Portal Research

Everything is better with portals. Research new technologies to get around faster, and even start establishing off-world mining bases.

5 years ago
5 years ago
Latest Version:
0.7.9 (5 years ago)
Factorio version:
5435 times

Asteroid Mining and Portal Research

Factorio mod by Doc

This mod adds a number of late- and end-game technologies, unlocking amazing new items and locations and providing an entirely new post-rocket-launch game layer.

Scan the skies for resource-rich asteroids, then teleport up there and build your outpost. Maintain your orbital fleet by launching a variety of different kinds of satellites.

Note: This is still a work in progress but has plenty of functional gameplay already. Recipes are unfortunately changing quite a bit between releases. The biggest problem is the GUI which is taking a lot of work!

Planned features include a variety of new satellite types to launch such as probes, spy satellites, research stations, a defense grid, and orbital mining lasers! New ways to transfer resources between your base and your asteroid outposts, such as orbital drops and a space shuttle network. More fun stuff to happen in space! And perhaps one day the ultimate crowning achievement, the Space Elevator.


Asteroid mining

Two key components are needed in order to mine asteroids. Firstly you will need to find asteroids: this is achieved by building Observatories or launching Space Telescopes which will keep scanning until they find asteroids. Space Telescopes can find much better asteroids. Then you will need to deliver a portal to the asteroid to establish a two-way portal link.

Light levels vary on asteroids so solar may or may not work depending on the asteroid. Either way you might want to start investing in Space Based Solar Power to supply power remotely via microwave link.

Resources can be returned to your base using a portal chest but watch out, portal usage consumes a lot of power.

Orbital Network

Units that you launch will initially orbit your home base (Nauvis) but they can be sent to other locations that you've discovered to provide support there instead. Orbital units will take damage over time however and must be repaired by launching a Repair Station and keeping it stocked.

3rd party mod integrations

This list will be maintained whenever I am made aware of an integration. A huge thanks to any authors who create these, and of course to the original creators of the mods in question! Below the list is some information about the script interface to add new integrations.

RSO (Resource Spawner Overhaul) https://mods.factorio.com/mods/orzelek/rso-modhttps://mods.factorio.com/mods/orzelek/rso-mod

Built-in support added v 3.3.10 by orzelek.

Omnimatter https://mods.factorio.com/mods/EmperorZelos/omnimatter

Support by nucleargen:

Script interface for mod authors

All script interfaces are in the "portal_research" namespace:

Add a new ore

remote.call("portal_research", "add_offworld_resource", "my-ore-name", weight, richness_multiplier)

Adds the resource "my-ore-name" to the allowable list to be found offworld. Think about realism if doing this. By default oil and coal are omitted because they're derived from organic matter so it wouldn't seem right to find them on an asteroid.

If the ore is already registered then its properties will be updated.

weight is an integer which weights the probability of this resource being found relative to others. It does not affect the total chance of finding a resource.

richness_multiplier is a float which affects the quantity of the resource found per tile. This will additionally by affected by game settings (when I implement this!) so don't feel you need to
adjust this yourself. If not sure, just use 1, for similar richness patches to iron/copper.

The default table of values is as follows:

{ name="iron-ore", weight=120, richness=1 },
{ name="copper-ore", weight=100, richness=1.2 },
{ name="stone", weight=200, richness=0.8 },
{ name="uranium-ore", weight=1, richness=0.05 }

Remove an ore

remote.call("portal_research", "remove_offworld_resource", "my-ore-name")

Clear all ores

remote.call("portal_research", "clear_offworld_resources")


Special thanks to all other modders of Factorio for inspiration and examples but in particular:

Supercheese - Satellite Uplink Station


  • Borrowed dish graphic

MagmaMcFry - Factorissimo2

  • A lot of code examples

Portal Research Changelog


  • Fixed dying space telescopes would crash the game (The Zero)
  • Massively decrease orbital death rate until repair stations are implemented


  • Fixed antennas removed while receiving orbital power would crash (HorusOP)
  • Mention Factorio Cross Mod in README


  • Add button to change destination on existing portal/chest
  • Lots of GUI tweaks and improvements (and some fixes)


  • Fix broken portal GUI


  • Add more varied resources back to sites
  • Don't show forget button for asteroids that have orbitals
  • Fix error when launching orbitals


  • Add a button to forget sites you're not interested in
  • Make orbitals die MUCH more slowly. Could still be too fast.


  • Orbitals now take damage over time and eventually die
  • Fixed a silly init bug
  • Fixed an occasional lockup due to tick handling


  • Added entity: Orbital Logistics Combinator
  • Added entity: Radio Mast
  • Implemented Ticks system for periodic entity actions with reduced UPS load
  • Tidied up GUI quite a bit
  • Orbitals now take time to move to their destination and their progress can be seen in GUI
  • Lots of recipe changes (particularly satellites) for both realism and balancing.
    Updating users will unfortunately need to check their machines are still working.
  • Visible beams for microwave transmitters/receivers
  • Made all techs use even ratio of science packs, in line with 0.15.27


  • Fixed launching solar and telescopes


  • Revert plastic forming plant to electric energy


  • Fixed launching portals


  • Include *.md files in build (README.md, CHANGELOG.md)
  • Add script interfaces to remove/alter resources


  • Fix completely broken plastic plant recipe


  • Broken build with no files


  • Fixed portal landers not removing themselves once landed
  • Update orbitals tab list when any unit is added or removed


  • New orbital: Space Telescope, can spot asteroids much further away with much better resources
  • PCUs now use medium crystals to make science pack easier
  • Separate plexiglass sheet production from lenses
  • New assembler: Plastic Forming Plant to make plastic objects out of plexiglass
  • Add a plexiglass vacuum tube recipe
  • Added radio transmitter/receiver recipes (currently non-functional, used as an intermediate)
  • Update recipes for portal lander and solar harvester
  • Modify recipe of base satellite to align with new units
  • Added unique icons for most items
  • Added some missing descriptions
  • Added technologies: Radio Communication, Advanced Plastics
  • Give increasing space science rewards for all the new satellite types
  • Fixed crash when removing Microwave equipment from player grid
  • Reduce portal chest inventory to 1 stack
  • Added README.md and CHANGELOG.md


  • Fixed a GUI error sometimes triggered on reload


  • Fixed observatories not processing scan results. If updating you will need to deconstruct then rebuild all your observatories for them to start working. Scan results can be manually placed back into the output slots on the machines for them to be processed and discover sites.


  • Fix another init error


  • Fixed a couple of reported issues with initialisation (u/, u/)
  • Made the portal control unit recipe easier since a ton are required for research
  • Removed some left-over dev fluff
  • Added a script interface for mod authors to enable additional ores on asteroids


  • First release