36 ratings
Planetbase FAQ
By martiño
Frquently asked questions for Planetbase

Frequently asked questions on a variety of Planetbase topics
Q: I’m getting a black screen when I try to launch the game. How can I fix this?
A: Please try the following:
  • Restart your computer.
  • Reinstall the game.
  • Run the game in administrator mode.
  • Update your video card drivers.
  • Disable your anti-virus.
  • Try running the game with one of the following command line arguments: -force-d3d9, -force-d3d11 or -force-opengl
  • Delete the Planetbase documents folder here: Users\Documents\Planetbase.
  • Try the Steam troubleshooting suggestions ( in particular running Steam as administrator.
  • Disable the Steam Overlay, see here:
  • Delete the Planetbase registry key here: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Madruga Works\Planetbase.

Q: I'm experiencing graphical issues. Anything that can be done about it?
A: Try forcing DX9 rendering with the -force-d3d9 command line option

Q: I'm experiencing tearing issues, how can I fix this?
A: In medium, high, and ultra graphic modes vsync should be enabled, if you still experience tearing issues try forcing dx9 rendering with the command line option: -force-d3d9
Q: Why can’t I rotate structures?
There wouldn’t be much point, as they are mostly circular. The exceptions are the Airlock and Mine, which auto-rotate.

Q: I’m placing a structure and the UI shows that I can connect it to two other structures, however once I place it I can only connect it to one of them. Why?
A: Because connections can’t overlap, so two connections might be possible individually but not at the same time.

Q: What does the landing location do in the game?
It’s just a fancy way of choosing the random seed for the terrain.

Q: Does where you land affect the amount of sunlight you receive?
No, it doesn’t affect it. The reason for this is that, if it did, and it was realistic, it could make the game extremely difficult.

Q: How is welfare calculated?
As the ratio between colonists plus bots with no indicators at “low” level (yellow triangle) and the total number colonists plus bots.
One colonist or bot with any indicators at “very low” level (orange triangle) will decrease welfare as much as two colonists or bots with indicators at “low” level.

Q: How is prestige calculated?
Prestige is calculated as the sum of 4 numbers:
  • Prestige due to buildings (Signposts, Pyramids and Monoliths), up to a maximum of 300 points.
  • Prestige due to population, up to a maximum of 300 points. You need 300 colonists plus bots to get to the limit.
  • Prestige due to amount of resources, up to a maximum of 200 points. You need 600 resources to get to the limit, coins don’t count.
  • Prestige due to tending to distress calls, up to a maximum of 200 points
Energy production
Q: The small Wind Turbine produces 20 power and costs 1 metal, the medium Wind Turbine only produces 30 power and costs 2. Why?
A: You have to factor in connection costs. Since connections cost 1 metal, the real cost is 2 and 3 not 1 and 2.

Q: Are larger power generators more efficient than the smaller ones in general?
A: Yes, this is the full explanation:
  • All generators generate 10KW per metal spent.
    • Solar Panels cost 3/5/7/11 metal (including connection cost), and produce 30/50/80/110 KW
    • Wind Turbines cost 2/3/5/7 metal, and produce 20/30/50/70 KW
  • Smaller generators decay a bit slower. This is to compensate a bit for the extra usage of spares. However larger generators still consume less spares per KW.
    • Small Wind Turbines decay 50% slower
    • Medium Wind Turbines and Solar Panels decay 25% slower
  • Larger generators take less space, and save travel time.
Q: Are meteors entirely random or do they aim for particular structures?
They are totally random. If they happen to hit your most critical structure it is totally by chance.

Q: After reloading the game, meteors will hit exactly in the same spot again. Why?
We precalculate the next 20 meteor impacts, to avoid people cheating the game this way.
Q: The AI in this game is dumb, they are not doing X, Y or Z when they should, why?
There might still be the odd AI bug out there, but the more likely cause for colonists not doing what you expect from them, is that there is something wrong with your base, please read the next section to try to understand why.
If you still think you've found a bug, please report it on the forums and we will investigate it ASAP.

Q: There is plenty of food around and my colonists are starving, why?
A: You want to make sure you have enough Meal Makers and enough manpower to stock them.

Q: Why are my people not doing their jobs?
A: This is could be due to one of several reasons:
  • There aren’t enough resources in the machines (note that some machines require several resources to produce something).
  • They are tired/hungry/thirsty/sick (orange triangle over their heads).
  • They are doing some other more important job, like building or tending to high priority tasks.
  • They are carrying stuff to a trading ship, this is considered more important.
  • They are carrying stuff around, you can stop them doing this by setting structures to high priority.

