Surviving Mars Articles RSS Feed | Surviving Mars RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Surviving Mars Below & Beyond DLC Adds Mining, New Techs, and More Tue, 31 Aug 2021 09:00:01 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Paradox's Mars colonization strategy game, Surviving Mars, will get its next expansion on September 7, the publisher has announced. In the follow-up to 2019's Green Planet expansion, which saw terraforming brought to the game, Below & Beyond will allow players to explore and build below the Red Planet's surface.

The expansion is set to release on PC, PS4, and Xbox One for $19.99. Product Manager for Surviving Mars at Paradox Interactive Magnus Lysell said:

When we started planning out what was next for Surviving Mars, we really wanted to dive deep into the parts of the Red Planet we had not already explored. We know we had to come out swinging and Surviving Mars: Below & Beyond expands gameplay in a meaningful way. The possibilities are endless and we’re eager to continue exploring the Red Planet with our players.

As you might expect, there will be new mechanics, vehicles, buildings, and technologies introduced in Below & Beyond, including structures specific to mining resources under the harsh wastes and on "passing asteroids." The expanded base-building elements will also allow for underground colonies.

The Mars Lifestyle Radio Pack will release alongside Below & Beyond and includes 16 original tracks spanning 70 minutes of music. That pack will cost $3.99 on PC and Xbox One and $4.99 on PlayStation. 

Surviving Mars Gets New Developer, Free Tourist Update Mon, 15 Mar 2021 12:59:45 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Abstraction is Surviving Mars' new developer, Paradox Entertainment has announced, and the studio brings their experience with games such as Mass Effect: Legendary Edition and ARK: Survival Evolved to bear on the red planet colonizing game. To celebrate, Surviving Mars has a free Tourism update for all existing players and the In-Dome building content pack for $4.99.

Surviving Mars' free Tourism update adds a number of fan-requested features to help boost tourist satisfaction. Tourists rate their stay now, and that tourist rating will influence what rewards players get and even whether more tourists book visits in the future.

Fortunately, the Tourism update adds some new features to help improve tourist satisfaction. Completing the Smart Homes research unlocks hotels and even a low gravity amusement part to help tourists enjoy themselves more.

Players can also build a rover safari to give tourists even more options and ensure they leave happy. 

Abstraction developed the In-Dome pack with Surviving Mars modder Silva. It adds a wealth of new building types, including apartments, senior homes, medical centers, a TV workshop, and more.

Paradox and Abstraction also announced a full Surviving Mars expansion scheduled for release later in 2021, though shared no other details on it at this point.

Ghost of Tsushima Leads the PS4's Games of a Generation Sale Wed, 30 Sep 2020 20:28:37 -0400 GS_Staff

PlayStation 4 sales have become as regular as the console's noisy fan these days. And Sony is kicking off October with yet another set of digital bargains that includes a number of tent-pole titles. 

Fifty-two games are currently on sale until Wednesday, October 14 through the "Games of a Generation" promotion. Highlights include Ghost of Tsushima, Borderlands 3, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Dying Light, Far Cry New Dawn, MGSV, and Wolfenstein: The New Colossus

Savings are between 25% off and 85% off for select titles. Some of the games on offer are bundles as well, increasing the savings even further. 

Here's a full, alphabetical list of what you can find over on the PlayStation Store. 

Games on Sale

Game Sale Price Reg. Price
Age of Wonders: Planetfall $17.49 $49.99
Assassin's Creed 3: Remastered $15.99 $39.99
Assassin's Creed Rogue: Remastered $9.89 $29.99
Assassin's Creed: The Ezio Collection $11.99 $39.99
A Way Out $10.49 $29.99
Blasphemous $9.99 $24.99
Borderlands 3 $29.99 $59.99
Borderlands GOTY Edition $9.89 $29.99
Cities: Skylines $9.99 $39.99
Conan Exiles $24.99 $49.99
Disintegration $19.99 $39.99
Dragon Ball FighterZ $9.59 $59.99
Dying Light $12.99 $19.99
F1 2020 $35.99 $59.99
Far Cry New Dawn $15.99 $39.99
Ghost of Tsushima $44.99 $59.99
God's Trigger $5.24 $14.99
Grand Ages: Medieval $11.99 $39.99
Hello Neighbor $11.99 $29.99
Hello Neighbor Hide and Seek $10.49 $29.99
Injustice: God's Among Us Ult. Ed. $2.99 $19.99
Journey to the Savage Planet $17.99 $29.99
L.A. Noir $19.99 $39.99
LEGO Batman 3 Beyond Gotham $5.99 $19.99
LEGO City Undercover $7.49 $29.99
LEGO DC Super-Villains $14.99 $59.99
LEGO Harry Potter Collection $4.99 $19.99
LEGO Marvel's Avengers $5.99 $19.99
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes $5.99 $19.99
LEGO The Hobbit $9.99 $19.99
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes $2.99 $19.99
Metal Gear Solid V $4.99 $19.99
Metal Gear Solid V: Definitive Ed. $7.99 $19.99
Monster Hunter: World $14.99 $19.99
MotoGP 20 $24.99 $49.99
Mutant Year Zero $13.99 $34.99
Payday 2: Crimewave Edition $3.99 $19.99
Pillars of Eternity: Complete $9.99 $49.99
Prey $14.99 $29.99
Pure Farming 18 $10.49 $29.99
Ride 3 $7.49 $49.99
Sniper Elite V2 Remastered $8.47 $34.99
Stellaris $15.99 $39.99
Sudden Strike 4 $11.99 $29.99
Sudden Strike 4 Complete $17.49 $49.99
Surviving Mars $10.49 $29.99
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt $11.99 $39.99
Totally Reliable Delivery Service $8.99 $14.99
Tropico 6 $29.99 $59.99
TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 2 $26.99 $59.99
Unravel $7.99 $19.99
WRC 8 FIA World Rally Championship $19.99 $49.99


