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QoL Upgrade Mk 1 Now Open For Testing! - 295825

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  • Developer

Hello my fine spacefaring friends!

Today’s "Quality of Life" (QoL) Upgrade marks a bit of a departure from past Upgrades as our team has begun moving into a new phase of development, going back over all the game content that has been implemented to date, scouring bug reports and forum threads, and ultimately working on polish, performance, filling in holes and implementing missing features.

The main focus of QoL Mk 1 is eliminating major bugs and improving the clarity of the early game for new players, in addition to starting work on the many Quality of Life concerns that have been brought up in these forums (thank-you for your reports!). As these improvements continue, future Upgrades will start looking at systems balance and behaviour, Duplicant AI, and some final content additions.

A public Testing Branch for this Upgrade will be available as they have been in the past, with the change that testing periods will now run for 3 weeks instead of the regular 2. Our intention is to provide additional time for your feedback to be heard before these changes go out to the world. (Please note that the Testing Branch will continue to have additional crash reporting enabled which will impact your game’s run performance. Finalized performance improvements won't be noticeable until the Upgrade releases to everyone.).

We look forward to reading your thoughts and opinions on the Suggestions Forum.


What does this testing branch contain so far?

Here's the changes we've made so far in this Upgrade, loosely categorized:


New Things

  • New Pedestal Building: Use it to display various objects for your Duplicants and increase their decor
  • New Artifact Objects: Bring them back from outer space for decorative display in the colony
  • New Decor Items: Corner Decorations, Carpeted Tile, Crown Moulding, new Painting and Statue variations
  • Increased Automation: Critter Sensor outputs a signal based on the number of critters and eggs in a room
  • New Sight Seeing Module: Send Duplicants to space for a morale and productivity bonus


  • Duplicants no longer freeze in place when taking medicine, locking a door, or rummaging
  • Duplicants no longer crash the game by trying to talk about the mopping UI icon
  • Extensive changes to Duplicant assignment allow assignment to properly persist when Duplicants go into space
  • Duplicants will no longer get stuck trying to work at unreachable Ranching Stations
  • Duplicants are less likely to choose an incompletable fetch over a completable one. Prevents a lot of the "dancing" Duplicants
  • Duplicants no longer get stuck if there is a Mourn chore but they can't reach it
  • Attack orders are properly restored on load
  • Duplicants no longer get stuck on a Fetch chore forever if there is an Attack chore
  • Fixed crash when Dupes try putting on an Exosuit
  • Jet Suit Duplicants will no longer "bounce" in place
  • Duplicants will no longer wake up to cheer if they're on a daytime sleep schedule
  • No matter how bad a Duplicant's stats, they'll never work slower than 50% speed (75% for construction).
  • New hats for the Astronaut Jobs
  • Jet Suit locomotion and multitool usage now has a full animation set
  • Hair should no longer flicker when Dupes get into and out of bed with a hat
  • Added in some eyes that were missing from various Duplicant animations
  • Disease idles and expressions are more consistent with the actual disease
  • Some movement transitions from Fire Poles to Ladders and vice versa have been added
  • Duplicants will return their suits when idle

Critters and Plants

  • Shove Voles no longer crash the game upon dying
  • Shove Voles no longer show as “entombed” when underground, since that's their happy place
  • Shove Voles can no longer move through doors and tiles made of refined metal, or other very hard materials
  • Critters on walls and ceilings should no longer fall due to gravity
  • Shove Voles are better at avoiding Meteors
  • Shove Voles are more aware of what kind of ground they are on/in for movement and animation
  • Hatches are no longer invisible on load
  • Meteors no longer launch critters around because of numerous unintended effects
  • Shove Voles no longer get stuck if they can't find anything diggable
  • Plants no longer consume water if wilted on load
  • Bagged Critters no longer fall when carried by a Duplicant
  • Fixed Shove Vole head colour
  • Added art for the Gas Grass seeds and harvested plant
  • Full Baby Shove Vole anim set added
  • Shove Vole plays correct animation when emerging from the ground
  • Added Shove Vole sound effects
  • Frost Buns once again use grains, and not plants, as an ingredient
  • Sleet Wheat seeds should always show as "Cooking Ingredients" and not "Seeds" in the resource list and storage containers/fridges.


