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Surviving Mars - A Guide to Your First Domes

By Gundies   /   Mar 21, 2018     Guides
Surviving Mars - A Guide to Your First Domes

How I learned to stop worrying and love the colonists...except for seniors.

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General Info



  • Open the third shift on the infirmary. It keeps the comfort minimum for children at 55, this helps you have your first martianborn sooner so you can skip the 10 sol delay until your second load of colonists. In general this will increase your colonies birthrate a lot. 
  • Ship rare metal out and import the polymer, machine parts, and electronics that you need until you get factories for them. Even then use the shipments to bolster stockpiles that you're low on. I've found that rushing the machine parts and electronics factories are unwise as they take too much manpower too early. 
  • There's only two colonist types you should never ever bring on your rocket. Seniors and idiots. Every other flaw is passable after your first 2-3 loads of colonists. Later on when you run low on actual useful colonists you can start to bring tourists. They seem to turn into regular colonists if the comfort is high enough in the dome they're visiting. 
  • If you can't bring enough of the desired colonist specializations bring security, officers, or unspecialized. Unless it's for the martian university a security or offficer works just as well as an unspecialized colonist. There is no penalty for an offspecialization working in a diner or grocer. 
  • I don't often get access to the medium dome by time I want my third dome so I don't account for having it. If you have it, great, but it's not worth the additional time waiting in my opinion. 
  • I don't personally value the extra colonist on a rocket techs very much. I built this guide using the default maximum load of twelve colonists on a rocket.

Dome #1 - The Beginning



Dome #1 Summary

  • Colonists: 6 botanists, 6 medics, 9 scientists, 12 geologists, 17 engineers, 10 unspecialized. 
  • Buildings: 3 apartments, 1 farm, 2 diners, 1 grocer, 1 research lab, 1 infirmary, 2 one hex parks, 1 three hex park, 1 mine, 1 polymer factory. 

First Set of Colonists:

  • For your first 12 colonists bring 6 botanists, 3 medics, and 3 geologists. 
  • Build your first basic dome beside a source of rare metals. 
  • Build 1 living quarters (apartment if available), preferably 1 farm (1 hydroponics if it isn't), 1 grocer, 1 infirmary, 1 diner, and a single hex park for inbetween the small buildings. 
  • Set the farm and clinic to high priority. 
  • Open the third shift in the infirmary. 
  • Set the infirmary and diner to only have 1 colonist per shift. 

Second Set of Colonists:

  • 5 Geologists, 6 engineers, and 1 unspecialized. 
  • Build an apartment if you didn't build one for the first set of colonists. 
  • Switch to a farm asap if you don't already have one. Build a second hydroponics if you can't yet. 
  • Build your mine and polymer factory while the rocket brings the new colonists. 
  • Set your mine to the first 2 shifts with all 8 slots open and high priority once the colonists arrive. 
  • The polymer factory only needs 1 shift open for now. 

Third Set of Colonists:

  • 6 Scientists, 4 geologists, and 2 unspecialized. 
  • You need a second apartment, if you had a living quarters consider salvaging it and replacing it with an apartment. 
  • Build a research station. two shifts open, high priority. 
  • Open the third shift in your mine. 
  • Build a 3 hex park, and a single hex park. 

Start building your second basic dome.

Fourth Set of Colonists:

  • 6 engineers, 6 unspecialized. 
  • Open up the second shift in your polymer factory. 
  • Allow the second work slots in the diner. 

Start building your third basic dome.

Fifth Set of Colonists:

  • 3 scientists, 3 medics, 1 unspecialized, 5 engineers. 
  • Build your third apartment and add a second diner. 
  • Unlock the second work slots in your infirmary. 
  • Open third shift in the research lab and the polymer factory. 

Dome #1's Future:

  • When you can make the drone assembler add that and bring in 10 more engineers. 1 for the old polymer factory, and 9 for the new assembler.

Dome #2 - Home for the Undesirables



Dome #2 Summary

  • Colonists: Senior citizens and only senior citizens 
  • Buildings: Apartments or living quarters, eventually an arcology 

Permanently deal with the seniors problem:

  • Build a basic dome within walking distance to your first and future third dome. 
  • Build 1 living quarters or apartment for now, you can build more later on as necesary. 
  • Set this dome's filter to refuse all age groups except seniors, set you first dome and any future domes you build to refuse seniors. 
  • Only build apartments and maybe an arcology here. Seniors can't work in any buildings and you don't want valuable memebers of society living here to operate them. 
  • Do not build a universal/food stockpile beside the dome unless they manage to starve to death. I haven't had it happen to me yet. 

