A guide to fully automated moneymaking!
In this guide I will walk you through how to get money when you need it in the early and mid game. It's really rather simple and easy, the game seems to have been designed with this sort of passive moneymaking as a deliberate feature, so there are no exploits in use here.
Here is a picture of my mining base (and wallet) just after I'd built it.
A couple of hours later after a bunch of afking, dicking around and a few missions:
For perspective, getting to 100,000 is normally really hard and time consuming, I earned less than that after 2 days of regular playing. And it was not enough, a lot of the basic items I want to buy from time to time due to difficulty finding them cost 8,000-15,000, you can see how 100k would run out quick. The 2 mil I've made by mining should last quite a while.
First off, let me list the required tech and how to get it.
- Auto Miner
- Delivery Cannon
- Conveyors (So many conveyors... Up and Down or Step Conveyors are needed for big bases)
- Resource Receiver (Large Resource Receiver or Geocorp Resource Receiver preferred but not required, also for bigger bases)
That's it, it's also really nice to have an AI module or 2 armed to the teeth to defend your mining operations (I have 6 in the above picture, they can deal with most threats but not the biggest ones, if I do this again, now that I have all this money, next time I'll do it with much scarier turrets)
And if you don't know where to find that, fear not, for it is easy!!
Getting The Tech
After you finish the tutorial you will end up at a trading station, this trading station will have a quest called Crafty Business, where you meet a guy called Crafty Mike. Crafty Mike is our best friend, because when you meet him for the first time, he teaches you how to use the Resource Receiver, Refinery and Delivery Cannon, and then gives you one of each with a bunch of conveyors :D
You ideally need to have your inventory available before you do this, since that way you can right click the base and select "send to inventory" (if I remember correctly that's from a mission called big yellow or something)
And now you have more than half the things you need. After you discover these items, shops will occasionally have them in stock, they're fairly cheap and I suggest stocking up on a handful of refineries and delivery cannons when you get the chance.
Conveyors are cheap and stores have a limitless supply of them.
Unfortunately however to get the last thing you need, the auto miner, you gotta keep doing these crafty mike missions until you get to mission 4 where he gives you an auto miner. Once you're here you can start making some money right away.
Making Your First Real Buck!
Now that you have an auto miner, we can start making money. I actually didn't try making use of it till a long time after I got it so you must feel nice to have this head start.
Anyhow, to start making money, first you need to understand what is best to mine, there are three candidates, I will list them in order of value, and point to where each can be found.
Celestite -> Salt Flats/Glacier
Raw: $$160 - Refined: $$240
Erudite -> Grasslands
Raw: $$155 - Refined: $$233
Ignite -> Deserts
Raw: $$150 - Refined: $$225
Which one of these you go for first is up to you, I recommend Celestite, however it should be noted that Celestite sources are usually separated quite far apart, Ignite can sometimes be found in small clusters and Erudite can be found in large clusters, this doesn't matter much right now though but it becomes important later on.
The reason I recommend Celestite is simple, you have only one miner most likely and this will maximize the profits. I would also recommend aiming for celestite in a salt flats biome rather than the glacier biome, since the flatlands are more convenient to base yourself in as you can move rapidly around thanks to there being next to no obstacles or hills anywhere.
Anyhow, wherever you go, at this stage it is vital that whichever mineral you target, you must find a deposit in relatively close proximity to a trading station!
The reason for this is that this is not a "set it up and afk" kind of arrangement, not yet anyways. You will need to be actively playing while the base is running, and the reason for this is that you probably don't have more than 1 turret yet, so if anything happens like an invasion, you need to be there to respond, and also, the money isn't gonna do you much good if you don't increase your faction standing, because you need a higher grade to buy better stuff later on anyways. Therefore it's the perfect time to go do missions, and you need to be within a 500m radius of your base to ensure functionality therefore the closer it is to the trading station from which the missions originate, the less likely you are to go out of bounds from the base.
After you find a celestite deposit not too far from a trading station (or just erudite if you run out of patience, as it is easier to find) it's time to set up your first, temporary mining base! It should look something like this:
Take special notice of the fact that the conveyor disconnects between the refinery input and output (conveyors may be touching but look closely, they are not connected, if you can't figure out how to do this, just leave a gap between the input and output conveyors, you need 2 inputs, but you only need 1 output, so it's fine. For bigger systems I recommend using filters that only let refined blocks through in order to prevent accidental clogging to connect past the refineries), you must always set things up this way, otherwise if the conveyor gets flooded with stuff (for example when you happen to drive by with a bunch of wood) the refiner will get clogged because it can't throw out the refined blocks (due to the raw ones being in the way of the output) this way instead the receiver will get clogged, this is better because now the system may slow down a little, but all the blocks will be refined, therefore profits are maximized.
