Space Engineers Tutorial: Build A Planetary Mining Ship (Part 2 of a survival tutorial series)
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Space Engineers Tutorial: Build A Planetary Mining Ship (Part 2 of a survival tutorial series)

September 5, 2019


G’day and welcome to space engineers tutorial number two. This time we’re going to cover a way you can go about upgrading your mining methods. If you followed the last tutorial you would have spent a fair bit of time climbing down a hole to mine out minerals by hand now we’re going to take those minerals and turn them into a more efficient atmospheric miner. Once the ores you’ve collected of being processed by the refinery you can use your assembler to turn them into components, my approach to this sort of industry has always been to simply build excessive amounts of all the parts rather than spend effort working out precisely what I need (maths is not my friend) so before I start any bills I queue up the components that I’m likely to need for the build. In the case of an atmospheric miner you’ll likely need a little of everything and a lot of motors. That’s because all the atmospheric engines require lots of them. Don’t forget you’re likely to use a lot of hydrogen for your personal jetpack so make sure you’ve collected some ice to allow you to refuel. Before we get to the actual building there is another thing to do that will help you make the build process easier I find that having a couple of hydrogen tanks in your inventory can allow you to use a jetpack with impunity which more than makes up for the loss of inventory space. To get these go to an inventory access point on the lander and look for the oxygen generator it will have a couple of hydrogen tanks in it that you can double-click on to transfer to your personal inventory to refill them later simply drag them back across to the oxygen generator and if it has any ice left it will refill your tanks for you. If you’ve watched any other guides of how to build small ships in space engineers you might see people placing a small landing gear. In previous versions and sometimes in the current version this is the easiest way to start a small ship. The landing gear automatically locks even when it’s not fully constructed however since this has been intermittently breaking I’m going to show you the way that’s my preferred workaround to this problem. If you parked anywhere but next to a nice lake you probably won’t have a flat surface to build on so creat a platform from light armor blocks, if the platform isn’t level press the B key to make sure the first block is level with the current natural gravity, then extend out from there an area 6 by 6, 8 by 8 should be comfortably large enough. If you are tight on iron you don’t need to complete all the blocks I’ve only done that to help the contrast of the construction. Let’s set up our menu bars with all the blocks the new ship will need. To set up a toolbar press control then the number of the toolbar you want to use, I’m going to select 2 and 3 Add the important components to the toolbar such as cockpit, atmospheric thrusters, reactors, batteries, gyroscopes, cargo container etc etc. If one toolbar is not enough for the parts you need put them on to the next one and now the starting your ship. Press the number for your light armor blocks until your cursor changes to a small block, put this down somewhere near the middle of the platform extend out from two sides until you have 12 or 15 in a row and extend out from either end until you form a large a ‘H’ or ‘I’ depending on your perspective This should provide enough stability for you to build your ship above it without a tipping over from the middle raise a line of blocks five six or so high now you’re ready to start placing the actual ship looks these links and hopes that I’ve suggested are based on experience not maths and roughly how big this ship’s going to end up being so you’ll adjust these as you need, the build order I use is not set in stone I would encourage you to experiment with lots of different approaches this one is just enough to get you going and hopefully prevent some of the early frustration with designs not working. Place down a small industrial cockpit attach a drill directly to the front, there is a small conveyor port on the center of the industrial cockpit that will match up to the one at the rear of the drill Since just one drill is never enough we can then attach drills directly to each side of the centre drill. Again this matches the ports up nicely. Since we are on a planet with an oxygen-rich atmosphere we don’t need to have an oxygen generator but we do need a way to push air into the sealed cockpit. As we’re not connecting an oxygen generator to the back of the cockpit this allows us to play some conveyors