Our Techtonica Cooling Systems Walkthrough will tell you how to unlock Tier 5 Tech and explain how to automatically make Plantmatter.
Our time in Techtonica is getting a little crazy. We've already automated the production of Copper and Iron; now, it's time to add some new manufacturing to our roster. Let's dive in!
Techtonica Cooling Systems Walkthrough
You're already set up to make Iron Ingots and Copper Ingots, but Plant Matter Frames are something entirely new. More importantly, we need to unlock a lot more technology before we can get a stable source of Fuel. Let's get this Techtonica Cooling Systems Walkthrough rolling!
A large portion of this section of the walkthrough will be focused on making our factories a little less terrible. I'm not the best designer, but these machines should be enough to get by. Don't be scared to experiment and try to improve on my designs!
Completing Journal Objectives
Press J to open up your Journal and you'll see a bunch of objectives that we need to complete:
We're going to focus on completing a bunch of these Journal objectives in one go.
Placing a Core Composer
First, head over to this small cave to the left of Production Terminal Lima.
This cave just so happens to be the perfect size for placing a Core Composer, which we got after activating the first stage of Production Terminal Victor.
We're going to need at least 216 Power Floors and 5 Crank Generators, so start Crafting those via your Inventory.
While these items are Crafting, use The M.O.L.E. to widen the available space and, if you desire, flatten the floor. We're going to need an area at least 20 x 26 tiles in size. When you've sufficiently dug out the area, build Power Floors in a 12x18 grid, with at least 4 open spaces on all sides.
Placing all of these Power Floors will unlock Local Signal Ingress AS-2013.
Local Signal Ingress AS-2013
Head over to Production Terminal Victor and activate the signal.
This points to a closed-off section of the cave which you can access with The M.O.L.E.
It has the following items in it:
- 10/10 Accumulator Fragments
- 1/5 Research Core (Blue) Fragments
- 1/1 Hover Pack Fragment
- 1/5 High-Voltage Cable Fragment
- M.O.L.E. Speed II Upgrade Module
- 300 Power Floor
- 3 Crank Generator
- Various other loot
Head inside. Scan and loot everything you can. Then, return to the 12 x 18 platform of Power Floors we built earlier.
Continuing the Core Composer Construction
Next, we're going to place the Core Composer on the platform. We're also going to extend the platform a bit and place 5 Crank Generators on it.
Simply placing the Crank Generators will unlock Signal Ingress RH-1979. We'll go explore it in a bit; first, we're going to progress a couple more objectives.
Craft 100 Research Core 380nm (Purple). We're not going to place them just yet; we'll do that with the Core Composer momentarily.
Next, we're going to expand a little deeper into the cave with the Core Composer using The M.O.L.E. (Ignore the massive tunnel I happened to dig toward the back; I used this area for collecting Limestone since it was out of the way.) We'll want to add at least 6 tiles of Power Flooring and 4 tiles of empty space.
Next, we're going to start expanding up. Build Stairs spiraling around the outside of the Core Composer so that we can open up a large amount of space above.
First, let's stand on top of the Core Composer, look up, and use The M.O.L.E. to clear out as much space from the ceiling as we can.
Don't worry about being perfect; just open up as much area in the ceiling as you can.
Next, Craft some Stairs until you have at least 105. Then, we're going to start placing Stairs right here:
Don't immediately build these Stairs.
Instead, drag it to the other end of the Core Composer.
Once you've reached this point, left-click to Build this segment of the Stairs.
Climb up to the top of the Stairs and place a single Power Floor. You can easily place 1 Power Floor by clicking at the top of the Stairs, moving back toward the Stairs to make 1 red space, and then left-clicking again.
Don't worry about falling; there's no fall damage as far as I can tell.
From this higher vantage point, we're going to clear out more of the area above us with The M.O.L.E. until we can't reach any higher.
Remember, it doesn't have to be perfect -- we just want a large, open space directly above the Core Composer.
