Playing to Survive

Your first goal is quite simple. It is to avoid being killed by plague, famine, lack of oxygen, exposure — you get the idea. In order to survive, you must have the following: mined resources to build and operate your structures; CHAP facilities to provide air to your buildings; Agricultural Domes (AgriDomes) for food; energy; and protected underground residential areas. You must also connect all of these structures with tubes so that air, water, people, and recyclables can pass between them. Later in the game, you’ll play to thrive, but for right now, you’re doing great if you live through the next turn.

Build facilities for your colonists at the first opportunity. They’ll really think you’re the greatest if, early on, you provide them with a place to live and food to eat. You should build your first structures in this order: Agricultural Dome, CHAP, Residential Units, Storage Tanks, and Power Facility. Later, as their lower-order needs are met, your colonists will demand Medical Facilities, Research Labs, and Parks. There are a lot of buildings to choose from in Outpost. What does each one do? When it’s time to construct some buildings, use this handy guide showing your building options. For additional information about each facility, use the Help system.

Title Description # People to operate # Turns to build Morale effect Production result Chance of breakdown
Agricultural Dome Provides Food 1 5 +1 Food 20
CHAP Facility Produces life-support gases and water 4 6 0 LSA, LSB, LSC 10
Command Center Allows colony-building to commence 1 3 0 50
Communications Tower Extends communications 1 2 0 5
DIRT Facility Helps minimize damage from catastrophes 2 5 +1 0
Factory Produces robots, road material, etc. 1 6 0 Robots, Parts, Roads, Fuel Cells 10
Hot Laboratory Houses potentially dangerous experiments 2 5 -1 Research 20
Mass Driver Launches payloads into orbit 4 9 per segment 0 20
Mine Provides ore for building 1 7 0 Mined ore 30
Monorail Carries ore, resources, or passengers 1 7 per segment 0 30
Monorail Intersection Carries ore, resources, or passengers 1 12 per segment 0 30
Monorail Power Powers the Monorail 0 6 0 30
Monorail Station Acts as required terminal for Monorail line 1 6 0 30
Nanotechnology Facility Eliminates reliance on resources 2 5 +1 No resources requirements 20
Police Reduces crime level, improves morale 2 4 surface +1 or -1 20
Road Allows transportation of resources 0 2 0 0
Robot Command Communicates with robots, orders repairs 1 3 0 30
Seed Factory Produces robots and processes ore 0 2 0 Robots 0
Smelter/Ore Processor Changes ore into processed resources 3 7 0 Processed resources 10
Solar Powersat Receiver Array Solar Powersat Receiver Array 1 4 0 Power 20
Spaceport Launches cargo and satellites into orbit 4 7 0 30
SPEW Facility Recycles wastes 2 8 +1 MPG (Multi-Purpose Goo) 40
Storage Tanks Acts as delivery points for processed resources 0 2 0 0
Terraforming Facility Creates breathable atmosphere for planet 4 9 +5 Breathable air 20
Tokamak Fusion Reactor Creates safe, reliable fusion energy 1 2 if brought, 9 if built 0 Power 5 if brought, 30 if built
Trade Mission Allows trade–built by trade partner 1 2 0 Trade 0
Tube Provides a supply line between buildings 0 1 0 0
Warehouse Stores medicine, fuel cells, robots, etc. 1 2 0 5
Title Description # People to operate # Turns to build Morale effect Production result Chance of breakdown
Administration Provides administration site 1 2 0 Increase in productivity 10
Commercial Acts as a retail outlet for luxury items 2 3 +1 10
Geothermal Power Plant Provides a clean source of energy 1 9 0 Power 20
Laboratory Allows “safe” experiments to take place 2 4 0 Research 20
Light Industry Produces luxuries, clothing, or medicine 2 4 0 Luxuries, Clothing, Medicine 20
Medical Facility Reduces population attrition from disasters 2 4 0 Life extension 20
Mine Shaft Provides mine access (built by robominer) 0 varies by terrain 0 Mined ore 0
Park/Reservoir Provides safe environment to play in 0 3 +1 per turn Entertainment 10
Police Reduces crime level, improves morale 2 3 underground +1 or -1 20
Recreational Facility Provides colonists with entertainment 1 4 +1 per turn Entertainment 20
Red Light District Provides colonists with entertainment 2 4, or spontaneous +2 per turn Entertainment 0
Residential Houses colonists 1 3 +1 or -1 10
Tokamak Containment Contains reactor (built along with reactor) 0 varies by terrain -1 to 0 0
University Educates the rabble 2 4 +1 per turn Education 20

