Factorio Tips and Tricks

Factorio Tips and Tricks

Here are a bunch of useful Factorio tips and tricks.

Opt Into Experimental Versions

Right after you install Factorio, you will want to right click the game in Steam, click Properties, then Betas. Here you will want to choose the "Latest Experimental" version. In Factorio, the experimental versions are extremely stable, and more importantly, they contain a lot more features and content than the regular version.

Good Starting Build / Research Order

Not sure what to research first? What I do is start by getting Turrets first to protect your base. After that go after basic inserters and belts. Pick up Bullet Damage next. Then I make a Red Science Producer with a few labs.

Green circuits follow, and then craft some green science to unlock (Logistics) red belts, splitters and underground belts. (the most important parts of your factory. Splitters should be used early and often.)

Then you want to automate red and green science. Go for steel after this, then Oil, Batteries, Blue Science, Laser Turrets, and from here you should be golden!

Getting Rid Of Trees Fast

The best way to get rid of trees early on is simply shoot them with your gun. As you progress in the game, piercing rounds do a great job at taking out trees as well. Once you craft a car, the machine gun turret that the car uses can be used to clear trees fast.

Later on, grenades with upgraded damage will be your go to for clearing trees fast. While the flamethrower is good as well, you won't have it until much later in the game.

Eventually the tank can straight up drive over trees. Combine this with throwing grenades out of the window in front of you, clearing trees will become a breeze.

Just keep in mind that trees reduce pollution, so you will want to keep at least some around.

Create Buffers

Buffers are a wonderful thing in this game. They give you some time to react if a resource runs out while you're busy doing other things.

To create a buffer, simply place a chest at the inserter, and then another inserter which puts the items onto your belt.

So for example, if you have a buffer for Iron Plates somewhere on your main bus, if your iron runs out, your plates will keep moving on the main bus and you will have time to create another iron extracting operation somewhere else.

Create A "Main Bus"

Right from the start, you should create main buses for at least iron and copper plates. A main bus is a belt 2-4 blocks wide that runs through your whole base delivering resources and materials.

Steel Starves Resources

It's very important to have steel production away from your main bus. So what you want to do is try to get a few furnaces smelting iron plates directly into other furnaces which smelt steel and then put that on a line going through your base.

Having steel smelters use iron plates straight from your main bus is a good way to starve the main bus completely.

Getting Around Faster

Simply running on grass is really slow. As soon as you can, start turning stone into stone bricks which can be put down on the ground to increase your walking / running speed by 130%.

Eventually you will be able to also create concrete which increases movement speed by 140%. Concrete takes longer to create though, so stick with stone bricks at first.

More Inventory Space

If you need more inventory space, first get the tool-belt researched. You can also research Power Armor for an additional 10 inventory slots.

Finding Your Vehicles

If you lose a vehicle in your base, you can find it by looking at your large map. Look for the small red arrows on your map, those are your vehicles. (cars, tanks, etc.)

Scan And Monitor Your Base

As soon as you can, place a scanner in your base, and then more as you expand. Having scanners around is very useful not only for revealing more of the map around you, but also if you open the map and zoom in, if you have scanners around your base, you will be able to see everything without having to actually go there.

This is very useful for checking defenses of your base far away, such as ammo in turrets, how much damage the enemies are doing to your walls, etc.

Note that when placing a scanner, if you look at your minimap the large blue square is the range of the scanner. This way you know how many scanners you will need for your base.

Good Base Defenses

Early on, try to put turrets and defenses around objects that create a lot of pollution. For example you want to put turrets next to Steam engines, furnces, radars, miners, etc.

Eventually what I like to do is put double thickness walls around my entire base with as many turrets right behind the walls as possible.

A great trick I've learned is to put belts going the other direction outside of your walls where enemies like to attack the most. This way the belts will push enemies away from your base while your turrets take them out!

For end game defenses you should aim for 3 laser thick walls around your entire factory. Just make sure you have the electricity to cover that!

Expanding Your Base

One of the biggest problems in Factorio is lack of space! So grab a vehicle, fill it with walls, turrets, ammo, big electric poles and then go out and expand your base.

Resupplying Gun Turrets

A good way to keep turrets resupplied without having to drive over to them every time they run out of ammo, is to have a container full of ammo next to them, and a inserter putting ammo into the turret from the container. This way you will only have to resupply the containers every once in a while.

If you really want to go all out, you can have a train that goes around and delivers ammo to each of these containers, essentially creating an automatic rearming mechanism for your gun turrets.

Useful Keyboard Shortcuts

Factorio has a bunch of very useful keyboard shortcuts you can use.

Press R to rotate objects before and after placing them.

Press SHIFT + CLICK to place a ghost of an object and plan something out before building.

HOLD LEFT MOUSE BUTTON down while running to place items like power poles at their max allowed distance from each other.

CTRL CLICK an item in an inventory to move all of that type of item to the other inventory. You can also ctrl click an empty spot in an inventory to move ALL items in that container to another container.

SHIFT + SPACE will pause the game and show you a grid. This is very useful for planning out your next steps.

While holding an item, you can CTRL CLICK a chest, turret, etc. to place the amount you're holding quickly into that container.

MIDDLE MOUSE sets a filter on the toolbar.

Leave Space When Building

You will always need more space when building and expanding, so my rule is to always leave space around anything I build.

You especially want to leave a two block buffer around things you build so that you can run underground belts under it.

Upgrading To Blue Inserters

As soon as you can, upgrade your yellow inserters to blue ones because they are much faster.

Enemy Base Destroying Tactics

I have a few tactics I use when going out to destroy enemy bases.

