Since its initial alpha releasee in 2019, Satisfactory has been growing a cult following online. Over 60,000 people follow the game on Twitter, and the subreddit has over 70,0000 members. But what are the keys to its success? Why do people keep coming back for more?
Updates Come Frequently
Satisfactory has had 3 major versions in just about a year of its existence, offering major changes in each one. And between these updates, there were plenty of smaller patches that occasionally had a major game-changing tweak in them. These updates were made even more impactful by the fact that Satisfactory comes with two versions: Early Access and Experimental.
Experimental is sort of like the testing grounds for new features, and it allows developers to get feedback from players without destroying their main games in Early Access. When Early Access gets the final updates, its exciting and fun to apply the changes to your main save.
It started on the Epic Games Store
By now, Satisfactory is nearing its release on Steam, which is great for people who prefer that platform. The game being an Epic exclusive has brought out many people who disagree with Epic’s practices, but the developers have made clear that they believe it was the right decision at the time. And we would agree.
Satisfactory got onto the Epic Games Store when the store was new. There were barely any games in the store, making it much easier for Epic Games Store users to find the game. Even today, Satisfactory is almost always featured prominently on the front page of the store and is listed as one of the most popular games. Even the biggest Epic haters have to admit that if the game was released on Steam, it would have been buried compared to the love it has seen on Epic.
Satisfactory players have no problems racking up hundreds or thousands of hours in the game. Even though there are no real goals, and accomplishing the space elevator tiers can easily be done in the tens of hours, players are obsessed with creating their own massive factories that produce insane amounts of resources.
Why? Because it’s just fun, and dare I say, satisfying. In addition to the ease of playing for hours on end in the same save file, it’s also fun to start a new game in a different biome, or try to play a certain way. You can focus on efficiency, building a mega-base, breaking the game, exploring, or any number of other things. There is no one way you’re locked into playing, making Satisfactory more like a sandbox game than anything else. The major updates also tend to break old saves (especially Update 3 with pipes), giving a great excuse for starting over.
On top of the replayability, there are also a ton of great mods out there to try out!
It’s Very Accessible
Satisfactory has complex math, but at its core it’s very easy to understand. Factorio fans may think that Satisfactory should be a top-down game as well, to better manage factories, but choosing to be first-person makes the game more accessible to gamers who may be coming from more mainstream shooter games like Call of Duty, Battlefield, or Counterstrike.
Let’s be real, top-down strategy games are a niche, and factory games are a niche. If the developers can reduce the number of niches they’re in, it makes the game easier to pick up even if you’re outside that niche. Being a first-person game, Satisfactory also has familiar controls. WASD to move, E to interact, Shift to run, all that. Other than building, we didn’t have to learn a whole new set of controls to play this game.
As we mentioned above, there are also many ways to play. If exploring the wilderness is more interesting than factory-building, that is a viable option!
And finally, the game has personality, with ADA being reminiscent of snarky AI characters like GLaDOS from Portal. Not taking itself too seriously makes Satisfactory accessible to anyone with a sense of humor.
It Has Multiplayer
The multiplayer aspect of Satisfactory really helps its playability, especially since friends can drop in and out whenever they want to. It’s a great way to spend some time with friends, and it lets players who love a certain aspect of the game focus on that while still progressing. One person can go exploring while another unlocks tiers, while another lays the foundation for the endgame factory base.
Let us know in the comments what you love about Satisfactory, and why you keep coming back to it for hundreds or thousands of hours of gameplay!