FAQ

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Getting Started[edit]

Why wont SE work correctly?[edit]
The diagnostics message that appears in case of incompatibility.

Most likely, you have a mod incompatibility. One of your installed mods has disabled one of SE's required mods.

Follow the instructions of the diagnostics message and you should be good.

Some commonly installed mods that are incompatible: RSO, Clockwork, Bob's and Angel


Which mods are recommended with Space Exploration?[edit]

Check out the recommended mods page.


Can I play multiplayer with everyone starting on different planets? Can I play PvP?[edit]

Yes, PvP and multiple forces is possible, but it is very experimental and you will need to try things out.

Mod Setup

The Team Competition mod can handle Space Exploration's commands for you to let each player start on their own planet.

Manual Setup

First of all, start the game in freeplay, not a scenario.

List of commands:

  • /c remote.call("space-exploration", "setup_multiplayer_test", { force_name = "Team-2", players = {game.get_player("Bill"), game.get_player("Bob")}, match_nauvis_seed = false})

The main, all-in-one command. Creates a new force, adds the players indicated to that force, then automatically selects an existing non-taken planet, sets that planet as the force's homeworld (respawn point), then teleports all indicated players to that planet.

If all goes well this command is the only one you should need. Do this once per team.

For more granular control this can instead be done via individual steps:

  • /c remote.call("space-exploration", "set_zone_as_homeworld", {zone_name = "Arendel", match_nauvis_seed = false, reset_surface = true})

Marks a specific planet to be a "homeworld".

  • /c remote.call("space-exploration", "set_force_homeworld", {zone_name = "Arendel", force_name = "Team-2", spawn_position = {x = 0, y = 0}, reset_discoveries = true})

Sets a planet as a force's homeworld, but the planet has to be already marked as a "homeworld". A force's homeworld is their respawn point.

  • /c remote.call("space-exploration", "teleport_to_zone", {zone_name = "Nauvis", player=game.get_player("Bill")})

Teleports players to a different zone but does not change respawn.

  • /c game.get_player("Bill").force = game.forces["Team-2"]

Change a player's force.

Here are some posts from people who have successfully gotten PvP working:

https://www.reddit.com/r/factorio/comments/l9zx3b/space_exploration_and_separate_starting_planet/
https://discord.com/channels/419526714721566720/419527276875481111/806809059134799903


Gameplay[edit]

I'm lost! What should I do next![edit]

In general:

  1. Look at the tech tree and find the next science pack. If there's more than one science pack available, pick your favorite one (could be based on what the pack unlocks, or what resources are available to you).
  2. Look at the ingredients required to make the science pack.
  3. Find out how you can create these ingredients. Use your recipe explorer mod (e.g. Recipe Book).
  4. Figure out how to transport those ingredients to the place where you will create the science packs.

Good luck!


I'm lost and I need more specific advice![edit]

Some pointers based on the last science pack you made:

I made chemical science:

Your next target is rocket science. Rocket science needs satellite telemetry, which is a obtained by launching a satellite from a satellite rocket silo. Don't forget to actually put the satellite inside the rocket before launching.

I made rocket science:

Your next target is space science. This is the first science pack that needs to be created in space, and then placed in a space science lab. To get to orbit, use a cargo rocket silo. Build a cargo rocket using cargo parts, capsules, and liquid rocket fuel. To survive in space, you will also need a thruster suit and life support capsules. Get yourself into orbit manually first, do some exploring, create some space science manually, try things out. Once you understand space a bit more, try to figure out how to automate the delivery of the resources you need.

I made space science:

You can either go for production or utility science. Which ever one comes first is up to you. Production needs vulcanite and utility needs cryonite. Both can only be obtained on other planets. Find a suitable planet and build an outpost there that can bring you back what you need.

I made production and utility science:

Welcome to mid-game. Pick your first science out of astronomic, energy, material, and biological. Each of them needs its own off-world resource. Getting the resources will be similar to how you got vulcanite and cryonite. Your first science chain might be overwhelming, but they all end up using the same data card → catalog → insight → significant data chain, so the following sciences will be faster and easier.


I lost the circuit wires from my Navigation Satellite! How do I get them back? How can I use remotes?[edit]

You can "craft" wires and remotes from the crafting menu.