Add-Ons/DLC on Sale

Add-On/DLC Sale Price Reg. Price
Apex Legends Pathfinder Ed. $12.99 $19.99
Black Desert Online 1,000 Pearls $7.99 $9.99
Black Desert Online 2,000 Pearls $15.99 $19.99
Black Desert Online 3,000 Pearls $23.99 $29.99
Black Desert Online 6,000 Pearls $47.99 $59.99
Black Desert Online 10,000 Pearls $79.99 $99.99
Cities Skylines Campus $6.49 $12.99
Cities Skylines Content Pack Modern Japan $2.99 $4.99
Cities Skylines Industries $7.49 $14.99
Cities Skylines Mass Transit $6.49 $12.99
Cities Skylines Natural Disasters $7.49 $14.99
Cities Skylines Parklife $7.49 $14.99
Cities Skylines Season Pass $19.99 $39.99
Cities Skylines Season Pass 2 $19.99 $39.99
Cities Skylines Snowfall $6.49 $12.99
Cities Skylines Ultimate Content Bundle $39.99 $99.99
Dying Light Cuisine and Cargo $3.34 $4.99
Dying Light Godfather Bundle $2.00 $2.99
Dying Light: The Following $9.99 $19.99
Dying Light Ultimate Survivor Bundle $3.34 $4.99
Dying Light Vintage Gunslinger Bundle $2.00 $2.99
Dying Light White Death Bundle $2.00 $2.99
Mutant Year Zero Seed of Evil $8.99 $14.99
Star Wars Battlefront 2 Celebration Ed. Upgrade $9.99 $24.99
Solaris Expansion Pass Two $18.74 $24.99
Ghost Recon Breakpoint Year 1 Pass $19.99 $39.99
Tropico 6 Spitter $4.99 $9.99


That's everything on sale during Sony's Games of a Generation promotion. As if there wasn't already enough to play — and even more on the horizon in October and November — this promotion gives fans yet another chance to nab the games and DLCs they've missed out on. 

If the past is any indication, there will be plenty more sales in the future, though, for those setting money aside for a PlayStation 5. Stay tuned for new on those future sales as we learn about them. 

Good Old Games New Year's Resolutions, Weekly Sale Live Wed, 08 Jan 2020 17:25:28 -0500 GS_Staff

We might only be a few days into the new year, but that doesn't mean we don't already have a decent bargain on our hands. Good Old Games (GOG) is currently hosting its New Year's Resolutions sale, heavily discounting a wide variety of video games. 

The somewhat eccentric list of titles available is discounted until 9 a.m. EDT on January 11. From RPGs to RTS games, GOG has a little something for everyone. Some games, like the criminally-good Everspace, are discounted as much as $25. Others, like the well-beloved RPGs Mount & Blade and Mount & Blade: Warband, aren't as heavily discounted but well worth the current sales price. 

Whether it's in celebration of the recent release of The Rise of Skywalker or pure happenstance, a handful of rather-good Star Wars games are on sale here as well. If you've somehow still not picked up the likes of Knights of the Old Republic 2, Dark Forces, or The Force Unleashed, now's the time to do so. 

There is also a handful of DLC available for several games, including Homeworld, Everspace, and Surviving Mars

Here's the full list of games currently up for grabs at a discount: 

