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Mooncave
Cave chamber
Cave

Сaves are clickables that will randomly spawn throughout the world, and start to show up once you reach 46km, just after you unlock them at 45km.

All through each cave you will encounter rewards that your drones can pick up and bring back to you, but only if they have the fuel and health to make it past the obstacles. Caves have a timer associated. If the timer runs out, the cave will collapse. This is a real-time minigame and won't be affected by timelapses. You can have several Caves active at the same time, they are separate and don't affect each other.

The сave building at 45km (can be accessed with shortcut "k", that's why it's often spelled "kaves" on the Discord) allows you to:

  • Upgrade drones (separate tab)
  • Collect treasures you've gotten
  • Access each Cave, either by direct popup (Shift+Click), or via its mineshaft (Click)

The Caves allow you to get scientists, buffs, money, building materials, timelapses, mineral piles, tickets, and both gold and basic chests.

If you have "Click sounds ON", a chime will sound when a cave opens, and a beep when a drone returns.

With the v.044 update one upgrade was added at the garage that can be purchased with tickets. The upgrade called "Know when to stop" does the following: Basic drones will always turn around when their inventory is full. It can be bought with 50 tickets.

With that update 2 more options were added at caves:

  1. Drones now have the option to be sent back.
  2. Added the ability to extend a cave by 30 minutes for 1 ticket.

Fully Complete[]

A Cave is considered to be "fully complete" (there are a couple of quests for this) when:

  • All nodes are explored (there are no more "?" on the map)
  • All treasures have been collected (Health Packs don't count).

When a cave is fully explored and there are no more treasures to be had (last drone carrying treasure returns, even if there are still others in the cave), the cave automatically collapses regardless of its timer (you can see this in the news).

Depth of a cave[]

The "depth" of a cave is determined by counting how many nodes there are along one path, from the start of the cave to the end. Beginner caves will typically have around 4-6 depth, while endgame caves can have over 30.

Inventory[]

The Cave building stores the items the drones get back from the caves. The inventory limit is 36 items, and cannot be increased. If your inventory is full, the next rewards are lost, so you would do well in keeping it controlled. The following strategy is suggested:

  1. There is no reason at all to let Money Bags and Building Materials uncollected. Get those first.
  2. After this go the Basic Chests and the Timelapses (you can use them strategically).
  3. Mineral Piles can become very big, you could store them waiting for a Midas Touch buff. However, if they keep accumulating you can just cash them out on the Sell Center.
  4. Buffs can likewise be stored for different strategies. But if you don't have any active buffs, and they keep accumulating, just use them!
  5. A reserve of Scientists is very useful to replenish them after they die. But likewise, if they are accumulating faster than your scientist die, use them! They will give a certain amount of Experience to one of your active scientists, at random. But is better than losing treasures.

Types of drones[]

Once you have unlocked the Сaves, you get the first 3 drones for free. The Healing Drone blueprint can be obtained in Kaves. However, as you can see in "Strategy" section below, the boring but practical solution is to use only Basic Drones whenever possible.

Starters
Grounddrone1 icon

Basic Drone(Vision of 1 nodes)

Grounddrone2 icon

Magnetic Drone(Vision of 1 node)

Airdrone1 icon

Aerial Drone(Vision of 3 nodes)

Extra
Healingdrone icon

Healing Drone (vision of 1 node). Gradually heals nearby drones after reaching its target location by 8 a tick.

Rewards[]

  • BuffBuff
  • Building MaterialsBuilding material(10 max per reward)
  • Basic ChestBasic chest
  • Gold ChestGold chest
  • Health PackHealth pack: Recovers 12.5% HP and 10% of Fuel of the Drone who "collects" this treasure. This treasure won't be picked up, and can be collected by many drones, one after another.
  • Mineral PileMineral pile
  • Money BagMoney bag
  • ScientistScientist
  • TimelapseTimelapse
  • DroneHealingdrone icon (The blueprint for the Healing Drone)
  • TicketTicketicon

Сave Hazards[]

Obstacle Description Effect
RockBoulder Must be destroyed to progress Blocks The Path. Aerial Drones ignores it. Any other drone can destroy it, but since that consumes Fuel, this should be done by Basic drones if at all possible.
MudMud Slows down ground drones. Aerial Drones ignore it. Slow Duration=x2
RadiationRadiation Damages all drones over time Damage Per Seconds=10
LavaLava Damages drones over time. Aerial Drones ignore it. Damage Per Seconds=15

Fuel upgrades[]

(Both Max Fuel and Fuel Regen have the same upgrading costs)

