TerraTech: Campaign Money Making Guide (V1.4.9)

Tips for making lots of money in the campaign for TerraTech, current as of 1.4.9 as well as design tips and progression.

 

Intro

This guide is to help newer players with campaign mode obtain wealth, through both blocks and cash. Since you somewhat never know what you may need later and the store is limited, you wind up doing a lot of speculative buying which can get expensive!
This is an attempt to go from the very first claim your base mission to earning millions in 1.4.9.

Starting Out

I will start at the very first turret quest where they send you to another BB (prospector base, BB on the map) to kill the rogue turret and they give you a functional defender turret.
Note that in many cases this second base is undesirable as a primary base being very hilly or in the desert or whatever.
I actually recommend making a note where that very first starter BB is located and return to it in most cases as it is always in non-hilly forest terrain which is what you want for reasons that will become clear later.

The tutorial is rather confusing in some sense in that you have no inventory and cannot recall blocks. Whatever you find,you must attach to your tech and carry with you. However, after the tutorial this changes and it took me a while to figure out that I can right click and send any anchored blocks to my inventory. I actually carried around my solar panels, SCU, and even autominers around for quite some time until I figured this out.

Thus, early game once you have passed the tutorial, when you win a fight and see blocks you will want to drop a fixed or rotating anchor or even a power supply on the ground. Then just add all the enemy blocks to it, pile em up, then Send to Inventory via right click.

Eventually you will be able to add magnets to your tank (assuming it is large) and drag them back to base. Then, you will get a SCU and be able to deploy it as needed to suck in blocks. Eventually you wind up with a mobile SCU although by that time you won’t really need to take enemy blocks anymore.

Early Game Selling Stuff

You will quickly obtain quests to buy thimble collectors and start selling random resources. The crafty mike quests will also pop up and when you win them, you can right click and Send To Inventory to keep those handy blocks.

For this early game time, the best bet for Tech building is to have your front of the tech look like a staircase so you can mount lots of guns.
I recommend putting all your AK guns in the very middle. So like 3 on the very bottom level of the stairs, 3 on the second level above those and so forth. This lets you have a “mining zone” which allows you to break blocks much more easily than using drills or using a line of guns. You fill other slots on your stairstep with 3 pounders and lasers as they can all change their aim somewhat so having them on the sides isn’t a big deal.

On the back of your tech you will have a several rows of thimble collectors you will use to sell resources. Here is an example build.

During this time, check the shop daily as you are looking for Refineries and Anchored Cannons. If you find either one, buy 4 of them. Yes it is pricey especially for the cannons but worth it.

Drive around blowing up rocks with the AKs mostly and sell them to the BBs directly as they will give you a lot more cash than wood fiber. The green rocks are especially valuable but the trees are plentiful and do add up.

Your first selling base

As a note, you probably should drop that initial AI turret at this base as it will effectively mark its location forever. Otherwise the map will only show you the CLOSEST BB, not necessarily the beginner forest one.

Selling to the BB is slow and painful, but still better than nothing or making your own cannon seller. At least until youve gotten several cannons and refineries ready.

Once you have accomplished this task however after check the store daily while working on the Crafty Mike missions, you can finally make your first selling base.

The nice thing about this is that you will Manage Techs, Snapshot, and save it. Then you can deploy it ANYWHERE and sell your stuff!

You want to use a fixed geocorp base ideally since it is tougher and then lift the whole thing up several blocks. This allows you to drive your tech UNDER the selling base and also prevents hills with messing with the deployment. It is much easier to unload this way plus you can have resource collectors pretty far to the front and still be able to unload them.

So you build up several blocks then build outwards multiple blocks, depending on how many cannons you have. You can always add to it. Here is an example of what it will look like.
Note the direction of the refinery…the bright green hole faces towards the resource collectors.
Also note that the refinery interrupts the conveyers so everything gets processed. Otherwise a steady stream of raw resources may prevent the processed ones from ever getting back on the belt!

The downside is that if it does pick up an already-processed resource, that branch gets “stuck” and you have to manually pull the processed chunk off the belt and onto the selling belt, bypassing the refinery.

