This The Planet Crafter Starter Guide will teach you the basics of survival on a new alien world and help you get started with Terraforming the planet!
Quick links: HUD Explanation | Starter Guide | FAQs
The Planet Crafter is an unusual survival game that challenges you to bring a dead planet to life. You’ll Build a base, set up various Terraforming machines, and even create new life all over the Map! It’s not so easy to get started, though — read on for our tips on getting started with this game!
The Planet Crafter HUD Explanation
- Beacon – Beacons are Crafted items that you can place anywhere in the world. They will always show up on your HUD. You can set the color and name of a Beacon to whatever you like; in this example, the Beacon points toward my main base which I’ve nicknamed “The Rig.”
- Compass – The Compass helps keep you oriented. You can unlock the Compass by Crafting the Microchip – Compass and installing it in your suit.
- Terraforming Index – This number shows your overall progress with Terraforming.
- Health – This is a combination of an HP meter and a Hunger bar. Taking damage (from falling or getting hit by meteor impacts) reduces it, and it also gradually reduces over time. You can restore it with Food. If your Health drops to 0, you die.
- Thirst – This shows how thirsty you are. You can restore it by drinking Water. If this drops to 0, you die.
- Oxygen – This shows how much Oxygen you have in your tank. Oxygen is not consumed inside of Buildings you’ve constructed. If Oxygen drops to 0, you die. Once you’ve Terraformed the planet to the “Breathable Atmosphere” level, you will no longer need to worry about Oxygen; this will be indicated by an infinity symbol appearing below the bar as seen in the example image.
- Coordinates – This shows your precise position in the world with numerical coordinates in an X:Y:Z format. The first and last numbers are horizontal coordinates, and the middle number is a vertical coordinate.
- Version – This shows the current version of the game and your framerate.
The Planet Crafter Starter Guide
Let’s kick things off with The Planet Crafter Starter Guide! This is by no means a simple game to understand right away. Take your time and you’ll be sure to succeed!
Pick Your Game Mode
When you first create a new save file, you’ll have to pick a Game Mode. Here are the options:
- Standard – You drop some items in a temporary Crate when you die.
- Relaxing – You don’t drop items when you die. Oxygen, Health, and Water decrease slower.
- Intense – Items in your inventory are destroyed when you die. Oxygen, Health, and Water decrease faster.
- Hardcore – Your save file is deleted when you die. Oxygen, Health, and Water decrease even faster.
Personally, I recommend going with Standard unless you’re a glutton for punishment. It can take dozens of hours to get terraforming going, and you don’t want to see any of your work get wiped away.
Pick Your Landing Site
Next, you have to pick your Landing Site — this is where you’ll begin the game with a Drop Pod serving as a shelter, a handful of items, and a whole planet to conquer.
- Standard – Puts you in a place I’ve nicknamed the Starting Plains (for obvious reasons). A good, balanced location.
- Grand Rift – Places you further away from the center of the map. It will be a little difficult to easily get some advanced resources like Iridium, and you’ll have somewhat less room to Build.
- Sand Falls – Gives you instant access to several advanced resources, but your only route out of the area is through a long trek through a desert.
- Meteor Crater – A highly-challenging location that is far from most points of interest. Not recommended for new players.
- Random – A random choice between one of the three Landing Sites.
Go with the standard Landing Site for now.
What To Do First
Once you’ve landed, it’s time to get moving! Your Oxygen will remain full while you’re in the Drop Pod, but your Food and Health are slowly depleting. Food depletes slowly, Water depletes faster, and Oxygen depletes very fast. Much like real life, your priorities are (in order):
Your first move should be to Craft some basic equipment. Here’s what you should Craft and why:
- Backpack T1 – A bigger inventory is always good.
- Oxygen Tank T1 – This will let you run around outside for a little longer.
- Microchip – Construction – This lets you erect Buildings.
- Microchip – Deconstruction – This lets you dismantle Buildings and recover 100% of the resources used to make them.
Once that’s done, it’s time to set up a small base. Don’t worry about picking out a good location just yet — we’ll be building right next to your Drop Pod.
Build a Small Temporary Base
Now that you’ve made some basic equipment, it’s time to build a small temporary base. Place it right next to your Drop Pod. I recommend at least 4 Living Compartments connected to one another.
Here’s what we’re going to build to start:
- 6 Wind Turbine
- 4 Living Compartments
- 1 Living Compartment Door
- Outside Stairs (as needed)
- 1 Craft Station T2
- 1 Screen – Blueprints
- 1 Screen – Energy Levels
- 1 Vegetube T1
- 1 Drill T1
- 2+ Storage Crates
Remember, there’s no need to worry about wasting resources — you can use the Microchip – Deconstruction to completely recover the resources from a Building if you feel the need.
There are no wires to connect anywhere, either. Power is transported automatically across the entire planet, so you can place your buildings wherever you’d like to. The same goes for Power generators like Wind Turbines and Solar Panels.
You’re also going to want to craft some more equipment:
- Exoskeleton T1 – This allows you to carry more Gear.
