Surviving Mars - Paradox Strategy


I fixed that for you :-)

With my trip to France coming up, I need to be more choosy with how I spend my next 2+ months of gaming!


Thanks. I played a ton of hours and several restarts and never saw that in the hint section. I’m not the only person who missed it, I also found an answer on the paradox forums.


I’m not trying to be one of those guys who say things like ‘you played it wrong’, but if you have spare time in the coming month I would give it another go with a more challenging sponsor and a site that has resource shortages and disasters. I think you’ll have alot more fun.


I agree that it would have been more interesting had the difficulty been upped a bit. I do still think the game play has some problems though. I’m not giving up on this permanently, especially since in their stream they talked about doing some planned updates - including allowing colonists to use other domes and UI improvements. So, for my long term enjoyment I think I’m better off waiting to see how some of these changes / additions go.

On the plus side Surviving Mars convinced me to give Tropico 5 another go. I just like that model better even though it does have similarities. I like watching my little guys go about their business, laying my roads - it just seems to make more sense. I could do without the faction stuff, which is a staple of Tropico but I don’t really enjoy that part.


1st patch:

  • Gameplay: Workers properly select workplace based on their specialty


Do you happen to know if the GOG version has been updated yet?

The full patch list looks good. It’s as though they are really trying to fix the issues.

I’m tempted to wade into this despite the mixed reviews.



I’ll believe it when I see it. So far, it looks like colonist management is a non-interactive mess.



I’m sure they will eventually fix it.
The fairly obvious solution is if there is a non-specialized worker, working at a specialized job and there is specialized worker, either unemployed or working at building with the same or lower priority the non-specialized guy is fired and the specialized guy takes the job. Most of the time that means they will switch jobs.

This would still require the player to manual look at his priority jobs and make sure you really want the doctor working at the mine, but it solves 90% of the problems.

I love love the concept of the game. Perhaps one of this days I’ll write up a review. But the lack of documentation and non-obvious things it does are driving me nuts. I’ve played a 1/2 dozen game (only 1 to Sol 100) and just found by accident that you don’t have to research stuff in order,like a normal tech tree. You can research any tech revealed by anomalies. This completely changes the gameplay as far as I’m concerned but would it have been too hard to add this in the hints section or the wiki.


Since the hubbub has calmed down in this thread, what is the consensus on the game? From the outside, it appears that it has a good foundation but needs a few patches (kind of like the Stellaris release). Is that a fair characterization of the game as it stands now?


The impression I’m getting is that how much you like the setting is critical here. Since it sounds like there isn’t any meaningful deep mechanical interaction with settlers and stuff.

So if you’re a builder type who loves the setting, this is for you. Otherwise needs improvements. Which sounds like I’d probably enjoy it myself, since I love the setting and wouldn’t mind some of the shallow interactions as much as others.


I enjoy this because it is relaxing city builder in a new setting. It isn’t particularly deep, but it is a nice relaxing game I can play on my Xbox when my kids are running around.

I suspect once I figure out the min/maxing of the colony, then it will be boring.


Yeah for the most part I am still happy with my purchase, it needs some quality of life stuff to make it great. And I am still not sure if Domes and workers are correctly doing what they are supposed to. I still see unqualified people in some jobs. And my one medic facility is still empty , even with 6 medics on mars.

Maybe a DLC will cover stuff like how about if we had 1 major resource hub, and then underground tunnels that sent what you needed out to smaller hubs. Robot drones and Shuttles seem really inefficient mid to late game.


I think that’s a fair characterization. I’m more than a little nuts on the subject, besides the Martian, I’ve read several Buzz Aldrin books, and book called Packing for Mars which is more than a little appropos.

As for the game the highlights in my mind are.


