Newbie Tips?

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shinyarceus4
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Newbie Tips?

Post by shinyarceus4 » Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:21 am

I recently bought Factorio on a whim. I've seen LPs from people like Arumba, Zisteau, and Bentham (AKA MangledPorkGaming), but I still have no idea where to start. What layout should I choose? How should I start smelting ores? I've seen many different concepts, but I don't want to straight-up copy the designs. Any help?

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Re: Newbie Tips?

Post by DaveMcW » Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:28 am

Do whatever you want, after you fail (or succeed barely), you will appreciate a good design more. ;)

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Re: Newbie Tips?

Post by Garm » Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:34 am

Dont worry about efficiency in the beginning - there will be many new game starts ahead. And there is no time limit either.


If you dont want to copy other people bases - dont, but look at how they make things. Small parts of the factories that are designed to perform a certain function. Pay attention to these things - they will eventually become your toolset of building your own bases.

Leave space - try to keep your factory as spacious as possible, for it would be easier to fix mistakes, or upgrade later.

Keep design modular - dont put your boilers in the middle of your science assembly. Keep each "module" separate - as the game progresses you will find it easier to completely replace or move certain parts of your base that way.

Try to achieve all research at least once - and familiarize yourself with what game currently has to offer. This will also would give you an idea how you like to build. (there are train bases, there are robot bases, there are belt bases, and there are mixes - all viable)

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Re: Newbie Tips?

Post by OBAMA MCLAMA » Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:22 am

I would say, ignore things that youtubers like the ones you mentioned do. Because they mostly play the game with their own ways of playing.
I'm not saying they are bad, I just think you should just play the game on your own, and then learn how you should adjust your gameplay.
Just have fun
When i stream twitch i always answer questions and try to help, come visit me.

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Re: Newbie Tips?

Post by Leej » Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:30 am

A tip that helped me quite a bit... automate as much as you can. You need a LOT of EVERYTHING and you can be making conveyor, ammunition, and red science with just a few assemblers, chests, and inserters. You can scale up later, and this setup can be easily taken apart. You will have plenty of infrastructure while you plan out your base and begin mass production.

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Re: Newbie Tips?

Post by Gregorovitch » Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:57 am

I would say as an occasional and definitely novice, though not beginner, player:

1. Play your first games focusing on one thing at a time. For example in one game figure out how your steam based power gen up and running, how many boilers you need for how many steam engines and such and how to lay them out, connect to coal stream etc. Next game maybe focus on getting red science packs automated and feeding labs. Maybe next time look at iron and copper production. After that various methods of defense perhaps. Another game you might concentrate on your factory layouts and belt systems looking for ways to get around problems you've experienced and reduce spaghetti.I find this way I learn the intricacies of the game's systems in bite sized chunks and re-starting over means I learn through repetition. You want a fair bit of experience before tackling two of the biggies, oil processing and blue science packs.

2. Do not think twice about tearing down something you've built and doing it again if you suddenly see a better way to design it. The game deliberately gives you back all the resources to encourage this and it is the fastest way to get better.

3. Good defenses give you time to experiment.

4. Build little side factories to make everything you need all the time, like bullets, belts and walls.

5. Use multiple Youtube, forum and wiki resources to pick up ideas and key design concepts. You want to get into the principles behind them so you can adapt to your own situations and preferences rather than copy them square for square. Good places to start are the ideas of a central bus, transport belt balancing and fuel loops. These ideas give your bases structure and efficiency and your play some direction.

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Re: Newbie Tips?

Post by Overread » Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:35 pm

I agree with the others - have fun and play the game first then come back and look at other factory designs. Work first on getting an idea of the games mechanics - how belts work - how inserters work - how to setup an electric power station - how to setup an oil refinery (that's fiddly - get anything wrong and it all grinds to a halt without warning).

Just enjoy playing the game, its quite intuitive for the most part.


Also avoid the campaign for now. This game works sort of backwards in that its easier to play custom games and get a feel for how things work than it is to do the campaign. The early levels are ok, but once you're a few in you start getting put into the middle of half build/destroyed bases and trying to re-start someone elses production design is hard if you don't have a good grasp of game mechanics.



