This Field Operations Manual will provide you with all of the information you need, including using your tools, crafting sophisticated equipment out of basic components, the essentials of building your own high-tech habitat, extracting raw materials from the planet, navigating through hostile surface conditions and much more.
- Landing on Mars
- Heads Up Display (HUD)
- Inventory: Backpack and Toolbelt
- The Watchstat and Map
- Explore Mars and Survive Your First 2 Hours
- Hazards of the Red Planet
- QUICK START: Crafting
- QUICK START: Building and Tiles
- Advanced Survival
- The Crafting Interface
- Item Stats
- Durability and Repair
- Advanced Crafting with Workbenches
- Advanced Building
- The Permissions List
- Your Mission, and Colony Objective
Landing on Mars
First launch the Rokh software. Then click “Play” to open the server menu.
Select a server and click Connect:
On the map, select a valid sector for landing. Then enter your name. Then click “Join” to proceed to the surface.
TIP: You must select a sector before clicking “Join.” Choose your sector carefully, as each is different.
Wait for the loading screen to finish.
TIP: In some cases, it may take a while for the loading screen to complete. Please be patient! It takes time to land on Mars.
Heads Up Display (HUD)
Your state-of-the-art HUD features separate sections.
The bottom right displays your System Status, vital information for your survival on Mars.
- Oxygen level
- Suit power level
- Hunger level
- Radiation level
- Thirst level
- Environment conditions: ambient temperature, ambient radiation level, and ambient pressure level
Be sure to monitor these crucial survival stats. Most start at a measurement of 100, meaning that you have plenty of this resource for your immediate needs: you don’t feel dehydrated, you have enough oxygen, and so forth. Radiation is the opposite: it starts at 0, which is optimal, and increases as you are exposed to radiation.
The bottom center displays your Toolbelt.
Each icon represents an item you’ve placed on your Toolbelt from your Backpack. Use 1 to 5 to equip each item, and press the same number again to de-equip.
Below each icon you will see important information about this item: its durability represented by a meter, and the quantity you are holding represented by a number. Here we see this colonist is carrying 3 solar plates and 1 pickaxe, among other items. All of their items are at maximum durability, indicated by the full white meter.
TIP: To eat food, use Rad Shields, or consume Drinking Water, first press ‘I’ then drag them from your Backpack into your Toolbelt, close the Inventory screen, then equip them by pressing their number (1 to 5), then click the mouse.
The upper left displays your Body Status. Any injuries you sustain to your head, torso, or legs will be indicated on this display.
Keep an eye on the upper right for important Tutorial notifications. You will hear a distinct sound when a Tutorial notification happens.
Press T to view a Tutorial. Many Tutorials have multiple pages. Click the left and right arrow buttons to flip between the pages.
Tutorials are context sensitive, which means they only appear when something important happens. For example, the first time you are low on oxygen you will get a Tutorial which reminds you how to replenish your air supply. The first time you have a Tile, you will get a Tutorial with helpful advice on how to build with it. Tutorials contain information which is similar to, but not exactly the same as, the information you can read in this Manual.
Tutorials can only be viewed once, then they are dismissed forever. Be sure to absorb each carefully before dismissing it.
Inventory: Backpack and Toolbelt
Press I to open your Backpack:
- Backpack – These are items stored in your Backpack. (Items are not displayed here if they are stored elsewhere, such as your Toolbelt, a chest or storage tank, or in a workbench.)
- Air Supply – This is your suit air supply. To add oxygen, drag an oxygen item from your Backpack (1) into this slot (2).
- Suit Power – This is your suit battery, which powers your life support functions. To swap between batteries, drag a battery from your Backpack (1) into this slot (3).
- Carry Weight – This displays the weight of everything you are carrying. Carrying too much will slow you down and cause you to consume more resources.
- Search Field – Type here to help find a specific item when your backpack gets very full.
- Toolbelt – Drag items between your Toolbelt and Backpack to change where they are carried. Note that not all items can go on the Toolbelt. It’s only for items that you can carry in your hands, such as tools and building elements (like tiles, windows, wires, pipes, etc.) but not crafting ingredients like parts and components.
You can split stacks by holding left shift while dragging the stack between slots. For example, if you have 50 building tiles, but you only want to put 5 of them into your Toolbelt, drag the tiles from your Backpack to your Toolbelt while holding left shift, then type in the number 5.
Right click on any item to get much more information, including its stats, composition and description.
The Watchstat and Map
On the wrist of your suit you will find the Watchstat, which you can bring up by pressing ‘U’.
There are 3 tabs on the left of the Watchstat which you can click to switch between different displays. Here is the Character Stats display.
The Character Stats display shows detailed information about your current health situation. This can help you fine tune your strategy for long term survival as described under Advanced Survival, below.
The area at the bottom of this display called “BUFFS” will list any modifiers to your conditions that come from health effects such as hypothermia or external sources such as Rad Shield. You will be able to see what has caused this conditions and how long it will last, in addition to what specific effect it has on you.
The Suit Temperature display allows you to control the temperature settings for your suit and observe the effects of those changes. Click on the +/- buttons to change the suit temperature. The modifiers to your energy consumption, hunger, and thirst can be observed on the side as the temperature changes. In general, a lower temperature will conserve your battery at the cost of more hunger and thirst.
