Space Engineers Walkthrough Text Only Version

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Space Engineers

Welcome to Portforward's guide to the game, Space Engineers! Click "New World" to get started.

For this guide, we'll be teaching you how to survive in the very cruel space. To accomplish this, select the "Survival" option and pick some appropriate settings and a pre-loaded map.


When starting out, Space Engineers is quite a daring game so let's go over some of the controls. (Tab) turns your HUD on and off, W,A,S,D is your character movement controls.

(X) toggles your fully 6-dimensional backpack. It is essential to control in zero gravity but It also allows you to fly in gravitated areas as well. To see if an area has gravity, look at the bottom right.

(V) toggles between first and third person. I recommend to only use third-person If you are getting nauseus from not having a proper grasp of the controls in FP.

Depending on what map you picked, there will be ships.. or no ships in this case and we simply have a couple of objects nearby. To interact with these elements, press (T).

To open up your "Building screen", whereas you select where and what objects to be built by pressing (G) and dragging said objects onto your toolbar.

Pressing the side-options like "New small/ship/station", will spawn a landing gear foot. Don't bother with these right now as you don't have the materials to make anything yet depending on your map.


This "Tower" will be your best friend from henceforth. It is a combination of a Beacon (Gives you a pointer onto your HUD on just where exactly this place is)..

A nuclear reactor, responsible for powering everything onto the "space station" you're on currently..

A med-bay, which will be essential to your survival as It not only supplies your suit with power to keep the life-support systems going but It also heals and sustained damage you might have gotten from firearms or crashing into things.

It will also serve as a respawn point as long as there is power. (T) to use.

Following those are two more boxes. One is called the Assembler. It is where you will construct things such as building materials and other necessities for ensuring survival.

The one above is called the Refinery. It takes raw ore and processes them into useful materials which are then placed automatically into the assembler below, which then awaits your instructions on what to produce.

To get started, go back to the build menu (G) and drag & drop this hand drill onto your toolbar.


In order to survive, you will have to get to a nearby asteroid ASAP and start digging it out with your hand-drill. Ores are all visible in Space Engineers through certain textures. In this case, on the very surface is a small deposit of Iron. It has a brownish, smooth texture to it.

Using your drill will destroy sections of asteroids and make small, floating ore nuggets appear in place of them.

Press (T) to pick them up and they'll be placed in your limited space inventory.

Finding certain minerals can be very difficult. For example, that tiny small iron spot we had on the surface of this asteroid ended up being a gigantic, inwards-going iron deposit.

The grey stuff outside on asteroids is all stone. You want to avoid picking up any of those "nuggets" as they are useless.

Holding (T) while drilling will make your job a whole lot easier as It will automatically pick up any ingots that happen to spawn at your cursor following the destruction of an asteroid section.

I recommend making a small tunnel before making an 360 expansion bubble as nuggets tend to not only bounce around but also drift off.

Just don't make too much of a complicated tunnel network. You'll need to find yourself out with regular intervals to supply your suit with power.

Power is drained faster by both using the jetpack (necessary for manouvering) and your hand-drill.

Simply hold (T) at the medstation to refill said power.


Crafting in Space Engineers is fairly straight-forward. You go to an assembler, place E and click the "Production" tab. Here you will see a bunch of options to create various items. These are all necessary for different kinds of constructions which I will go over later.

For now, we can't create much as we only got a modest amount of Iron.

To not have all that iron dallying in our inventory, doing no good, we're going to put it to use. Interact with a nearby refinery..

And Drag & Drop the raw ore onto the refinery.

If you want, you can deposit exact amounts and not clutter up things in the long run. Funnily enough, we had exactly 1337.14 units of metal ore to deposit.

Once the refinery is done, It will, as I said earlier, process your ore into useful raw material and deposit itself in the assembler below. In this case, we got some metal to work with.

Iron ingots are the back-bone of almost all constructions. They are required in creating hulls and armor which almost always require big amounts.

Just having some in the assembler have unlocked crafting options for us. These are all metal/steel parts for various creations.

It's however, best to just create a whole bunch of steel plates right now or let the iron sit for whatever you want to create.

Now comes the rather tricky part. Crafting in Space Engineers requires a conduit or a starting point of where your creation begins. On this map, the game has supplied us with one block of a small ship. It is magnetized to the station by the huge, magnetic landing gears I'm standing on.

This means It won't go flying If you accidentally knock yourself up against it. A very useful thing.

However, to start building anything, I'd recommend you to sketch some designs in your head and then start placing the desired blocks from the (G) menu. Changing their color to match the color, Red, in this case is done with various keys depending on your PC unicode. ), [, ; : etc.

Blocks you place will only appear as raw metal frameworks. They require steel plates to even form

You can however, build onto these frameworked cubes and It's a good practice to start making some designs.

Next up is actually creating these blocks to their full glory. To do that, head back into the (G) menu and toolbar your Welder.

Aim at an unconstructed block with the required materials..

And It will be fully "constructed", painted and all In it's glory.

The welder is pretty shiny so a heads-up to all of you seizure-prone people.

Ship length is an important issue. Make it too long and you will have serious problems with visibility, manouverability and overall ship-sense orientation of where all your goods and pieces are while flying.

Make it too short/small and you won't have any space to place other necessary components for flight, etc.

For this guide, I'll be making something very basic and overall cost efficient.

It's wise to weld up the non constructibles now and then to not burn your precious supplies all at once without realizing it.

