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Oxygen Not Included Wiki
This article has not been revised for the current version (U40-494396). It was last updated for CS-442154. It may contain inaccuracies.
This article has not been revised for the current version (U40-494396). It was last updated for CS-442154. It may contain inaccuracies.

This page is a list of creative uses of Game Mechanics that allows gaining some advantages.

There is a lot of disagreement in the community over which are "fair-game" and which are clearly unintended and thus should not be used, but all behaviors listed in that page are assumed not to be consequences of bugs. It's up to the player to decide which ones to use.

Not to be confused with Exploits, which uses what's believed to be bugs.

Doors as floors[]

Debris falls through the door, but Duplicants and Critters can walk on it.

Pneumatic Doors can serve as floors where Duplicants and Critters are able to walk on, yet they let items and debris fall through them, which neither Airflow nor Mesh Tiles allow. However, no buildings can be built upon them since they lack foundations.
This is an unintended feature that arose through the related mechanics.

Airlock doors as foundation[]

Manual Airlock and Mechanized Airlock can be used as foundation for buildings, and will work as a foundation when closed, while any building sitting on top of them will become entombed when they open. This can be used to automate the operation of a building that does not have an automation input port by placing it on top of a Mechanized Airlock and controlling that Airlock instead via automation.

For example:

Heat Deletion with Composts[]

Composts output Dirt at a fixed 75°C, no matter the temperature of the Polluted Dirt that was used for the composting process.

Since Polluted Dirt can go up to 1712.85°C, the compost can theoretically delete 135.9 kDTU/s.

Many other Refinement buildings used to have fixed Temperature output and got changed to have minimum Temperatures instead, so Composts may have been forgotten about and may change similarly in the future

On the other hand, that behavior is shared with Refrigerators: their internal temperature is at a fixed 75°C that exchanges heat with the composted items, to help them destroy germs, which indicates an intended behavior.

Germy Water in Sinks[]

Sinks only need clean Water to function to rid a passing Duplicant of Germs, but the clean water it uses can itself be contaminated with germs. This allows for the germy Polluted Water of their outputs to be directly fed into a Water Sieve (which only converts the germy polluted water into germy clean water) and back into the Sinks without the water being treated for germs.

Self-Sustained Latrine   
Display default viewDisplay power grid componentsDisplay liquid pipe system componentsDisplay gas pipe system componentsDisplay automation systemDisplay Conveyor systemDisplay ambient oxygen densityDisplay ambient temperatureHighlights the different solids, liquids and gases and groups them by typeDisplay the visibility radius of light sourcesDisplay decor valuesDisplay task priority valuesDisplay the visibility radius of Radiation sources
Basic Latrine.png

Left: the full duration of the emptying errand. Right: the emptying errand is canceled as soon as it's started, completing it instantly.

Instant bottle/canister emptying[]

When emptying a bottle or canister, a Dupe is locked into an errand of a few seconds. If you cancel the emptying errand during that invisible animation, instead of staying intact, the bottle or canister is instantly emptied.

This allows saving a few seconds for each emptying errand.

Regolith-covered Crown Moulding being excavated

Automatic Duplicant Regolith clearing[]

Ordering Crown Moulding to be build on the surface allows to order Duplicatings to dig Regolith when they are covered, without having to re-order digging every time the Regolith is cleared.

Since it's an Invalid Build Location, Crown Mouldings will never be built, but Duplicants will still dig anything falling on those cells.

A protected Telescope that can research Space Destination without being exposed to Meteor damage.

Researching with a protected Telescope[]

The Telescope can be used to research the Starmap at a lower speed while being entirely protected from Meteor Showers because its line of sight extends beyond the building, especially on the left.

Doing so avoid the need for Space Scanner or manual Bunker Door opening.

Critter Drop-Off to wrangle non-wranglable critters[]

Placing a Critter Drop-Off in a room containing non-wranglable critters allow a Dupe to call those critters to the Drop-Off to be wrangled. This is generally considered an intended feature because all critters used to be wranglable. Before launch, critters which were causing pathing issues were made non-wranglable.

An example of a super-cooled 1kg water packet in a pipe.

10% of pipes capacity avoid state change[]

With packets up to 10% of pipes capacity (1kg for liquids, 100g for gases), contents won't change state (and break pipes in the process) even if they cross a state change threshold.

This can be used to transport liquid and gas without worrying about their temperature, and super-cool or super-heat them in pipes. When exiting the pipe, the liquid or gas will change state according to its temperature without breaking anything. Special care should be taken not to merge packets with other packets of the same type, as merging super-cooled or super-heated packets to above 10% of the pipe capacity will break the pipes.

This is an intended albeit surprising mechanism, which is specifically coded to include exactly 10% of a pipe capacity.

A Water cooler via a Steam Turbine cooled with its foundation tiles.

Steam Turbine cooling via its foundation tiles[]

Original thread

The Steam Turbine building temperature exchange heat with its foundation tiles (the tiles it's sitting on).