The Map display can also be accessed directly by pressing ‘M’. A blue icon on the map shows your current location and the direction you are facing. You can click on the map to add a waypoint, which is useful for long range navigation. Click the waypoint again to dismiss it. Use the +/- buttons to the right of the map or the mouse wheel to zoom in and out.
Explore Mars and Survive Your First 2 Hours
Your lander has just touched down. Welcome! No doubt you’re excited to see what Mars has to offer. This section of the Manual will guide you through your first few hours, helping you keep yourself alive and build your way up to self-sufficiency.
Oxygen and Suit Power should be your first concern. These decrease faster than hunger and thirst. Fortunately you can scavenge for these basic necessities around landmarks and settlements.
TIP: Open Supply Chests (with a green light) to gather oxygen, food, water, and Rad Shields. Use Battery Chargers to maintain your Suit Power. Both of these can be found by searching old landmarks and settlements. Chests with a pink light can also be found elsewhere and have a higher chance to contain oxygen.
You probably touched down very close to an abandoned settlement. Look around and you might be able to see more in the distance. Feel free to wander between these landmarks, whenever your System Status is in good condition.
Scans indicate that all of the former settlements and structures of the first wave colonists to Mars have been abandoned and are no longer possible to enter. One of your mission parameters is to investigate the disaster that befell these early colonists, so keep an eye out for any evidence.
TIP: Search settlements for any clues about the disaster that befell the first wave colonists.
If you are lucky you might also find a Battery Charger, which will replenish your batteries.
Near settlements you are also likely to find Supply Chests, which have been sent down from orbit by United Mars to assist you in your mission. These will contain oxygen, food, water, and other crucial survival supplies. Supply Chests have a green light and are easy to spot from a distance.
To use a Supply Chest, get close to it and press ‘E.’ Similar to the Inventory system, you can drag items between chests and your backpack. The chest is on the right side of the white vertical separator and your backpack is on the left. You can also double-click on the item, or use the “Take All” button.
In addition to Supply Chests, United Mars is also sending down Air Drops. These are easy to spot from a distance due to their orange light. Although there was no room inside your landing vehicle for storage, United Mars is committed to a regular schedule of delivering these Supply Chests and Air Drops to you and your fellow colonists.
Air Drops may contain basic parts such as rods, spikes, bars, and a raw material known as Nv. Using the Emergency Screwdriver that you landed with, you can assemble any of the Tier 1 tools with just the contents of these Air Drops.
Just like a Supply Chest, you can move items from an Air Drop into your Backpack by dragging them or any of the other means.
The surface of Mars is plentiful with minerals, ice, and other raw materials. Look for Resource Nodes and use your Pickaxe on them to extract from them. Need a Pickaxe? Craft one using the Emergency Screwdriver, plus a Medium Rod and Small Spike.
Every Pickaxe has a Mining Quality stat you can see by right-clicking on the Pickaxe. If your Pickaxe fails to extract from a resource node, you may need to upgrade its Mining Quality by adding a blade, or using a spike that was crafted from a stronger raw material.
Guide to Resource Nodes
Note that before they can be used raw materials sometimes must be refined, such as inside a smelter or electrolyzer. However, you can typically craft a Tile (for building a habitat) out of any unrefined raw material using the Hammer.
TIP: “Drinking Water” is the only water that has been refined to meet your survival needs. “Water,” which comes from Ice nodes, must be purified into drinking water using an electrolyzer.
Hazards of the Red Planet
Mars is your new home and will provide you with all the resources you need. However, it can also be your worst enemy, full of deadly hazards.
Mars is infamous for violent dusts storms and sandstorms. In addition to limiting visibility, getting caught in a sandstorm will impair your movement and drain your oxygen and suit power.
Orbital scans indicate large sections of the surface, particularly around certain first wave settlements, have an extremely high and unsafe radiation level. If you must explore or travel through these areas, you are advised to bring plenty of Rad Shield with you or find other creative solutions to the problem.
TIP: Rad Shield will reduce your radiation level and prevent radiation sickness. These can be found in Supply Chests, or crafted using the Pressure Kiln.
The atmosphere of Mars is much thinner than that of Earth and allows more space debris to reach the surface. Meteorites are extremely dangerous and can cause serious injury and death. Your HUD will overlay a warning icon estimating the impact point of incoming meteorites.
QUICK START: Crafting
Eager to jump in and start crafting useful objects? This section will give you the basic tutorial and some initial goals. For advanced instructions and pro tips on using the interface, refer to the Manual sections below.
You start with an Emergency Screwdriver which you can use to craft all four Tier 1 tools (Pickaxe, Crowbar, Wrench and Hammer) and the first Tier 2 tool (the Assembly Tool). These tools are great objects to craft first.
- Pickaxe – Mine raw materials from the surface resource nodes
- Hammer – Convert raw materials into parts used in other recipes
- Wrench – Repair and maintain your equipment so it doesn’t break
- Crowbar – Salvage items back into components and parts. Pick up tiles and other items that you placed incorrectly.
- Assembly Tool – Assemble parts and components together into increasingly complex tools and items
TIP: You landed with the necessary parts for the Pickaxe recipe, which makes it a good first tool to craft.
First gather parts such as rods and bars from Air Drops. Then equip your Emergency Screwdriver and click the mouse to enter the crafting interface.
