The complete and current guide to the early games: from food production to technologies, base design, and technology.
New Game Settings
This tutorial will be played on a Custom Game. All parameters will be kept at their default. This ensures that you will start above the ground on a relatively simple map (and, since 0.7.4, with very competent settlers.
We will also assume that the tutorial has been completed and that you are familiar with the user interface (.). How to build rooms, stations, etc.
Establish your initial base
One might be tempted not to start from scratch. This is a bad idea. ATC is based on the idea of using existing structures as your initial structure. The more you can reuse existing buildings the less time and resources you will spend on erecting new doors and walls.
You must note that any structure in the world (except for one you create underground bunker), is considered junk and cannot be used. You are taking over a house to get the roof and walls free of contamination, but you cannot reuse its contaminated furniture. In the same spirit, it is best to raze the doors and make your own so that you can lock them when necessary.
You should aim to have one or two buildings within proximity of each other. You should be aware that rooms with a dark brown overlay may contain hostile creatures. You don’t have to be discouraged if you find infested rooms within your building. Ensure your entire party is in combat mode to eliminate the infestation.
You need enough space to set up:
- A barrack large sufficient to hold 8-12 beds
- A room at least 6×6 in size for your kitchen (. I’ll explain why in the next chapter).
- A small dining room
- There is enough room for (craft, so research) and storage spaces
You can keep forges outdoors. You can keep your forges outside.
Contrary to Rimworld’s game, where you can compensate for a bad base design by forcing settlers to overwork themselves to death, ATC is all focused on optimizing your base layout so that your settlers can work as efficiently on their own. ATC’s trial of fire is the kitchen/food production.
This is how an efficient kitchen should look.
Ideally, one exit should lead to your dining area and the other to your farms or water production facilities.
These are the settings for the 3 storage areas must.
- top left: We only accept food ingredients
- bottom left: Drinks (are not accepted except for Dirty water)
- middle right: Food only
IMPORTANT: Your other storage areas must not accept food ingredients or drink (except dirty or food water) until much later. Otherwise, it would defeat all the purpose of the room.
The 2 kitchens can be set up to loop all relevant recipes like this:
Edit: These recipes can be set to “Build forever”; how it is displayed was changed in 0.8.
One kitchen should be set to “high priority”, (, as shown in the screenshot). But not the other unless you are running out of food.
That room’s purpose is to ensure your cooks don’t spend more time moving around than cooking. You don’t need the food to be stored as it’s automatically moved between the kitchens. You can also keep an eye on your stocks.
Upgrading the containers to stone, upgrading the basic kitchens from electric to electric, and using dedicated cooks when there is enough, this single room will easily meet your needs until you reach 20-25 survivors (. You’ll likely require more kitchens after).
Clean Water Production
Water production can be optimized similarly to the kitchen. Even better, it can be optimized over time with new technologies unlocking more water-related features.
At the beginning of the game, you should see your water production area. This should be next to the kitchen.
Two water collectors located near a storage area. The container should accept only Dirty Water and should be your only storage. The campfire near the container should be set to Purify Water in loop, until it reaches 20-30.
Once you unlock the carpentry tech, it should look like this.
The new well will produce dirty water in loop until there is 20 (or) in the store. It’s a good idea to upgrade the well to a more efficient version when it becomes available.
Once you unlock the construction tech, you can replace the campfire with a water purifier.
The water purifier should be set up to purify water in a loop till you have enough water in storage (40-50 is a good start).
If the water levels are not rising, add a second cleaner of the same order to the system and place one in “High Priority”.
Before setting up your farms, ensure your 3-4 farmers are (2’ish each). That’s possible:
- Manually: Open population menu. Sort your survivors based on farming skills. Right-click on people to toggle the job ON/OFF
- Automatically: Open the factions menu. Click on the tab Job Manager to set up settings for farmers.
You should start with 30 potato seed which should be enough for up to 15 settlers. Two 3×5 farms (are better than one large. This is a more flexible setup that can be built quickly.
