Arctico Basic Guide For Starters

Intro – Starting the Game

After the end of the tutorial you must work towards setting up a basic camp.
This will include energy production, and ore gathering, eating, feeding and sleeping.At the end of the tutorial, you have fed your dogs, and should go on your first discovery run, but wait a sec.


Energy is your bred and butter in this game. You hand drill will not work if your energy reserve is at Zero. (Drill needs 5 energy). Cooking also drain energy (10 energy).
Later in the game you will need to have a large energy reserve.

So use all hardware you have to build solar panels next to your building, but not very close.
You should imagine a round area, about twice the size/coverage of your building, next to it.
In the center, in the near future, you will build an Energy Collector in the center, and it will automatically (you need to activate each time) collect all energy from all solar panels and wind turbines, but we will get to that later.


For now, after your initial ore, plus the one you drilled from behind your base is spent, get on the sled and go look for some. Focus on ore and not crystals, remember you use energy to drill, and in the beginning you don’t have much.


I suggest you combine your first outing with an additional task, that of getting some fish.
Open the map from your Pad, and look to the right of your base. There you will find a small fishing pond, the closest to your base. On the way wonder a bit to the left and right to find ore and discover goodies from wreckages, old camps, camp fires and other interesting things.

You simply walk into the water and you are automatically places in your kayak, its that simple.


  • Remember to Save often. You do that by going next to your bunk bed and sleep.
    So after your first short run to get some ore and fish, pick up energy from solar panels and go to sleep, this will be your first save.
  • Pick up energy often. Your solar panels produce 4 energy every cycle (15 Seconds), but a capacity of 20. Wind turbines will give you 6 and 30 respectively.
  • Do not waist energy into researching samples in the beginning. You need energy to make hardware and drill.
  • Consider grinding for energy for a day, meaning, after you have build 5-6 solar modules, wait around and pick up energy till night comes, then go to sleep, wake up, pick up 20 energy from each solar module (they are full when you wake up, not always). You now have 200 or more energy.
  • Use this energy for opening up blueprint boxes that you will find in abandoned domes, buildings, telescope buildings etc. You need 50 energy per blueprint box and you usually find them in pairs, so you need 100 energy reserve on you on any given sled outing.
  • You can “TELEPORT” back to your base, at any point and from any point of the map. So its ok to travel in any direction till you hit water, and then simply go to your Pad (Q), go to the map, and click on the Fast Travel button in the lower right, then Fast Travel to your base.
  • Check your dogs health after long runs and fast travel. A raw fish will do the job nicely. Don’t let them go below 35% as a rule of thump.
  • You can left click ones on any item or building, you will see a white cycle line around object, and then you can move it, so do not worry about placement of items / objects / buildings.
  • Drop a Location pin to a location you would like to come back too, you go to your bud menu and its in the lower right, with the flag symbol, 50 hardware.

Building Stuff

Building is done in 2 direct and 1 indirect ways.
We will cover the 2 direct ones (from your Pad) bellow, and leave the Indirect for later.By indirect I mean that you need to discover the technology first, then build the 2 different kind of buildings available ( Heated Facility and Advanced Heated Facility), and then go to upgrade panel in building) .

Main Building Menu (Costs Hardware)

The direct building ways are from your Pad.
In your build menu, you have 3 areas of various items.
On top, buildings and platforms, to the right, food stuff, solar modules, and to the left, grids and machinery.
You will notice that some items require a blueprint (or more than one) to be constructed.

One of the first blueprints you need to find is that of the Wind Turbine, since it has two benefits.
It produces energy throughout night and day, and has a bigger capacity (30) from the solar panel.
Remember, you need 50 energy on your reserves to open a blueprint box.

In the lower right corner of items to build we find the second direct way of building, the Misc Fabricator box.

Misc. Fabricator (100 Hardware + Money)

It costs 100 hardware to build a Misc. Fabricator.
After you build it, you approach and select (E) to see building options.

You will need to discover many items, so in the beginning most will need to be unlocked.

The important items are on the lower right. Upper right are amenities and “luxury items”, to the left are decorative.
Back to the lower right, you will have 6 items, some need discovery like the auto drill and crop collector, both very important for your development.
For starters you will need to build an energy Collector, place it in the middle on an imaginary circle next to your base. After you place it, you will see its radius. You need to walk a bit off it, then look at it. Within this radius you should build your energy production (panels and turbines).

The above mentioned Energy Collector will cost you 3K, and this brings us to the next subject….making money.

Ice farming – Food stuff

You can build from your Pad and to the right of the build menu:

Sabina plant (needed for building other plants bellow)
Wheat incubator
Coffee Incubator
Potato Incubator
Mushroom Incubator

To build a “farm” of sorts you need to build a water sprinkler in the middle, plants all around and a couple of Crop Collector arms on the two sides of the water sprinkler.
Water sprinkler has a larger radius than the Crop Collector Arm

You need to discover the blueprint for the Crop Collector Arm
Both Sprinkler and collector can be build from the Misc Fabricator.
So you stat with spending 100 hardware, and then you need to spent money to build the items.

Above will not work unless you build a Crop Silo within the range of the Crop Collector robotic arm.
Crop silo you build from Misc. Fabricator.


Simple, locate fishing spot from map, right click to place a marker, get on your sled, press Q to view navigation arrow, go to spot, get off sled, walk into water, and you are magically placed on your kayak.
Aproack fishing spot untill you see a fishing hook icon, then press E and wait for 15 sec, and you will see an exclamation alarm button on the bottom of the screen—>Start spamming the E button, or you miss the fish.
Later on you can upgrade your fishing rod to catch more fish per turn, from the Workshop you can build in your Advanced Heated building.
Like the mining areas, a fishing area will deplete and you need to wait for next day to vist it.

