[Guide] 25 Best Factorio Tips and Strategies

Best Factorio Tips Strategies

Factorio can be somewhat frightening and confusing at first glance. This guide will hopefully give you some directions throughout the various stages of the game. 



In this phase of the game your main focus should be constructing a smaller base that is capable of providing red and green science, copper, iron and a smaller amount of steel.


1. Alt Mode

Structures showing what's inside them

Oftentimes it can be really hard to navigate inside your factory.

This issue can be resolved by just simply pressing the Alt key!

By doing so, the game will show many more details inside your factory, such as the crafting recipes in assembler machines.

  • Just simply press the Alt key
  • Alternatively, you can find the toggle button in your shortcut bar in the bottom of the screen


2. Learn shortcuts

Quickly filling up steel furnaces with a hotkey

Factorio has an easy UI design, but it can never hurt to memorise a few of the basic shortcuts.

You can access and easily change them in the controls menu inside the game!

A few important ones:

  • By hovering over structures and pressing “Q”, you can quickly put them into your hands. When pressing it while not hovering over anything, it quick deselects them
  • Standing on belts and pressing “F” will make you pick up the items
  • “Ctrl + left click” with empty hand takes out the finished product from structures. If you have something in your hands, it will try to put them inside if it can
  • “Ctrl + right click” does the same but only with half the amount
  • With “Z” you can put one singular item into structures


3. Don’t mix items on belts

A painfully mixed line of belts

There is nothing worse than getting your unfiltered items stuck on the belts.

The issue can be resolved fairly fast by just using a new belt line for the items.

  • Do not put multiple items on the same belt
  • Even if you have to do so, keep the 2 sides of the belts clear, for example for the red science, you can have the copper on one side of the bed and the gears on the other side


4. Keep track of your pollution

Pollution is already reaching the biters

As time passes, soon you will encounter your neighbours, the native inhabitants of this planet, and they will not like you at all!

While you're still starting out, it is highly important that you do everything you can to keep up the good relations as long as you can (aka until you have better weapons).

  • Build near trees, since they consume pollution for a while
  • When expanding, do so in a direction that is not towards the biters
  • You can track your pollution by opening the map and pressing the pollution view button in the top right corner


5. You should attack first

Attacking and filling up turrets with the "Z" hotkey

Biters can cause a huge amount of damage for your production so you should deal with them before they deal with you!

Research and craft some gun turrets, grab the smg and the shotgun with enough ammo! Even better if somehow you already have grenades!

  • After approaching the enemy, put down some turrets and have ammo in them, incase you need to back up from the base, they will be able to protect you
  • Use the smg to take out biters, shotgun to take out buildings faster
  • You can quickly put down some turrets in the middle of their bases, grab your ammo, hold “Z” and start hovering over your turrets to put ammo into them (practise this one before you attack)
  • Eat fish when you’re low on health (you can get fish by going over to a lake and holding right click over the dark spots in the water)


6. Blueprints

A collection of saved blueprints

Sometimes it can be hard to come up with designs for production lines!

Luckily, it is really easy to find and import blueprints into the game!

  • Check out Factorio Prints
  • You can select a blueprint, press copy
  • Go back into the game
  • Press the import button on the right side of your toolbar
  • Press “Ctrl+v” and then import


7. Overproduction is better than underproduction

Very inefficient gear factory

You will often find yourself running out of basic resources during the game.

Some hardcore players won’t like to hear this, but there is nothing wrong with making too much of something, especially in the early game!

  • Place down a few more miners or furnaces, or a whole new furnace line or production line
  • Even if you are making waaaay too much stuff, you can still just buffer it up in a chest
  • If something goes wrong, you will have a backup of resources that will keep your factory running while you fix what went wrong


8. Leave space between production lines for possible expansion

Spaced out early game production line

You don't need to make everything as compact as possible, you will never know when and where you'll need some spare space.

In the early game you won't need the nicest and most compact designs! It's enough to make it work for now, and you can rebuild it later anyways!

  • Leave space between the production lines
  • Don't cramp up everything, it will make it harder for you to use belts


9. Learn the miner and furnace ratios

2 red lines of copper smelting in steel furnaces

Mining and processing resources in a good ratio is essential to have your factory running.

By looking up and learning the miner and furnace ratios you will have no issues with it!


  • You will need 30 electric miners to full fill a yellow belt with ores, 60 for red belt and 90 for blue belt (these numbers double for uranium)
  • A full yellow line of copper or iron ore can supply 48 stone furnaces, a red line can supply 96 and a blue line can supply 144. These numbers halfen for steel furnaces and electrical furnaces
  • For stone bricks, if you want a full line of output, you’ll need to input 2 lines of stone and have the same amount of furnaces


10. Buffer chests

Buffer chest setup for blue belts

It is a good idea to keep a chest with backup resources, but you need to make sure that it is effective!

There are many ways to have a buffer chest setup, Ideally you want 3 chests for each side of the belt like in the picture!


  • Make a fast inserter load into a chest on one side of the belt
  • Make another fast inserter load from the chest onto a new belt
  • Have 3 of these on both sides of the belt (if you’re using fast inserters, you’ll need 6 on both sides for red belt and 9 on both sides for blue belt. With stack inserters, 3 should be enough for blue belts)
  • Connect the 2 new belts to the original
  • Use stack inserters instead of fast inserter after you researched them


11. Get a car

2 cars in a garage

As your factory grows, it will take you more and more time to go from one side to the other.

With a car you can move around your factory faster, explore the planet more efficiently, construct outposts, and commit genocide with ease!

