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Mindustry - Starting Developing Base Guide (Simple Step-by-Step Methods)

Written by (TF2SP) Cake Clay Maker   /   Jan 16, 2020    

A simple more or less step by step methods to go from nothing to reaching at least wave 100 in any map. More of a step by step on what ores and buildings / structures you should get (not including specifics just more of a general outline).

Basic Steps to Develop Base

Wtf is This Game

It revolves around the same thing of making and connecting things to build other things and building other things to make more things.

You use everything from conveyor belts to robots and different mobile transports to get resources from point A to point B, or from point A to point B, and then point C (which is point B). Point B in most cases is the core where you can collect the materials to make newer or more buildings.

All this while defending yourself from waves of enemies (survival) waves of enemies and destroying the enemy's core/base (attack) or against players (PvP).

Table of Contents

This guide is divided into the order of which materials are and should be extracted and taken from in order to build up your base. Skipping even one of these can come back to bit you in the ♥♥♥ later on down the line. It is imperative that you try to accumulate a mass of the 1st tier resources then second and 3rd as a final priority since the last tier cannot be made with the first 2 in some way and the 2nd tier without the 1st.

Basic Essentials

Tier 1 materials and resources such as copper, lead, graphite, silicon, coal, sand, etc. These are the basis to which you start off with nothing (in campaign and in custom maps unless you have stuff pre-made for you but if not starting off in a blank map with nothing). These are the first and easiest as well as somewhat abundant resources and materials you can find/have.

Having a mass of these up to max capacity in the core is essential to building the 2nd mid lvl and even 3rd end game tiers.

Mid Lvl

Tier 2 materials and resources such as titanium, metaglass, pyrite, cryofreeze, pyratite, slag, oil, etc. These are the next lvl tier you should accumulate en mass before going onto the tier 3 end game tier resources and materials.

End game lvl

Tier 3 materials and resources such as Thorium plastanium, phase fabric, and surge alloy as well as blast compound. These certainly do take the most to both make the buildings to make them, and the materials to make them (cept thorium you just need the drill). These are the hardest and aside from thorium, cannot be found in deposits or made so easily. They are the end game tier things to make the end-game tier items like turrets and reactors/generators.


Resources: can be found or made naturally (no further steps aside from the buildings other than extract).

Materials: need to be made in a factory or building and cannot be extracted naturally.

Bare Essentials: Copper

When starting (in terms of normal survival campaign not PvP or attack modes) you usually only start with a copper mechanical drill and sometimes some Duo Turrets and copper walls to make a rudementary defense and starting. This is good but always assume you only get a copper drill to get some copper

Copper can be used to make very simple things. More of so mechanical drills and Duo Turrets as well as using them as ammo to fill up the Duo turrets. You can get copper in several ways:

  • Mechanical Drill.
  • Mining drones (require power to make and can mine both lead and copper).
  • Mining it yourself (you can also mine copper lead coal and scrap as well as carry around other materials.
  • Setup using scrap, smelters, and separators to get copper, lead, graphite, and titanium.

When starting, it's essential to get copper as much as possible (even if you over saturate your core to the max with it, it's always good to have as much of it as possible when starting.

Copper is literally the root of all buildings (or most buildings). Even high end turrets need it in one way or another. Luckily enough copper is abundant and you can get it in mass amounts.

Bare Essentials: Lead

Like Copper, lead is the 2nd most common, abundant, and useful material/ore to get. It follows all similar traits and properties as copper only that it can be used as fuel for scatters and make some more structures.

Lead is also the 1st ore that is used in a variety of multiple materials (including metalglass and surge alloy end game materials).

It can also easily be the fastest to run out too if you build too fast so, like copper, make sure you have enough of it (excess is also a good thing to have).

Bare Essentials: Coal

Coal is the 3rd most useful ore that can be easily extracted en mass. Coal can be:

Extracted from tar and oil with a coal centrifuge (mid to late game though).
From the ground.

Coal is the first ore useful for making your first advanced materials and rudementary power (coal burners) as well as rudementary units (crawlers).

Coal is a base item that will carry on even in late game (as coal is the only material used to make silicon along with sand there are no substitutions.

The bigger focus though with coal is power. From here on (with some building exemptions and non-electrical turrets though turret ammo is made with power for the most part), power will be needed to power buildings that will make more materials and battle units. Though coal burners give little electrical power it'll be enough to suffice for the next couple of materials.