Making Money….and finding it too !

To make money, you were informed in the tutorial that you can research a sample, make Gb of data, and every 2Gb, can be sold from the main building console for 1K.
But in the beginning of the game, you are low on energy, and every research run is 50 units. Better to do to hardware builds for 25 energy each and 0.5 ore to build hardware.So what other alternatives ?

Easiest way, is to find some money stashes in your discovery outings, you will find in 2K lots.
Next, indirectly, in the same discovery runs, you will find Gb, that you will then sell for money.

You make money by selling Gb of information, so here are the ways to make them.

You have a lab, so you know the first way, but as mentioned not very efficient (50 energy)

At night, you can go up to the telescope in the mountain close to your camp, and by using 50 energy, scan the skies for a bit and get 4Gb or 2K.
Later on, when you can build a telescope in your camp, you can avoid the night runs to the mountain top.
Even better, when you can build a dark mater scanner, you can scan during the day.

After you discover the Simulations CPU unit, you can build it, and spent 50 energy and 1Gb to produce 1.5 Gb, or 50 energy per 0.5 Gb.
You need to wait for next day, so its a slow Gb producing way for when you go to sleep / save.

In the labs as you know, you spent 50 energy for a sample analysis that gives you 1 Gb of data. So its more efficient than the simulations CPU.

Still, much better to find Gb and money during your expeditions about the islands, and through the use of telescopes and dark matter scanners.
Also, ones you are on your way, and have the resources, you can build farms, and a seeds trading terminal and sell the extra food, coffee beans, mushrooms etc.

And this brings us to the Indirect way of building / Upgrading stuff (not through your Pad)

Discovery and Looting

There are various sites to discover, from abandon buildings, research facilities, telescope, antennas, all sorts of wrecks, from hot air balloons to cars and so on, do not want to spoil it by detailing more.

Also, you will find ore, crystal and samples to mine, in small or larger mining area, sometimes with 2 or 3 areas in proximity.

I would split sites in 3 categories.

  • Mining/drilling areas (Ore, Crystals, Samples, foodstuff)
  • Research Buildings
  • Wooden buildings, antennas, and Wrecks

I do not put fishing spots on this list, since you are in your cayak, not on foot, so different “mode” if you will.

In Research buildings / Domes, you will find the most precious items, namely the blueprints you need.
You will also find Gb, notes, money, food bags and new items.

In wooden buildings and wrecks, you will find money, notes, ore, Gb and new items.
In antennas you will find energy and Gb

Spent all the ore you find to make solar panels and later on wind turbines.
Save the money, for you will need it to build items through the Misc. Fabricator, and to upgrade your equipment.

Building Stuff 2 or Indirect building and upgrades

As we mentioned in the building section, after you discover items you will be able to build and upgrade items through the buildings you can directly build from your build menu.

You have the Heated Facility and the Advanced Heated Facility.

After you build any of them and go inside you will have the colours panel ( I don’t get this, why spent money to change colours…anyway), AND you Upgrades panel.

Upgrade manager options

-Dark Matter Detector
-Glass Dome (decorative)

Ones you upgrade to one, the building is set to that, so if you would like to have both a telescope for night and a Dark matter detector, you need to build 2 Heated Facility buildings and upgrade accordingly.

Upgrades Cost Crystals and money.

Upgrade manager options (Cost money)

-Upper Glass Done
-Expando Size

I have only build the Workshop (7K cost) since the other 2 options are for expanding, building up your base. Workshop is important so that you upgrade your sled speed, your fishing ability (more fish per catch), and higher drill depth and thus higher amounts of minerals.


As I mentioned in the beginning, this is not a complete guide, since it would tell too much, and spoil the fun of playing the game.

Having said that, I will only touch upon a few mid to late game items.

One of the main struggles will be to get up to 5K of hardware, since you need that to repair the elevators and visit the……cave !!
I will let you enjoy the caves, no need to say more.

Another struggle would be to get the 14K hardware needed, after you discover all 5 blueprints to get the powered glider plane….much better than the sled 🙂

The only way to build up your ore stock is to place auto drills (after you discover the blueprint, hopefully early on the game).
Auto Drills you build from Misc Fabricator.
So you find a nice mining area with at least 3, ideally 4 drilling spots that fit within the perimeter the drill can operate (you see that when placing the drill), and place a drill.
Drill will cost you 100hardware for a misc fabricator and 1K money to build BUT will drain power ones per day times the drill spots it covers.

So if you have placed 5 drills, with each having 3 spots => 3X5=15 energy needed.
Obviously you will need to place A LOT of drills to get an automatic large daily supply of material and stop running around.
You first focus on placing drills for ore, then crystals and samples, and if you have plenty of reserve energy, for wheat, mushrooms (down bellow)
But you need LOTS of energy, so focus on that above all.
If you need to support 30-50 drills, that means 90 to 150 or more, just for them per day.
A solar panel left to charge to capacity will give you 20 units, so, in a static analysis (assuming you dont pick up energy from panels often), you would need 8 solar modules just to service the drills.

After you have your economy in full blast, then I suggest start “wasting” money and resources to experiment, build more buildings / bases, try out the decorative items, level up your equipment, or simply go to a windy mountain top, and take off with your parachute !

That’s all we are sharing today in Arctico Basic Guide For Starters, if you have anything to add, please feel free to leave a comment below, you can also read the original article here, all the credits goes to the original author stratos

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