It’s time for another Satisfactory game update. This time, we’re talking about that guide to building an oil-based fuel power plant and how well the game’s multiplayer holds up in its current state.

Remembering that all of this is about an “early access” game boggles the mind, sometimes. It’s a remarkably polished and playable game for something in “early access,” even moreso than Torchlight III’s “early access” was right up to its launch date.

Anywho, let’s get down to business to defeat the puns.

When last I wrote here, I mentioned that the next build project would be an oil-based fuel plant based on the Crude Oil to Fuel Super-Efficient Build Guide over at the Satisfactory Tips site, with a slight modification to route the Resin waste product from the Refineries in the opposite direction. I finished that build project this morning and, for the most part, the guide did a great job.

The guide calls for siting the AWESOME Sink at the far end of the factory, but I wanted to avoid running conveyor belts down the whole length of the facility. Also, this allows me to use a Smart Splitter to send the Resin elsewhere.

There was a bit of a hiccup, though, because I suspect that the exact dimensions of the Refinery machine changed at some point between the creation of that guide and today. I couldn’t quite get the pipelines and conveyor equipment to line up as they do in the build guide. So I improvised, just a bit.

The guide seems a bit vague on how you’re supposed to build the mergers above the pipeline, but I got it sorted out… eventually.

The rest of the build went pretty much according to plan. Five Refineries and fourteen Fuel Generators are all cranking out more power than I’ll be able to use… at least until I build the next big project. I’m rather proud of the results, though I must point out that most of the planning work was done for me.

Most of the Fuel Generators can be placed directly opposite one another, which makes attaching pipes so, so very much easier.

There’s a quirk with fluid delivery in this game that I noticed with the plastic-and-rubber plant and I’m seeing again with this oilpower build: If you feed several Refineries in a row with a supply starting at one end of the line, what you get are a couple of Refineries running at full tilt full time, and everything after them in the line will only be running most or some of the time, because the oil availability drops off for every machine along the line. It seems not to affect my power output (the availability graph remains steady) so it’s not important that I fix it, I’m just curious to know if there’s a better way.

An earlier screenshot in which you can see the oil pipeline arrangement.

For the next build (there’s another pure Oil node right nearby, so I’ll just expand this platform in that direction) I’ll try routing the source pipeline into the middle of the group of Refineries and see how that changes the dynamic.

As a change of pace, my son suggested we try the multiplayer mode. The developers and the game community all agree that multiplayer is usable but… I believe “janky” is the common vernacular nowadays. Over the course of five hours we experienced some odd lag and at one point I had to save, exit, and fully relaunch the game (I was hosting). Other than that, though…

Not bad for about five hours’ work, yeah? In the background is my son’s spreadsheet-derived vertical copper factory, while my sprawling mess of an ironworks takes up most of the foreground.

Should you choose to go this route, please allow me to make some suggestions:

  • An extra pair of hands does indeed make for faster work. We went from “nothing” to “Space Elevator ready for its first shipment” (plus “blade runners” and “Mk2 power” and a bunch of other amenities) in about five and a quarter hours of playtime. At one point my son was planning & building an entire copper production site while I threw together the iron production facility. Parallel processing just those two projects saved us an hour or so right there. Be more forward-thinking about your plans for the session than you expect from a single-player session.
  • An extra pair of hands spreads the materials thinner, faster. My iron production line couldn’t keep up with the demand for Iron Plates and Iron Rods because both of us needed them for the different things we were working on. We ended up having to use the workbenches manually to make up for the lack, on occasion. When you go to automate production of the basics, make sure to over-produce as much as you’re able.
  • Agree on priorities ASAP. If all goes well you’ll be plowing through milestones and M.A.M. research at rapid speed, but that doesn’t mean you should just march along the milestones in set order. For instance, neither of us really care about the jump pad technology, so that got back-burnered in favor of more urgent tech unlocks.
  • Division of labor yields various rewards. This seems obvious, but I suppose it’s possible that we could have collaborated on each of the build projects. We’d have needed much more direct coordination, though. Each of us doing our own allotted task instead meant we could just hunker down and Do The Thing rather than constantly doing check-ins about “do you want this bit here, or over there” and so on. Related to that…
  • Play to your various strengths. I’m good at digging in on a mundane task. My son loves to explore and can handle the hostile fauna much more efficiently than I can. Thus, I tended to the builds and improvements at the hub zone while he went out and secured new minerals to research, including building an entire Caterium-to-Quickwire production & delivery line, and placed beacons so we’d know where to go next as we unlocked new capabilities (like Coal and Oil production).
  • Save, save, save. Whoever’s hosting should make a point of saving at various milestone points, just in case. Yes, there’s the auto-save feature, but I don’t like relying on those save files. You never know when one of them might carry a glitch that leads to a need for a full game reload. Having a “known good” save on hand is good for your peace of mind.

In the end, I generally recommend multiplayer Satisfactory as a fun group activity… keeping the not-ready-for-prime-time status of the game as a whole and its multiplayer capability in particular firmly in mind, of course.

I lost most of an hour just trying to get that stupid Space Elevator placed in a, er, satisfactory way. Also: Note the spacesuited figure in the foreground. Hello, Spud!

And have fun!