Deep drill

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Deep drill

Deep drill

A deep-crust drilling rig for extracting minerals from deep under the surface. Use a ground-penetrating scanner to detect the resources. This drill will yield stone chunks if no resources are present. Can be repositioned freely.

Base Stats

Market Value
290 Silver [Note]
35 kg
Path Cost


1 ˣ 1
pass through only
Cover Effectiveness
Terrain Affordance
-200 W


Required Research
Deep drilling
Skill Required
Construction 4
Work To Make
10,000 ticks (2.78 mins)
Resources to make
Steel 100 + Component 2
Deconstruct yield
Steel 50 + Component 1
Destroy yield
Steel 25 + Component 0 - 1

A deep drill extracts resources, such as Steel, Gold, and Rock_Chunk, from underground deposits. These deposits are discovered by having a colonist scan at a ground-penetrating scanner, except for Stone Chunk deposits, which are extractable from every other tile on the map. Clicking the scanner reveals all currently detected deposits (cells highlighted green) on the map and shows you the mineral when you hover over the deposit. Constructing or clicking any deep drill also displays all detected deposits, if a scanner is in place and powered. It is built with Steel 100 Steel, Component 2 Component in 10,000 ticks (2.78 mins) after the research Deep Drilling has been completed. The deep drill can bring much needed resources for constructing the ship or for base expansion later in the game, when most ores have been mined out. The scanning time depends on the Intellectual skill of the colonist operating the scanner.


When placing a deep drill it can fit in as little as a 1x2 space - one cell for the drill, and one cell for the interaction spot. The outline does not restrict placement in any way. It only shows the drill's extraction zone and it can overlap walls, mountains, water, buildings, and even some of the maps border's exclusion zone but not the second tile away. Most deposits are in open space, but in tight spots, the drill can be rotated (keys: Q\E) to position the interaction spot. Once the drill has been built, uninstalling it to move it requires 1,800 ticks (30 secs) of work.

As the driller will spend long times drilling in a place far away from the base, they will quickly become unhappy because of the lack of beauty and comfort. A deep drill room can be constructed to mitigate the debuff, and sculptures can be placed in the room to liven it up.

A drill only extracts resources within its extraction zone, so it should be placed to cover as much as possible. Drills can be moved, allowing the drill to be reused once resources are exhausted. If building a drill is blocked by terrain like mud or shallow water, the drill can be installed on a bridge. Resources detected in deep water or deep ocean water beyond the overlap zone cannot be extracted.


A drill is operated by miners. Unlike crafting stations, the colonist cannot make use of a chair while operating the drill. The drill's inspection pane shows what resource is below (gold, plasteel, silver, steel, uranium, or jade). Cells will turn from green to yellow and then blank as they are depleted. Each cell contains a total of 300 resources, but the actual number obtained depends on the miner's mining yield, so the values may be slightly lower. Drill operation can be suspended by marking the drill as forbidden or turning off its power.

Drills will produce stone chunks if there are no other materials below them. To prevent pawns from continuing to drill stone undesirably, a drill that has exhausted all obtainable resources will automatically be marked "forbidden," sending a notification to the player.

Each extraction cycle takes a base of 14,000 ticks (3.89 mins) of work to finish, modified according to the colonist's Deep Drilling Speed stat. Although this time is the same for all materials, the amount per cycle varies. For example, plasteel yields 7 units per cycle, making it effectively 5 times slower to mine than steel, which yields 35. This means using deep drills is from over 700 (silver) to almost 3000 (gold/jade) times less efficient than normal mining. The drilling speed can also be increased using drill armsContent added by the Royalty DLC.

Note that resource fields may be adjacent to each other, sometimes with different types of resources. If a drill is placed such that it overlaps both zones, it will mine all of the resources from one type before switching to the other field. In which case, the infobox will display which resource the drill is currently extracting.

Placing down an stockpile, with all items disallowed, around the deep drill with cause haulers to prioritize hauling the extracted resources to their proper place .


A deep drill requires power to operate. Besides connecting to the main power grid, relocating charged batteries can provide power for a while. This can eliminate running power lines to remote areas, however a roof is needed to protect the batteries from rain. Alternatively, a vanometric power cell works to power up to 3 nearby drills constantly. Although risky, an unstable power cell can also be used to power the drills, but beware of an explosion.

Once a drill has completely mined all resources in its zone, it will continue to draw power until it is turned off, disconnected from the grid or deconstructed.


The resources contained in a deposit correlates with the size of the deposit. Below is an estimate of the different deposit sizes:

Resource Deposit Size Deposit Mean Commonality Portion Size
Steel.png Steel 20 - 40 ~ 30 4 35
Silver.png Silver 7 - 20 ~ 14 0.5 40
Plasteel.png Plasteel 2 - 10 ~ 7 1 7
Jade.png Jade
Gold.png Gold
1 - 5 ~ 3 0.5 10
Uranium.png Uranium 4 - 10 ~ 7 1 10

Alternative table:

Resource 1-5 6-10 11-15 16-20 21-30 31-40
Steel.png Steel - - - - Check.png Check.png
Silver.png Silver - Check.png Check.png Check.png - -
Jade.png Jade Check.png - - - - -
Gold.png Gold Check.png - - - - -
Uranium.png Uranium Check.png Check.png - - - -
Plasteel.png Plasteel Check.png Check.png - - - -


Manned drills are capable of drilling into underground insect hives, activating the Too Deep: Infestation event and bringing several to the surface. There will be a short delay between the alert and their appearance, giving your miner time to get away.

Version history

  • Beta 19 - Chemfuel can no longer be acquired by drilling.
  • Beta 19/ 1.0 - Now costs more and mines slower.
  • 1.0 - it is now possible to drill into insectoid hives.
  • 1.1.2624 - the area of deep drills has been expanded to become 21 tiles large (5x5 square minus the corners), as opposed to 9 tiles (3x3 square). Its power consumption has also been reduced (300 -> 200W).