游戏初期最重要的技能包括: 医疗, 种植, 射击，保证至少有一个殖民者同时具备这些技能。具有熟练的烹饪，研究，社交，建造和开采技能（如果你的基地位于山地）对游戏也是大有帮助的。 在游戏中后期，有一个制造技能等级大于10的殖民者将会对你非常有利。
特性不需要太多，选择一些好的特性，但是这可能很困难。不要选择那些永久对心情值和速度造成削减的特质，比如：懒惰, 慢半拍, 悲观主义者, 以及抑郁症患者。也不要选择年老的，因为他们往往受到病痛的折磨。
- 暂停游戏! - 等殖民者从逃生舱出来之后按空格键。
- 武装自己: 游戏开始时，你会得到一把栓动步枪，一支手枪和一把玻璃钢匕首。选择射击技能最好的殖民者，右击栓动步枪，选择装备。射击技能次之的装备手枪，最差的装备匕首。
- 分配优先级: 点击工作设置，选择自定义优先级，灭火, 治疗和开关要设置为1（优先等级最高）。技能等级高的殖民者设置照顾,，狱卒,，种植，烹饪的优先级为1并且禁止其他殖民者进行相关工作。 根据殖民者的激情和兴趣设置相应的工作优先级为2，其他的设置为4.
- 侦查: 查看地形，了解着陆地的地形特点。寻找周围是否有可利用的蒸汽间歇喷泉， 并确定哪些地点适合作为屠杀区， 哪里有铁矿、银矿、金矿的矿脉，哪些地质构造你可以利用。充分利用你能利用的资源，点击物品，然后双击选中所有相同物品，再点击F键。
- 准备: 确定你的初始基地的地点。你需要尽快的建造一个建筑以便于让你的殖民者可以睡在屋顶下，并且可以将物资搬进去以防止物资老化。即是你打算挖掘洞穴基地，也需要尽快建造一些墙。（不确定）在地图上相对靠近着陆点的地区寻找一处你认为可以尽快完成这些建筑工作的地点。如果附近有废弃的建筑物或山体，请考虑对它们进行改造来利用它们。（原文：Prepare: Decide on a site for your initial base camp. You need to get a single building up ASAP so your colonists can sleep under a roof, and you can haul materials inside to stop them from deteriorating. Even if you plan on digging a mountain base, throwing up some walls is much faster to get settled in quickly. Find a spot on the map relatively close to the landing site where you feel you can set up in a reasonably short period of time. If there are abandoned buildings or a hill nearby, consider taking advantage of them by building against them.）
进入建筑规划菜单，并熟悉它。你可以通过右键点击相应建筑，通过在弹出菜单中选择改变建筑的材质。现阶段木头就足够用来建设。建设一个内部空间9*9或更大的房间，并在里面放三张木单人床。墙和门在“结构”子菜单，床在“家具”子菜单。记得允许殖民者使用周围散落的原木，否则他们将不会使用它们进行建造。（原文：Go into the Architect menu to start to get familiar with it. You can change the material of a building by right clicking on it in the menu and selecting the desired material. Wood will be a sufficient building material for now. Construct a decent sized room 9 by 9 or larger, and place 3 wooden beds inside. Walls and doors are in the "Structure" submenu, and beds are in "Furniture". Remember to unforbid the wood lying on the ground, or your colonists will not use them to build.）
- 继续游戏：看着你的殖民者进行建设工作。你随时可以暂停游戏或调整游戏速度。（原文：Unpause the game: Enjoy watching your colonists working on the building. Remember you can always pause or change the speed.）
- 储存:除了金属，放在户外的物资都将老化，你需要将它们放在屋顶下（避免它们老化）。在建筑菜单，选择“区域”-“储存区”，并建立一个覆盖整个建筑的储存区。你可以通过选择储存区，然后单击“储存筛选”来调整储存区中允许存储的物品，但是现在这不是必需的。选择一个角色，右键单击要搬运的物品，将使他们优先处理任务。（原文：Stocking Up： Materials (except for metals) will deteriorate when left outside, so you need to put them under a roof. In the architect menu, select "Zone/Area", "Stockpile zone", and make a stockpile that covers the entire floor of your building. You can specify exactly what is allowed in the stockpile by selecting it and then clicking "Storage", but for now this is not necessary. Selecting a character and then right-clicking on something that needs going will make them prioritize the task. ）
- Farming: You now need to start farming. If there is rich soil nearby (darker colour, and is labeled "rich soil" on the bottom left corner of your screen when you mouse over it), use that. If rich soil is too far away, then just plant on regular soil. Use "Architect -> Zone/Area -> Farming zone" and create two or three plots at least 5 by 7 each. Potatoes are planted by default, but you can change the crop by clicking on the plot, then "Growing". Potatoes and corn are good starting crops, you can also plant healroot in one of the plots.