Crises are a foregone conclusion on your new planet. The variable is your competence in handling such emergencies. Plus, your colonists will be watching to see how you handle yourself, and morale will increase or decrease based on your leadership ability. Such problems are almost nonexistent at the Easy and Beginner levels. A DIRT (Disaster Instant Response Team) Facility will minimize damage from unpredicted events that occur to your structures. The DIRT response area is limited; on average, the DIRT can protect structures within a five-tile radius. The closer a structure is to a DIRT team, the likelier it is to survive catastrophes with minimal damage.

No matter how many times your colonists gargle, they won’t be able to avoid the space-germs that cause plague. When there’s an outbreak you’ll have about 20 turns to respond to the threat. If you’ve had the good sense to establish a Medical Facility, which will double your response window to about 40 turns, or had scientists working on an antidote in one of your Research Facilities, your colony might survive. Keep in mind that Monorails do a very effective job of carrying the plague, so you’d better be ready to cut your losses by bulldozing sections of rail line. If you respond soon enough, you may be able to isolate the plague to just one colony. The chance of a plague striking your colony increases according to your chosen level of difficulty.

Since you couldn’t bring everything with you from Earth, you had the foresight to bring materials you would need to create factories. In these factories you can manufacture items you require to survive, and later, to thrive.

There are two major categories of factories: light industry factories, which are clean and non-polluting and which can operate under the planet’s surface; and surface factories, which require much more in terms of raw resources and energy, and which are placed on the surface so that they won't contaminate the environment below.

Light Industry Factories provide three commodities:

  • Medicine is produced at the rate of one unit per turn. When a medical emergency strikes the colony, stored medicine is automatically used. If there is no medicine in storage, colonists will die. One hundred units of medicine can be stored in a warehouse.
  • Clothing is produced at one unit per turn, and is distributed in Commercial structures. Thirty-three units of clothing can be stored in a warehouse.
  • Luxury items are produced at the rate of one unit per turn per factory, and are distributed in Commercial structures. Distribution of luxury items is the primary means of manipulating the morale of your colonists, and Commercial structures draw luxuries at a rate of one per turn as long as there are luxury units available. You must choose which luxury items you wish to produce, from a list that includes fuzzy dice and wax lips.

Surface Factories build four basic products:

  • Road Material is a combination of dense and sturdy components used to form a durable roadbed on a bulldozed surface. Road Material is produced at the rate of one unit per turn per factory.
  • Fuel Cells, used to power robots, are produced at the rate of one every 10 turns. Fuel Cells die after 200 turns of use. Each Fuel Cell takes two mass units of storage, so you can store 50 of them in a warehouse.
  • Trucks, used to move resources from the mines to the smelter, are produced at a rate of one every five turns.
  • Robots are manufactured in the Seed Factory when you arrive at your new home, but a regular Surface Factory can build the full range of robots, including the new types you’re able to develop through scientific research. A factory can produce only one robot type at a time, which you select, and can build them at the rate of one every five turns. Robot storage at a Surface Factory is limited to 10, after which production stops until the robots are deployed or stored in a warehouse. Warehouses can store 20 robots with fuel cells.

In addition to these Surface Factories, there are five “special” factory types. Each produces one type of product. Note that the Terraforming Facility is only available after suitable research has been performed.

The Agricultural Dome produces food. Each dome produces 10 units of food per turn, assuming the dome receives enough resources per turn, and any research resulting in a new food source increases the amount of food produced. The storage available at a dome is 1000 mass units, after which dome food production is shut down until the stored food is consumed. No other storage for food is available. One unit of food feeds 10 humans per turn.