What do I need to take in the first rocket launch?[edit]

A thruster suit and life support canisters. It's going to be a short stay otherwise. Some 50-100 canisters will be enough.

As for machinery, everything you absolutely need is already in orbit, hidden among the rubble. You can put together a rudimentary but fully functional space science factory from the parts you find. So the next thing you want to bring is science ingredients: find out how much stone, steel, rocket fuel, etc you are going to need, and load your entire rocket with science ingredients in matched amounts. Remember to also bring ground-made science packs: in order to do research, you need to put all required science packs into the same lab. You will find one Space Laboratory and don't need to make more, at least not soon.

You will need very little besides. In order of importance:

  • Robots to put into the Roboport; as well as some repair packs which you hopefully never need.
  • Some delivery cannons chests to receive items you forgot. Set up a generic delivery cannon on the ground for the purpose.
  • The Space Lab will accept productivity modules (almost nothing in space does, the lab is an exception). You need to bring those.
  • some efficiency modules and solar panels. The power you have in orbit is only barely enough to run all the machines you need.
  • some speed modules too, but watch your power!
  • an assortment of chests and inserters will come in handy, as well as pumps and storage tanks (these work in space!).
  • Space Assembly Machines (the small ones) can be made on the ground; you may feel safer if you have more than what you can find.
  • Meteor Defense Installations on the ground will cover orbit as well. If you don't have those, build them ASAP: meteors may strike in orbit as soon as it has been discovered. If for whatever reason you cannot protect your orbit from the ground, at least bring some point defenses to orbit.

Some other things you are going to want soon, but maybe not immediately:

  • Some miners to mine the ice patch in orbit. Water ice requires research to use, but after that you never need to send a water barrel ever again.
  • Signal transmitter and receiver to automate later deliveries.
  • Combinators of all kinds for automation
  • Power poles and substations
  • Crafting (construction) material: space belts and pipes need to be made in space, as well as the space platform scaffold to build on. You're going to need plenty once you want to expand your factory.

Try and pack your rocket completely full, and your inventory as well. Cargo rockets are expensive at first, so you want to use the full rocket.


...you do remember the thruster suit and life support, do you?

Why is it that we cannot place productivity modules in any of the space structures?[edit]

This gives you a choice for where to produce your intermediate resources that need to be consumed in space.

Producing intermediates in space is easier, since it is right where you need it, but you cannot use productivity modules.

Producing intermediates on the ground will let you use productivity modules, but you will have to figure out how to ship the items to space.

Note that there are 2 exceptions where you can use productivity modules in space: Space labs, and drills.


Can I use construction/logistic bots in Space?[edit]

Yes you can, though note that robot attrition is often higher in space. Verify the robot attrition of a zone in the Universe Explorer.


Can I use my Factorio blueprints?[edit]

The short answer is yes. All Factorio structures are still available. However a lot of recipes have changed, so you will probably need to re-design blueprints involving producing items. Space requires new buildings/belts/structures, so your normal Factorio blueprints will not work in space.


Can I convert my belt/rail blueprints to space belts/space rails?[edit]

Because of a Factorio limitation with collision masks, SE cannot make upgrade planners work between ground and space versions of items. Instead, SE provides a shortcut button that lets you convert a ground blueprint into a space version (or vice versa). Look for "Space Blueprint Converter" in your shortcut bar.


Why am I getting a "Cannot connect systems with different fluids" error when everything seems fine?[edit]
Avoid buildings touching like this

Factorio considers a building's different outputs to be part of the same system and this cannot be fixed. Make sure you don't have two different fluid input/outputs touching like the picture on the right.

SE's buildings can often be rotated to get what you need:

As of Factorio 1.1, a workaround is to place the item as a ghost and let your construction bots place the item.


How to create biosludge in space? Do I need to keep bringing fish or wood?[edit]
Biosludge loop as a graph

Once you have a small amount of biosludge, you can use it to grow more biosludge, by turning it into biomass and turning the biomass back into biosludge.
You need some biosludge to start the loop. You can get it from wood, fish, or recycling contaminated fluids.

The chain of recipes is:
biosludge -> nutrient gel -> nutrient vats -> bioculture -> biomass -> biosludge from biomass

You need some other ingredients to feed the loop, most notably, you need a bit of genetic data (basic bio science) in the middle.

