Astroneer is a chill survival adventure now available on Switch. Here’s a quick beginner’s guide for getting started with the game.
Most survival games aim to create a feeling of tension in the player, as if they could die at any moment if they’re not prepared. Astroneer does not shove survival in your face; it makes it an exploration journey. It’s one of the few survival games where players can just vibe and explore cool, new planets. Until No Man’s Sky is available on Switch, this is the next best thing.
The in-game tutorial for Astroneer does a good job of teaching you how to play the game, but the guidance stops there. This Astroneer guide for Switch players is focused on giving you some idea of what to do and what goals you should be working towards. Each planet has something unique about it, so let’s get started.
When you start a new Astroneer game, you will land on Sylva as your starting planet. You start with pretty much nothing and need to start collecting things immediately. Start by ordering a cargo drop and put the Oxygenator in a dedicated slot in your Shelter. Explore the planet and find Compound and Resin, you’ll need 2-4 of each.
Craft Tethers and Small Canisters with these ingredients as you’ll be needing them frequently. You can also print a small printer from your backpack and place it on the same platform the medium printer is on.
You should always have some type of Research going. Print Large Platform A and Research Chamber and put them together to connect to your grid. You can find research items pretty much everywhere – in trees or rocks, under plants, and any harvestables. These regrow everyday, so be careful not to dig them out. Research speed is determined by your power production, which isn’t great when you’re first starting out.
Once you have research going, you can start running around the planet and looking for wrecks and other debris. Solar Panels and Wind Turbines are great ways to add power generation to your base, but the medium versions require dedicated platforms. The small versions of these items can be placed directly on the ground. You can occasionally find Small Batteries which can be placed on your Shelter. There are two slots for them on the outside walls.
Crafting one or two Small Generators and supplying them with fuel like Organic is also an option. You don’t want your entire energy production to be dependent on burning fuels for long. If you do, the Inhibitor Mod (1,000 bytes) doesn’t destroy smooth terrain and doesn’t dig out harvestables, so plants regrow.
Don’t waste your bytes on random research at the beginning, since your byte collection rate is so low. You’ll need Smelting Furnance and Soil Centrifuge pretty much immediately to progress. Research these technologies and them place them on Large Platform A to use them. While researching these technologies, you can enjoy your first spelunking trip.
Cave Diving – Astroneer Guide for Switch
Find the nearest cave entrance to your starting base. Grab a bunch of tethers and get ready to go underground. Try to place the tethers as far apart as you can so you can maximize how far you go. Place your connection to the last tether when it breaks. Explore the cave for Quartz and Laterite and other harvestable items, being careful not to dig them out. Remember, they respawn for a daily dose of extra bytes. Start heading back to base when your backpack is full.
You can build a Medium Storage container or just dump the resources on the ground, they won’t disappear. You’ll need lots of Resin and platforms, so make sure you are stocked up. The Soil Centrifuge will help you harvest resin and compound. Empty Small Canisters to the Soil Centrifuge. Harvest Ammonium or print at least four of them.
Save up enough bytes to research Small Oxygen Tank, then print two of them and place them in your backpack. These will let you roam a small distance from your tethers. You can rely on them on the surface, but you should always keep your base’s beacon in your sight. When your character starts using backpack reserve oxygen, IMMEDIATELY RETURN TO BASE.
Visiting Other Planets
You research Small Shuttle and Solid-Fuel Thruster. Print Large Printer, then Small Shuttle and single Solid-Fuel Thruster. This combo allows you to take a two-way trip to a planet of your choice and back, but offers no side trips. Heading to Glacio is your best bet.
Store everything in your base and bring a single Small Canister. Your first trip should be naked so you can bring back harvestables.
If you haven’t found Graphite yet, it is available in abundance on Glacio. You should also gather at least one Hematite. Glacio has an aggressive flora species named Cataplant. It will shoot you with explosive blobs that can blow up your shuttle and kill you. You can dig them out to find special research items, just be careful. When your backpack is full of Hematite and Research items, head back to Sylva. Start smelting the Hematite in the Smelting Furnace and then start researching your items.
Now you’re ready to begin the exploration loop of finding new items on new planets and expanding your research capabilities. Each new planet has new resources that you’ve never seen before and will be necessary to progress.
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