Surviving Mars – Basic Gameplay Tips and Tricks

Surviving Mars - Basic Gameplay Tips and Tricks
Surviving Mars - Basic Gameplay Tips and Tricks

If you want to have the fun of figuring out the game on your own then don’t read this.

Guide to Gameplay Basics in Tips

My Strategy

I play with hard difficulty so anything I say should work for any game although maybe it’s too conservative for an easier game. I play with all four disasters maxed, minimum resources, Long Ride, Inflation and Relevant Comfort Buildings. I tried Rebel Yell but it seems to me unrealisticly high, and unrealistic they can’t be cured. This assumes you are using Space Race but not the animal one since it’s so annoying and the ranch is such a cheat.

  • For load out take a vaporator and fuel factory, 1 of each RC, 5 poly 10 parts, 5 electronics.
  • Land near the concrete. Build concrete. Use transporter to mine metal. 
  • Build vaporator and fuel and 5 solar collectors and battery. Build detector tower but in a grid fashion every three squares.
  • Immediately send two more vaporators (using a supply pod). 
  • Buy another Commander, used to build ramps to access rest of map, and collect metal for transporter to haul back.
  • Buy more poly parts and electronics. Buy these before inflation makes the price go up.
  • You probably won’t find water for a while.
  • When you complete a dome you will then need some wind collectors.
  • If you find research, then build a round dome near it. If you don’t see farm yet, then you only send 6 colonists because you can’t make food fast enough yet, 3 farmers 3 any for the diner. 
  • Make sure no hypos or chronic or whiners or cowards. Never idiots and never Rugged, you’ll see why later.
  • Send 12 colonists, 6 scientists, 3 farmers for the hydropoic, and 3 any for a diner.
  • If you don’t find research then wait until you find rare metal, and build a micro dome on it. 
  • Don’t build the mine yet but do send 3 farmers and 3 any for diner. This is just to get through the trial period.
  • Once you research farm you can send the miners, and if some of your colonists have bad traits, send medics for a clinic.
  • In the farm do only soybean until it’s 100 then do potatoe-soy.
  • You want to rush the two tech researches, and farm and heater. Everything else can wait.
  • Build the rare metal extractor and sell rare to earth and import parts and electronics.
  • Often I build a micro dome as my first dome because it’s easiest to maintain (I will repurpose it later). 
  • The second dome is typically a long dome used for manufacturing. It’s very space efficient. You can use parks to satisfy comfort. They don’t require maintenance. In large domes you can often have the outside gym because it doesn’t require maintenance. 
  • The third dome is often a round dome for research. 
  • Fourth dome is round and becomes a nursery (2 nursery, 3 playground, diner, university, sanitorium, housing). 
  • Sometimes, if you find a much better research location, you must build another round dome usually medium. This will have research, hawking, and research spire.
  • The micro dome becomes a dome to force colonists to become earthsick. This means you allow the dome and the housing to become unmaintained (the only cheating mod I use is the one that allows me to tell an object not to get maintained when it runs out).
  • If there is a diner you also can allow that to run out, or destroy it for more unmaintained housing. 
  • However you must have food outside for the dome so they don’t die. With all that they become unhappy and go home when they are senior and cannot work, or renegades. That’s why I don’t allow ruggeds.
  • I also bring in lots of tourists who get forced there by the filters. They get earthsick and go home sooner than the six days.
  • Build a water tower and oxy-tank in case of dust storm or freeze. Turn off reproduction in domes because martians aren’t economical to train and sanitorize until there are many earthlings in the colony. You’ll probably want a missile shooter asap. You want to build a heater that heats all your domes, that means placing your domes carefully. You’ll also want two tribbys that clean each other, and everything else in the heater range. So you see, in the early phase of the game you want to be thinking far ahead. I often place some domes in the range of the heater and then pause them for a long time, just to reserve the space. I use the mods that show me the range of the heater and tribby etc.

  • For many games, I have no water so must keep buying vaporators. I also usually don’t find research right away so I often end up having my research dome far from my first dome. Do not build a far-away dome until you have shuttle tech, which is required for moving colonists between domes.
  • Once I have a substantial earther population, you can enable all the childbearing and begin cranking out martians. Now you can build the sanitorium and clean the earthers before the martians are born with problems. I set the nursery to attact childs, and also anyone with flaws, except it prevents middle and old age, and those with skills. That brings in people worth saving and training, and forces them out into the world once they are saved and trained. Remember you can force someone to override that for five turns. So if there is a lazy engineer I will manually make them go to sanitorium then once they quit there they will get kicked out and go to work in the manufacturing dome.
  • That’s kind of it. Just keep going on research. Once you can manufacture all the stuff you need, keep trying to make money to outsource research – research just makes the game easier and easier.

  • Once you get more cash than you can spend on research, research the forestry tech and build a plant spreader. The first one, make it small then once it completes, replace it with a farm and use the indoor farms to grow seeds. Once the outdoor farms produce seeds, get rid of indoor farms.
  • Build a second pair of tribs that overlap so they clean each other forever, with a heater and MDS, and build a atmosphere generator, and the other terraforming. You build them in the range of trib so they don’t require maintenance. You can build the nuclear power stuff inside the trib and open them up for power bonus but they don’t require cleaning.
  • Build as many forestry farms as you can. They stop working at 40% but there is a mod that allows them to continue. Otherwise you have to keep waiting for the missions, which takes a really long time.
  • Build a molehill and space ladder to make all the resources and all the cash you could ever need.
  • Shuttles will move goods and people around. If I tell a storage to have a certain amount, it doesn’t go to that amount. Instead it uses that amount relative to other storages.
  • I never used the motorized storage units.
  • I also never use dome connectors, I mean, why? You only need a diner in each dome, and maybe an infirmary and maybe a second diner. You do not need any comfort buildings in order to have high comfort. So WHY would you ever need to connect domes. See my other guide.
  • If drones are placing waste on a pile and you build a new waste storage closer to them, they will not use it until the oldest ones are first filled. You can try destroying the oldest ones, or moving commanders out of range of oldest ones. I use lots of commanders and only in late game maybe one drone station because the commanders can be moved around. I try to have a commander managing a mine and a water source and two forestrys.
  • I tend to end up building lots of micro domes to mine resources. Then destroying them when mine emptied.
Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 2706 Articles
My first game was Naughty Dog’s Crash Bandicoot (PlayStation) back in 1996. And since then gaming has been my main hobby. I turned my passion for gaming into a job by starting my first geek blog in 2009. When I’m not working on the site, I play mostly on my PlayStation. But I also love outdoor activities and especially skiing.

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