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Oxygen Not Included is a Space-Management Game by Klei Entertainment (of Don't Starve fame), which can be described as Dwarf Fortress meets Don't Starve IN SPACE! The player indirectly controls a crew of duplicants awakened deep in a procedurally generated world. From there, it is up to you to ensure their survival. To do this, you have to provide them with basic necessities, including oxygen, climb up the Tech Tree, and try and deal with all sorts of problems.

Currently, the game is available as an Early Access title, and is in active development.


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This game provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Laboratory: you can find these in the world as of Outbreak update, complete with Brain in a Jar.
  • Almost Out of Oxygen:
    • Can happen to the duplicants who got themselves trapped in hostile environment... or to your entire base if your oxygen production isn't up for the task.
    • The 'Cosmic Upgrade' update allows duplicants to mine to the outside of the asteroid; directly into the harsh vacuum of space. Naturally, if you don't prepare for it with a well set up airlock system, expect whatever oxygen you have in your base to dwindle extremely quick.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Can happen easily if the player doesn't think their designs through.
    • Surprisingly, a ventilation network is an example. Sure, it gives you a lot more freedom in placing the life support machinery and keeping it cool. Also, watching it work can be fascinating. The problem is that it requires five times more energy to operate than a simple Electrolyzer sitting in the basement.
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    • A large amount of duplicants can certainly make expanding and completing tasks easier in the early game... However, too many duplicants can also quickly cause a colony to go under due to not having enough oxygen/food/resources to support that number of duplicants.
    • Having a system of heavy wires strung throughout the base makes it so you never have to worry about wire overload and can have everything connected to a single wire network for easy maintenance... However, heavy wire absolutely tanks overall decor and, in the process, raise stress levels extremely quickly. This means, in the long run, it's better to set up multiple wire networks through transformers to keep decor levels high and stress levels down.
    • Refrigerators. They seem like the go-to for storing foods but, in truth, they're nothing but a power leech. There are many other ways to store food without it rotting or using energy, with the simplest being making a room full of ration boxes filled with CO2, of which the duplicants naturally produce.
  • Big Eater: One of the possible character traits is called "Bottomless Stomach". These guys always eat much more than the rest. Binge Eaters do it only when stressed, but boy, do they stuff themselves...
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Mealwood plant seeds are capable of locomotion, and are called "meal lice".
  • Boring, but Practical: Several items are unlocked early, but will still serve you through the game.
    • Manual Generator always remains useful, since it's a cheap renewable source of energy. Also, it gives your duplicants something to do in their spare time.
    • Algae Terrarium absorbs CO2 and produces some oxygen, while having moderate material consumption rates. Very useful both for early game expansion and mid-game exploration by creating oxygenated checkpoints for your miners. Later patches downplayed the practical value of them a bit, by increasing the material consumption rates and producing bottles of polluted water as a byproduct, making their utility more situational than before.
    • Air Purifiers, which convert polluted oxygen into clean oxygen. They only take up a single tile and have to be hand loaded with sand as a consumable resource. Fortunately sand is plentiful and easy to make more of, they are only actively consuming it when exposed to polluted oxygen, and they produce raw clay as a byproduct which can be further refined into mid-grade slow-heating construction material. A couple of these can keep bathrooms and sewage cisterns sanitary, and putting a few in an open area of a swamp biome will quickly remove most of their dangers.
    • Massage Table can quickly reduce Stress on a single duplicant, which complements the more gradual and over time effect of high Decor nicely.
    • Decor items themselves. They only require tier 2 research, yet you will end up plastering your base with paintings anyway.
    • Mesh tiles, which are walkable and allow building on top of them, yet allow gas and liquid to pass through. Combined with oxygen generating and carbon-dioxide consuming buildings at lower levels of the colony, they allow oxygen to easily rise to where it is consumed while letting carbon-dioxide fall down to where it is scrubbed from the environment, and it does so without a complicated atmospheric ventilation system. Later updates nerfed their usefulness, giving them a heavy minus decor penalty which increases duplicate stress, although they can still be useful if used sparingly.
    • The automation update has introduced many different ways to make an airlock to keep polluted oxygen/other nasty gasses out while keeping breathable oxygen in, using various sensors and ventilation systems... However, the most effective way to make a compact airlock is to make a simple 'water trench'note  the duplicates can run through, which not only ensures no toxic gasses are getting in but also washes some of the germs off the duplicates as they run through.
