At long last, Satisfactory Update 4 has arrived! That means it’s time to break down the patch notes. There are a few major changes as well as plenty of small ones, so we’ll discuss our reactions to these. Nothing compares to playing the game though, so we hope you have it downloaded! Let us know in the comments how you’re feeling about this update so far!
Aerial Resource Transport
With drones being popular in Factorio and Dyson Sphere Program, it should come as no surprise that Satisfactory now has drone transport! These autonomous flying vehicles can quickly transport small amounts of materials across the map. Simply put down two drone pads, supply them with batteries, and watch your resources move across the world! Players have been asking for flying vehicles for a long time. While I doubt that we’ll be seeing full-on helicopters and airplanes in the game, these drones should be very useful, despite being power-hungry and having a low capacity. If nothing else, they will make the factory look busy.
It’s been as much of a meme as pipes, but lights are finally in Satisfactory! There will be ceiling lights, flood lights in both tower and wall-mounted form, and street lights. This will make playing during the nighttime a much better experience and add a lot of great options when it comes to looks. But there’s more. You can connect a series of lights to a control panel which allows you to control the color and brightness of each light attached to it. All the fun of your computer’s RGB controller, but in a video game!
There are a few new items when it comes to mobility. The first is a hover pack. This solves one of the biggest issues that Satisfactory has. While building in Factorio is easy enough as a top-down game, Satisfactory’s verticality can make it difficult to construct complex factories. The jetpack has not been ideal for this, but the hover pack definitely is. It lets you hover at a convenient height above your factory, which will make it so much easier to build without getting stuck between buildings and belts. It gives that much-needed top-down view. And the best part? While the jetpack requires you to carry fuel, the hover pack passively gets power from your grid, as long as you’re near enough to your power grid.
Speaking of power lines, there is now a zipline tool which lets you attach to power lines and use them as a zip line. Combine this with the sliding mechanics and the rifle and I’m pretty sure you could play Apex Legends inside of Satisfactory.
The first new building to talk about is the Blender – yes, it’s actually called that! This lets you combine up to 2 fluids and 2 solids, and will primarily be used to create fused modular frames, nitric acid, and more. Encased uranium cells will also be created in the blender now. And speaking of that, uranium pellets have been removed from the game so will not go into that recipe anymore.
The particle accelerator is a new high-tier production building with a large and fluctuating power draw. This will be used, among other things, to create plutonium pellets, for plutonium production. Given the fluctuating power draw, this is a good building for making use of the new power storage building.
The power storage building simply stores excess power from your grid and uses it when needed.
The accompanying power switch can disconnect a factory section from your power grid, which will be useful for saving power by easily shutting off an entire section of a factory.
Lastly, there is a new resource well pressurizer building and extractor for the resource wells. In combination, these buildings can harvest fluids from the new resource wells scattered around the map.
Nitrogen gas is a new resource that can be harvested from resource nodes in the ground using an extractor and pressurizer. This gas is effectively a liquid. The only functional difference is that you don’t need pumps to move it through pipes.
Resource wells not only house nitrogen gas but also water or oil.
There is quite a big list of brand new parts and resources, which will certainly make more sense once we dive into the recipes and production lines that are new to the update.
Here is the full list: Aluminium Casing, Empty Fluid Tank, Cooling System, Fused Modular Frame, Non-Fissile Uranium, Plutonium Pellet, Encased Plutonium Cell, Plutonium Fuel Rod, Nuclear Plutonium Waste, Copper Dust, Pressure Conversion Cube, Nitrogen Gas, Nitric Acid, Packaged Nitrogen Gas, Packaged Alumina Solution, Packaged Sulfuric Acid & Packaged Nitric Acid
17 new alternate recipes were added to the game, between new parts and existing parts. Keep an eye out for those hard drives!
There are also 4 new Project Assembly parts to create: Assembly director system. magnetic field generator, thermal propulsion rocket, and my personal favorite: nuclear pasta.
Balancing and Gameplay Changes
There are some major changes to late-stage production lines.
The most important change is that all power generators except for the biomass burner will always produce its full capacity of power. This means that your power buildings will need to be supplied with as many resources as they need if you want your power grid to be stable. Before, power generators only produced as much as the factory required to run, which was a bit unintuitive based on how other buildings in the game work.
All production lines containing bauxite and aluminum have been simplified, as they were far too complex before.
Nuclear production lines have been changed. As mentioned above, uranium pellets were removed and the blender was added to the mix.
Geothermal generators now produce a fluctuating amount of power instead of a consistent amount. Geysers also have purities which will affect the potential range of power generated.
Stack sizes for some commonly uses items were increased. Inventory slot progression was rebalanced.
New crash sites were added so that there are enough hard drives for the new alternate recipes.
Tier 7 and Tier 8 have been reworked, but anything that you had already unlocked in your save will still be unlocked.
As usual, the update is packed with optimizations. Hopefully games are running better in general as the team tries better ways of running all of the complexities of this game.
There are some nice quality of life changes. Water extractors now have snapping functionality. Production settings can be copied and pasted between buildings to speed up setup, which is probably the closest we will get to blueprints!
Building graphical interfaces have been updated so that the overall style is more cohesive. It should be much easier to understand what’s happening in many production buildings.
Another small hidden update that may have a big impact is that overlocking now supports math formulas and no longer rounds to the nearest whole percent, so it should be much easier to get perfect math now.