Every once in a while, a game comes around that sucks you into its world and you just cannot let go. Dyson Sphere Program is one of those games.
You are Icarus, a delightfully docile droid, sometimes infuriatingly dim-witted in decision-making, but always endearing.
Dyson Sphere Program is a sort of low-key Age of Empires, but in space and without the need for reading Sun Tzu to help you strategise. If destruction and death is your thing, then this game is probably not for you, because Icarus can’t die.
There are other challenges that will effectively end your save file, but that’s a whole different article on its own.
While Dyson Sphere Program is still in early access on Steam (and at a bargain price as a result), the game is already edging towards cult status.
As is the case with many indie games released in beta or early access, a small team of developers mean players might have to figure things out on their own when it comes to navigating gameplay.
Much of that is part of the enjoyment of these games, of course, but you’ll have plenty of learning opportunities when you are flying around aimlessly in deep space because you forgot to pack backup fuel supplies for Icarus.
Dyson Sphere Program: Finding titanium when your planet has none
Part of the game, or erm, perhaps the point of it, is to make your way through space like a sort of benevolent colonial mech overlord, without the guilt of displacing communities but with all the destructive joy of sucking dry the resources in solar systems all through the universe.
These resources are required to research technologies and give Icarus some much-needed upgrades. The further you progress, the more resources you’ll need. And if you want to go fly around in space, you will need plenty.
But not all planets are plentiful with what Icarus needs. Space exploration and interstellar mining will become useful in the latter parts of the game, but in some cases, you might find yourself hamstrung by the lack of titanium before you’ve even had the joy of running out of fuel in deep space and sailing around aimlessly in some sort of weird metaphor for life.
Titanium is central to advancing through research in Dyson Sphere Program and you will need it to make the yellow cubes that help you up your game. But it is often non-existent on the first planet you find yourself on.
Before you go cantering through space in search of titanium in your first Dyson Sphere Program save, you might want to look a little bit closer to home.
In fact, if you are new to the game, take it from somebody who learned the hard way – it is well worth trying to find titanium long before Dyson Sphere Program research even requires it. Not only will a stockpile early on speed up the process later, but it can even save you some rigmarole of mining stone – which you’ll need for manufacturing building materials.
Granted, most players might be more inclined to read the instructions, but if you dismissed the notice that titanium can be pilfered from gravel at some point during the Dyson Sphere Program tutorial, do not fret. It is also worth noting that you can, of course, leave your home planet to source titanium, saving you the whole bashing up rocks business. But if you find the controls a bit finnicky for flight, you’ll have to dig in.
Dyson Sphere Program tips: How to mine titanium from rocks
This is a job that requires a bit of elbow grease from Icarus, that’s the bad news. The good news is you might find all sorts of other delights in the rocks along with the titanium ore.
To get Icarus cracking those potentially titanium filled rocks, simply right click on them. Careful not not click off onto something else before the job is done, though, or Icarus will go wandering off before finishing the assigned task.
Prepare to be disappointed and frustrated by the process quite often, especially early on in the game when you’re still figuring things out and deciding what should be your top priority. You’ll often find that you only get stone from, erm, well, the stones.
Because of the somewhat laborious process, it’s useful to queue up a sequence of rocks to be mined by holding down Shift and then right-clicking. It is also why it won’t hurt doing this early on in your game – the stone supply stack up quickly, making for a rather useful stockpile.
With a bit of luck and perseverance, Icarus will be rewarded with all sorts of delights from the stones, eventually. You can then smelt the titanium ore (or whichever other precious thing you find) into whatever form it is most useful in for whichever strategic direction you’re choosing to follow.