Oxygen Not Included – How to Create an Efficient Core for Your Base

A guide for building an efficient and compact “core” for your base will include a kitchen that is automated, unlimited food storage in frozen containers, an entertainment room, and a great room.

1. Introduction

This guide is going to be somewhat different than my previous guides about critter ranching. There’s nothing different or original in this guide. It’s basically a guide to assist you in thinking about the layout of your kitchens and other rooms.

My usual playstyle after completing the initial few rounds of temporary outhouses or cots is to start constructing the “core base” consisting of my eating, cooking, and relaxation spaces. It can start as simple such as having a co2 pit that I put food into and then putting an area with a great hall nearby for +6 morale is top of the list. This core generally covers my portal, and is usually located within the hall, or sometimes in a recreation room. In this core, I place the bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as the research labs, and initial game equipment. Further out from the core, I add power generation, industry, and so on, as the base expands.

Kitchens are a particular area where I get many questions on how to construct them efficiently. The process of creating infinite frozen food storage can be a little different now that we have changed to diagonal construction. Likewise, making multiple loaders and sweepers near to each other and not creating endless food loops is a challenge for those who are new to the field. I’m hoping to present at least one concrete way to solve those issues.

The advice I’ll give in this article isn’t intended to provide the “best” way to build the kitchen or even the central. It’s intended to demonstrate how easy an “good” setup can be built, so you are able to explore and determine a design that is most suitable for your needs.

2. Objectives

Like my previous guides, the main goal of this build is that it be functional from the beginning of the game and also be able to develop with you through the end of the game. There are many great designs available, but most are designed for mid-game deployment. The build is constructed completely starting from scratch once your base has been established. The specific goals I have set are below:


  • The kitchen must be included with a great hall and a recreation room
  • Should include an automated infinity frozen food storage
    • It is necessary to automate the removal of ingredients from the storage area to load the cooking equipment
    • Automate the process of returning cooked food items to storage until it is needed
    • It is necessary to automate the retrieval of food from the freezer and transfer it to an accessible duplicate area
  • It is mandatory to be able to provide a “well lit” bonus for all kitchen appliances and mess tables
  • It is necessary to within the print pod should you wish, but also be able to work on their own

Goals / “Nice to Haves”

  • It should fit in “standard” 16×4 room layouts
  • Great halls should be able to be extended to create a second room to allow for a minimum of 20 duplicates
  • It’s likely to be fairly easy to construct, with no complicated orders of operation or dupe routing
  • Try to keep the requirements for automation reasonable (subjective I’m sure)
  • Should be able to provide an elegant decor, in particular in the kitchen appliances

3. Bottom Line Up Front – The Design

My concept is a simple, simple structure consisting of three or four rooms measuring 16×4. It is generally the recreation area (top/left) as well as the kitchen (middle/right) are situated over the 1 or two-story great room.

The images below show an example of completed three – and four-level designs:

Bottom Line Up Front – The Design


The only difference between these two designs is the number of duplicates that the room can handle. Both versions are based on the following specifications:

  • 51-tile recreation room that can house five recreation buildings
  • The kitchen is 57-tile and has room for the following appliances
    • 2x Electric Grill
    • 1x Gas Range
    • 2x Microbe Musher
      • If you don’t want to use the sludge from berries, these two are able to be substituted with another gas Range
    • 1x Refrigerator
    • 1x Infinite storage deep freezer

The base game does not include a “Kitchen” room, but in Rooms Expanded, you can. Rooms Expanded mod it enables the Kitchen to have a maximum of 64 tiles.

The 3-story design is able to accommodate the printing pod within the recreation area should you wish to and offers an enormous hall with 53 tiles that has the capacity for 14 duplicates.

The four-story layout can accommodate the printing pod either in the recreation room or in the great hall if you want to. The great hall measures 118 miles in length and has room for either 28 or 24 duplicates (with or without a printing pod, or without)

4. Construction

The next section explains how to construct the design in a progressive manner. It is expected that, in the initial stages of the game, you’ll build an initial skeleton, and gradually increase the size until you reach an end-to-end design.