Game/DLC Regular Price Sale Price
Anno 1404: Gold Edition $14.99 $3.74
Anno 1503 A.D. $5.99 $1.49
Anno 1602 A.D. $9.99 $2.49
Anno 1701 A.D. $12.99 $3.24
Caesar $5.99 $4.79
Caesar 2 $5.99 $4.79
Caesar 3 $5.99 $4.79
Caesar 4 $9.99 $5.99
Castles 1+2 $9.99 $3.39
(Sid Meier's) Colonization $5.99 $1.49
Diablo + Hellfire $9.99 $8.49
Draugen $19.99 $11.99
Draugen Collector's Ed. $29.99 $17.99
Emperor: Rise of the
Middle Kingdom
$5.99 $2.99
Everspace $29.99 $4.49
Everspace: Encounters $9.99 $3.99
Everspace Deluxe Ed. Upgrade $9.99 $3.99
Gabriel Knight $5.99 $3.89
Gabriel Knight 2 $5.99 $3.89
Gabriel Knight 3 $5.99 $3.49
Her Story $9.99 $0.99
Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak $49.99 $12.49
Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak
Expedition Guide
$5.99 $1.49
Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak
Khaaneph Fleet Pack
$6.99 $1.39
Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak
Soban Fleet Pack
$6.99 $1.74
Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak
$7.99 $1.99
Homeworld: Emergence $9.99 $1.99
Homeworld Remastered Collection $34.99 $6.99
Homeworld Remastered Soundtrack $15.99 $3.99
Jenny LeClue $19.99 $15.99
Mount & Blade $9.99 $3.99
Mount & Blade: Warband $19.99 $7.99
Mount & Blade: Warband
Napoleonic Wars
$9.99 $3.99
Mount & Blade: Warband
Viking Conquest Reforged
$14.99 $5.99
Mount & Blade: With Fire & Sword $9.99 $3.99
Secret Files 2 $9.99 $3.39
Secret Files 3 $9.99 $3.39
Secret Files: Sam Peters $9.99 $3.39
Secret Files: Tunguska $9.99 $3.39
Sherlock Holmes and
the Hound of the Baskervilles
$9.99 $4.99
Sherlock Holmes Versus Jack the Ripper $9.99 $4.99
Sherlock Holmes: Crime & Punishments $29.99 $14.99
Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis Remastered $9.99 $4.99
Sherlock Holmes:
Secret of the Silver Earring
$9.99 $4.99
Sherlock Holmes:
The Awakened Remastered
$9.99 $4.99
Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter $49.99 $9.99
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri
Planetary Pack
$5.99 $1.49
Sid Meier's Covert Action $5.99 $2.99
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Ultimate Sith Ed.
$19.99 $6.99
Star Wars: Empire at War Gold Pack $19.99 $6.99
Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds $5.99 $2.09
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2 $5.99 $2.09
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 $9.99 $3.49
Star Wars Rebellion $5.99 $2.09
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire $5.99 $2.09
Star Wars: Dark Forces $5.99 $2.09
Star Wars: Jedi Knight Jedi Academy $9.99 $3.49
Star Wars: Jedi Knight 2 Jedi Outcast $9.99 $3.49
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic $9.99 $3.49
Star Wars Rebel Assault 1+2 $9.99 $4.99
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 $19.99 $6.99
Surviving Mars $29.99 $10.19
Surviving Mars Digital Deluxe Ed. $39.99 $13.59
Surviving Mars Digital Deluxe Ed. Upgrade $10.00 $6.70
Surviving Mars First Colony Ed. $64.99 $22.09
Surviving Mars Season Pass $34.99 $23.44
Surviving Mars: Space Race $12.99 $8.70
Surviving Mars: Stellaris Dome Set $3.99 $2.67
Surviving Mars Colony Design Set $4.99 $3.34
Surviving Mars: Green Planet $19.99 $13.39
Surviving Mars: Marsvision Song Contest $3.99 $2.67
Surviving Mars: Project Laika $5.99 $4.01
Surviving Mars: Space Race Plus $19.99 $13.39
The Testament of  Sherlock Holmes $19.99 $9.99
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter $19.99 $2.99
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
Collector's Ed. Upgrade
$9.99 $1.49
Titan Quest Anniversary Ed. $19.99 $3.99
Titan Quest: Atlantis $14.99 $11.24
Titan Quest: Ragnarok $19.99 $4.99
Warhammer 40K: Fire Warrior $5.99 $4.19
Warhammer 40K: Mechanicus $29.99 $14.99
Warhammer 40K: Mechanicus Heretek $9.99 $6.99
Warhammer 40K: Mechanicus Heretek+ Ed. $12.99 $9.09


The entire list of games on the New Year's Resolutions sale can also be seen on the GOG website.

On top of that, Good Old Games is also holding a just-as-big weekly sale, discounting 92 other games as much as 90% Some Weekly Sale deals include: 

You can see the entire list of GOG's Weekly Sale discounts here. The Weekly Sale ends at 9 a.m. EDT on January 13.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news on video game sales as it becomes available. 

Surviving Mars: Green Planet and Animal DLC Launching May 16 Wed, 24 Apr 2019 09:00:01 -0400 Ashley Shankle

We may be a ways off from colonizing and turning Mars green in real life, but Surviving Mars owners will be able to simulate the whole process soon enough. The game's much-anticipated Green Planet expansion has been announced for release on May 16.

Surviving Mars: Green Planet promises to bring the (almost) full experience of taking the giant inhospitable space rock that is Mars and turning it into a lush planet that can be widely populated. Humanity's endgame, if you will.

Green Planet will introduce terraforming to the Surviving Mars formula, adding a whole new stage of depth of management to the game that will ultimately give players something to truly do once they have their colony up and running.

Turning the red planet green isn't easy, and that's proven by the new terraforming resources players will have to manage in the expansion, including areas' atmosphere, temperature, moisture, and other further in-depth aspects as the planet changes.

Check out the below tutorial from Paradox Interactive to see some of these things in action. They're crazy cool.

Of course, the expansion will also have new special projects, climate calamities, buildings, and more to go with the game's new endgame direction. That's not all they have in store for the game, though.

Surviving Mars will also be getting a DLC called the Project Laika content pack. Project Laika will bring up to eight different animals to the game for players to raise on Mars for food and 25 different animals as pets, which will roam the landscape once it's lush enough.

Surviving Mars owners will be able to pick up the Green Planet expansion for $19.99 and the Project Laika pack for $5.99 on May 16. Both will be available for purchase together as a bundle for $23.90, a tad bit cheaper for these seemingly both worthwhile additions to Haemimont's Mars colony manager.

