Welcome to the Ganymede System!
We’re delighted that you’ve chosen our system for your new area of operations, Engineer. The Ganymede system is home to a range of planets, technologies, and quite a few rough characters to manage. Let’s get started!
Before You Log In
The Ganymede system is a heavily modified version of Space Engineers. There are new parts, new weapons, different physics, different aesthetics… virtually every aspect of the game has been modified in one way or another. So if you’re brand new to the Space Engineers universe, well, you’re welcome, but honestly this might not be the best place to start out. Space Engineers has a steep learning curve, trying to climb it here is just that much harder.
At minimum, try the scenarios included in the game - particularly Learning to Survive. If you can successfully survive there, you might be ready to tackle Ganymede.
Join the Discord
Ganymede has an active Discord server; make sure you join, and follow the instructions in the #how-to-install channel. And say hi! There are plenty of folks waiting to help you out, offer memberships in their factions, or role-play cheesy science fiction plotlines and stories to your heart’s content.
The rest of this guide is going to be “in character”, but there are a few details you need to know about how the game works here in the Ganymede server space. First, when you build a grid - whether it’s a static grid or a ship - there’s a script running that will delete it if you don’t know how to prevent it. There are three things to do:
- Give the grid a name that doesn’t contain the keyword “grid”
- Make sure the grid has power
- Build a beacon into the grid
Note that the beacon doesn’t have to be functional or even complete - one steel plate is enough. But there has to be a beacon part in the grid, or the cleanup script will delete it. You’ll see warnings on the screen a few minutes before the cleanup.
Second, the server restarts on a regular schedule. When that happens, park your vehicle - or stop using your thrusters, etc. - and ideally, get into a bed or chair supplied with oxygen and power before the restart. It’s also best to log out before getting kicked out, or you may lose your GPS bookmarks (sorry, it’s a Keen bug, not something we can fix.) The discord channel #server-status will post a message when the server is available again, then you can pick up where you left off.
Third, if you’ve previously only played Space Engineers on your local machine, things work a little differently. Beds and cryo pods aren’t just decorative in server play; getting into one is the only way to make sure you keep your inventory and don’t have to respawn when you come back. Early on you’re going to want to build a bed in a high-Oxygen environment or expect to spend time replacing gear you lost while logged out.
Finally, there are a number of planets in the Ganymede system. There are two starter planets; we’re going to focus on Galados in this guide. If you’re an old hand who just wants to jump into space as fast as possible, Galados isn’t your best option - resources are a little harder to accumulate, and the terrain is much less forgiving. But Galados is more interesting and varied, and as rough as it can be, the terrain makes playing with rovers much more challenging. If you’re into planetary bases or just want to explore what the game really has to offer, Galados is the place to be.
Speaking of which, how about we get to that, huh?
Spawning on Galados
So, here you are, dropping out of the sky in a rover that tells you it’s only temporary. First thing to do, hit 7 and deploy your parachutes. You could just let the rover fall and it’ll do it for you eventually, but this way you get some time to look around.
Then hit v and use Alt-mouse to take a good look at the scenery. Galados has mountains, deserts, and… well, no, that’s about it really. Deserts are easier to travel through, but the mountains have ice. In the far north, rumors say there’s a lake with plenty of ice and resources, but chances are you won’t be anywhere near it. At any rate you can’t choose where you come down, but you can think about paths away from your landing site.
Next, start looking around for nearby ore patches. There’s almost certainly one within a few kilometers, look in the snow patches of the mountains or the sands of the desert for white or dark patches.
There - the white/gray spots just to the right of our parachute. That’s a patch of ore, and our first destination.
After a few minutes, you’ll find yourself safely on the ground. Go ahead and check out your rover - it’s a pretty nice one overall. And since it’s going to go away, there’s no reason not to put it to good use. In about an hour, we won’t have a rover anymore, but we will have a fully functional start base, using nothing but this rover.
Home Sweet Home
Before we go anywhere, hit K and pull up your Control Panel. Find the Ore Detector and crank it’s range up to the maximum. Ore deposits on Galados come as both ore veins and smaller boulders; the boulders are up on the surface, but veins can be deep, farther down than this detector can reach. The basics - Iron, Silicon, Nickel - are mostly shallow, but you still want to give yourself as much reach as you can with that detector.
Now, pick a direction and start driving. We could build our base anywhere, but it’s best to find a good source of materials first. So drive around and find ore. Keep your speed down to about 30k/h, and if you find yourself in rough terrain, hit 3 to turn on a down-pointing thruster and give yourself more traction. Avoid any NPC bases and ships for now - you might see threatening messages, especially from the Cult of Light, but they won’t bother you as long as you don’t attack or get too close (within about 2 km, usually.)
For our home base location, we want to find an Iron-containing ore patch. You may find other resources as you search, especially Magnesium or Silver, and if so make sure to mark them on your GPS for later use. They’re not the best choice for a base location - you need Iron and Nickel more than anything else for that. Ideally, you’ll find an ore patch of Taenite, which is Iron and Nickel combined.
Jackpot. Time to get started on that base.
The Daily Grind
So. You know that shiny rover you’re in? Time to tear it apart. First, sit in the rover seat and make sure you have full air and power. Then get out and grab your grinder. This rover is well equipped with a lot of good equipment - and we’re going to use all of it. But it’s best to be strategic. We don’t want to destroy the beacon, the survival kit, the O2/H2 Generator or the batteries until we’re well underway on building our new home. For one thing, Galados doesn’t have breathable air - you need those parts to recharge and keep breathing while we work. For another, we don’t want the cleanup to steal the rover before we’re done stripping it.