– Early Base – Zero Automation

At the beginning of the game, after you’ve settled the immediate requirement for cots and outhouses You’ll need to determine the location and the size of this “core” for your future base. The three-story version is constructed with the printer located on the left of the middle floor, which will eventually become an area for recreation. The four-story version is constructed with the printer in the same place or on the right-hand side of the lower floor that will eventually become an excellent hall.

Of course, you can not incorporate the printing pod in any way, and instead, put this skeleton on the opposite side of the main staircase. This is especially useful when you’ve already constructed bathrooms, bedrooms as well as research stations in the space above and below your printing pod, and don’t wish to move everything. Building orders for the first construction are listed below:

Early Base – Zero Automation

If you don’t intend to build more than 14 dupes that exist on the planet the three-story design could be ideal. It is possible to follow the blueprints illustrated and skip the lower floor and tile over the area where the ladder connecting it would be.

In the near term, it is possible to use the space on the upper two floors to make outhouses and cots. You could also even put an office close to the printer pod to provide lighting. There will be a time when you’ll need to move bathrooms and bedrooms from this central area and a little mixing now could give you a faster start without needing to relocate everything else around the pod.

After the initial skeleton is complete and you’ve studied some of the basic technology options You can add the initial equipment and décor objects:

We’re using a CO2 pit as our starting point with ration containers to gather food that we find all over the map. This isn’t the most efficient option, but until we have the ability to freeze our food, this is a great way to preserve it. I’m also guessing that this is early, therefore I’m showing four tables that are in a mess. When you add new dupes, you just create additional tables.

The bottle emptier can be utilized to empty five full 200kg bottles (A total of 1,000kg) of liquid from an aerator pump. The water will be distributed across three tiles, leaving 333.33kg for each tile. This is which is just below the 350kg that would cause flooding. It is also possible to use polluted water brine, salt water, or salt to help conserve regular water since they share the same properties as TC and SHC.

The only two liquids that are superior to water alternatives in this respect are super coolant and nuclear waste as I doubt that you’ll have access to any of them in the near future. I would not suggest using polluted water unless in a swampy biome starting because of the off-gassing. However, it’s an excellent option when you’re able to deal with the oxygen pollution. In the case of brine (not salt water! ), It is possible to empty a sixth 200kg bottle to make 1200kg in total and 400kg for each tile and that’s less than the 420kg needed for flooding.

It is important to note there is only one pot is required on the 3rd and 4th floors as illustrated in the picture. If you’re building a four-story plan, I would recommend that you use the pot on the right side, but otherwise, the only option is that on the left.

If you’re playing in The Rooms Expanded mod you’ll be in a position to get a Kitchen also, but it’s required to have an appliance. Any time, you are able to place one or two refrigerators in the CO2 pit instead of a rations box to receive the bonus room, however, you must wait till I’m prepared to freeze the food items.

Also, the Rec Room is not currently sealed and therefore is not enabled on the overlay for the room. You can temporarily close it in case this is an issue however, I’d prefer to wait until the next steps in construction are completed to minimize the likelihood of dupes being trapped. There’s no morale boost directly from the Rec Room and that’s why this Great Hall was the priority.

– Deep Freeze Upgrade

This is the time to get the kitchen going however, you’ll need to satisfy a few prerequisites before beginning.


  • You need to be able to find 735 refined metal
  • You will need an accomplice educated in the Mechatronics Engineering capability
  • It is recommended that you build either an electrolyzer or SPOM.

The refined metal will be used in 2 auto sweepers (200ea) the conveyor loader (200) one metal tile (100) one gas Thermo sensor (25) and two pieces of automation wire (5ea). The conveyor loader and the auto sweepers (and conveyor rails) are only constructed by an engineer who is Mechatronics.

SPOM, or an electrolyzer, provides us with an easy source of Hydrogen to use in the building. It is possible to make use of natural hydrogen in the environment, however, you’ll need at least 25kg (20-25 fully-tiled), and removing it from mixed gasses can complicate it. If you’ve got enough in the tank and you don’t mind the process of filtering it, you can go to the next step and leave out the electrolyzer.

