top of page

The Complete Beginner's Completely Incomplete Guide to Oxygen Not Included

Oxygen Not Included isn't just a game, it's a solemn pact. You promise to do everything in your power to give your dupes a good existence. In return, they promise to do everything in their power to accidentally kill themselves in utterly baffling and completely avoidable ways.

I will avoid speculation as to the reasons behind this inherent death-wish. (We must convince ourselves it is nothing to do with us and move on.) What I will do instead is provide a beginner-friendly approach to minimizing the amount of yellow in your water storage.


Guide overview

Legal stuff

This guide is published under a CC-BY-NC-SA license. Which basically means non-commercial use/reuse of my scribblings is fine. The images used in the guide are from a number of sources. Among them: the Oxygen Not Included Wiki, gameplay footage (from my game), and images by Klei.

The base game compared with the Spaced Out DLC

A very brief overview of some of the main differences.

Choosing duplicants

A little bit about interests and traits.


The very early game

The early game

Ranching basics

Getting started with critters.

How many dupes "should" you have?

The part of the guide where I recommend keeping your dupe count low until you know what you're doing.

Getting started with automation

Includes basics like how automation works, what materials you need and how to get them. Then goes on to present automation setups for coal generators, carbon skimmers, gas and liquid pumps, auto-sweepers, and smart storage bins. Finally, covers how to use automation to choose in what order various power generators kick in.

Recycling bathroom water

This section covers how to build a chlorine-based water purification and recycling setup.

Temperature transfer basics

On radiant and insulating pipes and tiles. And a bit about thermal conductivity.

Pipes and pumps: liquid and gas flow basics

About pipes and pumps, liquid and gas packets, over-pressure, controlling flow and other similar things. (NOTE: WORK IN PROGRESS - NOT FINISHED)

Getting (more) water

On turning polluted water, salt water and brine into water. And on water geysers and how to heat up or cool down their output.

Oxygen: To know the SPOM is to love the SPOM

Covers how SPOMs work and some things to consider when building one.

Spaced Out research

Radbolts, data banks and you.

Atmo Suit basics

Atmo suit basics. And a basic atmo suit setup.

Low-tech plastic: Drecko ranching

A simple ranch setup and guide for turning Dreckos into Glossy Dreckos - and plastic.

Liquid lock basics

Dealing with slimelung

How to either contain slimelung or get rid of it entirely.


Getting oil, petroleum, and plastic

On finding oil, refining oil to petroleum, and refining petroleum to plastic.

Getting steel

Steel is a key ingredient for stuff like cooling loops and other end-game goodness.

Anti entropy thermo-nullifier cooling

How to use an AETN for cooling.

The thermo aquatuner & steam turbine cooling loop

How it works and how to build it.

Metal volcano taming basics

A fairly simple design for getting (suitable temperature) metal from volcanos.

Mini Industry (cramming it all in)

Some tips for squeezing in a lot of production in not a lot of space. (If you're into small bases.)

Getting to space

Getting your Dupe Space Program up and running and building your first rocket.

Dealing with meteor showers

How to either blast or mine your way to clear skies.

Community corner: Things I wish I'd known when I started

I asked Oxygen Not Included gamers what they'd wished they knew when they started. Here's what they said.

Guide feedback

To request a topic, correct a typo or other some such.



bottom of page