    • Coal Generators are probably the easiest to maintain for a large part of the game. Not only is coal a semi-renewable resource thanks to Hatches, the downsides of Coal Generators are easily mitigated with some insulated tiles and a deoxidizer.
      • As a corollary to this, ranching Hatches. They are common in the starting biome, reproduce easily, eat literally almost anything, and excrete coal. The are perfect for starting an early-game ranch and if kept up will keep the generators and kiln provided with a steady supply of fuel as well as a regular source of meat to supplement farming.
    • The quickest way to deal with water troubles is to find a steam geyser, set up an insulated pump system to a room made out of insulated tiles and set up a water pump there. Steam geysers are one of the very few places to find a completely clean, renewable water source, with the tradeoff being that the water is near-scalding hot. Insulated tiles and pump systems negate this problem by keeping the heat they generate to that specific room, and the bottled water the pumps generate doesn't heat up the colony much. If done right, you never have to worry about cooling the water.
    • Wheezeworts are by far the best way to cool down your home base as they require next to no maintenance and slowly cool down the area they're planted in. Set one up in your ventilation rooms and you'll never have to worry about cooling the base down again.
    • Having a colony consisting of only six duplicates. Sure, when the base starts getting bigger it'll make task take longer than it would with a large amount of dups but six duplicates is widely regarded as the easiest number to manage, as they don't take a lot of resources out of the environment and managing their stress/health is incredibly simple, ontop of there being far fewer things that can go horribly wrong compared to having a lot of dups in play.
    • Mealwood is by far the easiest food/plant to maintain, with large farms of it easily being able to carry you throughout the entire game. Even though it's a low-tier food item, it's still high enough that duplicants won't get too stressed from having to eat it, unlike mushbars. Combining the meal lice with heat and water in the Microbe Musher turns them into Liceloaf, which has higher calories and is, at worst, inoffensively bland in its food quality.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Breeding Crystal Shinebugs is quite the process, requiring you to go through several different 'tiers' of Shinebugs, all of which require specific, difficult to obtain food items in order to have a chance at them laying the next 'tier' of Shinebug. Ultimately, there's no real point to it unlike other creature breeding, as all Crystal Shinebugs do is add an insane amount of decor where they fly around; a benefit that's moot by the time you would have unlocked them due to most savvy players hanging paintings everywhere anyways. The only practical use for them is for Shinebug powered solar panels; which, again, most players will already have other efficient power source setup by then.
  • Cloning Blues: Averted. Your colonists will even receive a stress-reducing mood-let every time another Dupe is printed.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: It's possible for a duplicant to generate that way - he may be an expert chef, yet inept at other crucial activities.
  • Continuity Creep: Originally, there was no real plot to the game. You wake up on an asteroid and have to keep your duplicants alive. As more and more updates were added though, the game gradually got lore entries after examining certain things and gives hints as to why the duplicants are on the asteroid in the first place, with the ultimate end goal apparently being trying to make it to the planet protected by a force field.
  • Continuous Decompression: Averted. Gases will leak gradually over time if there is a pressure differential, but it won't cause any noticeable wind. However, it might still end up being deadly if oxygen pressure drops far enough to become unbreathable. Same thing happens when you dig out the stone, thus limiting the ability to rapidly expand your base.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Completely averted as of the early Thermal Update. Objects have certain heat capacities, freeze points, liquefaction points, boiling points, thermal flux rates, and specific heat, and every tile interacts with every adjacent tile in this system, allowing heat to transfer between objects, with some tiles radiating and absorbing heat faster than others. Managing this heat system becomes a major mid-game hurdle to overcome (for example radiant piping or ducts can be used to pump cooled fluid around hot areas to absorb and carry away heat from the air they pass through.) Duplicants in fact will refuse to go into, for example, an area filled with boiling fluid that would quickly kill them, but they might still take damage from any scalding gas in the vicinity of that fluid which might be absorbing it's heat.
  • Cool Starship: With the Rocketry update, the dupes can build one that they can use to investigate nearby planets/asteroids and bring back resources from them.
