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Surviving Mars: Church of the Self-Sufficient Ark Guide

Short guide to making a self-sufficient colony using only the initial rocket and funding for pods. No additional colonists, resupplies, interacting with other factions, or selling of rare materials.

Church of the Self-Sufficient Ark Guide

Since I started playing the game, one of things I wanted to do was simulate creating a colony in another solar system. The trip out to the planet would essentially be one way. You can send an initial rocket and wave of pods, but no additional colonists, re-supplies, interacting with other factions, or selling of rare metals. Once you use up your initial funding on rocket cargo and pods at the start of the map, you have to survive on your own. Church of the New Ark was a natural fit in terms of role-play so after a bunch of trial and error, I finally managed to nail down my initial cargo loadout and early build order. Note that DLC is required.

Starting Setup

Starting location: 4 S, 108 E;
Starting Square: D2

Mission Sponsor: Church of The New Ark
Commander: Doctor
Rules: Hunger, Last Ark, No Rivals

Rocket: Moisture Vaporator, Fuel Refinery, One of each RC vehicle, 9 x Drones, 1 x Probe

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5x Supply Pods: Small Machine Parts Factory, Small Electronics Factory, Drone Hub, 20 x electronics, 25 x polymers, 25 x machine parts, 2 x Drones

1x Ark Pod (after dome is built): Medics, Geologists, Engineers (No Middle-Aged, Vegans, or Gamers)

Initial Build

When you set up the initially colony structures, the most important thing to remember is to not build anything that requires advanced resources (for construction or maintenance) unless you absolutely have to have it. Although the 20-25 of each that you start out with seams like a decent amount, you are potentially going to have to go 30-40 sols without producing any of them. For example, even though you have a drone hub prefab, I only constructed it when I was getting ready to use my rocket for a planetary mission. Also, minimize the batteries and wind turbines and no sterling generators.

Starter Micro Dome: Living Complex, Infirmary, Ranch, Diner, Small Grocer, 2 x small gardens

You’ll have 4 empty spaces to use for a passage and the small machine parts factory once you have two births. For the ranch you’ll need to use chickens initially for water consumption then eventually progress up to turkeys once you get connected to a water extractor. Make sure your diner and grocer are staffed during both day shifts or else you lose too much comfort from lack of services.

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Expansion to Self-Sufficiency

Surviving Mars Church of the Self-Sufficient Ark Guide

Once you start your machine parts factory you can build another micro dome, connect the two, then kick the children out (see attached picture). Research is primarily accomplished through scanning anomalies, so don’t be afraid to do a couple capture meteor planetary missions to speed yourself through some key ones (like demolition, RC explorer research, and Polymer factory) and get some polymers. Once you get a polymer factory and rare metals extractor, you may need to rotate your workforce around to the different production facilities while you wait for more children to enter the workforce. For example, the turkeys will initially produce way more food than you need, so you can cycle the workers to other buildings for a couple a sols after each harvest. Eventually you’ll be able build a larger dome and construct the small electronics factory. At this point you should be CAUTIOUSLY self-sufficient. Don’t out-build your production capability and keep a decent resource reserve for disasters. I made the mistake of keeping fuel at a universal depot and a meteor hit it and it blew up along with all my electronics and machine parts (I had like 15 or so of each). Thankfully both factories were still working fine so I pulled out of it, but it was a scary moment initially.

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I’m sure there are multiple ways to handle this type of scenario (especially if you chose a different sponsor), but I figured I would share what worked for me. Feel free to throw in your inputs or similar experiences!

Written by JaylewAF11

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