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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:

Q: I get Win32 IO returned 362 error message
A: This is due to problems with OneDrive configuration, make sure all Documents/Planetbase files are accesible offline.

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've replaced my computer and I want to keep my game progress, what can I do?
A: Just copy the saves over from the Documents/Planetbase folder
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.
cuho2000 Nov 11, 2023 @ 7:21pm 
It would be a lot better if the dev fix the AI pathfinder. I hate to see the colonists walk all the way around the base and died from out of oxygen...they should have go through the pathway inside the base there are plenty of foods, oxygen, and resting area. Why do they have to go all the way around the base and refused to eat food that is right there they to go to the other area that is on the other side of the base and died from starvation when there is plenty of food nearby.
SweepMop Jun 9, 2022 @ 2:41am 
I've copied over my saves to a new computer, but the game does not recognize reflects my achievements, but nothing else...not saves, not settings...
Coopy Jul 21, 2021 @ 10:44am 
Tutorial wont let me place turbine down
ZEDDEADZED Feb 21, 2021 @ 12:21am 
armywannabe Apr 7, 2020 @ 4:30am 
"Meteor strikes are totally random..."
I might have believed that if the last 3 out of 4 didn't land in a 100 foot radius centered perfectly on my power field
NeoRider7 Feb 9, 2020 @ 1:56pm 
Please add to this guide that there is such a program as the "Planetbase Challenge (Mission) Editor".
This program allows players without programming knowledge and a long study of text documentation to quickly and easily create new high-quality challenge.

Read more about the "Planetbase Challenge (Mission) Editor "program here:
a.1) Web page on NexusMods, download -
a.2) Web page on NexusMods, discussions and suggestions -
b) Page on Steam -
c) GitHub page - source code:
d) "Planetbase Challenge (Mission) Editor" program Guide
lytleclan Jul 18, 2019 @ 4:48pm 
Is there a pause feature with the RTS?
GRANDIRNATURE Sep 22, 2018 @ 9:31pm 
A very good first game, well polish, well done. Something there glitch in the system that make you land on a very difficult area even in the easiest of planet.
Maybe add more entertainment for the colonist. More then just a bar ! lol !
Can't wait for planet base 2 !
fggarcia Sep 14, 2018 @ 12:30pm 
What is core samples (ore)? Howcan I get them?
sueallan07 May 17, 2018 @ 1:02am 
I would like to know if i can play as a different player. I would like to start over with a new game , not just replay the old one. is this possible?