Coal has a small chance of being set on fire and causing damage and the fire to spread to nearby structures. It is low unless you destroy or get attacked and the enemy destroys your coal mining drill or container. In which case coal can be lit on fire.

To combat this simply have a wave turret with water or cryofreeze nearby. You can also delete nearby structures and isolate the fire until it burns out. It doesn't last long unlike slag or oil which pretty much need to be put out or it takes forever for the fire to stop.

Bare Essentials: Sand

Sand can either be found easily or in small pieces of land as well as none at all but extracted from scrap metal. All maps have scrap metal (Even the tutorials have it). The problem is not all maps have coal which is used to power the pulverizer that turns scrap into sand, as well as to use it to make basica essential materials such as graphite and silicon.

Sand can be mined with a drill as low as the copper starter mechanical drill and extracted from scrap via a pulverizer.

Sand will be useful in a variety of processes including end game tier phase fabric and even powering the most powerful generator in-game indirectly (through the use of pyratite).

Bare Essentials: Graphite

Along with silicon, graphite is a very useful material made from coal. Most buildings from here on will require graphite in some form to make them or the materials to power/make them. It can also be a rudementary but slightly more powerful ammo even on mid-end tier turrets.

It requires no power from a graphite press but coal to make graphite. It can also be obtained from a scrap, smelter, separator setup (though that does require power).

Graphite is also needed to make the next lvl drill, the pnuematic drill (which can mine titanium).

Bare Essentials: Silicon

Like titanium, Silicon is a universal building material that is used for everything from turrets, buildings, and especially making robotic battle units. Like graphite, it's a next lvl ammo type that can be used even on higher lvl turrets (to make and fill up with ammo).

Unlike Graphite, silicon requires both power and sand in addition to coal to manufacture it. There is only 1 way to get silicon and that is through silicon smelters (dev should really add a next lvl silicon smelter like the multi-press for the graphite).

Out of all the Bare essential ores/materials, silicon is easily the fastest to go through and run out due to the lack of methods to get it. Thus with it, it is advised that for every 1/20th portion of the map you takeover to add 1 extra silicon factory. Though this can somewhat be combated if you put a phase fabric boosted overdriver next to them. Then it's down to every 1/9th portion of the map.

Scrap, the Limbo Material

You may be wondering what the pieces of metal lying around are used for?

Scrap metal is one of the most weirdest resources you can have. It can be counted as both a basic material (used to refill ammo for scatters and can be grinded down as sand) or Mid-lvl material (with a melter and separator, you can get both pyrite and 4 resources: copper, lead, graphite, and titanium).

The former being useful as an alternative to ammo if there's no lead around or be useful to be grinded down into fine sand to be used as a sand alternative if there is no sand around.

The latter is more complex since you need both metal glass and titanium to make slag/separator for extracting 4 types of metals. Though both require metaglass to transport the pyrite or titanium to start the building of the first separator to get titanium from.

Thus Scrap metal is on its own a unique resource worth of its own title in between basic and mid-lvl materials.

Mid-Lvl Resources: Titanium

The next tier jump up from ore of copper and lead is titanium. With titanium you can make a multitude of assemblies and factories. One big thing that can be made is titanium belts which inc. the speed of which items travel from one factory or drill to another exponentially the longer you play. It is also useful in the production of higher tier units.

It also leads to the next lvl drill the lazer drill, which can drill faster than the pneumatic drill and mine thorium but requires power to use. It also requires more space but that's a plus if the deposit you are mining is big enough.

Mid-Lvl Materials: Metaglass

Metaglass can easily be made by combining sand and lead. It is considered a Mid-Lvl Material due to having/needing to acquire all basic starting materials to produce it (copper lead and graphite to make the Kiln factory that makes it, sand and lead as materials to make it, and coal or silicon to produce power to power the factory).

Metaglass is a crucial step if you wanna make mid-lvl turrets as well as a more useful pumps and liquid condults and other liquid based structures. Liquid is very important to both production of end-tier materials like plastanium or powering up turrets or other structures.

Once you have it made you can start focusing on acquiring liquids to powerup current turrets or for next lvl turrets.

Mid-Lvl Resources: Water

Once metaglass is manufactured, you can start making pumps or liquid structures to extract or hold liquids. One such liquid is water.

Water is the basis of all life; but in Mindustry, its only purpose is as a liquid coolant or for production of certain factory processes such as spore cultivators and cryofreeze.

