High-explosive shell

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High-explosive shell

High-explosive shell

A shell filled with high explosives. Can be fired from mortars or installed as a trap. Explodes when damaged.

Base Stats

Crafted ResourcesMortar shell
Market Value
55 Silver
Stack Limit
1.25 kg
Deterioration Rate
Path Cost

Ranged Combat

50 dmg (Bomb)
41 (m/s)
Blast Radius


Crafted At
Machining table
Required Research
Skill Required
Crafting 4
Work To Make
800 ticks (13.33 secs)
Resources to make
Steel 15 + Chemfuel 15

The high-explosive shell is the most common kind of mortar shell, that deals 50 damage in a 3-tile radius upon exploding.


High-explosive shells are made using 15 steel and 15 chemfuel at a machining table and requires Mortars to be researched. Requires a Crafting skill of at least 4. The steel cost is increased to 25 if the Classic Mortars difficulty option is enabled.

They can also be purchased from traders.

Finally, siege raids will have high-explosive shells drop podded to them, and if unused by the raid, can be taken by the player.


When fired from a mortar, high-explosive shells deal 50 Bomb damage in a 2.9 tile radius.

When damaged beyond 70% of its health, it will explode after between 30 ticks (0.5 secs) and 60 ticks (1 sec), dealing 50 Bomb damage in a radius around itself. The radius depends on the quantity in the stack, with a single shell covering a 2.9 tile radius, and expanding this radius proportional to the square root of the stack size times 0.4 up to a maximum radius of 6 tiles at a full stack of 25.


It is the standard shell for mortars, dealing high damage and having a decent blast radius. Given the mortar's inaccuracy, it's best to have a battery of mortars firing at once to deal heavy damage to the enemy.

It is quite resource-intensive, so it's best to wait until mid-game until beginning the use of mortars.

They are effective against most enemies; siege bases, resting or charging raiders, crashed ship parts and their mechanoid guards. While two mortars are enough against siege bases, around 4 - 8 will be needed for direct attacks on raiders.

They are less effective against enemies equipped with shield belts, as the explosion is blocked by the shield. A high quality shield belt can survive a blast and regenerate faster than the mortar fires. Pairing these with other mortars firing EMP rounds can overcome this problem easily.


As with all explosive items, these should be stored in separate storage containers. For maximum protection, put each stack of shells in a separate 1x1 stone box to prevent chain reactions. Pawns currently in a tantrum should be stopped at all costs, whether it be by arresting, creating another stockpile zone with a higher priority than the shell zone and prioritizing hauling the shells, or simply by shooting the pawn.

Version history

  • 0.18.1722 - Added to replace mortar type system.
  • 1.1 - Crafting cost was increased (20 --> 25 steel, 10 --> 15 chemfuel).
  • 1.3.3066 - Steel requirement decreased from 25 -> 15 unless Classic Mortar difficulty option enabled.