reactors and gyroscopes into this space while also setting things up nicely for a medium cargo container be connected behind. Make sure you build as you go as some of these blocks won’t be accessible later now that we’ve got a conveyor connection point in the center we can match this up to the medium cargo container, this plus the drills’ own capacity will be more than adequate for our first miner and mean that we won’t need an enormous number of engines for lift. My preferred alignment is to have the cargo container so that a large connection is facing downwards then you can place a connector on this which will nicely match up to the docking port of the station. The topside of the cargo container thing can be a reasonable spot for us to place a battery and an ore detector can be placed behind it. With that we’ve got all the core components of some ship minus the ability to fly. For thrusters there are two approaches that I’d consider, the first is using a large thruster to provide lift and the second is just slapping a thousand small thrusters on the ship to try and give as much lift but without the same shape constraints. For the first build placing a single large thruster will pretty much guarantee that the ship will work so we’ll go with that plan. Place your large thruster to provide lift it is relatively convenient to have it at the rear then place multiple small thrusters in all other cardinal directions you may even want to play some for down to us and keep them turned off until you need them the common situation I find them useful is when I accidentally flipped my ship while mining and the gyroscopes aren’t powerful enough to right the ship, a little extra boost from those downward thrusting engines can make all the difference to your recovery. Mining shafts tend to be pretty dark so let’s put some lights on the ship so we’re still able to see what we’re about to run into Once all those parts are built grab some uranium from your lander and place it in the cargo hold of the mining ship. If it doesn’t evenly distribute between your reactors you may have to give it a helping hand this will only work in this particular situation because you’ve already got a battery on the ship and that’s providing power for the conveyors to handle the uranium from the connector to the reactors. If you don’t have another source of power you’ll need to attach a temporary reactor to provide power for this to work. Sadly these reactors will never be able to put out enough power to keep the ship flying but they will slowly recharge your ship whenever your land and turn off your thrusters So if you’re out mining and don’t realize how low your energy got simply land apply some patience and recharge from your onboard reactors later on you’ll be able to build a station to connect the small ship to and recharge its batteries from the station’s power grid saving a lot of time on the recharge now that your ship’s complete we can remove the support base from underneath it and make sure that your engines are on before doing this you don’t want to crash into the ground and we’re good to go my preferred way to set up the ship for drilling is to group the three drills together and then set them to G menu options on your toolbar for the ship have a general one so that you can left or right click and then also one where you can just switch it on and off this can be really useful when you get down to a large deposit so you can just keep going back and forth without having to press any keys whatsoever (or maybe I’m just lazy). My usual approach to mining with a ship like this is to bore a little vertical shaft down to the mineral preferably something wide enough to take the ship horizontally with space to spare this takes a little bit of extra effort at the start but I find it’s worth it for the ease of the return trip and the lack of replacement parts you require from all the damage you get hitting stuff on your way back up. Whenever you’re mining keep an eye on the total mass of the ship and your ability to thrust upwards. Finding the maximum load requires mathematics which are previously stated I’m too lazy for or simply do what I do and use a little bit of trial and error if you’re finding your ship won’t go up land as gently as you can and manually ditch some of the contents by putting it into your suit inventory and then dropping it I like to leave a fair bit of buffer between how much I fill up in the maximum capacity so that my flight home doesn’t take hours and so the landing can be a little safer. Well, there you have it. Your first atmospheric mining ship I hope this tutorial was helpful the next one show you how to make this little mining ship a little bit more effective particularly on planets where you end up with an enormous excess of stone See you then!

