Factorio: How To Use Electricity And Build Steam Engines

Getting your footing in Factorio and making working, usable equipment can sometimes be a bit difficult given how complex and multi-layered the game is. Developers Wube Software have done a fantastic job in making a game with a lot of depth, customization and player options when it comes to building complex factories that produce all sorts of things. However, before you can have a working factory you’ll first need to power it, and there’s a guide teaching gamers how to utilize electricity and how to build steam engines using water pumps and boilers.

YouTuber Aavak put together a very helpful beginner’s guide in constructing the necessary means for pumping water out of a source and turning it into usable energy through a steam-powered engine. You can check out the near half-hour long video below.

In order to build a steam engine for steam powered energy, you’ll need to first build an offshore pump. It requires 2 electronic circuits, 1 pipe and 1iron gear wheel. You’ll find each of the parts to build the offshore pump within the crafting menu, you’ll basically need some copper and iron plates to make most of the items.

You don’t need to power the pump but you will need to make some pipes to connect to offshore pump in order to put the water somewhere. The pipes will automatically align to the water pump once you place them down. Pipe to ground items are a little different, as you have to rotate them to align them properly. Pipe to ground items are good for running your irrigation setup underground; this is good because pipes can’t be walked over if you build them above ground.

Next up you’ll need to build a boiler. Boilers require fuel and they heat up liquid in pipes. You can use boilers to heat up the water to provide steam for the steam engines. According to Aavak they place down five boilers to power the steam engines.

In order to build a steam engine you will need 5 iron gear wheels, 5 pipes and 5 iron plates.

Connect the steam engines to the boilers. You’ll need to fuel each of the boilers to heat up the water as they head into the steam engine. The water will need to be about 100 degrees for the water to be turned into usable energy.


If you see the flashing icon on the steam engines it means that there’s nothing drawing power from the engines. You can turn the steam engine power into actual electricity by connecting power poles to the steam engines. Attaching objects within the radius of the power poles will power those objects.

The video then moves on to cover how to use inserters and transport belts to move objects from one place to the next. You can use inserters to transport coal, ore or other objects through a factory line. They’re useful if you need to transport a large amount of material for processing at a different location.

Factorio is a very complex game and the game is becoming quite popular since its debut on Steam’s Early Access at the end of February. You can pick up a beta version of the game from Steam for $20. For more info feel free to check out the Steam store page or visit the official website.


Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

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