  • Great concept with some innovative ideas
  • The different sponsors and mission commanders add a fair amount of variety (I’ve tried less than 1/2). to the game play.
  • Procedurally generated maps which effect the difficulty level
  • Soundtrack is awesome, 5 different radio stations, much like Fallout 3 or 4 but even better.
  • A random mystery is pretty cool (although I’ve completed one to know how different they are).
  • semi random tech tree, that you can research in any order.
  • It is a college course on the challenges of using renewable energy. (The prospect of metor strikes and dust storms makes it even more challenging).
  • Compared to a normal city building sim where the sim whine about not having enough cultural attractions, the challenge of keeping your colonist alive with food, water and oxygen is welcome.
  • IMO it makes a lot more sense to worry the individual traits of the first several dozen people that are sent to Mars, than the opinion of random individuals in a regular city builder.
  • Resource deplete which adds some challenges
  • cooler disaster than your typical earthquake, fire, tornado, and Godzilla
  • Finally, achieving self-sufficiency (being able to make everything on Mars) is a neat achievement very satisfying.

Lowlights (bugs)

  • Much of the colony management doesn’t really work. Getting specialized workers into the right job is an exercise in frustration.
  • Even worse it doesn’t seem to matter that much.
  • similarly moving colonist between domes requires a lot of work.
  • The UI isn’t good. At times it is inconsistent (right vs left button moving) and poorly explained

Lowlights (concepts)

  • Random nature of the environment, anomalies, and the tech tree makes play throughs very luck dependent
  • Compared to most other builders there isn’t a lot of different things to build
  • Biggest issues I’ve read and experienced. You’ll spend a lot of time on fast speed just waiting for something to happen. Now I think that’s the nature of the beast, you are waiting for rocket to arrive from earth, the new mine to make enough rare materials to supply your electronic factory, the drones to finish building the next dome.

TL:DR. If you spent an hour on YouTube watching Elon describe how we get to Mars, read The Martian and wondered how you do on Mars, You’ll be able to overlook the flaws. If not you could probably do well to wait for at least a patch or two, and maybe an expansion.


Thanks for the detailed impressions. I really hope they can patch this up soon. I’ve got a real itch for a game of this type.


I agree with Strollen’s characterisation of the game completely. If someone finds Space/Mars really interesting and they already like the genre I would recommend they get it, even get it right now before any patches, because I don’t think any of the bugs/flaws prevent fun (at least for a few games). People who like the game genre but indifferent to the setting, or vice versa, may do better waiting.


The more I read about this the more I am glad I waited.

This seems very similar to Planetbase and Aven Colony, both of which are good ideas but lack the overall systems that keep a player entertained for very long. Neither game offers the deep strategy that lend itself to long term engaging game play. Aven gets the nod because it is prettier but ultimately both run dry very quickly, offering neither the strategic decisions nor aesthetic value to substitute the lack of decisions with distracting eye candy. That does not mean either game is bad but they feel a bit empty to me.


After a bunch of restarts i finally was able to get the end, and man does it have some late game issues. I played a easy map with only meteors. My colony had about 10 or so mega domes with about 3000 people.

The colony management is broken. The basic management of food air and water will always be there and once you get the tech to make fruit trees everything starts to stablize. Jobs wise it does not matter if they specialize or not, there are not enough buildings in or out of the dome for everyone to work and late tech automates alot of the interior dome buildings which means i had about 1/3 of my colony unemployed. It seems like they couldnt decide on what they wanted our people to do. Homelessness also doesnt mean anything people will just mill about the domes as well. I had about 500 or so homeless people with little consequence, there were some suicides but it didnt matter since i hadnt brought anyone from earth after i passed 600 or so colonists.

Overall they cant decide on what they want to do with domes either. Each one is indepenant of each other with no one going back and forth to meet thier needs which would indicate that you have to create mini setups for a couple of domes with all the basics but there is no way to see that anywhere. The main interface only gives you a total of power, water and O2. Which you would think then they want massive infrastructure with everything connected but no one can then move freely back and forth. Its just frustrating.

I have put in 44 hours into it and i am willing to wait for patches and dlc to seee if it gets better but it may be a while.


Is there a way to tell my concrete mixer to take it’s stuff to a different depot? I have a concrete depot right next to it, and instead it’s being sent wayyyy far away to a universal depot that is usu sally full.


Turn off concrete at the one you don’t want it at is the only way I know.


Ahhh ok