Oxygen Not Included Tips Guide – 16 Things the Game Doesn’t Tell You

Oxygen Not Included tips the scales against you in a variety of ways. That’s thanks to its multitude of systems constructed by Klei. From oxygen to power, and temperatures to germs, learning and balancing them all can be a huge challenge. Although not all of them are entirely intuitive. And many never seem like a problem at all… until suddenly they are. Planning for the long term is vital for success, so lets dig into some Oxygen Not Included tips! That way you don’t regret not knowing these things sooner.

Do Worry About Heat Production – Oxygen Not Included Tips

Everything that consumes electricity generates some amount of heat. Anything related to power generation or storage is particularly troublesome. You always start in a temperate zone, and maintaining that climate is very important. You can generally get away with less-than-ideal placement of this gear early on, but you’ll want to have a plan to move it all before you get too late in the game. If you don’t keep on eye on the heat of your colony it can quickly spiral out of control, making things miserable or straight up uninhabitable for your Duplicants.

While it’s not always possible, try to put your power generation in a cold biome. There it will have natural cooling, saving you energy and preventing the warming of your colony.

Avoid Flatulence and Mouth Breather – Oxygen Not Included Tips

There are a few Duplicant traits which can cause havoc in your colony. The explanation for Mouth Breather is simple. You want as little oxygen consumption as possible and Mouth Breather adds a whopping +100 g/s Oxygen Consumed debuff (which is to say it doubles it). Flatulence is even more troublesome. Any Duplicant with Flatulence farts a lot, creating natural gas. Over time these fumes can build up and be a problem. It also ruins any of your efforts to keep room air purified. A single tile of natural gas can prevent a plant from growing until it’s cleared. It doesn’t take much for errant natural gas to mess things up.

Avoid Binge Eaters at All Cost – Oxygen Not Included Tips

On the other side of things, you want to avoid Duplicants with the Binge Eater stress reaction. Food is at a premium in Oxygen Not Included, especially early on. If things are bad enough and this activates, the Duplicant will consume around 6,000 calories of food before finally calming down. Making things worse is the fact that the stress levels only go back down to 60 percent, so you’re immediately at risk for another outburst.

This is, of course, happening when things are already a problem for you. Adding “not enough food” to that pile is something you can entirely avoid by following this simple tip.

Use Rooms When Possible – Oxygen Not Included Tips

There is an entire overlay dedicated to rooms in Oxygen Not Included. You already have to build these rooms to keep your colony going, so why not build it to specification and get some bonuses? The Mess Hall, for example, gives Duplicants a big morale boost while they’re eating, helping relieve some stress. Making a proper bathroom speeds up all of the processes within, helping you save time. Don’t worry about defining every room though! They’re nice to have, but outside of a few more important ones, they’re purely a bonus.

Don’t Be Too Afraid of Slimelung – Oxygen Not Included Tips

When Klei first added germs and disease to Oxygen Not Included, they were incredibly dangerous. Slimelung used to kill your Duplicants if they weren’t treated within a few cycles. It also used to knock them down and out for nearly a week while they recovered. Now it can be more easily cured — and only gives them a simple debuff that makes them less effective for around three days. Don’t drop everything just to get rid of it!

Don’t Print Too Many Duplicants – Oxygen Not Included Tips

Most dedicated players will tell you there’s really no reason to have more than 15 or so Duplicants in a single colony. While you can keep printing Dupe after Dupe, each one consumes oxygen and food, and creates carbon dioxide. Any more than 15 also makes it almost entirely too hectic to carefully plan your schedule. Get one person for each of the major tasks like farming, critter ranching, etc, and then stop. If there are no good Duplicants being offered, grab a free care package or pass up on printing something altogether.

Get Five Plants for Every Duplicant – Oxygen Not Included Tips

While you keep expanding your base and the number of Duplicants, it’s important to plan enough food production. As a general rule of thumb, you need five plants for each member of your colony. That means you’ll need 75 Meal Lice plants when you hit that recommended cap of 15 Duplicants. Make sure to leave enough room around your farms to expand!

