Nullius


In this Factorio prequel, you're an android terraforming planets and seeding them with life. Replaces all recipes and technology. No life means no coal, oil, wood, biters, or free oxygen, requiring varied renewable energy sources. For reliability, you'll focus on abundant elements from the air, sea, or common minerals such as iron ore, bauxite, sandstone, and limestone. Advanced technology enables asteroid mining of rarer elements.

10 hours ago
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FAQ

What mods are compatible with Nullius?

This mod uses different resources, technologies, and recipes, so it does not interact well with other mods that have their own technologies and recipes unless they have specifically been adapted to work with Nullius. Quality of life mods without their own techs and recipes may just work, such as Recipe Book, Factory Planner, or Discovery Tree. A select number of mods with technologies have already been ported to work with Nullius, including: Miniloader, Transport Drones, Jetpack, Factorissimo2, Bob's Adjustable Inserters, Safe Waterfill, LTN - Logistic Train Network, LTN Combinator Modernized, Teleporters, Advanced Fluid Handling, Warehousing, Milestones, Inventory Sensor, Robot Replacer, Informatron, AAI Signal Transmission, Train Supply Manager (TSM), Automatic Train Fuel Stop, Companion Drones, Gizmos Car Keys, Railway Motor Car, Shuttle Train Continued, Stack Combinator, Crafting Combinator, Text Plates, Holographic Signs, Resource Spawner Overhaul (RSO), and I,Robot. Others are expected to be added. This compatibility may be added either by Nullius or the other mod.

Nullius has some Bob + Angel mod dependencies. Is this an expansion of those?

Nullius does not use any recipes or technologies from Bob's, Angel's, or Vanilla (with the minor exception of Bob's long inserter tech), nor does it directly use very many unmodified items or structures. Instead, it includes these third party mods almost entirely as graphics assets rather than for gameplay. Nullius has few unique graphics assets and is not a graphical overhaul, however it's a full gameplay overhaul mod that does not simply build on any other overhaul's gameplay.

How does Nullius compare to other overhauls in terms of complexity?

Like most overhauls it is significantly more complex than Vanilla, and less complex than Pyanodon's. It's safe to say it would generally be considered more complex than K2 without SE. Beyond that it becomes subjective. Each overhaul has its own design philosophy and feel, and you will see many such differences when playing Nullius.

Nullius is in some respects a streamlined experience, given the level of complexity. It has fewer pure intermediate items/fluids than many other overhauls, however nearly every intermediate has multiple uses, and some have multiple ways to create them, so the web of interactions between recipes can be quite dense. Furthermore, Nullius reuses what would normally be "finished products" as intermediates to a much greater extent. So the number of things used as intermediates is high, it's just that the majority of them are useful in some way in and of themselves. Some items have 2 or even 3 different uses. Nullius does not add a huge array of highly specialized production buildings, rather it adds a moderate number of buildings, the majority of which have a wider range of uses, so it is feasible to carry around the materials you might need for most tasks without hand crafting them.

Fluids are more important than in some other overhauls, and you need to start using them from very early on. There are a number of logistics issues to solve involving byproducts. All byproducts serve at least some valuable purpose (though not necessarily in the precise quantities you create them) and either have a way to dispose of them (though it may take a few steps) or to avoid generating them.

Why don't I have any recipes? How do I research the first technology?

The first technology doesn't require any research packs, only time. Find a lab in your crash site, set it up, and research the first technology to get the recipe for a research pack. If you've advanced beyond this point and still can't handcraft anything, it could be a conflict with another mod that you will need to disable.

What is "pressure"? Why don't my valves work? Why isn't my tank completely full?

Pressure is an abstraction that makes use of features of the Factorio game engine's fluid simulation in order to create pipes with varying throughput. Pipe 4 transfers significantly more fluid per second than pipe 1. A vanilla pipe would fall somewhere between pipe 1 and 2 in throughput. The pressure rating of each pipe and tank is listed in the tooltip, and fluids travel more quickly through pipes with higher maximum pressure. When pipe 1 is completely full, it achieves its maximum pressure of 40%. When pipe 2 is full it's at 60%, pipe 3 is 80%, and when pipe 4 is full it's 100%. Tanks can handle a little more pressure than pipes. 100% of what? An arbitrary amount that the best pipes can handle. This system is just an abstraction that isn't meant to refer to a fixed amount of real world pressure.

