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Take one giant chuff for mankind in Astroneer’s rail update, out now

At least the space trains are running on time

Monorail! Humanity’s greatest form of transport after dirigibles and the tuktuk. Space survival sandbox Astroneer has been good enough to plonk in the ability to construct our own railways among the stars in its new free rails update. It looks like a pretty chill addition to an already chilled take on the survival genre, if I’m using my chills correctly. Raise your visor and have a watch for yourself below.

Try not to hum the Thomas The Tank Engine theme tune in the style of Star Trek: TNG while the Astroneer rails update trailer plays.

Building and running a railway in Astroneer seems straightforward enough. One of the major benefits of placing rail connections between your bases is automation, because these beauties can pilot themselves. Rail lines carry power and oxygen too though, so that’s a handy way to extend your reach and connect distant bases together. You can construct rail cars with medium storage slots, and rail engines to carry a passenger and boost your trains’ speed. There are stations to automatically load and unload cargo, and you can build junctions to split your tracks in multiple directions.

Obviously, having trains around would be a bit rubbish if you couldn’t be a passenger, so if you’re not a confident moon buggy driver then this is an easy way to get from base A to outpost B without having to drive yourself. Devs System Era Softworks said in a recent vlog that the rails update adds in some new story missions to the game that “unravel more mysteries” about the Astroneer world. The update also sweeps up quite a few known bugs, and pops in some quality of life improvements such as a reworked camera that handles tight spaces better.

Graham rated Astroneer among the best survival games on PC earlier this year. “By jumping straight into advanced technology, you get to play around with rockets and construct factories while, in another survival game, you’d still be putting together your first log cabin,” he said. “Before long, you’ll be flitting off to new worlds and moons, searching for more resources and scientific curiosities. Even without the struggle, Astroneer has plenty of momentum.”

Astroneer can be found on Steam for £24/$30/€28, but there’s currently 50% off. It’s on Game Pass for PC and the Microsoft Store too. You can read the full patch notes here.

About the Author

CJ Wheeler avatar

CJ Wheeler

News Reporter

CJ used to write about steam locomotives but now covers Steam instead. Likes visual novels, most things with dungeons and/or crawling, and any shooter with a suitably chunky shotgun. He’s from Yorkshire, which means he’s legally obliged to enjoy a cup of tea and a nice sit down.

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