Select a recipe on the left. The “INPUT” area in the center shows which ingredients are required for this recipe. (It also shows optional ingredients which improve the objects you are crafting.) Find each ingredient in your Backpack on the right and drag it into the matching INPUT slot. If the ingredient matches, the slot will turn green. If you made a mistake or if the object does not meet the requirements for this ingredient, the slot will turn red. When all required slots are green, you can press “CRAFT” to craft the object.
TIP: The [S] refers to “small” and the [M] refers to “medium.” Make sure you place the correct size, not just the correct type of component, into the slot!
Congratulations! Your newly crafted object might be in your Backpack, or it might appear in the OUTPUT section at bottom. Be sure to drag it from the OUTPUT into your Backpack before you close the Crafting interface.
QUICK START: Building and Tiles
Anxious to build your first habitat? This section will give you the basic tutorial and some initial goals. For advanced instructions, refer to the Manual sections below.
Beyond a simple habitat for shelter, designing your own structures can solidify your control and give you more options:
- A pressurized environment where it’s possible to open your helmet safely
- Workbenches which provide a huge increase to your crafting capabilities
- Chests and storage for surplus goods and materials
- Automated survival equipment which collect oxygen and power continuously
- Customize your habitat with multiple wings, floors, lights, and windows. Use tiles with different materials for a unique look.
- Keep yourself and your possessions safe from other colonists by locking your doors. Only those on the Permissions List will then be able to have access
Tiles are the most basic building block of a structure. They can be placed nearly anywhere on the Martian surface and snap together easily to create walls, floors, and ceilings. You can use tiles to design and create any building, limited only by your imagination and the amount of tiles you can gather.
Once you have tiles, place them in your toolbelt and equip them. Notice the preview of where the tile will be placed. If the preview is red, that is not a valid placement.
Click to place the tile. Use the mouse wheel to rotate to create walls, floors, and ceilings.
TIP: You are allowed to build a structure nearly anywhere, but a few locations are off limits. It is not possible to lay down a tile within one of the landmarks or settlements, nor can you build too close to another colonist’s structure unless they add you to their Permissions List.
Tiles are crafted using the Hammer and any raw material. Follow these steps:
- If you don’t have a Hammer, use the Emergency Screwdriver to craft one. See above for basic instructions.
- You will need a raw material. Gather Nvizzium from Air Drops. Or you can use the Pickaxe to mine other types of raw materials from resource nodes on the surface. If you don’t have a Pickaxe, use the Emergency Screwdriver to craft one.
- Place the Hammer on your toolbelt, then equip it. Click the mouse to enter the crafting interface.
- Select the “Tile” recipe and drag your raw material in as an ingredient.
TIP: If you’ve explored the map or traded with fellow colonists, you may have come across some advanced and exotic raw materials. These may not be malleable enough to be crafted into tiles using a basic Hammer. Try using the Tile Press, a type of Workbench which is faster, higher capacity, and will run while you are offline!
The raw material a tile is made out of impacts its stats such as durability, radiation reduction, and weight. It also changes the color and appearance of the tile, which means you can craft a habitat with a unique visual design. Experiment with different raw materials to find new colors!
Collaborative Building With Other Colonists
Building can take a lot of time and resources. For best results, you may wish to collaborate with your fellow colonists. First you will need to add them to your Permissions List. Open the interface by pressing ‘P’. Be sure to use their Rokh name, not their Steam ID. Once on the list, they can freely modify and add to your structure. Learn more about the Permissions List in the Manual section below.
Improving Your Habitat
A habitat is more than walls and ceilings. If you seal your habitat completely and add a door, you can enter the habitat to reduce environmental radiation. You can also lock the door and use the Permissions List to choose who is allowed to enter. You can customize your habitat’s shape and add windows and lights. Add some chests to store your surplus goods. Pressurize your habitat and you’ll be able to open your helmet safely and conserve oxygen. Make your own battery charger so you don’t have to visit landmarks.
To learn more about all of these possibilities, check out Advanced Building, below!
What you’ve read above will keep you alive for your first few hours on the Red Planet. But Mars is your new home, so your goal must be reliable, long-term survival. This section lists all known solutions for every life support need.
TIP: Advanced buildings and equipment for long-term survival require you to work your way up the crafting chain, building increasingly more complex tools and structures. See below for more information about these advanced crafting and building operations.
Note that Oxygen and Suit Power drain quickly, whereas Hunger, Thirst, and Radiation become problematic less often. Failing to maintain your Suit Power will impact your thermal regulation system, ultimately causing hypothermia. The other stats lead to death by other means: starvation, irradiation, suffocation, and so on.
- Find oxygen in Supply Chests (green light)
- Create oxygen from water using an electrolyzer and the “water reduction” recipe. One way to obtain water is to harvest it from ice resource nodes using your Pickaxe.
- Enter a habitat which has been properly pressurized using at least 20% oxygen and no harmful gasses. You can open your helmet, and you will not consume oxygen. The Pressure gauge will tell you when you are inside a pressurized structure. If the gauge is green, then the pressure is safe enough to open your helmet.
- Stockpile oxygen in a tank inside your habitat.
- Trade for oxygen with your fellow colonists.
TIP: Sprinting is fast way to travel, but it drains your oxygen quickly. Sprint only when necessary!
- Suit Power comes exclusively from batteries, which you start with two of. Batteries hold a charge and can be recharged at Battery Chargers. You can carry as many batteries as you want.
- If your current battery has a low charge, swap it for a fresh one by pressing ‘I’ and then dragging the fresh one from your Backpack into the slot for Suit Power.