Since pipe 1 and 2 never achieve 75% pressure, even when full, they are not compatible with the relief valve which has a threshold of 75%. Tank 1 does go over 75%, so it can be used with a relief valve. The trick is that if you hook up a tank 1 directly with a pipe 1 it will only get approximately half full due to the pressure difference. This can be solved with pumps, which will fill a tank completely regardless of the pressure of the source. This is the reason that relief valves become available with the same technology as pumps, since they are unusable in the early game without pumps.

Why won't my chimney or outfall vent this fluid?

Hover over the fluid icon to read the tooltip. Most gases can be vented in a chimney and most liquids can be vented in an outfall. If they can, they will have an icon of a chimney or outfall in their tooltip, after the State field. You can also click on the input slot of a chimney or outfall to see which fluids it will accept. Some fluids can't be voided directly, and are instead marked as either unvoidable or "void in N". Void in 1 means that it requires 1 processing step to turn a fluid into one that can be voided. Void in 2 means it can be processed into a void in 1, and so on. Void in N+ means it may take more steps than that depending on your technology level. Void in N* means it can only be voided with late game technology.

All byproducts with the potential to get backed up can be destroyed in some way, but there may be extra steps required. Benzene, for example, must be combusted into disposable gases. Chlorine is particularly complex, and is discussed as its own topic below. Most technologies that you need for waste disposal are available by the end of mechanical engineering (red) technologies. Prior to that point you may need to build chests or manually clear tanks.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Chimney 1 and Outfall 1 are inefficient and will not completely drain a pipe. The source must fill up a bit to overcome their resistance before they will start venting. If you'd prefer to speed up throughput you can use pumps to keep things flowing.

How can I craft a building if it requires materials that are made by that same building?

You start the game with access to all the buildings you will need to get to the point where you can craft all of those buildings and scale up, but only just barely enough to use 1 building per recipe. If you place down multiple buildings for the same process, you may run out and may need to deconstruct those structures to reallocate some to another task. If the building you need isn't in your inventory, check your base. Once you manage to construct extras of each building type then you can start scaling up your production.

Why am I stuck at this checkpoint?

Read the description of the checkpoint carefully. It gives the name of an item or fluid, and the quantity of it. But it also uses a verb, which is what you have to do with that item or fluid. Some checkpoints just tell you to "produce" a certain quantity of something. Some checkpoints require you to "consume" it as well, so you don't just make it but actually use it somehow. The third type of requirement is that you "build" something, in which case you actually have to use the item to construct a building or other entity in game. If you tear it down, it no longer counts, so you can't just build the same item repeatedly. But after you fully complete the checkpoint you can tear it down if you want. Production, consumption, and building are all different facets of your production statistics, which you can view in the production display window provided by the game. There is a separate panel for production vs. consumption, tabs for items and fluids, and another tab for building. You can monitor your exact progress toward a particular checkpoint by looking at these statistics, or you can estimate it by looking at the progress bar for the checkpoint research.

How can I generate enough energy?

In the mechanical engineering (red) technology stage, wind power is your only real option. In the next tier, electrical engineering (purple), you would have much better options, but first you need to muddle through to get there. Wind turbines have to be spaced out exactly 32 tiles from one another, so they take up a lot of space. Using grid aligned blueprints or the f5 grid view may help you to plan out neat spacing. Placing them will get easier when you research pylon 1, since those reach exactly the 32 tiles that you need to place 1 per turbine. Don't be afraid to build a large wind farm, since there are no biters, so you don't need to defend that territory. The bots you start out with might help with placing blueprints.