Max Fuel Level Max Fuel Upgrading Cost Regen Level Regen/Minute
1 300 1 4
2 350 10 Building Materials, 200.000 Black Opal 2 6
3 400 25 Building Materials, 20.000 Californium, 2.000 Polonium1 3 8
4 450 50 Building Materials, 5 Million Californium, 150 Polonium3 4 10
5 550 120 Building Materials, 5 Million Californium, 5.000 Oil 5 12
6 600 250 Building Materials, 1 Million Californium, 500 Polonium3 6 14
7 650 500 Building Materials, 10 Million Carbon, 10.000 Nitrogen1 7 16
8 700 750 Building Materials, 25 Million Promethium, 25 Fermium1 8 18
9 750 1.000 Building Materials, 10 Million Neodymium, 10 Fermium2 9 20
10 800 1.500 Building Materials, 1 Million Ytterbium, 5 Fermium3 10 22

Drones Upgrade Cost[]

Basic Drone[]

Level Cost Health Fuel Fuel Use Speed Multiplier Capacity
0 Free 200 100 0.08 1 3
1 $15 Billion, 100,000 Red Diamond 230 100 0.07 1.3 3
2 $150 Billion, 1 Million Californium 260 100 0.06 1.6 4
3 $3 Trillion, 3000 Oil, 500 Polonium3 290 100 0.05 1.9 4
4 $1 Quadrillion, 50 Titanium 320 100 0.05 2.2 5
5 $10 Quadrillion, 500,000 Promethium 350 100 0.05 2.5 5

Magnetic Drone[]

Level Cost Health Fuel Fuel Use Speed Multiplier Capacity
0 Free 350 200 0.3 2.5 0
1 $10 Billion, 100,000 Blue Obsidian 400 200 0.27 2.7 0
2 $10 Trillion, 500 Oil 450 200 0.24 2.9 0
3 $50 Trillion, 5000 Oil 500 200 0.21 3.1 0
4 $500 Trillion, 50,000 Magnesium 550 200 0.18 3.3 0
5 $5 Quintillion, 50,000 Neodymium 600 200 0.15 3.5 0

Aerial Drone[]

Level Cost Health Fuel Fuel Use Speed Multiplier Capacity
0 Free 100 150 0.3 3 1
1 $50 Billion, 200,000 Californium 120 150 0.28 3.2 1
2 $100 Billion, 1 Million Californium 140 150 0.26 3.4 2
3 $300 Trillion, 10,000 Oil 160 150 0.24 3.6 2
4 $2.5 Quadrillion, 5 Million Silicon 180 150 0.22 3.8 3
5 $75 Quintillion, 50,000 Neodymium 200 150 0.2 4 3

Healing Drone[]

Level Cost Health Fuel Fuel Use Speed Multiplier Capacity
0 Blueprint 20 200 1.1 6 0
1 $50 Billion, 2000 Oil 30 200 0.9 6.2 0
2 $500 Billion, 1 Million Iron 40 200 0.8 6.4 0
3 $500 Trillion, 15,000 Oil 50 200 0.72 6.6 0
4 $25 Quadrillion, 5 Million Titanium 60 200 0.65 6.8 0
5 $750 Quintillion, 10 Million Ytterbium 70 200 0.6 7 0

Strategy[]

Your objective is to fully complete the cave. Failing this, to get as many rewards as you can. At first, this will be difficult (that's why the quest says "Efficiency is Key"), because you will have

  • Too little fuel
  • Too much fuel consumption
  • Too little carrying capacity
  • Too little time.
  • Too little visibility

Upgrades will eventually take care of (almost) everything. But meanwhile, a few tips.

Effective Range[]

Although calculating the exact range of the drones is difficult, you can approximate quite well by looking at when they reach 50% fuel, and counting how many nodes did the drone cover. That's their effective range for a round-trip. Any treasures that are further/deeper, you'll have to chain to get them (see "Chaining" below).

Claim Mechanic[]

Once your Drones reach a location, they will claim treasures up to their capacity and start collecting it. Treasures claimed by a drone cannot be collected by another drone (there are no fights, nor they are split: they are all for the first to reach and claim them). If there are more treasures than a drone can claim, the next one will claim them up to their capacity again. If a drone reaches a chamber and all of the treasures there are claimed, it will treat it as if empty, passing through. This does not apply to the Health Pack.

In the case of magnetic drones, they will claim all adjacent treasure not on their path, and start pulling it. Treasures being pulled are unavailable for other drones until the operation is complete, when they lay on the destination node.

  • If a second Magnetic Drone enters the chamber, it will join efforts with the first magnetic drone to pull the treasures faster. This is useful when you have a lot of fuel, but little time, and a deathtrap has claimed a lot of treasures.
  • As a special case, if a Magnetic Drone deposits extra treasures on a node after a drone has "claimed" its share, they won't be considered by the original drone, which will continue or turn back ignoring that the node is not empty. Those treasures, however, will be discovered if the drone comes back (that is, when it again claims treasures). In short, claiming only happens when entering a node.