- Find a Battery Charger at a landmark or abandoned settlement.
- Craft your own Battery Charger at your habitat.
- Craft your own spare batteries and charge them.
- Trade for batteries with your fellow colonists.
- Travel during the day, when the surface temperature is higher and you drain less suit power to maintain your temperature.
- You can control your suit’s temperature through the Watchstat (press ‘U’). A temperature closer to the exterior temperature will cause you to lose energy slower but will increase hunger and thirst.
- Consume Rad Shield to reduce your radiation level and increase your natural recovery rate. Rad Shield can be found in Supply Chests or crafted using the Pressure Kiln. Move the Rad Shield from your Backpack to the Toolbelt, then press 1-5 to equip it, then click the mouse to consume it.
- Find Rad Shield on corpses or trade with your fellow colonists.
- Avoid highly radioactive areas. Travel during night when the ambient radiation is lower. Keep an eye on the environmental conditions in your System Stats!
- Build a habitat with a roof. The roof tiles should be made from a material with a high Radiation Reduction stat. Radiation Reduction is based on the Density stat of the material used to make it.
- Any structure can block radiation from the direction the radiation is issuing from. For example, if you find an irradiated building on the surface, you can build a vertical wall which will shield you from the radiation when you stand behind it.
Food and Water
- Find food and water in Supply Chests (green light), or trade with your fellow colonists.
- To consume food and drinkable water, move it from your Backpack to the Toolbelt, then press 1-5 to equip it, then click the mouse to consume it.
- Another way to obtain water is to harvest it from ice resource nodes using your Pickaxe.
- Note that you cannot consume water unless it is called “drinkable water.” If it is just called “water” it must be purified first. Purify water into drinkable water using the electrolyzer and the “drinking water” recipe.
- In the future, you will be able to grow your own crops inside your habitat.
- You can receive injuries from dangerous events like meteorite impacts or falling long distances. United Mars also anticipates the possibility of hostile arrivals in the future.
- Injuries are indicated in the Body Status display in the upper left corner of your HUD.
- Severe injuries to your head or torso will kill you, while injuries to your legs will progressively hinder your movement.
- Injuries will heal naturally over time.
- You can also consume Mint Cake, which contains medicinal ingredients which will accelerate the healing process.
Day, Night, and Surface Conditions
- Always keep an eye on the local surface conditions, which can be found on your HUD in the bottom right under System Stats.
- Some areas have more radiation than others, which will increase your Radiation level.
- During the day, the local temperature will be higher, which requires less Suit Power to maintain your body temperature. However, during the day there is more ambient radiation.
- At night, the local temperature is lower and you might use your flashlight more often, both of which drain your Suit Battery. However, at night there is less ambient radiation.
The Crafting Interface
All crafting operations use a similar interface. This example shows how to use the Emergency Screwdriver to craft a Pickaxe.
To start, equip the Emergency Screwdriver from your toolbelt and click the mouse to open the crafting interface.
- Recipes. List of all Recipes that you can create using this tool.
- Ingredients. The parts, components, and raw materials required for this recipe are displayed here as slots. Any optional ingredients are also displayed here.
- The contents of your Backpack.
- Quantity of items you want to craft.
- The Craft button and the section where the output of crafting might appear.
To craft the Pickaxe, select “Pickaxe” in Recipes (1). Then drag a Medium Rod and a Small Spike from your Backpack (3) to the appropriate slots in the INPUT section (2). If you have any of the Optional ingredients, you can drag those into their slots as well.
When a slot contains the correct ingredient, it turns green. If the slot is red, that means the ingredient in this slot does not match the requirements. Look for a small red X which shows which requirement has failed. For example, if the ingredient is a raw material, it may not meet the criteria for durability, malleability, quantity or some other property. For parts and components, make sure you are using the correct size: [S] for small, [M] for medium etc…
When all required slots are green, you are ready to craft. Use the +/- buttons to adjust the Quantity (4) until it displays the number of items you wish to craft. Then click the Craft button (5).
- Your newly crafted item may appear in the Output slot here. If not, it might already be in your backpack!
- You may need to drag the item from the Output slot to your Backpack.
- Note that any unused ingredients may remain in this section. Drag them back into your Backpack, unless you plan to keep using this tool.
TIP: If you’re crafting a large quantity of items, you can press “Craft” and then close the interface with the minimize button in the top right. The crafting operation will continue in the background. If you set the quantity to the Infinity symbol (loop), the crafting operation will continue for as long as it has enough of the appropriate ingredients.
If you are missing an ingredient, just hover the cursor over its slot to see which tool(s) can be used to craft it.
Many recipes have optional ingredients which will improve the item being crafted. To learn what each optional ingredient contributes, hover the cursor over the name of the recipe.
Every item has stats such as weight, crafting quality, pressure capacity, radiation reduction, and many more. Right click on an item to see these stats.
Stats are inherited from each part, component, and raw material that was used to create the item. Each item is unique because it is composed of many such steps from each of its ingredients, and each step changes the stats of an item.
For example, a Pickaxe might be composed of a Medium Rod which itself was crafted from the raw material Nv, and a Small Spike which was crafted from Iron. This Pickaxe will have different stats than a Pickaxe where both parts were made from Nv, or any other combination of raw materials.
