Factorio vs Satisfactory


FPS Enthusiast
May 28, 2019
Just a quick write up. I've played Factorio for years; closing in on a thousand hours played on that title. Satisfactory I just picked up on a recent EGS sale and just starting to get into it.

Both games are base building factory sims: you gather materials, craft items, and use those items to make even more complex items. Automate and repeat. In both games your on an alien planet, with semi-dangerous flora and fauna. You must go out and balance exploration with growth and optimization. Both games support mods, Factorio going so far as to have a mod browser in the game itself.

What sets these two games apart: Satisfactory is first person 3D, whereas Factorio is top-down 2D. That being said, don't be fooled into thinking that Factorio suffers for that: Factorio has a deep simulation that you can dive into, and (IMHO) the simplicity of the graphics engine helps focus on the core of the game - optimization.

I like the eye candy in Satisfactory. Making mutli-level factory buildings with overlapping conveyors and resource networks that sprawl for miles is fun. It's almost like a roller coaster builder.

But.. it's no Factorio. In Factorio, the enemies (biters) can be relentless. You can tweak the game to be more like a tower defense than a factory sim if you choose. The factory sim is at such a high level of detail, you can use it to build working binary computers and movie players. The resource networks in Factorio can challenge some train sims in levels of complexity.

Part of what makes Satisfactory look good also adds to the frustration. A lot of "Encroachment" issues when you try to go vertical and the game restricts you to keep elements from overlapping. Except it's not very consistent about it yet, and getting things to line up and snap takes a good deal of patience. I tend to spend a lot of time running around just restocking on basic supplies while building, and running around takes a lot of time (or manually crafting items, which is even more torturous) -- whereas in Factorio once you get advanced enough you can set up a drone network and keep yourself restocked with basic items without needing to run back and forth.

Factorio also seems to have put more time into game balance - number of resources required to advance between tiers, time to craft items, etc. A lot of times, "leveling up" in Satisfactory just feels like an exercise in waiting for your factories to catch up... the games want you to branch out and build in parallel to increase output. Satisfactory, to my current best knowledge, you still have to build everything from the ground up by hand, and once you get into the mid/late stages, the resource/manufacturing chains to do that get pretty onerous....whereas in Factorio, you can Blueprint a section you've already built, and then tell your drones to copy/paste layouts, and branching out parallel isn't painful, it's a task in optimizing your blueprints rather than giving yourself carpel tunnel by building #764 Iron Brick Factory by hand.

I recommend both games highly, especially if you are a technical thinking type of person. I'm still playing around in Satisfactory since it still has that new car smell and the exploration in it is very well done, but I have a feeling Factorio is the one I'll keep coming back to.
I love factorio, I do have some trouble getting things automated but that's mostly my own fault, I have been getting better at it once I figured the logistics robots out somewhat.

The game is surprisingly addictive
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