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Crafting is the process of taking Resources and turning them into useful objects.
In Astroneer, crafting is done by using the Backpack Printer or Printer Modules to make many objects of different sizes. The player begins a new game with a set of unlocked schematics for objects they can make, with additional schematics unlocked through the process of Research.
A new player may want to start experimenting with crafting new items, gaining the bytes to research more modules and discover what resources may be more valuable to obtain. It can take time to understand all of the resources and the broad uses they have, as well as time to find the resources and the best planets for them.
Starting out a new game, the player will have a few items in the Backpack Printer that will aid in exploration and construction of their first base. Tethers and Canisters are good items to focus on getting first, allowing further reach from the starting Shelter and allowing the player to construct soil bridges over gaps or down to a cave floor.
Over time, the player will unlock a variety of helpful items that could expand the reach of exploration, such as the Portable Oxygenator, or even items such as the Packager that can pack up modules to move to a new planet.
Exploring around the base is a good way to get enough Resin and Compound to start out. Crafting Tethers allows the player to move further from the base, or explore deep caves without worry of running out of oxygen.
Digging into the planet and exploring the deep caves for new resources is required to expand the base even more, allowing construction of better modules and even the player's first Small Shuttle. Once that is obtained, the player should focus on getting resources from other planets, with the use of a Solid-Fuel Thruster, to craft the modules needed for the best items. Along the way, players should be using any Research Samples they find, or bringing Research Items back to the Research Chamber.
Currently, there are a total of eight Vehicles which can be crafted to help with transport, exploration and expansion. The Tractor and Trailer are built with the Small Printer, the Buggy and Medium Rover are built with the Medium Printer, and the Large Rover, Small Shuttle, Medium Shuttle and Large Shuttle are built with the Large Printer.
When starting the game, the only power is the built-in RTG in the starting Shelter. Exploration can help the player find Small Wind Turbines and Small Solar Panels early on. Researching and unlocking more advanced power items, such as the Medium Solar Panel, will help the player expand their power output, allowing for larger bases that can do more at once. Medium Batteries make for a good way to store up power for when other power modules are unable to produce power, such as during the night or when wind is low. Obtaining RTGs will allow the player to not have to worry about power and allow the base to run 24/7.