Beginner's Guide

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Revision as of 14:07, 14 April 2021 by Branharr (talk | contribs) (Updated the air and food guides)
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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. Air
  5. Food


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.


The next thing you'll run out of is water. You start with a water bottle in your suit, a few spare bottles in the crates, and a small liquid canister of water, you'll run through these supplies in about a week. Our next goal is to set up an ice crusher and a water bottle filler, but to do this we need to set up some more infrastructure. Our next direct tasks are to create an electronics printer and a hydraulic pipe bender. Together, your autolathe, electronics printer, and hydraulic pipe bender form your fabrication bread and butter: they can produce everything your need to tackle your starting priorities.


From here, split your time between day and night to take advantage of the sunlight. During the day, we can collect resources for our base through mining, and at night we can work on improving our base. The sunlight makes it much easier to find ores in the world, but if you do need to go out at night, consider setting up the tracking beacon at home to find your way back with your tablet with the tracking cartridge. We are aiming to collect at least 3 stacks (150g) of iron ore, 3 stacks (150g) of copper ore, and 1 stack (50g) of gold ore. Smelt all of these in your arc furnace. After we set up our machines, we'll also need a stack or two of water ice (Note: not Ice (Volatiles) or Ice (Oxite)!), and at least 8g of silicon to construct our water setup.


Once you have the supplies, use the autolathe to build your electronics printer and hydraulic pipe bender. The electronics printer can print out extra cables as you need them, extra batteries to add a buffer to your power setup, extra solar panels for power generation, and a variety of other tools and supplies. The pipe bender allows us to handle atmospherics and liquids. We can now partly build our water setup. At this point, it will be useful to complete the Hydroponics, Hydration + Food tutorial to understand our next steps.

After our prep work, we can print an ice crusher, a portable liquid tank, a liquid tank connector, a water bottle filler and the liquid pipes needed to plumb it all together. Go ahead and set these up on your base, connecting the bottom pipe on the back of the ice crusher with liquid pipes to your tank connector. Afterward, hook up your water bottle filler to the pipe network, though note that you might need to place the filler on the side of a constructed iron frame (known as a structural wall as opposed to a normal iron wall). Finally, we can place a water bottle onto our filler, place ice into our ice crusher, turn on the crusher, and refill our old water bottles!

By this point, we have extended our lifespan to multiple weeks.


Note: This section only applies to players on Mars.

Although you landed in a safe weather window, storms can start on planets with atmosphere after seven days. The storms can damage some items in the game like solar panels, reduce visibility to anything in front of you, and blow anything not bolted down hundreds of meters away. This includes your starting crates. To prevent losing your progress, it's critical that you prepare for upcoming storms. At minimum your starting gear should be secured. This can be done by creating container mounts to attach your crates to with the wrench. Better yet though, you can create a large locker and empty your crates inside of them.

Additionally, consider making your base airtight at this point. This will prevent the inside of your base from being affected by the storms. You can add an extra iron sheet to your iron frames to make them airtight, and use the iron walls (which can also be constructed into windows by cycling with the C key) in your construction crates to build the sides. Finish it off with a door that you can open and close during storms or even a full airlock if desired. See the Airlocks tutorial for an example, but note that on Mars an advanced airlock must be used to avoid contaminating your base with the martian atmosphere.

Air and Food

The last two resources that we need to have stable sources of are food and air. However, around this time is when a myriad of other problems also start occurring that may need to be taken care of. For this section, you can either tackle side-projects first or come around to the side-projects as they come up.

Side Projects

These are projects that won't threaten your survival if not completed but can make your time in the solar system much more comfortable.


See the Alloy Smelting tutorial for more information.

Steel is the first alloy that most stationeers need to make. Alloys are resources made from a combination of the more basic resources in the game such as coal, iron, or gold. Alloys are usually made in the furnace once the base resources are inserted and the furnace reaches a specific temperature and pressure range. Using values found in the in-game stationpedia, the recipe for steel is 3 units of iron to 1 unit of coal, placed into the furnace when the furnace is between 1MPa and 100Mpa, and the temperature is between 900K to 100kK.

Steel can be used in a variety of more complex machines. This includes stationary batteries which hold 12.5 times the energy of large battery cells, or the orientatable solar panel which can track the sun to provide near 100% efficiency while the Sun is up. The process for creating steel is similar to the process of creating solder, used in creating new APCs. Or, more advanced, creating constantan, invar, or electrum, which are used for mid to late game parts and structures.

To start, create a furnace using the autolathe, along with a [Valve|pipe valve] and a passive vent using the hydraulic pipe bender. Place it somewhere outside of your base with the arrows on the top and bottom pointing down. Complete the furnace using the tooltips. Finally, on the backside of the furnace, add a pipe and a valve to both the top port. The top port is your gas output port, which can be used to purge the furnace of waste gases after use. Continue the pipe to a wall or floor where you can place the passive vent. When set up correctly, you can open the top valve to off-gas the furnace to the passive vent, and safely vent the waste gas to the atmosphere. The bottom port allows for fuel intake in more advanced furnace setups, but we'll be manually fueling our furnace for now. In the future, it also might be worth collecting the off gases into a tank for use in pressurising your base. This is especially important on the Moon where no ambient atmosphere exists.

