A Beginners Guide to Space Engineers
After spawning into the game you will find yourself in your chosen drop pod. Once you land, it before you get out of your seat, check your seat’s inventory with ‘I’. You will find a weapon and a couple of magazines. Now you can get out of the seat.
Investigate your drop pod. Move around the outside of the pod and you will see it comes equipped with an H2/O2 generator with some bottles inside, and a Survival Kit. This used to respawn your character and processing small amounts of ingots from stone.
On the side of the Survival Kit is a terminal that when looked at, hold the ‘F’ key and it will charge your suit’s power and when connected to the H2/O2 generator, will also replenish your suits H2 and O2 supply.
Now we can look at the surrounding ground, choose a spot to place your first block called a ‘Light Armour Block’. In your hotbar at the bottom of the screen, the game has automatically given you the required ‘blocks’ to get started.
Place 4-5 ‘Armour Blocks’ in a row, this will be the starting point to get production underway. You will be able to move these to your chosen base location at a later time.
You will need a power supply on this platform, but first, we are going to choose a spot on the ground close by, where we are going to mine some stone to put into the ‘Survival Kit’.
By pressing ‘3’ on your keyboard, you will equip your drill. Now, by crouching with ‘C’, and looking at the ground at a 45-degree angle (this is so when getting back out we will not have to waste H2 using our jetpacks) we start drilling into the ground. Left-clicking the mouse while the drill is equipped will make it drill into the ground (destroying the voxel block) and producing stone ore on the ground. Using the right mouse button will also drill into the ground but will not produce any stone as this is used for making tunnels.
Once your inventory is full, place your collected stone into the ‘Survival Kit’ and tell it to produce ingots.
You do this by pressing ‘F’ while looking at the yellow access portal, selecting ‘Production’ in the row of tabs from left to right across the top of the opened window.
Then in a boxed area on the left of the screen will be a small image of what looks like a cement bag. By selecting this it will start producing ingots.
If you left-click on the image it will produce 1.
If you hold ‘Control’ and left-click it will produce 10.
Holding ‘Shift’ and left-click it will produce 100.
And holding ‘Shift+Control’ will produce 1000.
Now go back and get more stone. Once we have enough, we can now place a vertical row of ‘Light Armour Blocks’ using our jetpack ‘X’, high enough to clear any local obstructions. Hills etc.
In your hotbar, there is a wind turbine icon. Press that number and see the turbine appear hovering in-front of you. If you still have ‘Steel Plates’ in your inventory, then you can place it at the top of the vertical column.
Now equip your welder from your hotbar. Moving close enough with your welder or grinder equipped, a ‘required components list’ will appear on the right-hand side of your screen. There is an in-game mechanic called ‘Build Planner’. For full instructions on how to use this, press F1.
While you are close enough to see this list, a border will have appeared around the turbine block. With your welder still equipped, click the right mouse button, this will bring up a message stating all components have been added to the ‘Build Planner’. Now go back to the Survival Kit’ and while looking at the yellow access port, click the middle mouse button. This will try and pull all the required components for the ‘Build Planner’ queue that we have created.
But as we have only made ingots it will state ‘Not Enough Components Available’. But this is ok, if we (while still looking at the access port) hold ‘Shift’ and click the MMB, it will now order the ‘Survival Kit’ to make all the required components. You can monitor this by opening the ‘Survival Kit’ window with ‘F’ and selecting ‘Production’ again.
Come out of the ‘Survival Kit’ window and click the MMB again while looking at the access port. This will now pull all the components into your inventory.
Go back to the turbine and finish welding it up. You can hold LMB or, double click it to make the welder stay on. Remember to LMB when it is finished to turn it off as using tools uses energy.
Now we can get a ‘Survival Kit’ and H2/O2 generator on the platform, but we don’t have to produce the components because all we have to do is grind down the Survival Kit and H2/O2 Generator on the Drop Pod (rebuild them using the parts from grinding) and then place them onto the platform.
Survey local area for ore deposits
Using your jet pack, fly up into the air so you can see the surrounding area. There will be a patchy effect on the ground colour, i.e amongst the green grass you will see patches of black or grey. This indicates that ore is present below the surface. Fly over to these areas and with your hand drill equipped (these have a small personal ore detector) note which ores are available there.
Press ‘I’. And in the GPS tab click on ‘New GPS Location Here’. In the list of GPS’s (on the left of the screen), you will see a new GPS with ‘yourname#1’. Rename this so it is easier to determine which GPS you wish to use in the future. I.e ‘Iron Near Base etc.’
Do this until you have covered a 360-degree area around your starting location.
Use refined ores to unlock most of the engrams
Now we can place a ‘Basic Refinery’ on our platform and start to refine ores as we collect them. Using these ores we can make items to unlock access to more items. Such as, the basic refinery will unlock more production items.
To check out which items are required to unlock more items press ‘G’ and at the top of the page select the ‘Progression’ tab.
Now we should have on our platform at least the following items;
Get some more ores being processed as we will want these next.
Build a rover
Place an extension on your platform, this will give us a level surface on which to build our first rover and miner. Now on your hotbar, set up a list of items that we will need for a basic rover, these will be;
Light Armour Blocks
Suspension + Wheels
Cargo Container (medium will do)
Gyroscope (this will be used to level out your vehicle if your vehicle leaves the ground)
And a Landing Gear.
First off, bring out the landing gear (this will appear as a large grid version first. Change it by pressing the assigned number on your hotbar a second time, it will change to a small grid version. Hover it above the platform extension we have just made and (making sure it’s roughly level) place it and watch it drop to the platform. Now weld it up and it will be attached to the platform indicated by a green light around its base. Starting from the top of the landing gear, place a vertical row of light Armour Blocks about 5 high, then extend a horizontal row from the top of the vertical row so it looks like a ‘Hangman’s Post’.
Now we have a stable frame on which to build a rover. This is entirely up to you and what it looks like but remember functionality will always beat aesthetics.
Once the rover is built, grind it off of the support frame we made at the start and let it drop to the platform.
For help on building rovers and flyers, I suggest viewing Splitsie on YouTube. He has many tutorials and is very easy to follow.
Build a flying miner
For building a flying miner the list of items (Blocks) is the same as the rover, except you will want thrusters instead of suspension wheels. And you will need to add ‘Mining Drills’ and ‘Conveyor Tubes’ to the list also.
Conveyor tubes have two different capabilities depending on which you use. The ‘Small Conveyor Tubes’ will only let Ores pass through them but the ‘Large Conveyor Tubes’ will allow both Ores and Components to pass through.
Atmospheric thrusters are used for (you guessed it) atmosphere vehicles (vehicles used in an atmosphere).
Now you have the basics to go out in the world and find a location to start a base, good luck and enjoy creating……
p.s. Join our Space Engineers Discord channel to chat and get help and advice. Feel free to ask me (Brettri33) for help if I am online.