Vehicles are an exciting addition to your construction capabilities in Astroneer. They provide you with the ability to explore the planet without needing to worry about tethers. On top of this, you can load them with lots of research items and resources. Vehicles make a huge difference to the way you play this game.
Getting started with vehicles usually comes in the form of the tractor as this does not require anything complex to build. Most players will get quite excited and find themselves getting lost and not knowing how to get home. It is best to deploy some tactics to help you find your way now that you no longer have tethers to rely on.
Types of Vehicles In Astroneer
There are two types of vehicles in Astroneer. Rockets are the first type but since these are not something the player can really drive and serve more as a means to fast travel, the standard wheel based vehicles are the type that I am going to cover in this guide.
Despite being called a tractor, this vehicle does not share much with tractors that we all know. You can attach trailers and this is it. They are more like trucks both in use and the way they look. The tractor contains a 4 bar battery which will run low quite quickly compared to other vehicles.
You can attach a maximum of 3 trailers to a tractor. Each trailer can be used to store a large research rock or a resource storage structure. Since the battery is quite small on this vehicle, you will need to carry an additional battery and some power generation items. Since the vehicle is small, you can use a small battery, wind turbine and solar panel on item storage in order to maximize the amount of stuff you can gather in a single trip.
The classic planet exploration vehicle, There are two types of rovers. Both are quite similar. For the majority of this guide, I will focus on the large rover due to it being the best vehicle in the game by a large amount. By the time you have outgrown the tractor, you will likely have the ability to produce a large rover.
The rover contains a much bigger battery than the tractor. The vehicle does use more power than the tractor, but you are unlikely to have as many problems with this. The best setup to power this type of vehicle is to use an RTG. If you do not have access to this yet, use a medium batter with 2 wind turbines to get by in most scenarios.
The rover might initially seem limited as it can only have 1 trailer. This is less of a problem when you learn what a trailer actually is in the context of a rover. It is essentially a second rover on the back, with all of the valuable slots, free for you to use as you wish.
Building Multi-Purpose Vehicles
The vehicles in Astroneer can be used to do a lot more than transport items. There are several things that you can do to turn a vehicle into an advanced machine that will massively speed up your exploration and colonisation of the galaxy! Below are some interesting things you can do with your vehicles. I will be using the large rover as an example for these due to its size and versatility.
Scrap is a unique resource in that it is not used to build anything. It is more of a currency that can be traded in exchange for other resources. Scrap is obtained by shredding debris and structures. This process can be quite time-consuming. If you decide to build this scrap collecting garbage truck, your scrap needs will be met for a lifetime.
A paver is an item that can be researched and constructed using a printer. Once you attach it to the front of a vehicle, you will be able to create a road paver. This essentially a flat and fill process that will fill in the holes to create a smooth driving surface.
You can combine this with a drill to create a machine that can drill through mountains and pave over trenches. You will never get lost when you have roads all over the planet.
Tunnel Drilling Machine
This is the big one. Digging to the bottom of a planet is a slow process. You will need a constant supply of tethers and will often have to return to the surface. With a tunnel drilling machine, you will be able to take advantage of the infinite oxygen supply that comes with a vehicle along with the increased carry capacity.
Much like how you can make the most out of the road paver by combining it with a drill, you can make the most out of a tunnel drilling machine by also using a paver. By drilling into the ground, you can store the dirt into a canister. This can then be used to pave roads when you dig your way into an underground cavern that is too deep to handle a fall down.