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Steam Core
Icon SteamCore

Steam Core is one of the Resources in Frostpunk. Certain buildings require a steam core to operate, usually required in buildings that must maintain temperature such as a Hothouse, or those that utilize heavy machinery such as Coal Mine, or Wall Drill. It is also the core component in the construction of Automatons.

Acquisition[ | ]

Steam Core is the only item in the game that the player cannot create (nor destroy, luckily), but must be found from scouting. Typically they are found by exploring nodes, but if you set up an Outpost in Tesla City in A New Home, you can receive 1 Steam Core per day. Cores are refunded whenever their building is deconstructed.

Destroyed Steam Core Transport[ | ]

In The Refugees, your starting crater has two Destroyed Steam Core Transports that can each be harvested for 2 Steam Cores.

Army Warehouse[ | ]

In On The Edge, you may retrieve unlimited Steam Cores from the Army Warehouse.

Sturdy Shelter[ | ]

In A New Home, the Sturdy Shelter node will give one Steam Core along with other supplies.

Use[ | ]

Steam Cores are always usable for two important primary purposes: the creation of Automatons and the building of advanced structures, including certain resource methods and the Infirmary and Factory. In some scenarios, certain events will also give you the choice of sacrificing a Steam Core in exchange for a powerful positive outcome or may be required by the scenario to progress.

Out of the four main resource types, Coal, Wood, Steel, and Raw Food, Steel is the only one that does not have a Steam Core building and never requires Steam Cores. The rest all have one line - the Coal Mine, Wall Drill, and Hothouses. There are however infinite alternatives for Coal and Food in Coal Thumpers and Hunters' Huts, but they do require more workforce to achieve the same resource rates as results. This does give the Hothouse an advantage at the start of a game before Hunting research takes effect; and the Steam Coal Mine is also one of the most efficient ways to produce Coal with strong upgrades. However, with the availability of alternatives and enough workers, Steam Core buildings may therefore not always be required. Wood is the only resource that truly needs a dedicated Steam Core to continue infinite production, although dead trees for use in the much cheaper Sawmill are usually quite plentiful. As constructing upgraded buildings also consumes a Steam Core, bear in mind that upgrades primarily delivers worker and space/slot efficiency, rather than increased production per core. If the goal is simply to use all Steam Cores, the player can often simply place more buildings rather than upgrading them until available spaces have been used, and save the technology time. The exception is the Steam Coal Mine, which becomes significantly more efficient as a "Level 2" upgrade.

Out of the main medical buildings, the Infirmary has a significant advantage over Medical Posts in terms of patient capacity and heal/cure speed, and can also natively cure Gravely Ill patients, even without Radical Treatment. However, there are alternatives. With Faith laws, the House of Healing may be used to heal the Gravely Ill and also has a large capacity. And if there are enough Engineers and space available or few citizens are getting sick due to cold, it is quite acceptable to just place more Posts instead.

The Factory is a stepping stone to producing more Automatons. The Steam Core required for the factory is essentially a down payment before other Steam Cores can be used, and also the factory's steam core can be retrieved by deconstruction, after as many Automatons have been produced as necessary. Producing automatons can be a tradeoff in steam cores against constructing or upgrading the other buildings - while more automatons will generally be more flexible, multiple automatons cannot take advantage of a limited amount of building slots. Additionally, automatons are less useful if the generator is shut down which can favor the use of other uses/buildings. Like other Steam Cores, automatons can be deconstructed as necessary for other uses as required, although the production time at the factory and a few normal resources are "wasted".

Lore[ | ]

According to in-game Lore, the Steam Core were invented by Professor Hawkins before the Great Frost. The invention of Steam Cores became a massive boon for the British Empire and the technology was adopted by other countries, such as the United States.

However, all knowledge regarding the manufacture of Steam Cores was lost during the Great Frost and in the ensuing chaos of civilizations' collapse. Most tragically was the loss of Professor Hawkins, who attempted to cross the Channel with his belongs, including all the blueprints and other documentation about Steam Cores, onboard an experimental Steam Core powered aeroplane. Only a Model of the Steam Core Prototype inside a waterproof chest was found afloat by a corvette searching for Professor Hawkins.

The few intact Steam Cores available to the residents of the Last Cities must be salvaged from buildings or derelicts dotting the Frostlands.

Notes[ | ]

  • Dismantling an automaton or a structure that uses Cores will give you all of them back; using one in construction is never a permanent decision!
  • In some scenarios it may be advantageous to conserve cores by using several Hunters Huts or Hangars in place of Hothouses.
  • Dismantling Hothouses and its upgraded counterparts for their steam cores may be useful during storm in A New Home.
  • Permanent ways to lose steam cores include story arks such as The Automaton Project (Arc), repairing the generator once it reaches a stress level of 100% or sending cores in shipments to New London (On The Edge).

Trivia[ | ]

A moving Steam Core may be visible from outside of some buildings.

Interestingly, Tesla City could manufacture their own Steam Cores.