In general, the better the raw material used to craft an item, the higher the quality of the item, but this depends on how you plan to use the item. For example, Lead has excellent radiation reduction when used in a habitat tile, but it has very low strength and hardness which makes it a poor choice for a hammer or pickaxe.
Durability and Repair
Most items have a Durability rating, which is represented under their icon by a meter that changes color as the durability lowers. Using an item lowers its durability until eventually it breaks. You can repair items using the Wrench. If you don’t have a Wrench, you can craft one using the Emergency Screwdriver or Assembly Tool.
TIP: Using materials with higher Hardness will mean they lose less durability when used.
To repair items using the Wrench, equip the Wrench from your Toolbelt, then click the mouse to enter the Repair interface.
Drag an item for repair into the slot below the word “Repair.” To the right of this item, you will see every part and component that this item is composed of. Click the checkbox near a part or component to indicate that you want to repair that part or component. You can maintain your items by repairing their durability even if the object is not broken yet.
On the far right you will see the “Total Costs” in raw materials required to perform these repairs. If you have enough of the required raw materials, you can click “Repair” to perform the repairs.
TIP: The material you must spend to repair an item is always the same material the part or component was crafted from.
Advanced Crafting with Workbenches
As you master basic crafting with hand-held tools, you will start to understand their limits. Tools are effective for personal use, but for industrial-scale crafting to meet the needs of an entire colony you will need to upgrade to Workbenches.
Tools have these benefits:
- Portable. They can be carried in the backpack and equipped in the toolbelt.
- Require no energy to use
Workbenches have these benefits:
- Access to more advanced recipes
- Larger capacity
- Faster crafting speed
- Will complete large operations while you are offline
- Can be used by a community
However Workbenches have these limitations:
- Must be socketed to a structure, such as a floor of tiles
- Most Workbenches require an energy source to function
- Many Workbenches also require you to manage their temperature and pressure
- Can be used by any colonist unless safeguarded
TIP: It’s possible to craft advanced portable tools such as the portable electrolyzer, portable recycler, and portable smelter. These are tools that can be carried in your backpack but which still provide the key functions (on a limited basis) of the larger, workbench versions. If you wish to explore far and wide, these advanced portable tools will help your nomadic lifestyle.
Craft in Place Frames
Ready to craft your first Workbench? Workbenches are large, so the process for crafting one is a bit different than for a small item like a tool or tile.
Before you can craft any Workbench, you must first craft a Craft In Place Frame and install it. Craft In Place Frames come in various sizes (2×1, 2×2, etc.) and the larger ones allow you to build the larger Workbenches.
All Craft In Place Frames are crafted using the Rivet Gun. Need a Rivet Gun? You can craft it with the Tier 2 Assembly Tool.
Now that you have a Rivet Gun, determine which size Craft In Place Frame you need. 2×1? 2×2? Here’s just a few options:
- Gas Reclaimer – 2×1 – captures oxygen or other gases from the atmosphere
- Electrolyzer – 2×1 – purifies water and creates oxygen from ice
- Metal Press – 2×2 – improved crafting of Tiles and Parts
- Smelter – 2×2 – refines oxide raw materials
TIP: Want to know about every Workbenches that exists? Each Craft In Place Frame recipe in the Rivet Gun provides a list of the Workbenches that Frame can become. To learn more about them, install that Frame, then use it to examine its list of recipes.
Installing a Craft In Place Frame
After you craft a Craft In Place Frame, it goes into your Backpack like any other item. To install it, you must first build a flat floor section of tiles to place it on. This can be part of your habitat, or a separate platform, as long as it is raised above the surface of Mars.
Once you have your flat tile floor, move the Craft In Place Frame from your Backpack to your Toolbelt and equip it. Now you can install the Frame on the tile floor.
A Craft In Place Frame is a Socket Item, which means the process for placing the Frame is very similar to placing a tile. You will see a preview of the location and you can use the mouse wheel to rotate. If the preview is blue, that’s good, but if it’s red the placement is not valid. Check to make sure your platform is large enough and perfectly flat with no obstructions.
Once you like the location, click to install the Craft In Place Frame there.
Turning a Craft In Place Frame into a Workbench
Now you are prepared to convert your Craft In Place Frame into the Workbench of your choice! Just walk up to the Craft In Place Frame and interact with it. This will open the familiar Crafting interface. Look at the list of Recipes. These are all the Workbenches that this Frame can become.
Pick your Workbench recipe, gather the ingredients if necessary, and craft just like normal. The Craft In Place Frame will disappear, replaced by your new Workbench!
TIP: Craft In Place Frames can also become useful objects other than Workbenches. For example, the 1×1 Craft In Place Frame can be crafted into a Boiler, which can convert raw materials from solids into liquids and gas. Check the list of recipes for each size Frame to see all the options!
Using A Workbench
To use a Workbench, walk up to it and interact with it. It will open up the familiar Crafting interface, displaying the list of Recipes you can craft with this Workbench.
If your Workbench is a Tile Mould, you are in luck. It’s ready to be used now! Just pick a recipe, give it ingredients, set the quantity, and press Craft. If you select a very large quantity, the operation will continue as long as it has enough ingredients and as long as the output doesn’t exceed the Capacity of the output slot. The operation will even continue when you go offline!
However, most Workbenches require power before they can be used. See the display for Required Energy and Capacity to the right of “Smelter” in this example.
