Complete Guide To The Underground In SteamWorld Build

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  • Resources In The Underground

Steamworld Build is the latest entry in the loosely-connected Steamworld series of games, a city-building and tower defense mash-up in a Steampunk package. The game challenges you to balance building a working, profitable city on the surface and deeper down, commanding your miners to dig up the resources and items you need to escape the doomed planet.


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Up top, you’re safe, but in the Underground, you have to defend your miners from threats that get increasingly dangerous the deeper you go. What are those resources? What are the dangers? Armed with this guide, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to survive the Underground.


A World Of Layers

The layers of Steamworld Build. Left to right: Surface, Dusty Caverns, Marshy Ruins, Crackling Depths

Steamworld Build is a game where you have to juggle the wellness of multiple layers, each reliant on the others for your overall success. The topmost of these layers is the surface, which plays out like a city builder and is completely safe.

Below the surface, are three layers, collectively known as the Underground, which play out more like a tower defense and factory automation hybrid. In descending order they are: the Dusty Caverns, Marshy Ruins, and Crackling Depths. The deeper down the layer, the more dangerous (and lucrative) it is.

Resources In The Underground

Some resources in the Underground. Left to right: Gold and Ruby Blocks, Plastishroom Farms, and Extractors for Oil and Water

Resources found in the Underground are found in three forms.

  1. Blocks can be broken up to access a resource once.
  2. Veins, geysers, and vents, which generate their respective resources infinitely, but have to be collected by Prospectors or an Extractor.
  3. Farms, which have to be planted in fertile soil, continuously regenerate the planted resource at a slow rate and also have to be collected by Prospectors

Any resources you find in one layer of the Underground can always be found in the lower layers of the Underground as well.

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Dusty Caverns

The Dusty Caverns

Your entry into the Underground, the Dusty Caverns isn’t much more dangerous than the surface. The only danger at this level is a collapse, which is when you dig up too many blocks without letting your Miners reinforce the walls.

If you let a collapse happen, it will send down rocks that can crush your bots and block tiles. This is easily fixed with a Pillar, and then you can send Miners to clear the rockslide, freeing up the tile. Should you clear up the rocks without putting down a Pillar, another rockslide is likely to happen.

A collapse can also happen if you dig up too wide of an area in general, but are less likely to happen if you let your miners reinforce the walls before doing more digging.

Resources

At this level, the resources kickstart your infrastructure, supporting you through the Engineer tier as well as give you the building blocks for everything you need to build and maintain through the endgame.

Resource Name

Uses

Block?

Vein?

Farm?

Gold

Used for most Underground structures

Yes

No

No

Rubies

Used to buy Items, ingredient for Lightning Turret

Yes

No

No

Tools

Used for Paved Roads, upgrading Residentials, and many Underground structures

Yes

No

No

Dirty Water

Used to make Purified Water, for Engineers and Aristobots. Fuel for the Steam Furnace

No

Yes

No

Scrap

Used to make Tools and Spare Parts for Engineers, and Pickaxes for digging through Sandstone

No

Yes

No

Ironium

Used to make Sheet Metal, a material for advanced buildings. Ingredient for Carbide Drills, for digging through Granite

No

Yes

No

Marshy Ruins

A crevasse in the middle of the Marshy Ruins Map. There is a slimy green block in the middle, an Enemy Block

The danger ramps up in the Marshy Ruins. Enemy blocks show up on the map and you’ll need to employ guards and build turrets to protect your operations there.

Dangers

Left to right: Enemy blocks, a Worm Den, Creep being set on fire

In addition to collapses, there are now Enemy Blocks. They’re a green, slimy-looking block and when you break a block that gives them a path to your buildings, they hatch and release an enemy. Guards and turrets usually make short work of these, but don’t release too many all at once.

There’s also the Creep, a non-lethal entity that slowly spreads, with affected tiles slowing your bots and blocking your ability to build on them. Always have a Guard Quarters equipped with the Flamethrower Item to deal with these.