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  1. Hi, I just wanted to thank you for the video, I've been playing about 40 hours now and adapted this design for a couple of my own ships, I made a slightly larger planetary miner and then figured I could adapt the design to try to get into space.

    I managed to launch into space first time barely lol turning the upwards hydrogen on and off while the speed dropped, The system I made refueled the tanks enough to keep climbing by repeating the process.

    All in all very pleased, She's not pretty, but she works lol

    https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/882000415987210109/8DE0C8CA8C9F47300D6BAAAFA6124FBD892D34CC/

  2. I always learn something new from your videos. Thank you. Something as simple as putting small lights on the side of the miner to see the walls better never occurred to me before this video. Thanks for the inspiration. Keep up the great work.

  3. Can anyone help??? My hydrogen bottles have suddenly stopped being accepted in the oxygen generator. If I double click, it goes straight to cargo storage, if I manually drag it, it goes back to my inventory. Ive been trouble shooting for 3 hours. I’ve googled high and low and cannot find the answer. Going to turn it off for a while.

    Please help!! 😬

  4. Wow! This is very hard to follow. If you lay certain blocks without welding them, it’s tough to see which way round they are. You have to lock your eyes on a specific block and wait till it’s complete to determine which way round it is. Then rewind for the next block.

    At exactly 4:18 you place a small half block on top. You don’t mention what it is or which way round it goes, and it doesn’t come into view again until 4:58. Where it is complete.

    My brain hurts.

  5. Oooh nooo! I got to the end, which in survival takes hoooours due to personal inventory size and the confusion over the different behaviour of light/dark grey components (deep breath)

    It’s not accepting uranium!! I must have something in the wrong place😭

  6. Hi Splitzie.

    I followed you tutorial, and i did the whole thing right ( i think! ) but my ship is out of power..? I tried to put Uranium into the reactors, but it wouldnt accept the Uranium?. I just simply cant drag them into the reactors? ( and all the reactors, batteries and the connector is red.. I tried to press Y multiple times in the cockpit but it just simply, didnt work..) How can i fix this? Please help me.

    By far, the best tutorial series i've ever seen! <3

  7. I thought this was a good ship design, so I thought I’d make it as an atmospheric explorer without the drills and with a fighter cockpit. I’ve got to the battery stage and it only has one blue light, dies after ten or so minutes and the ship won’t except uranium. Is it because of the fighter cockpit or lack of drills. Or do I need to take the ship apart because one of the [email protected]#%ing conveyors is on the wrong way round?

  8. Dude i made my own mining ship in creative but it’s a drone and it’s tiny with a remote block and a camera but since remote block was expensive I made sure before I even started my survival to make a maned version so it won’t cost too much

  9. I love how 'to the point' your vids are, you've got the necessary info in the vids and all the unnecessary stuff edited out/sped up. Keep up the good work!

  10. You should make a tutorial in survival on goin from the planet to space and capturing a abandoned ship and bringing it back to base everyone seems to just chop up ships out in space

  11. I think you have a great vid here, i can pause and rewind to see that which i missed. there must have been an update that killed the design. I made it same as yours but now I get 10m in the ground if that, and bits keep falling off the ship so i get stuck down in the hole. 🙁 or is there an option that keeps the ship together better?

  12. I highly advise putting cameras in the front and back. I’ve destroyed my first version of this ship bc I hit something on my way out and it made my ship fall

  13. I think the tutorial is great, really helped me understand how they can be built but for the love of god. Please slow down, I had to backtrack the video countless times because everything just passes by way too fast. Could be something to think about for any following tutorials.

  14. Easy and simple, but you need to have one right and one left facing thruster on the top (5:40), so it wouldn't lean to the right. Other than that, great tutorial!

  15. So without thinking, I have mined 30k of each ore, and put each of them into the refinery (Uranium was 50k though).

    Im still on cobalt (The first ore) and its only at 29k

  16. I do all but for some reasons after a little while (I think is because all the rocks make the ship too much heavy) the ship got incontrollable, and you cant go up and back so i actually my ship is stuck in a iron mine, im going to put some eyector for quit the stone.

  17. I'm new to game and like I try to place a landing gear down but its fucking upside down. I try to spin it but it dont do nothin.

  18. Finally, I've found a youtuber who uses Vanilla materials to create a ship, I've built this myself and I'm pleased with the results of the ship. Thank you Splitsie 🙂

  19. for some reason my atmospheric thrusters always like to basically disable themselves after like a few seconds of flying, for example it will only let me go one direction, i go up a bit then go straight and it will slowly fall to the ground and i try to pull it up but it just slides into the ground basically killing itself, any idea why?

  20. The uranium is only going to two of the reactors, how do I evenly distribute the uranium? I can't manually put any of the uranium into any of the reactors.

  21. Heh. Nice tutorial, but I think that I am dumb now =D As I cannot mine with this thing =) it just flips on the side all the time =)) Looks like will have to rebuild it again =))

    Upd. Got stuck beneath the ground, wasn't able to get out, so had to grind the ship down =) will try to rebuild later =))

  22. So i have a fine ship that works except i dont know how to get the general drill into the toolbar, there is no general option for me, where you have to hold the button down with click to switch from the picking up and no picking up mode.

  23. For some reason I can't put uranium inside the reactors from my storage box, I think I have all the convoys lined up but nothing

  24. another great guide ! Having a little issue when i go mining i am only mining for about 5 min and i lose all power – i have lots of uranium in my reactors but the battery is always flat

  25. Just wondering how much of each ore you mined before constructing the components? It looks like what you have in the refinery is whats left over after you already made a load of ingots correct? Great videos btw

  26. Hey i was wondering.. you had 2 conveyors at both sides of the back of the cockpit.. is that required? and why

  27. i seem to have landing gear that breaks when the ship is stationary and non pilotted and having it locked. (on the floor)
    is the ship "too heavy" or something? 😀

  28. i find that i need to repair my ship like 20 times to go back up. (especially the large thruster…. oof)

  29. I remember my first miningship in creativ…. Ship, Drills, Conveyersystem all nice. Then i come up the the idea to eject all Stone because i dont wanted it.
    I placed some ejectors, filter and in the next moment the ship automaticly threw away the rocks and my ship lost weight. I felt like a total smartass.

    Then the suprise kicked in. Full with gold uranium and iron i wanted to flyback to my spacestation. I turned over, sped up and the next thing i heard were crashing stones against my ship.
    I produced my own fcking meteor field…….

  30. So this is probably just me because I read a lot of other comments and didn't see anything… But I built this (I think) to specifications, and I loaded it with plenty of fuel. I have the battery settings correct and the thrusters are on. I'm in this tunnel I dug, and I've ejected all of the stone I mined, and I still can't reverse out. The craft refuses to reverse. It has 4 reverse thrusters and I let the battery fully charge too. I just don't get it.

  31. My ship will not let me move the H2 bottles and O2 bottles from ship inventory into my personal inventory. I have run out of O2 and H2 for my suit but I cannot add any full bottles to my personal inventory making me stuck and unable to play any further into the game. Any tips?

  32. Used your design as a basis, swapped a few things around, mostly engines and battery position, works like a charm.

  33. hmm i dont get it, this is the 5th planet mining ship i copy to the dot, and i cant even lift off, the ship is to heavy without anything in the cargo, just plummits to the ground. My ship mass is 12247.92 and im on earth. Not sure how you can lift off and why your ship is so much heavier than mine.
    So annoying, been building mining ships for days now, i get em to lift off when i add 3 x large trusters, but i can mine maybe 10 seconds before im to heavy to fly anywhere 🙁

  34. Great job, your tutorials are very easy to follow I built your same ship as in this video but my connectors not moving the uranium to my reactors.
    I did see your other reply on how to fix this problem but even with 2 solar panels and another reactor the ingots aren’t moving I even turned off the power and back on and still nothing, any help you can give me would be amazing

  35. Followed the tutorial, tried mining where i got it flipped in a very bad horizontal tunnel, got it stuck and had to rebuild the whole thing again.

  36. I feel as if he thinks you already know how everything works and goes on to explain what to do after you've landed. There's no context on how things work.

  37. So I built this block for block but when I tried it I can’t get the ship to rotate the side thrusters just push it left or right. Anyone know how to fix this?

  38. I built this miner exactly and it would not stay hovering when it was powered. It would constantly tip over and explode when i attempted to flip it back over.

  39. Thanks for the video. I got space engineers like 4 years ago and put 15 hours in. Now that I'm messing around in it again I have zero clue what I'm doing. The server i play on has the lander and I died 3 times before I figured out how to land it. Ive been following your tutorials to get me set up and you've really been a help. I built this ship and it works great. I know I'm awful at flying but is it normal to break off thrusters every time I go down a hole? I had to build the back large thruster 4 times to back myself out of the mind

  40. So I was recently gifted this game on steam by a friend and I’ve been trying to learn this game. Your series has helped me so much and not only on things that you talk about because for the first day I kept crashing my lander because it didn’t occur to me that the little thrusters on top wouldn’t slow me down enough and to just use the big ones lol

    Anyways I’m gonna try to build the miner tomorrow I think I’ve gathered enough for it. Have you thought about doing an updated tutorial series for newbs like me? It seems as though a lot has changed since you made these vids. Ether way thank you so much for your help!

  41. There is a lot of stuff you failed to mention. Like the reactor bases have to face towards the conveyer or they will not work and the thrusters will melt anything behind them and a few others. I had to remake my ship 3 times because of this stuff.