My kitchens are always equipped with the Thermo Regulator to control the cooling loop instead of the Thermo Aquatuner. There’s no doubt about the fact that an Aquatuner can be “better”, especially paired with a steam turbine however, it uses 5x the power and is more than a mid-game (post-plastic) resource. It also has more cooling than what is required in this case.

The one thing to be wary of when using it is that the Regulator is that in the absence of external cooling it can overheat in the course of 100+ cycles. The volume of water that we put around it will absorb lots of heat and slow this however until you find the ability to eliminate heat, it’s always a matter of “when”, not “if”. I typically make the regulator out of an elemental metal such as copper that is only suitable for up to 75C.

It is possible to make use of gold amalgam, which is good up to 125C and can delay the issue for longer, however at temperatures of 102C or less, the water will still boil which will quickly heat up the dry regulator, causing other issues with the steam of 1000kg in the base. A notable exception could be a swamp biome. begin with the gold amalgam regulator inside an unclean water pool. The entire base will be affected by polluted oxygen already and the water that is polluted isn’t boiling until 121C or so which is when the regulator gets too hot.

No matter which metal you pick for your regulator, you must have a second method that cools the regulator prior to when it gets too hot and breaks. It could be as easy as a whee wort that allows localized heat elimination or the liquid cooling loop when you’ve installed an aquatuner as well as a steam turbine elsewhere. In the event of an emergency, the temp shift plate that is made from ice on the corner tile over the musher could reverse the heating.

The build order is shown beneath, then overlays for shipping and gas. It is important to remove the corner tile that is directly above the Microbe Musher, in order to construct a single pipe segment.

After the construction is completed there are a few final actions to be completed sequentially to finish the freezer

  1. Completely fill the cooling loop with Hydrogen
    • Do not remove the bridge or pipe serving as a filler for the loop.
  2. Remove the top layer of two pipes that radiate. Hydrogen will spill over and infiltrate the tile.
  3. Reassemble the radiant pipe to complete the cooling loop.
    • The bridge or pipe used to make the loop complete will force one gas tile to replace the lost one
  4. Eliminate the bridge/pipe being used to make the loop
  5. Create a conveyor chute at the bottom of your conveyor with the help of the tile containing hydrogen
  6. Install a metal tile above the conveyor
  7. Create an insulated tile below the tile made of metal.

After all the work is completed, it will appear as the following. The conveyor chute is able to empty food into the hydrogen atmosphere.

Operation and Automation Settings

The two auto sweepers are set up so that the bottom one can get within the freezer to get rid of food, while the upper one can access the conveyor loader in order to return food items to the storage. Both sweepers are centrally placed so that they can reach all cooking equipment and collect any food cooked.

The conveyor loader must be set to accept any food items that are edible and also the cooking ingredients, which is what it dumps into your freezer. If you’re using your Manual Override mod the loader should be set to permit users to operate the loader manually. This allows duplicators to wash up after themselves and take food to storage. I suggest a middle-high priority for this situation to ensure that dupes are motivated to take food out of the trash.

Refrigerators are the sole source for dupes to access food, so it needs to be set up to allow any food items you wish the dupes to consume. It is also recommended to hold 2-4 kg of food at any one time since food that is stored in the refrigerator is not frozen and will be in a clean environment, and is likely to spoil quickly. As the dupes grab food, the auto sweeper will take additional food items from the freezer in order to replenish the refrigerator.

In the end, the cooling loop of the thermoregulator can be controlled via the thermostat to the left of it, using an automation wire. Food needs to be below -18C for it to remain frozen. I like to have a cushion. I set this setting to activate the regulator in the event that the cooling loop temperature is higher than the temperature of -40C.

Why Hydrogen?