Perhaps the most lethal thing in the Underground are Worms, which can kill a nearby bot. Most enemies and hazards can disable your bots, necessitating a Mechanic to revive them, but Worms will outright kill them.

Build a Thumper Turret with its active range over a Worm den to disable it.

When a Worm is pacified by a Thumper, try not to remove that Thumper or let it get destroyed, since doing so will allow the Worm to return.

Enemies

An active Hive sending enemies to attack. They're being set ablaze by the Flame Turret

In addition to Enemy Blocks, you’ll encounter Hives down here, two in total. They will occasionally spawn a horde of enemies to attack you. There’s no way to permanently deal with a Hive. If a Hive is within sight but doesn’t have a path to your bots, enemies will spawn from nearby walls instead.

Hordes will also spawn if you start unearthing a Rocket Part.

There’s a small variety of enemies– on this floor bug-themed – and you deal with them mostly the same way, by putting turrets in the path and letting the Guards handle them. There’s a regular enemy, a big enemy, a flying and ranged enemy, and a big enemy that spawns small runner enemies when killed.

Resources

The Marshy Ruin adds a few more resources to the mix, giving you what you need to get your tech through the Aristobot tier. Workshops are particularly important at this level because most of the new resources here require an Extractor to collect.

This layer also adds Fertile Soil into the mix, tiles where you can grow one of two resources: Plastishrooms for the mid-to-late game and Jetshrooms for the endgame.

Resource Name

Uses

Block?

Vein?

Farm?

Crude Oil

Refined into Oil which is further refined into Diesel, both are used for high-level recipes for Aristobots and Scientists. An ingredient for Carbide Drills

No

Yes

No

Gas

Refined into Sulfur for Guns for Aristobots. Used as is to make Sparkling Diesel for Scientists and Rocket Fuel

No

Yes

No

Plastishrooms

Refined into Plastics for Aristobot buildings and Maglev Roads. Used as-is for various Aristobot and Scientist resources and Services

No

No

Yes

Jetshrooms

Converted into Rocket Fuel for the endgame.

No

No

Yes

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Crackling Depths

An oil well sits in the middle of a red-lit pit. North of it are Vectron Scrap parts and enemy blocks

The deepest layer of the Underground, the Crackling Depths contains all the rewards and dangers of the layers above it, as well as a new resource that will take you all the way to the end of the tech tree.

Dangers

The Creep of the Crackling Depths (left), a Hive Battle in the Crackling Depths (right)

What you face in the Depths, despite being mechanical instead of insectoid, should quickly be familiar, since they’re basically what you faced in the Marshy Ruins, but more dangerous, more numerous, or both.

Creep acts the same, despite looking like mechanical tentacles, and Worms are exactly the same, except there are more of them. Enemy blocks are more common at this layer and are always mixed up in blocks of Vectron Scraps– the main resource this floor provides.

Also, Hives are bigger in the Depths, allowing them to deliver more enemies and forcing you to protect a larger area. Enemies do largely the same thing, but they have more hit points and hit harder, necessitating stronger defenses.

There are more Hives in the Crackling Depths, four instead of two.

Resources

Vectron Scrap Blocks in the Crackling Depths. The blocks with Red Eyes are enemy blocks

In addition to all the resources you find above, this layer adds one new one. Here you find Vectron Scraps, which are used to create Vectron parts, which are crucial for most Scientist buildings and all Scientist Residentials after the first. The highest-end, most powerful turrets and structures in the Underground also use Vectron Parts.

Vectron parts often are almost always adjacent to enemy blocks, and worse yet, each block only gives up one Vectron Scrap. To get to the endgame, you’ll need to find Vectron Veins and hook them up to extractors for a consistent source of Vectron Parts.

Resource Name

Uses

Block?

Vein?

Farm?

Vectron Scrap

Refined into Vectron Parts for Scientist buildings, Teleporters, Lightning Turrets, and Jetshroom Farms

Yes

Yes

No

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