And yep this is a game where you'll build one base - then tear it down and build another - or build another alongside (that can always be good since you get to keep producing whilst playing around with new designs). Once you've got a good fwe hours and a feel for the game then you can come online and start looking at other designs - seeing how they are put together and why certain bits work like they do and the advantages of certain approaches.

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Re: Newbie Tips?

Post by Zourin » Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:55 am

1. Play the game, get comfortable with the basic mechanics, and don't worry about losing. Play with biters off for a while if it suits you, it'll let you focus on building your own design preferences. The game goes a lot smoother when you're not spending a lot of time having to think about the small details of how things work. it helps you focus on larger needs when you're not struggling with which way the inserters need to face or which belt lanes are being used.

2. Browse the 'Your Creations' forum for some new design ideas. There are no original ideas in basic engineering, so learn a bit from others who have found things that work. (This I learned from Space Engineers, but it applies here too)

3. Give yourself a lot of space. While 'compact' is nice for a single-function factory assemblies like smelting, mining, and research, having a lot of these in an area doesn't just cause pollution problems, but they very rapidly cause congestion problems when you have a lot of these factories near one another. This leads to over-reliance on logistic bots or exceptionally complex belt layouts. Give yourself plenty of space.

4. Don't tackle biters early. You need some pretty heavy hardware to clear up space. Heavy armor, a submachine gun, and some armor piercing rounds are a minimum for clearing up the smallest of biter bases. Don't plan on going all 'alien commando' until much, much, much later in your development.

5. Only feed factories what they need. Most end-goods can survive on a flow of just iron and copper bars. Steel can be smelted locally in most cases.

6. Don't be consumed by ratios and inefficiencies at first. Normal players don't need to maximize the production of level 3 factories with perfect production ratios. It helps to know where you're being inefficient in case you need to improve production, but don't let it become a point of undue stress.

7. Pick the best transport method for the job. Belts (and upgraded versions) are ideal for short-to-medium distance tracks and for high volume goods (such as iron, copper, ores, coal, and solid fuel). If you have 'a lot of something' that needs to go somewhere relatively close, a belt is a way to go. Trains are ideal for moving things over very long distances, but need a lot of space to build train stations. Adding more wagons adds to their efficiency at the cost of needing more loading/unloading space. Bots excel at extremely short distances and non-bulk products. Conversely, they are terrible if you have them transporting high volume goods over medium and long distances.

8. Know when you have enough. Learn how to set production caps so you're not wasting mountains of resources on things you don't need. This spares resources for expansions and defenses instead of having a steel chest full of AP ammo.

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Re: Newbie Tips?

Post by Koub » Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:53 am

1. The purpose of the game is counterintuively not winning it, it's playing it, and feeling yourself harness its mechanics

2. Watching other people's designs should only be of help to you to see in wich parts your designs could be changed to run more smoothly/efficiently. Not to figure from the beginning how you should do things.
2b. You should have done something many different times yourself before watching and copying others' designs. If you don't, you'll never understand in what those particular designs are clever, and why they work much better, ...

3. I would advice playing in peaceful until you have a good grasp on the game and its mechanisms : the game is designed to force you to "advance" at a minimal pace through evolution factor, which makes the enemies stronger only based on the time. You do not need to be under constant attack of enemies to understand how to make a factory.

4. Factorio is all about automation. If you've built something 3-5 times from your inventory, and you are planning to build more, you should seriously consider throwing an assembly machine, a pair of inserters, a chest or two, and automate the building of that particular thing.
4b. Extremely useful : you can limit how many items a chest can hold by opening it, clicking on the red cross on the lower right part, and clicking again on one stack of the chest. The chest will consider itself full when all the non red slots will be full. Its your only way of setting a limit before the logistic network, and you should definitely use it.

