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Astroneer gets industrial with a free Automation update

Let the robots do all the hard work.

Whether it's making honest-to-god computers out of Minecraft redstone or constructing elaborate rube-goldberg machines in Garry's Mod, it seems unavoidable that any given sandbox game will eventually add complex mechanical systems. Well, now we can add Astroneer to that lineup with this week's Automation update, which lets you sit back on your space lawnchair and let the game do all the busywork for you.

Assuming, of course, you know how to piece together a fully-automated mining, processing, and power production setup.

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Released for free this week, Astroneer's Automation Update adds half a Factorio's worth of generators, printers and robot arms to the cutesy space sim. Automatic extractors can now be placed to perform the tedious job of mining resources for you at an accelerated rate, all without deforming the terrain. Mechanical arms can then pop these materials into new resource canister, with a whole series of buttons, repeaters and cabling available to create ever-more-elaborate pipelines.

Astroneer is one of the nicer space-bound survive 'n' craft 'em ups out there, though it was a little slight in stuff to do when it left early access last year. That's slowly been alleviated with updates that added jetpacks and glowsticks. Automation should give you more reason to stick around on its neon-tinted planets a little longer, perfecting industrial layouts before jetting off to the next world.

The update also adds an Exo-Outfitters in-game store, shelved with new hats, masks, visors, and palettes to outfit your cute little spacefriend with. Full patch notes can be found over on the Astroneer subreddit, while Astroneer itself can be picked up on Steam or the Humble store.

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