User:Hordes/The Great Steelening

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Steel. STEEL.


Mining ore[edit]

The most straightforward way to get steel, requiring no infrastructure. However, ore is ultimately limited per map. As you mine more ore, each deposit will be further and further away, increasing travel time to and from the deposit.

EMPERICAL TESTING (i took a stopwatch on a mining 8 pawn, then rounded to a pretty number)

Mining Speed and Mining Yield are heavily impacted by the Mining Stat - especially for values below Mining 8. Difficulty also impacts mining, through the mining yield storyteller setting.

  • 1,900 ticks (31.67 secs) to mine an ore at Mining Speed = 100% (mining 8).
  • 40 steel at Mining Yield = 100% @ Strive to Survive
  • 1900 ticks / 40 steel = 47.5 ticks per steel at mining 8
  • [1900 ticks / (40*0.6) steel] / 0.04 speed = 1979 ticks per steel at mining 0
  • Each "swing" takes 80 HP of steel ore, regardless of mining skill. Steel ore has 1.5k hp, for 19 swings per catch.


Deconstructing stuff[edit]

Ship chunks and ruins made of steel can be deconstructed to get steel back. Walls, urns, tables, and concrete are all items that can be dismantled. These ruins are extremely limited in quantity, so this is purely an earlygame resource.

Ancient dangers contain... danger, as well as ancient cryptosleep caskets, which can be deconstructed for a good chunk of steel, along with its other goodies. You can also deconstruct the steel tiles that often spawn inside the danger.

Construction Speed and type of thing deconstructed. Each item gives half their constituent steel, rounded randomly. Exact math depends on what you're deconstructing, but bigger items are generally more efficient.

  • 135 ticks (2.25 secs) ticks to deconstruct a wall at Construction Speed = 100% (Construction 8).
  • 2.5 steel per wall at any construction skill.
  • 135 ticks/2.5 steel = 54 ticks per steel at construction 8

WALK TIME MATTERS MORE. While very slightly less work efficient than mining steel, there is no reason not to deconstruct when both options are inheriently limited. It's safer to deconstruct ruins early in the game rather than later, as raids are less dangerous.

Strip mining[edit]

Strip mining is creating 1-tile wide tunnels around a large area of rock, hoping to find ore inside. This is only really feasible for maps with large hills or mountains. Inheriently worse than mining exposed ores, strip mining may be more efficient than mining ores at the other side of the map


  • Highly variable time to find steel. Otherwise the same as #Mining ore.



Bulk goods traders and faction bases can come with steel. Trade caravans come with 200-300 steel, faction bases come with 300-600, and orbital trade ships come with 500-800. The amount of trade you can do is ultimately limited by the traders. Caravans come completely at random, until you have allied with a faction, where it costs goodwill per. Orbital traders come completely at random and require a comms console to trade. You must create your own caravan to a faction base, which only restocks once every 30 days. Large quantities of steel are extremely heavy, so pack animals are often required for base trading to be reasonable.

On the colony's end, your means of making money, the negotiator's Trade Price Improvement, difficulty (the setting Trade price disadvantage), and the distance/quantity of faction bases affect how viable trade is. The advantage of trade is not that it is any more time-efficient than mining ore, but that there are many, many different ways of making money; most colonies can depend on at least one.


Electric smelters are a renewable way to create usable steel. Steel slag chunks, or the weapons and armor of raiders can be melted. The health or quality of the item doesn't matter, and both biocoded weapons and tainted apparel can be smelted. This is renewable, but not indefinite - at any given time, you only have so many items to smelt. Therefore, smelting is largely a supplmental source of steel.

The actual smelter building only requires Electricity researched. However, the building costs Steel 170 Steel, Component 2 Components to build. This is expensive for the earlygame, where steel is in high demand, so you may want to hold off building the smelter until you can get an immediate return of investment (~11 steel chunks or ~8 steel spears, for instance). The smelter also consumes 700 W of power, though the smelter can be turned on or off whenever needed.

While selling high-HP weapons and non-tainted apparel to traders may net more steel, this forces you to go through the inconvienences of trading. Combat suppliers will buy weapons, but won't sell steel. Bulk goods traders will sell steel but not buy weapons. Faction bases take time to get to.

Steel Slag Chunks

  • 400 ticks (6.67 secs) per chunk at General Labor Speed = 100% (healthy average pawn)
  • 15 steel per chunk at any quantity
  • 400 ticks / 15 steel = 26.67 ticks per steel


Smelting Weapons/Apparel

  • 1,600 ticks (26.67 secs) per item, for any item at General Labor Speed = 100% (healthy average pawn)
  • 7 steel for autopistols & revolvers, the items with the smallest yield. Larger stuff = more stuff
  • 1600 ticks / 7 steel = 228.6 ticks per steel
  • 1600 / 15 = 106.7 ticks/steel.

Notably, smelting weapons will lower the wealth stat, due to the high Market Value of each weapon. Weapons will only actually sell for 0.2x this price, but their full wealth is used to determine raid points.

