Recommended Mods

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Required Dependencies[edit]

All dependencies listed in the mod's page are required to start Space Exploration (SE). You do not need to install them yourself, they will be installed when you install the main Space Exploration mod.

Therefore, only optional suggestions will be listed below.

Officially recommended[edit]

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.
  • Text Plates: Allows you to put text on the ground, useful for marking planet names, station names, spaceship docking zones, etc.
  • 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.)
  • Grappling Gun: Allows you to jump over buildings, across lakes, and out of combat if you get slowed. Useful during the early game, before jetpacks. Can be combined with jetpack flight to move more quickly than a jetpack alone.
  • AAI Vehicles: Ironclad: A boat vehicle for mid-game and for planets with lots of water.

Not made by Earendel, but still recommended by him:

  • Module Inserter Simplified or Module Inserter Extended: Allows you to put modules in machines using construction bots. Being able to do more things remotely is especially useful in SE. Simplified is much easier to use, but Extended lets you save module plans.
  • Milestones: If you want to track your progress and get pings for each milestone reached. Comes with a preset for Space Exploration.
  • Inserter Fuel Leech: An early game helper, for the burner phase. AAI already allows burner inserters to do basic fuel leeching (allowing them to fuel themselves), but this mod also allows inserters to take fuel from their source to feed their target (not just themselves). Note that it can be a performance hog in a large base, so you will want to remove it once you are past the burner phase.

You may install all of these recommendations at once by installing the official modpack instead.

Community recommended[edit]

No major gameplay changes will be included below, as those can change the SE experience and would not be to everyone's tastes.


Mods that do not change the game mechanics. You can remove or add them anytime without having an effect on the save.

  • 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.
  • Bottleneck Lite: Quickly see what parts of your factory are blocked.
  • 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.
  • Rocket Log: Keeps track of your cargo rockets launches. This can be a useful tool to debug issues with your rocket deliveries, or just for fun.

Quality Of Life (QoL)[edit]

These can reduce gameplay annoyances but only change gameplay in minor ways.

  • Even Distribution or Even Distribution Lite: Helps early game when you manually insert items into multiple buildings.
  • A personal logistic requests manager such as Auto Trash or Logistic Request Manager: 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.

Mods with caveats, not recommended[edit]

  • Rampant is compatible, but has been known to have a high UPS cost in the later game, when biters are on several surfaces.
  • "The Ruins Mod" is compatible, but be aware that the separated electrical networks it generates have a high UPS cost. It's especially bad in SE where you can scan an entire surface, and generate a lot of ruins.


The diagnostics message that appears in case of incompatibility.

Any mod listed as a "conflict" in the mod's page cannot be used with SE. If you see a "Space Exploration is not properly installed." message after installing Space Exploration, you most likely have an incompatible mod.

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

Most notably these popular mods are incompatible: Resource Spawner Overhaul, Clockwork, Bob's and Angel

More generally, incompatible mods are:

  • Other big overhaul mods (With one exception: Krastorio 2 works)
  • Mods that touch resource generation
  • Mods that touch the day/night cycle
  • Mods that let you teleport between surfaces before late game (there is a Space Exploration tech that should be used to enforce this)
  • Mods that do things when you die and didn't account for SE's respawning system