Per Aspera beginner’s guide

Colonize the Red Planet.

Image via Tlön Industries

Per Aspera is a single-player city builder and terraformer game simulator with the primary goal of colonizing Mars. To accomplish this, resource-gathering, overseeing logistics, constructing infrastructure, and extensive exploration is the name of the game. As you progress, you’ll develop new technologies, cultivate relationships with your human colonists, and combat against the native occupants who are looking to sabotage your progress.

Image via Tlön Industries

Getting Started

Per Aspera features two modes — Campaign Mode and Sandbox Mode. For a story-based narrative approach, go for Campaign Mode. For a complete and raw experimental experience approach, go with Sandbox Mode.

Selecting a Landing Site

You’ll need to select a Landing Site right away if you’re playing Sandbox Mode. Choose an area that’s not in a spot with too many craters or one that is near flood potential zones. In Campaign Mode, the Starting Site is predetermined.

It’s all about the Resources

You’ll notice a heads-up bar at the bottom of your screen lined up with various resources on the left-hand side, and on the right side, intermediate products that you’ll be working with. The aim here is to acquire necessary resources so that you can use them to build, and in turn, colonize. For instance, Aluminum and Silicon happen to be two of the core resources in the game to get you started in the right direction, so right off the bat, be sure to acquire loads of them.

Image via Tlön Industries

Time to Build

To start, we recommend building an Aluminum mine. It requires construction within the Zone of Influence — the white circular border surrounding your initial Landing Site. This is so that resources can be transported to and from the Mine and Landing Site via white robots. To start the build, head over to the right-hand side of the screen and locate the vertical toggle bar. Hover your mouse cursor over Mines, then click Aluminum Mine. Once the initial building prompts, the materials required are deposited by the workers. From there, the overall building process continues on its own.

The Building Philosophy

When you start building, you want to begin building just a little ways from your landing zone. The idea here is to compound your infrastructure inwards to outwards motion so that your colony grows as a unit, bigger and bigger over time. When you decide on building additional factories, or mines, as mentioned above, it’s critical to place them so that they’re captured within the white circular perimeter displayed right before you commence the build. Again, this is so that your army of robots can transport necessary resources and equipment to and from site to site and deposit materials. Additionally, power needs to reach each section of compounds, and building things too far away will negate this. Remember, when building, always think as growing as a single, giant entity.

Image via Tlön Industries

How to Attack

As mentioned, the Red Planet is home to native species that are more than unsatisfied with your colonization vision. Select the drones directly by clicking the blue circle, which automatically opens up the combat lens and movement arrows. Additionally, clicking a new position station, your assault drones and designates attack targets.

Attend to your Colonists

If your fellow Colonists do not have their basic needs met, like food and water, they’ll pack up their bags and head back to Earth in a snap. Mainly, Colonists require food so that they can research. This can be quite problematic for the progression of the game.

Tips and Tricks

  • Build loads of surplus power — you can never have enough.
  • Solar Farms assist with providing power to compounds, and their power efficiency is much more consistent than Wind Farms.
  • Pay attention to building dependencies, which are all of the resources needed to complete a build. Farm the necessary dependencies first before you start building a new compound.
  • Utilize Areological Scanners; they’re useful to get a thorough scan of the planet’s resources. If you run out of resources, you’ll wish you had these scanners running.
  • Invest in maintenance facilities. They’re essential for maintaining your precious buildings and protecting your overall infrastructure from radiation and dust storms.
  • The Priority button prioritizes specific builds over others.
  • By selecting the building icon on the lower left-hand side of the screen, you can access the structure tab. This provides an area of information for all of your on-going structures, which comes in handy in the later game.
  • Utilize lenses to view weather, power, areological scans, maintenance, and traffic — all important things to keep an eye on.

Per Aspera Wrap Up

In Per Aspera, slow and steady wins the race. Running out of required resources can be a real frustration, so be sure to keep your resources stockpiled. To quickly see how you’re doing with this, hover your mouse over the bottom resource bar. Each resource will showcase what the Total Reserves count is at. Building new mines frequently is a good way to stay on top of this. Once your mines have been depleted, move on to the next one.