Once you've cleared out a large area, we're going to circle around the area of the Core Composer with Power Floors, one side at a time. (I added some lights I salvaged with Scanning from elsewhere in the caves, but this is not strictly necessary).
Once you have three sides completed, you can more easily clear out the area above the Core Composer. You can also continue to expand upward vertically as needed by repeating the pattern on the next floor.
You don't have to go very high right now; having 10 to 15 tiles of vertical space open above the Core Composer is enough for now. Keep one thing in mind: as you get higher, you may have to clean up little bits here and there with your Standard Pickaxe.
With the area above clear, we can start putting Research Cores into the Core Composer.
Build a Container with an Inserter leading to a short Conveyor Belt and another Inserter feeding into the Core Composer. Place your 100 Research Core 380nm (Purple) into the Container; this will feed them into the Core Composer.
Now we just need to feed the Core Composer Power. Interact with each of the Crank Generators and activate them one by one to provide 5:00 of Power apiece.
The Core Composer will begin automatically placing Research Cores above it. Here's what it looks like after it has finished placing roughly 100 Research Cores:
Hover Pack and Power
Now that we have an additional 100 Research Core 380nm (Purple) available, it's time to Research some new things in the Tech Tree. Here's what you should grab:
- Transportation / Shiverthorn Processing / Hover Pack
- Energy / Shiverthorn Processing / CrankConnect
- Energy / Shiverthorn Processing / Accumulator
- Science / Electric Components / Light Stick
- Science / Shiverthorn Processing / Processor Unit
These items will allow us to complete the next few objectives, produce Power more efficiently, and easily illuminate the areas we're working in.
The Hover Pack, once Crafted, will allow you to float about 20 feet (6 meters) above the floor below you. It will help make Building a little easier. Immediately Craft a Hover Pack. As long as it's in your inventory, you will be able to double-tap the Space Bar to hover.
Next, let's upgrade our Power situation a little bit. Craft some more Crank Generators. You'll want to have a total of 12, including the ones you looted from the previous Local Signal and the ones already on the ground.
Arrange them in two lines of 6, then dig out some more space to the side using The M.O.L.E.
We'll come back to this later. For now, we can't progress with any objectives until we go and explore Signal Ingress RH-1979.
Craft 2 more Crank Generators and keep them in your inventory. Make absolutely certain that you have Crafted the Hover Pack, too. We'll need both of these items for the next Signal Ingress.
You should also bring 2,400 Iron Ingots and 2,400 Copper Ingots with you if you have them -- we can put these into Production Terminal Victor and get this part of the next main objective out of the way.
Finally, you should start Crafting 80 Research Core 380nm (Purple). These can Craft in the background while we're completing the next objective..
Signal Ingress RH-1979
Head back to Production Terminal Victor. Stand at this spot in the same cave (Southwest of Production Terminal Victor) and dig forward until you expose the river.
Once you break through, follow the river by continuing to dig through the wall with The M.O.L.E.
A little further down the river, you'll find the four remaining High-Voltage Cable Fragments.
Next, head toward Signal Ingress RH-1979 by going deeper into this new cave.
You'll want to head to this spot. (Pay attention to the minimap on the top-right of the screen.)
You'll just need to go a short distance through the wall and you'll enter another new cave system.
Here's what you'll find on the other side:
To your right is the Signal Ingress we're looking for.
You'll have to dig around a bit to get to the entrance. When you do, you'll find a locked door with the following items in the lobby:
- Packsize II Tech Upgrade Module
- 1/5 High-Voltage Cable Fragments
This door is unpowered, so we're going to fix that problem by placing a Crank Generator on the Power Floor and activate it. Once the door is open, you should place another Crank Generator on the other side so you don't get locked in.
