Most Useful Surviving Mars Mods on the Steam Workshop

Want some mods to spice up your Surviving Mars life? These may be just what you need.

Paradox-published games are known for a few things, and one of those things is mod support. Surviving Mars is much like the other titles in the publisher's library in that the game does support mods and is highly moddable -- and as usual, the community has had some great ideas.

I'm more of a function over form type of person, so I'm more interested in mods that add new features or make functional adjustments for already established features. The mods listed here fit that description, adding features to a game that just needs a little ... more. If you've been playing Surviving Mars, you know what I mean.

There are two things you must keep in mind before clicking your way over to these mods and mashing the 'Subscribe' button:

  1. It's best to use mods with a new savegame rather than a preexisting one. Most mods do not work with old savegames, but that is not necessarily the case. Be sure to read the mod descriptions and comments before installing.
  2. A universal issue with installing mods to Surviving Mars is that the game may stop playing sounds. I'm not talking about the radio or anything like that, but the sounds of your structures on the planet. Irksome, but not terrible. Something to remember for sure.

At the time of writing, the mods listed here do not have any glaring compatibility issues or huge bugs.

Better Zoom Distance (30K and 15K)

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who wishes the game's zoom options were more flexible.

Better Zoom Distance mod

These two mods, both put together by Steam user Wolvyreen, increase the distance you can zoom out to without triggering the sector scanning view. Either one is an absolute must-have for large, spanning colonies.

You can choose between the 30K view mod and the 15K view mod depending on your preference.

Info Bar

This mod is great if you really hate having to right-click all the time to see your current resource stockpile, consumption, and production amounts.

Info Bar mod

Created by Steam user Waywocket, this mod adds an info bar at the top of the screen that displays each of your resources at all times. You can mouseover each type of resource to get more details.

Info Bar is one mod I didn't know I needed, but I did. I definitely did.

Automated Mines (No Colonists)

This one may seem a little controversial to some. This mod adds automated Metals and Rare Metals extractors to the game, but not without some caveats.

Auto Extractors mod

This mod, created by Steam user Porter, adds the aforementioned automated extractors to the game, but the trade-off for these new additions is higher construction and maintenance costs as well as lower production.

This all may not sound appealing to you, but Automated Mines (No Colonists) can make surviving in less hospitable areas of Mars less of a daunting task.

Porter has also created an Automated factories (No Colonists) mod that adds similar options for factories.

Drones Carry More

If you've ever wished your Drones just carried one extra resource at a time, this mod is right up your alley.

Drones Carry More mod

Created by Steam user Spectre9000, this mod simply makes it so your Drones can carry one more resource. It does stack with the Artificial Muscles tech that allows your Drones to carry one more, taking the total amount up to three resources at a time.

Drones Carry More is a simple yet effective mod. Do note you may not be able to visually see them carrying more.

Workplace filter

This mod adds a functionality that should have been in Surviving Mars in the first place, much like some of the other ones highlighted here.

Workplace Filter mod

Workplace filter, made by Steam user Kezo, adds the ability to lock specialties to Colonist workplaces, both in-Dome and out. You can set it so only Botanists work at your food production structures, Engineers at your factories, and so on.

The game does try to do this on its own but does it poorly, and doing it manually sucks. Workplace filter just makes it easy, and it's a must-have for large Colonies.

AutoHelpRover

This mod makes RC Rovers more useful by giving you the option to set them to automatically seek out other RC vehicles and charge them. A huge quality of life change that makes it so you don't have to manually charge your RC Transporters or Explorers.

A really fantastic quality of life mod made by Steam user akarnokd. You do need to click the RC Rovers and turn on their automaton before they'll get to work once you use AutoHelp Rover.

AutoGatherTransport

This is my new favorite mod, and it will probably be yours too.

Also made by Steam user akarnokd, AutoGatherTransport gives you a toggle on your RC Transporters to set them to automatically seek out, gather, and bring back resources you've scanned and uncovered across the landscape. Yes, it's great.

This can get a little funky once tunnels get involved, and it does seem to get confused about where to dump resources. If you use this mod and it starts dumping your metals in an odd-off spot, manually tell it to unload in an appropriate area and it will follow your orders. At least for a while. Still fantastic, a must-install.

Not as many Pipe Pillars

I don't need to describe this one. Just check out the below image, you'll get the gist.

Pipe Pillar mod

Not as many Pipe Pillars was also developed by Spectre9000. It makes your Colonies look much cleaner by a long shot.

Increased Dome Work Area (15 hexes)

Yes, the Dome work radius is constrictive. And yes, this mod does help with that.

Increased Dome Work Area (15 hexes) was created by Steam user Ampoliros, and it increases the radius a Dome's work area reaches out to, effectively making it so you don't always have to build new Domes and pull in more Colonists just to get your hands on those sweet Rare Metals.

Increased Dome Work Radius mod

There is also a 25 hexes mod created by the same person, but I recommend this one over it as Colonists won't have time to get to work and actually do anything before they have to come home for the night.

More Dome Buildings

If you're getting tired of plopping the same buildings in your Domes, this mod may be an option for you -- provided you're all right with these new buildings sharing models with already-existing buildings.

More Dome Buildings mod

Created by Steam user FGRaptor, the More Dome Buildings mod adds additional leisure buildings for your Colonists to make use of as well as a tweak to the Arcology Spire. These range from a Spacepub and Pachinko Parlor up to a Mega Mall.

More Dome Buildings isn't exactly a mandatory mod, but it does add some much-needed variety.

There are many more mods than the ones listed here, but this set is a good starting point if you're just now getting into the Surviving Mars mod scene and don't know what to install first. Go get 'em! And if you're new to the game, be sure to check out some of our Surviving Mars guides to help you get on your feet.

Published Mar. 25th 2018

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