Space Engineers – Some Helpful Ship / Base Building Tips

Just a few tips and tricks I’ve figured out or learned. hopefully, you will find them as useful as I did.

Lets Start With The Basics

One thing that I have learned during my time playing Space Engineers is that plans generally help.

What I like to do when I load a new survival world is to either:

  1. Load it up with a plan of exactly what you want to do. This can be things such as taking an idea you had for a base or ship and seeing how it turns out or setting things up for a scenario you want to try.
  2. Load up your world with something that changes a signifacant part of how you play. Such as adding in the need for food and water or not being able to use your jetpack. This can lead you to change up ow you build your ships and base as now you have a new need.

I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve gone in with a super crazy plan and I end up quitting because I forget to take into account the resources I need. Make sure to start small then work your way up. Even if it takes longer than you hoped, it’s better to be set up with a nice little base that you can fall back on, than to have all of your hard work blown up by those ♥♥♥ Reavers.

Final tip for the basics: ORGANIZE YOUR TERMINALS.

This is by far one of my biggest pet peeves in space engineers. It helps people out so much to have a nice clean terminal. Grouping and “hide in terminal” exist for a reason. Group up your vital systems like your thrusters, gyros, reactors and landing gear. That way if some else were to use your ship, they won’t have to dig through listing looking for that one block they need to change.

So you have your self a base. Now what?

Once you have gotten yourself nice and cozy in your little starter. It’s time to start thinking about going bigger. I find that laying out everything helps keep me on track and not get distracted by….ooo an unknown signal GIMME. You don’t have to create a full-on essay on what you’re going to do (I did that once, took forever because I had decided to format it MLA style and wrote it like it was for my finals.). A shortlist written on an LCD that you will pass a lot will do. As for things on the list, put items such as: what will the function of the build be, can it go in atmosphere, can it carry things, what extras do you want, what should it look like, that sorta thing. Below are some examples of the lists for things I’ve built.

Moon Base:

  • Name, F-C Foward operating base A-CXZM-10
  • Purpose, to have an established and capable base on the moon of the earthlike planet
  • Functions, Mining, Refining, Production, Storage, Trading, and Scraping
  • Areas, Living quarters, Rover/drone hanger, Fighter/utility hanger, cargo terminal, scraping terminal, docks for small transports, miners and freighters, docks for both the F-C Providence and F-C Star Titan, and factory and storage.
  • Sealed, No
  • Extras, The main tunnel can also function as a construction yard, 3 entrances, PDS

Light Exploration ship:

  • Name, F-C Providence
  • Purpose, Exploration of nearby planets
  • Functions, Two Hangers with slots for either a fighter or miner, infirmary, crew quarters, to command decks, production capable, jump capable.
  • Areas, Flight Bridge, Captains quarters, Crew quarters, Infirmary, Engineering, hangers, CIC, and pilots quarters.
  • Sealed, yes
  • Extras, 3 gattling turrets on top and 3 on the bottom with 2 missile turrets on each side. PDS, Two docking arms, Atmo capable.

Getting Down to Building

When building your ship, I Highly recommend test out things you are not sure about in a copy of the world in creative. This prevents you from losing all your work because Clang decided to say hi.

For ships, start with a skeleton of your ship, then add all the important items such as your jump drives and hydro tanks. start with the biggest items, then go smaller. once you have that laid out then add your conveyors, thrusters, and connectors and pipe it all up. Only then should you start working on your armor. This method is useful as then you don’t have to go around your fully armored ship trying to fit things in weird spots. This also allows you to add smaller details, like maintenance tubes.

When adding your armor, it’s ok to leave some of your internals like part of your tanks exposed (except on combat ships), they can help break up the aroma to make it look more carefully designed and add detail.

Try to avoid the pitfall of visible tiers in your armor, they are very hard to make look right and hard to hide. Try to keep to having only one block drops, and if it’s unavoidable, use the longer slopes to smooth it out.

Don’t use too many different textures in your armor. I find that sticking to trying to use only 3 or 4 different textures prevents your ship from being an insult to a good builder’s eyes. Using stairs here and there around the rear thrusters to simulate vents is fine but it starts to look funny when you use lines of them as an attempt at “Adding Textures and depth”. No, it just looks like you slap some stairs to a good-looking ship.

Use graded windows for engine cowls, they look good and are very clean. Think outside the box, grind some different blocks down and see what they look like. Who knows, they may look like just the shape or texture you need.

Finally, colors. This is a big one. try to stick to 2-3 different colors, using one as a base, one for details, and one for highlighting objects. If you building a ship that is part of a bigger fleet, use the colors and markings of that fleet. Also, try to stick to colors that don’t people eye cancer from looking at your ship. Generally, I color my ships like this:

  • Blue/Green: Nice clam colors, looks good on cargo and mining ships
  • Grey/Black: combative ships, stealth is key so darker colors work better.
  • Yellow/Orange: Bright and usually used as a safety color, make it create for shipyards where players will be walking around.
Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 3021 Articles
I love two things in life, games and sports. Although sports were my earliest interest, it was video games that got me completely addicted (in a good way). My first game was Crash Bandicoot (PS1) from the legendary studio Naughty Dog back in 1996. I turned my passion for gaming into a job back in 2019 when I transformed my geek blog (Re-actor) into the gaming website it is today.

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