- Sowing/Hauling: Your colonists will go about the business of planting and hauling things on their own, seeds are in infinite supply in this game. Take a moment to observe them so you get a feel for how fast they move around. For now you want to keep everything fairly close by, so your colonists don't waste a whole day walking across the entire map and back again because they got hungry.
- Food: Your characters will need to eat, but for now they can survive on packaged survival meals.
Not much happens at night time, so you can pass the time by letting the game fast forward while you familiarize yourself with the controls and check up on your colonists.
- Reviewing colonists: You can check out a colonist's mood in their Needs tab. There's nothing you can do about the "Shared bedroom" mode debuff for now, but see if there are any easily addressable debuffs, like a nudist wearing clothes or a brawler with a ranged weapon. Try not to give them commands right now or they will get the "disturbed sleep" debuff. Allow them to wake up naturally.
- Reviewing schedules: By default, your characters are all set to go to bed at the same time every evening. You can change it under the Restrictions tab, but you don't need to change it for now unless you have a character with the Night Owl trait. If you have a colonist with the Abrasive trait you may also consider putting them on a night shift so they don't interact with other colonists as much. You don't need to schedule their joy and work hours, they will engage in joy when they need to.
- Getting more supplies: Gather some more wood by going to "Orders -> Chop wood" and selecting some nearby trees to chop. Gather steel with "Orders -> Mine" and selecting some veins of compacted steel. Be sure that your colonists have plant cut and mining turned on in the Work tab.
- Getting more food: Your packaged survival meals will likely run low before your crops are ready to harvest. You can tide yourself over by hunting and gathering in the meantime. If you see raspberry bushes ready to harvest, you can use "Order -> Harvest" to gather them.
- Manual hunting: You can select animals and mark them for hunting, and any colonists with hunting enabled will go and hunt them. Do NOT hunt boomrats, boomalopes, or predators! It is a bad idea, don't do it. However, hunting has some flaws because your hunter tends to stand too far away from the animal, decreasing their accuracy and making them waste a whole day trying to shoot a turtle. Sometimes they might even accidentally shoot another colonist walking in front of them. If you're willing to micromanage a little, you can hunt manually. Select the colonist with the rifle, draft them, then right click on a spot nearby the prey to make them walk there. Click their weapon, then the animal to make them start shooting. Walk closer to the animal if it moves away. If the animal is downed but not dead (twitching on the ground with exclamation mark), keep shooting at it. When the animal is dead, unforbid the corpse so that a hauler can take it back to the base. Remember to undraft your hunter when you're done, or they'll just stand there.
- Set up electricity: Packaged survival meals can sit forever but other food will spoil if not frozen. You will need a freezer to preserve your food, but before that, you must set up a power supply. Build a small 5x5 room, then build a battery inside. Build a solar panel nearby, then build power conduits connecting the battery to the solar panel. Conduits can be put inside constructed walls, but not through natural mountain stone. All of this is the the Power submenu under Architect. One solar panel and one or two batteries will suffice for now, if you need more electricity later, you can build more solar panels, but for now you want to conserve your supply of components.
- Build a freezer: Build a room about 7x7 with a single gap in the wall. If it's too big, a single cooler will have problems keeping it cold. Under Architect->Temperature, build a cooler in the gap, make sure the cold side points into the room (rotate with Q and E keys), then connect the cooler to your power grid with conduits. Set the temperature to 0°C/32°F. Make another stockpile inside, set it to allow food and animal corpses, and set the stockpile's priority to "important". Your cooler will also eat less electricity if you build an airlock - just build a second door and a tiny room in front of the entrance. Note: If you're digging a mountain base, make sure the hot side of the cooler points either outside or into a very large room. Otherwise it may overheat and even start a fire.
- Get cooking: Eating raw food (except for berries) will give a mood penalty, so you want to build a butcher table and fueled stove (under Production) - switch to wooden to save on steel. It's a good idea to build a separate kitchen close to the freezer so your cook does not have to walk as far. Your cook will not do anything until you add a bill, so click on the butcher table, click Bills -> Add Bill -> Butcher creature, then click Do X Times and change it to Do forever. Add a Cook simple meal bill to the stove, and change it to Do until you have X. 10 to 20 is a decent number. Forget about nutrient paste dispensers, they are not worth the components, electricity, and mood cost.
- Start research: Build a research bench under Production. You can put this in your main room for now. The first research item you want to rush ASAP is Stonecutting, this will finally allow you to stop building with flammable wood or valuable steel. It does not take very long, so turn up the researching priority on your researcher. After this, you can research at a more leisurely place. Microelectric basics should be the next thing you research. Now you can probably afford to put a standing lamp (under Furniture) inside your main room, so your colonists don't get the "in darkness" mood debuff when they're inside.