The smelter processes ores into pure, useful resources. In the smelter, ores produce half their weight in processed metals, and minerals lose nothing. Fusion elements are also processed at a one-to-one ratio. One entire transported load of ore is processed in one turn, after which the processed resources are shipped to colony Storage Tanks to become available for use. Smelter storage is limited, so processing will cease if maximum storage capacity has been reached.

The CHAP (Closed Habitat Atmospheric Production) Facility produces a breathable environment for most of the colony structures. This differs from the Terraforming Facility, which allows an atmosphere to be generated for the entire planet. One CHAP is sufficient to generate the breathable gases for a large colony, but having multiple CHAPs reduces the likelihood of losing your atmosphere production capacity in the event of a catastrophe.

The SPEW (Sewage Processing and Environmental Waste) Facility recycles basic wastes and building materials from structures you’ve chosen to destroy. Recycling improves morale and enables you to reuse resources. Recycled buildings produce MPG (Multi-Purpose Goo), a special synthetic that can be used to replace any other resource required to maintain the functional status of an existing structure.

Terraforming Facilities are generated through extensive scientific research. They allow you to create a breathable atmosphere on certain planets. Success with terraforming has a significant positive effect on the morale of your colonists.

In Outpost, the mining of local resources is necessary to the survival of your colony. Each planet type has a different composition of ores, reflected in the value called Planetary Hostility. If you select a planet with a high Hostility rating, the offsetting characteristic of the planet will be a greater abundance of mined resources. On average, any mine will have a mixture of ores, with life support, metals, and minerals being most common, followed by fusion elements (see the chart on page 31). In general, Metal Ores A and Minerals A are more common than B-grade ores, which are more common than C-grade ores.

You can gather information about resources on your planet in several ways.

From orbit, your starship will provide pertinent but basic information about the hostility level of your new planet, surface mineral deposits indicating reasonable mine locations, and basic planetary data. The AI will then generate landing Site Maps with the red dots that indicate potential mine locations.

You can launch a geological surface penetrator from orbit. The AI will then provide you with the maximum digging depth for your miners and diggers, an estimated total number of mining locations.

Explorer robots investigate potential mining sites identified from the starship. Explorer robots will also mark any potential mining locations with a red dot.

Mines will produce ore for 100 to 400 turns, depending on the digging depth of the planet. If the storage maximum of 500 units is reached, the mine will shut down temporarily, but otherwise production from an active mine will be continuous. See the section on transportation for more information about moving mined resources.

When mined ore reaches the smelter, production of processed ore begins. Metal ores will generate processed metals at a ratio of two to one; minerals and fusion elements are processed into purified minerals at a rate of one to one.

Several categories of resources must be mined for survival. For simplicity’s sake, Outpost resources are grouped. They are:

  • Precious metals extracted from mineral ores by smelting.
  • Raw resources shown with an “ore” prefix, such as OreMinA.
Metal Building materials OreA, OreB, OreC, OreD, MetalA, MetalB, LetalC, MetalD
Fusion Reactor fuel, other fuel OreFusionA, OreFusionB, OreFusionC, FusionA, FusionB, FusionC
Mineral and Precious Metal Raw materials such as gold OreMinA, MoreMinB, MoreMinC, MinA, MinB, MinC, PrecA, PrecB

Besides mined materials, other resources are generated by your colonists. These are:

  • Food, produced in Agricultural Domes. Production is enhanced through scientific research.
  • Luxury Items, manufactured in your light manufacturing facility, and distributed in commercial facilities.
  • Population, which is increased by, well, the population. Morale level affects the rate of reproduction.
  • Power, which is created by the Seed Factory and the other power facilities.
  • Breathable Atmosphere, which is created by the CHAP for your buildings.

One of your goals should be an ever-increasing population. Another is to keep this population contented so that they will be productive and not creep off in the night to the rebel colony. A good rule of thumb is to keep them reproducing, especially in the beginning.