Drones without capacity, or with capacity full, do not claim treasures.

Too little fuel, too much consumption, too little capacity[]

  • Three problems: one solution. Use basic drones whenever possible.
  • Magnetic and Healing drones are late-game. Don't use them at the beginning. It's not worth it.
  • Aerial Drones start consuming 3.75x as much fuel as basic drones, and this difference only grows with upgrades. Plus they are less capacity.
  • At the start, you'll do better getting the closest treasures first. That way you'll get back some fuel that you'll be able to use on another trip.
  • Plan your routes to get the maximum amount of treasure per trip, within range. See "Exploration" section below.

Too little time[]

  • Basic drones start taking two minutes between nodes. You can take this into account for your calculations. If distance is 10 nodes (so round-trip is 20 nodes), a basic drone will take 40 minutes to get that treasure. More if you need to chain. After upgrades, you'll need to measure your roundtrip time, same as you did with your roundtrip range, to optimize for it.
  • At first you won't be able to reach the end of some caves. This is normal and expected. Upgrades will fix it in time.
  • When you have a good measure of your time and range, start with the furthest possible nodes and work your way backwards to the cave entrance. If you get the easy ones first, you may not have time left to reach the end of the cave.
  • After you've progressed, you can quicken this by Aerial drones chaining. This is an advanced technique, however, and best used with drones lv.3 and above.

Exploration[]

  • At start, you see 2 nodes from the entrance. An Aerial Drone, launched on the entrance, almost doesn't consume fuel, yet increases visibility to 3 nodes. You should do this always as your first move.
  • At first you don't have fuel to spare for exploration, so send Basic drones, and collect while you explore.
  • Scout. After you get a few upgrades for max. fuel and fuel regen, you'll be able to send a Flying Drone as a scout. This is an advanced, dangerous technique.
    • Keep in mind the vision limit is 3 nodes at each side of its path, so deeper branches will still need to be explored by Basic Drones. Two scouts are rarely useful. Also, some caves are linear enough, or have all or most of their branches short (1 node deep), or have few long branches. For those you don't need the scout.
    • Keep in mind your scout will still collect any treasures in its path, so plan for 1 to 3 treasures being pushed deeper into the mine, if you do this. This also has good chance of creating a Deathtrap you'll need to clean up.
    • Some caves are deep. If your Flying Drone does not have the efficiency to reach/discover through the end, this strategy is less helpful.
  • After having explored the cave, you may or may want to send a Magnetic Drone, it depends mainly on Deathtrap possibility and also efficiency of such (see "Magnetic Drones" for that).
  • To balance the ability for exploration with ability to collect, send your Basic Drones in waves. First one takes the main road and takes a detour on one branch, next one detours on a further branch, next one farther, etc. This way you collect first with the first explorer, and others have free capacity for deeper treasures. There's nothing more frustrating than discovering a Gold Chest at the bottom of the cave, only for the exploring Basic Drone to be full.
  • Do not explore with a Magnetic Drone. You'll create a deathtrap for sure. See below on "Deathtraps" and "Magnetic Drones"

Chaining[]

If your range (for roundtrip) is 8 nodes, and there's a treasure 10 nodes away, that's a problem. Your drone will go out of fuel before returning. They key is, when the drone dies, it will drop the treasure it's carrying (on the last node it crossed). If this is closer than before, you can get it with another drone. In this example, the round-trip is 20 nodes. The first drone will get the treasure and die 4 nodes before the entrance (and possibly 5, since range is rarely a round number of nodes). Then, you need to send an extra drone to that node to collect the dropped treasure. If you do this while the returning drone is less than 5 nodes away from the place where it'll die, you'll save time (the first drone dies and the second one gets there and starts collecting, without waiting for the second to cover the distance from the entrance). The key is that two drones of the same type will take the same time between nodes.

If your chain causes the first drone to die on lava or radiation, you've got another problem. See "Deathtrap" below.

Boulders and Mud[]

  • Boulders and mud basically increase trip time for ground drones, and thus fuel consumption. This is a bigger problem for magnetic and healing drones, which have lower fuel efficiency.
  • Boulders can be drilled through collaboratively. If you send two or more drones in quick succession, they will drill faster.

Lava and Radiation[]

Nodes with lava or radiation damage drones passing through. The amount of damage will depend on the speed of the drone. Thus, speed upgrades not only give more HP, they make each drone take less damage from these hazards. At first, take note of how much damage your Basic Drones are taking from each hazard, because if there are enough of these on your path, you may die from lack of HP instead of lack of fuel. See "Deathtrap" below. This is specially bad when there are several danger spots one after another. Dying for lack of HP mostly stops being a problem after lv. 3 upgrades.

