Optimizing Belts in Satisfactory (Early and Late Game)

Optimizing Belts in Satisfactory (Early and Late Game)

Mar 31 Masonzero  

Math is fun, but not for everyone. Today we’re breaking down some easy math so you can set up your factories easier! Efficiency is incredibly satisfying, so here is the ultimate guide to setting up your basic production to be perfectly efficient! In this guide, we won’t be dealing with decimals or partial efficiency – everything will be perfectly balanced so that nothing is wasted and belts are always moving!

We will just be covering basic resource management, including mining iron or copper, turning ore into ingots, and turning those ingots into basic resources with a constructor. The options of what to build are immense, so we won’t be getting into anything more complex than that here.

These principles can be applied to any factory you may want to work on because every factory starts with raw materials!

Tier 0

Without the ability to split belts, we can only run one Smelter and one Constructor off of a Miner.

Depending on what kind of node you set up on, a Miner Mk. 1 will extract anywhere from 30 to 120 ore per minute. Since it’s not too hard to find a set of pure nodes, we’ll assume you’re extracting 120 per minute from each Miner.

Unfortunately, you will immediately be working at a lower rate of efficiency. Mk. 1 Conveyor Belts can only carry 60 resources per minute. So if all you can find is a normal node, which can produce 60 ore, you’ll still be fine at this point.

Since we’re already at our belt’s capacity, we wouldn’t want to combine the output of miners even if we did have splitters and mergers available (those are in Tier 1).

A Smelter can take in 30 ore per minute. So here we see another limitation. Without splitters and mergers, we can only make use of an impure node to its full efficiency. With the ingots that the smelter makes, we can create Iron Plates with 100% efficiency. If we chose copper instead, we’ll only be at 50% efficiency because Wire only takes 15 ore – our Smelter will get backed up fast.

Tier 1

Splitters and Mergers change the game! A single Miner can support two Smelters, and the line now works at maximum efficiency. (Constructors doubled because this is a Copper line)

Now let’s get through Tier 1 so that Splitters and Mergers are unlocked.

Now, our lines can utilize more ore from pure nodes. If we are extracting 60 (or more) per minute, and our belts can hold 60, we can split that belt into two, and thus have two Smelters each taking in 30 ore per minute. Then each of them can have a Constructor producing Iron Plates. If you want to produce Iron Rods or Wire, then you will need to use another splitter after each Smelter, and you can use two Constructors. This is because Iron Rods and Wire only require 15 ingots per minute, whereas plates require 30.

Already at Tier 1, we’re able to use our resources much more efficiently with the addition of splitter and mergers!

Tier 2

Now we can carry all the resources a Miner can produce, resulting in a total of 4 Smelters. (Constructors doubled because this is a Copper line)

Tier 2 is where we start kicking things into high gear, with Mk. 2 Conveyor Belts that can carry 120 resources per minute. This enables us to fully utilize a Miner Mk. 1 on a pure node. From there, we need to split it 4 ways. Run each of those splits into a Smelter, which will take 30 ore each. You can then use one or two (depending on what you’re making) Constructors off of each Smelter. Alternatively, you can use mergers to combine all of the Smelter outputs into one belt again and transport them to a different location.

Tier 4

We’ve now doubled our movement capacity, so we can double our Smelters.

At Tier 4, we unlock Miner Mk. 2 and Conveyor Belt Mk. 3. This is where the math gets a little weird, because Mk. 3 Belts can move 270 items per minute, but the Miner Mk. 2 can only produce up to 240 on a pure node.

Utilizing these two new tools, we can effectively double our output from Tier 2.

So, we can split the 240 output of our Miner into 8 Smelters, which can each have 1 or 2 Constructors. Or, as before, we can combine those 240 ingots into one Mk. 2 Belt and move them elsewhere.

At this point, you may have some Power Shards for overclocking. If you want to get as much out of your Miners as possible, you could use a power shard to extract exactly 270 ore, then use a 9th Smelter to handle the extra 30 ore.

Tier 6

Doubling our ability to move resources again, we can use 16 Smelters.

At Tier 6, you can use Conveyor Belt Mk. 4. These can move 480 resources per minute. Luckily, this does divide evenly into how many resources the Miner can produce! With our miners producing 240 per minute at a maximum, we can merge the output of two Miners into one belt. You can then expand 16 Smelters off of that line.

An even better usage would be to overclock your Miners by 200% on a pure node and extract 480 ore per minute. Then you can branch off 16 Smelters from that line. Do whatever your amount of Power Shards allows for.

Tier 7

Tier 7 unlocks both Miner Mk. 3 and Conveyor Belt Mk. 5. These Belts can move a whopping 780 resources per minute, while the Miners can extract 480 resources before overlocking, on a pure node.

If you don’t want to devote Power Shards to overclocking Miners, you can just use Mk. 4 Belts to move that base amount of 480 resources.

However, overclocking to 780 with two Power Shards won’t hurt, although you won’t be getting the most out of the second Shard. Off of a Mk. 5 belt, you can have 26 Smelters fully supplied. And again, you’re free to do whatever you want with those ingots and build constructors as you see fit. As our friend ImKibitz would say, now you’ll really be movin’ and groovin’!


About Masonzero

Mason has years of experience writing for blogs on a variety of topics. Now he is excited to highlight the awesome things you can do in Satisfactory. He hails from Portland, Oregon and loves gaming with his wife and petting their cat, Henry. He can be reached at [email protected]


  • Demious3d
    Apr 20, 2020 @ 23:22 pm

    Based on the images, all splitters after the first split are exponentially splitting themselves – making the final split in the chain crazy bottle-necked. IE:
    Ore -120–>
    Splitter1 –> 60 –> Smelt
    Splitter2 –> 30 –> Smelt
    Splitter3 –> 15 –> Smelt
    Splitter4 –> 7.5–> Smelt

    Should be:
    Ore – 120 –>
    Splitter1 — 60 — Splitter2 (Output1) –> 30 –> Smelt –> Splitter2 (Output2) 30 –> Smelt

    Splitter1 — 60 — Splitter3 (Output1) –> 30 –> Smelt –> Splitter3 (Output2) 30 –> Smelt

    All smelters = 30 input.

    • Masonzero
      May 26, 2020 @ 16:06 pm

      That is true. I was over-simplifying things, and this setup wouldn’t work as a perfectly efficient system unless it was already backed up going into the smelters.

  • Mofafahrer
    Apr 2, 2021 @ 17:07 pm

    Basically you are right but here U are wrong.
    There is no bottleneck because the smelters (splitter output) have a limited input per cycle.
    If the first output of the first splitter stops cause of input exceed
    the rest of the input is going to the next splitter and so on.
    The manifold setup from Masonzero works very well.
    Your splitting is only relevant if the first output could handle more than the other inputs in line.
    Only then you bottleneck.
    And hey, who cares if all smelters are NOT starting @once.
    This might only be relevant for instant switching powerplant input like coal generators, but they also have an incoming backup of 100 pieces…so hmmmm…I don’t know where this symmetrical split would help in SF.

    I like your guide. Was searching something different btw. but nevertheless it’s well done for starters.

  • Apr 27, 2021 @ 15:07 pm

    This actually does work. I use it on my builds all the time. As long as your supply meets your demand and doesn’t surpass that of the belt speed this system works perfectly. Once you have reached the max output of your level 5 belt which is 780 then you will need a new section. That means 26 smelters per section.


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