least 2 maps that I can think of, it is almost a mine detector. On that note, don’t rush those areas. While defusing one, you can set off another. They can do heavy damage. If you activate one, it normally gives you a visual warning by showing the blast radius and few second delay to try to escape.
From what I can tell, The research speed for Base and Weapon Research Trees are dependent on how many Communication Hubs you have and their building levels. The amount of Laboratories and their building levels effect the research speed of the Alien Research Tree.
The game advises you on using weapon with different types of ammo so that you don’t run out in battle. You also need to take that advise into account when building towers. They all use a specific type of ammo too.
This is base all on my play experience. Since there are not a lot of guides, I am willing to add a section for the advice of others if people would want to provide it. I know that there are different play styles than mine and possibly better. I say that if it works. It is a successful way. So I am open to anything successful. I know that the best way to do things is not always the funnest. Nuking a single rodent isn’t really an efficient way to kill it, but it still can be fun.
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