Shredding mechanoids[edit]

The corpses of mechanoids can either be shredded at a machining table, or smashed at a crafting spot, for a small amount of metal. Using a crafting spot is slower and gives -30% yield, so should only be done in the earlygame if you need the steel. Similarly to the smelter, mech shredding is a supplemental source of steel.

The type of mechanoid, the Missing Body Parts of the corpse, and Mechanoid Shredding Efficiency determines yield. Assume machining table is used.

  • 300 ticks (5 secs) to shred a mechanoid at Mechanoid Shredding Speed = 100% (crafting 8)
  • 15 steel per scyther, lancer, etc. Directly impacted by missing body parts.
  • 300 ticks / 15 steel = 20 ticks / steel for human-like mechs, theoretically.


Meteorites will rarely appear as an event, and they can contain steel ore. Of course, these cannot be relied upon.



Deep drilling[edit]

Deep drills can provide massive quantities of steel. Each deposit gives an average of 9000 steel, each, meaning that drilling can easily suit a lategame colony's needs. But first, ore deposits need to be found with a ground penetrating scanner, which requires an advanced component to create. Both deep drills and the scanner must be powered. In addition, the process of deep drilling can trigger the Too Deep: Infestation event.

There are two major advantages of a deep drill. The first is that you will never run out of deposits; when ores are "found", they are created. The second is that, unlike other "infinite" sources of steel, deep drills do not require you to leave your colony. This is mostly for convenience, but saves on pack animals/transport pods and possibly caravan time.

Research Speed to find the deposit. Deep Drilling Speed to drill ores.

  • Average of 180,000 ticks (50 mins) to find any deposit with scanner at Research Speed = 100% (Int. 8).
    • 53% to get a steel deposit, not accounting for travel distance. Avg 9000 steel/deposit. Therefore, an average of 37.7 ticks (0.63 secs) per steel is spent scanning.
    • Due to security/walking/power reasons, you may want scan ores until you get a deposit reasonable close to your base. This increases actual scanning speed
  • 14,000 ticks (3.89 mins) per extraction cycle at Deep Drilling Speed = 100% (mining 8).
  • 35 steel per cycle (modified by mining yield??????)
  • 14000 / 35 = 350 ticks per steel at mining 8, not counting scan time
    • [14000 / 40] / 2.44 = 143.44 ticks per steel at mining 20, not counting scan time
  • Multiple deep drills can be used at once

Long-range scanners[edit]

Long-range mineral scanners can also provide an infinite quantity of steel ore, which also requires an advanced component to create. Whenever the long-range scanner finds ore, an event on the world map pops up. Unlike ground scanners/deep drills, long-range scanners can be tuned to a specific ore. Once you get there, a lump of 55-60 tiles of steel ore is created, which must be mined normally. There is usually a small threat (small amount of manhunter animals) once you get there.

You must have some way to get to the event space, and some way to get the steel back. For 100% Mining Yield, each haul of steel will weigh a total of 1100 - 1200kg. Transport pods can carry up to 150kg (300 steel) for the cost of Steel 60 Steel, Component 1 Component, plus (Steel 50 Steel, Component 1 Component & some Chemfuel chemfuel) for the pod launcher. Remember to bring a pawn that can construct pods if you are relying on them.

Research Speed to find the deposit. Mining Speed & Mining Yield to mine ore. A competent (Mining >= 6 or so) miner is recommended.

  • Average of 240,000 ticks (66.67 mins) to find a deposit with scanner at Research Speed = 100% (Int. 8).
    • Avg 2250 steel/deposit at 100% Mining Yield @ Strive to Survive. Therefore, an average of 106.7 ticks (1.78 secs) per steel is spent scanning.
  • Ore speed is the same as #Mining ore, but travel time (in location) is much smaller. For reference - 1900 ticks / 40 steel = 47.5 ticks per steel at mining 8
  • Caravans often take days to get to location without transport pods. Transport pods cost steel to create and chemfuel to launch. FarskipContent added by the Royalty DLC can make the return trip easier.

Transport pods

  • 2250 base steel, -450 steel for 8 transport pods + 1 launcher (1 pod to arrive, 7 pods + 1 launcher for the return trip), -108 steel for 9 components from fabrication. 1700 steel per scan, total.
  • 14,400 ticks (4 mins) to build 8 pods + 1 launcher (Construction 8). 8.5 ticks (0.14 secs) per steel spent building pods. Not counting chemfuel or component creation time.
  • 33,095.5 ticks (9.19 mins) (plants 8) to create 350 chemfuel, enough for a 10-tile trip, from corn in a biofuel refinery. 15 ticks (0.25 secs) per steel.
  • 47.5 ticks/mine (mining 8) + 106.7 ticks/scan (int 8) + 7.8 ticks/pods (construction 8) + 15 ticks/chemfuel (corn, plants 8) = 188 ticks (3.13 secs) per steel.

Compared to the ground-penetrating scanner, long-range scanners require less work to mine, but more time to scan. If you have good researchers, but either a low # of miners or low-skill miners, then the long-range scanner can be superior. However, they force you to bring colonists outside the colony, which can bring inefficiency.

Settling a new colony[edit]