Saw a lot of common questions on the Discord channel, and thought I’d put together a guide with things you might miss out on how it works, or are just helpful to know in general.
Autonauts Beginners Guide (Tips & Tricks)
Since I just felt like making this now (maybe out of procrastination) this is probably not gonna be some kind of super high quality mega guide, and I’m likely not going to maintain it much, but I did want to make this because there’s a lot of things that can be easy to miss or helps a lot to know. I might forget some stuff I wanted to put here, so there may be additions later.
Look through the controls. Seriously, I forgot to do that since I just thought “Well, I know how to play a video game” and totally missed things like the button that allows you to switch your hand with your backpack without having to put anything on the ground
Robots can do basically everything you can do. This includes the obvious things you’re taught about like picking up and using tools, but they can also charge robots just like you do, (and if you set up at least two bots on recharge duty to an area, the chance of robots there needing manual recharging ever becomes extremely close to 0%) and even change a building’s active recipe.
Related to the previous point, try everything. Both in seeing what your robots can and can’t do, but also it never hurts to see how new things work. ALT is useful here, because it shows what you can do with the thing you’re hovering over, with whatever you have in your hand, since there are time when when the game expects a different click than you’d think (for example giving clothes to colonists is done via Ctrl+Right Click)
Use the Autonautopedia (the TAB menu) a lot. Since currently there is no up to date wiki, that’s gonna be your best bet for a lot of info. You can check on all research, what they require, what they provide, you can check every item and how to get it, and not just the recipes but even things like “put tree seed in hole to get tree”, and if it needs research it also tells you which it needs, so you can always see easily how to get an item you’re looking for.
Bots dig holes in a specific pattern. When you tell bots to dig holes you’ll notice that they leave a tile between each hole, resulting in a grid pattern. And not just that but the pattern is global, it’s not based on the designated area, which means that you should always check first where they will dig the holes before planning around them.
Items that have not been touched will disappear after some time. This means that if you want something to not despawn, you or a bot has to touch it. It also means that resources produced but not gathered will eventually disappear. I had a moment where I watched a ton of Wuv disappear right in front of me because I forgot to start the next research and didn’t have a buffer chest yet to collect Wuv into.
Go for berries, ignore the shrooms. At least in the current version (125) mushrooms are extremely inefficient compared to berries. They take more work and produce less food, so just berry it up.
The answer to every problem is always more bots. Resources too far? More bots. Production too slow? More bots. Recipe too complicated? More bots. Feeling lonely on a Saturday night? More bots.
Autonauts Pro tips
With spare memory you can make bots work in larger areas. For example a basic recharge bot has one set of Find > Move to > Recharge instructions, but with memory to spare you can add more of that (at least 2 more on the Mk1 bots) and each Find instruction will have it’s own area, meaning you can multiply the max area of a bot like this.
You can move things around extremely freely. Every structure even if it’s just a blueprint, or even if it’s a filled storage building can be freely moved around. This means that reorganizing your base is extremely easy, and it also means that you don’t need to build things where you want them to end up.
For example I have a construction area set up very near to my resources, with bots told to add those resources to blueprints, so I can just plop down the blueprints in the area, have the bots finish the buildings while I do other things, then just move the completed buildings to their intended place.
If the target area is a structure, even if you move it, the bots will know where it is. Thanks to this, if you set up a bot to take tools from a crate or maybe the workbench itself, even if you move things around you don’t have to worry about reprogramming them.
Don’t be fooled and think signs are just decoration. The signs actually have a function and can be useful, and they work mostly the same. Basically they allow you to turn an area into a structure, which becomes really useful combined with my previous point.
For example I have a group of digger bots that dig up the turf in an area. Since I set their area as the sign, I can put that sign wherever I want, and without having to redesignate the area for each of the bots, they’ll just do their jobs. However be careful when moving the sign: if the robots are still active they will still see the area as you drag the sign around, which can cause them to work in random tiles on the way, so if you move the sign just stop the bots first.
The difference between the signs seems to be that the directional sign’s area is a single tile, while the billboard has a larger area than a regular sign.