  • Decontamination Chamber: A wise player will build one in any situation where duplicants must return from germ-heavy areas, such as a swamp biome. Generally this requires a wash basin, sink, or hand-sanitizer dispenser in a room with airlock doors on either side that a duplicant must pass through. Air purifiers can be added for extra measure.
  • Deep-Fried Whatever: The Mush Fry is a deep-fried version of the basic Mush Bar food item, making it marginally tastier and drastically less likely to cause diarrhea.
  • Developers' Foresight: The dev team is really good at replicating even the tinest detail about real life into the game. Even simple stuff like the fact that heat rises doesn't get glossed over; if you build heat generating things in the lower part of your base, even if you insulate it, you can expect temperatures to start rising in your base quickly. If you build it already high up, though, your bases temperature will only rise slowly and usually only around that part of the base.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • Traversing the swamp biome is by far one of the hardest things to do in the game; until you get the Exo-suits, you risk the entire colony getting infected with slimelung, which can kill them quickly if not dealt with ASAP. That said, it is possible to do without Exo-suits if you take things slow by not letting the duplicates spend too much time in them and chip away little by little, use a lot of deoderizers to keep the air clean and make sure to block off any exposed slime tiles in your passageways. By doing this, you can completely negate early game water problems, since the swamp biome has by far the highest amounts of random water pockets.note 
    • Setting up a ventilation system in the cold biome negates all worries about overheating temperatures in your base. Difficult because ice biomes are usually far away from home base and duplicates risk getting hypothermia while they're in there; awesome because not only does it give you a steady supply of oxygen, it also works as an air conditioner.
    • Chlorine: it is a heavy gas found in caustic biomes that is completely unbreathable. However, it is also lethal to germs, so anything placed in a chlorine environment is quickly disinfected. A chlorine-filled storage room is ideal for storing things like slime as slimelung will be unable to reproduce in the storage compactors. This also applies to the rot that makes food go bad over time, so a chlorine-filled room with ration boxes will allow massive quantities of food to be stockpiled without spoilage.
    • Pufts are by far the hardest critters to keep in the game; they naturally produce slime, which spreads slimelung incredibly fast. However, by breeding them you can eventually end up with a Dense Puft; a specific type of Puft that naturally produces Oxylite; a specific kind of resource that naturally outputs oxygen. Getting a large amount of Dense Pufts can easily help deal with oxygen problems in the base and ease up on other resources like algae and water.
    • Sleet Wheat farming. The wheat itself is only found naturally in cold biomes, requiring the Dupes to traverse into there, most of its cultivatable temperature range is below freezing, it's best irrigated with liquid clean water which necessarily needs to be above freezing, it takes a lot of cycles to fully grow, and it's harvested produce is also its own seed so if all of its output is accidentally consumed the farm goes fallow. However, it can be cooked into Frost Buns on its own, and when combined with many other crops it produces some really high-quality and calorie-dense food.
    • Ranching Glossy Drekkos. A Glossy Drekko has a chance to be born to regular Drekkos when they feed on Meal Wood. Note this is not the Meal Lice which are harvested from Meal Wood, they eat the whole plant, so they need grazing access to planters or farm tiles, not just eating from a feeder. Complicating this is that Drekko's only grow hides that can be shorn if they spend most of their time in a hydrogen gas environment and hydrogen is one of the gasses that Meal Wood can't grow in. However, if a player can find a clever way to allow Drekkos to spend most of their time in hydrogen while still having access to growing Meal Wood (perhaps by carefully exploiting the weight differences between gasses) they will have a steady supply of plastics without the heat output and energy requirements normally used in an elaborate oil refinement production chain.
    • Rocketry is by far the most resource intensive 'side quest' in the game. Not only does it require taking control of the outer layer of the asteroid, a hard task in its own because the amount of steel needed, the player also needs a specific research station that needs to be placed outside the asteroid, a large amount of steel (again) to build the rocket, a lot of petroleum (from refining oil) or liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen (made with lots of electrolysis and an extreme cooling system) for fuel, and it needs to be set up in a way that A: doesn't end up boiling the base upon take off or B: kills any creature you bring back from other planets by either being exposed to the vacuum of space or boiling them alive. Astronaut dupes also have the highest moral requirements out of any of the jobs that can be assigned to duplicants. This is all, however, very much worth it, as getting a spaceship setup gives the player access to infinite resources. Infinite wheezeworts? Infinite refined metals? Infinite hatches? Infinite more exotic materials that don't occur on your asteroid? The list goes on...