There is a ton of stuff to loot here, so get to Scanning everything and looting the area. Here's what you can find:
- 2 Monorail Depot Fragment
- 1/4 Research Core Blue
- Multiple Thresher MKI Fragments
- Multiple Planter MKI Fragments
- Multiple Filter Inserter Fragments
- 2 Accumulator
- 4 Crank Generator
- 5 Atlantum Ingot
- 7 Filter Inserter
- 50 Conveyor Belt MKII
Frustratingly, there is also a locked door with some new tech behind it:
For now, we're going to have to go back to our base at Production Terminal Lima to put all of these new toys to use.
Bringing Research Cores Back to Lima
Use the Map by pressing M and follow the river to make your way back to Production Terminal Lima. On the way, make sure you scan one of these and harvest it:
This is a Shiverthorn plant. Much like the Kindlevine, we'll be able to use its Seeds for some stuff later.
When we're back at Production Terminal Lima, we'll have some new Tech to unlock. It's time to place those 80 Research Core 380nm (Purple) we made before. If you haven't Crafted them yet, make them now.
Place the 80 Research Cores into the Container feeding into the Core Composer. Then, power up the Crank Generators next to the Core Composer and they'll start getting placed automatically.
At this point, you can see why we excavated such a large area above the Core Composer.
Now it's time to use those Research Cores to unlock some new Tech! Open up the Tech Tree and unlock the following items:
- Synthesis / Shiverthorn Processing / Thresher
- Synthesis / Shiverthorn Processing / Planter
- Logistics / Shiverthorn Processing / Filter Inserter
Making a Plantmatter Farm
With this Tech unlocked, we can start manufacturing Plant Fiber in a renewable fashion. This will allow us to produce infinite Plantmatter as long as we have Power.
This is going to require a fair amount of work -- almost as much as when we set up Copper Ingot and Iron Ingot production. I recommend placing all of this new infrastructure behind the Core Composer; we already have the Power Floor and Crank Generators there.
You'll have to do some digging, but it shouldn't be too difficult. Follow along with my instructions and images and you'll be fine!
First, place two Containers side-by-side, two spaces apart.
Next, Craft an Assembler if you don't already have one.
Then, place the Assembler 3 spaces away from the Containers.
Next, we'll need to place 4 Inserters coming out of the Assembler and four going into the left-hand container.
Build a Conveyor Belt to create a path from the 4 outgoing Inserters on the Assembler to the 4 incoming Inserters on the Container.
Interact with the Assembler and set it to Plant Matter.
Next, place a Thresher three spaces away as shown in the below image.
Go to the space in-between the Thresher and the Assembler. Place two Filter Inserters on the Thresher facing the Assembler. Set both Filter Inserters to "Plantmatter Fiber."
After that's done, set up a Conveyor Belt leading to two normal Inserters facing the Assembler, as shown below:
Next, place two Filter Inserters on the far side of the Thresher.
Set both of these to "Kindlevine Extract," and place a Conveyor Belt heading back to the second Container.
Go back to the second Container.
Place four Inserters as shown, then loop the Conveyor Belt around so that anything passing through will go across all four Inserters.
Next, place another Thresher next to the first one, three spaces away.
Set up a similar Filter Inserter & Inserter setup as you did with the first Thresher. This time, set the Filter Inserters in-between the two Threshers to these sticks.
Place two Filter Inserters on the outside.
Set these Filter Inserters to "Kindlevine Seeds."
Now it's time to place the Planters.
Place two Planters side-by-side. One Inserter should lead from each Planter into the Thresher.
We're almost done! Our next step is to build Storage for the Kindlevine Seeds.
Place a Container three spaces behind both Planters, with an Inserter chain leading into each of the two Planters.
Go back to the second Thresher.
Connect the Filter Inserters that you set to Kindlevine Seeds to a Conveyor Belt. Feed this Conveyor Belt into the newly-placed Container for Kindlevine Seeds.
Place at least 16 Kindlevine Seeds into the Kindlevine Container. If you don't have enough Kindlevine Seeds, you can harvest some Kindlevine. It's the plants with the yellow lights on top that are ubitquious throughout the first section of the cave.
Once you're sure everything is set up, go to the Crank Generators and turn them on. Things will begin to get moving.
Here's what the finished production line looks like:
And here's an explanation of what all of this does, from right to left:
- Kindlevine Seeds are placed in the Kindlevine Seeds Container on the right.
- The Kindlevine Seeds Container feeds Kindlevine Seeds into the two Planters.
- The Planters grow Kindlevine over time.
- The finished Kindlevine is sent into the Thresher on the right.
- The Thresher on the right splits the Kindlevine into Kindlevine Seeds and Sticks.
- The Kindlevine Seeds are returned to the Kindlevine Seeds Container to ensure constant production of Kindlevine.
- The Sticks are sent into the Thresher on the left.
- The Thresher on the left converts Sticks into Plantmatter Fiber and Kindlevine Extract.
- The Plantmatter Fiber is sent into the Assembler.
- The Kindlevine Extract is send into the bottom-left Container for storage.
- The Assembler converts Plantmatter Fiber into Plantmatter.
- The Plantmatter is sent from the Assembler into the top-left Container for storage.
The end result is that we have endless production of Plantmatter and Kindlevine Extract as long as this device has Power. Unfortunately, we have to crank those Generators every 5 minutes. Let's fix that!
Make sure your Crank Generators are all running so we can start producing Plantmatter and Kindlevine Extract while we work.
Once the Crank Generators are running, we're going to change our Crank Generators from 2 lines of 6 Crank Generators into one long line of 12 Crank Generators. As a reminder, here's the before picture:
Disassemble the 6 Crank Generators farthest from the Core Compressor (on the left). Remember, you can press F to enter Erase Mode and remove placed objects.
Once you've disassembled them all, place the 6 Crank Generators in line with the 6 closest to the Core Compressor. Here's what that looks like:
Now we only need to click on any Crank Generator once to turn on the whole line. How convenient!
We still need to store all of this Power we're generating, though. We can do that by placing Accumulators. We're going to start with 12 Accumulators in total, so Craft however many you need to get to 12 and place them behind the Crank Generators.
While this looks impressive, it can't run our Plantmatter and Kindlevine Extract farm for very long. These 12 Accumulators will only last about 3 minutes and 12 seconds when they're all fully charged.
We definitely want to build more Accumulators. We'll get to that in a bit -- first, we're going to want to put all of that Plantmatter producing to good use.
Providing Plantmatter Fuel
Place a Conveyor Belt in a T-shape one space away from the Plantmatter Container at the end of the farm.
This will let us send our Plantmatter elsewhere.
Now, it's time to make a really long Conveyor Belt taking it all the way over to our Copper Ingot and Iron Ingot manufacturing.
Build this Conveyor Belt over our Iron Ingot Mining Drills and underneath Production Terminal Lima.
Take it all the way to the feeder Container for fueling our Mining Drills and Smelters. Then, build 4 Inserters leading from this new Conveyor Belt into the Container.
Our final step is to get the Plantmatter moving from the Plantmatter farm to the Copper Ingot and Iron Ingot production.
Build 4 Inserters next to the Plantmatter container to feed it onto the Conveyor Belt.
Once this is done, it will start sending Plantmatter over to the Copper Ingot and Iron Ingot production.
Look at how beautiful this steady stream of Plantmatter is!
As long as the Plantmatter farm is getting Power, it will crank out a steady stream of Plantmatter and send it to the Iron and Copper Farm.
Unfortunately, our Power setup only lasts us 8 minutes with the current mix of Crank Generators and Accumulators. We can fix that by placing more Accumulators, but we also have an objective to tackle:
Decipher Signal HA-1976 by using an Assembler to craft and place an unknown number of Accumulators on a Power Floor.
Let's do that. We're going to use some of the space behind our Plantmatter farm.
Automating Accumulator Production (Temporarily)
First, Craft the following as needed:
- 1 Assembler
- 4 Filter Inserters
- 12 Inserters
- 2 Containers
Once this is done, Craft at least 200 Electrical Components. We'll need these later.