  • You can shoot faster and throw grenades at the same time
  • Cover bigger amount of land faster
  • Has a huge inventory


12. Start building a railway

yes, dead.

Moving items a long distance with belts is not a good long term solution!

Research all the train related stuff, start crafting trains, wagons, rails, stops and signals, start building outposts and connect them with your main base via rails.

  • Find resources with your car
  • Built a mining outpost
  • Make sure it has walls and turrets with ammo to protect it
  • Connect it with main base via rails
  • Don’t forget to add the railway signals to it
  • Make loading and unloading stations


13. Limit your chests

Trying to limit the chest a bit too late

Every chest should be limited to a few stacks of items, you don't need 4k iron planes sitting in a random chest somewhere.

  • Open a chest
  • Click the red “X” button and start hovering your mouse over the slots of the chest
  • Make sure that only a few slots aren't red and then click



In this phase of the game, you should upgrade your whole production and expand it by a huge quantity and try to automate everything.


14. Make sure you got enough power to expand your factory

Picture of the power usage

In the upcoming parts of the game, you will be expanding your factory as much as possible.

Always make sure that you will have enough power before you start doing your next projects.

  • For now keep mainly using steam engines, you won't need the power output of a reactor
  • You can place down some solar panels and batteries if you have enough resources for them
  • Consider feeding your boilers with solid fuel instead of coal
  • You can click a pole to check your production on that system


15. Memorise basic recipes

Basic green circuit setup

Basic things like circuits will always be needed

  • Look up a ratio for basic recipes or come up with a design
  • Try to memorise it because you’ll never know when you’ll need it


16. Upgrade to steel furnaces

Surrounded by steel furnaces

At this point you probably have a pretty nice steel production, so it would not be an issue for you to take some of it and make better furnaces!

  • Replace stone furnaces with steel ones
  • Replace yellow belts with red
  • Use fast inserters
  • This setup can handle twice as much resource input and will give double output


17. Relocate or reconstruct your base

It is time to start a bigger production line!

You need to either relocate, reconstruct or heavily upgrade your base to be able to handle your new resources!

  • Makes it easier for you to have a smoother and more compact design
  • You can plan ahead with this new factory since you already know some of the basics
  • Better visual of your main base


18. Start using bots and have a personal roboport

Drones building instead of the player

Manually placing every single structure will be tiring after a while.

With bots, you can easily just put down a blueprint and they will construct it.

  • Research modular armour, construction and logistics drones
  • Craft portable roboport, portable solar panels, portable batteries and have a few construction drones on you
  • Enjoy placing blueprints and looking at your drones work


19. Establish a MALL area

A MALL setup

At this point you might have realised that manually crafting everything is sloooooooow.

By now you probably have already made some automated crafting system for a few items, but I would suggest that you should have a centralised location creating all the items that you would need.

The most essential items you should be making in a Mall are:

  • All 3 tiers of belts, underground belts and splitters
  • Yellow, Blue, Red and Green inserters (burner and the filter ones are optional)
  • All modules
  • Drones, roboports
  • Assembly machines, steel or electrical furnaces
  • All train parts


20. Consider using a main BUS

Picture of a BUS

The concept of a Main Bus is to put the most used and useful ingredients in a central spot to have easier access to them.

A bus often starts at the smelting of iron, copper and steel, and then over time and distance gains more and more different items.

Recommended ingredients that you should have on a Bus:

  • At least 4 belts of iron and copper
  • 2 lines of green circuit
  • A line a of red and blue circuit, steel, coal, plastic, batteries, stone and stone bricks
  • Lubricant and Sulfuric Acid


21. Heavily upgrade your defences with laser turrets and flame throwers


As time has passed since the start of the game, you were not the only one who has progressed.

Biters evolve and become stronger and stronger over time so you should upgrade your defences at your main base and at your outpost!

Have thicker walls

  • Use piercing or uranium ammo in your gun turrets
  • Mix in Laser turrets and Flame throwers into your defence lines
  • Make sure that everything has roboport coverage and the drones have repair kits



It’s about time to launch your first rocket!


22. Start heavily relying on bots

Upgraded power armour setup

Moving and running around all the time takes away a considerable amount of time.

  • Hopefully you have already upgraded your Mall with provider chests 
  • Keep as much bots on you as your armour can handle
  • Have radars and materials for the bots at every outpost so you can control them from the map


23. Go full solar or nuclear

Solar panel and battery setup

At this point you have big enough production and power consumption to consider upgrading to either reactors or solar panels with batteries.

  • Reactors can be a bit frightening at first to deal with but they have a huge output, and as long as you’re paying attention, they will not explode
  • Solar panels and batteries are a safer and more environment friendly options, but their downside is the amount of space they will take up and the amount of resources they cost


24. Don’t forget to put the satellite into the rocket -.-

Rocket with satelite inside it

I’m serious! It happened to all of us at some point!

  • Build the silo, build the rocket
  • Craft that satellite
  • Triple check if you actually put the satellite into the rocket
  • Then check it again
  • (Alternatively you can put a fish into the rocket inventory to get an achievement for it)


25. What to do after launching the first rocket?

Picture from the starting cutscene of the game

Officially you’re done with the game, but there are many many things to do!

  • Keep making your base bigger and better
  • Make sure that every production likes is perfectly balanced out
  • Go wild and just start swarming the biters instead of them swarming you
  • Maybe start a new world
  • Experiment with mods like “Space exploration” or “Krastorio 2”


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Risen from the dead with an empty soul and with endless desire for knowledge about everything.
Gamer Since: 2007
Favorite Genre: RTS
Currently Playing: Payday 3, Factorio
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