  • Neural Vacillators can now be properly assigned after recharging
  • Neural Vacillators are now prioritizable
  • Hooked up recharging animations for Neural Vacillator
  • Destroying a rotated door no longer lets the Robo-Miner dig out adjacent floors
  • Lavatories, Showers, and Sinks no longer get immediately blocked if you run the pipe "across" the output port by storing the last "use" in an output storage
  • Fixed a crash when trying to build outside the game grid
  • Oil Wells correctly save/load their depressurization percentage
  • Fixed many buildings still accepting delivery when entombed or otherwise disabled
  • Smart Storage now actually consumes power
  • Manual Generators should no longer allow multiple Duplicants to operate them
  • Metal Refineries will stop working if output pipe is blocked
  • Metal Refinery calculation for the amount of heat added to the coolant is now much more correct and stable
  • The order of placement Bridges and Tiles shouldn't matter anymore
  • Telescopes shade the Duplicants working at them so they won't get sunburned
  • Bunker Doors no longer have access controls
  • Egg Incubators now have a "Continuous" option
  • Liquid Reservoir meter now shows as empty when the building is empty
  • Added Liquid Reservoir sound effects
  • Finalized art for the Virtual Planetarium
  • Improved animations for the Jet Suit Checkpoint
  • Jet Suit Checkpoint full animations hooked up
  • Canister Filler animations now match the functionality of the building
  • Updated Canister Filler sound effects
  • Fixed layering for Heavi-Watt Joint Plate
  • Telescope "Finished Working" animation should play correctly
  • Space Cadet Centrifuge, and several other buildings, should only play its final animation once
  • Auto-Sweeper animations play once again
  • Robo-Miner laser sounds added
  • Virtual Planetarium sound effects
  • Algae Terrarium has new "emptying" animation

Elements and Materials

  • Fullerene can now be stored in Storage Bins
  • Various elements are more correctly sorted in the elements list and in Storage Bin filters. Only affects new bases or elements which haven't yet been discovered in a base.
  • Food items now have unlimited stack size (instead of 10), but will only stack with other foods that have a rot within 10%. This will help with massive amounts of Sleet Wheat, though the wheat will have to be emptied and reinserted into Storage Bins in order for the restacking to trigger.
  • Added "Industrial" entities to Sandbox spawner
  • Lowered freezing point of Super Coolant


  • Astronauts no longer lose their consumables settings
  • Astronauts no longer lose their skill levels if the game is loaded while they're in space
  • Critters and Plants can once again be returned from Space
  • Rocket Modules can no longer be deconstructed or melted while the rocket is in space
  • Command Module won't melt the contained atmosuit while in flight
  • Rocket Fuel tanks are insulated, so the steam won't condense while fuelling
  • It is now possible to select a space destination for Analysis after the previous one has completed
  • Fixed various crashes when the Command Module lands and tries creating the stored Duplicant
  • Rocket destinations are more stable, so it should no longer be possible to swap a destination mid-flight, or for two rockets to share a destination by accident.
  • Selection mechanics and icons on Starmap screen improved to make it more clear which rocket is going to which destination
  • Rocket Fuel Tanks and Oxidizers no longer drop all their fuel on slider adjustment. If the slider is set below the current amount stored, a Duplicant will come empty the difference.
  • Rocket travel times are now based on the simulation’s progress, so cycle counts will match up even at high speeds or with bad lag.
  • Rocket Logic has been reworked: The Space Scanner now turns off when the rocket is grounded, is on when launching, off while in space, on when close to landing (based on dish network quality), and on while landing. The Command Capsule only emits a signal while grounded, ready, or while taking off.
  • Fixed a possible crash when building a new rocket
  • Added a fuel meter to the Steam Engine
  • Oxidizer tanks have been split into Solid and Liquid Oxidizer Tanks. Existing rockets may require reconfiguring.


  • Fix broken Database links in the descriptions of the Gas Grass and Gassy Moo
  • Updated Database entries for Creatures and Jobs
  • Added missing Database entries for Swamp Lily, Dusk Cap, Gas Grass, Sleet Wheat
  • Adding Database entries describing different game systems at a high level
  • More POI buildings are inspectable
  • Updated Critter Database entries
  • Multiple new discoverable lore entries
  • Disabled incomplete/nonfunctional entries


  • Entombed ore won't create a cell if the mass is too low now
  • Fixed issue where buildings that produced elements would sometimes start producing other elements after a save/load
  • Mass is no longer lost when multiple items stack together on the same frame
  • Conveyor Receptacles will allow a single item to exceed their storage limit so they won't stall the whole line
  • Various buildings are stricter about disallowing inputs and outputs to overlap, such as Heavi-Watt Joint Plates. These have never worked correctly, but now at least you won't be able to create new overlaps. If you correct any existing overlaps, a save/load will be required to put the game back into a consistent state.
  • Heavi-Watt Wire can no longer pass through Pneumatic Doors
  • Heavi-Watt Joint Plates can connect properly even if they were a "replacement" for an existing tile
  • Fixed crash if building a Wire Bridge at the edge of the map
  • Fixed crash if drag-placing logic bridges over buildings with logic ports
  • Fixed crash when destroying a building that had or has overlapping ports
  • Duplicants exhaling in shallow water will no longer "break" the puddle with their CO2
  • Duplicants will no longer fall through Pitcher Pumps
  • Hypothermia, Heat Stroke, and Sunburn are now "minor diseases" which don't require a medical cot, and last a shorter time.
  • Path finding will no longer try wrapping around the map

