Game Mechanics

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Astroneer makes use of a variety of common survival game mechanics with a focus on creating a base from which the player can branch out and explore.

Starting Out[edit | edit source]

Astroneer's standard gamemode starts the player on a procedurally-generated Sylva following character creation and a landing sequence in the Dropship. Upon exiting the Dropship, a Shelter and a Landing Pad are spawned on top of a circle of indestructible black terrain which cannot be destroyed without the use of Dynamite or any level of Drill mod

The Landing Pad provides a Startup Package which supplies the player with a Starting Medium Printer, a Starting Medium Platform, and an Oxygenator. All of these items can be deployed and used as the Player sees fit, though the ingame tutorial will suggest the Player place the Oxygenator on the appropriate Shelter socket so that it can supply Oxygen to nearby Tethers and connected Platforms.

Oxygen[edit | edit source]

Oxygen is a primary resource in Astroneer, and the most critical. Players require oxygen to live, and if they run out, they will eventually die. Fortunately, the early game provides two options to mitigate the risk posed by oxygen deprivation: Tethers, and Oxygen Filters. Additionally, the more permanent Oxygenator can be used to enable oxygen distribution across an entire base.

Tethers[edit | edit source]

Tethers are a key exploration tool throughout the course of gameplay. When adjacent to a platform connected to an Oxygenator, they will provide Oxygen to any nearby players and create a connection with adjacent Tethers. They are especially useful earlier on as players have a limited Oxygen supply, and key resources, such as Malachite and Laterite, will always be a significant distance away from the player's starting position and help the player find there way back to the base.

Tethers are crafted in packs of eleven and are, by default, placed using T. One pack takes up one Tier-1 slot.

Oxygen Filters[edit | edit source]

Oxygen Filters are a consumable item that can be crafted for 1 Resin in the player's Backpack Printer. They provide a temporary supply of oxygen whenever the player is not actively tethered to an oxygen source. A single set of Oxygen Filters takes up one Tier-1 slot.

Power[edit | edit source]

Power is distributed across a network using a system of cables that extend from, and snap into, red sockets on Platforms and Vehicles. Tethers will also distribute power when connected to oxygenated platforms, but only to nearby Players.


Typically, a cable connection is bi-directional and will attempt to equally distribute power. However, by using Extenders or a Splitter, power can be forced to travel one way.

Power Generation[edit | edit source]

Power can be generated with a variety of items and modules. Astroneer offers a challenge by having players adapt to different Planets' environments; for example, Desolo, the moon of Sylva, has a very limited atmosphere, making it less than ideal for a Wind Turbine.

Renewable Power[edit | edit source]

Renewable power includes Wind and Solar energy, and is the primary power source in the early- and mid-game. These forms of power are temperamental as they are dependent on environmental conditions.

An alternative in the lategame is the RTG, an infinite power source that produces a significant amount of energy. A low-power version can be found mounted on the starting Shelter that cannot be removed.

Non-Renewable Power[edit | edit source]

Non-renewable power requires fuel to run and is limited to the Small Generator and Medium Generator. When activated, a generator will produce a continuous flow of power until its fuel source runs out. This makes them ideal in the early-game where power is limited, and in the mid- and late-game as an emergency power source.

Power Storage[edit | edit source]

Power storage in Astroneer is done using Batteries. The Medium Battery is ideal for providing a consistent flow of power in a base when there is a shortfall in power generation, while the Small Battery is better used in the player's Backpack where it can provide power for their Terrain Tool's Augments.

Spaceflight[edit | edit source]

Players may construct Shuttles to travel to other planets in the system. Once a shuttle has been constructed and either a Solid-Fuel Thruster or a Hydrazine Thruster is attached, they can initiate liftoff and be launched into orbit of the planet they are on. When launching, the player may select either launching into orbit or to another planet in planet view.

Terrain Tool[edit | edit source]

The Terrain Tool has three main modes of use. The [E] key pulls it off your Backpack or puts it back. Left clicking with it will cause it to dig the area its pointed at out. Holding [CTRL] key down then left clicking with the tool will cause it to try and flatten Terrain to the same plane of 3-dimensional place as the polygon where the tool started. Holding [ALT] down while using the tool can be used to fill in holes or build structures.