Since wind is intermittent, you need an energy storage solution to avoid brownouts. Surge electrolyzers can be used to create a low tech "battery" with stored hydrogen and oxygen. They will activate automatically at times when your wind turbines are producing surplus energy, filling up tanks, then when your wind turbines are not producing much energy, your turbines will automatically kick in and burn steam produced from that hydrogen and oxygen. This whole system can take the place of a bank of accumulators, it just requires a bit more effort to build.

It's worth considering using these surge electrolyzers even in your regular production, instead of the more conventional priority electrolyzers. Surge electrolyzers have a high maximum throughput, so they can fill tanks up with their products during times of abundant energy, and the rest of your base can keep running by using the stored products from tanks at times when the electrolyzers aren't running. Electrolysis is one of your main energy consumers, so keeping it flexible in this way can reduce your minimum energy requirements and reduce your need for energy storage. The downside is that if you are consistently running low on power, you may not see an obvious symptom like brownouts, but instead will see your hydrogen running low.

What are surge vs. priority electrolyzers/compressors? What's the difference between backup/standard/priority turbines?

There are 4 power generation levels and 4 power consumption levels hardcoded into the Factorio engine. Nullius makes greater use of these distinctions than the Vanilla game does. Surge and priority electrolyzers consume power at different priorities than one another. The 3 turbine varieties produce power at different priority levels.

The 4 power generation levels are 1) "Solar", used for solar panels (photoelectric, not solar thermal collectors). This is built into the game and can't be modified or used by anything else. 2) "Primary", used in Nullius for wind power and priority turbines. 3) "Secondary", used for stirling engines and standard turbines. 4) "Tertiary", used for grid batteries (accumulators) and backup turbines.

All power generated by a higher priority will be consumed before any power from a lower priority is used. So if you have enough solar and wind power being generated, your stirling engines and standard turbines will stay idle, but if you don't they will start to operate. Likewise if you have enough power from stirling engines and standard turbines, your grid batteries and backup turbines won't generate any power. Secondary energy generation is mainly associated with thermal energy generation such as geothermal, nuclear, or solar collectors. If those systems aren't currently needed, they can build up extra heat or save extra steam and use it later when wind and solar aren't generating as much power. Wind and solar have no cost to using their full output, so it's better to use them first if possible. Tertiary power generation are energy storage systems rather than energy generation. They allow you to tap into saved energy that you produced during times of high power generation to get you through periods of lower power generation without blackouts.

The 4 levels of energy consumption are: 1) "Primary", not used for much. Vanilla uses it for laser turrets, while Nullius uses it for combinators. 2) "Secondary" is nearly everything. Almost all of your factory is at the same priority level and if you're low on power they'll all suffer approximately the same. 3) "Tertiary" is mainly for energy storage systems. It's used for grid batteries (accumulators) and surge electrolyzers/compressors. 4) Lights are a special case built into the game with their own idiosyncrasies, which don't fit neatly into the priority system, but they don't consume a lot of energy, so it's not worth worrying about.

All power will be consumed by higher priority levels before lower levels. The important levels are secondary and tertiary. So no power at all will go to tertiary systems unless all secondary systems are running at 100%. Within a power level, the available energy is evenly distributed. An important note is that tertiary energy consumers will never use power from tertiary energy generators. Tertiary energy consumption and generation is associated with energy storage. So you don't want to drain energy from your batteries just to charge up other batteries. And this goes extra for Nullius where some of the battery-like energy storage systems are less than 100% efficient, so constantly running them like this would waste energy. This is the behavior that you want for energy storage systems.

By combining components that consume energy like an accumulator with components that generate energy like an accumulator, you can assemble your own system that behaves like an accumulator, which is important since actual accumulators are relatively high tech in Nullius and there are multiple variable energy generation methods that rely on energy storage. A surge electrolyzer, some tanks, combustion chambers, and backup turbines will save extra electricity when you have it, in the form of hydrogen and oxygen, which you can burn to generate power later when you need it. Same goes for surge compressors, except it's even simpler, since you just need a gas to compress, like nitrogen, save it in some tanks, and then run the compressed nitrogen through a backup turbine for when you need it.

