Satisfactory is an ever-evolving game, and the 4th major update is right around the corner. It has been hotly anticipated, even as soon as update 3 came out. Details are slowly revealing themselves, and we decided to gather all of them here for your convenience! This is everything we know about update 4.
Satisfactory Update 4 Release Date
Initially, Coffee Strain Studios were targetting February 2021, with the possibility that it could be as late as March. Now it has been confirmed that the update will release to the Experimental branch on March 16. It will likely remain there for around one month before coming to Early Access, but this will depend on how many bugs and issues are discovered.
Tier 8 Will Be in Update 4
It’s been a long time since the space elevator sent up something new. While we don’t know anything about what Tier 8 will contain, Coffee Stain Studios has confirmed that Update 4 will contain an 8th research tier. This likely means that a significant amount of new items will be available in this update, or there wouldn’t be an entire tier dedicated to it. The vision for Tier 8 has changed a lot, and Tier 7 is actually going to change a lot as well, so that the transition between tiers is better designed.
Will Update 4 Break Current Games?
Oh yes. Yes it will. While you’ll still be able to load into your game, the changes to Tier 7 will affect a lot of late-game items. We don’t know if recipe components will change, or just their amounts, but get ready to rebuild a lot of your endgame items.
What Recipes Will Be Changed?
Aluminum production is going to be changed, but not for no reason. The designers are trying to reduce the use of refineries outside of oil production, and also feel that the aluminum production line is needlessly complex to the point that it’s not fun (in my opinion, there’s some truth to that). Coffee Stain has actually seen a lot of player fatigue at this stage, so these changes should make aluminum production more approachable.
Turbo Motors will be moved to Tier 8, as they were determined to be too complex for Tier 7. Supercomputers and Radio Control Units will be changed, but it’s unknown how they will be changed. Nuclear Fuel Rod production will be changed, and it will receive a new building to change that production line. Well, our update 2 nuclear guide is out of date, and soon our update 3 nuclear guide will be as well! Time to make another video…
Battery production will change and have some new unique use cases! It will also require the new building.
Power consumption will be changed to accomodate the new changes to recipes.
And as a final note, some milestone and building costs in Tier 5 and Tier 6 will change, but nothing too crazy. Existing milestones that you’ve unlocked will still be unlocked.
Additionally, there will be a way to deal with nuclear waste. Maybe. We don’t know what that will look like yet.
Gases Are Coming to Update 4
It’s true, gases are finally coming to Satisfactory Update 4, as many have predicted. The new Fused Modular Frame that some people got in their FICSMAS advent calendar teased nitrogen in its description, and sure enough, nitrogen gas is coming.
While it is technically a gas, it will actually work much the same as fluids, so it’s basically just a fluid. Water and oil will be joining nitrogen in a new extraction method, with nodes called resource wells. Two new buildings will be available that are required to mine these three resources: the Resource Well Pressurizer and the Resource Well Extractor. Resource wells actually work a bit differently than existing nodes. The Pressurizer will – as the name suggests – begin pressurizing the node, but then the resource will start spewing up from various places in the ground which you will need to place the Extractors on. This is quite a bit different than regular resource mining, so it should make these resources especially distinct from others.
After extracting, you will use pipes to carry the resource. It is possible that the concept of Head Lift will be adjusted for gases in pipes, or completely removed, but Coffee Stain has not confirmed whether they’re going to make this change or not.
We’re also not sure how this affects current methods of gathering water and oil. Water is currently extracted from bodies of water, and we can’t imagine this will be changed. For oil, it’s hard to tell whether these will replace oil extractors, or if the oil resource wells will replace current single oil nodes. Our prediction is that this new update will coexist with current oil extraction methods.
When it comes to parts, nitrogen will be used in the Blender building and will go into parts such as the Fused Modular Frame, Cooling System, and Liquid Nitrogen (a fluid) that will go into refinement and fuel production.
Another teaser revealed power storage as a new factor in Satisfactory. Two buildings were teased. The first is a power storage building – which people are calling an accumulator, a backup generator, or a battery, and the second is a breaker switch of some kind.
In a previous draft of this article we had some predictions and thoughts on these new items, but then Jace followed up with an explanation video!