UI and Presentation

Selected Object and Sidescreens

  • Major revision to the recipe screen for fabrication buildings like the Cook Station and Refinery. Currently they all use the same UI. Now, the UI allows setting a number or infinite amount of any recipe, and recipes without ingredients will be skipped automatically. This UI will be further developed during the testing period.
  • Fixed egg icons for critter morphs
  • Updated Drecko description to mention their unusual diet
  • Clarified launch checklist for Empty Cargo Bay

Main Game View

  • Items in storage are no longer hoverable/selectable from the main view.
  • Prevent "ghost" progress bars from cluttering things up

Tools and Menus

  • Building material selection is saved to the save file so you don't have a surprise after a load
  • Building material selection scrolls into view when a building is selected
  • Sandbox filters for Brush, Spawner, etc. automatically focus the input field
  • Move command for Duplicants no longer cancels on right click
  • Build Menu building list is now up to 5 rows tall
  • Build Menu hides unresearched buildings to reduce the number of apparent options in the early game
  • The last 4 categories in the Build Menu hide until at least one building in them has been researched
  • Build Menu icons for oxygen buildings improved to visually imply an oxygen creation function
  • Renamed Algae Deoxydizer to Oxygen Disperser for early-game clarity
  • Tool Menu tooltips cleaned up
  • Tool Menu has been split into "major" tools and "minor" tools
  • Copy Settings now copies door access controls, logic sensors, Smart Batteries, Oil Wells, valves, lures, Coal Generators, and Conveyor Receptacles.
  • Copy Settings will work between similar buildings, such as Pneumatic Doors and Airlock doors.
  • Dimension numbers are now shown for draggable rectangular tools (dig, deconstruct, etc)
  • Lengths are now shown for conduit tools (pipes, wires, etc)
  • Clarification pass for Priority descriptions
  • Added in some "ground" to the Robo-Miner blueprint art to imply it goes against something when rotated
  • Wires and pipes no longer play a hookup sound when dragging over a port of a different kind

Situational Awareness

  • When a building is newly researched the <!> icon shows on the building as well as the menu, until that building is clicked.
  • "What this Duplicant is Doing" status item now always shows at the top of the status list
  • Calories Available in the main HUD now displays calories per food rather than count
  • Calories Available is now sorted
  • Oxygen Generation tutorial message has been split into two notifications and reworded for early game (“Need an oxygen source” message) and mid game (“Not enough oxygen production” message)
  • Tooltip for active infections has been cleaned up
  • Fix broken Drowning tooltip
  • Better tooltip for death due to low health

Info Screens

  • Visual distinction between planets that can and can't be analyzed has been improved
  • Added descriptions for space destinations
  • Jobs Screen is now bound to "J" by default

Text Cleanup

  • General cleanup of many building descriptions
  • Clarifying early-game tooltips and notifications
  • Renaming of several early-game buildings to help make their meaning more clear
  • Fixed duplicated Transformer descriptions
  • More element names in building descriptions link to the Database


  • Meteor strings are now localizable
  • More space and rocketry strings can be localized


  • Startup screen displays better at more resolutions


  • Three new "Ambient Songs" added to increase musical variation between existing Standard Songs


  • Various unique IDs were being reused by accident, resulting in mysterious errors with assignments, object spawning, element spawning, effects appearing, and more. Numerous hard-to-reproduce bugs may have been resolved by this.
  • Fixed crash when writing Database unlocks to hard drive
  • Fixed a crash if the game initializes with a tiny resolution
  • Fresh Linux installs would often get stuck on a white or black screen caused by a strange resolution change. Resolution is now forced on startup to resolve this
  • Animations will no longer flicker when a path is completed
  • Fixed looping animations sometimes not looping


  • Optimizations to path probing and path finding
  • Reduced memory usage for many effects and temporary objects
  • Improved performance of object stacking
  • Reduce memory usage of Database entries
  • Stop calculating gravities for objects which aren't falling
  • Improve memory usage of a variety of situations, which will also help with lag spikes.
  • Reduce the memory usage of some debug and logging code
  • Flow of gasses/liquids in pipes is now multithreaded for improved CPU usage
  • Building temperature calculations are greatly sped up


Please bear in mind: the game is not stable enough at this point for us to recommend modding, but we're starting to make changes with modding in mind. The changes below are mostly focused around taking datastructures that were hard to extend (enums and fixed-length arrays) and make them into lists and hashes so that modders can push their own data into the game without too much headache.