- New colonist: Cassandra may decide to gift you with a wanderer who randomly joins your colony. Remember to set their work priorities and build another bed for them. A sleeping spot will also do in a pinch.
Hopefully, everything has been uneventful so far, but inevitably the first threat will arrive. It will either be a local animal gone mad or a single raider with a crappy knife, it will not be very dangerous and easily handled by your starting weapons.
- Combat basics: Draft your colonists and make them stand in an open area with a clear view of the direction your enemy seems to be coming from. Your melee colonist is more likely to be injured by friendly fire than by the enemy, so make sure they're not standing in the line of fire. When the enemy approaches, start shooting. If the enemy has made it all the way close up to your shooters, engage with your melee colonist, and move the shooters back.
Alternatively, if your shooters suck but you have an amazing melee pawn, just go ahead and stab em.
- Tending to wounds: If a colonist gets injured in the fight, you want to make them go rest. If they're not resting, then increase their Bed Rest priority. You can check the colonist's injuries in the health tab. If there are just a few bruises and scratches, you don't have to waste precious medicine on them, so select no medicine in the Overview tab. If there are worse injuries and/or moderate blood loss, then you can allow medicine. You don't have to set a medical bed, they can rest in their own beds just fine. Cleaning up any blood and dirt in the room will decrease the chance of infection. The colonist should heal without any complications.
- Taking a prisoner: If the enemy was a raider, they may not have been killed in the fight, only downed. You can capture them and either try to recruit them, or release them for faction relationship points. You can make a prison by putting a bed/sleeping spot inside a room and setting the bed for prisoners. Prisoners cannot sleep outside or in the same room with colonists, you may have to put them inside your kitchen temporarily while you build a prison cell. Don't worry about prisons being very nice, but if you want to be nice to them, you can put a bed, table, and chair in the cell. In their prisoner tab you can examine their recruitment difficulty: ~30 is easy, ~70 might take a while, and ~99 is extremely difficult. If you think they are worth recruiting, select "Chat and Recruit". Make sure you have a colonist with Wardening enabled, and they will regularly deliver food and try to recruit them.
If you think the prisoner's not worth recruiting, there are several options. The kindest is to wait until they're fully healed, then release them. This will slightly improve your relationship with their faction. Otherwise you can execute them or sell them to traders, but this will give every colonist a mood penalty that lasts several days. If you did not capture them you could simply kill them or let them die on their own.
- Burying corpses: You can butcher a mad animal's corpse without worry, they do not have a contagious disease. However, colonists get a mood penalty if they see a human corpse. Construct a grave somewhere out of the way under Architect -> Misc and bury the corpse in it. Strip the corpse first if you want its clothes. Don't put the grave too far away, because colonists will occasionally visit graves as a joy activity, and you do not want them to waste the whole day walking there.
- Stone walls: Once you finish the stonecutting research, build a stonecutting bench, set a bill, and start churning out stone blocks made from chunks. The Crafting skill affects stonecutting speed, but not quality. You should begin to replace your wooden walls with stone walls.
Food - By the beginning of winter you should try to have at least a thousand units of food stored. As winter progresses, your outside crops will die (hydroponics can be used to farm indoors but it is more difficult to sustain a colony this way) and, depending on the local climate, most plants on the map will die. Hunting is still a viable option.
Warmth - Make sure your living areas are heated to around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius). If they are colder than this, your colonists may complain about the cold. Significantly colder, and they will contract hypothermia and/or frostbite if they are exposed for too long. Parkas and tuques will help keep colonists warm in cold weather, but heaters are still necessary for indoor areas.
Joy - When it snows, colonists can build snowmen, providing a joy bonus.
Other tips moving forward
- Wild and Tamed animals will eat your crops and food if you let them. Kill the wild animals and restrict your animals in a zone that only contains hay or kibble.
- Visitors will get into your freezer and drink your beer regardless if you forbid doors.
- The notification when a hungry predator attacks a colonist is easily missed, only manhunters trigger the red flashing envelope notification. Be wary if there's a wild predator hanging around your base.
- If a person crash lands in an escape pod and you want to recruit them, you must capture them and then recruit them like any other prisoner, even if they're a colonist's family member. If you choose rescue, they will simply be released when they're healed.
Other guides to improve your gameplay
Continuing guided play
- Intermediate Midgame Guide: Explore, Expand, Exploit, Exterminate
- Advanced Endgame Guide: Ending your colony on YOUR terms
Guides for extreme environments: