How to Build (& Automate) Drones in Update 4

Drones have arrived to Satisfactory in Update 4, introducing a new way to quickly transport resources around the map. They can easily be networked.

Update 4 for Satisfactory is live, and it includes the ability to build and use Drones for quicker resource transport. Drones become available to engineers at Tier 7 in the Aeronautical Engineering section. They can travel at 70 m/s and consume 100 mw of power. They can help engineers transport stacks of resources around the Satisfactory map more quickly than other vehicles and transportation methods.

Related: Satisfactory: How to Use The Pipe & Fluid System

When creating a Drone system, players will need at least two Drone Ports, one as a home Port and one as a Destination Port, and at least one Drone. They can build more of these to expand their transport possibilities. Drones only run on Batteries, which are somewhat complicated and take a lot of materials to craft, so it can become pricy to use Drones. However, Drones are a faster, easier way to move items around the entire open world map and may be worth the investment for some players. Here’s how to build, connect, and use Drones in Satisfactory.

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How to Build Drones and Drone Ports in Satisfactory

An engineer watches a Drone in Satisfactory

Drones and Drone Ports are considered late-game Transportation objects in Satisfactory, unlocking at Tier 7. To build a simple Drone system, consisting of the Drone itself and two Ports, players will need the following materials:


  • 4 Motor
  • 10 Alclad Aluminum Sheet
  • 1 Radio Control Unit
  • 2 A.I. Limiter
  • 1 Portable Miner

Drone Port

  • 20 Heavy Modular Frames
  • 20 High-Speed Connectors
  • 50 Alclad Aluminum Sheets
  • 50 Aluminum Casings
  • 10 Radio Controlled Units

One Drone Port will be considered the home Port for the Drone. The other will be the destination Port. Each Drone Port may only be the home Port for a single Drone. However, a Drone Port may be the destination Port for many Drones.

A Blender building in Satisfactory

Drones require Batteries for fuel. These also unlock at Tier 7 and are crafted in the Blender, another crafting building that arrived in Satisfactory‘s Update 4. Batteries can be kept in the Drone Ports to allow landing Drones to automatically refuel for their next trip. Each round-trip for a Drone will cost at least five Batteries, and these must be in the Drone Port for the Drone to work.

To craft Batteries, players will need the following resources:

  • 5 Sulfuric Acid
  • 4 Alumina Solution
  • 2 Aluminum Casting

Some players have suggested building a dedicated supply chain or factory to produce batteries. Players can even include a Drone Port here to use a Drone to transport Batteries around the map.

Each Drone can carry nine item stacks per trip between Drone Ports. Each Drone Port will have space for 36 stacks, split in half. Eighteen of the stacks are considered Incoming, where Drones will drop their stacks, and 18 will be considered Outgoing, which Drones will pick up to transport once they dock. If there is no space in the Incoming section when a Drone docks, they will sit and wait for item slots to become available, which will back up the line.

How to Connect and Use Drones in Satisfactory

A player uses Drones to move resources around the map in Satisfactory

Once a Drone Port has been built, the engineer can open its UI and assign each home Drone Port a destination Drone Port. This will create a small Drone network, telling the Drone exactly where to go from its home Port and where to return after it is done. To make this network more manageable, players will want to assign each Port a specific name they can remember. Some fans like to name Ports after relevant landmarks or the Port’s location, or after the resources the Port contains for transport. Players should use the system that works best for them and feel free to get as creative or technical as they prefer.

As soon as a destination Port has been set for the Drone, and the home Port contains enough Batteries, the Drone will take off automatically and travel to its destination. There is nothing further the player needs to do to help them along. However, to keep a Drone network moving in Satisfactory, players will always want to ensure at least one Port along a single Drone’s flight path contains enough Batteries, or the Drone will stop and block the Port.

Drones don’t have specific flight paths and may not take the same path every time. They will, however, always travel from their home destination to the Ports specified, in order. Technically, players can jump on top of a Drone as it takes off and ride it around. However, as Drones tend to pick up speed and change direction in-flight, this can be dangerous and easily kill the engineer.

Players can learn more about Drones and Drone Ports by watching the video below from creator ImKibitz:

Next: Satisfactory: How to Tame the Lizard Doggo (The Easy Way)

Satisfactory is available for PC.

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