During the first 60 turns on your new planet, the fatality rate will be high. Realistically, however, this hardship will produce a human race which is tougher than it was. Morale will drop when people die, just as it will rise when a birth occurs. Reproduction will take place at a tremendous pace: during the first 60 turns, your colonists average six children per couple, although low morale will cause a lower birth rate and higher mortality rate.

After the first 60 turns, reproduction will drop to four children per couple. When birth and mortality rates have stabilized at a lower level, you can begin making plans for the long-term growth of your colony.

The colony’s ability to expand and thrive depends in large part on access to, and exploitation of, available sources of power. You can generate power through several means:

Fuel Cells Simple, immediately available Limited to robots
Geothermal Energy Cheap, clean You may not find a fumarole
Seed Power Immediately available Extremely limited
Solar Power Satellite Generates up to 2000 No more than two receiver arrays per satellite
Tokamak Fusion Reactor 1000 units of power per turn, efficient Requires maintenance

Robots are important to your colony. They perform tasks that would otherwise have to be performed by the human population. When your colonists must perform menial tasks, morale drops. Additionally, when robots are performing the less glamorous functions, humans are able to perform higher-order jobs such as research, which enables your colony to progress and thrive.

Factories produce robots at a rate of one every five turns, and Fuel Cells at a rate of one every 10 turns. One Fuel Cell will operate one robot for 200 turns.

Robot Command facilities communicate with field robots. Sometimes you’ll lose contact with field robots because they’ve been lost in rough terrain. Unfortunately, you cannot avoid losing robots; just keep building robots to replace those that will inevitably be lost.

Here are the types of robots available to you, and a brief description of their uses:


Prepares a foundation for building both on the planet surface and underground. The number of turns required to prepare terrain for building depends on the condition of the terrain. Robodozers can also create dirt roads by bulldozing in a straight line, at which point paved roads can be laid down.


Digs mine shafts, locates mineral deposits, builds ore elevators, and caps the mines with storage facilities. The number of turns required to dig a mine depends on the condition of the terrain. Homes in only on existing mine beacons.


Creates underground residences. It can dig either horizontally or vertically. The area dug out will be visible to the player, while the unexplored surrounding area will remain black.


Wanders the surface of the planet seeking new mines. The number of turns required to locate new mines varies by mine prevalence on your chosen planet.


If there is an existing supply of fuel cells, Repairbots can replace Fuel Cells on “dead” robots. Repairbots are generated through research into robotics.

Humanoid Worker

Performs labor so that a human can be reassigned to a scientific research job if one is available. Humanoid workers are generated through research into robotics, and will show up in the population details report once you start building them.

If you’re having trouble digging deeper mine shafts or air shafts, keep these hints in mind:

  • To extend a mine shaft to a deeper level on planets where this is possible, place a robominer directly on an existing underground mine shaft.
  • To extend an air shaft to a deeper level on planets where this is possible, place a robodigger directly on an existing underground air shaft.

When Robodiggers Dig

On the surface of the planet, a robodigger can dig a new level only when it starts next to a surface tube connecting it to its home colony. Because the robodigger constructs the air shaft for the underground levels, the tube connection is required to carry air and power to underground structures.

Exploding Robodiggers

If you find that you’ve built your colony in an area surrounded by impassable terrain, don’t give up hope. Place a robodigger on the impassable location of your choice and set it to “Self-Destruct.” As if by magic, the robodigger will destroy itself and leave clear terrain in its place next turn. However, the contained explosion of the robodigger will also destroy any underground structures on the eight tiles immediately surrounding it.

Two types of facilities are used as storage on your new planet.

Storage Tanks are used to store processed resources. If the resource comes from the smelter, it must go to the Storage Tank rather than a warehouse. Storage Tanks can store 1000 units of processed resources.