  • Disaster Dominoes:
    • Likely to happen, given how many factors you need to keep in mind for your base to function properly.
    • Duplicants with Ugly Crier or Vomiter traits hold particularly great potential for this, since after being stressed out they become a source of stress for everyone in vicinity.
  • Dump Stat: Downplayed. As of right now, since the game is still in beta and more new stuff continues to be added but, in any case, once you've completely researched the Tech Tree, you're good to switch your scientist to another job, since there's no real point in having one around. You can also deconstruct your research machines to save on energy/lower ambient temperatures they generate. Again, downplayed since more stuff keeps being added to the tech tree with each update but it's simple enough to rebuild them once that happens.
  • Early Game Hell: The early to mid-game is often regarded as the hardest parts of the game. There are a lot of things that need to be set up to maintain livability and certain research trees needs to be rushed since lack of it severely limits your ability to maintain your colony. This is not an easy task as, on top of all this, one must maintain a low-stress level amongst the duplicants by allowing them to have break times and keeping decor in the base at a high level, lest they break down and cause the space age equivalent of a Tantrum Spiral. Because of this, many players will attest that the late game is by far the easiest part of maintaining a colony.
  • Eat Dirt, Cheap: The humble mush bar, who's only material ingredients are water and dirt. Presumably the Microbe-Musher that produces them treats them in such a way to increase their nutritional value above baseline dirt, but they are still pretty poor sources of calories, taste disgusting, and give duplicants the runs.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: You certainly can build one. Supporting it is another problem entirely.
  • Endless Game: In the beta builds, there's no real 'end goal' to building a colony outside of making it self-sufficient, and even that is more a Self-Imposed Challenge than anything else. There seem to be hints that there will be an ultimate 'end game' to the Colony in the future, with several update hinting more and more to a proper storyline coming down the line.
  • Explosive Breeder: All the creatures of the asteroid can become this once you get a proper ranching/egg incubation area up. Special mention goes to Shinebugs though. Although balanced out by the fact that they're usually short-lived, it's extremely easy to turn a group of three into 20+ in the span of a few cycles.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Hatches eat literally any solid materials they can find laying around (except coal) and poop out usable coal... somehow.
  • The Famine: A frequent cause of colony collapse. Too many Duplicants with too few food sources can mean a lack of food, creeping atmosphere or temperature changes can cause crop failures, and food can rot to inedibility over time if care is not put into storage. All of these can force the colony to resort to mush bars and frantic digging for muckroots, and even those are not guaranteed to provide enough food.
  • Fantastic Fruits and Vegetables: Literally every growable crop in the game.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Ranchers can tame all the various critters that inhabit the asteroid and all dupes apparently find all the critters adorable, since they all add a positive decor effect while in their presence. For Shinebugs and Dreckos it makes sense since the former is a flying glowing lightbulb with Black Bead Eyes and the latter is a fluffy sloth-like creature. However, this also includes Hatches, Pufts and Morbs. Keep in mind, the latter two constantly output sources that contain Slimelung and the last one can spawn from uncleaned outhouses andnote  dead dupe bodies.
  • Gameplay Automation: Added with the aptly-titled Automation Update. Various signaling wires and logic gates can be constructed, as well as many different kinds of sensors which can trigger signals when player-selected thresholds are reached. While an extremely complicated system is possible, small and simple logic systems are extremely useful to manage colony systems as they grow more complicated. Some examples:
    • Using logic gates to create an elaborate airlock that keeps gasses on either side from mixing and prevents duplicants accidentally letting anything through (though this is somewhat Awesome, but Impractical compared to other methods.)
    • Using thermometers to activate and deactivate heating or cooling systems to ensure the base remains within a comfortable temperature. This is especially useful if the colony is growing multiple kinds of crops close together and they all require different environmental conditions to grow.
    • Turning on and off power systems to save on fuel and reduce stress on wiring, charging batteries when they are low and letting the generators idle when they are high. It also helps to make energy consumption more efficient, disabling and enabling energy-consuming buildings only when they would be useful (for example, only activating a gas pump when the gas near it contains a certain element and is within a certain pressure.)
  • Guide Dang It!: Due to being an alpha, the game has some shades of this. Building material system is one of the worst offenders.