Surviving Mars: Green Planet Expansion Announced, Brings Terraforming Tue, 09 Apr 2019 11:06:02 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Surviving Mars from Haemimont Games and Paradox Interactive has a future on the red planet's horizon, and that future is all green.

Expansion Green Planet has been announced, which will give players new features with which to terraform Mars and further enrich the mid- to late-game experience. This is a very welcome announcement, considering how the late-game plays out in Surviving Mars at the time of writing.

With the expansion, players will be able to take the barren vastness of Mars and turn it green by planting vegetation and terraforming the landscape. What we can't pull off right now in real life, we'll be able to do in Surviving Mars.

Anyone who's combed the game's Steam forum at one point or another knows terraforming has always been the playerbase's biggest request. Gabriel Dobrev, CEO at Haemimont Games, said the development team wanted to get the expansion right. 

Terraforming the surface of Mars is something that has captivated gamers and the human imagination for as long as we can remember. It’s something that we took special care to develop and make sure we got right.

Terraforming has been our community’s most-requested feature since Surviving Mars launched last year and we are thrilled to finally share it with the Green Planet expansion.

However, even Surviving Mars players who don't pick up the Green Planet expansion have something to look forward to. Owners of just the base game will be getting a free update at the same time as the Green Planet expansion.

Console players don't have to worry, either. Surviving Mars: Green Planet will be launching not only on PC but also on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in the second quarter for 2019.

Expect further announcements and reveals as we leave the first quarter of the year and slide right on into the second come next month. Green Planet's release on console can't be that far off.

Paradox And Microsoft Offer Players Modding Platform On PC And Xbox One Wed, 20 Feb 2019 14:39:04 -0500 QuintLyn

Paradox Interactive and Microsoft announced a surprising new joint project today, titled Paradox Mods. Billed as "the first-ever open modding platform that enables distribution of user-created game modifications (mods) across multiple platforms", Paradox Mods is a free offering on both Xbox One and PC.

The platform utilizes GoG and the Paradox launcher to allow players to easily upload their mods on both PC and the Microsoft console, creating the first direct way for modders to share on a console. Modders simply upload their creation one time via the in-game or web interface and it's available across both platforms.

To get things rolling, Paradox Mods is already available as part of a free update to Paradox Interactive's survival-strategy game Surviving Mars. It already includes over 30 mods all tested on console. Fans of the modding scene will recognize the names of several creators whose mods are included in this update, including Silva and ChoGGi.

The 30 pre-selected mods also provide players with both useful and fun options, ranging from self-sufficient greenhouses to Martian car washes. All players need to do to access these mods is to log into their Paradox account from Surviving Mars and open the "Mod Manager" located at the bottom of the screen.

From there, players can simply select the mods they're interested in and the game will automatically download and install them.

The update also includes mouse and keyboard support for the Xbox One version of Surviving Mars, offering players another way to experience the game.

Players who want to check out the mods that are available can find them on Paradox's site. Keep in mind that the site lists all mods and not just those that are available on console.

Paradox Mods support will come to other games at a later time.

Most Useful Surviving Mars Mods on the Steam Workshop Sun, 25 Mar 2018 15:58:23 -0400 Ashley Shankle

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.


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.


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.

Surviving Mars Beginner Tips and Tricks Guide | Base Building and Starting Your Colony Fri, 23 Mar 2018 10:40:06 -0400 Sergey_3847

Wondering how to build a base and start your first colony in Surviving Mars? We were, too. That's why we put together this beginner's tips and tricks guide for Haemimont Game's latest urban/space simulator. 

From choosing the right sector in which to land to collecting concrete and generating water, here you'll find the most important beginner strategies for Surviving Mars, which will help you start your journey on a solid foot. 

All giant leaps start with tiny steps. Let's get started. 

Tip #1: Choose Your Landing Sector

A landing zone, Marineris Alpha, is highlighted on a red planet floating in space

If you just started playing Surviving Mars, it's always a good idea to choose Easy Start at the beginning. It'll give you the proper level of difficulty, enough initial funding, and the right type of cargo for your first landing on Mars. In other words, it'll ease you into the game. 

Once you begin, you will need to choose the landing sector on your map (see the above image). There are obviously quite a few choices, so check them out and look at the data panel to the right of the screen, where it mentions the amount of resources and threats in the given sector. Always look out for the spot with the most resources and the least amount of threats.

When you've made your choice, you can then choose the landing spot more precisely. For this, you should use orbital probes, which are indicated by an icon at the bottom of your screen. Activate these every time you need to scan a specific sector. This time, look out for the sector with the most concrete and water.

Concrete is important for building structures, and water will sustain your colonists. Finally, click on the rocket icon in your toolbar and choose the landing spot.

Tip #2: Collect Concrete and Start Building

Crafting menus in the forefront of a downed space vessel

In order to start building your base and ultimately your colony, you need to open up the Building menu once you land. This menu can be found either in the bottom-left corner of the screen or simply by pressing RMB or the B key. You will see that there are a lot of different types of structures you can build in Surviving Mars. But right in the beginning, the most important one is the Concrete Extractor, which can be found in the Production branch of the Building menu.

