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Satisfactory Update 4 - March 16 Patch Notes Include Drones, Ziplines, and Spotlights

Here's everything you need to know about Satisfactory Update 4

By Peter Hunt Szpytek

March 16, 2021

The factory creation sim genre was one I didn’t know I needed until Satisfactory came out back in 2019. With Satisfactory Update 4 finally here, it’s time to pick up a planner and get to work.

Coffee Stain Studios sure knows how to keep bringing players back for more. Between games like Viking survival simulator Valheim and factory production/management simulator Satisfactory they certainly understand what it takes to keep a player base.

Satisfactory Update 4 is finally here after over a year of waiting following Update 3. There’s some big stuff in the patch, so here’s everything you need to know about Satisfactory Update 4.

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Satisfactory Update 4

Here is the full list of patch notes for Satisfactory Update 4 from the game’s official sub-Reddit:

AERIAL RESOURCE TRANSPORT

  • Drone & Drone Port
  • Let Drones fly your resources across the map in Tiers 7&8. They are most effective over longer distances.

LIGHTS

  • Ceiling Light, Flood Light Tower, Wall Flood Light & Street Light
  • These 4 buildables will allow you to finally illuminate those dark factory floors
  • Lights Control Panel
  • This panel can control the settings of all lights connected to it

EQUIPMENT

  • Hover Pack
  • This new equipment allows you to fly through your factory wherever you have a functioning power grid
  • Zipline
  • It allows you to attach to Power Lines and zip up and down them as much as you want

BUILDINGS

  • Blender
  • The next level of fluid related production allowing you to combine up to 2 fluid and 2 solid resources
  • Particle Accelerator
  • A high-end production building with an intense power drain that fluctuates over the course of each production cycle
  • Resource Well Pressuriser & Extractor
  • In combination these 2 buildings can harvest vast amounts of fluid resources from the new Resource Wells
  • Power Storage
  • Can store excess power and distribute it back into the grid when needed
  • Power Switch
  • These can be named and break their power circuit connection via the flip of a switch

RESOURCES

  • Nitrogen Gas
  • The first gas to be added to Satisfactory. It functions like other fluids except that it doesn’t require Pumps to be moved through the Pipes
  • Resource Wells
  • This new resource spot can be tapped with the Pressurizer. They can currently give access to Nitrogen Gas, Oil and Water depending on the Resource Well
  • New Parts – 17 new parts & resources have been added:
  • Aluminium Casing, Empty Fluid Tank, Cooling System, Fused Modular Frame, Non-Fissile Uranium, Plutonium Pellet, Encased Plutonium Cell, Plutonium Fuel Rod, Nuclear Plutonium Waste, Copper Dust, Pressure Conversion Cube, Nitrogen Gas, Nitric Acid, Packaged Nitrogen Gas, Packaged Alumina Solution, Packaged Sulfuric Acid & Packaged Nitric Acid
  • New Alternate Recipes
  • 17 alternate recipes added for the new parts and several alternate recipes added for parts already in the game
  • New Project Parts
  • A total of 4 new parts for the next phase of Project Assembly:
  • Assembly Director System, Magnetic Field Generator, Thermal Propulsion Rocket & Nuclear Pasta
CHANGES

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BALANCING

  • Rebalanced all production lines containing Bauxite/Aluminium
  • This includes alternative recipes
  • Rebalanced Nuclear production lines
  • This includes alternative recipes
  • Removed Uranium Pellets as part of this rework
  • All conveyor fed Generators now always produce at full capacity instead of regulating their power output to factory consumption
  • Geothermal Generators now produce a fluctuating amount of power
  • Geysers now have purities which affect the minimum and maximum amount of power a Geothermal Generator can produce
  • Upped stack sizes for several commonly used items
  • Rebalanced progression of inventory slot increases
  • Decreased Fuel burn rate in Fuel Generator from 15 per minute to 12 per minute
  • Added several new Crash Sites so there are enough Hard Drives for additional alternate recipes

PROGRESSION

  • Changed the Tier 7 progression to work with the new Tier 8 content (this has no effect on already unlocked content)
  • Added a global MAM research completion sound

OPTIMISATION

  • Optimised and replaced lots of particle systems and VFX #praisesimon
  • Implemented a new Conveyor Item Renderer (Experimental)
  • We are testing this new system to reduce the cost of having many conveyors items moving. It is still work in progress but can already have positive effects depending on your system. We are continuing to work on this while Update 4 is on Experimental.
  • Implemented a Pooling System for building components
  • This system is intended to reduce objects in the game
  • Implemented new impostors for factory buildings
  • Optimized Power Lines
  • Tweaked LOD timings and reduced number of elements on LODs
  • Added some optimisations of the Train functionality