Providing Power to a Workbench
To provide power to a Workbench, you must have Solar Plates and Wires, both of which can be crafted. More Solar Plates will provide more power, and each Solar Plate provides more power during the day than at night. You will need enough wire to connect your Workbench to the Solar Plates.
The solar plates and wires must be socketed to a structure, such as the same tile floor the Workbench is installed on. To learn more about socketing, see Advanced Building below.
Every Solar Plate adds energy, but be careful not to overload the power grid! To avoid overloading, craft an Energy Regulator and insert it into your electrical circuit by attaching it to the Workbench and Solar Plates with wires.
Power is required for all Workbenches other than the Tile Press. However, more sophisticated Workbenches also have requirements for temperature, pressure, and connectivity. See the “Chemistry” section below.
This section will teach you how to use the advanced functions of sophisticated Workbenches. These functions are normally associated with Chemistry operations, however some other types of equipment use these functions as well.
Example Chemistry Workbenches:
- Electrolyzer – Purifies water into drinking water, and separates water into oxygen and hydrogen.
- Smelter – Refines raw materials. For example, Hematite can be refined into Iron, and Herculite can be refined into Iridium and Titanium. These materials are stronger and lighter than the oxides they are refined from. If you use higher quality ingredients when you craft your smelter, it can operate at higher temperatures, creating materials with higher melting points.
- Evaporator – Requires water as an input and can reduce materials. For example, Halite can be reduced into Sodium, which is more malleable and has better electrical conduction, making it a perfect raw material to craft into wires.
Chemistry Workbenches and other advanced crafting operations are the ultimate in self-sufficiency and can turn your humble habitat into a fully automated factory to sustain a thriving colony.
Some crafting operations can only be performed within a certain temperature range, and the specific temperature setting you choose can modify the outcome of the crafting operation. All such Workbenches come with their own heating elements, meaning that all that’s required to regulate temperature is hooking the Workbench up to a power source as normal.
- The slots for recipe ingredients, as with any crafting operation. Note that most Chemistry operations use raw materials exclusively as their ingredients.
- Allowed temperature range for this recipe in the form of “MIN – MAX”. You must set the temperature of the Workbench to at least the minimum and no higher than the maximum. If you see a small red X, the Workbench is not set to a valid temperature.
- The current temperature of the Workbench. Use the +/- buttons to change the Workbench temperature. Hold Shift or Alt while pressing for larger changes.
The specific temperature you choose for a crafting operation modifies the state of the output product produced. For example if you are smelting Cassiterite and raise the temperature to the maximum, the refined Tin which is the output will be in a liquid state rather than a solid. This liquid Tin can be pumped to a storage tank using a pipe network.
TIP: When changing the Temperature or Pressure of a Workbench, hold SHIFT while pressing +/- to change the value by increments of 10. Hold ALT to change by increments of 100.
Similar to how you create an electrical circuit to connect solar plates to Workbenches, you can use pipes to carry liquids and gases between equipment like a Workbench and a storage tank. Pipes can be crafted using a Hammer or Roll Bender. As described in Advanced Building below, they are placed on structures using the socket object interface, just like wires.
Pipe Networks can provide the following benefits:
- Connect a Workbench to a nearby storage tank to prevent the capacity of the Workbench from filling up too quickly. This also gathers all of the produced materials into the tank.
- Transport raw materials a long distance with a long network of pipes. The raw material must be in a liquid or gas state, which may require using a Boiler. Speed up the transportation with a Pump to increase pressure in the correct direction.
- Pipes are used to transfer matter between the outside and inside of a sealed structure, most notably to pressurize a habitat as described below.
Pressure exists naturally in a pipe network whenever it connects two different spaces, such as a tank filled with gas connected to an empty tank, or connected to nothing (just venting into the Martian atmosphere!).
You will often want to regulate the pressure in a pipe network, for example to control the pressure inside your habitat or to speed up the transportation of raw materials into your storage tanks. To do so you will need a Pump.
A Pump is crafted from a Rivet Gun, and it is a socket object. Be sure to look for the arrows on the pump when you socket it! This is the direction of flow for which the pump will control pressure, so normally you want it to face from the source to the destination. Interact with the Pump to control the pressure in the network.
Pressure controls are very similar to Temperature controls as described above. Remember that you can hold SHIFT or ALT while pressing +/- to change the value more quickly.
The Connections Interface
To connect an applicable Workbench to a pipe network, you first must make sure you socket the pipes so that they are adjacent to the Workbench and facing into it. You can even attach pipes from underneath!
Then you must configure those pipe connections using the Connections Interface.
To open the Connections Interface click the “pipe” icon to the right of the Capacity display. If there is no pipe icon, this is not an applicable type of Workbench for attaching to a pipe network.
This is the Connection Interface.
- This diagram will dynamically display every place where a pipe is currently connected to this equipment. If you do not see a pipe connection listed here, check to make sure the pipe is socketed such that it connects in a valid way.
- Here you will see headers for INPUT and OUTPUT connections, depending on the specific piece of equipment. Some equipment only has one type of connection, and some has both.
To designate a specific pipe connection as an INPUT or OUTPUT, simply drag the connection from the diagram (1) to the correct header (2).
In the above example, we see that the Gas Reclaimer has only one pipe connection attached to it, and that connection has been designated as OUTPUT. This means that as the Gas Reclaimer produces gas, the gas will be sent down this pipe network. If the other end of the pipe network is attached to a Storage Tank, and that pipe connected is designated an INPUT in the Storage Tank’s Connection Diagram, then the gas produced by the Gas Reclaimer will be automatically sent to the storage tank!
