All dependencies listed in the mod's page are required to start SE. Only optional suggestions will be listed below.
These mods are all made by Earendel, and are official recommendations:
- Combat Mechanics Overhaul: Helps with defenses when off-planet, by letting walls block projectiles. It does buff enemies slightly to compensate, but that can be disabled with a mod option. It is cheaper to repair walls than turrets.
- AAI Containers: A set of containers in the Factorio style with multiple options for inventory sizes.
- Text Plates: Allows you to put text on the ground, useful for marking planet names, station names, spaceship docking zones, etc.
These mods were not made by Earendel but are commonly used to help fill gaps in what SE can do without significantly altering the game:
- Module Inserter: Allows you to put modules in machines using construction bots. Being able to do more things remotely is especially useful in SE.
- Solar Calculator: Can calculate proper solar panel/accumulator ratio for any planet. Although this is not an Earendel mod, it was made specifically with SE in mind.
- Even Distribution: Helps early game when you manually insert items into multiple buildings.
- A recipe browser such as Recipe Book, FNEI, or What is it really used for: Will help you figure out the use of all the various new items and recipes in SE.
- A personal logistic requests manager such as Auto Trash: You will be swapping between ground and space often, each of them requiring a different inventory. It is very useful to be able to switch between sets of requests with one click.
Nice to have
- A factory planner such as Factory Planner or Helmod: To calculate complicated processing chains.
- Equipment Gantry: Allows machines to put equipment into a spidertron while you're somewhere else in the galaxy, so that spidertron can be deployed by a rocket to start a new colony.
- Bullet Trails: So you can see where your bullets are going, or what gun turrets are shooting at. (Also looks better.)
- Burner Leech: Another helper for the early game, specifically for the AAI burner phase.
- Grappling Gun: Allows you to jump over buildings, across lakes, and out of combat if you get slowed. Although this is an Earendel mod, it has now essentially been replaced by the Jetpack so you don't necessarily need it.
Note: In Space Exploration you can walk over pipes and the character collision size is reduced. There may be occasional situations where Squeak Through might make a difference but in general you don't need it.
Any mod listed as a "conflict" in the mod's page cannot be used with SE. If you see a "You do not have Space Exploration installed. DO NOT SAVE THE GAME." message at the start of the game, you most likely have an incompatible mod that has disabled SE.
You can confirm that by looking at Space Exploration in your mod list. If the name is in red like the picture on the right then you have a mod incompatibility. Compare your mod list with the "conflict" mod list linked above and disable any that are incompatible. You will need to "Apply changes" to restart Factorio before you can see if the name still appears in red.
Most notably these popular mods are incompatible: Resource Spawner Overhaul, Clockwork, Bob's and Angel