In this Factory Planner plan below, we use 764 biosludge to create 1764 biosludge, for a profit of 1000 biosludge (230% gain):

If you count the recycling of the contaminated fluids, the ratio is even better: We use 650 biosludge to create 1650 biosludge (253% gain):

These calculations ignore the extra biosludge that might be obtained from recycling the contaminated scrap, since it's a negligible amount.

How does spaceship integrity stress work?[edit]

You have an integrity stress limit based on your tech. With just spaceship tech you have a limit of 300. Spaceship Integrity research increases it by 100 per tech up to a max 1000. Factory Spaceship research increases it by 500 per tech with no limit.

Integrity stress is calculated in 2 parts, whichever value is higher determines the actual stress.

  • Hull stress is based on the size and structure of the ship. Each tile of spaceship floor will add 1 stress, while walls and empty floor tiles will refund a fraction.
  • Container stress is based on cargo capacity. Each item slot of a chest or similar container takes 0.5 integrity, each 2k of fluid capacity takes 1 integrity (except booster tanks which are 1 integrity per 4k).

Note that you can hover over the integrity bars of the spaceship GUI to get a breakdown of what is currently counting in your integrity, which can help you understand this better.


I have a stranded spaceship! How can I rescue it?[edit]

Depending on the circumstances, one of these methods might help you:

  1. If your ship is simply out of power or fuel, but is otherwise structurally sound, it will be able to limp its way to its destination at snail pace. If it's not a critical ship, you can send it along and forget about it until it makes it home after a couple hours.
  2. You can send another spaceship to meet your stranded ship with repair or resupply items. You will need to be present, either on the stranded ship or on the rescue ship. Set the stranded ship as the destination for the rescue ship. Make sure the stranded ship is not moving at all or the rescue ship will also have to keep playing catch up and won't be able to reach it. Once both ships are in the same position, from the ship your character is in, select the other ship as the destination and you should see a "Board" button instead of the "Engage" button. This will teleport your character to the other ship. You can board back and forth. Use this to transfer items to your stranded ship.
  3. If your ship has construction bots, or you are on the ship, you can set a cargo rocket to target the spaceship. Make sure to stop the spaceship first. The rocket contents will spill in the space around the spaceship, and you can collect them with bots, or yourself.
  4. Worst case scenario, you can abandon the spaceship in the Universe Explorer.

Technical Issues[edit]

After a Factorio/"Space Exploration" mod update, my game freezes. What can I do?[edit]

Load the game and wait. After some updates, structures and maps need a regeneration. That normally takes few minutes. After a while the game will be working as usual, so save the changes and keep enjoying the game.


Can I use this mod in Linux?[edit]

Yes you can.


My save file is too large and saving/loading takes forever. What can I do?[edit]
Use the red buttons to clear out unused parts of your game.

Every new planet chunk, structure, enemy, etc. increases the game file size.

If you quickly scanned a planet but decided it will not be useful, make sure to "Delete surface" so that it will not inflate your save file. If you change your mind and decide to look at the surface again, it will be generated identically.

If you have stuff on a planet, you can instead use "Trim surface" which will draw a rectangle around your stuff, and then delete all chunks around it. Beware, this can revive biters when those chunks are explored again! Also note that pollution will automatically generate chunks that it reaches, so if your pollution cloud covers the whole planet, trimming will not be useful.

Also check the "performance issues" question in the FAQ for other performance improvements.

On Linux, you can switch the game to use non-blocking saves by setting non-blocking-saving=true in ~/.factorio/config/config.ini. This will let you keep playing the game while saving happens in the background, so that slow saving is not as much of a problem.


How can I resolve performance issues?[edit]

(Based on my experience. This is not an official answer)

  • Reduce Factorio graphics settings to the minimum details.
  • Ensure Factorio runs from a fast local drive(SSD if possible).
  • Check your memory usage and increase your virtual memory (Pagefile/swapfile) if necesary, since this mod will easily use 16GB of memory as soon as you start being interplanetary.
  • Avoid the use of "Scan Surface" for planets where you do not have a base yet or "Delete Surface" if you have already scanned them.
  • Launching a spaceship in a loop (say, triggering with circuit network but not enough fuel) can be the cause of the game freezing momentarily every second or so.
  • Lag spikes can occur if using auto-targeting with the Weapons Delivery Cannon and there are no valid targets.