  • Tools Menu: Tools is now a List, and helper function CreateToolCollection added.
  • Plan Screen (build menu): Categories are now hashes instead of enums so more can be added.
  • Overlay Menu initialization is easier to hook
  • Overlays are now hashes instead of enums so more can be added
  • Filter screen shows mod-added elements
  • Removed unused fields from Substances for clarity
  • Improve Database error logging for bad keys
  • Adjust startup sequence so that mod-loaded anims have a chance to register
  • Send more mod loading errors to the log file
  • Startup errors have a better chance of showing a crash screen
  • Added ModUtil function that ensures all required assets for an anim are loaded
  • Added base materials for solids and liquids to make stubbing in materials easier
  • Will try loading 'elements.json' from mod folders. This data can overwrite existing element values, or add new elements.
  • Added ModUtil function for creating new substances correctly
  • Localization templates (strings.pot) and translations (strings.po) can be loaded from mod folders. Will make distributing translation mods easier, as well as allow mods themselves to be translated.
  • Assets from Assets.cs are now lists instead of arrays, so mod assets can easily be included and used by existing systems.
  • Added special path to Assets (via Assets.ModLoadedKAnims) that simplifies registering of anims from mods

Check the patch notes for the most up-to-date changes!

What is open testing?

"Open testing" means players get to test-drive new content early and give us feedback and suggestions before it goes live. Because this is an unfinished and in active development version of the upgrade being released on December 13th, it's pretty likely you'll encounter bugs, crashes or balance issues while playing these builds. We'll try to fix any problems that crop up as quickly as we can, but it's possible you'll lose progress in your games while playing on the Testing branch.

Regarding performance, the Testing branch has additional debugging tools enabled to help us track down crashes. This makes the game run more slowly than the live version of the game.

Please also be aware that once a save is loaded in the Testing branch, it cannot be reopened again in the previous Live branch or previous builds.

What do I do if I find a crash or a bug?

Post it up on the Bug Tracker and we'll fix it as soon as we can. If you can attach a copy of your save file to your report, that helps us even more as we can pinpoint the source of problem more quickly.

Do I have to play the open testing build?

Nope! If you'd prefer to only play a stable build, you can continue to play in the current Early Access branch until the QoL Upgrade Mk 1 releases in full on December 13th. Playing the Open Testing build isn't necessary, but it helps us a lot to receive your feedback and reports - if you're interested, try it out!

How do I become an open tester?

There's no sign up or registration for becoming an open tester. If you own Oxygen Not Included and want to join the Testing Branch, all you have to do is play the Open Testing build on Steam.

How do I play the open testing build?

You can switch your branch on Steam using the instructions below:


How to change branches in Oxygen Not Included (Steam)

  • In Steam, click on Library > Games.
  • Scroll down to Oxygen Not Included.
  • Right-click and select Properties.
  • Go to the BETAS tab.
  • In the dropdown, select the name of the branch you want to play. In this case, the branch name is "qol_1_testing"
    • This branch does not require a password.
  • In that same Properties window, go to the Local Files tab and press "Verify Integrity Of Game Cache."
  • Your game will be updated to the the previous branch.
  • Launch and play Oxygen Not Included

That's it! We hope you'll enjoy this taste of what's to come, and thank-you for your help testing out the new Upgrade!


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20 minutes ago, Ipsquiggle said:

Major revision to the recipe screen for fabrication buildings like the Cook Station and Refinery. Currently they all use the same UI. Now, the UI allows setting a number or infinite amount of any recipe, and recipes without ingredients will be skipped automatically. This UI will be further developed during the testing period.

FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) 

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Just now, SchlauFuchs said:

Are rockets still coming back missing components?

Rocket components should no longer be destroyed in-flight. However if in your save game they had already been destroyed, we aren't able to recover from that and the rocket will still have to be rebuilt in that game.

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Just now, SchlauFuchs said:

If you give me a hint where during the flight this destruction would have happened, then I might be able to start from an earlier autosave. 

There were two cases where it could occur: The first was if you issued a deconstruct order by dragging a box over where the rocket had been, dupes would come disassemble the rocket as with any deconstruct. The second issue was that rocket components could get very hot and melt. This may have been a combination of launch gasses, input fuel temperatures, meteors, etc.

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1 minute ago, Ipsquiggle said:

There were two cases where it could occur: The first was if you issued a deconstruct order by dragging a box over where the rocket had been, dupes would come disassemble the rocket as with any deconstruct. The second issue was that rocket components could get very hot and melt. This may have been a combination of launch gasses, input fuel temperatures, meteors, etc.

The temperature during launch was low, and the gas concentration in the range of 100-200. I have not seen them melt, but the whole rocket went to space. And the rocket silo was not touched during the flight. The melting scenario would have been more likely in my case, but it would have happened in outer space?

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