Beginner's Guide

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Revision as of 19:08, 12 April 2021 by Branharr (talk | contribs) (Rework the first night guide)
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This page is a work-in-progress, add Tips to the bottom 😎

This should be a crash-course primer to getting started in Stationeers. You can find more guides in the Steam community, several of which are linked from the front page of this wiki.

Getting Started


Stationeers has a selection of tutorials accessible from the main menu to explain the basic concepts of the game. It is recommended to do the tutorials progressively as you encounter new mechanics in your game instead of tackling them all at once. To start in Stationeers, the Basic Skills, Construction, and Mining + Fabrication tutorials will give you a solid foundation for the start of the game.

Basic Controls

This is a cheatsheet to the content covered in the Basic Skills tutorial.

  • Players interact with the world, items, and structures in Stationeers with an active hand system.
  • Your left and right hands are represented in the bottom middle of the screen.
    • WASD movement
    • Left Click interacts with the world using the current hand or tool in the current hand (ex: you can't interact with buttons while holding an item)
    • Right Click starts placement mode when holding a structure (ex: Iron Frames or Autolathe) or toggles the power switch on handheld devices
    • Holding Alt enables the cursor for interacting with the UI
    • F1 opens the "Stationpedia" for in-game recipes and guides
    • Mouse Wheel
      • With an open inventory - changes active slot
      • When placing a structure - changes the mode for an item in placement mode (use this with Cables to change their shape)
      • When using some consoles or computers - scrolls the active menu
    • E swaps current active hand
    • R opens the item in the current hand, or goes to its options
    • F swaps between held items and items in your inventory on the side (accessed through the number keys)
    • Q drops the currently held item in the active hand, holding Q will cause you to throw the item
    • 1-6 will open menus for worn items similar to pressing R, holding 1-6 will cause it to swap with the item in the current hand, or simply go in the current hand - don't do this with the helmet or suit in a vacuum
    • Delete, End, Insert, Home, Page Up, Page Down rotate the item in placement mode. C is useful for autorotate when placing cables or pipes.
    • G grab - not the same as drag, which is triggered by clicking on a portable item's handle with an empty hand
    • I quick open the helmet - don't do this in a vacuum. You can lock the helmet in its menu to avoid this.
    • O or Right Click turn held item on or off
    • J turn jet pack on or off. The propulsion tank will last for many hours use, use it freely for building or mining. Still, make sure you turn off the jet pack when not using it, as the jet pack will continue to drain the propulsion tank.

Selecting a World

The first decision you have to make is where to set up a new colony. From the main menu, select the New Game option to come to the world select screen.

For a burgeoning stationeer, there are two main worlds to choose from: the Moon, and Mars. The other worlds have unique challenges which are beyond the scope of this guide. Although either choice is suitable for this guide, it's important to consider the differences between them.

  • The Moon
    • Pros
      • The Sun is closer to the Moon than Mars, so solar panels work more effectively here
      • The solar angle on the Moon is 0°, which means that solar panels are easier to set up
      • The Moon has lower gravity, which can make it easier to navigate without burning through your jetpack fuel
    • Cons
      • The Moon has no atmosphere, so all gas must be collected by hand and can easily be lost into the environment. This demands more knowledge of Stationeers atmospherics systems to thrive on the Moon
  • Mars
    • Pros
      • Mars has an unlimited atmosphere ripe with CO2, making it easy to set up hydroponics
      • Mars has an Earth-like atmospheric temperature during the day
    • Cons
      • Mars has storms that can ravage the surface, placing higher importance on shelter
      • The Sun is weaker on Mars and is at a slight angle. This requires more complicated solar panel arrays or a loss in efficiency

Ultimately, both planets are good for beginners. Pick one and adjust the guide to match the specifics of your environment.

Your First World

Quick Reference: Priorities

This is a quick reference sheet of what you should focus on in order to survive indefinitely. If you're ever not sure what you should be doing, see if there's anything on this list that you don't have a reliable source for yet.

  1. Power
  2. Shelter (on Mars)
  3. Water
  4. Food
  5. Air


See also: Starting Gear and Constructing and Deconstructing Walls

When you spawn into the world you appear outside of your lander. There's a lot to do to ensure your visit is not a short one, but you have some time to get things set up. Your first priority is setting up a starting platform to set up your machines. You've landed with a variety of crates and a portable oxygen tank. You can use your wrench in your tool belt to disconnect them from the lander so you can drag them around. The supplies you need on your first day are in the two yellow construction supply crates.

Find a suitable spot to build your starting platform. We're looking for a relatively flat area near the lander, away from any hills that might block our solar panels. Find your iron frames in your construction crate and build a 4x3 platform. Swap your iron frames with the iron sheets and pull out your welding torch in your other hand. Construct your frames with your welder until they reach their second of three stages in the construction process. This makes them walkable, but not airtight.