  • Going Critical: To an extent - overheated machinery, overloaded wires and overpressurized pipes will break - in latter case, spilling their content everywhere.
  • Hammerspace: Averted in regard to materials duplicants are carrying, but played straight with their tools.
  • Hamster-Wheel Power: Your earliest way to generate power. Boring, but Practical, so expect to use it for a long long while.
  • Head Desk: Duplicants with the "Destructive" stress response will, upon reaching maximum endurable stress, proceed to a solid tile or building and repeatedly slam their fists and head into the thing until either their stress lets up, or it is broken.
  • Helpful Mook: Hatches may not seem like this at first given their tendency to eat resources left out no matter what it is and giving a duplicant a Jump Scare when they accidentally mine one out but the fact that they're not actively hostile to duplicants and make for easy way to get a renewable source of coal makes them a great pet to have around the colony; doubly so if you can lock one in the bathroom/room where a water filtration system for the bathroom is, as their Extreme Omnivore ways makes for a great way of getting rid of 'polluted dirt'.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: A preferred starting crew should have at least one. Since you start with only three dupes, they will have to do everything. However, you might want to keep a dupe with high Creativity or Learning stats...
  • Jet Pack: The Space Industry update added them, allowing duplicants to more easily work out in space/mine large areas of the asteroid without having to create 'ladder bridges' the duplicants to jump across gaps/reach their intended task.
  • Locked in a Freezer: Can happen to your base if, in your attempts to prevent the the polar opposite of this trope from happening, you end up over doing it and cause temperatures in your base to start falling drastically.
  • Magic Tool: Your duplicants use these for pretty much everything, from digging to painting pictures.
  • Masochist's Meal: Some starting foods count as these, as your duplicants have varying standards when it comes to food quality. They will eat lower quality food, but they won't be happy about it. The easiest food to make, the Mush Bar, is also the worst, since it's literally a lump of heavily-processed mud.
  • Min-Maxing: You have an opportunity to do this during initial crew selection - or, rather, to reroll the characters until you have a decent set of stats on them. Some flaws are easier to counter than the rest - say, Scaredy-Cat (can't fight), Yokel (can't research) or Gastrophobia (can't cook). You need to be careful, however, or you might find yourself with a crew where no one can perform a particular needed task...
  • Morale Mechanic: Duplicants have expectations for morale that scale with their jobs in the colony and with their experience, with more advanced jobs having higher requirements. Generally this can be kept up by having lots of decor around, having comfortable sleeping accommodations, eating good food, and socializing with their fellow Dupes. If their morale requirements are not being met, those Dupes stress level will slowly rise, eventually hitting their breaking point unless they can find an outlet to de-stress (fortunately a Massage Table works well for this.)
  • Necessary Drawback: Duplicants themselves, as seen in the Min-Maxing entry above. Each of them has at least one negative trait, with certain traits being significantly more annoying than the others. And if they have really good starting stats, or two positive traits, expect them to have very high Decor expectations, meaning they will stress out easily.
  • No Biochemical Barriers: Your crew can eat some alien plants and animals. There are no examples of inverse being true... yet.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted. Dealing with refuse in a way that doesn't leave you with even more refuse is a significant part of the game's challenge.
  • No Conservation of Energy/Mass: Mostly averted. There are bugs that lead to a loss of mass (fan-dubbed 'black holes'), but they are being patched out.
    • Whatever temperature your building materials were will transfer over to the building.
    • While magma makes for a great source of free heat, it's not infinite. If you splash enough water on it, sooner or later it WILL run out and crystallize into igneous rock. Same with the ice biomes - they will eventually melt if you keep dumping heat in.
    • Lavatories and Air Scrubbers (used to remove CO2) produce more polluted water than they consume clean water, due to added mass. Surprisingly, Water Purifier doesn't seem to return the clean water to its initial mass. It causes problems for the players who attempt to create a simple closed circuit system without water reservoirs - the pressure buildup will lead to pipes eventually bursting.
    • Liquid that's been mopped up used to disappear, but as of Outbreak update it's bottled up instead.
    • Played straight with the Anti-Entropy Thermo-Nullifier ruin added in the Automation upgrade. It uses a measly 10g/s of Hydrogen to chill everything near it to potentially -175 degrees.
    • Also played straight with Wheezewort plants, which cool the air around them.
