Our Ixion Starter Guide will tell you everything you need to know to get started playing this strategy survival city builder in space!
Let's kick off this Ixion Starter Guide by helping you figure out the basics of this strategy survival city builder. It might look like it's an easy enough game at first, but there are several challenges that won't become obvious until later.
If you're looking for a step-by-step walkthrough for the early portions of the game, you should check out our Ixion Prologue Walkthrough. It will give you an edge for the subsequent Chapters of the game, and we have walkthroughs for some of those, too!
First and foremost, the launch version of Ixion only has a campaign. That means the Buildings you place and the choices you make will affect every subsequent Chapter of the game. Making smart choices (and saving frequently) are the key to succeeding in the long term.
Secondly, Ixion can be a long game. It's wouldn't be unusual to spend 10 hours, 20 hours, or more on a single Chapter. Part of that has to do with the mechanics; each subsequent Chapter will increase the damage to your ship's Hull Integrity and make it harder to keep your Crew happy.
The 10 Important Mechanics of Ixion
As with any other city builder, Ixion requires that you maintain several key stats while commanding the Tiqqun, the massive interstellar spaceship that you've been put in command of. Most of these stats serve as your priorities throughout the game; here's what they are in order of importance:
- Hull Integrity - The state of the Tiqqun's hull. This is, essentially, your life bar. If it reaches zero, you'll have one "extra life" where you can repair it back to full health. After that's expended, the Tiqqun will be destroyed when it reaches zero. The Tiqqun constantly loses Hull Integrity throughout the game once the Prologue is complete, so you'll need a steady source of incoming Iron to keep it repaired.
- Power - The Tiqqun needs Power to keep everything running, and most of it is provided by Solar Panels on the exterior of the ship. If Power gets below the requirements, you'll have a Blackout and take a hit to Stability. Furthermore, a lack of Power means you can't repair Hull Integrity, produce Food, or take care of your other needs.
- Food - Your Crew needs to eat and they'll starve if they don't. You'll have to produce Food on the Tiqqun with a mix of different Buildings.
- Stability - This is essentially a measurement of the Crew's overall mood. As time goes on, you'll accumulate permanent penalties that will have to be countered with Policies or certain Buildings such as the Alternative Life Center and Memorials. High or Neutral Stability provides a high Trust bonus, and Low Stability imposes a Trust penalty.
- Trust - Your Crew's belief in your ability to command the Tiqqun. Trust is measured shipwide and either goes up or down every Cycle. If Trust gets too low, Strikes will occur, shutting down production and potentially causing destruction. Zeroing out the Trust meter can potentially result in a Mutiny, ending the game.
- Health - Even the safest Workers will get in accidents, so you'll need adequate medical care for everyone in a Sector. Not having enough Health capacity can result in Worker deaths.
- Sector Workplace Safety - Having enough Workers for all the jobs is critical to safety. "Extra Hours" or "Overworked" impose negative Stability penalties and increase the risk of Worker deaths.
- Housing - You'll need to provide somewhere to live for each and every member of your Crew. Homelessness makes people upset and imposes penalties to Stability.
- Population - The Tiqqun will eventually be home to thousands of people, but there's no pregnancy mechanic in the game as far as I can tell. That means that your Population is essentially finite; when someone dies, the only way to replace them is to find new Crew or Cryonic Pods.
- The Mission - Finally, at the bottom of the list is the mission: flying the Tiqqun through space, unraveling a grand mystery, and ultimately finding a new, permanent home for humanity. Once you have everything running smoothly, you'll need to complete the objectives of the star system you're in.
If it sounds daunting, well... it is. You're flying in a massive metal coffin hurtling through space, and the coffin is constantly falling apart.
On the upside, you don't have to worry about oxygen or water for day-to-day operations. (You do, however, need to have a steady income of Ice to make Water for Crop Farms.)
Understanding the Resources
Ixion is all about managing your resources. The amount of resources in each Chapter effectively serves as a timer -- run out of critical resources like Iron or Ice and the Tiqqun will be destroyed, either through physical destruction or crew mutiny.
Here are the resources in the game:
- Fe (Iron) - Iron is harvested from Asteroids and turned into Alloy at a Steel Mill.
- Alloy - Alloy is used for the construction of most Buildings. Critically, it is also used to repair the Tiqqun's Hull Integrity.
- C (Carbon) - Carbon is harvested from Asteroids and is used to make Polymer at a Polymer Refinery.
- Polymer - Polymer is used to create Mining Ships, Cargo Ships, and Science Ships in the Docking Bay. It's also used in the construction of some Buildings and for the Solar Panels on the exterior of the Tiqqun.
- Si (Silicon) - Silicon is harvested from Asteroids and is used to make Electronics at an Electronics Factory.
- Electronics - Electronics is used for advanced Buildings and for the higher tiers of Solar Panels on the exterior of the Tiqqun. They are also used for unlocking new Sectors, training Colonists, and other special functions.
- H (Hydrogen) - Hydrogen is harvested from Asteroids and can be burned for Power in a Nuclear Power Plant.
- Waste - Waste is generated by some Buildings and can be converted into useful resources by other Buildings. For example, the Waste Treatment Center can turn 50 Waste into 50 Alloy, 20 Polymer, or 1 Electronics every 10 Cycles.
- Ice - Ice is harvested from Asteroids and can be converted into Water for farming at the Fusion Station. Water is necessary for growing large amounts of Food and feeding your Crew once your population gets higher than a few hundred people.