I suggest also making two turrets on separate sides of the base for protection while you're away from it, one may be enough but don't push your luck too much. Arm your turrets well.
And that's it! This is roughly how my first miner was set up (it is the same spot), it never got destroyed while I was away. Now you just have to go to the trade station, take all the missions and play around in the general vicinity of your base. Check the trading station regularly for more miners, refineries, and delivery cannons as needed.
Scaling Up Operations, Let's Make Some Millions!
You can make a decent 50-100k or something just by lurking around your first mining base for a couple of hours, doing quests and whatnot in tthe meantime. But that's just startup money, you gotta afford those conveyors and turrets somehow!
After doing 1 small base for a while you can scale up a little by setting up 2 or 3 small bases close to each other and hanging around that area, at first. If you want, for example if you don't have enough miners yet, and if that is the case, I suggest you get creative in acquiring them and simply make them yourself using a GSO Fabricator. This is actually how I got my hands on them, I fabricated loads of them, they're really easy to make if you happen to be in the right place (it's Plumbite + Luxite + Titanite to make them, 2 of these can be found in the salt flats.)
Once you have let's say 10 of these miners, and can arrange for at least 4 turrets, and you have over 100 conveyors readily available, it's time to get cracking.
This time around we intend to set up a base where we could just afk for hours without having to worry, therefore it's time to go to the grasslands, there are 3 reasons for this.
- There are no invasions in Grasslands. (Meaning, safer to AFK!)
- Erudite can be found in Large clusters, meaning one base can utilize something like 10 Erudite with a bit of luck.
- You can only find Erudite in Grasslands.
Now, go look for Erudite deposits, preferably close to trading stations (having an airplane for this job is ideal, you need to be able to fly low though to spot erudite hidden between trees; You can get a good plane from the Venture missions), but since you may end up just afking until you have all the money it's not necessary. I recommend finding a spot where you can mine at least 10 erudite, if that is proving too hard it's ok to settle with 8.
Next is to set up a base like I did, I got lucky and found a cluster of 8 Erudite next to a cluster of 4, so I had a whooping 12 sources with just one base!
It ended up looking something like this:
I've already taught you almost everything there is to mining base building (the only thing I've left out is putting thimbles on the miners to grab the drops from miners out of the receiver's reach. This helps a lot to extend the range of your receiver like this for bigger clusters), if you find 2 clusters like I did next to each other, the way I recommend doing it is simply setting up 1 delivery cannon for every 4 veins, you can place them in the middle or next to the veins, a matter of taste. Then set up a refinery for each delivery cannon, then from the refineries build a conveyor close to the vein, and attach a Resource Receiver, this MUST be a large receiver or geocorp receiver, a small one won't do (if you only have small ones and can't do anyhting about it, use 1 receiver per vein). When placing your receivers make sure there's a receiver in range of every Erudite vein, and try to keep the load per receiver as balanced as possible (don't put more than 4 erudite on 1 receiver). Then you just plop down your miners making sure their output is facing the receiver and you're done with the base.
Now carefully place your turrets in the best positions you can think of, one on each corner of the base, and if the base is big, put one on each side as well to guard the middle as I did in mine.
If this base is close to a trading station you can do what you did in the beginning, do missions, mess around, make some new vehicles, etc. And then, when it comes time to do something else, like doing dishes, cooking dinner, watching movies, playing with the kids, walking the dog, whatever you can find to do, just set the game to run in the background while you're away (it's a setting in settings, that way you can watch stuff on your computer while afking from the game), and then when you come back, voila, you have lots of money now!
And this pretty much sums it all up, just get creative with building mining bases and make lots of cash!
All good things must come to an end
Ore veins aren't infinite in this game, I think every erudite vein has about 200k worth of ore in it (after it's refined and sold that is) based on when my base ran out of ore, I'd done some spending inbetween so it adds up that it should have been 2.4 million, maybe even a bit more. I bottomed out at 2.6 million after depleting my 12 veins. This takes a good bunch of hours to happen though so don't worry. I thought that'd last me for a very long time, but to be sure I decided to hunt for another mining base. After running out of patience I decided on just setting up many small bases in a small area, there were no big clusters but there was a trading station nearby which has been very nice to have again.