- Microchip – Torch – This gives you access to a Flashlight by pressing F.
Explore and Find Resources
Now that you have a simple base set up, it’s time to hunt for resources. Our next immediate job is to build a Heater T1. Unfortunately, that requires Iridium and there is none in the starting area. You have two options:
- Look for Storage Crates and explore derelict ships
- Travel to a place where Iridium spawns
You may encounter Ice Caves while exploring. Don’t worry about them for now — you can’t access them until you’ve heated the planet up some more through Terraforming. (You won’t need the Osmium in these caves until much later in the game, anyway.)
In any case, you’re going to have to travel away from your base. That means you’ll be at risk of running out of Oxygen.
You could craft a bunch of Oxygen Bottles, but there’s a better solution. Ensure that you’re always carrying the following items on your person when traveling:
- 3 Iron
- 2 Titanium
- 1 Silicon
This will let you build 1 Living Compartment and 1 Living Compartment Door. When your Oxygen starts to get low, quickly build a Living Compartment and get inside to restore it. Then, dismantle the building and continue moving. This will let you effectively travel anywhere.
Your first priority is to find Iridium, but feel free to grab whatever other resources you think might be useful. Take special care to bring at least 2 Fabric back if you find any. You should also always pick up Blueprint Microchips — these little gadgets can unlock new items for you to Craft and Build.
As soon as you find at least 1 piece of Iridium, return back to your temporary base and build a Heater T1. Now it’s time to really get moving!
Pick a Permanent Base Location
Now that you can Build at least 1 Heater, you’re able to start Terraforming the planet properly. Your base is going to grow little by little as you play, so make sure you pick a location where you have plenty of room to expand. And remember, you can always disassemble everything and move elsewhere — I dismantled and moved my entire base twice while I was figuring all of this stuff out.
Pay special attention to the above picture. Geology nerds might have noticed something a little off about the starting area, but I’ll clue you in if you didn’t get it: you’ve landed in a dry lake bed. When Terraforming progresses to the Lakes stage, a large chunk of your starting area is going to flood. (And as an FYI, you can’t restore Oxygen in a building that is underwater.)
Now it’s time to start Terraforming! We have a dedicated Terraforming guide that tells you all about it, but here’s the basic gameplay loop:
- Build Power generators
- Build more Terraforming Buildings
- Unlock more Buildings as you hit milestones
- Replace existing Terraforming Buildings with better ones
- Build more Power generators to meet the higher Power demand
There’s also a little problem you may not have noticed — you haven’t unlocked anything for Farming yet. It will take you a little while before you can do that, so you’re kind of on the clock here. If you run out of Food, you die. Generally speaking, death is rather inconvenient.
You can read about how to get started with Farming in our dedicated guide for that. Otherwise, you should be well prepared for continuing your adventure in the game. Make sure to check out the rest of our The Planet Crafter Guides!
The Planet Crafter FAQs
What is The Planet Crafter?
The Planet Crafter is an open-world survival crafting game that is developed and published by Miju Games. Although survival is important, your main goal is to terraform a planet by Building various machinery.
Is The Planet Crafter Multiplayer?
No, The Planet Crafter is not multiplayer.
What Happens When You Die in The Planet Crafter?
You’ll respawn in the last Building you entered when you die in The Planet Crafter. If you destroy that Building, you will respawn in the place where that building stood.
Take special care to avoid entering any buildings underwater. If you die, you’ll respawn underwater and with very little Oxygen — you could get stuck in a death loop! If this happens, Alt+F4 the game and hope that your last save happened before you died underwater.
How do you get more Food in The Planet Crafter?
In the early game, you can get more Food by looting it from Storage Chests and Derelicts in the world. Eventually, you’ll need to start Farming.
How Big is The Planet Crafter Map?
The Planet Crafter Map looks to be around 6 square kilometers (2.3 square miles) in size, at least for the playable area.
Is There Automation in The Planet Crafter?
Yes, there is Automation in The Planet Crafter. While there is not automation on the scale of a game like Satisfactory, you can automate the collection of Ore with an Ore Extractor and the growth of Food with Farming. You can eventually unlock an Auto-Crafter and Drones to move your materials all over the world.
Does The Planet Crafter Have Vehicles?
Not yet, but the developers have plans to introduce at least one vehicle. You can, however, unlock a Jetpack and other items to help you move faster.
Is There Fall Damage in The Planet Crafter?
Yes, there is fall damage.
can you break The Planet Crafter?
Yes, you can pause The Planet Crafter. You have two options:
- Opening up your inventory will stop movement (and falling, strangely), but your Health, Water, and Oxygen will continue to deplete.
- Pressing Esc and going to the menu completely pauses the game.
Can Meteors or Asteroids Destroy Buildings in The Planet Crafter?
No, Meteors and Asteroids will not destroy a Building. They can hurt you if they hit you directly, though, so make sure to stay under cover or indoors until they stop falling.
Can You Drown in The Planet Crafter?
No, you can’t grow — after all, you’re already wearing an airtight suit.
Thanks for reading The Planet Crafter Starter Guide — go ahead and check out our other guides below!