You need to place the blueprint for the Concrete Extractor over the yellow zones, which are concrete deposits. As soon as you do that and unpause your progress, drones will start delivering the necessary materials for the Extractor to be built. It usually requires 6x metal and 2x machine parts.

When construction is over, you need to connect the Extractor to the power grid. Since you don't have the power grid yet, you can start with something as simple as a Solar Panel, which will produce enough energy to let your Extractor do its work. You can find the Solar Panel in the Power branch of the Building menu.

Lastly, you need to connect your Extractor to your Solar Panel with Power Cables, which can be built from the same Power branch as the Solar Panel. Choose them and connect the two structures together. Now you're well on your way to surviving on Mars. 

But there are still a few things left to do ... 

Tip #3: Generate Water by Building Water Extractor

Hexagonal tiles making up one large hexagon upon which a water extractor can be built

The Water Extractor is the second-most important structure in Surviving Mars after the Concrete Extractor. When you have enough concrete, you can go to the Life Support branch in your building menu and start building the Water Extractor. Place it over water deposits and connect it to your power grid.

However, unlike with the Concrete Extractor, you aren't yet done extracting water. Now you need to deliver the water and store it in your water tower through pipes. So go to your Life Support menu and build Water Pipes and the Water Tower, and then connect them to your Water Extractor.

You can also connect the extractor to an Oxygen Tank, which will produce oxygen from the water. As you can see, all this comes from one water source, and that's why it's so important to have one if you want your colony to survive.

Tip #4: Start Your First Colony by Building a Dome

After you've collected enough concrete, metal, and polymers, you can start building your first basic dome in Surviving Mars. This is the first true step to constructing your human colony on Mars. So find a good spot for it -- somewhere near your structures that generate water and oxygen.

If you don't have the necessary amount of elements to build the dome yet, then you can order a resupply rocket with all the necessary components to help you build it. Just go to your Resupply menu in the bottom-left corner and order a rocket.

When you have the dome ready, you can connect it to your power and water grids. Now you can start populating your dome by building the Living Quarter and the Hydroponic Farm, which will house your colonists and produce food for your colony respectively.

In order to bring in the people from Earth, go to the Resupply Menu and order a rocket with passengers. From the list of passengers, try to choose mostly young geologists and botanists for your first crew, as these are the most useful humans for survival on Mars.

Finally, when humans finally arrive, they will inhabit your dome, and this is where the game actually begins. So have as much fun as you can!


Hopefully, the tips and tricks in this beginner's guide helped launch your first human colony on Mars. For other Surviving Mars guides at GameSkinny, check out the links below:

Surviving Mars: Waste Rock & Dealing with The Problem Wed, 21 Mar 2018 10:38:42 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Waste Rock is the bane of the careful Surviving Mars player during most missions, not because it's a huge nuisance but because it keeps their Drones busy and their base messy.

One of the first things you learn in the game past the bare basics is in fact how to deal with Waste Rock.

In order to keep Waste Rock from being scattered all around your extractors, place Dumping Sites nearby for your Drones to stack the waste into one convenient spot. Dumping Sites themselves can be found under the 'Storage' option of the menu, to the far right.

As your extractors continue to pull out Mars' sweet, sweet usable resources, they continue to accumulate Waste Rock. Your storage needs continue to climb as you expand, and in short time your base will be flooded with far more Waste Rock and Dumping Sites than any other material or storage. That's just how it is.

Choosing to salvage your Dump Sites does not get rid of Waste Rock. Instead, the waste will be dumped all on the ground, which does take up far more space than the Sites themselves and is thoroughly not recommended -- until you have another Dumping Site area to store them or unlock a certain technology to get rid of those pesky rocks once and for all.

Keeping Waste Rock at Dump Sites.This is the worst.

How to get rid of Waste Rocks

Yes, my friend. There is a way to get rid of Waste Rock in Surviving Mars. Unfortunately, luck is the determining factor in how long it will take for you to be able to do it.

There's a certain technology that gives your Drones the ability to break Waste Rock down into Concrete. That tech? Waste Rock Liquefaction.

The tech tree is randomized each mission, so there is no telling when you will be able to research Waste Rock Liquefaction, but it is found within the Engineering branch. The amount of Research it costs depends on how deep the tech is in the tree. If you're lucky, it will only cost a few thousand. If not, well ... it'll cost a lot more than that.

Once you've completed the Waste Rock Liquefaction research, your Drones will take it upon themselves to whittle all that pesky rock into usable Concrete, which should allow you to relax on the Concrete production for a while.

Make sure you have sufficient Concrete storage and that you have enough Drones working in the same area as your Dumping Sites before completing this technology. You don't want your regular maintenance to suffer while they're busy with their new task, and you will need a place to put all the Concrete they produce.

With all this in mind, you now have hope that Waste Rock won't be polluting your colony forever. That's something, right? Feel free to check out our other Surviving Mars guides if you're in need of some more space-learnin'.

Surviving Mars Guide: Mission Sponsor & Commander Overview Thu, 15 Mar 2018 19:39:07 -0400 Ashley Shankle

The starting settings make all the difference in the world in Surviving Mars. Sure, they matter in most other city builders -- but for most, the starting settings boil down to terrain adjustment.