Putting it all together
Here we see an example of a Gas Reclaimer hooked up in such a way that it will gradually fill the attached storage tank with oxygen. This colonist will not have to scavenge from Supply Chests when their air supply is low!
- These solar plates are adjacent to the Gas Reclaimer so they are automatically attached. If they were separated, they would require wires to make the connection.
- This pipe network connects the Gas Reclaimer to the storage tank. As the Gas Reclaimer’s output capacity becomes filled, the increased pressure will force the oxygen into the storage tank. This allows the Gas Reclaimer to keep producing oxygen until both its output capacity is full and the storage tank is full.
- This is the Gas Reclaimer. To launch this operation, be sure to configure the pipe connections using the Connections Interface (in both the Gas Reclaimer and the storage tank) and launch the “Oxygen Extraction” recipe with quantity set to Infinite.
As you’ve already seen, with enough Tiles, you can build elaborate structures with multiple rooms, stories, balconies, tower, platforms and hallways. Different materials will produce tiles with different colors, allowing you to customize appearance.
However, there is much more to building than just walls, floors, and ceilings. This section of the Manual covers other types of habitat improvements.
Socket Objects are attached to tiles and include things such as:
- Lights – Connect these to solar plates using wires to improve the look of your habitat or help you find it at night.
- Doors – Doors are necessary to enter and exit a sealed habitat. You can also lock doors to prevent anyone not on your permissions list from entering.
- Windows – These will help you monitor the landscape from inside your habitat. As with doors, be sure to leave enough space in the wall for these to fit. If you made a mistake, pick up the tiles with a Crowbar.
- Chests – When you own too much equipment to carry around with you, you can place a chest inside your habitat to store your surplus. Place it behind a locked door to prevent theft.
- Wires, Pipes, Pumps, Energy Regulators, Storage Tanks, Craft In Place Frames – These pieces of advanced crafting equipment are described elsewhere in this Manual.
Socket Objects are all “socketed” on to tiles, meaning that they snap together with tiles that you have already placed as part of a structure. The Socket Object interface is very similar to the interface for placing a tile. First equip the Socket Object in your Toolbelt. You will see a preview of the object’s placement. Blue is a valid placement, and red is invalid. Use the mousewheel to rotate the object.
When the preview shows the position and rotation you want, click the mouse to place (or “socket”) the object. If you place it incorrectly by accident or want to move it later, you can use the Crowbar as described below.
Socketing Wires and Pipes
Pipes and Wires are laid across the top of a tile, and must be oriented to create a closed circuit or network. (This contrasts with larger socket objects such as Chests and Storage Tanks which cover the entire surface of the tile they are placed on.)
This description will describe the interface for wires. Pipes work the same way.
When you have a wire equipped and are looking at the tile you wish to place it on, you will see the blue preview of the wire placement. The mousewheel will cycle through all possible placements and configurations of the wire. Choose the placement which continues your circuit in the desired direction. Note that to connect to a piece of equipment, the circuit must both be adjacent to the equipment and facing into it.
One valid placement of a wire is the “pass-through position.” This causes the circuit to pass through the flat part of the tile, from one side to the other. Note that you must place a wire on both sides of the tile to continue the circuit. You can use this placement to run pipes and wires underneath your platforms, or to keep your wires on the outside of your habitat but still power lights on the inside.
TIP: If a solar panel is directly adjacent to another piece of equipment, it does not require wire to connect them.
Pick Up Tiles and Socket Objects with the Crowbar
Often you will want to pick up a tile or socket object that has been previously placed. For example, maybe you made a mistake, or you want to reclaim an entire wing or your habitat so you can rebuild it with an improved design.
The Crowbar will allow you to pick up tiles and socket objects, placing them in your Backpack. To use it, simply equip the Crowbar from your Toolbelt, then face the tile or object you want to pick up, then click the mouse.
Pressurizing Your Habitat
A habitat will not feel like a home until you can open the vents of your helmet and breathe safely. Doing so provides the additional benefit that you will not consume any oxygen. However, there are several steps required.
First you must have a completely sealed habitat. Enclose your habitat fully on all sides with tiles: walls, ceiling, floor. Make sure there are no gaps. To enter and exit the sealed habitat, you must craft a door and socket it into place in a wall. Doors are crafted using the Assembly Tool.
Next you must craft a storage tank, using the Assembly Tool. Socket the storage tank close to your sealed habitat. If necessary, build out more platform with tiles so that you have a flat space to socket the storage tank. Leave some extra room for a Pump and some solar plates.
Now you must connect the storage tank to the inside of your habitat using pipes. Craft pipes using the Hammer or Roll Bender. Use the Socket Object interface to place these, creating a pipe network that connects the storage tank to any exterior surface of your habitat. The last pipe should be placed in the “pass-through position” to connect to the inside of your habitat.
Although this basic configuration will work, it is highly advised that you take the following steps before adding oxygen to the storage tank. If you need to revise your construction, use the Crowbar to pick up tiles and objects.
