This guide will give you the basics of how the Level 1 Reactor works and how to progress your reactor to Level 2.
The reactor first appears at Moon Level W2-301 and is fully visible at W2-302. At W2-303 the accompanying Buff Lab becomes visible.
The reactor is used to produce two things. Either Nuclear Energy (the lightning bolt symbol item in the toolbar under Oil) through the use of Fuel Rods; or the isotopes Einsteinium (at Level 1) and Fermium (at Level 5) through the use of Neutron Bombardments (which also use Nuclear Energy)
Your reactor is made of components that you craft. You can craft as many components as you want at any time, but you can only utilize a certain number of them depending on the level of your reactor. At level 1 you can utilize 9 components in a 3 x 3 grid.
You can re-arrange your components in the grid at any time, or remove some of them from the grid back to your component storage. However, fuel rods can only be deleted, not removed, and neutron bombardments will have their timers reset if removed from the reactor.
There are 6 different types of components
Fuel Rods – produce Nuclear Energy. They also generate heat which needs to be dissipated.
Fans – dissipate the heat from fuel rods and neutron bombardments
Batteries – store the Nuclear Energy generated from Fuel Rods
Ducts – Connect Fans, Fuel Rods and other Ducts together
Buffs – provides a boost to components that are in the direction of the buff’s arrows.
Neutron Bombardments – uses Nuclear Energy in order to generate isotopes (Einsteinium at level 1). They also generate heat that needs to be dissipated.
Typically Buffs and Ducts are not used in a level 1 reactor due to its smaller size.
The first thing you will want to do with your reactor is generate Nuclear Energy. To do so you will need to craft the following items:
Fan x 2 – to cool down you fuel rods.
Small Battery x 6 – will store 30,000 Energy (will need 15 Million Magnesium total to build)
Highly Enriched Uranium Fuel Rod – generates 36,000 Energy and requires 2 fans to cool. You will eventually build many of these
When building your reactor, you will need to place your fans next to the fuel rods in the grid in order to cool them. Batteries will receive energy no matter where they are placed in the grid. A typical level 1 build will look like so:
Note: there are some large batteries in this screenshot, but initially you will use all small batteries.
Once your fuel rod is placed it will start generating energy and will continue until it is either used up or your battery storage is full. Initially your battery storage will be too small to fully hold a fuel rod’s energy (30k storage for 6 small batteries vs 36k energy generation for the Uranium fuel rod), so you will need to use that energy.
There are three ways you can use Nuclear Energy
1. Neutron Bombardments
2. Buff Lab
3. Reactor and Weapon Upgrades
Again, your initial battery storage will be too small for any Neutron Bombardments or Reactor and Weapon Upgrades, so the Buff Lab is where you will use your energy. The Buff Lab is discussed in more detail below.
Once Energy has been spent your fuel rod will again start filling up your batteries with energy until it has been fully spent. When the fuel rod has been fully spent you can click on it to re-gain some isotopes from the decayed fuel rod. You can then craft another fuel rod to start generating energy again.
Now that you can generate energy, the next thing you can generate is the isotopes Einsteinium through a Neutron Bombardment. This will require you to upgrade your battery storage as the initial Neutron Bombardment (Californium Bombardment 1) requires 288,000 Energy to complete.
To get to this level of energy storage you will need to upgrade your batteries from Small Batteries to Large Batteries. Large Batteries store 50,000 energy and require 2 Small Batteries, 10 Million Magnesium, and 25k Energy to craft. You will eventually need 6 Large Batteries to increase your storage to 300k Energy to facilitate a Neutron Bombardment. Also, as you increase your battery storage you can utilize other fuel rods such as the Uranium Fuel rod to generate more energy at one time.
Once your energy storage has been increased to at least 300k (and filled completely) you can then craft the Californium Bombardment 1 and place it between your fans just like a fuel rod. The bombardment will then start consuming your stored energy until its reaction is complete. Once complete click on the bombardment to gain your isotopes from the reaction which will be 10 Einsteinium.
In order to upgrade your reactor to level 2 you will need the 10 Einsteinium you just generated as well as 50 building materials and 20,000 Nuclear Energy. Upgrading your reactor to level 2 will increase its size to 15 components in a 3 x 5 grid which will allow you to craft larger components and create more complex reactions.
The Buff Lab is where you can spend energy to enable various Buffs. There are initially 4 different types of buffs you can enable:
1. Miner Speed
2. Drill Speed
3. Nugget of Attraction
4. Elemental Pike
These buffs work exactly the same as the ones you find when opening chests. There are 3 different levels of each buff costing an increasing amount of energy, but lasting for a longer time period. The time spent using these buffs is what counts towards the Buffington Von Bufferson achievement.
The Buff Lab is where you will be spending your excess energy as you slowly build up your components to level up your reactor.
1. As has been stated in many posts and other guides, DO NOT ever sell your isotopes. You gain isotopes much more slowly than minerals and they are used extensively in the reactor to build components
2. Magnesium – you will need allot of Magnesium in order to craft batteries. As you start approaching the Reactor Level (W2-301) you will want to start stockpiling your Magnesium. I’d recommend locking in at least 50 million and possibly more depending on your storage size and play style (how often you are on to sell your other materials). Regardless you will spend a bunch of time waiting for your Magnesium stockpile to grow again to get the next battery you need.