This guide will tell you how to unlock Drones in The Planet Crafterhow to use them, how to upgrade your Drones to T2, and more!
Quick links: How to Unlock Drones | How to Use Drones
How to Unlock T2 Drones | How to Upgrade T1 Drones to T2 Drones
How to Automate Crafting of Complex Items
Your first few weeks in The Planet Crafter will require you to run around the planet collecting things on foot. Eventually, you’ll be able to automate things like Crafting and Farming through the use of Drones — read on to learn about how to unlock Drones and how they work!
How to Unlock Drones in The Planet Crafter
You can unlock Drones in The Planet Crafter by progressing Terraforming to 62.50 GTi. Once you reach that point, you’ll unlock the Drone Station which you can build for 1 Osmium Rod, 1 Fusion Energy Cell, 1 Super Alloy Rod, and 3 Circuit Boards. Bear in mind, one Drone Station uses 850 Energy per second — make sure you have plenty of Energy generation!
How to Use Drones
Once you’ve built a Drone Station, you’ll see a new menu appear on all Crafting devices and storage. It can be accessed by clicking on the Gear at the bottom left of a device’s inventory. This new menu has two options: “Supply” and “Demand”.
- Supply – Drones will take the selected items from this object’s inventory.
- Demand – Drones will take the selected items from this object’s inventory.
Clicking on either “Supply” or “Demand” will bring up a menu listing nearly every item in the game. A device can only either Supply or Demand; it can’t do both. However, you can Supply or Demand multiple items.
This has many practical uses. For example, you can set your Ore Extractor to “Supply” the Iridium it’s mining and Storage Crates, Locker Storages, or Locker Storages T2 to “Demand” Iridium. Drones will then pick up the Iridium from the Ore Extractors and take it to the designated storage units until they are full. Another practical use for Drones is for Crafting more complex items such as Pulsar Quartzes or Circuit Boards which you can read about later in this guide.
The completion of a Drone Station allows you to begin Crafting Drones. A Drone Station can hold 25 Drones in its storage. You do not need multiple Drone Stations if you have more than 25 Drones as of Early Access v0.8.008, although you might want to have it anyway to make it easy to pick them up when they’re idle if you feel the need.
Drone Stations use a tremendous amount of Energy — in fact, it uses a massive 850 Energy per second for just one Drone Station. Make sure your Energy generating infrastructure is up to the task before you start Crafting Drones!
How to Unlock T2 Drones
You can unlock the Drone T2 Blueprint by purchasing it from the Space Trading Rocket at the price of 15,000 Terra Tokens. T2 Drones are faster than their T1 counterparts.
How to Upgrade T1 Drones to T2 Drones
You cannot upgrade T1 Drones to T2 Drones directly. However, you can dismantle your T1 Drones in the Recycling Machine and then use their resources to make T2 Drones. This will require you to recover your T1 Drones. The easiest way to do this is to shut down all Supply jobs or Demand jobs (whichever are fewer) — with no work to do, the T1 Drones will return to a Drone Station. You can then pick up the T1 Drones and recycle them.
How to Automate Crafting of Complex Items Using Drones
Using a combination of Drones, Ore Extractors, Shredders, storage, and the Auto-Crafter, you can fully automate the production of most complex items. Here are the roles for each of these objects in the automated Crafting of complex items:
- Ore Extractors – Produces raw materials.
- Other devices that produce materials such as Lake Water Collectors or Beehives can also be accessed by Drones.
- Shredders – Filters out additional materials. For example, you can set a Shredder next to a Beehive to Demand Honey and have it automatically destroy its contents when it’s full; this will ensure that your Beehive T2 will only produce Bee Larvae.
- Storage – Stores items in quantity as a buffer for automatic Crafting.
- Auto-Crafter – Automatically Crafts items from nearby Storage.
Here are some examples to help you get started!
How to Automate Crafting of Bioplastic
- Build an Ore Extractor for Silicon and set it to Supply Silicon.
- Build Food Growers or Outdoor Farms, plant Mushrooms, and set them to Supply Mushrooms.
- Build Atmospheric Water Collectors or Lake Water Collectors and set them to Supply Water.
- Build an Auto-Crafter.
- Place 3 Locker Storages next to the Auto Crafter. Set the first to Demand Silicon, set the second to Demand Mushrooms, and set the third to Demand Water.
- Set the Auto-Crafter to produce Bioplastic.
- Set up one more Locker Storage or Crafting station to demand Bioplastic.
How to Automate Crafting of Circuit Boards
- Set up automated Bioplastic Crafting as described above.
- Build Ore Extractors in locations for Iron, Aluminum, and Zeolite (in addition to the Silicon used for Crafting Bioplastic).
- Build a Gas Extractor T2 and set it to collect Nitrogen Cartridges.
- If you do not have a Gas Extractor T2, set up a Shredder near the Gas Extractor and set it to Demand Oxygen Capsules and Methane Cartridges. Turn on the option to automatically destroy the Shredder’s contents when it’s full. This will ensure that Drones destroy any produced Oxygen Capsules and Methane Cartridges, leaving only Nitrogen Cartridges to be collected.
- Build an Auto-Crafter.
- Build 1 storage unit per resource involved in Crafting Circuit Boards near the Auto-Crafter: Silicon, Iron, Aluminum, Zeolite, Nitrogen Cartridges, and Bioplastic. Set each storage unit to Demand its specific resource.
- Set the Auto-Crafter to produce Circuit Boards.
- Set up one more Locker Storage or Crafting station to Demand the Circuit Boards.
How to Automate Crafting of Pulsar Quartz
- Build Ore Extractors for Osmium, Zeolite, Iridium, and Uranium.
- Build a Gas Extractor T2 and set it to collect Methane Cartridges.
- If you do not have a Gas Extractor T2, set up a Shredder near the Gas Extractor and set it to Demand Oxygen Capsules and Nitrogen Cartridges. Turn on the option to automatically destroy the Shredder’s contents when it’s full. This will ensure that Drones destroy any produced Oxygen Capsules and Nitrogen Cartridges, leaving only Methane Cartridges to be collected.
- Build an Auto-Crafter.
- Build 1 storage unit per resource involved in Crafting Pulsar Quartz near the Auto-Crafter: Osmium, Zeolite, Iridium, Uranium, and Methane Cartridges.
- Set the Auto-Crafter to produce Pulsar Quartz.
- Set up one more Locker Storage or Crafting station to Demand the Pulsar Quartz.
- Protip: Pulsar Quartz is one of the best ways to earn Terra Tokens — you can set your Space Trading Rocket to collect Pulsar Quartz, too!
Thanks for reading our guide on how to use Drones in The Planet Crafter. Make sure to check out our other guides below!