You will want to construct an airlock to prevent all of the pressure and oxygen from escaping your habitat when you open the door. An airlock is not a specific item you can craft, but a configuration of tiles and doors. Specifically an airlock is a small, sealed space which is part of your habitat where a colonist can stand and which has 2 doors exiting from it: one door which connects the airlock to the Martian surface and one which connects the airlock to the habitat interior. When you enter and exit your habitat, be sure to open and close one door at a time so it is never the case that both doors are open to the outside.
You will also want to insert a Pump into your pipe network. A Pump is crafted using the Rivet Gun, which is crafted using the Assembly Tool. The storage tank should connect to the Pump, and the Pump should then connect to the habitat interior. When you socket the Pump make sure it faces from the tank to the habitat along the pipe network. Interact with the Pump to set the pressure to any value between 1.0 and 1.5.
Pumps require power to work, so you will also need to craft a Solar Plate. Solar Plates are crafted using the Rivet Gun. Make at least 2 Solar Plates, then socket them so they are adjacent to the Pump. If they are not adjacent, you will need to craft Wires using the Hammer and connect them with a wire circuit.
TIP: Without a Pump you can’t control the pressure inside your habitat. Not enough pressure and you can’t open your helmet safely. Too much pressure and your habitat could explode! An ideal pressure is in the range of 1.0 – 1.5 Atmospheres.
As a final step, you must add gas to your storage tank. The larger the interior of your habitat, the more gas will be required, and it also will take longer to reach desired pressure. You can add any gas to a storage tank, but in order to breathe you must you use at least 20% oxygen in the mixture. It’s okay to use only oxygen, but you can also use other gasses, such as hydrogen, which is produced by the Electrolyzer.
With this entire combination of equipment assembled, constructed, and attached correctly, you are finally ready to enter your pressurized structure! Use the airlock to enter. Now look at the ambient pressure meter in your System Status on your HUD. If the gauge is green, that means the pressure is good and you can open your helmet safely by pressing ‘H’!
The Permissions List
The Permissions List allows colonists to work together to build and improve structures. It also prevents intrusion and theft from hostile colonists.
You can use the Permissions List interface to add or remove fellow colonists. Be sure to enter their name in Rokh, not the Steam ID.
Being on a Permissions List allows colonists access to each other’s buildings and equipment:
- Open locked doors
- Interact with machines and workbenches
- Place new tiles to expand construction
- Pick up tiles and objects with the crowbar
Your Mission, and Colony Objective
United Mars has sent you and your fellow colonists on this important mission in order to safeguard the progress of humanity in our quest to advance beyond Earth.
We still don’t know exactly what disaster befell the first colonists, and atmospheric interference has made communication difficult. Therefore it is impossible to give you specific instructions for every situation. You must carefully consider various strategies and use your best judgment.
This Field Operations Manual has given you all the information you need to pursue any or all of these paths:
- Colony Objective – See below for more information about your official mission parameters from United Mars.
- Settle – Build a habitat to protect yourself and stay alive. Pressurize your habitat so you can open your helmet and breathe safely.
- Customize – Expand your habitat to make it large and livable with colored tiles and multiple stories.
- Cooperate – Find fellow colonists that you trust. Trade with them using chests. Help them survive, and build structures together using the Permissions List.
TIP: You can trade with fellow colonists by using chests. Place objects for trade in the chest and take them out as you normally would. United Mars is currently considering a dedicated trading interface for safer, more reliable transactions.
- Investigate – Search the ruins to learn more about the disaster and how it happened.
- Explore – Craft spare batteries and the portable versions of the electrolyzer and recycler. Bring some solar plates, a battery charger, and enough tiles for a platform. Wander far from the relative safety of the settlements without risk of running out of oxygen and power.
- Head South – You may find new raw materials and more former settlements, but the environment is likely to be more hostile.
- Advance, Colonize, and Sustain – Craft complex tools and workbenches, smelters, battery chargers, and solar panels. Connect them with wires and pipes. Automate your survival, and upgrade your ability to craft and exploit the natural resources of Mars. Create a complex that is large and sophisticated enough to sustain an entire colony.
- Defend – United Mars anticipates hostile arrivals to the planet before too long. You may wish to consider this when building your equipment and habitat.
TIP: The natural resources of Mars are plentiful, but they are not infinite. Every resource node will be gone once it has been fully exploited. Raw materials never disappear completely, since they can be reclaimed using a Recycler. However, some raw materials are more rare and precious than others, and it is possible to hoard them, possibly even achieving a monopoly!
The Colony Objective
United Mars will maintain a list of Colony Objectives that are pertinent to all colonists involved in the second wave mission to Mars. After each Objective is completed United Mars will gather and process the data, then after a time issue a new Objective.
For example, the first such Objective is crafting several Deep Space Transmitters to reestablish reliable communication between Mars and Earth. Although this is intended for the benefit of your mission with United Mars, it’s possible that other Earth organizations will be in contact with you as well. Please remember that United Mars sent you for the good of humanity.
Everyone on Mars can work on these Objectives together, but be warned they are difficult and will require a great deal of cooperation and effort.
To view your current Colony Objective, press ‘O’.
This interface describes the current Colony Objective, or several if there are more than one that can be completed, the amount of progress that has been made against this Objective so far, and the Reward for completing it. Rewards might include increased standing with organizations and entities invested in Mars operations, or tangible rewards sent to the surface based on your colony’s success.
Click on the “Server Progression” tab to review a list of how each of these entities thinks of the second wave colonists, and any rewards that have already been earned by your combined actions.
Written by Geminiradio.
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