QUALITY OF LIFE

  • Implemented proper snapping functionality for Water Extractors
  • Added ability to copy and paste settings in buildings (such as selected recipes, overclocking, etc.)
  • Added a quick switch radial menu in the Build Mode that can be accessed by pressing “E” to switch between similar buildings like different Power Poles
  • Added a directional arrow to the Hyper Tube Entrance hologram
  • Quick search (opened with N) now closes when hitting Enter with an empty search field

NETWORKING

  • Added compression of hidden map data when sending it to clients
  • Made sliding more stable to use for clients
  • Implemented an improvement for choppy player movement in multiplayer
  • Testing a possible improvement for choppy vehicle movement in multiplayer

UI

  • Updated the style and info of all production UIs
  • Updated multi-output production UIs to better display the recipe information
  • Added maximum consumption and Power Storage information to the Power Graph
  • Updated the Power Graph to show the last minute of power history
  • Changed respawning to Right Mouse Button
  • Overhauled the attention ping (Alt + Left Mouse Button) so it indicates when it is off screen and shows distance to ping when it is centred on screen
  • Made several additions to the AWESOME Shop UI: Favorites, product page, related schematics, image gallery, descriptions and a search bar that can be activated by pressing Space Bar like in the Build Menu
  • The AWESOME shop now displays the cost to build the specified buildings in the schematic that you want to purchase
  • Moved the warning errors in the Pipeline Pump UI to the centre
  • The recipe scroll box in the build menu now properly covers the whole area
  • Added scrolling support with arrow keys in the chat window
  • Right click menu on inventory slots and buildings in the Build Menu has option to open the appropriate Codex page
  • Re-shot Liquid Biofuel icon to look less like Oil
  • Added option for High contrast build/dismantle mode – places a semi-opaque backdrop behind text
  • Added option for small/large slots in build/dismantle mode
  • Production UI now has a search bar to find specific recipes
  • Overclocking no longer rounds to nearest whole percent
  • Overclocking now supports math formulas when entering a number (similar to the Quick Search)
  • Tooltips on inventory slots now display which Building the part/recipe is produced in

FACTORY

  • Tweaked sounds on all vehicles
  • Improved sounds for different production cycles on Constructor, Manufacturer
  • Updated factory building leg texture and mesh
  • Added specific factory building legs for the Space Elevator

WORLD

  • Polished Dune Desert Maze layout (south west corner of the Dune Desert)
  • Implemented several new ambient VFX and an automated proximity-based system to spawn them
  • Added support for area specific music with a few new music tracks
  • Tweaked and added some caves in the Dune Desert
  • Polished a large list of environment assets

WILDLIFE

  • Added some additional animation, VFX and sound feedback to the Lizard Doggo

EQUIPMENT

  • Improved first person and third person Parachute animations, VFX and sounds
  • Polished the Object Scanner mesh
  • Polished Chainsaw animations and sounds
  • Overhauled the Color Gun visuals and sounds

PLAYER CHARACTER

  • Tweaked landing and footstep sounds
  • Reworked swimming and water impact sounds

SETTINGS

  • Overhauled options menu functionality
  • Added a menu volume slider for UI sounds
  • Added some Build & Dismantle Mode contrast options
  • Added an option to toggle small or big slots in Build & Dismantle Mode

BUG FIXES

  • Fixed Miner Mk.1 sound start-up/stop bug
  • Fixed client players always having full fuel on equipping a Jetpack
  • Fixed a sound bug that occurred when dying under water
  • Fixed a sound bug that occurred when triggering water effects with vehicles
  • Train track switch positions now update correctly for 3 or more outgoing tracks
  • Fixed several localisation bugs (with around 3000 words translated by the community as a result
  • Buildings now show power consumption in MW in the Build Menu
  • Clients driving Trains should no longer get the “No Power” message while having power
  • Fixed Miners Mk.1&2 sometimes not shutting down properly
  • Fixed bugs that resulted in extreme velocity when sliding under certain conditions

KNOWN ISSUES

  • Some conveyor belt items look odd due to the new Conveyor Subsystem, this will be fixed soon
  • Conveyor Lifts items don’t show up correctly in some situations
  • Conveyor belt items can visually disappear in some situations
  • First initialisation of new conveyor items can affect performance for a few frames
  • Freight cars have a collision where the container should be even if there is no container there
  • The game may crash if it is Fullscreen and loses focus while the world is loading. A workaround is to change from Fullscreen to Windowed Fullscreen in the Video Options

What’s next for Satisfactory?

I think it’s safe to say that Update 4 is going to satisfy players for the time being. It’s huge and there’s enough in there to keep us busy for quite a while. Despite that, players are always wanting more. Update 4 has been highly anticipated ever since Update 3, so you can expect people wanting Update 5 soon.

That said, as mentioned above, it’s been over a year between Update 3 and 4 so we aren’t going to see 5 for quite some time.

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Peter Hunt Szpytek

Peter is from Chicago. He's played more JRPG's than he can count despite being not totally great at them and you can usually find him on the weekends dropping hot in Apex Legends. When not holding a controller, he's at the gym trying to get in shape for his next cosplay.

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