Deathtraps[]

A usual problem is that one drone loaded with treasure will die (for lack of HP at first, but also for lack of fuel, as seen on "Chaining" above) above lava or radiation. Then, next drones will try to collect the dropped treasure, will die before getting them and will drop anything else they were carrying, creating a deathtrap. This can also happen when you send a Magnetic Drone to collect treasure from side passages, but one of those treasures ends up over a lava/radiation spot. When there are other lava/radiation nodes next to it, it may become tricky. And at the beginning of the game, this may mean abandoning the rest of the cave.

If a deathtrap forms above lava, and it's on range and capacity of 1-2 Flying Drones, you should fix it with those. If not (too much treasure or too far away) you'll need Magnetic and/or Healing Drones.

  • A Magnetic Drone will take the treasure to safety, unless the previous spot is also radiation/lava. Keep in mind it will take a while for a drone to pull a lot of treasures.
  • A Healing Drone will heal Basic Drones while they collect, but if both spots next to the trap are also danger, they can also die unless chained/coupled (see below). This has the complication of synchronizing both drones, since Healing Drone is much faster.

You can create a "bridge" over a deathtrap using the "claim" mechanic. If, for example, your Basic Drones can carry 4 treasures, and there are 3 treasures over lava, and there is a Basic going there loaded with treasure, you can send a Basic to the death (from the entrance, directly to the danger zone). The new drone will claim the existing treasures and start collecting them, so if the loaded drone reaches the danger before the new drone dies, it will see no treasure to be had and it will cross happily. This, too, requires tight synchro.

Magnetic Drones[]

Magnetic drones take a lot of fuel, and cannot carry treasures. So they are advanced drones, to be used strategically. They have two main uses:

Pulling treasure out of deathtraps
  • Before doing this, ask yourself, Is it lava? Can I fix it with a flying drone? If yes, use flying, not magnetic. Both faster and simpler.
  • Take into account that pulling more treasures takes more time.
  • If the Magnetic Drone needs to stand over lava/radiation itself (chained deathtrap), you'll probably need a Healing Drone to help. In that case, two coupled Healing Drones could be better, if you have enough fuel at the same same. If you do not, you'll need to chain two Magnetic Drones. Take the pulling time into account when you send them.
Cleanup of side branches.

This is tricky.

  • First, you have to make sure the magnetic drone does not create a deathtrap by itself. For this, you need to explore first (exploring with the magnetic drone all but guarantees you will end up creating a trap). And then you have to remove any treasure from side branches of danger nodes (with previous runs of basic or flying drones). Remember: If the path of the magnetic drone goes over a treasure, you can ignore it for this calculation.
  • After this, you need to calculate how may treasures you will pull off (remember to discount the ones you need to gather first for this to work). If there are more than 3, then go ahead (200 fuel for the Magnetic Drone and 100 for a Basic Drone to collect them). Any other option, it will be faster and more efficient to send Basic Drones directly.
  • You have to visualize how the cave will be after the passage of the Magnetic drone. You will probably need to send a Basic Drone first to collect some of the pulled treasures, and leave the path open for the deep part. Do not make the mistake of sending a drone directly to the end, it will only end up sending the treasures deeper.

Healing Drones[]

Like magnetic drones, Healing drones take a lot of fuel, and cannot carry treasures. But they are very fast. Although low on HP, this means they lose little of it over each danger. But still they may die if they need to cross too many of them. It's a delicate balance. After reaching their destination, Healing Drones will stop there and heal all drones, including themselves, both in their node and 1 node in each direction. They will keep stationary until they die for lack of fuel.

Two Healing Drones in reach of each other will heal so much that they can keep alive forever, or more precisely, until they run out of fuel. This trick requires 400 fuel to pull off, so it's an advanced one, but allows for interesting strategies on the worst deathtraps at high levels. With enough fuel you can create a chain of healing to cross any amount of danger zones. They will spend their fuel quickly, though (2-3 min. max), so to pull this off you have to synchronize tightly.

Historical Note[]

Caves were added to the game on v0.21, August 2021. An old article in this wiki presented some differences with current version:

  • Aerial Drones used to require 200 fuel, and viewed only 2 nodes away.
  • Healing drone used to be unlocked from health packs
  • Health regen restores 10HP and another 10HP for each 10 nodes from start (so e.g. health on 21. node restores 30HP)
  • Health regen is treasure, to be used, drone must have storage capacity and must to pick up it (so noone else is using it atm) and then drops it, magbot uses it only when pulls it even if doesn't have cargo
  • Loot quality is based on distance from start and path difficulty (any obstacles improves difficulty) (this is pending confirmation, it may not be outdated)
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