- Food - Food is necessary for keeping your Crew alive. It can be grown at Insect Farms, Crop Farms, and Algae Farms.
- Cryonic Pods - Cryonic Pods are usually found at Points of Interest. These contain Crew members in suspended animation that can be woken up to serve on the Tiqqun's Crew.
- Science - Science is used for Researching new Technology and Buildings at the Tech Lab. It is generated by your Tech Lab and can be found at Points of Interest -- especially if you make the right choices.
- Population - Population is the people living on the Tiqqun, and they're split into three categories:
- Workers - Workers can work at the various Buildings in the game such as the Docking Bay or Steel Mill. They are absolutely essential to keeping the Tiqqun running.
- Non-Workers - Non-Workers don't contribute much to the workload and are an active drain on your resources.
- Colonists - Colonists are Non-Workers who have been specially trained at the Colonization Training Center.
- Power - Power is a measurement of how much electricity the Tiqqun is generating. It's needed to keep all of your systems running.
A steady income of Alloy (and consequently, Iron) and Food is absolutely essential in the early game of Ixion -- the Tiqqun's hull is always taking damage and you'll need to maintain ongoing repairs. While you can generate an infinite amount of Food in the early game, there is a limited supply of Iron/Alloy in each Chapter, so you can't hang around in a system forever.
As you progress further in the game, Ice will become equally essential. It is all but impossible to generate enough Food without using the bulk production capabilities of the Crop Farm and Algae Farm. Unfortunately, both of these Buildings require Water, and the only way to get Water is by melting Ice at a Fusion Station. As with Iron & Alloy, Ice is a finite resource in each Chapter.
Stability and Policies
One key mechanic that bears further explanation is Stability. Stability is essentially a Sector-wide rating of your Crew's Mood. If Stability is low, the Crew will go on Strike and the situation will gradually get worse from there.
Aside from meeting the Crew's basic needs for Food and Power, there are three ways to improve Stability:
- Placing Buildings that improve Stability (Alternative Life Center, Memorials)
- Setting Stability-improving policies via the DLS Center
- Special Events (rare, but they're out there)
Careful choices and adequate planning are key to averting disaster!
How to Use the Tiqqun's Ships and Docking Bay
The Tiqqun comes equipped with a Docking Bay, allowing you to send out smaller ships to complete objectives. Here's what each of the ships does:
- Science Ship - Science Ships interact with Points of Interest in the solar system. They also collect Science from Points of Interest.
- Mining Ship - Mining Ships can harvest resources from Asteroids and, rarely, from certain Points of Interest.
- Cargo Ship - Cargo Ships move resources and people throughout the solar system.
Each Docking Bay can accommodate 3 Ships. If you want more than 3 Ships, you'll need to build additional Docking Bays.
One of each Ship will be enough to keep you running smoothly in the early game. As the Tiqqun expands, however, you'll want to have more than one of each Ship.
When you build your second Docking Bay, I recommend having the following setup:
- 1 Mining Ship
- 2 Science Ships
- 3 Cargo Ships
Upon Building your third Docking Bay, I'd advise you to have the following:
- 3 Mining Ships
- 2 Science Ships
- 4 Cargo Ships
How to Play Ixion and Succeed
Now that you've got a grasp of the basic mechanics, it's time to go over the basics of playing the game.
On its face, Ixion is fairly straightforward. You need to keep the Tiqqun's Hull Integrity repaired and the Power online, keep your Crew fed and happy, and complete your objectives for each Chapter. Juggling these three core aspects of the game, however, can prove to be a challenge.
The easiest thing you can do is break things down into little problems, using the above list "The 10 Important Mechanics of Ixion." Take care of Hull Integrity first, then Power, then Food, and so on.
Don't be too attached to the way you've built the Tiqqun, either. As you proceed to successive Chapters, you'll open up new areas in the Tiqqun and unlock new Technology with Research. You're going to redesign existing areas more than once. Try to build with this kind of flexibility in mind.
Finally, you should never forget that you are always on the clock. Iron and Ice are your lifeblood (especially in the later chapters) and there is only so much of each resource available in a start system. Hanging around in a system for too long will impose temporary penalties to Stability, but you can counter those with Policies via the DLS Center and Buildings such as the Alternative Life Center or the Memorials. It's not a bad idea to hang around in a system to get every last resource you can, but you shouldn't stick around for too long once the critical resources run out.
That's the end of our Ixion Starter Guide! You can learn more about the game by checking out our guides and Walkthroughs below!
What is Ixion?
Ixion is a strategy survival city builder where you take on the role of commanding a rotating ship on a trip across the galaxy.
Is Ixion Multiplayer?
No, Ixion is not multiplayer.
Where is the Ixion Save File?
The Ixion Save File is located in:
Where "USERNAME" is your Windows user name.
What Happens When Your Hull Integrity Goes to 0 in Ixion?
If your Hull Integrity goes to 0 in Ixion, you'll be saved from destruction by one-time use expanding foam. You'll have 30 Cycles to keep the Hull Integrity above 10% for 10 Cycles straight. If you fail, the Tiqqun is destroyed.
What Happens When Your Trust Goes to 0 in Ixion?
If your Trust goes to 0 in Ixion, you'll be given a choice to either pledge to bring Trust back to 50% or higher within 30 Cycles or not. Low trust will result in a mutiny and you'll lose the game.
Does Ixion Have a Sandbox or Endless Mode?
No, Ixion does not have a sandbox mode or endless mode, but the developers said that they are considering creating an endless mode as a post-launch update.