Start with the armor blocks and the front bumper wheels, then dismantle the cockpit windows. Use the welder to repair those critical blocks I mentioned earlier if you hit them with the grinder. Also, pick one of the containers and use it to stash the components you’re collecting. There are several and you only need one, so go ahead and grind down the rest.
Your jetpack is a handy way to “stand on your head” and get those pesky blocks out from the bottom of the rover.
Getting there. Note the intact beacon on the roof.
Now, you might be running short on air about now, and surprisingly the survival kit won’t help much at this point - it’s probably not connected to the O2/H2 Generator by now. So if you need to, run some small conveyor tubes between the two to keep your air bottles filled. There are several ways, but here’s what’s probably the easiest:
Engineer Takes Tower
At this point, we’re ready to build. Load up your hotbar with the Light Armor Block, Beacon, Wind Turbine and Small Cargo Container, then step away from the rover and pick a spot.
The first block to place is that Beacon. Just place the framework for now - there’s no point in wasting resources. Then fire up the jetpack and place armor blocks in a tower straight up from there, at least 8 blocks, and put the Wind Turbine on top. Retrieve the parts from your rover container to finish the Wind Turbine, but leave the rest unfinished.
Now, at the base of the tower, grab the cargo container and place it attached to the side of the armor block directly above the beacon. Put a Conveyor Connector underneath it, and then on either side put a Curved Conveyor Tube on the Connector block pointing back at the side of the tower.
We have a grid with power and a beacon - make sure to rename it before the Server Gremlins steal it. Point at the Cargo Container, hit K to bring up the Control Panel, and switch over to the Info tab.
Now, go fill up on air and energy, and grind down the rest of the rover. Move all your components into your container at the tower, and this time, don’t leave anything behind - grind everything. Don’t forget to pick up the ice that was in the O2/H2 Generator - it’ll appear as a boulder of ice when you finish grinding.
Next, back over at the tower, put the Survival Kit on the side of the Cargo Container opposite the Curved Conveyor Tube. Then on the end of the Conveyor Tube, build an O2/H2 Generator, a Ganymede Refinery (faster and better than the stock Basic Refinery), and an Assembler (the order doesn’t matter.) If you were careful to get all the components from the rover, you should be able to build all of that without any trouble or gathering any other resources.
The finished base will look something like this:
Believe it or not - that’s it. This is your starting point, and from this you can do pretty much anything in the game. You’re ready to start collecting resources, building things, and conquering the galaxy.
Really, that’s up to you, and there are way too many things you could choose from for us to go into detail. We do have some suggestions, though.
Build a Battery
Wind power is pretty reliable on Galados - we’ve built entire bases with nothing but one or two Wind Turbines - but a battery is still a really good idea to cover the occasional lulls. You can’t build one from the rover materials, but you don’t need much; power cells are your only real lack. So get out your drill and start collecting Stone (probably from the ground over that ore patch you built on.) You’ll need a total of 80 Nickel, 40 Silicon, and 400 Iron ingots to make the power cells for a battery, and from smelting the scrap left over of the rover you should have about 15 ingots of Iron. It won’t take long to collect the materials you need, though by the time you’re done you’ll probably be heartily sick of using your hand drill and backpack.
Which brings me to…
Better Mining Options
You can do a lot with the block Drill and some Pistons. Or build a rover and add a drill, or use complex solutions from the Workshop. Be careful with heavy scripts - you’re allowed to use scripting, just be careful. The #commands channel in the Discord has some recommendations on scripts to use, including one for a large mining plant that does great work with the shallower ore deposits on Galados.
You’re also going to need Silver, Magnesium, and Cobalt to get off Galados or even build a full base here. You’ve got a couple of Hydrogen bottles and the hand drill works okay as a short-range Ore Detector - you should be able to scout around for some boulders to get started, but start thinking about how to scale up and let the tools do the work for you.
Collect “Unknown Signal” Pods
The pods here in Ganymede system are often just like the ones everywhere else, but sometimes they’re better - some of them have upgraded tools, metal grids and other cobalt-carrying materials, some even have thruster components and other hard-to-find items. Every scrap of gold, platinum, or uranium you might find on Galados is probably going to come from these pods - there shouldn’t be any in the ground.
Galados, as we mentioned earlier, doesn’t have breathable air. Your basic base will keep you alive - kind of - but make sure you dump your inventory into storage every time you log out, because when you come back you’ll have to respawn at the Survival Kit. So one of the early projects on your list should probably be an air vent (the top of the Storage Container is where I put mine) and a Bed, plus enough blocks to make a pressurized space around them. One of the included mods here in Ganymede includes a basic barrel airlock - much better than the sliding door for this purpose.
Long before you’re ready to leave the planet, you’re probably going to get a bit of cabin fever at the home base. Walking and jetpacking have their place, but you probably want to be able to bring back more than a backpack full of ore now and then, too. Enter the rover.
There are plenty of options for good rovers, but if you have the Industrial DLC and just want a quick starting point, there’s a shortcut. Leave Ganymede and head into the default Keen scenarios. Check out the Pertam scenario; you’ll start in a small industrial space station. Outside the station there’s an even smaller station with a big heavy-lift shuttle; in the shuttle’s cargo bay is a small hydrogen-powered rover. Grab that, blueprint it, and build it on Galados. It handles the terrain really well, is easily expanded, and accommodates things like antenna and ore detectors quite well (I put mine between the wheel attachment points on the bottom - every little bit of depth helps.)
Have fun. See you in the Discord - ask for help or advice if you want it, there are plenty of people willing to give it. And give those Cult bastards hell from me, eh?
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