It can be obtained 2 ways:

  • Pumped out from a water source.
  • Extracted from a water extractor that can be placed anywhere but varies on how much is pumped out based on the terrain it is placed on.

Mid Lvl Materials: Slag

Slag is made when you put scrap metal into a melter. The result is a highly flammable liquid known as slag. Slag is just liquid metal that's as hot as lava.

Slag can be used either to fill wave turrets (the only atm turret that fires and uses liquid exclusively as ammo) or put into a separator to get various metals from. Not much use for it sadly atm.

Slag is highly flammable and can damage or corrode nearby structures. It is important to make sure that the transport for slag is built before you connect it to a melter (or at the very least have a liquid router at the end instead of an open condult). It is also important to have a wave with either cryofreeze or more easily obtained water nearby incase a fire or the slag starts damaging nearby structures.

Slag along with coal and oil should always be monitored and have a water or cryofreeze fueled wave turret nearby incase fire or damage to other buildings breaks out.

Mid-Lvl Resources: Oil

Oil is one of the more useful liquids. It can be obtained via:

  • Pump and a tar pit.
  • Oil extractor that uses sand and water (but requires thorium to make).
  • Spore press and spore pods (which require a cultivator to make spores from).

Oil can be used as a liquid ammo, converted to coal, or used in production of other materials such as plastanium.

Do note that along with slag and coal, oil can be flammable or cause a fire if damage from an explosion or enemy fire occurs.

Mid-Lvl Materials: Cryofreeze

Cryofreeze is the ultimate coolant. It is made from water and titanium. Cryofreeze is used as the ultimate coolant which i used to make turrets shoot the fastest (compared to other liquids especially water) and for end-game structures such as impact reactors and force generators.

It can also double as an alternative to putting out fires.

Mid-Lvl Materials: Pyratite

Pyratite is a material that is made from coal, sand, and lead. It is explosive and can be used as ammo for turrets or further processed into blast compound (a more explosive ammo that is made with pyratite and spores).

Mid-Lvl Materials: Spore Pods

Spore pods are obtianed via a cultivator which requires power and water to produce spore pods. Spore pods have a little more use. They can be useful early on as an alternative fuel for combustion and steam generators. They can also be pressed into oil.

Spore pods are considered Mid-Lvl tier materials as they either:

  • Can be made early on via a water extractor but require more power to run both structures.
  • Can be made later on with water from source and pump but it requires metaglass to make even a rudamentary mechanical pump that requires no electricity to run.

Also their real use can only be obtained Mid-Lvl.

End-game Lvl Resources: Thorium

The first easily obtainable end-game lvl item: Thorium (well easily compared to how the rest end-game lvl items are obtained).

Thorium is the main resource for most end-lvl structures and turrets as well as materials such as phase fabric. Thorium requires a lazer drill or above to extract. Thorium is the rarest material (by comparison to other resource materials) to obtain as it is in small quantities spread out far in small patches throughout the map. Though it makes sense, it's often very hard or takes time to get to the deposits (well if you start with little to no starting resources on campaign default launch settings or custom maps).

End-game Lvl Materials: Plastanium

Plastanium is the first end-game lvl material that should take priority in getting as it is relatively the easiest and most useful to get early on compared to the other 2: phase fabric and surge alloy (also blast compound).

Plastanium is made from mixing titanium and oil (hence why oil is a mid-lvl resource and should be obtained first in some way before going after plastanium production).

It can be used as a resource to make turrets and structures, or as ammo for turrets.

End-game Lvl Materials: Phase Fabric

Phase fabric is the next end-game lvl item you should focus on making. It is made by combining thorium and sand in a phase weaver factory.

Although its practical uses for structural buildings are limited, the real power is in how it's useful as a booster for end-game structures such as meandors, force projectors, and especially overdriver projectors. With overdrivers powered up by phase fabric, speed of everything goes up (including unit production, the speed of transport structures, factory production, and power production goes up significantly by 225%).

The main issue with phase fabric is that it requires thorium to make. You can either make it near the thorium drills or on the path to which the thorium is traveling to the core. Both pose an issue of connecting the phase fabric to other parts of the map which is why it should be disregarded until the end-game.