One tactic I use is hit and run. So instead of driving up to a base in your vehicle and firing, keep driving circles around and hold space bar to take out the enemies, then double back and finish off any spawners in the area.

Another very useful tactic I've learned is to have a bunch of turrets and ammo on your toolbelt. Drive up to an enemy base but not too close to trigger enemy attacks. Place a few turrets down, fill them with ammo, and move up. As enemies run to you, they will get destroyed by your turrets.

At this point, you can advance forward by placing more turrets close and close to the enemy base, until you overrun them. If you run into medium / big worms, you can use turrets as diversions while you destroy them!

This has to happen quickly. Place down a turret within a worms range, and once it starts attacking your turret, don't be afraid, move in and attack the worm. It will most likely ignore you and keep attacking your turret while you take it out!

Also note that you can repair while you fire! So repair the turret that the worm is attacking while you fire at it.

Enemies Get Stronger

Keep in mind when you destroy spawners, the evolution rate of enemies goes up. The more you destroy, the stronger they get. So try not too destroy too many at the start, before you set up some good defenses for your base.

Useful Modules Early On

If you have a good electricity setup, I would recommend using speed modules for everything. It just gets the job done faster! Producitivity modules can be nice too, but I found that they are just too slow.

Military Science Priority

Early on, you will run into a choice of which science to go after next. I would highly recommend starting with military science first. This way you can get laser turrets up and get good defenses around your base before doing anything else.

Faster Trains

When building a rail line, you want to use two locomotives instead of just one. This way your train will be able to get around much faster.

Efficient Train Delivery

If you have two train lines next to each other, you can have the trains deliver resources consistently. If you send one train to pick up resources for 60 seconds, and then have another train next to it start up a little while after, the two trains will constantly pick up and bring back resources with no downtime in between.

Try to have buffers for every train. This way when they deliver their goods, and drive back to pick up more, your inserters will continue to deliver resources to the belt until the train comes back with more.

Essential Materials To Keep In Your Vehicles

Once you build a car, you will want to keep iron plates, copper plates, steel plates, bricks, ammo, walls, and some coal on them at all times. Before you get to robotics, you will be running out of resources often, so having this in your vehicle at all times will make building faster.

Crafting In Inventory

Keep in mind sometimes crafting items straight from your inventory is faster and less of a hassle than designing an assembling machine system. For example things like rail or walls can be quickly crafted straight from your inventory.

Upgrade To Steel Furnaces Early!

Try to get advanced material processing up as soon as you can. Steel furnaces are much faster than regular furnaces and will greatly help with production of materials for your factory.

Better Power Poles

Try to get electric energy distribution early on as well. The larger power lines can really help with making your factory less messy.

When To Get Solar Power

Though you may be tempted to get solar panels up early, it is actually pointless until you can get Accumulators up as well. Without accumulators, at night your electric grid will suffer from lack of electricity, and your factory may shut down.

Upgrading Is Easy

Keep in mind that upgrading an object is very easy in this game and does not require you to tear down that object first. Simply click the object while having the upgraded object in your hands to upgrade it! The old object will appear in your inventory.

Running Out Of Resources!

If you are running out of resources near you, don't worry. A recent update made it so the further out you go, the more resources there are (the richness increases). So for example if your starter patches are 1-2 million, if you go a few radar ranges away, you will see patches of resources with 10-20 million.

Backed Up Liquid Resources

This is a very important note to keep in mind when you get to liquid (oil) and gas resources. If one of your gas or liquid resources are full, production will stop completely. So keep an eye out on your Light oil, Heavy oil and Petrolium gas and add some storage tanks to them as needed.

Don't Cross Liquid Or Gas Pipes

When setting up liquid or gas pipes, make sure you don't cross them. One cross can contaminate the entire pipe system that it's connected to, and will be very hard to fix. Try to use Pipe-to-Ground as often as possible, because you are much less likely to cross pipes that way.

Oil Doesn't Run Out Fully

Keep in mind that pumpjacks will keep going even if the oil has run out. Even though the speed will reduce by a lot, they will keep pumping. You should have buffers on your oil in case your pumpjacks start pumping much slower. This way you will be able to find another oil patch before running out.

More Petroleum Gas

Early on when first start your oil operation, you will run out of petroleum gas quickly. A good solution to this is to research Advanced oil processing and use Heavy Oil cracking to Light Oil, and then Light Oil cracking to Petroleum gas.

Independent Input Pipes

When piping liquid or gas to an assembler, make sure the line is independent from your storage tanks. Otherwise you will get very low throughput on the second, third, etc. assemblers that the pipes are connected to.

Keep Some Gun Turrets Around End Game

Though you may be tempted to switch fully to laser turrets later in the game, I recommend keeping some gun turrets up. First of all, fully upgraded gun turrets can potentially deal more damage than laser turrets.

Second, while laser turrets are great, if for any reason your electric grid goes down, your entire factory will be left defenseless! This is why gun turrets are so good. They don't use electricity, so they will keep firing even if your electric is down.

Mobile Storage

Trains can be used as mobile storage. If you create a rail line from one end of your base to another, you can store a bunch of useful materials in multiple cargo wagons. This way you can keep a large amount of materials near you at all times while you build. Preventing the need to run/drive all the way back to the start of your base to grab resources.

This is also a great way to move your base to a new area. As you probably already know, the further out you go, the more rich the resources become. So if you are running low on resources around your area, simply move your base!

Load up a train with everything you need, and create a track going into the direction (I usually go East) you want. Eventually you will reach some very large resource patches.

Here you can create your new base with walls, turrets, and solar panels for power. Then you can move anything important you need from your base using the trains.

This page will be expanded if I find anything else useful. If you have any of your own questions or hints, tips or tricks for Factorio of your own, please post them in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

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