Use the tips and tricks in this Surviving Mars beginner's guide to learn the very best ways to build your base and start your first colony on Mars.

Surviving Mars Beginner Tips and Tricks Guide | Base Building and Starting Your Colony

Use the tips and tricks in this Surviving Mars beginner's guide to learn the very best ways to build your base and start your first colony on Mars.
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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. 

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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:

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Serhii Patskan
Serhii is the Writer at GameSkinny. He's been writing for GameSkinny since 2015. Before that, he's been writing for various outlets and playing video games, which eventually turned into a passion. The video games that have contributed the most to his enthusiasm for writing about this industry are Magic: The Gathering, Dark Souls, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.