5. Think big, but start small. You know that whatever assembling facility you've just built, you'll need to expand it later. and to do that easily, you need space around. But start small : you dont need 500 smelters to feed your 3 first assembling machines. You don't need 50 steam engines with their boilers to power a 2 MW factory. Reserve space for later growth, but expand your capacity progressively, when needed.
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

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Re: Newbie Tips?

Post by GewaltSam » Sun Jan 11, 2015 12:30 pm

Overread wrote:Also avoid the campaign for now. This game works sort of backwards in that its easier to play custom games and get a feel for how things work than it is to do the campaign. The early levels are ok, but once you're a few in you start getting put into the middle of half build/destroyed bases and trying to re-start someone elses production design is hard if you don't have a good grasp of game mechanics.
I have to disagree. Looking at how the campaign factories are built in the first two or three levels, and later fixing parts of a more complex factory design than I had built so far helped me a lot in understanding the basics; although I wouldn't suggest playing the whole thing. It's a lot of fun and there is much to learn until you rebuilt that base though :)

Some are maybe better off with sandbox from the start, but if you like a more guided experience, try some campaign levels first.

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Re: Newbie Tips?

Post by Gregorovitch » Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:01 pm

Zourin wrote:1. Play the game, get comfortable with the basic mechanics, and don't worry about losing. Play with biters off for a while if it suits you, it'll let you focus on building your own design preferences. The game goes a lot smoother when you're not spending a lot of time having to think about the small details of how things work. it helps you focus on larger needs when you're not struggling with which way the inserters need to face or which belt lanes are being used.

2. Browse the 'Your Creations' forum for some new design ideas. There are no original ideas in basic engineering, so learn a bit from others who have found things that work. (This I learned from Space Engineers, but it applies here too)

3. Give yourself a lot of space. While 'compact' is nice for a single-function factory assemblies like smelting, mining, and research, having a lot of these in an area doesn't just cause pollution problems, but they very rapidly cause congestion problems when you have a lot of these factories near one another. This leads to over-reliance on logistic bots or exceptionally complex belt layouts. Give yourself plenty of space.

4. Don't tackle biters early. You need some pretty heavy hardware to clear up space. Heavy armor, a submachine gun, and some armor piercing rounds are a minimum for clearing up the smallest of biter bases. Don't plan on going all 'alien commando' until much, much, much later in your development.

5. Only feed factories what they need. Most end-goods can survive on a flow of just iron and copper bars. Steel can be smelted locally in most cases.

6. Don't be consumed by ratios and inefficiencies at first. Normal players don't need to maximize the production of level 3 factories with perfect production ratios. It helps to know where you're being inefficient in case you need to improve production, but don't let it become a point of undue stress.

7. Pick the best transport method for the job. Belts (and upgraded versions) are ideal for short-to-medium distance tracks and for high volume goods (such as iron, copper, ores, coal, and solid fuel). If you have 'a lot of something' that needs to go somewhere relatively close, a belt is a way to go. Trains are ideal for moving things over very long distances, but need a lot of space to build train stations. Adding more wagons adds to their efficiency at the cost of needing more loading/unloading space. Bots excel at extremely short distances and non-bulk products. Conversely, they are terrible if you have them transporting high volume goods over medium and long distances.

8. Know when you have enough. Learn how to set production caps so you're not wasting mountains of resources on things you don't need. This spares resources for expansions and defenses instead of having a steel chest full of AP ammo.
I'd just like to endorse these words of wisdom - I think they are spot on.

I played for while when i bought the game back in May 14 and I've been playing a lot of it again recently. I've never "won" a game or even come close to it. Each game I play I tend to significantly improve one or two things I have dome before and start learning (usually by making a complete dog's dinner of) one or two things I've never done before. In my current game for example I have massively improved oil processing and for the first time started looking at how to use the logistics system and robots. "Winning" in this game is simply doing anything better than you have done it before.

Although it's matter of preference, I have always left the biters on - doing so gives you an idea of the pacing of the game, how to develop defenses, and how to balance the conflicting requirements of having enough space to lay out expandable modular production systems and having too much space to defend effectively. You learn, for example, to value stone and use it early to build a large stockpile of wall units well before you actually need them.

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