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Dyson Sphere Program Hydrogen and Oil refining build walkthrough

Use this compact tileable X-Ray Cracking blueprint for Hydrogen!

If you've been playing Dyson Sphere Program for more than a couple of hours, you may have come across the same problem as many other players: the problem of Oil cracking and Hydrogen production. It's a pretty tricky thing to wrap your head around, trying to produce enough Hydrogen to meet your needs so you can start cranking out red Matrix cubes. Fortunately, this Dyson Sphere Program Hydrogen and Oil guide will walk you through a tidy, tileable design that will use X-Ray Cracking to meet and even exceed your Hydrogen needs!

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Dyson Sphere Program Hydrogen and Oil overview

The possibility of oil production in Dyson Sphere Program arrives with the Plasma Extract Refining tech, which gives you the ability to construct an Oil Extractor building. These buildings can only go on top of Crude Oil Seeps, which you'll find dotted all over your starting planet.

The Plasma Extract Refining tech also unlocks the Oil Refinery, which breaks down 2 Crude Oil into 2 Refined Oil and 1 Hydrogen. Which isn't a great ratio, because we're going to need a lot of Hydrogen if we want to automate production of those pesky red Matrix cubes.

For anyone confused about how to get some good Hydrogen production started, the answer is: X-Ray Cracking.

Unlock X-Ray Cracking for Hydrogen

X-Ray Cracking is a marvellous technology, and you should make it the very first thing you unlock with red Matrix cubes.

X-Ray Cracking is a technology which unlocks a new recipe in the Oil Refinery. Instead of 2 Crude Oil becoming 2 Refined Oil and 1 Hydrogen, the new X-Ray Cracking recipe converts 2 Hydrogen and 1 Refined Oil into 3 Hydrogen and 1 Energetic Graphite.

This is fantastic for two reasons. The first: you're getting an extra Hydrogen every time you go through this process. The second: the byproduct is Energetic Graphite, which is the other half of the recipe for creating red Matrix cubes.

The downside is that you need red Matrix cubes in order to unlock the X-Ray Cracking tech in the first place. Bit of a chicken or the egg issue here. The only thing you can do is put up a temporary and inefficient Oil Refining section in your factory which generates Hydrogen, and pump the Refined Oil into a liquid Storage Tank for now. Elsewhere, smelt some coal into Energetic Graphite. Then use those two products to create 400 red Matrix cubes - just enough to unlock X-Ray Cracking.

After X-Ray Cracking is unlocked, I'd suggest deconstructing your existing oil build and replacing it with my tileable build below.

Tileable Hydrogen build

After a lot of playing around and calculating ratios, I figured out a good tileable Hydrogen and Graphite build that can be used to easily break down Crude Oil and feed its products directly into Matrix Labs to craft red Matrix cubes. The above video shows me creating a set of 6 Hydrogen and Graphite production modules. Each module is comprised of 3 Oil Refineries: the first uses basic Plasma Refining to turn Crude Oil into Refined Oil and Hydrogen, and the other two use X-Ray Cracking to produce Hydrogen and Graphite. This is a perfectly efficient ratio: 1 Plasma Refining, 2 X-Ray Cracking.

An important aspect of this and similar builds is the use of the Splitter at the front of the build, which I've set to prioritise pushing Hydrogen back into the refineries. This way, you'll never run into a Hydrogen deficit. Don't forget to set the priority on each Splitter, or this build won't work properly.

Each module creates 0.75 Hydrogen and 0.5 Graphite every second, so you can build as many as you need and feed them into one another as shown in the video. For every 3 Matrix Labs producing Red Matrix Cubes, you'll need 2 sets to give you enough Graphite. This will leave you with some Hydrogen leftover, which you can store in Tanks until you have need of it (and you certainly will have need of it once you get to the later Matrix Cubes!). Alternatively you can create just enough Hydrogen for your needs, and then make up for the lack of Graphite by smelting some from coal nearby. For this approach, the correct ratio is 4 sets to 9 Matrix Labs. Either way works fine.

The belts may make it look complex, but after you've built one or two sets it becomes fairly simple to churn out these modules. Just pay close attention to the video, remember to put filters on the Sorters and priorities on the Splitters, and you'll soon have a powerful blueprint for your own Dyson Sphere Program game, which will take care of almost all of the early issues surrounding Oil and Hydrogen.

Hydrogen bottleneck

You haven't solved every problem though, because excess Hydrogen needs somewhere to go, or it'll get backed up. And if it gets backed up, then your refineries will stop producing Graphite, halting your Matrix cube production.

Hydrogen can be stored for quite some time in Storage Tanks, because those tanks can store gases as well as liquids in enormous quantities. But that's still a temporary solution. For the time being I'd suggest you prioritise unlocking Deuterium Fractionation, a tech which allows you to construct buildings that can convert Hydrogen into Deuterium. You'll need lots of Steel, Stone, and Silicon to make these Fractionators, so if you don't have automation set up yet for these things, now is the time.

You can also use Hydrogen as a powerful fuel for your mech, but the issue is that Hydrogen only stacks up to 20, so you'll have to return to pick up more Hydrogen fairly regularly. Better to find a proper factory use for all the Hydrogen you're producing.

Hopefully now you're on firmer footing when it comes to tackling the problems of Oil and Hydrogen in Dyson Sphere Program. For more top-tier tips and strategies, be sure to take a look at our Dyson Sphere Program tips and tricks page. Elsewhere we've got our guide on the prospect of Dyson Sphere Program multiplayer in the future.

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Ollie Toms avatar

Ollie Toms

Guides Editor

Ollie is sheriff of Guidestown at RPS, and since joining the team in 2018, he's written over 1,000 guides for the site. He loves playing dangerously competitive games and factory sims, injuring himself playing badminton, and burying his face in the warm fur of his two cats.