Holding (CTRL) when clicking down to assemble parts will bump the amount up from 1x to 10x per click.

As Space Engineers is in alpha, having automated saving on can be a bit annoying but evidently worth It's weight in gold If you get a crash.

Once you got a respectable, basic small ship platform, It's probably best to go back to mining. Your reactor is about to run out of uranium rods.

You should be able to find some Uranium close-by in the asteroid next to the starter station. You can have a small, built-in detector feature whereas your HUD will display the location of minerals and ores once you are close enough while also holding your hand-drill out.

Taking your fill of Uranium is a good move. You will need it.

And again, make sure to not dig complicated tunnels. If you die, you lose everything in your inventory while also facing a very possible game-over.

Make sure you drop the ore off in the refinery and nowhere else.

ALWAYS Fill up on power. You can never get enough of the stuff.. Untill it hits 100%.

Making tunnels too narrow will also contribute to eventual nausea from the movement in this game. If possible..

Get close enough to your nearby station and hit (X) to turn your jetpack off in the tunnel. This will make you not only consume less power by using your two legs and feet but also prevent nausea and cease the bouncing of nuggets.

From here on out, It's a quest to find all the ores while very carefully keeping an eye over your station's and suit's energy.

Remember that you can open up your inventory at any time and drop out any unwanted ores/tools to make more space for the things you need.

Travelling to several different asteroids in the distant will almost be a guaranteed necessity..

In order to find more mineral types.

The Space Engineer universe is already very big and It's only growing throughout the Alpha. Travelling to distant asteroids can be a dangerous thing, not only because you can lose control over very high speeds but also because you can run out of power away from the station.

Turning your jetpack off as you reach max speed and simply "Gliding" over onto an asteroid can save you loads of power, but also be significantly dangerous.

Venturing forth and throughly exploring distant asteroids however, may also be very beneficial with pre-existing tunnels.

Inside these are very often..

Dozens and dozens of exposed minerals, just waiting to be grabbed.

If you find the game to be too dark, turn on the suit lights by pressing (L). I have high brightness on my screen so It is not dark at all for me.

End Notes & Advanced building

The beacon may seem frillious at first but It becomes insanely important as you could be dealing with "search for the pixel" kind of situations when you drift too far.

The beacon can also be re-named and you can place several of them in other instances once the game allows travel. It will become a necessity for any serious operation as power will always be essential.

Your refinery can only deal with so much ore at short periods of time. Prioritize Uranium and don't have several stacks of the same ore unless you are prioritizing building materials.

Pressing (Z) will turn your Inertial Dampeners off. This is VERY dangerous at high speeds as they essentially serve as your only methods of slowing down.

Finding specific ores can be an insane hassle. For me, I had tons of trouble locating Nickel, and thus, I couldn't create engines & motors.

Face-rubbing asteroids is a good way to find these sneaky supplies. If all else fails, drilling some new exploration tunnels into the bigger asteroids usually works to locate the oddities.

Patience is key in this game. Crafting takes a long time and so does taking the required resources to be able to build anything fully.

A keen eye is also necessary in some instances. Here, there is a small deposit of gold and my detector didn't warn me of it.

Looking inside the asteroid after seeing the gold, I discovered a massive deposit.

Holding (T) while mousing over nuggets is the only way to pick resources up after harvesting them.

It can grow very tedious on both your mind and wrist but nipping up the mouse sensitivity helps.

Detector notices are rather clumsy, disappear within the blink of an eye depending on how you move and are usually smoshed together. Pay attention If you're searching for a particular ore.

Knowing what materials you need and what resources those materials need to be made can be important and as of right now, It's mostly straight forward. Sillicone for Sillicone water, Gold ingot for gold, etc.

As of right now, stone is completely worthless. It only serves to bog your inventory and should be avoided at all cost. If you pick it up by accident, throw it away.

There are certain "Object" limitations in Space Engineers, meaning if there's too much stuff floating at once, some of it will disappear for performance purposes. Don't harvest an entire asteroid at once but do It in bits.

Pushing your nose up against asteroids is really necessary to..

Detect things that you couldn't see from example, a feet to the right.

Using (Q) and (E) tilts your character left and right. It's sometimes necessary to keep the correct allignment, especially at gravitated areas to not break your neck.

The hud at the bottom left will let you know once your inventory starts getting full. It will shine up in a distinct red near or at capacity.

Some asteroids are just part of the background while some are approachable. Training your eyes to see the difference is essential for any serious playthrough.

Once you have gotten enough resources, you can start building stuff for real. Here, I am constructing thrusters that point in every direction in order to give the ship a full axis control.

It's usually easier to build as much as possible at once to not forget what you were doing.

When constructing thrusters, It's very important to take not to NOT have anything in the way of where their exhaust points. Anything in the way will get burned up or explode for massive damage.

Pressing page up/down/insert and other respective keys while placing objects will turn them. After placing sufficient enough thrusters, you place a generator (preferrably a big one behind the cockpit), fill it with uranium (or make a solarpanel on your ship) and you're good to go!

To secure a more stable power-source without depending on uranium all the time, you need to construct solar panels.

While they require a huge amount of supplies, all rather varied, they enable a near infinite amount of energy, securing your survival in almost all circumstances.

Once fully constructed, You can see what capacity they are at by looking at the bottom of them and checking the green lights.

Space Engineers features a huge universe full with potential and while It's rough around the edges right now, It's a project worth following.

But for now, this concludes Portforward's tutorial over Space Engineers! Have fun, good luck and safe flying!