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Surveying Expansion — Quick Start Guide

How to discover material deposits and prepare your NFTs for resource generation in our next expansion!

Surveying Expansion — Quick Start Guide

Surveying allows planet owners to identify the nature and quantity of materials on their planets. In order to extract materials from a planet (in the following expansion), you must know what material your deposit contains, and you must have at least some portion of it prepared in order for your extraction facilities to be able to extract them.

There are two steps to surveying:

  1. Discovery — identify which material (and how much of it) occupies a deposit slot on your planet
  2. Preparation — lay the groundwork for extraction

Probes can be built in Workshops that can be placed into planetary upgrade slots. In order to build workshops and probes, you must first research new skills to unlock them.

Naturally, probes aren’t built out of thin air. Players can now meet Mercantile Ships along their travels who, for a fair price in Credits, are willing to help you out with crafting components (and more).

Mercantile Ships and their stock are scarce and there is a lot of research to do — whether you’re a planet holder or just a spacefarer, this expansion will have something for you. Adjust your economy and routes to this new equilibrium. Trade in probes and components and make sure you and your guildmates are ready for the next crafting expansion!

Mercantile Ships

Mercantile ships come in multiple sizes and can be found in any sector of the game.

Large Mercantile Ship

If you come across one, make sure to check out their stock and buy what you can, Merchant Lords are struggling to keep up with demand!

Large Mercantile Ship component stock

There are currently 12 different types of components they peddle in, all of which are used in crafting components, but Mercantile Ships are rumored to occasionally also have…other…things for sale. Once a Mercantile Ship’s stock is fully exhausted, it will disappear from the hex it occupied.


Planets have layers. Layers have deposits. Deposits have materials. It is yet unknown how deep the rabbit hole goes, but for now, you can discover deposits on the first and second layer, and prepare deposits on the first layer.

Open up your planet from the Overview tab:

Material Deposits

Click on the ‘+’ next to a deposit you would like to discover. A dialogue box will appear that tells you which probe you need for it:

So an ‘S-DL1 Discovery Probe’ is required to discover a small deposit on the first layer of a planet. Layer 1 discovery probes can be built in the L1 Discovery Probe Workshop which can be built into any basic or universal upgrade slot, but will require certain research to be complete before it can be built:

Building a Workshop
Discovery Probe Workshops

You can find all the new researchable technologies in the ‘Surveying’ section of the Research tab:

Researching Surveying

The first level of Probe Manufacturing Standards will unlock the ability to build the workshop, every following level will unlock the ability to craft one of the three different L1 Discovery probes (starting with small and finishing with large).

Once you’ve completed some research and built a workshop, you can open up the crafting menu by first clicking on the workshop in your planet overview, and then clicking ‘Craft’:

Crafting Probes

Each probe requires a selection of crafting components. You can find out which ones you need by hovering over them:

Probe Components

Now you’re off into space! You can find mercantile ships, both large and small in any sector. They are selling their stock for credits, so make sure to stock up! The more entrepreneurial of you may already have posted some components on the Marketplace, so be sure to check them out there as well.

Once you’ve collected all the necessary components (and done the research) for the probe you want to build, just click ‘Build’ and the workshop will get busy with it. Once the crafting process is complete, you can claim the probe from your ‘Overview’ tab:

Claiming completed items

Once you’ve collected the probe, head back to the planet and deposit you want to identify and click on the ‘+’ next to it:

Material Deposits

Click ‘Launch Discovery Probe’:

Launching Discovery Probes
Launching Discovery Probes

And your deposit is identified, sweet! The next thing you might want to do is start preparing that deposit to make sure you’re ready to extract it in the next crafting expansion.


Already identified material deposits must be prepared with preparation probes. This sets the foundation for material extraction. Preparing a deposit is a multi-step process and requires several preparation probes. Smaller deposits require less, larger deposits require more probes. You don’t need a deposit to be fully prepared in order to begin extraction, but you can only extract a deposit up to the point you have prepared.

In order to find out which preparation probe your deposit requires, click on that deposit from your planet detail view.

Preparing Materials
Preparing Materials

OK, so in order to prepare a deposit of Hypoatomic Substances, you’ll need an ‘MH-PL1 Probe’. Preparation probes can be built in one of 8 preparation probe workshops, you can refer to the following table to find the workshop you need:

Preparation Probes & Workshops

10 Workshops, 12 components, 22 probes, 24 materials — it’s a lot to keep track of. Fortunately, to some degree their names are standardized:

You will also find that the preparation probe workshops are named after the rarity of the materials they focus on:

  • A — Abundant
  • C — Common
  • U — Uncommon
  • R — Rare

Coming back to our particular case, we can see that the MH-PL1 Probe is able to prepare deposits of two types of materials — Metamagnetic Ore and Hypoatomic Substances. It can be built in the Category-U2 Probe Workshop, which itself must be built on either a Basic or Universal slot, but in order to build the MH-PL1 Probe, the planet on which you build the workshop must also contain Polywater or Forgium.

Indeed, various materials require various probes and workshops, each with their individual infrastructure, research and possible special resource requirements. Many will find that specialization and trade with other players are keys to prosperity.

Once you’ve acquired your preparation probe, either through crafting or trade, you can head back to the deposit and send the probe off to its duty by clicking ‘Prepare Materials’:

Preparing Materials
Preparing Materials

Congratulations! 20% of this deposit’s materials are now ready for extraction once the next expansion goes live!



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Project Nebula

Project Nebula

A blockchain based game of interstellar exploration. Discover and own unique planets, artifacts, digital art, stories and more in an ever-expanding universe!