Beginner Mistakes To Avoid In SteamWorld Build

SteamWorld Build tasks players with creating a robot city and making it profitable and thriving for its denizens. But such responsibility entails a couple of things players need to keep in mind since the game will have a lot of things that need players’ attention as their run progresses and their city’s population increases.


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Managing a city is a lot of work, and it can lead to players making mistakes and costly errors that could cost them significant progress, efficiency, and income their city needs. Here are some mistakes beginners need to avoid when starting their run in SteamWorld Build.

8 Not Connecting Buildings to Roads

Buildings Connected to Roads Give Productivity

Roads highlghting which buildings are connected to it

One of the first things SteamWorld Build teaches players when starting their city-building venture is to make sure their buildings are connected to the roads that lead to the Train Station. This is extremely important to remember since buildings need to be connected to roads to make them function and earn income.

While planning out the layout of a city is a fun mini-game players should exercise, ensuring their buildings are linked to the road should always be their first priority. The worst thing players can do when setting up their city is to build different structures, but have them not connected to roads: this significantly lessens the income generated by those buildings, which are invaluable as their city starts to expand.

7 Placing Warehouses Far from Production Buildings

Connect Production Buildings to Warehouses to Increase Efficiency

A Warehouse located close to different factories

Production buildings are key structures in SteamWorld Build since they produce goods that are usually used to fuel more advanced buildings that help generate more income for the city. That said, Warehouses play a vital role within the city since this is where production buildings send their produced goods.

This is why placing Warehouses in proximity to such buildings is important since it makes delivery of whatever goods they produce more efficient. If players place Warehouses far away from their production buildings, they run the risk of slowing the delivery times of the goods. This will negatively affect the city’s income since robot workers that are delivering goods will take longer to get to Warehouses situated further from production buildings.

6 Having Too Many Workers of a Single Type

Advanced Buildings Need Advanced Workers

A neighborhood of too many Workers

The early stages of city-building see players utilize starting structures to generate income. Typically, the first residential buildings and their corresponding supplementary structures can cover the income generation. However, progressing through the game and achieving the goal of attaining the Rocket parts so that their robots can escape the planet involves players upgrading their residential buildings.


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Having different kinds of workers within the city is essential since they specialize in different industries. For example, robots that live in Residential Buildings are more suited to basic commodities like service shops and small marts, while Engineers are better at handling more sophisticated structures and their corresponding goods and services. Relying too much on starting buildings will eventually have players staring at a wall since they will need to improve their city’s efficiency and money generation, which can only be done by diversifying their industries.

5 Placing Buildings Too Close to Foresters and Sand Sifting Factories

Keep Raw Material-Processing Factories as Isolated As Possible

A Forester harvesting wood at 100% fertile ground

Certain structures in SteamWorld Build require them to be built around an area where they can harvest raw material that will be used for processing new goods that more advanced structures need to consume. Some of these buildings are the Foresters and the Sand Sifting Factories: the former needs to be placed within a good number of trees, while the latter needs sandy ground.

Once these structures are built, they will display a perimeter where buildings should not be placed, since they require fertile ground to get fresh material they need for processing. During the earlier stages, keeping these buildings isolated is easy, but as the city becomes more cramped, managing space becomes more tricky. Generally, it is important to isolate these kinds of structures to ensure they can produce pure material and have bigger yields compared to the same structures that have buildings beside them.

4 Not Trading Resources and Raw Materials

Trade Current Excess Materials for Ones The City Doesn’t Have Yet or Is in Dire Need of

A player trading a produced good for money

As players start to add buildings that produce different materials and goods, they have the option to trade these on the Train Station for more expensive raw materials or even cash. In the latter stages, utilizing trade becomes essential to accomplishing specific upgrade requirements and quests, like getting a set number of Aristobots and Scientists, or more advanced buildings.

Having extra resources and raw materials is generally good to have, but it’s even better for players to maximize them by trading them for other materials their city needs. This way, their city would always have as many resources as possible that players can use to build key structures or complete specific goals during their runs.

3 Not Purchasing Items at the Train Station

Buy Items and Equip Them in Buildings to Further Maximize their Efficiency

Items available to be purchased every time a train comes to the station

Items become available for purchase in the Train Station once they have been repaired during a run. They act as buffs and enhancements that can be equipped in different buildings to help them be more efficient. That said, they cost a lot of money and resources found in the Mine, so players need to check what items are up for sale each time the Train arrives at the Station. During the course of a run, players might lose track of the new items, since they need to focus on various moving parts when running through their city.


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It is important to check what new items are available since they provide significant upside to their price. In some cases, having an item equipped on key buildings can boost its impact to get other buildings to produce more goods or enhance their effect on resident buildings.

2 Not Leveling Up Worker Residential Buildings

Different Workers Help Diversify Income

an Aristobots neighborhood and a Scientist neighborhood

One of the key income generators in SteamWorld Build is the residential buildings where robot workers stay. As players progress through their game, they will be tasked to upgrade their residential buildings to a higher tier to get more specialized robots to operate more advanced buildings.

Each new tier of robot workers gives more income to the city, which is why leveling up the residential buildings is a must to earn more money. However, players also need to ensure there is a balance between different-tiered workers since they each have specializations when it comes to the buildings they operate.

For example, if there are too many Engineers and no Worker robots, the first-tier industrial buildings will have a shortage of workers. This leads to losses in income for that building as well as the worker robots’ housing, which will be detrimental to the city.

1 Not Fulfilling Residential Building Needs

A Happy Worker is an Efficient One

a neighborhood of Worker robots having their needs fulfilled

Before players can reap the income their workers generate, they first need to make sure their needs are fulfilled. All residential buildings have corresponding happiness meters that need to be satisfied to have their workers working at full efficiency and to earn the maximum income. If at any point one or more of the residential houses’ needs are not fulfilled, their productivity will be affected: this usually means fewer workers and less income generated.

Maintaining the residents’ building needs is important since it ensures the income the city gets is consistent. Upgraded resident buildings have more complex happiness parameters, so it is up to the players’ city planning skills to fulfill the more advanced needs by placing structures in the best locations to cover as many houses as possible.

It is also important to remember that reaching certain Milestones that unlock new buildings requires the happiness meter of the robot workers to be fulfilled.


SteamWorld Build

December 1, 2023

The Station

Dungeon Crawler , City Builder

Antonio Josse

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