For Terra Invicta players who want to get started with mines on Luna or Mars to get your space industry up and running, this guide will explain how.
Industrializing space by establishing mines and production facilities is necessary in the long-term for most factions, especially ones antagonistic to the aliens. Space industry will enable you to
- extract useful resources as well as earn money from space.
- receive research points and research bonuses from space.
- build fleets of warships to defend yourself and, if playing as a faction who wants to do so, fight the aliens and protect the Earth.
Later on you will even be able to found colonies in space or on other planets.
Boost, as mentioned above, is a resource used to launch space stations and surface outposts into space and to other space bodies. Boost is also used to pay the maintenance costs of stations and outposts that require resources to maintain them, like Water and Volatiles, but which aren’t being produced in space and so have to be launched to the facility from Earth. It is important to note here that while space stations in orbit around Earth can be useful, early in the game they require Boost to maintain and can hamper your ability to collect enough Boost to start mining resources. These resources can then be used to maintain space stations and habitats, meaning they don’t need Boost to maintain, so it makes more sense to start mining first and then expand your space stations.
Mission Control determines the capacity of ships and facilities you can keep running outside of the Earth. Mission Controls are built on earthbound nations using the Mission Control priority to invest in them, or by direct investment. Later in the game Mission Controls can also be built in space. Mission Controls are best established in smaller countries that you control but plan to unify into a larger country later.
As your space industry develops, you will probably go from being limited by Boost to being limited by Mission Control. Note that you can go over your Mission Control cap, but this will make your stations, outposts and ships vulnerable to subversion by other factions as well as negative events.
The main requirement is having enough Boost as well as some Mission Control. A good starting point is about 40-60 Boost and having 2-4 Mission Control available (one mine will require two MC). You will also need the following techs, as well as the projects that unlock from them (in brackets):
- Mission to Space
- Outpost Habs (Outpost Core)
- Advanced Electromagnetism
- Mass Drivers
- Space Mining and Refining (Outpost Mining Complex)
- Platform Core
- Nuclear Fission in Space (Fission Pile, unlocked by this tech and Platform core), to mine on Mars.
To build an outpost on a site on a space body, you must have prospected it first by sending a probe. Sending a probe to a body costs Boost, takes some time, and requires the appropriate global technology to be researched: Mission to the Moon or Mission to Mars (note that the space body itself is called Luna in the game and will be referred to as Luna from now on). More of these techs become available later to mine and colonize other areas in the solar system, as well as technologies and projects for larger, more efficient facilities.
Select “View Solar System” and then select the space body you want to prospect. The button to send the probe will be shown in the bottom of the screen once the body is selected.
Prospecting with a single probe will reveal the resource outputs of all the potential outpost sites on a space body. A site can produce any amount of any or all of the following:
- Water (blue droplets)
- Volatiles (red flame)
- Base Metals (light blue pile of bricks)
- Noble Metals (yellow pile of bricks)
- Fissiles (green radioactivity symbol).
The amount of resources a site produces is randomly generated within certain upper and lower bounds. Some bodies, like Ceres or Europa, tend to have plenty of Water because of the presence of water ice, while on Luna Water is relatively rare.
Water and Volatiles are used to maintain stations and outposts while Base Metals as well as Noble Metals are mainly used to build them. Fission Piles require Fissiles. An important concept to understand how space industry works is that while resources needed from Earth cost Boost to send, space resources go into a pool that is shared by all your space stations and outposts without transfer times or other costs. For example, if you are mining Water on Mars, that Water is immediately available for a space station in Earth orbit. It may help to think of the solar system as split into two resource pools: Earth and space.
Your goal is to start mining and accumulating enough of all these materials that you can start launching just cores from Earth using Boost and then completing the base using the five space resources, which saves time and huge amounts of Boost.
Your First Mine
There are two approaches for where to start:
- building a mine or two on Luna and then proceeding to Mars using the resources from Luna.
- going directly to Mars (note that Mission to Mars does not require Mission to the Moon).
There is no hard and fast rule for which approach is better in a given game. Key is to be able to start mining for Water, Volatiles, Base Metals and Noble Metals in space, as these are required to build more mines. The cores and Fission Piles to power all of this also require Fissiles, but you can also use Boost to build these if you have enough it.
On the one hand, skipping Luna can make sense if it does not have two mining sites available that together produce all five resources. On the other hand, you need an extra project (Fission Piles) to mine on Mars, as you would need an impractical amount of Solar Collectors to produce enough power due to Mars’s distance from the Sun. Mars will always be richer to mine than Luna, but costs more Boost to send outposts to. It is also harder for Councillors to travel all the way to Mars, e.g. to try to take over an outpost.
A mine (including core and power plant) on Luna should cost somewhere in the ballpark of 20 to 40 Boost. A mine on Mars should cost somewhere in the ballpark of 40 to 70 Boost. If the cost on Mars is way more than this, note whether Mars is in or near the launch window. Launch windows refer to dates when a target in space is aligned with Earth’s orbit in such a way that it takes less Boost to get there than normally. It may be worth it to wait a month or two for the launch window to get closer. You can also research the Nuclear Freighters project (unlocked by Solid Core Fission Systems) to lower Boost costs.
Your first mine will be simple and have the following components:
- Outpost Core.
- Outpost Mining Complex.
- A power plant (Fission Pile on Mars, Solar Collector on Luna).
If you have the Boost you can deploy all of these in a single go, and this is preferable since the mine will be up and running simultaneously with the outpost core. The mine will cover most of the maintenance requirements of the outpost itself, meaning it won’t cost too much Boost to maintain, and will start providing the resources to build more. Note that one outpost can support only one mine.
It will take several weeks for the components to make their way to Luna (several months to Mars). If you have plenty of Boost you can send another mine even before the first one is finished.
Once you have started mining for all five resources, you can change your approach to only sending the Outpost Core to a site using Boost, and then building the Fission Pile and Mining Complex using resources from the space resource pool instead of Boost.
Later on if you build a Construction Module on any station or outpost in a planetary system, you will be able to build Outpost Cores using space resources within that system. At that point, Mission Control capacity will start hampering your progress rather than Boost. As you progress down the tech tree you will be able to add Mission Control in space with Operations Center modules.
You may want to aim for the Mission to the Asteroids technology, as asteroids have plenty of resources as well, and Mission to the Inner Planets, as Solar Collectors are very powerful the closer you are to the Sun, which makes outpost layouts more efficient. Another thing to aim for is the next tier of surface outpost, called habs, unlocked by the tech Settlement Habs, as well as the next tier of mines and power plants.
And then it’s time to start thinking about space docks, shipyards, warships and point defense modules to keep everything safe.
- Terra Invicta Technology Guide
- Terra Invicta Alien Threat Level Guide
- Terra Invicta Factions & Alignment Guide
- Terra Invicta Nation Stats Guide
- Terra Invicta Basic Save Editing Guide