Next, place a Container here, just next to the Kindlevine Extract Container:
Go on the other side of the Container.
Place 4 Filter Inserters, with an individual Conveyor Belt leading from each of them. End each Conveyor Belt in a regular Filter Inserter.
Now, place an Assembler connecting to the four regular Inserters.
On the other side of the Assembler, place four Inserters leading into a Conveyor Belt. Feed that Conveyor Belt into a Container with another four Inserters.
Now we can set the Assembler to produce something, set the Filter Inserters to the ingriedients, and pick up the finished product in the second Container.
Let's start with Accumulators. Set 1 Filter Inserter to Copper Frame, set 1 Filter Inserter to Electrical Components, and set 1 Filter Inserter to Kindlevine Extract.
Next, open up the Assembler and set it to produce Accumulators.
Finally, place Copper Frames, Electrical Components, and Kindlevine Extract into the first Container. This should get production rolling.
This is by no means fast, but it's enough to get the job done for now. As a bonus, it produces Accumulators 2 at a time.
Once a total of 5 Accumulators have been made, we will be able to Decipher Signal HA-1976. We won't head there just yet, though.
While Accumulators are being produced, you should make some more Power Floors if you don't have at least a couple hundred. Then, dig out the area behind the Accumulators you placed earlier.
Our ultimate goal will be to add 4 more rows of Accumulators. That will bring us from a total of 12 Accumulators to 60.
Here's what the dug-out area looks like with all of the Accumulators placed.
Making Plantmatter Frames
Next, we're going to need to start producing Plantmatter Frames. Our Plantmatter Farm isn't perfectly efficient, so we can pull some of the Plantmatter away by extending the Conveyor Belt.
First, build 4 Inserters at the back of the Container where we put items for the Assembler. Then, snake a Conveyor Belt back toward the Plantmatter farm.
Now we just need to connect the other end of the Conveyor Belt to the Plantmatter output in-between the Thresher and the Assembler.
Drag the Conveyor Belt up and over the existing infrastructure and connect it to the Container feeding the Assembler.
This won't impede the progress of your Plantmatter farm; these are extra materials that aren't really being used as quickly as they could be.
Set the Assembler to produce Plantmatter Frames. Set all 4 Filter Inserters to Plantmatter Fiber.
We're going to need to let this run for a while to produce Plantmatter Frames; remember, we need 100 for the next stage of Production Terminal Victor.
Interact with your Crank Generators to get them going, then head over to Production Terminal Victor. Interact with the transmission window to reveal the location of Ingress Signal HA-1976.
Ingress Signal HA-1976
Once the Signal is revealed, you may be tempted to dig straight through the wall. However, we don't have to go through all of that rock. Instead, we're going to return to the river entrance southwest of Production Terminal Victor that we dug out before.
Go through this hole we dug out earlier and follow the river, heading toward Ingress Signal HA-1976.
You'll eventually get to blocked off section of the river.
Dig straight through and continuing following the river.
You'll eventually come upon the source of Ingress Signal HA-1976.
There's a lot to Scan and loot here, so dive in and start tearing the place apart! Here's what you'll find:
- Multiple Water Wheel Fragments
- 2 High-Voltage Cable Fragment
- 1 Research Core (Blue) Fragment
There's also an office that requires a staggering amount of materials to open:
- 300 Processor Units
- 800 Advanced Circuits
We can't open this door just yet, either.
For now, return to Production Terminal Lima and grab up 100 Plantmatter Frames to unlock the next tier of the Tech Tree. If you haven't already inserted the 2,400 Copper Ingot and 2,400 Iron Ingot, grab those, too.
Head over to Production Terminal Victor and unlock the next tier of the Tech Tree: Atlantum Processing.
We're at the end of our Techtonica Cooling Systems Walkthrough, but there's plenty more to explore -- check out our other guides below!