I built my freezers in the same manner, using CO2 for the sterile gas. The transition of a CO2 pit CO2 freezers felt natural and was built exactly like the one above, but “upside down”, starting from an insulated floor to collect CO2, then an aluminum tile, and then the conveyor chute, after which it was sealed with an insulated floor over it. This is still a feasible method to create an infinity space for freezers (as does chlorine which is the other natural gas used for sanitary purposes) however I’ve come to enjoy hydrogen.

The most important reason is due to the condensation point. Hydrogen is one of the hardest gases in the game to convert into liquid, with an average condensation temperature of 250 C. You wouldn’t be able to run a refrigerator this cold, without super coolant, so you don’t need to think about it. CO2 and Chlorine both have condensation points of around -48C or 35C, respectively. Both are quite near to the temperature of -40C temperature I suggest for your cooling loop. Both gases can be used in a freezer equipped with slightly higher temperatures on the thermometer, however, I’ve had the misfortune of liquefying CO2 or accidentally thawed my freezer so many times that switching towards “worry-free” hydrogen seemed worthwhile.

Food that touches liquids isn’t considered to be a safe environment, therefore your first sign that your non-hydrogen freezer has become too warm or cold is typically when all your stored calories start to go bad all at once.

Another benefit of hydrogen, despite it being not particularly noticeable is that it has the highest SHC and the most efficient thermal conductivity (TC) of any “cold” gas in the game. From an efficiency standpoint, hydrogen is the most efficient gas that you can find aside from gasified metals, for instance and nuclear fallout.

These are all liquids that recondense in hundreds or thousands of degrees, meaning they are useless in freezing. This is the reason why everyone utilizes hydrogen to cool their cooling loops. My opinion is that it makes sense. If your collection is 20-30 tiles of hydrogen for your cooling loop, why don’t you collect an additional tile to use in the freezer? The use of hydrogen as the cooling fluid and the freezer’s sterile environment could (negligibly :)) optimize your energy efficiency, and squeeze every last second of the thermo-regulator before it goes overheated.

– Scaling Up

Once the refrigerator and kitchen are operating, it is only a matter of worrying about scaling up when you add more duplicates. This phase is flexible and can be paced according to your needs. As you acquire more duplicates we’ll include these capabilities

  • Close the recreation area for the overlay of the room bonus
    • This can be done at any time after the cooling loop and regulator construction are completed.
  • More seating in the grand hall
  • Lights over cooking appliances and tables for the mess to speed up the speed of cooking and eating
  • Optional motion sensors to shut off lighting, thereby conserving energy and heating
  • More appliances (grill and mucker, gas range) as you increase the number of chefs or request higher-quality food items

In the next section, we’ll discuss the possibility of sizing up the space for the recreation area and then filling the rest of the space with decorations. The picture below illustrates all of the above features in one go, however, you’d typically build them out in sections:

As illustrated in the photo In the picture, I suggest replacing the drinking water dispensers with party lines phones in the near future. The majority of people turn off the water coolers in order save water, and so when they allow room overlays in the early game, they give zero morale. Phones occupy a significant portion of the space, and even if you don’t power them, they have exactly the same look and a 0% morale.

There is one drawback: they require metal ore rather than raw minerals making them akin to the “refined metal” opportunity cost. If you decide to use them to power your game they’ll give you a bonus of 2 morale when dupes speak to one another, or an incredible +4 when talking to a dupe from space.

Gas Range

If you decide to build gas stoves, it’s straightforward to connect plumbing to natural gas. There’s plenty of room between the floor and below to the left for running pipes. If you would prefer running them on the left, we created bridges in the cooling loop to serve to accomplish this. By hiding the pipe in the tiles to the greatest extent possible it has the least negative effect on the decor.

If you decide to install an additional gas line in lieu of the microbe mushers, the second range can even be connected to the same gas line directly beneath it.


There’s a tiny amount of automation that is required to turn off the hall’s lighting when no one is eating. I’m not even thinking about disabling the lighting in the kitchen, since the huge space requires a number of motion sensors, and there’s nearly always cooking in the kitchen.

These two gates are not required and, in this scenario, serve as diodes. They block green signals not flowing from either the Left or Right detector across the middle, and to one of the lights on the opposite part of the space. The idea is that the left light is lit if the left or the center detector is activated, and for it to turn illuminated if the center or right detector triggers.