Standard turbines differ from backup turbines, because whereas backup turbines are meant for energy storage, standard turbines are meant for energy production. They are paired most commonly with heat exchangers, which generate steam from heat sources like solar collectors, geothermal, or nuclear. Unlike backup turbines, standard turbines are capable of charging up tertiary equipment like grid batteries and surge electrolyzers. They are superceded by solar and wind if available, because why waste perfectly good steam and heat if you don't currently need it?

Priority electrolyzers and compressors run at the standard "secondary" power consumption level, like almost all other factory equipment. This may be useful for production lines where you don't want it coming to a halt if there is low power. However note that it is entirely possible to use surge equipment even for production lines, as long as you buffer the input and output in tanks to compensate for downtime. This may be a good idea because it makes your power requirements more flexible and reduces your need for dedicated energy storage systems. Electrolyzers are one of your biggest energy consumers, so this effect makes a pretty big difference for your energy storage needs and ability to make the most effective use of cheap, variable power sources like wind turbines.

Priority turbines fill a much smaller niche than standard or backup turbines. They're mainly for venting surplus byproducts of steam or compressed gas by processes that also produce other things that you don't want getting backed up if you don't consume the byproduct. Instead of merely putting this waste product through a chimney to get rid of it, you can run it through a priority turbine to also get some extra energy out of it before disposing of it. They run at the same priority level as wind, superceded only by solar. So unless you have your full base powered exclusively by solar panels, they should be running to some extent nearly all the time, and even if you are all solar, they will at least run at full speed at night. If somehow this isn't enough to vent the byproduct reliably you can set up an extra valve to also use chimneys as a last resort, in addition to the priority turbines.

Where are the long inserters? Waterfill? Infinite Ore?

This mod uses Bob's inserter overhaul, so all inserters can be made into long inserters. This is unlocked late in mechanical engineering (red) tech. You can't create water as precisely as landfill, but there are 2 techs for creating bodies of water: a type of missile ammo that leaves behind small craters that fill up with water and an excavation terraforming drone that creates water over a 128x128 tile area. The late game introduces an asteroid mining game mechanic that allows you to use meteors to create new ore deposits or refresh depleted mines.

Where are the Cliff Explosives? Radar?

Nullius replaces all vanilla technologies, so the names and progression are very different than what you may be used to. Nearly anything that you can do in the base game, you can do in Nullius, with the exception of a few military or energy technologies, but it may come in another form. Nullius attempts to streamline away some unnecessary intermediates and instead uses finished products as intermediates or overloads items with multiple uses.

Cliff explosives and explosives are not separate items; Nullius explosives are an intermediate product that also blows up cliffs. Similarly, there is no separate personal battery equipment; regular batteries are equipment, intermediates, and rechargeable vehicle fuel. Radars are called sensor nodes, and the key difference is that they have a much smaller radius for scanning distant sectors (an aspect that is more necessary with biters), but a larger radius for remotely viewing your factory from the map view. Instead Nullius provides a different method for scanning very distant sectors under the exploration technology.

Can I play with/without biters? Will it matter if I checked/unchecked them at the beginning?

You can only play this mod without biters. There are no living things, including biters, unless you bioengineer them. The enemy bases setting has no effect. It will not cause enemies to be spawned if set, nor will clearing it prevent you from releasing biters into the wild during the endgame, if you choose to do so. The lack of biters is integral to many aspects of this mod, so enabling them as an option would not be practical without major changes.

What is the relationship between steam temperature and energy?

Fluid temperature in Nullius is merely cosmetic. Recipes intended to produce more energy yield a greater volume of steam relative to the input, and its the number of units that matters, not the temperature. The tooltip for steam shows a certain amount of energy contained in steam, so it's very easy to calculate how much energy a tank full of steam stores. One reason for this difference is that Nullius supports compressed gas energy storage, so the same turbines that consume steam will also consume other pressurized gases like compressed nitrogen (which may be a more efficient alternative to electrolysis when using your surplus nitrogen). Compressed gases have an energy value per unit just like steam. Turbines have a limited fluid consumption rate, so higher energy fluids may get a bit more maximum energy per turbine.

Why no copper?