Q: In particular, why are engineers not making spares?
A: There is no know bug that could cause this, the chances are that:
  • You are trying to build a structure somewhere else, and that is using all the Bioplastic and Metal, you need to cancel the construction if this is the case.
  • Your Engineers are carrying resources around, you need to set the Factory to high priority to prevent them from doing that.
  • Your Bioplastic or Metal is being used to produce something else, you can use the Manufacturing Limits panel to prevent overproduction of goods.

Q: My colonists have a triangle over their heads and they refuse to work. Why?
A: Colonists might stop working if their status is low, these are the rules:
  • Normal status: Colonists will work at full speed.
  • Low status: Some indicators are low (yellow triangle over their heads), colonists will perform tasks at half speed.
  • Very low status: Some indicators are very low (orange triangle over their heads), colonists will only perform critical tasks like food growing or building.
  • Critical status: Some indicators are critical (red tiangle over their heads), or colonist has a condition (like Trauma injuries, Malnutrition..): colonists will refuse to work altogether.

Q: I don’t like the AI and I would like to tell them exactly what to do, will you allow more control over the colonists?
A: We will be improving the AI and fixing any bugs, but we believe that half the fun of the game is not having control over your colonists.
Q: I want to move the camera up and down, why can’t I do that?
A: The camera orientation was a very deliberate design decision, we want you to see the stars, the passing clouds, the fog on the mountains and the sky changing color as the sun rises over the horizon.

Q: Why does the camera pivot around it’s center and not the terrain?
A: We know this is not the norm in this kind of games, but we really like it as you can move the camera around a lot faster this way, and it feels like you are controlling some kind of drone hovering over the terrain.
If you want to rotate around an object you can press the pan and rotate keys at the same time.
< >
Jarod997 Jan 26 @ 7:51pm 
Where do I send my crash reports?
_ZΞTA Jan 17 @ 5:35am 
Hey mate, will there be a mission that if someone trapped in planet lonely. And you must survive until your crew comes to rescue you?

hershy_pig Oct 31, 2016 @ 12:04am 
are there any cheats?
hershy_pig Oct 31, 2016 @ 12:04am 
ny cheats?
Pingu Sep 25, 2016 @ 3:12pm 
OH and there could be instead of blizards and sandstorms there could be a volcanic cloud that s full of hot gasses that hurt whoever is out there really bad
Pingu Sep 25, 2016 @ 3:09pm 
will there ever be any other planets like for example a lava planet. and there could be a new power collecting device called a thermal generator or something like that. i dunno, but i love your game! wish there was more exciting things though, like aleins or something cool like that.
DarkShy Sep 17, 2016 @ 8:20pm 
I agree with ez1, and more should be added, like the workers should be able to learn how to do other jobs other than what they are initially assigned to, the malnutrition should be removed as everyone is actually being fed, even if it's the same stuff day in and day out, there should be more camera controls (instead of relying on mods to do the dirty work), and I'm sure there's even more to look over and change, add, or remove. It's a fun game, no doubt, but the mechanics and AI needs a massive overhaul that would be beneficial to the colonists as well as the player. It really does get to be annoying to have to keep restarting the game just to make sure everyone lives well and prospers.
ez1 Sep 14, 2016 @ 6:56am 
And perversely biologists starve first, though they should go last. And once they're dead, no one else can water the plants? Even if you buy food, the peeps die at the airlock, lined up waiting to bring in one happy meal at a time. Surely they could stack resources to speed up trading in general?

A dire crisis should have an urgent respons, not just business-as-usual. I'd propose an alert mechanism to initiate a short-term, high-efficiency spurt to confront the crisis -- just like the red and yellow alerts. Same level of threat, but to have no response available is both highly unbalanced and unrealistic. And during the alert you should be able to reassign posts to try to stabilize the situation. RL astronauts are top notch multi-taskers, after all.

It would also be useful to upgrade certain units like small oxygen units without destroying the whole network.

Also, keybindings are very finicky and certain keys simply will not work for camera movement, like < and >
ez1 Sep 14, 2016 @ 6:26am 
Hi, Just played a few games and tho I really like the game so far, I find that a few mechanics don't make sense.

First, is there a pause button somewhere? Or am I missing the obvious? Some documentaton about controls and basic mechanics is needed at the outset. For example, alerting the player in the tutorial that jobs cannot be reassigned would save a great deal of initial confusion.

Second, this has been pointed out by others but there is something wrong with the food/biodome mechanic. When you build the third biodome, it invariably kills off the colony. Tthe last time I had 90+ peeps and 6 delivery bots, but after building it the biologists could no longer work effectively because you simply no longer have enough room at that point to place a big dome in a central location, so it goes to the periphery, causing a massive drop in productivity, unleashing irreversible decline. Increasing food production capacity should not lead straight to starvation.

Hunchback Aug 11, 2016 @ 12:25am 
How 2 disable the "PhysX->CPU" Bar ?