This is what my new base ended up looking like:
Sadly that was the best shot I could get, because it's so big. If you look closely you can see another turret in the distance, that's just outside the view distance where there's a small base with a cluster of 5. There's a total of 13 veins.
But this time, I needed a lot more turrets than 6. I needed a total of 11 this time (and that's pushing my luck, I really ought to have 13), with the sizable area I was covering. Due to the turret prices, making a base this big as your first is inadvisible, to afford a base like this you need a minimum 300k. For me however, it cost more, my first turrets as seen in earlier screenshots, which were worth about 20k and packed a ridiculous punch for how simple they look, they were not going to cut it for much longer.
After I had earned about 2 more million from this base and doing missions in the area, I started noticing that bigger enemies became more frequent, and also they became even bigger! This may have something to do with having gotten to grade 5 with GSO, but thanks to getting there I was finally ready to make new turrets as the GSO Terminal you can get at grade 5 (though I already had one or two from killing invaders) I can buy GSO goods in unlimited amounts, so I set up a small trading station and bought some megaton cannons and missiles for my new turrets, my new turrets looked like this:
If you look closely you'll see I also armed their back just in case (not too heavily, but about as much as the old turrets)
These monsters cost about 200k each, I needed 11 of them, buying the parts I was missing cost me 1,5 million or so. So much for 2 ,mil lasting (although luckily I was already up to 4.7 mil!)
But these big nasty techs that keep falling from the sky are scary as ♥♥♥♥!
That's the average thing I'm getting hit by now (and that is already half dead...) with bigger territories come more frequent attacks, and at this stage, scarier attacks as well, someone even broke through once. My new turrets have 2 geocorp batteries to power 4 shields!!! The same setup as I had had on my main vehicle for a while, those NEVER broke! But now? Now I need to upgrade that as well clearly. Thankfully I have lots of time to make a new design, and I will be making money the entire time with my new base :D
Is It All Worth It?
I kept doing this as I was leveling my way towards the payload terminals for all the vendors, my highest point was 7.7 million I think. Just a little while ago I fell all the way down from 6 million to 800k. I got the hawkeye terminal and there were some crazy things I wanted. I felt that my turrets while capable, weren't strong enough individually, unless at least 2 could hit an enemy that was attacking at any point, sucrvival would not be guaranteed.
So I thought: Why not make a new turret design?
Did I call that last one a monster? That was nothing, this however is a real monster. Just the 5 cruise missiles on the top over there cost about as much as the entire turret I was using before. Here's the pricing:
- 5 Cruise missiles: 169,800
- 13 railguns:77,415
- 6 seekers: 133,128
- 2 tank turrets:41,694
- 27 repeater rifles:172,935
- 4 geocorp batteries: 23,784
- 9 hawkeye shields:174,501
This is excluding a whole bunch of stuff (at least over 100k) but Estimated Total: 793,257 (real value is over 900k, possibly 1 mil even).
I bought 4 of these, a tank and an airplane, the tank cost a bunch too. And let's not forget the assault bike, damn I love it tho.
Before all this back when I was at 7 million I also built a flying fortress which set me back a couple million, sadly the hovercraft system in this gamme is crazy difficult to actually use in practice, so that was a lot of wasted time, I basically don't want to use it anymore although I did get it to go at a smooth 60mph on average, and it works mmagnificently on the flats, also I figured I'd just put wheels on it, and I put behemoth wheels on each side of it, although it now looks like a massive cart, it works really well, except that if I try to spawn it it flips over and breaks a bunch of things, but in the end, it certainly gets the job done, in fact I was a bit disappointed by how much overkill it was for everything, my worst enemy when I'm using that thing is the terrain Going through the mountain biome is a no-no. The assault bike on the other hand can drive vertically up a cliff and literally glide down the other side, do yourself a favor, when you get the gyro stabilizer, build a bike! (Get one with missiles!!)
Anyhow this is my new base now after all that spending, I found a cluster with 9, and not too far from it is a cluster with another 6.
Working my way up from 800,000 again. I never thought I'd actually spend all of it but I bet by now I have spent over 10 million, eep!
This is the most effective way to make money in this game right now, therefore, if you too dream of building flying fortresses and attack helicopters, massive tanks and oversized all-purpose vehicles, you're gonna need that money too.