- Always Leave An Outlet For Pipelines
- Add Expansion Upgrades Before Constructing A New Building
- Stockpile Batteries Early
- Export Sea Cucumbers
- Buy Resources You Haven't Unlocked Yet
- Rush The Medium Dome Technology
- Build More Houses Than You Need
- Overlap Coverage With Security Buildings
- Trade Companies Save A Ton Of Micromanaging
Aquatico lets you build a city at the bottom of the ocean, using sci-fi technology to gather resources and improve the lives of your citizens. As survival city-builders go, it's fairly forgiving, but like any other game there are strategies that you'll only learn by playing and experimenting.
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If you're laying the foundations for your underwater utopia for the first time, try keeping some of these tips in mind. They'll ensure that your colony gets off to a strong start, and help you to grow and expand. Soon enough, life under the sea will be better than it ever was on land!
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Always Leave An Outlet For Pipelines
Depending on which map you're playing, space can quickly get tight as you place more buildings. This is especially true if you're trying to conserve important ground types like oil-rich terrain for the future. While it's a good idea to cluster buildings together as tightly as possible, you need to always make sure there's at least one tile of clearance for new pipelines.
This doesn't mean that all of your buildings need to be one tile apart; rather, you should have an outlet every two to four buildings. There's nothing worse in Aquatico than placing a new set of buildings only to realize there's no way to connect them to the existing pipeline network! Leaving space as you build eliminates this problem.
Add Expansion Upgrades Before Constructing A New Building
Most buildings that produce goods have room for an Expansion Upgrade. This gives the building an additional worker slot, letting another citizen or drone contribute to the building's output. Adding an Expansion Upgrade effectively doubles both the upkeep and output of the building!
Expansion Upgrades are cheaper and more efficient than constructing a new building. If you need to increase production of a key good, whether it's basic plastic or a luxury item, check for any available Expansion Upgrades before committing to a new construction.
Stockpile Batteries Early
At first, batteries are used primarily to power your colony's drones. Each drone consumes batteries as it operates, and if none are available your robotic workforce will begin to shut down. Building a Battery Factory early alleviates this problem, but that's only half the story when it comes to batteries.
Once you've built an Expedition House, you'll be able to send crewed submarines to explore the ocean floor around your city. The subs are powered by the same batteries as your drones, and an active expedition requires hundreds of them.
By fully expanding your initial Battery Factory near the start of the game, you can stockpile batteries for your eventual expeditions, letting you go in search of rare resources and new citizens with ease.
Export Sea Cucumbers
Sea Cucumbers are an early crop that you can grow in your Underwater Fields. They're fast-growing and plentiful, and your Gatherer Drones can supplement your stockpile with any specimens they find in the wild.
The hidden advantage of Sea Cucumbers is that their market price is higher than you'd expect for a tier-one good. You can bring in a lot of extra credits early in the game by exporting surplus Sea Cucumbers to other colonies once you've built a Trade Hub.
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Buy Resources You Haven't Unlocked Yet
Tech progression can be slow in Aquatico, as there are several bottlenecks along the research tree. Thankfully, you're not the only New Atlantis colony in the ocean, and your city's Trade Hub lets you import anything you need from more-established settlements.
Don't be afraid to shell out credits for anything you happen to need. For example, if an upgrade requires Electronics, but you haven't yet unlocked the ability to produce them, go ahead and import them to streamline your city. Importing diverse food sources and consumer goods is also a great way to keep your people happy or deal with shortages.
Rush The Medium Dome Technology
Your people require Domes to hold their housing and businesses. The starting Dome is small, cramped, and inefficient, but can hold enough people for the early game given Aquatico's slow population growth rate. You should only build one Small Dome, then rush to unlock the Medium Dome as quickly as possible.
Medium Domes have four times the space of a Small Dome, and it's more efficiently laid-out since there isn't an obstruction in the middle. Once you've unlocked the Medium Dome, the Small Dome is a waste of space and resources. If you're feeling especially ambitious, you could even demolish the original Small Dome and move everyone into the larger quarters!
Build More Houses Than You Need
By building a lot of houses at once, you save yourself time in the future by not having to build a new house for every new batch of colonists that arrive. Houses don't have any upkeep costs unless they're occupied, so there's no downside to prepping a large residential area before you have the population to fill it.
Overlap Coverage With Security Buildings
As your city grows, it will come under attack by undersea dangers like sharks and pirates. Security buildings like Guardhouses drive off these threats, but they often end up mitigating damage rather than preventing it.
A single Guardhouse won't be enough to drive off a group of sharks before they manage to destroy a drone or eat a diver. You should make sure that your security buildings overlap their coverage with other buildings of the same type. This will increase the overall damage dealt to enemies, raising the likelihood of killing them or driving them off before they can attack one of your workers.
Always maximize your security buildings' Radius Upgrades to ensure the widest possible coverage and protection.
Trade Companies Save A Ton Of Micromanaging
Building a Trade Company allows you to set a target inventory for goods. The traders will then buy and sell those resources on the market to maintain the desired inventory level. Best of all, they do so independently of the manual Trade Hub, so you can still make deals of your own while the merchants do their job.
The Trade Company still has a cooldown between deals, so it can help to research the Lucky Trader Combo, which speeds up the Trade Company if there is a Shrine nearby. It's not perfect, but having a fully-upgraded and active Trade Company will save you a lot of extra work over the course of the game.