Here on Mars, your mission settings affect just about everything: the goods to bring with you on your first touchdown on Mars, the way your Colony is going to grow in its infancy to full-on human settlement, and what you're able to do at a given time.

Getting started with a new mission (not an Easy Start) requires that you choose your mission sponsor, the commander to head your new Colony, and the coordinates your very first rocket is to make its home. All three are important, but the first two are especially so.

This guide covers each of the mission sponsors and commanders you are able to choose from and details their benefits and detractors. It's pretty clear not every option is equal, and that's part of the fun. The differences between these options make each mission play in a unique manner, and there is certainly a sponsor + commander combination for you.

Choosing a Mission Sponsor

The sponsor you choose can make or break a mission, depending on your personal playstyle. Each sponsor caters to a particular way to play, aside from the International Mars Mission and USA sponsors. These two are as middle-of-the-road as it gets.

We're going to take a look at each of the sponsors you have to choose from, as each one's individual facets have significant impacts on gameplay at all stages.

International Mars Mission

This sponsor is recommended to new players for a reason. You will be able to bring a vast amount of items with you to start, and will be able to place huge cargo rocket orders once the time comes. The downside? There is no downside.

The International Mars Mission is labeled as "very easy" for a reason. It has minimal rocket management, your Colonists won't have any Food shortages early on if you plan a bit, and you have a very large funding pool.

I would absolutely recommend this sponsor for your first few missions while you're learning to play, but experienced city builder players will quickly find this sponsor makes the game a cakewalk.


I'd consider this to be a more moderate variation of the (frankly) overpowered International Mars Mission. You don't get the big chunk of money, four rockets, and other benefits you'd get with the previous sponsor; but you do still get that sweet 70,000kg payload.

USA is a good choice if you absolutely want to start with a few prefabs and all three RC varieties, or you just want some wriggle room to start off with. The additional funding down the line is also a pretty nice bonus, as you may get a little carried away with the big payloads.

Essentially, going with USA is similar to the International Mars Mission in that it's safe and easy, but it's not so easy that you don't have to prioritize Fuel and/or Food early on.

Blue Sun Corporation

Another easy sponsor, the Blue Sun Corporation has even fewer starting rockets than USA, and its payloads are a bit smaller (sitting at the standard 50,000kg). It also only grants 100 research per Sol.

The real draw to this sponsor is the potential for longterm profits off Rare Metals, and being able to invest in rapid but controlled growth later down the line via the purchase of applicants and rockets. You can also make up for its lack of base research via outsourcing.

The Blue Sun Corporation is still labelled as easy, but its true benefits are seen further down the line than the two previously shown sponsors.


China isn't too far off from USA in terms of benefits. It offers the same number of starting rockets and a middling amount of research between USA and Blue Sun Corporation.

The big difference between this sponsor and the aforementioned ones is the unbridled Colony growth that comes with it, from the very first Colonist rocket you order. You'll essentially have to build even your first dome to accommodate double the amount of Colonists you'd get with anyone else.

The plus side to having China as a sponsor is you can get those extractors and other buildings that require workers up and running faster than you can with other sponsors, provided you plan accordingly.


Finally, we're in the "normal" difficulty range. India fits it perfectly.

The India sponsor has a reasonable funding pool, and its building cost benefit is hard to ignore. Its one real drawback lies in the meager 100 research per Sol.

There isn't much to say about this sponsor, but you should learn to be chummy with outsourcing research if you do choose to go with India. It's easier to outsource with the Blue Sun Corporation at the start due to its high funding amount, but it's something you have to budget early with this sponsor.


If you like to rush technologies in 4X games, Europe will probably be the sponsor for you.

Europe only gives you two rockets to start, and its funding is on the lower side, but it rakes in the research and gives you double the technology choices to start.

If the above wasn't enough, the additional funding upon research completion is just the icing on the cake. All of these factors combined give you a strong tech-based sponsor with some real longevity.


You start with five rockets here? Is this a typo? Answer: No! Unfortunately your starting funding is rather low.

The trade-off for the low funding lies in the cheaper advanced resources. Paired with the additional rockets, you can ship in those pesky Polymers, Machine Parts, and Electronics early on rather than focusing on getting their production started.

This sponsor is great for slow-starting players who want to take it easy. You can just order advanced resources for quite some time, and starting with five rockets means you don't need to start producing Fuel as soon as you would for missions with other sponsors.

If you do choose to go with SpaceY as your sponsor, you may want to prioritize getting Rare Metal extraction up and running to get some income rolling in.

Church of the New Ark

You start with one rocket, and you don't gain any research. The Church of the New Ark kind of sucks -- which is why it's classified as hard.

This is a good sponsor if you want to start a mission with some real challenge. You'll have to rely entirely on outsourcing for your research, but you don't have much money to work with, and the selling price for Rare Metals is quite low. And let's not even get into your Colonists giving birth at an accelerated rate along with the stilted Food production.

All you need to know about this sponsor is that it appears to purely be for gimmicky challenge purposes. If you want a traditionally difficult sponsor, go with Russia.


The last mission sponsor is certainly not least, as the Church of the New Ark has the very "worst" position hogged all to itself. Russia is difficult, but manageable.

The initial two rockets, meager $5,000M funding, and longer rocket travel time are drawbacks -- but the reasonable 200 research per Sol, $22M Rare Metal price, and Fuel-oriented changes make this a sturdy but hard to use sponsor.

