Surviving Mars is a simulation strategy video game… but in space. As its moniker suggests, the game tasks you with colonizing the planet with human lifeform. It’s a little bit more complex considering you’re trying to survive on an alien planet and you’re most likely not going to be familiar with the surrounding environment.

It’s a great game for those who have a catering for science fiction. The fun in it is similar to growing a garden. The beauty in watching it grow from your work is what drives the game.

And much like growing a garden, you need to first learn the basics before you go off on your own. Surviving Mars can stop you short in the beginning if you do it wrong. So take heed and listen to some advice, Commander.

Tips For Beginners:

Okay Commander, just a few things for you to know before starting off on your mission!

First off is starting a New Game. It’s a pretty self-explanatory mode, but you’ll find a lot of options to start the game. Go ahead and start out with the International Mars Mission as it is more suited for beginners. It is the easiest difficulty the game offers for you.

  • Keep in mind that each agency has its own perks and some have their own weaknesses.

For console users, there is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to the controls. If you’re playing this on the PC, you’re gonna have a much easier time. But in consoles, the control mechanics of selecting and commanding your drones and vehicles to do something can be frustrating. You’ll often press the wrong button when trying to do something so simple. This is among the first challenges you’ll come across.

After you’ve selected everything else from the menu before starting the game, you’re then prompted with a screen of Mars where you’ll choose where to land. You should take note of the profession you’ve picked, as they come with a handy perk. Needless to say, you should find a spot where there are a lot of resources for you.

The very first thing you want to do is build a Drone Hub to expand where you can build infrastructure. If picked the Inventor as your profession then you won’t need to power the building. If you haven’t, you’re gonna have to start building a few power producers (solar panels, large solar panels, wind turbine, etc.). Which one you pick is up to you. Then you should attach any source of power to buildings that need it. Keep in mind that many of these power producers require a source of light if you pick those. You should build Power Accumulators than can store up power to keep your buildings up at night. Because without them, you’re generally going to be very underpowered without the Sun.

*One of the best ways you can do to make it easier for yourself, is Research. Research allows you to gain perks that would make colony building smoother. It never hurts to invest on some of it depending on what you think will be best for your city.

Managing Your Resources:

Next up is resources. There are many ways to get them. Though, you may be overwhelmed with the many conditions you have to keep up with in order for your colony to flourish. But don’t be discouraged, Commander! As long as you keep a keen eye, you’ll build your own functioning colony in no time.

In the first moments of the game, you will mostly be building unmanned infrastructures. Meaning you won’t need any colonists to man them. There are many buildings that require the use of actual people. So until you land your first colonists transport, you won’t be building much of anything. The first stages of this game revolve on you getting enough power and storing enough resources to make the environment habitable. Resource gathering can only be acquired at certain spots and they can be depleted. So you have to be frugal. First thing you’ll have to build is a cement extractor as any other material extractor will require colonists to maintain. Water extractors and air producers can be built without anybody manning them. Keep in mind though you might want to build storage facilities in order to keep storing as many resources as you can before the colonists arrive. Because they can die if you neglect them enough, you know?

Once you have everything you need to keep you colonists alive (mainly oxygen and water). Go ahead and call a Passenger Rocket. Keep in mind that if you’re running low on supplies, you can always call in a Cargo Rocket for more resources. It’s a good way to get more of a certain resource that you need if you don’t have the colonists to make them for you. Cargo Rockets should also help expand your drones ability to build.

By this point, you should already have a Dome. You’ll start off with a small one at first, but you’ll be able to build bigger ones soon. You should have control over what passengers arrive in by rocket and take advantage of that. Remember that your goal at first is to make sure that you have a running colony. The best thing to do is focus on the bare necessities and only recruit the people who have the talents if able.

*Keep in mind that it is necessary to build a Dome near the resources and buildings that your colonists should inhabit. Too far and they won’t be able to reach it.

Your colonists should automatically assign themselves to a certain building so there’s no need to worry. You can even change a colonists name to your liking. Each colonist has their own specialization of where they’ll work best. Though in the beginning, you may not have much choice of who gets to work where.


From there on out, you should have enough resources on your own to branch out and build more. As long as you take note of what you can use, then you should have everything you need to build your own colony on Mars.

Good luck, Commander!