Warehouses store everything but processed resources. Each of these items requires a specific mass unit of storage, and each warehouse can accommodate 100 mass units of storage. Warehouse storage is provided for:

Clothing 3 mass units
Fuel Cells 2 mass units
Luxury Items 3 mass units
Medicine 1 mass units
Road Materials 3 mass units
Robots with Fuel Cells 5 mass units
Trucks 6 mass units

Without storage facilities to house resources, all factory production will be unavailable. Always make sure a storage facility is built simultaneously with a factory to house the output.

An effective transportation system on your new planet is critical to your survival. What good are ores if you can’t get them to the smelter and the colony? How can you establish efficient trade if you can’t move trade goods?

There are but two safe methods of motor transportation in Outpost. Resources and people are transported via either semi-automated Trucks or a Monorail System, and there are pros and cons to each.

Trucks can travel over any terrain that’s not impassable, but it’s more efficient to drive over dirt or paved roads. Dirt roads are created by bulldozing a terrain tile. After a section is bulldozed, a paved road can be laid if the road materials have been produced by your factories. It takes two turns for a road crew to complete a section of paved road. If a road crew takes more than two turns to pave a road, it’s probably because there isn’t enough road material available from your Warehouses. Trucks travel much faster over paved roads. For each game turn, a Truck can cross over one rough terrain tile, three clear terrain tiles, four dirt road tiles, or five paved road tiles.

An active mine can store up to 500 units of ore. If the mine reaches this limit, however, the mine will shut down until the ore is removed. Trucks can carry 100 units of ore from a mine to a smelter. After the raw materials are processed they will automatically be moved into storage. Once the processed ore is placed in a storage facility, it is available for use by the colony.

If you’re playing on the Beginner difficulty level, or if you’ve loaded a saved game from a previous version of Outpost, all trucking will occur automatically. Other difficulty levels give you the option of Manual or Automatic Trucking. Under the Automatic Trucking option, the transportation of ore and resources will occur behind the scenes. Manual Trucking forces you to establish individual routes and shipments for your Trucks.

Trucks travel on terrain, either rough or clear; and roads, either dirt or paved. Dirt roads are simply bulldozed. After a section is bulldozed, a paved road can be laid; paving takes two turns to complete.

Generally, within the bounds of a particular colony, Trucks will automatically move resources from the smelters to Storage Tanks, and from factories to Warehouses.

Monorails move at a continuous speed of six tiles per turn, and can carry 500 units of ore to the smelter. Once the Monorail line is built, terrain has no effect on it, and Monorail lines can be set on continuous loops to connect sites that have frequent contact.

Monorails do have drawbacks, however. They are costly and time-intensive to build, and any stops must have Monorail Stations. Plagues travel with great efficiency on Monorail lines, and if you rely solely on this mode of transport, a plague can either wipe out your colony or bring your entire planet’s transportation system to its knees when you sever the lines to save the colony. On the other hand, if you’re a diabolical killer, you can also send a little gift of the plague over to a colony of rebels with whom you’ve established a trade agreement.

A Monorail System has five components: the Monorail Station, the Monorail Power Transformer, the Monorail (track), the Monorail (track) Intersection, and the standard Tube connecting the Power Transformer to a colony.

The Monorail Power Transformer can be built only at the end of a Tube connection. The colony supplies life support, power, and the workers to operate each Monorail section.

Monorail (track) tiles connect to Monorail Stations. Monorail Stations can only be placed next to a Monorail Power Transformer or a Monorail (track) tile.

A Monorail (track) or a Monorail (track) Intersection can only be placed next to a Monorail Station or another Monorail (track).

When a complete Monorail System has been established between two stations, and the power/resourc e connections have been made, the Monorail line will become active.

Power interruptions or line breaks can bring Monorails to a halt.

A Monorail can establish a round trip or one way trip to each station, allowing for circuits that don’t follow round trip. If two lines are connected, it becomes a circuit with only one train running.

The Monorail Power Transformer tile connects tube to Monorail Station in any direction. Every Monorail Station requires one. This tile has the same building and operating stats as a tube, except it requires one unit of power to operate, and it takes two turns to build instead of being instantly placed like a tube.

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  • Last modified: 2017/05/28 21:25
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