Using Russia makes the game far more Fuel-oriented than otherwise, which requires a strong system of water extraction in order to snowball into further strengthened extraction of other resources.

Choosing a Commander

Your commander decision isn't quite as important as the mission sponsor one, but it's still not one to be made lightly. You may find that some commanders will benefit the way you personally play, while the effects of some others may not help you at all.

Be sure to read these and choose wisely.


This is a very reasonable commander for most missions since drones do all the heavy lifting for your Colonies. The reductions in Drone Hub Power and maintenance costs are a big benefit as well and reduce the need for direct Power management.


This one seems underwhelming at a glance, but the high value of Fuel makes the Oligarch one of the better commander options.

The Argology spire can house up to 32 Colonists and boasts a high comfort level, but consumes 20 Power and has a 4 Polymer maintenance cost.

Hydro Engineer

Water has a number of uses, whether for the good of your Domes or processing Fuel. The Hydro Engineer's benefits end up indirectly benefiting both, as the struggle for Water is far less trying with this commander.

The Water Reclamation System this commander brings to the table recycles up to 70% of the Water a Dome consumes, with a 3 Machine Part maintenance.


The Doctor commander is a good choice if you know you're going to want a heavier population of Mars-born colonists or the sponsor you've chosen isn't exactly rolling in free rockets.

Pairing this with the Church of the New Ark sponsor is an interesting challenge.


If you're worried about your Colonists losing their minds or demanding they go back to Earth, this isn't a bad commander option. This is a decent choice if you specifically want to start mass-migrating Colonists to Mars at some point.

The Sanatorium consumes 20 Power and requires 2 Polymers for maintenance.


This is simply a great commander when paired with one of the sponsors that grants little funding, especially with Europe, as that is the one sponsor that grants additional funding on completed research.

The Politician is a very middling commander. Extra funding is always nice, but there may be other aspects of running a Colony that worry you more.


My personal opinion of this commander is that it is one of the worst. Breakthrough techs are not common, and Sensor Towers only require 2 Power to run and 1 Metal for maintenance. Nearly any other option is more useful than this one.


Another commander with its focus on your Colonists rather than infrastructure.

The Ecologist paired with the Hanging Gardens grants +40 Comfort to every residence in the Dome. Just be aware it requires 2 Water to run.


This is more of a mid- to late-game commander, but its biggest benefit is clear: the 10% increase on extraction.

The worth of the Astrogeologist really depends on your playstyle, much like most of the others.

Rocket Scientist

If you're worried about your sponsor's starter rocket amount, the Rocket Scientist may be a good commander choice for your Colony. Also starting with a Shuttle Hub is amazing.

The Shuttle Hub itself can house Shuttles between sections of your Colonies. It also conveniently refuels them. This isn't the most useful building early in a mission, especially with its high costs and Fuel consumption, but it becomes a lifesaver once you have to start to branch out.

Don't be afraid to try different combinations of mission sponsors and commanders to find what fits your needs best. One of the best aspects of Surviving Mars is the flexibility it provides, so make good use of it.

10 Upcoming Strategy Games We're Excited About Wed, 03 Jan 2018 13:19:38 -0500 Lewis Parsons


RIOT: Civil Unrest


Release Date: Early Access - December 2017; Full Release TBA
Publisher: Merge Games
Developer: IV Productions


Gorgeous pixel art merges with a truly unique setting in RIOT: Civil Unrest. Take control of the riot itself, or suppress it as the police in scenarios from Spain to Cairo. The game has gotten some positive reviews during the early-access process, with unique, challenging gameplay and a fantastic art direction that really magnifies the chaos going on as things escalate on screen. Grab the game now in early access, as the full version should be launching soon.




There are also more great tiles that didn't quite make the list. Anno 1800, Xenonauts 2, and without a doubt, a surprise or two. Strategy gaming may have been in a bit of a lull in the 2000s, but with 2020 on the horizion, it looks like it's back and more diverse and exciting than ever.


Jurassic World Evolution


Release Date: Summer 2018
Publisher: Frontier Developments
Developer: Frontier Developments


Releasing to coincide with the next film in the Jurassic World series, Jurassic World Evolution could be a huge hit. Behind the game are the same developers that brought us such park building gems as Zoo Tycoon, Planet Coaster, and Roller Coaster Tycoon 1 and 3. Jurassic World Evolution looks to be a spiritual successor to 2003's Jurassic Park:Operation Genesis.


Details are limited, but you likely take on the role of a builder and manager of your very own dinosaur-themed the park, featuring ... real dinosaurs! In line with the film, expect some ability to ratchet up the excitement with genetic engineering of new creatures, and hope things don't go horribly wrong -- or make them go wrong, you are in charge!


Age of Empires IV


Release Date: TBA 2018
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Developer: Relic Entertainment


Yes, AOE is coming back with a fourth installment. Age of Empires IV is helmed by Relic, the creators of the Company of Heroes series, and published by Microsoft. There isn't a whole lot known yet about the game itself, but it looks to follow the franchise's classic sequence of building bases, gathering resources, and building armies. The trailer appears to show the game span a wide variety of eras and factions.