    • As of the Cosmic Update, any gas or liquid exposed to space is instantly destroyed, taking any heat it contained with it. Ostensibly it is just evaporated and vented into deep space, but in game mechanics it is effectively gone, outside the context of the closed system of the asteroid.
  • Not the Intended Use: Solar panels are designed to be a free and easy source of renewable power for the base; the catch being the player has to go through hoops to set up a meteor storm detection system in order to protect them from damage. However, broken solar panels can't actually be destroyed by meteors and they also allow light to pass through them. This, ironically, makes them great for protecting functioning solar panels from meteor showers.
    • Naphtha has an extremely high viscosity, and as a result it made for an ideal "liquid airlock", by dripping it down it could form a much more compact version than the more common water lock. Cementing that it's use in this way was "not intended", this application of naphtha was eventually patched out in the Tublar Upgrade. The Space Industry Upgrade eventually introduced Visco-Gel, which has much the same "stacking" property as the older version of naphtha, but with several more hoops to jump through before the player can utilize it, making this something of an Ascended Glitch.
  • No Sense of Mass: The basic cot is made from 100 kilos of raw metal. A simple screen door is made from 100 kilos of metal ore, and the placebo pill is made from 100 kilos of water, and 100 kilos of sand. Gotta figure it 'cures' their disease because "I'd rather force myself to get better than have to try and swallow that. " Three feet of wire (Assuming dupes are around 6 feet / two tiles tall) requires 25 kilos of metal... but the wire can carry a kilowatt and run all the way across the asteroid with no loss, assuming it isn't overloaded and broken.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: Athletics is this, to an extent. Since duplicants show no tendency of prioritizing the nearest jobs, they end up travelling back and forth through the base. Being able to run faster alleviates the issue somewhat.
    • Alternatively, it's Learning, since it determines how quickly the duplicants level their skills.
  • Oxygen Meter: Comes in two flavors: the oxygen overlay that shows you which parts of the map have breathable air, and the individual 'holding breath' meter that appears near duplicants.
  • Percussive Maintenance: The Rock Granulator runs on electrical power and operates by closing some large metal jaws over the material to be granulated once for every time a Big Red Button on the side is pushed, requiring several pushes to properly break down anything. Naturally, Dupes put their dukes up and rapidly slam the button with the knuckles of their fists like it was a speed bag.
  • Percussive Therapy: One possible way duplicants can react to high levels of stress is by breaking things. Including ones their survival is depending on.
  • Placebo Effect: Used by the Placebo Pills in the Apothecary.
  • Potty Emergency: Mush bars, in addition to being disgusting, also cause diarrhea. Unfortunately, because they are so bad, they are usually an edible of last resort for a colony with nothing else to eat, which means that everyone is usually eating them if anyone is. Since diarrhea causes duplicants to need to use the restroom more frequently, expect to see long lines of desperate duplicants waiting to use the colony's lavatory which is full of other duplicants doing their unfortunate business, and pray none of them have a Potty Failure.
  • Potty Failure: Expect to be dealing with these any time your sanitary facilities aren't functioning.
  • Pressure Plate: An option for automation, sending a signal when Dupes (or any other object) put pressure on it.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Slicksters are this both in and out of universe. A notable variant is long haired Slicksters; they offer no physical benefit like oil and petroleum Slicksters and consume a hefty amount of oxygen, making keeping them in the main base risky. However, to make up for this, they have a very high decor increase for nearby Duplicants.
  • Sanity Meter: Stress stat is effectively this. Depending on their stress response, overly stressed duplicants will do things like vomit, break down crying, or start breaking things. Can be decreased with improving Decor, better accomodations, or good old massage session.
  • Sauna of Death: A very real possibility that can happen to your base. When you start out it's fine but as you add in machines, wires, batteries, outside sources of water such as steam geysers and purified swamp water, temperatures in your base will start rising fast. Figuring out a way to regulate the temperatures in your base is usually a major mid-game hurdle most players have to overcome.
  • Schizo Tech: To an extent. Your duplicants know how to build a supercomputer working on water, but making a compost heap requires research.
  • Some Kind of Force Field: The Space Industry Upgrade short reveals that the planet seen in the background of the space biome has one. Why hasn't been explained yet.
