Best games with production chains?

I need some more games with complex production chains and I’m sure I’m missing quite a few. So if you had to list your top 5 or top 10 games with production chains of the last decade what would they be?

I should have mentioned, this game preview made me think it would be nice to have a decicated production chain thread.

Isn’t Factorio the go to chain game today?

Yup, Factorio, easily.

I’m quite enjoying the latest Anno, fwiw. Before that I was playing Patrician 3, but it’s more about trading than producing, and not from the last decade anyway…

Anno 1800 is ok but tbh i prefer the B-game vibe of Anno 2205, which did away with warehouses and has a bunch of silly / odd / thematic goods to chain. Just turn down the combat because the combat is annoying and dumb.

I never tried 2205; I thought most people didn’t go for it as much. (Maybe because it was different from the “traditional” Anno formula.)

What does he have left to do that makes this still an early access game?

I thought the Settlers series was the gold standard

I also have 2 more questions regarding Factorio. Is there a mod to make the graphics look better, and what would be the 3d game equivalent (I’m guessing nothing comes close, so what would be next in line)?

Fortresscraft Evolved is 3D. I would argue it has some pretty good production chains (but it likely won’t satisfy your need for nicer graphics). There are a lot of caveats though:

  • Steep learning curve with incomplete in-game documentation
  • Inconsistent and at times frustrating UI
  • Still some annoying bugs that likely won’t get fixed
  • The developer is a crank

Despite all that, I really enjoyed the game, but it might be an acquired taste. Factorio is by far the more polished game.

For good 3D graphics there’s also Satisfactory, which is also still in early access. The production chains are much simpler than Factorio, at least in this stage of development. The biggest draw here I think is the graphics and the exploration, though the latter point is diminished by the world being fixed (no procedural generation).

Polishing and a tutorial/objective- focused campaign.

The newly stable version, 0.17.

There’s also Big Pharma and Production Line. Big Pharma, to me, got old pretty quickly since it seemed mostly like an exercise in trying to fit it’s weirdly shaped machines into the very limited space you get. I haven’t played Production Line enough to know how it is, but graphics are about on par with Factorio.

Does OpenTTD, with mods, count as within the last decade? OpenTTD already expands upon Transport Tycoon Deluxe, adding in community created mods on top just takes it to the next level.

You want production chains? Are you sure? If so then you want Eve Online!

Almost everything in the entire game is made by the players. Sure, some basic supplies and trade goods are seeded into NPC trading stations and some are dropped by NPC mobs, but otherwise:

  • if you fly a ship it was made by players
  • if you shoot a gun or fire a missile both weapon and ammo was built by players
  • if you upgrade your ship components, you’ll be buying equipment made by players.

Now, before anyone actually produces anything: first you (or somebody else) needs to mine raw materials. If players don’t mine then there’s no material to make anything! There’s equipment and ships specifically used for mining from asteroids; also materials can be extracted from planets. For deep space mining guide, refer to:

You (or someone else) also need logistical infrastructure to transport minerals from the mining stations to wherever your industry is located. There are ship designs specifically designed to be “haulers” and they can either carry cargo for their own corp or be hired out via contracts from other players. For a guide to logistical supply chains, including planets, see guide at:

Then, finally, when material has been mined and shipped to an industrial area it’s now time to produce product! For an intro to industry please see:

Oh, and don’t forget Excel spreadsheets to track everything! Below is a 55 minute video on how to setup an Excel workbook to keep track of all the raw minerals you’ll be using.

You’ll also need to keep track of the manufacturing job, but don’t worry, the content creator has another 2-3 how-to hours about worksheet setup for that. You can literally use it as an Excel learning course and increase real-world job skills!

The good news is you don’t have to handle every single part of the raw material-logistics-manufacturing chain. You can mine if you want, haul if you want, buy low/sell high on the markets, manufacture, or completely skip all of that and just be a consumer buying things and getting them blown up.

You can do what you want. You can even skip the spreadsheets if you want, just don’t expect to maximize profit.

There is no game anywhere with more complex or complete production chains. The in-game economy is so complex it’s been used for real economic research and so large it rivals some small countries.

There’s some Eve Online threads around if you want more info on other aspects of the game.

Hold up, just noticed thread title is “Best games with production chains”. Anyone playing Eve will agree it’s a pretty rubbish game so disregard previous post pls.

Satisfactory is very polished and looks great and is a lot of fun. I was really pleasantly surprised by it.

Edit: the production chains are not hugely complex at this point, and may never be, but it is very enjoyable to play in its 3D-ness.

Edit2: @PeterK Sorry, I missed that you’d already mentioned this when I skimmed the thread. I think my eyes glazed over when I saw FortressCraft Evolved. I’ve always meant to check it out but I get put off when I investigate as it seems very user-unfriendly.

Forteress craft evolved is a very good game. It definitely has its problems from a game design stand point, but also does a lot of things right and adds some innovations I would like other games to adopt. One of them is that you can access any inventory at any distance if you can see it. I also like the strata world design, that is the different tiers of ores and biomes based on depth, like mine craft.

The surface of the world, unfortunately is not very well used, and the game can get very grindy. I would strongly recommend playing it on the fastest speeds, and even that will be a bit grindy.

I might add Space Engineers to this list. It’s a bit older title and has a larger exploration component, but the supply chain is fun and adds some interesting environmental bits. The downside is the title has its share of indy jenk.

Satisfactory gets another thumbs up from me as well. Had a lot of fun with that one.

Workers & Resources: Soviet Republic is a city builder with pretty involved production chains:

Somebody had posted a really insane, web-based one a year or so ago here. I can’t recall its name but I’ll try later to search for it is nobody already recalls its name by then. I seem to remember it was going up and up in scale.