Now you can run around doing missions, loading up resources and then Loading the seller base for fast parallel processing of the resources. You can also give it a battery, solar panel and shield/repair to help its survivability if you have them.

NOTE: I recommend NO shield and just repairs on your Tech at this point, because your battery life is limited and shields eat batteries. You want to be able to have decent movement range and you won’t have any way to recharge on the go for a while. Repair bubbles for GSO do not cost any power unless they are actually fixing stuff. Once you get more batteries you can reconsider this position.

Also keep in mind that you can always go to Manage Techs and Send to Inventory the sellerbase if you left it next to your autoturret and then redeploy it locally. This is great if you are in the desert or doing a mission and have a full load.

Fabricators/Scrappers

At this point, Crafty Mike will show you how to build stuff using Fabricators and how to scrap using scrappers.

Here is the deal. Fabricators are an AWFUL idea in general. You literally can’t hardly make anything useful whatsoever without a Complex Dongle (and advanced dongle) that you add to your Component maker. If I were you, I’d not bother with this at all until maybe later on.

The only time I have found them useful is when you have the Complex dongle and a Venture fab. In this case you can spam out the Cluster Missile Launchers. They aren’t great, but they are your first missile and hugely allow for better tank design possibilities. This requires a lot of effort however and a ton of cash spent on the compressed raw resources (or a ton of time mining exotic resources). it is also finicky.

Still, you can make some cool techs using these missiles and they make hovertanks viable too. Be aware that anything decent from Hawkeye will need the exotic dongle.

Scrappers are not a bad plan however. You can sell stuff you break down but it can be a bit tricky. You want the raw stuff to be processed but don’t want it clogging up the works by trying to feed your refinery already processed chunks.

Here is a sample selling base. I filtered UNrefined instead which should prevent clogging entirely but it also means some raw materials may get sold. Just don’t feed it too fast and its a good way to recycle those weak tires.

Be aware that the parts needed to make weapons differ from those for other pieces. As such you cannot just buy GSO cannons or chargers or whatever and think you can scrap them to make the complex parts needed for missiles. It won’t work. 🙁

The Real Money: Autominers

Eventually you will get to the crafty mike where Autominers become available. This is where you can start raking in the cash.

Right now you are using your extra cash to find parts and iteratively advance. You likely have something like so. I found these chain guns and wanted them protected at all costs. I have magnets on top for hauling around stuff to dump off periodically at the SCU and the back is filled with resource haulers.

Once you can use autominers, obviously look for more in the store! At this point you want to look for nice clusters of GREEN stuff in the forest. You will want to set up autominers on each node then use a mini-seller to process those resources and make more turrets to guard them.

For the turrets, I recommend tall ones. Use the anchored AI module and build up some blocks. Add a weapon to the very top to determine its orientation. Then you add wings to hold more guns, shields, a few batteries, solar panels, repair. The height adds range and reduces the chance of blowing up resources close to the ground.

DO NOT use wierd random parts. Keep it STANDARD as possible…stuff you can easily obtain plenty of so you can add multiple turrets easily. For example I used those dinky tires as extra “armor” since they don’t scrap for much. This way, you can easily drop more turrets as you buy more standard parts and AI modules from the store as they become available.

For the autominer sellers, I say keep it simple! Many people make complex custom designs which I do not think are necessary. They are also very delicate and a pain to replace. Just make a cannon, a collector, a refinery and try to center the collector so orientation when you deploy the tech is easier. You can also drop them quickly and easily for new nodes.

You may optionally add a shield to each one since one hit tends to dislodge the autominers and they just sit there unhinged. This gets expensive though so I’d pass on that for now.

As you can see the green stuff gives you 233 credits refined per piece! This adds up and keeps going as long as you are in the general area.

Keep in mind that eventually the vein will stop working. You can see the pump action stop on the autominer and it now updates to NOT show the green patch anymore when dry. However, this seems to take a long long time, like well over 200 minerals worth per patch.

Once you have your first autominer up and running you will see that it generates a lot of cash for you. You can still supplement this by continuing to collect and scrap blocks, and resources.