End-game Lvl Materials: Surge Alloy

Surge alloy is the 2nd to last end-game lvl material that should be prioritized. Once enough basic essential materials are obtained, you can easily make surge alloy by putting some unloaders near the core, or by filling a container/vault with the required materials and then using unloaders to reroute them around the Alloy smelter factory

Surge alloy is the 2nd hardest material to make (next to blast compound) because of the requirements of 4 different but basic resources needed to produce just 1 surge alloy. They are: copper, lead, titanium, and silicon. The first 3 can be obtained easily via a scrap melter/separator setup and just rerouting the graphite away. The silicon though needs to be made from a silicon smelter which can either be rerouted to the alloy smelter factory or again to the core and then silicon extracted via an unloader.

Surge is the ultimate ammo type and material used in end-game turrets, construction of end-game turrets, and other end-game structures such as impact reactors.

End-game Lvl Materials: Blast Compound

Probably the most frustrating and tedious thing to make because it requires a ton of steps to make from pyritate, Blast compound should be one of the last things you should focus on making even more so than surge alloy.

It is by far the ultimate power material used in impact reactors, as well as the ultimate explosive material for turrets.

Basic Base Setup

After much trial and error i have come up with some simple tips and strategies to help maximize survivability for a base setup:

  1. Always have any important structures away from the front lines. This includes volatile / flammable materials and important items such as generators.
  2. Always fortify the front lines first and foremost. It should always take priority over building since if enemies get through it won't matter if you can't make certain materials or resources. If you can't cover the front front lines (where enemies spawn) then make a rudamentary defensive line until you can move up some more or move up slowly
  3. Have power asap. After fortifying the front lines you should focus on making power. with it you can start making the basic essential materials such as silicon and mining bots that only require power to make.
  4. Never overextend/stretch or jump steps. It is important to always go step by step. If you try to skip even 1 part it'll come to bite you in the ♥♥♥ later. How hard is for how long you neglect that step.
  5. Also don't try overextending or stretching your defenses and resources. Again goes with the last part of #2. It's better to hold half a map very well than hold the entire map only partially.
  6. Try not to cross belts or condults. If a structure or factory is within touching distance of a transport belt or condult it can accidentally unload their materials or liquids into it. This can easily be avoided with both junctions, titanium betls/condults that only connect if they have another belt or condult, or leaving 1 space of empty terrian between them.
  7. Never use routers to merge only to separate. By this i mean never use them as a distributor only use them to spread out resources and materials or liquids. Distributors are better at getting larger amounts of items and spreading them out in different directions while routers are better for having a single line of items divided into 2-3 separate routes all of which will be one at a time (the materials will use all connected routes until all are used then the cycle repeats again so if theres 2 lanes 1 materials will go through 1 then 1 in the other until both lanes are used).

Basic Base Setup Cont.

  1. Never place routers or junctions into non-1 way lanes. By this i mean don't put them near say a lane where coal is coming into a silicon smelter. Unless there is a one day direction only (such as 1 lane going down several silicon smelters and exits at the end) don't use routers, junctions, and especially not distributors near any factory that makes materials which need to be moved elsewhere.
  2. Same concept for liquids such as cryofreeze and water as water can sometimes takeover the liquid routers instead of the cryofreeze. This is sorta on par with not putting factories or routers near another belt that's too close as the materials will flow into them instead.
  3. It's sometimes good to have excess. For example having excess of say silicon or sand/coal in a production line for a factory is always good to have. You'll never run out and if you heavily use a material (again silicon is a good example) you'll always have a ready supply to easily refill your surplus without having to wait.
  4. Any units are good to have. Having even crawlers or miner drones can help a ton when starting out. Either to defend against enemies or just always have a good surplus of ores. They require power to make at first but once made do not need unless they are destroyed.
  5. If you have resources but not enough don't use them. Example is you have or are making plastanium and surge alloy but not alot to make end-game turrets, just keep making the lower tier turrets instead.
  6. If not enough spam. If you don't have enough to make high lvl turrets and end up with the lower tier just make more of the lower tier. Good example is Duo turrets to salvos. You can easily get the same power if you just make a ton of the Duo turrets to sorta make the same power difference as the salvos you didn't built.
  7. Basic defense setup: weaker or stronger but lower range turrets in the front, have some stronger higher range turrets in the middle, and the strongest turrets in the back. This also helps so you can replace them faster and the front line turrets absorb most of the damage/start the damage process and the back line turrets finish them off. So again good exampleis Duo turrets front, scatters middle, and hails in the back. Duos are easily replaced and can do enough damage that hails finish them off or scatters if airborne enemies. Also Duos only require copper while scatters and hails require more resources to build.


Game:   Mindustry