Next, we'll set up the solar panel, area power controller (APC), arc furnace, and autolathe. Place the solar panel on the platform with the power port facing towards where you want your machines to go. Complete it with the glass sheets found in the crate. Place the APC down next to the solar panel at least a cable's length away and with the power arrows facing away from the solar panel. Connect the two with the cables found in your toolbelt. Open the APC with your wrench to expose the internals. Grab one of the large batteries from the crates and insert it into the APC. Make sure to flip the power switch to turn the APC on: you should see the LED on the APC start blinking blue to show that the solar panel is charging the battery.

Finally, we'll set up the arc furnace and autolathe. Place them on the platform, complete the construction stages for the autolathe using the resources in the chest, and finally connect them to the other power port of the APC using your cables. Note: you can splice in new connections to old cables by holding the wire cutters in your off-hand. This allows you to add a junction in an already existing wire, for example. You should now be able to turn on the autolathe and arc furnace to check your setup, but make sure to turn them off when you're not using them to save power!

Optionally, you can set up the solid fuel generator too, which burns coal to produce a considerable amount of energy in a pinch. Connect the power cable from the solid fuel generator to the solar panel side of the APC to fill up its battery. Remember that the generator will burn all of the coal that you put in it regardless of if your battery is full or not - only place the fuel that you need into it.

You've now tackled your first priority: power. With this setup, you've extended your lifespan from around one day to around five. Congratulations! Although one basic solar panel will not be enough to sustain anything more than our starting base, this will power a spare battery to keep your life support going as you tackle the other tasks at hand.

Surviving the First Week

During the day, you will want to aggressively find Ores since visibility is very low at night.

  1. Find ores such as Iron Ore, Copper Ore, Gold Ore
  2. Setup the Battery Charger to recharge small batteries for your tools such as Hand Drill and Mining Drill
  3. Setup your Arc Furnace by connecting Cables from your Area Power Controller
    • You can turn it on by clicking on the switch to the left (it will turn green)
    • Insert the ore and click on the 'activate' button
    • If it stops working immediately, then your power is not consistent - did you skip setting up the APC? Is the battery in the APC out of power?
    • In this case, you will need to rely on the Solid Fuel Generator to power the APC
  4. Setup the Solid Fuel Generator for emergency power until a Stationary Battery can be setup
    • Make sure you hook it up to the input side of the APC - do not mix the networks!
    • The Solid Fuel Generator eats coal quickly, so try to move to solar asap

During the night, if you need to get minerals, use the Tracking Beacon!

  1. Get the materials to produce an Electronics Printer asap
  2. Setup a basic room with an Airlock and a Gas Tank Storage to collect some oxygen if low

Getting Steel

Here's the first obstacle in your way: getting your first run of Steel.

  1. Create a Furnace from the Autolathe - nice
  2. You will need the following items to start the furnace
    • 2 volatile ice
    • 1 oxite ice
  3. You need a ratio of these items to get steel
  4. Insert 2 volatile ice and 1 oxite ice into the furnace (this will be easier to do at night otherwise the ice might melt)
  5. Insert iron ore and coal at a ratio of 3-1 (3 iron - 1 coal)
    • Check the contents view on the furnace and you should see hydrocarbons and iron listed
    • Hit Activate and enjoy the light show
    • Pull the lever and enjoy your Steel - 100g lasted me for a long time 😎
    • You can run multiple batches as long as you're in the right pressure & temperature range
  6. Warning ore cannot be recovered from the Furnace unless you use a Centrifuge - make sure you measure it out!

Surviving Forever

Once you've gotten past the early part of the game, the world is your oyster. Here's some overall goals:

  1. Create one or more Battery units to store power more consistently
  2. Automate solar power collection using Logic Circuits and a Daylight Sensor - use the Solar Logic Circuits Guide to get started
  3. Create a hydroponics system to extend your supply of food indefinitely - the Guide (Farming) is a good place to start (but don't forget you will eventually need another source of water!)
  4. Use Chutes, Conveyors, and Stackers if you're interested in the ol' Factorio feel
  5. Create an actual ship! (Using Furniture, Rocket Engine, Stellar Anchor and some other parts)
  6. Create advanced ingots such as Solder, Invar, Electrum, Constantan
  7. Create more advanced life support systems, like automated heating and cooling, automated air filtering, and automated farming, to not only survive but thrive!


"tbd - but yeah, Don't grief!"


  • Your starting Oxygen will last you for more than a week, so oxygen recovery can wait
  • An Area Power Controller will effectively "split" a power & data network
    • Power and data are transferred on the same network - no need to run parallel power lines
  • The waste canister can be used to power the jet pack - simply switch the canisters over for an emergency fix
  • A locker holds 30 items and is very useful in the early game
  • Ice will melt in hands, in the world, or in lockers - ice will 'not melt inside of a Mining Belt or in a cold environment.
  • Help, I can't deconstruct something! - check that the Hand Drill's battery is not Empty
  • A battery will charge twice as fast in an Area Power Controller than in a Battery Charger (Nuclear is only 73% faster) according to this helpfull reddit post by u/Chrisbitz