As listed in the stationpedia, you can manually fuel the furnace by placing a ratio of 1:2 oxite to Ice (Volatiles) into the furnace. The amounts that you need are relatively small. Around 3 oxite and 6 volatiles will raise the temperature of the furnace to nearly 2000K, well above the temperature needed for steel. Place iron and coal into the furnace in a 3:1 ratio after the furnace has heated up to produce steel. Right now, 200g of steel (made with 3 stacks of iron and 1 stack of coal) will last you for quite a while. Once you have your steel, consider using steel frames and sheets instead of iron frames and sheets. Not only are they stronger, but they use less resources overall too.

Station Batteries

One constant issue that a stationeer faces is power shortages. As you add more machines, your power needs will grow. While the problem can be ignored during the day by simply adding more solar panels, turbines, or generators, a reliable way of storing energy is critical to uninterrupted power through the night. Up until this point, we've been storing excess energy in a large battery cell in the APC. However, this can only hold a small amount of power: a single, constantly powered wall heater will only be powered for a few minutes before drawing all of the power in our large battery.

To resolve our power storage needs, consider making a stationary battery in the electronics printer. The regular stationary battery can hold 12.5 times the amount of power as the large battery cell we've been using, and the large stationary battery can hold over 30 times the amount. Both the regular and large batteries require steel, so ensure that you have a furnace setup. The resource cost of the large battery compared to the regular battery is insignificant, so if you have the resources consider constructing the large battery instead of the regular.

Once your kit is constructed, place it somewhere in or near your base. Connect cables from your power generators to the front power port of the battery. Use more cables to connect the back of the battery to your APC. Make sure that you do not connect the front the battery with the back of the battery to avoid short circuiting your electrical supply: you will need to disconnect your generators from your APC to ensure that there is a clean flow of energy from the generators to the battery to the APC to your equipment.

As your start to scale up your power usage, be mindful of the amount of energy that your are generating. Normal cables can only handle 5kW of energy at any given time before they burn out. As your power production starts to scale up, you run the risk of burning out normal cables between your power generators and your battery. Consider replacing these cables with the more expensive, but more robust, heavy cables. These heavy cables can sustain 100kW before frying. Similarly, as you scale up your power usage, you might fry your cables on the output side of your battery or APC. As batteries and APCs do not have a maximum output, if there is a large draw of energy they can put out more capacity than your cables can handle. Consider using a heavy cable between your battery and APC, and possibly a small transformer after your APC to limit usage to 5kw. You can analyze your power usage by using your tablet with the network analyzer cartridge by pointing your tablet at a cable in your network. Note that APCs, batteries, and transformers isolate networks from one-another, so analysing the cables before your battery will only show your power generation.

Automated Solar Panels

Although a couple of basic solar panels can sustain a small base for a while, as power needs grow stationary solar panels become grossly inefficient. To resolve this, we can switch to programmable solar panels which track the sun. With this setup, solar panels can have near 100% efficiency throughout the day. To begin, construct some regular solar panels (as opposed to basic solar panels) in the electronics printer. These new solar panels require steel. Three or so will be sufficient. Place them in a line in an open area on some frames, away from any nearby buildings to avoid shadows with power and data ports facing east and west as opposed to north and south. Note that these solar panels have both a power and a data port. Complete the solar panels with glass, and run cables from the power port of the panels back to your battery to collect the energy they generate.

On the support column of solar panels are series of grips. You can manually tilt and rotate the solar panel using your wrench to track the sun. The more that the solar panel is facing the sun the more power it produces. We can use the data port of the panels to automate the process. Connect all of the data ports of the solar panels together using more cables, taking care to not connect the power side with the data side. At this point, we need to set up the logic to automate the orientation of the solar panels. Although not yet complete, the in-game Logic tutorial will cover the basics of this process. We will be following the guides listed in Solar Logic Circuits Guide to do this automation. Reference the 8-chip two axis solar tracking guide for construction on any planet in the solar system, or the simpler 4-chip one sensor, one axis solar tracking design for planets with 0° solar angle like the Moon.

Construct the chips listed in the Design section of the respective guide on the electronics printer, and find a suitable place near your solar panels to set up your logic. Place the chips as listed in the guide, cycling through the different options using C to select the right chip (for example, the sensor kit contains the daylight, motion, and gas sensor. Take note of the orientation of the daylight sensor as this impacts the output. Connect your chip network to the data port of the solar panels, and connect the power output of the solar panels to the power ports of the chips to keep them powered. Consider making a new APC (using solder as described in the steel guide) to keep your circuits running even when the Sun is down.

Use the labeller found in your starting crates to rename the chips to make them easier to use. Additionally, you can set the value of the memory chips directly by using the labeler on the screw terminals of the memory chip. Then use your screwdriver on the screw terminals of the chips to configure them as shown in the guide. Finally, double check your configuration, and turn on all of the chips (save the memory chips which are always on) by pressing the red LED to turn it green. Ensure that your setup is correct by making sure that your solar panels track the sun effectively. If anything is off, make sure that your daylight sensor is oriented the right direction, your solar panels data port is oriented the right direction for your chip setup as detailed in the guide, that the individual chips are connected properly, and that everything is powered.

Welding Fuel




"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 helpful reddit post by u/Chrisbitz