Bonus Tip: The Bridge

One fantastic way to increase your wealth is with the Bridge mission. It involves trekking out to a big bridge and fighting the large juggernaut that you will find there. This is a surprisingly difficult mission as it is heavily armored and has advanced weapons. You WANT those weapons!

The key to doing this is to destroy the back of the tank without having to shoot through the armored front thus destroying the precious weapons. Up to this point you likely have a bunch of junk guns and win by just having a whole lot of them.

One janky way to do this is to make a very tall tech that his big guns cannot hit very well. It does fall over but the idea is to minimize the damage its big guns can do and fall over on top of it and shoot through its cab. Put a shield as far forward in the middle as possible to deflect a few initial shots. If you have a wireless charger, build a charge tower and top off before this mission, or max out at the nearest BB before engaging.

You can also accomplish this by using a rudimentary hovercraft if you have the parts at this point in the game. You just need some down-facing guns and enough height to avoid damage and plink away.

Once you accomplish this you will pick up a ton of good stuff, mostly those giant battleship cannons which you can use to make something like so:

Same ole stuff for the most part, but notice how I changed the wheel alignment so that the entire tank basically leans upward. With the 9 battleship cannons hidden away I can hit mission-related things wayyy off.
You could also use a normal alignment tech and just obliterate anything right in front of you. Just don’t expect much salvage!

Fabricating Parts

I did say it was of limited utility but I will go ahead and show some tips in case you want to mess with it.

Ideally you will find a GSO terminal that lets you buy whatever and you can buy the complex dongle quickly. The advanced one will be obtained from Crafty Mike during one of his missions. Or just check the store a lot.

If you can pull this off, you need lots of silos to store all the parts and various resource types. You also need scrappers, especially geocorp for the raw materials you will want to buy. You will have tons of cash and the idea is to use it to advance your weaponry.

Here is an example and lets go through the parts.

First, notice the large length of conveyer with all the silos. You will need them.

Next, notice that the OUT of the component factory is after the input. Otherwise it can sometimes eat the part it just made as it tries to build something else.

The fabricators themselves face OUTSIDE with a SCU right there to scoop up the parts so they dont get stuck or despawn.

Component factories will try to make parts if you set a fabricator recipe active, but they are not very smart. You really need to make the lowest level components first. Otherwise you wind up trying to make a thermojet, your factory having already eaten the cyclone jet and then you are forced to cancel because you now need to make a Z4 explosive or something.

You CAN avoid this somewhat by having multiple component factories though, each with a different dongle. That might be tricky to obtain extra component factories though.

Be aware you can use the fabricators to reverse-look up your desired parts. For example, I can buy 8 GSO gyros and each one will give me 2 cyclone jets and 1 fiber plating when scrapped.
My Venture Cluster Missile that I want to spam needs one jet(though needs upgrade) and fiber plating. So that may be an easy way to obtain a good deal of my needed parts, rather than buy dozens of compressed resources. I might look and find that GSO mini mortars give me blasting caps and Carbius and I would be well on my way to Cluster Missile heaven.

Note there is also a pacemaker to speed up the conveyer and also a refinery (nonblocking) in case we need to refine any parts from lower tech items (like tires).

Final Thoughts

Using these techniques…mostly the autominers on the green stuff to be honest, you should have tons and tons of cash and blocks and be able to do whatever you want.

Watch out for those messages that say you have maxed out a license…. that crate usually contains a Terminal for that corporation that lets you buy whatever you want from them. VERY nice to have!

Here is one of my more fun techs with seeker pods safely embedded in the middle, cruise missiles that pop up and speed out, and hits over 90MPH. Bubbles removed for clarity.

Direct your attention to the back however as you will likely want a similar configuration. It scoops up resources and then sends fuel chunks to a Silo that goes to a mobile furnace. The rest (or overflow) goes to a mobile cannon for selling. A refinery is tempting but tends to get clogged up a lot when you pull up refined chunks (which I have no idea how that really happens).

Here is another similar concept:
This one uses 90 degree turns in the conveyers to have the resource collectors in the back. Both schemes allow you to keep mining and making bits of cash, while keeping your batteries charged.

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Post Author: Robins Chew

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