Relic Entertainment has a strong pedigree of making classic RTS-style action, and we are excited to see what they do with such a classic, strong IP as Age of Empires.


Civilization VI: Rise and Fall


Release Date: February 8, 2018
Publisher: Firaxis
Developer: 2K


Civilization 6 took some bold new steps in the franchise when it came out in October 2016 (namely the district system, spreading your cities across multiple tiles), while at the same time including much-desired features in the base game, such as religion and great works. This leaves room for expansion packs like Rise and Fall to take the game into new territory.


As befits its name, Rise and Fall is about the ups and downs civilizations go through. Accomplish enough goals during the medieval era? Congratulations, the Renaissance will be your civilization's golden age! Fall behind? Welcome to the Dark Ages, where you will be fighting to keep your cities loyal, but also have the opportunity to come back even stronger for your trouble.


In addition to new gameplay features such as city loyalty, dark and golden ages, and governors, Rise and Fall is introducing new civilizations, leaders, wonders, natural wonders, and districts.




Release Date: TBA
Publisher: 11 Bit Studios
Developer: 11 Bit Studios


11 Bit Studios, the minds behind the fantastic This War of Mine, is back, and it looks like they have an interesting take on the strategy builder/survival genre to say the least.

Frostpunk is set in, well, a "frostpunk" world: think steampunk in the ice age. At its heart, it looks to have the gut-wrenching decisions from This War of Mine. Do you send children out to work? Do you treat the ill? And these decisions don't look to just be window dressing; they have long-lasting and wide-ranging effects on gameplay. They go beyond asking "how" you will survive and ask you "why" and "at what cost."

Beyond the gameplay, the art style looks sharp, and the production values look great as well.


Tropico 6


Release Date: 2018
Publisher: Kalypso Media
Developer: Limbic Entertainment


Tropico keeps on chugging along after 16 years and 6 games. The tongue-in cheek take on building and managing (or mismanaging) your own island paradise is back in 2018 for a sixth installment. While previous entries in the series have been strong, there haven't been the major changes between installments that might be expected in a series like this.


Tropico 6 looks to be possibly continuing this trend, with one major addition: the introduction of archipelagos, which look to offer a fresh gameplay challenge while not changing up the formula drastically. 




Release Date: January 18, 2018
Publisher: Fish Eagle
Developer: Picaresque Studio


Nantucket, a first release from Picaresque Studio, looks promising and unique. Set in the early 19th century after the events of literary classic Moby Dick, Nantucket is a strategy business sim where you work your way up through the booming oil/whaling industry. 


While the subject matter may draw controversy, it will be interesting to see where the developer takes this. They promise RPG elements, turn-based combat with pirates and whales, a thousand unique events, an original storyline based on the events of the novel, and an open world to explore. If nothing else, the fresh setting of one of the biggest economic booms in history is fertile ground for the genre.


Surviving Mars


Release Date: TBA
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Developer: Haemimont Games


Paradox Interactive, known for epic, almost niche strategy titles, has been making significant inroads in the publishing sphere as of late, bringing strategy, simulation, and city-building titles (e.g., 2015's spectacular Cities: Skylines) to us in greater numbers, reviving a once vanishing scene.


Bulgarian developer Haemimont, behind such games as Tropico 34, and 5, as well as Omerta : City of Gangsters, looks to be returning to the hybrid sim/strategy realm with this fresh IP. Surviving Mars looks promising, with an interesting "retro future" art style and a sense of humor about it. The game is also promising a "classic sci-fi" story, exploring the secrets of Mars as you build. This isn't overly dry and realistic, and it looks like a whole lot of Tropico has come along for the ride in both presentation and gameplay.


Ancestors Legacy 


Release Date: TBA
Publisher: 1C Company
Developer: Destructive Creations 
Ancestors Legacy is an upcoming squad-based RTS currently in beta, due to come out for both PC and consoles. Set in the early medieval era, the game features a strong, single-player-focused campaign as well as multiplayer. The game includes traditional base building and resource gathering but seems heavily focused on the tactical side of things, with a focus on combat. Early impressions are promising, and this might just be a new traditional RTS IP worth following.


Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia 


Release Date: TBA 2018
Publisher: SEGA
Developer: Creative Assembly 


Every Total War release is a big one, as the series is arguably the most visible "AAA" strategy game series on the market. While it has had it stumbles, Creative Assembly is riding high after the success of the well-received fantasy mashups Total War: Warhammer and Total War: Warhammer II.


Thrones of Britannia looks to be something different: a return to a historical setting, yes, but also a tighter, smaller Total War. The series has been getting bigger over the year -- more factions, more units, globe-spanning maps -- and it might be argued that this has led to bloat and excess. Thrones looks to be a return to the more intimate setting of Shogun Total War or the excellent Medieval: Total War - Viking Invasion expansion pack from 2003.


If Creative Assembly can take the lessons learnt from Warhammer and bring the historical flavor and the early medieval atmosphere, they could have something very exciting in this new format.


2017 was a great year for strategy gamers, offering up a bevy of diverse titles from Tooth and Tail to Total War: Warhammer II. 2018 looks like it might be shaping up to be just as good, with a wide range of new IPs and continuations of beloved franchises on slate to release this year.  


Read on for the 10 upcoming strategy games we can't wait to get our hands on.