The Earth's crust is around 28% silicon, 8% aluminum, 6% iron, 4% calcium, and 0.006% copper. So even on Earth, copper is 1000x less common than iron, but the planet in Nullius has much less copper than Earth. Note that the 4 abundant elements listed correspond to the basic ores in Nullius (sandstone, bauxite, iron ore, and limestone). Iron is the endpoint of conventional stellar nucleosynthesis. Anything heavier than iron is the result of more exotic reactions such as supernovas. The abundance of these heavier elements in the universe is much less than iron, but the exact ratio varies in different regions of the universe, and tends to gradually increase over astronomical time scales. However the planet in Nullius was formed, it was not blessed with an abundance of heavy elements. The historical role of copper has a lot to do with how easy it is to work, but the much greater availability of aluminum and iron is far more important in the context of Nullius. The civilization that sent out the terraforming androids knows that it won't always get lucky finding everything it needs on every planet, and values the use of the most abundant elements in its technology to eliminate one of the variables in what factors it requires to consider a planet a candidate for terraforming.

Why is there limestone?

Limestone on Earth is often associated with coral, shells, or other biological sediment. Though even on Earth, limestone is not all caused by these. Abiotic limestone can be formed over time by simple chemical processes. A planet like the one in Nullius that is geologically active and has complex weather will have sedimentary rock, plenty of calcium, and that calcium won't be absorbed by organisms. Furthermore, Nullius has a lot more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than Earth has had since the development of photosynthesis, and this carbon dioxide is necessary to react with calcium to precipitate limestone deposits. There have been signs of exoplanets that may have significant limestone deposits in their crust, most likely due to non-biological processes. As mentioned in the copper topic, calcium is a very abundant element, and it's also quite a versatile one with many important uses. It can appear in many different mineral combinations, but for a planet with the conditions seen in Nullius, it's entirely plausible to find useful quantities of it in the form of limestone.

How do I void chlorine?

It varies depending on your tech level. The first and most important step is don't create it unnecessarily. Switch to using desalination and brine electrolysis instead of saline electrolysis. And don't just keep it running and void all the output. Only perform brine electrolysis when you actually need the sodium hydroxide (or the chlorine). Circuits may be helpful here.

In the mechanical engineering era, the primary void for chlorine is mineral dust. Crush gravel into mineral dust and use that to neutralize hydrochloric acid into sludge. If you don't have enough mineral dust, you can make as much of it as you need from crushed limestone, and the stone byproduct from crushing it makes even more mineral dust. Plastic 1, polycrystalline silicon, and lubricant all have chlorine byproducts that you'll need to deal with, but all consume more chlorine than they produce as byproducts, so any uses of these products will be a sink for some of your chlorine.

In the electrical engineering era, you unlock a recipe for calcium chloride, which can be made from hydrochloric acid and can be dumped in an outfall. This will consume less limestone per chlorine voided than the mineral dust recipe. In chemical engineering this method can be improved by recycling the calcium chloride into limestone again so less of it is consumed. And the better your productivity modules, the more efficient this recycling can become. In the physics era you can improve it further with a recipe to turn chlorine directly into calcium chloride rather than using hydrochloric acid.

In the chemical engineering era you gain some other important chlorine sinks, including titanium processing and sand recovery. Sand recovery can void an arbitrary amount of hydrochloric acid. If you need more sludge you can produce it with the method mentioned above, or even turn the outputs of sand recovery into more sludge if you don't need them.

How do I make a water canister?

Water isn't a fuel, it's the byproduct of one, not unlike the way a vanilla used up uranium fuel cell is produced. Always look for the spent fuel result field in the tooltip of Nullius fuel items.

Fluid flows in and out through the side channel on chemical plants.

This isn't a question, but it is a frequently missed feature. There is no practical way to make the game display it with the two directional arrow, but fluid can pass through the side pipe connections on chemical plants, which allows you to chain them together more densely than would otherwise be possible. You can have a row of them with zero tiles of space between them and simply supply the ingredient on one side of one at the end of the chain. There is an example of this in the screenshots on the Information page.