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

Dupes are so ridiculously cute they make puppies seem grotesque by comparison. And, like puppies, leaving dupes unsupervised will at best lead to yellow puddles in your clean water supply and at worst to inexplicable suffocation and death.

I will avoid speculation as to the reasons behind the inherent death-wish of dupes. (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

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.

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

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.

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.)

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.

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.