Surviving Mars Beginner’s Walkthrough Guide
Surviving Mars Gameplay Walkthrough

Haemimont Games and Paradox Interactive’s city building colonization simulator, Surviving Mars, is all the rage these days in the PC and Xbox sim community. The recently launched title may not be the easiest game for some strategy aficionados to wrap their head around, but don’t worry about that… there are some walkthrough guides and beginner templates available to help get you started on Surviving Mars.

The first video is a quick five minute run-through of some of the basics you’ll need to keep in mind when starting up your colony in Haemimont’s strategy title. You can check it out below, courtesy of YouTuber ASpec.

The first thing you’ll want to do is get more orbital probes and another drone hub with a second Avril space craft, especially if you can’t find an optimal landing zone on Mars.

If you need more water you will want to put water extractors around underground water reserves. This is a good way to build up your water supply.

When you’re first starting out, ASpec suggests avoiding using the basic domes and going with medium sized domes instead. They offer more space for the price-to-resource ratio, and will allow you to easily expand your colony without burning through your funds.

There’s a button that allows you to salvage infrastructure. For buildings there’s a button in the top right hand corner to salvage the building instantly. However, if you attempt to click on an infrastructure pipeline, there is no salvage button.

To remedy this situation, you can pull up the main menu and there’s a Salvage button literally at the very end of the GUI menu.

If you click on the Salvage button you can then select the infrastructure and salvage it.

For beginners this issue is pretty important since the salvage option isn’t the most obvious for infrastructure.

Another issue that some newbies might miss is that if you research an upgrade for a building the upgrade is not automatically applied. When you research an upgrade you still have to apply the upgrade by clicking on the upgrade button at the top right hand corner of the screen after clicking on the building. You’ll also need the necessary resources available to apply the upgrade.

There’s also a second beginner’s tutorial that takes you through the basics of scanning and setting up your colony on Mars. YouTuber quill18 has a video playlist series that you can check out below.

The walkthrough guide is designed for those running “New Game”.

At the start, you’ll be able to choose the sponsors for the mission. The Mission Sponsors determine how much money you start with, and how many research points you get. The International Mars Mission is considered the easier difficulty setting, while the Paradox Interactive sponsor is one of the harder difficulties.

You can also choose your Commander Profile, which allows you to choose your starting bonuses. It’s suggested that for beginners you should choose a Rocket Scientist to get the extra rocket bonuses.

Before you hop into the game you also can choose the payload for your rocket.

The default payload is setup so that you have all the basics that you need to get started with colonizing Mars.

The next step is to setup the location for the landing zone. Quill goes with the Marineris Alpha location because it has a low difficulty setting, offers plenty of ore deposits, and is situated in a spot with access to decent water supplies. Different locations on Mars offer different difficulty levels based on resources available and the threats present at that location.

When you get down onto the planet there’s a square grid setup that allows you to choose where you want to setup your settlements.

Now when you start there’s going to be one tile that’s already pre-explored. The pre-explored sectors are random for each time you land on a sector. Quill suggests using probes to scan sectors within the location. Scanning sectors will allow you to discover points of interests, such as water spots, radiation hazards, and ore deposits.

When you’re ready to land the rocket, you can zoom in with the mouse wheel or the gamepad, and select where you want your rocket to land.

The area where the rocket can land must be even land and the icon must be whitish-blue to enable a safe landing.

The outer edge of the landing cordon represents the maximum range where the ship’s drones can reach out and scan.

One of your main quest objectives once you land and setup your settlement zone, is to scan the additional sectors. You can zoom out to the grid and click on the other nearby sectors to start scans. You can even queue up scans by clicking on the additional sectors to have your drones scan them. It takes a while to scan, but it can complete scanning while you perform other tasks.

Your next task is to begin researching upgrades. You can queue up to five items to research by clicking on the research tab at the bottom right hand corner of the window.

Once you get the basic research and settlement tasks down, the next task is to start putting together facilities so you can begin producing power, irrigating water, and developing oxygen for your inhabitants.


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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