You could employ OR gates to achieve this, however ONI logic always replaces the red signals by replacing them with green, basically providing an unrestricted OR gate. If we wired all three sensors as well as both lights to one wire, that would result in three-way OR logic that turns the lights on if one or all three sensors are activated. It’s acceptable and you could consider doing that to save 50 fine metal components, however, I wanted to demonstrate how to make an appropriate logic splitting the wires into separate segments for those who would prefer this method.

Lighting Buff

The two images below illustrate the lighting overlay, both with and without a printing pod in the recreation room.

If you’re using a printing pod instead of a lamp for the floor, there’s a spot where the light isn’t able to give the grill with the “lit workspace” buff (+15 percent speed of task completion). In this scenario, the tile you have chosen in the top image that is indicated by an arrow could be substituted by windows to let light pass through from above. After that, the kitchen appliances as well as the mess tables are lit and can be provided with the necessary buff.

Upgrading Tiles

One final thing to consider is replacing certain tiles in the layout with special-purpose tiles. The strategically placed airflow tiles will assist in the passage of CO2 into rooms, however, they also hinder the design. Window titles can be great for decoration by adding a bit of their own while also allowing for visibility between floors to allow the decor to be spread out horizontally. Carpet tiles placed under any appliance or tables that are used for a mess can provide the ability to relax and can be useful on more difficult challenges. Some of the screenshots throughout the guide demonstrate the use of window tiles and airflow.

– Recreation Room Upgrade

In the future, you’ll likely have to enhance the room for recreation to offer additional entertainment options for the dupes. It’s not a huge deal as the room isn’t providing an immediate morale boost but it does increase the level of morale and stress reduction that dupes receive from the equipment inside the room.

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The two designs, both with and without printer pods, come with the same options for the upper part in the space. You can put either the jukebox or hot tub (the largest rec building at 5×3) or you can add a soda fountain to the party line phone already in place. If you do not want either a hot tub or jukebox or any other rec structure apart from the juicer could be placed within this space.

If the room you’re in has the printing pod, you’re much less restricted in what you can do in the lower part of the space. There’s one tile just to the left side of the pod, which I believe should be used to connect a call to a phone line. If you didn’t design this space around the printer pod, there are a lot of alternatives, as illustrated below:

The space can accommodate two beach chairs or surfing boards (or one of them) in 2×3 sizes or one three larger leisure objects, and an additional party line telephone. Whichever choice you make there’s room for an impressive painting to improve the look of the gas stove.

– Decor Bombing

Apart from being directly in front of the microbe mushers, it is very easy to reach and even exceeds the level of morale in each of the rooms. Designs that incorporate the printing pod inside the room for recreation will have a moderately less shabby decoration, yet still very extremely high. There are many areas in which you could install window tiles to spread decor across floors. This can especially assist microbe mushers in that they are able to view the objects beneath them, and statues and other decorations inside the ladder corridor that is outside of the kitchen.

Decor Bombing

The images in section “Bottom Line Up Front” section illustrate examples of designs using windows and decor items. The image below illustrates an example of an overlay after reaching the maximum decor level:

7. Summary

As I mentioned at the start the purpose of this article was to demonstrate the fundamentals of creating an efficient and easy “core base”, consisting of a dining room, kitchen, and recreation room. Although step-by-step directions were given in the case of “my” typical base, it’s more about communicating concepts rather than replicating the exact design.

If you’re having trouble building a freezer diagonally after patching or if you ended in food loops that connect two loaders and three sweepers inside your kitchen perhaps this layout will provide you with the foundation you need to build upon. There have been threads where people are stunned to see two stories of great halls and have never thought of the possibility of such. I tried to keep this concept within a couple of tiles of the greatest ideal hall size and offered the option of building it directly around the start printing pod if you would like.

This guide is another way to show what’s feasible as well as provide the foundation to experiment with that will work from cycle 3 up through cycle 3000.

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