Why?

  • Seniors are useless and take up housing space. 
  • This dome will actively lower their comfort and morale. 
  • Low comfort makes them Earthsick so they'll leave on the next rocket that lands. This is a good thing when it's a senior. 
  • Occasionally running out of food encourages them to leave faster. 
  • 1 oxygen and 1 water upkeep is a very low price to pay. Construction costs are also very low. 
  • Even if they hang around and go renegade I've only ever had renegades hit the dome they live in. Again, this doesn't matter since we don't want them around.

Dome #3 - Machine Parts & Electronics



Dome #3 Summary

  • Colonists: 6 botanists, 3 medics, 12 geologists, 45 engineers, 6 unspecialized.
  • Buildings: 2 apartments, 1 farm, 1 diner, 1 grocer, 1 infirmary, 1 1 hex parks, 1 mine, 1 machine parts factory.

First Set of Colonists:

  • 6 Botanists, 3 medics, 3 geologists.
  • Third dome placement varies a bit. Preferably place it within range of at least 1 new metal/rare metal mine and within walking distance of the old folks home. 
  • Build an apartment, clinic, grocer, diner, single hex park, and a farm.
  • High priority the farm
  • Open the third shift on the clinic, close the second slot for each shift, and set it to high priority.
  • Close the second slots in the diner.

Second Set of Colonists:

  • 9 Geologists, 3 unspecialized 
  • Build a mine, high priority all 3 slots open.

Third Set of Colonists:

  • 10 Engineers, 2 Unspecialized.
  • Build another apartment.
  • Build a machine parts factory and open two shifts.
  • Open the second slots in the diner.

Start building a medium dome.

Fourth Set of Colonists:

  • 11 Engineers, 1 unspecialized.
  • Build an arcology. If you don't have the tech yet hold off on this set of colonists as you only need 6 of them with the current buildings.
  • Open the third shift in the machine parts factory.

Fifth Set of Colonists:

  • 12 Engineers.
  • Build an electronics factory, keep two shifts open.

Sixth Set of Colonists:

  • 12 Engineers.
  • Open the third shift on the electronics factory.

Dome #3's Future:

  • Get three more medics into the infirmary.

Dome #4 - School



Dome #4 Summary

  • Colonists: 6 botanists, 3 medics, and 15 unspecialized. 
  • Buildings: 2 apartments, 1 farm, 1 diner, 1 grocer, 1 infirmary, 1 one hex park. 

First Set of Colonists:

  • 6 Botanists, 3 medics, 3 unspecialized. 
  • Walking distance is nice to other domes, but not necessary as shuttle hubs are generally available soon after you get this one started. 
  • Build an apartment, clinic, grocer, diner, single hex park, and a farm. 
  • High priority the farm 
  • Open the third shift on the clinic, close the second slot for each shift, and set it to high priority. 
  • Build 2 nurseries, 1 playground, and 1 school. 

Second Set of Colonists:

  • 12 Unspecialized. 
  • Build another apartment. 
  • Build your first martian university, open all slots. 
  • Set this dome to desire children and unspecialized colonists. Set it to not want every other specilization except botanists and medics. Set every other dome to not want children. 

Start building another medium dome.

Dome #4's Future:

  • Add more of the existing buildings as required. You may require another apartment very soon depending on birthrates. 
  • Eventually you want 3 farms in this dome, 2 isn't quite enough for a medium dome to sustain itself. 

Dome #5 - Research



Dome #5 Summary

  • Colonists: 6 botanists, 3 medics, 21+ scientists, 6 unspecialized. 
  • Buildings: 2 apartments, 1 farm, 1 diner, 1 grocer, 1 research lab, 1 infirmary, 1 one hex park, 1 science institute.

First Set of Colonists:

  • 6 Botanists, 3 medics, 3 unspecialized. 
  • Build an apartment, grocer, diner, clinic, one hex park, and a high priority farm. 
  • Open third clinic shift as per usual. 

Sedond Set of Colonists:

  • 9 scientists, 3 unspecialized. 
  • Build a research lab and open all 3 shifts. 

Third Set of Colonists:

  • 12 Scientists. 
  • Build an apartment and a science institute. 
  • Set this dome's filter to desire scientists. Consider telling all other domes to make scientists undesirable. This includes Dome #1, in which case you could dismantle the research lab there and rebuild it here.

Dome #5's Future:

  • For a spire you want the network node. 
  • Add more of the existing buildings as desired to get more science.
Written by Gundies.