Be Aware of Air Density – Oxygen Not Included Tips

While you probably understand the idea of air density, it can be hard to wrap your head around it in respect to Oxygen Not Included. For the most part, gasses can only get so dense in the game. Sometimes your oxygen producers will stop emitting fumes if the maximum pressure has been reached. You can increase the amount of gasses your base can hold by either filtering out and removing nonessential gasses, or by expanding how big your base is.

If the air density gets too high, your Duplicants will suffer a morale loss from being uncomfortable. If it’s too low, they’ll struggle to breathe.

Build for Both Ventilation and Travel Speed – Oxygen Not Included Tips

A common mistake for newer players is to only leave one column of space for ladders. Duplicants can jump up to two tiles away, but the best way to ensure good ventilation is to make each column three tiles wide. Put the ladder in the middle and leave an empty slot on each side of it. If travel times get bad, you can install a fireman’s pole to let them descend faster.

This also helps oxygen get around your base more easily, which ends up being important as the colony gets older.

Get Smart Batteries Fast – Oxygen Not Included Tips

When you first start your colony, chances are you’re using good, old-fashioned manual generators. Soon you’ll be able to upgrade to coal generators, but unlike Duplicants, these won’t stop running when the battery is full — unless you send someone over to turn them off, that is. One good way to get around this is to make smart batteries. With the proper setup, you can tell the battery itself to turn on the coal generator when it needs power. It can also send a signal to turn them off. This way you’re not burning through your coal supply as quickly.

Find Geysers Fast, Too – Oxygen Not Included Tips

If you want an infinite source of water or power, you need to find geysers. These vents will periodically activate, spewing whatever material they contain. There are a variety of geysers, but most fall into one of a few categories: water-producing, oxygen-producing, volcanic, metal-producing, or power-producing. The first two are particularly important as the game drags on. While you may need to cool or warm whatever they put out, they certainly generate enough material to keep your colony chugging along.

You’ll Need to Google Proper Airlocks – Oxygen Not Included Tips

Regular old airlocks — that is, two doors separated by a small amount of space —  aren’t enough in Oxygen Not Included. As Duplicants enter and leave each one, they’ll drag some gases along with them. To truly eliminate contamination you’ll need to build a contraption to eliminate all of the gases inside.

Here’s a video guide from CrypticFox that goes over some designs.

More Interests Are Good for Morale – Oxygen Not Included Tips

While you may be tempted to only print Duplicants that have big bonuses for one specific skill, that does also decrease the number of interests they have. Every Duplicant gets a small morale bonus when they learn a skill related to one of their interests. When they only have one interest, their morale cap is much lower. This can make it difficult to keep them happy when things get stressful.

Duplicants Can and Will Put Themselves in Danger – Oxygen Not Included Tips

Duplicants aren’t the smartest. As they go about their activities, they will do things that can lead directly to their deaths. Whether that’s removing the one block they need to climb up back into breathable air, or destroying the only block holding them up, they will do it.

There are a couple solutions to mitigate this if you find this happening to you. Either slow down the game speed or be more conservative with how many tasks you schedule at once.

Leave Plants in the Ground if You Can – Oxygen Not Included Tips

Just about everyone has farms in their colonies, but if you do happen upon a group of plants, leave them in the ground. Whenever you plant something, your Duplicants must maintain it — including providing dirt, water, and whatever other substances it needs to survive. Plants in the ground itself need no resources or maintenance! Harvest them and they’ll keep growing back as long as the environment stays friendly.


And there you have it. Thanks for taking the time to read our Oxygen Not Included tips. We hope they help you keep your colonies on the right track. We’ll also be sure to come back later and update this guide with even more tips as the game develops. Until then, enjoy!

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Dillon Skiffington

Guides Editor at Fanbyte. Dillon is probably thinking about Destiny 2 right now.

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