Most of the time, those tiles should be Insulated Tiles to avoid exchanging heat with the Steam below it.

On the other hand, the left-most and/or right-most tiles, if they are not in direct contact with the Steam room (heat isn't exchanged diagonally), can be made out of heat-conductive material (Diamond Window Tile or Metal Tile), and used to cool the building.

Since those materials Thermal Conductivity is much higher than any gas, one tile can be enough to cool a Turbine when using active cooling.

Building construction temperature[]

With a few exceptions, buildings temperature is clamped between 15°C and 45°C when constructed. This means massive amounts of heat can be deleted by using materials well over 45°C, and massive amounts of heat can be created by using materials well under 15°C, at the cost of player interaction and Duplicant labor.

A notable exception is Ice Tempshift Plates, which are not affected by the 15°C temperature limit.

Natural tile wiki.png

Natural Tile from Airlocks[]

When deconstructed while the bottom cell is surrounded by tiles (for a total of 7 tiles as shown in the example), a Manual Airlock or Mechanized Airlock will produce a natural tile rather than debris. Those tiles can be used for Pip planting.

  1. Build the Airlock surrounded by tiles.
  2. Deconstruct it.
  3. There is a natural tile with the Airlock where its bottom cell was.

Natural tile heat sinks[]

Natural tiles lose half their mass, and therefore half of their stored heat, when mined. This fact can be leveraged to keep your base a bit cooler in the early game and buy some more time until you need to build an active cooling system. By building buildings that produce large amounts of heat in locations surrounded by natural tiles, then mining out the natural tile after it's been heated significantly, you can effectively reduce the heat production of that building by up to 50% (though realistically a bit less) between the time it's built and the time you dig out its natural tile heat sink.

Similarly, you may want to place a polluted water cistern/heat sink somewhere that it can have a wall of natural tile (ideally at least 2 cells thick or with an outer layer of constructed tile so it's easy to replace the natural tile without spilling), only digging out the natural tile after you have an active cooling system ready.

Kiln melting to refine Metal Ore[]

Since Kilns do not have an overheat temperature and can be built with Metal Ore, operating them in vacuum will make them heat up with no limit, eventually reaching their material Melting point.

When that point is reached, the Kiln will melt, and the resulting liquid metal will instantly freeze into a Refined Metal because of the hystheresis temperature loss.

It will take a few cycles and a few tons of Ceramic or Refined Carbon production to reach the Melting point, depending on the material SHC. Since Gold Amalgam has the lowest SHC, it is the fastest to melt.

This allows converting Metal Ore to Refined Metal 200kg at a time at a 1:1 ratio.

Aquatuner melting to refine Metal Ore & produce Liquid Steel[]

Similar to Kilns, Thermo Aquatuners can be melted to refine Metal Ore by operating them in vacuum: when runned constantly, they will reach the material melting point long before breaking to overheating damage.

The process is much faster due to the large amount of heat Aquatuners use and won't require Coal or Clay, but will instead use power and produce cooling, which can be dealt with a Liquid Tepidizer.

How much time and power is needed depends on the material SHC. Since Gold Amalgam has the lowest SHC, it is the fastest to melt.

This allows converting Metal Ore to Refined Metal 1200kg at a time at a 1:1 ratio.

It's also a very convenient way to produce Liquid Steel for very high temperature builds.

Petroleum/Sour Gas from an Oil Well[]

Original threadPetroleum Well setup

Oil Wells have a minimum output temperature of 90°C, but don't have a maximum output temperature.

Common sense would dictate that you can only have up to 100°C Water temperature, but by restricting pipes to 1kg/s, you can superheat the input water to any temperature you want. The 10% pipe limit of 1kg/s exactly match the Oil Well requirement.

When fed superheated water, the Oil Well will output matching Crude Oil temperature. If it's hot enough, it will immediately change into Petroleum, then into Sour Gas, creating heat in the process due to the specific heat capacity difference between Water and Crude Oil.

One element per cell rule applications[]

The One element per cell rule has several applications that are considered exploits by part of the playerbase, despite being intended mechanisms, like Infinite Storage or Hydra.

Arbor Tree auto-harvesting[]

Original thread

Arbor Trees branches cannot grow in liquids and are broken after being in liquids for too long.

This can be used by making a Waterfall fall on branches once they are fully matured to harvest branches without Duplicant interaction.

When doing so, Lumber will fall on the floor, ready to be swept by an Auto-Sweeper for a fully automated farm.

Boosted Arbor Acorns production[]

Original thread

Arbor Acorns have a chance at being spawned when a new branch start growing and there is a Pip in the same room.

By submerging branches in liquid, either with waterfalls or liquid stacking, branches will automatically be destroyed a short time after starting growing, cycling through branches at a fast rate.

As a consequence, there will be a much faster Arbor Acorn production, but this won't produce any Lumber because branches are destroyed before being fully matured.

Diagonal access[]

Duplicants can construct everything except buildings through diagonal access. It has been confirmed as an intended mechanism by Game Update 463874 in Spaced Out DLC.