  42. The tutorial is too fast paced for the average learner. I would recommend a more slower approach to teaching others.

  43. I put the uranium in the connector but its not distributing to the reactors. after tht I remove one of the conveyors and I put the uranium inside the reactor but it still wont work. there is something wrong with the conveyor system. Pls help.

  44. I followed the tutorial, and it's really cool — but I can't get fuel into the reactors! No matter where I add it, it ends up sitting in the Connector unit inventory. I'm a total n00b, so I'm sure I did something stupid. Any ideas what I did wrong? Thanks!

  45. I gave up trying on this ship. Trying to learn since I've just got into space engineers and this ship couldn't handle even 10k stone. Gets stuck and thrusters couldn't even move the ship. Now that ik the concept though ganna work on a better one.

  46. May I ask why are you putting a lot of reactors, I am new to the game made something similar like this but with more batteries and only one reactor. Can you explain it pls? Also this video is pretty cool like and sub for you. 🙂

  47. Dont work for me. I build it up and go mining than the drill fill up with stone and the wight press the ship down in the front..the ship Crashed -.-

  48. You should probably do an update mining vehicle video when the new survival update is released 🙂 Also, I've found the most cost effective mining vehicle to be a small rover with just one single drill placed in the right height. The right click mode allows you to tunnel down, and you can control the slope of the tunnel by driving up to the wall. I've made a blueprint of the thing, works beautifully, and doesn't suffer from weight limitations like flying miners do (Though this one is a bit short on space). https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1625490504
    If anyone knows a way to make a large grid miner (preferably rover styled to not have to worry about weight) that would be great. I've made one which tunnels very well, but it's a pain to actually get the ore :/

  49. So, i basically built this miner, but for some reason it keeps running backwards. I checked options on thursters and all that but it still didn't work properly. I finally managed to get it off the ground, flew about a bit, landed it, and turned energy off (Y). When i started it again, it went crazy again and crashed half the ship (cargo container and everything under or connected to it only).

    Was this a bug of sorts or something i did?

    (Yes, i am late to the party)

  50. I have the problem that when i mine stuff and it lands in the medium cargo container then my ship gets too heavy and i cant lift off anymore lol maybe its new physics idk

  51. Pity this a bit outdated , considering uranium is asteroid only. Your tutorials are pretty good, though I myself like to put one tile of space between drills for that little extra coverage. Mainly because I prefer to use large thrusters to save power (and sometimes resources, not always)
    And when it comes to max capacity trials, I do a test run where I drill mostly stone (or if I have marked good spot, the resource), Make note of the ships weight and roughly stop every time I have digged around 10-20% of its weight. If it can fly easily home with 80% increased weight, it's a good mining starting miner in my books, if not.. Moar lift thrusters!
    Also, for new readers, be prepared to lose our first miner ship. Flying with heavy loads can get difficult in atmosphere, start it safe and have back up resources incase your ship can't be recovered/salvaged

  52. Watched this video, sees small reactor. Quit video. Useless in survival mode because no uranium on planets (now). Still trying to build a working flying miner.

  53. Fantastic. Finally someone who makes a video I can follow and understand. Thank you so much. This video made my day.

  54. is uranium not on planets anymore? so the only way to power said ship if starting out on a planet is battery power…. or am i missing something

  55. not sure what I am doing wrong but I just mine for say 20 sec on Iron and it veers to the side and crashes every time and Idea's ? always the same when i mine anything 🙁

  56. This is kinda outdated now 😛
    No uranium on Earth -> no reactor -> gotta go helium generator (which doesnt work in my case) and/or batteries 🙂

  57. I would like to see your spin on a CAT Front End Loader as a mining vehicle. I tried to use rotors and pistons for moving the shovel but it did not end well.

    I made my arms that hold the shovel on a pair of rotors and then used a pair of rotors mounted on the end of a piston between them to push the shovel bracket upwards and downwards. When the piston rotor attached though… my vehicle launched in the air and started doing an aileron spin so fast that it was defying gravity. I was sitting in the cockpit in first person view when this happened. I couldn't get it back down until I ground the piston away, causing the vehicle to slam back in to the ground and bouncing off of the batteries. It MOSTLY survived but I did lose the batteries and my shovel bracket

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