Potatoes are very resilient and will survive acid rain. They are easy to grow and don’t need much water. They may not scale well as you grow your base.
Rice is far more efficient, allowing for more and better food. It is however fragile and needs more water. Because of its fragility, it is best grown indoors. You will need to unlock Metallurgy technology before you can build “grow lights” next to an indoor field.
Although tomatoes are not recommended as your main source of food (, they can satisfy both hunger and thirst, which can sometimes make it more cost-effective).
Last but not least, be aware of your stocks. If you are concerned about your plants being affected by weather or lack of water, you might be able to set up small 2×2 farms that can harvest seeds. This will allow you to replenish your stock.
Update: Since 0.8.3 farms have been happy to use dirty water as long as it’s available. If there isn’t any dirty water available, they’ll use clean water.
Although there is no single way to navigate the tech tree, many are more user-friendly than others.
- Carpentry: Always pick first. This guide will help you to build a self-sustainable base from the well to entertaining your settlers. It’s also the main branch of tech.
- Masonry: It’s better to have larger containers and the ability to build decent walls and stone furniture.
- Medical: A hospital could prove helpful if you are (or) and have not been raided yet.
- Metallurgy: – Access to the next-tier techs
- Basic Armors: If you have enough ammo or not, then pick Pipe Weapons first.
- Either Pipe Weapons (or Basic Weapons) for the water purifier,)
Then you can go wherever you want. Radio and Exploration are key parts of the game, so don’t delay.
It is important to note that your research speed greatly depends on the scientific skill of the settler. So make sure you only allow the best survivors to work on such projects (. Also, it’s probably for the best to disable military, scavenging on your tech guys, so you don’t accidentally send them to their deaths).
Priorities and Jobs
While ATC may appear to be Rimworld-like, it’s actually very similar to Dwarf Fortress in how it’s played. There are no direct ways to move your survivors around, except in battle.
There are many ways around this, but there is also a set of rules you need to follow:
- ATC is about large bases. Huge bases. Your limited supply of starting settlers can only do so much work before things pile up. Do not ask them to simultaneously build the Great Wall Of China and then ask them to recycle half of the map.
- In the early game, food and water production will keep a large portion of your settlers busy. This is the intention.
- Clicking the “High Priority” checkbox anywhere is much worse better than not using it at any point. High priority is powerful. But if you have more high-priority jobs than settlers, you will worsen things. Until you are confident you can only use it in one kitchen and one “purify” station (, whether it’s a campfire or a water purifier).
- You’re likely to fail your first few games, but that’s okay!
This menu is the best way for your survivors to be focused on a task.
This menu will be your best friend. Use it. It’s important to use it often. Want a wall built in a matter of hours? Add construction to the top until satisfied. Do you want your house to be demolished? Add Disassembling on top. Once you’re finished with your current project remove them from the list. It’s simple to use.
Here are some tips to help you get started.
- Establish a trading zone openly as soon as you can. This will make it possible for civilian traders to visit your base. You can make wooden statues at a crafting station. They usually sell for a fair price.
- While you wait for your farms’ growth, you might run out of food. It is possible to recycle the contents of nearby structures. You will likely find food and water in the bars and kitchens around you.
- People who are going on an expedition don’t necessarily need food, but may bring some. Sending a few people for a few days to look for food at a nearby farmer might make the difference in saving your life.
- You should not purchase cattle until you have a stable home. Animals can be a long-term investment, and they need to be fed.
- Not all survivors are equal. Survivors who survived the collapse are not always in good health. Pay attention to your survivors’ skills, traits, and stats. It is important to pay attention to Work Ethics because it determines whether a settler will be able to take a break between jobs (or). Pay attention to the traits that influence how much they eat and sleep. Sometimes, it’s best to banish (from a survivor’s home or refuse entry for) to a survivor who is unable to do his job efficiently.
Let’s have fun and try new things. It’s okay for you to lose or reset a round of a game. However, you’ll be better the next time around and there’s plenty more content.
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