This allows deleting gas/liquid by trapping them into 4 tiles then constructing a fifth one in the center, and easily creating a vacuum by deconstructing tiles diagonally.

Auto-sweepers can access items diagonally, which can be used to have them access items that are in a different room.

Plastic to Metal conversion[]

Some items are built from several materials, but when melted only converts to their main material for the sum of all their materials mass.

The most interesting example is the Liquid Pipe Germ Sensor, which is made out of 25kg of Refined Metal and 50kg of Plastic. When melted, it will produce 75kg of Refined Metal.

This can be used to convert Plastic into Refined Metal using Magma to melt arrays of sensors, making Refined Metal renewable even without a Metal Volcano.

Debris formation cells priority

Debris formation manipulation[]

When a liquid freezes into a debris, the debris will try to form in the cell the liquid froze.

By placing a Mesh Tile at that position, the debris will to try form on all 8 tiles around that tile, following the order: Up, Right, Down, Left, Up-right, Down-right, Up-left, Down-left. If none of those is available, the debris will be trapped into the Mesh Tile. Any solid tile, or other mesh tiles, can be used to prevent a debris from forming in those 8 locations.

This allows separating liquid and debris thermally, as well as having the debris form in a different room than the liquid, making, for example, Magma and solidified Igneous Rock much easier to handle.

When a debris is melted into another solid, it does not follow the same rule and instead try to form a tile at the position it's melted, then try all cells upwards until the top of the map, without trying any other adjacent cell.

A gas condensing in Airflow Tile being teleported upwards.

Beads upward teleportation[]

Pumping setupSetup using condensation teleportation

When a bead is trapped in a tile it shouldn't be in and it cannot be moved to any adjacent cell, it will be teleported upwards, in the first valid cell found.

This can be used in two ways:

  • By making liquids form a bead when falling and closing a Mechanized Airlock over that bead, it will be teleported upwards. Since airlocks closing timing is not exact, it's advised to have a way out for liquids that isn't trapped in time: having airlocks close on liquids that have no way to move can destroy them instantly.
  • By making a Gas condense in an Airflow Tile, the resulting liquid forms as a bead and is forced to teleport upwards.

It's useful to teleport liquids in Infinite Storage without using a Liquid Pump, saving on power as well as being much faster. When using the condensation variant, this also means you can insulate the gas from the resulting liquid, only cooling the gas just enough to condense it while not cooling the resulting liquid.

This does not work when melting debris, as debris melting form droplets, not beads. The liquid will only attempt to form in directly adjacent cells (excluding diagonal cells) before being deleted.

A Liquid-gas bypass design.

Liquid/gas diagonal swapping[]

Original thread

Under some circumstances detailed in the original thread, a liquid and a gas can exchange places diagonally, with the gas going upward and the liquid downward.

This teleportation happens through a drip Liquid Airlock and as such can be used in various ways, such as high pressure gas storage, making vacuums, deleting some liquid or gas without Space Exposure.

Pump ranges. Red=pumping; Blue=detection

Pumping superhot liquids[]

Original threadSetup example

Liquid Pump and Mini Liquid Pump have different pumping range and liquid detection range, based on its foundation tile F. Two cells P1 and P2 that are in pumping range are not in direct contact with the Liquid Pump, and more on the Mini Liquid Pump depending on its orientation. This can be used to pump very hot liquids like Magma that would otherwise overheat or melt pumps without any thermal exchange. Since those two celles are not in the detection range, Pumps must be tricked into pumping by providing a liquid in its detection range. Since F is in direct contact of P1 and P2, it cannot be used, and the cell above cannot either because the liquid cannot be blocked above. This means T1 or T2 needs to be used to trick Pumps.

To trick the pump:

  • A droplet can be dropped on T2, which will be pumped by a Liquid Pump and re-ejected at the same place. This halves the hot liquid output to 5kg/s. Show in example (2)

    3 examples of Magma Pumps

  • With 3 of the 4 orientations of a Mini Liquid Pump, a tile can be placed on T2 and a droplet left on T1, which will not be pumped, keeping the full 1kg/s hot liquid output. Shown in example (3)
  • A Waterfall can be dropped on T1, and broken just before it reaches T2 (by having an empty cell right of T1), allowing to get the full 10kg/s output out of a Liquid Pump. Shown in example (1)

To pump the hot liquid:

  • It can be pumped from P1 by ensuring the liquid doesn't get above that level. Shown in example (2) and (3)
  • A Liquid Blade can be used to have a liquid reach P2 but never exceed it, especially with a high viscosity liquid like Magma. Shown in example (1), which also allows dripping some of that into P1 for added safety.
  • A Waterfall can be dropped on P2.

Note that example (3) isn't cooled: the Mini Liquid Pump will eventually overheat from its own heat creation and will need to be repaired or replaced, dropping Plastic in the hot liquid pool and creating Sour Gas. The other 2 examples can be cooled by the liquid used to trick the pump as depicted by Wheezeworts on the examples.