The power switch can be used to segment off parts of your power grid and turn them on and off independently. This will be great for factories that you only need to run for a short period of time but don’t want to tear down. It is effectively similar to just pausing production on every machine in the production line, but with the right power setup you can do it all with a single button! It sure beats deconstructing that ONE cable. You can also name your power switches, making them, easier to find.
Jace also went into why you would want to use the power storage in the first place. We predicted that it would be most useful early in the game when power is less predictable. However, battieres currently being a late-game item doesn’t seem to make sense with that theory. Ultimately, it’s a failsafe for when you add on a factory section without realizing just how much power it would take, and having your whole power system go down. There will be audio feedback telling you that you’re running on backup power, so that you know you have a problem.
In this video we also learned about a change to geothermal generators. They will now produce a variable amount of power rather than a constant flow, which the power storage can help smooth out.
The BIG change to power in Update 4 that makes the power storage system a lot more compelling in the late game is that power generators (nuclear, coal, etc.) will no longer produce only what they need. Instead they will produce at their maximum capacity at all times. Overall, this is probably a good thing. One issue covered in our Understanding Pipes and Fluids article is that players may have a coal system that gets enough water for the amount of power they’re using in the moment, but they will later find that as their factory demands more power, the coal generators aren’t getting enough water to run at full capacity. Power generators running at full capacity will make efficiency math much easier, as there will be no variance. It also means that any existing systems that relied on the old ways will need to be rebuilt or supplemented by power storage.
For anyone confused by the above statement, here is a better breakdown:
- How power worked before Update 4: A power generator (such as a coal generator) would only use as many resources (coal and water) as it needed to supply the required power. A regular coal generator will burn a maximum of 15 coal per minute to produce 75MW. But if your factory only draws 50MW, then you will only use 10 coal per minute rather than 15.
- How power will work in Update 4: A power generator will always operate at maximum. So, a regular coal generator will always burn 15 coal per minute and produce 75MW, regardless of how much power your factory is asking for. Unused power will be lost unless you have power storage set up.
In another quote from Director Mark, he mentioned that certain recipes such as polymer resin as a byproduct of fuel production were unreliable. And this is a great point. Now that power generators can make byproducts that must be processed in some way, having them produce a variable amount goes against the efficiency and perfect math that is possible throughout the rest of the game. Suffice to say that this update will make the game more intuitive and consistent with itself.
New Parts in Update 4
- Packaged alumina solution
- Packaged sulphuric acid
- Aluminum casing – “basic component for high tier stuff” – made from aluminum ingots
- Plutonium waste – the byproduct of consuming plutonium fuel rods – even stronger radiation!
- Magnetic field generator – project assembly part #6
- Assembly director system – project assembly part #7
- Thermal propulsion rocket – project assembly part #8
While several of these parts are specifically for sending up in the space elevator for Project Assembly, it’s exciting to see that we will be able to package more fluids and work with plutonium in our nuclear setups.
In Jace’s video showing several of the new parts for Update 4, you can see what appears to be a new set of L-shaped stairs that feature a guardrail. Whether this is going to be a new item, or if it’s unique to Jace’s special demo world, we don’t know.
Looking into the Future
Jace also recently did a large Q&A video which answered some questions about Update 4 but also many future considerations beyond the update, so we’ll put some of the highlights here.
There are not likely to be any balancing changes between now and the full 1.0 release, so there should not be any game-breaking updates after this.
Trains will have signals and collisions in the future, but not necessarily for Update 4.
While we won’t get signs soon, we will get them soon ™, so that’s great.
There will likely be seasonal events in the future like the winter FICS*MAS event.
Eventually we will be able to customize the paint schemes on vehicles, in addition to the buildings we can already customize.
Farming is something planned for the future, but is not likely to even be released in the 1.0 version.
Character customization in some capacity may be in the game in the future, but it hasn’t been decided how much customization there will be.
Dedicated servers are coming, but there are still too many multiplayer bugs to iron out.
How to Prepare for Update 4
Here are a few tips for preparing for update 4, straight from Satisfactory’s own announcement video:
- Don’t invest in Tier 7 or any of the affected production lines mentioned earlier.
- If you’ve already built those production lines, focus on stockpiling those parts for use in Update 4.