  • Space Is Cold: Played strait, but realistically so. Vacuum is almost inevitably shown as being as cold as possible in the temperature overlay, but only because there is literally nothing there to contain heat. As soon as there is any fluid which might fill that space, it just becomes the temperature of the fluid. The vacuum itself cannot conduct heat through it, and becomes a near-perfect insulator. The actual exterior of the asteroid likewise is a continuous vacuum, so the only heat which escapes that way is when atmosphere or liquid is vaporized and takes it's heat with it.
  • Speaking Simlish: As of the Expressive Update, Duplicants will have a chit-chat with their fellows while working next to each other or while on a break, complete with Pictorial Speech Bubbles showing what subject they are discussing and how they feel about it.
  • Stock Parodies: One way to reduce duplicant Stress is with art. A duplicant with high Creativity can create "Masterpieces" that resemble Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, Edvard Munch's The Scream, Auguste Rodin's The Thinker, and Frida Kahlo's self-portraits.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: Introduced in the Expressive Update. Abandoned Laboratory and abandoned office spaces have desks which contain clues to the duplicants' origin.
  • Tech Tree: Present. Since earlier tech can support your crew for only so long, ignore it at your own peril.
  • Too Dumb to Live: It's annoyingly common for duplicants to dig or build themselves into a situation they can't get out of without help, which can turn lethal if they're in an unbreathable environment.
  • Too Many Cooks Spoil the Soup: A colony can go under simply from having way more duplicants than it can support. Sure, they can make certain tasks go by quicker in the short run but more duplicants means more oxygen being used, more food being consumed and more duplicants desperately in need of the bathroom, which leads into further tasks that need dealing with which can quickly end up spiraling out of control. This is part of the reason why it's considered a valid tactic to hold off on making more duplicants instead of creating a new one as soon as they're avaliable.
  • Totem Pole Trench: Mentioned in the description of the duplicant trait 'Bottomless Stomach'.
    "This duplicant might actually be several black holes in a trench coat."
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: In the words of the game that this one takes the most influence from; 'losing is fun'. Even if you read everything about the game and learn what to do beforehand, expect a lot of colony deaths before you finally manage to get one that lasts past fifty cycles. Learning how to set up everything to keep duplicate stress down, how to effectively traverse more dangerous biomes, how to handle rising temperatures, keep a steady stream of food and water... It's all a process that has to be learned firsthand.
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay:
    • Putting materials like slime or ice into storage doesn't make them safe - ice can melt, and slime can still release toxic gas.
    • The Germs mechanic introduced in the Outbreak update means you can no longer ignore basic sanitation for your Dupes. Letting Dupes run around slime and fungus filled caves will get them a lethal respiratory disease and simply not making them wash their hands after using the bathroom will result in mass-food poisoning.
    • Most machines give off heat. Putting too many lightbulbs over your farm can make the crops wither from overheating.
    • If you try to store too much liquid in a weak container, the walls will leak before eventually bursting open.
    • Dupes need O2 to live. If you have too little, they stress out due to barely being able to breathe. If you pressurize your base, you can over-do it and stress them out even more from popping their eardrums.
  • Unobtainium: Neutronium has the highest hardness and lowest thermal conductivity in the game, which would make it excellent for tough outer walls and insulation. However, its material hardness is so high that it is impossible to actually extract. It only naturally occurs under unremovable geysers and at the edges of the world. The next best thing is Abyssialite, which fortunately can be extracted.
  • Upgrade Artifact: Neural vacillators, special Brain in a Jar devices with attached chairs and head covers. A duplicant who uses one will have their genome re-sequenced and will be given one random major positive trait. They can only be found in Abandoned Laboratories.
  • Voice Grunting: In Don't Starve, every character was 'voiced' by an instrument. This time, Klei have used a theremin to generate the varied and adorably expressive noises duplicants can make.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: You do get some rations at the start, but it's up to you to provide your crew with food later on.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: Some of the early Tech Tree borders on this. Apparently, despite having access to printing people and fantastic multitools, you still need to reinvent the compost heap.
    • Another interpretation is that duplicants just ...aren't very bright. They are doing the best they can with the tools they've got and they do seem designed for specifically for survivability rather than intelligence. Even a scientist dupe is so easily distracted that he repeatedly forget about the disease he accidentally unleashed upon his colony when presented with the possibility of a date with a coworker in the Outbreak Update cinematic.

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