Stationeers – Avoid Getting Lost While Mining

Do you keep getting lost when you can’t see your base? Feel the terror when you circle around and can’t figure out which way to go with your belt full of ore?

Introduction

It’s easy to get lost on your first mining trips outside your base render. Here are a few methods to help avoid the stress of spinning in circles with no idea how to get home.

Disclaimer

I’ve been playing this game off and on for years but I’m no expert. If you’re already lost, it’s too late for me to help you. This is my first guide, please be kind!

Beacon and Tablet Tracking Method

Beacons are very useful. You get a free portable beacon in one of the crates on the lander. Later you’ll be able to make a base beacon, it consumes significant power so make sure your base power can support it.

The portable beacon can be powered with a small battery, but it won’t last forever. Make sure you remove and charge it after every trip. It can be powered on and off by clicking the main body.

You have a tablet and a tracking cartridge. Put the cartridge in the tablet, when you turn it on and scroll the mouse wheel you’ll find an arrow pointing to a powered beacon (portable or base). It also points to other players if you’re playing with friends.

Procedure: Make sure you have your tablet with you. Ensure it has a full battery, contains the tracking cartridge and is powered off. Check the power to your beacon, make sure it has a full battery and it’s powered on. A base beacon has a power switch on top of it, make sure it won’t drain your base while you’re away. A portable beacon could be blown away in a storm on some worlds so make sure it’s someplace it won’t travel, such as a room or a hole in the ground. When you’re out mining and ready to come home, turn on your tablet, scroll the mouse wheel to find the beacon, and follow the arrow home. This is the easiest method but it’s even better when combined with the methods below.

Compass and Bearing Method

If you’re like me and have a good grasp of using a compass and taking bearings, you’ll never get lost. The compass cannot fail unless you forget to use it. You can find it next to your character picture, the number changes when you turn around. Impatient people get lost with this method, if you’re always in a rush and disorganised I recommend the beacon method for you (looking at you Industrialbass).

  • 0 or 360=North
  • 90=East
  • 180=South
  • 270=West

There are 360 degrees in a circle. To retrace your route you’ll add or subtract 180 degrees to or from your original bearing to keep the number between 0 and 360.

This is more effort than the beacon and tablet but you don’t have to worry about power loss.

Procedure: I generally start with the 4 cardinal directions listed above. For instance, I leave the base travelling North (0 or 360 degrees). I do my mining, and when finished I go the opposite way home, 180 degrees. Do not wander off the bearing or you can get lost, especially at night or in a storm. After I’ve gone out on that bearing, I travel the remaining 3 directions and then I shift 45 degrees. Devise a system that works for you, perhaps using a pen and paper, a Notepad program, or simple hitting F3 in the game and typing the direction you’re travelling there. It will show an error, but when you’re ready to come home you can press F3 again and see what the bearing was and then do the math (add or subtract 180). I’ve never been lost when using this method, I carry a tablet tracker and have a base beacon for backup because I’m paranoid about being lost but I rarely use them.

Another example: Prepare for a mining trip, full batteries and water etc. You want to go 45 degrees. You press F3 and type 45 and hit enter. There will be a brief red error message at the bottom of the screen, you can ignore it. We’re not using the game console as intended but it won’t hurt anything, we’re Stationeers and survive by any means. Now, off you go! It’s sometimes helpful to start out at night, it’s more likely to be day when you’re coming home and you’re less likely to be distracted by ores off your bearing if you’re unable to see them. STAY ON THE BEARING. You’ll have to divert around terrain at times, try to stay on the bearing and shift back to your straight path or use your jetpack. You find an ore that you need, start mining. If you mine it out and want to keep going, stay on the bearing. When you’re ready to return home, hit F3 and see the number 45. Now add 180, you get 225 degrees. Turn to face 225 and go straight home. It’s easy to miss your base if a storm starts or your base is small or you wandered left or right of the bearing. If that happens, try to wait it out until daylight. Turn off your light to conserve power, you can use batteries from your tools as well. A frame tower on your base can help spot it from a distance, station batteries make good navigation lights at night too.

Example bearings and their inverse to go home:

0 to 180 (0+180), 90 to 270 (90+180), 45 to 225 (45+180), 135 to 315 (135+180), 200 to 20 (200-180), 250 to 70 (250-180)

In these examples you’ll notice that when you pass 180 degrees, you subtract 180 rather than add it. You’ll never want a number higher than 360 since there are 360 degrees in a circle, 365 degrees = 5 degrees.

Landmark Method

The terrain features aren’t very good landmarks, the hills look alike especially at night. Before I learned to use the compass method I’d make shallow marking lines in the terrain with my mining drill. Think of it like breadcrumbs to find your way home. Make a short line in the direction you’re travelling. Do this periodically and you’ll soon have a bunch of short lines radiating from your base, especially after a bunch of mining trips in random directions. From overhead your base would look like the hub of a wheel, with dotted line spokes going straight out in every direction.

Procedure: Get yourself fed and watered and charged and ready to mine. Pick any direction you like, and start travelling. Every minute or so, use your mining drill to make a short line in your direction of travel. The longer the line, the easier it is to find it in the dark. Don’t dig too deep, you only need a dent in the terrain. Digging longer and deeper takes more time and battery and you’re going mining, not building roads. Try to go straight out from your base so the lines you make point at your base. Using a compass makes this a lot easier, combining the compass/bearing and landmark methods works really well. When you’re ready to go home, follow your lines back to base.

Road Method

This isn’t a method I’ve tested, I’m adding it because it would work though it’s not very practical. Build roads from your base and then mine near the roads.

Procedure: Cut into the terrain and then open your mining drill and select Flatten. You can then make a flat road straight out from your base, and branch off from the road to mine ores within sight of it. I don’t know if you’d want to make a road with frames, I don’t think it’s necessary and it could cause performance problems. You could make short roads and run cable for lights down them if you have power to spare, but if that’s the case you’d be better off with the beacon method. When you find valleys or low spots you can adjust the altitude of your road or make a terrain tool and make causeways. This sounds like more work than I’d attempt but it’s a sandbox game so maybe you’re interested.

Conclusion

As you can see, the simple act of navigating a Stationeers world (or making a guide) takes more thought than you’d expect. All of these methods can be used effectively, but mixing and matching them works even better. Part of the allure of this game is the ability to solve problems in multiple ways. Having read all this, I hope you’ll have learned something and never get lost again.

Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 2689 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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