How to Build (& Automate) Drones in Update 4

Drones hit 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 includes the ability to build and use drones for faster transport of resources. Drones become available to Level 7 Engineers in the Aviation Engineering section. They can travel at 70 m / s and consume 100 mw of energy. They can help engineers carry stacks of resources Satisfactory map faster than other vehicles and transportation methods.

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When creating a drone system, players will need at least two drone ports, one as the origin port and one as the destination port, and at least one drone. They can build more to expand their transportation possibilities. Drones only work with batteries which is a bit complicated and requires a lot of materials to be made, so it can get expensive to use drones. However, drones are a faster and easier way to move items around the entire open world map and may be worth the investment for some players. Here’s how to create, connect, and use drones in Satisfactory.

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How to build drones and drone ports satisfactorily

Engineer looks at a drone satisfactorily

Drones and drone ports are considered endgame transport items in Satisfactory, unlock at level 7. To build a simple drone system, consisting of the drone itself and two ports, players will need the following materials:


  • 4 engine
  • 10 Alclad aluminum foil
  • 1 radio control unit
  • 2 AI Limit
  • 1 portable miner

Drone port

  • 20 heavy modular frames
  • 20 high speed connectors
  • 50 Alclad aluminum sheets
  • 50 aluminum enclosures
  • 10 radio controlled units

A drone port will be considered the home port of the drone. The other will be the destination port. Each drone port can only be the original port for one drone. However, a drone port can be the destination port for many drones.

A satisfying Blender building

Drones need batteries for fuel. These also unlock at level 7 and are crafted in the Blender, another crafting building that has arrived SatisfactoryUpdate 4. Batteries can be stored in 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 supply chain or a dedicated factory to produce batteries. Players can even include a drone port here to use a drone to carry batteries around the map.

Each drone can carry nine stacks of items per trip between drone ports. Each drone port will have space for 36 batteries, divided in half. Eighteen of the stacks are considered inbound, where drones will drop their stacks, and 18 will be considered outbound, which drones will pick up for transport once they dock. If there is no space in the Incoming section when a drone stops, it will sit down and wait for the object slots to become available, which will save the row.

How to connect and use drones satisfactorily

A player uses drones to move resources around the map satisfactorily

Once a drone port has been built, the engineer can open their user interface and assign each home drone port a destination drone port. This will create a small network of drones, telling the drone exactly where to go from its home port and where to return once it’s done. To make this network more manageable, players will want to give each port a specific name that they will remember. Some fans like to name ports after relevant landmarks or the location of the port, or after the resources the port contains for transportation. Players should use whatever system works best for them and feel free to be as creative or technical as they want.

As soon as a destination port has been set for the drone and the home port has enough batteries, the drone will automatically take off and proceed to its destination. The player has nothing more to do to help them. However, to keep a network of drones moving Satisfactory, players will always want to make sure that at least one port along the flight path of a single drone has enough batteries, otherwise the drone will stop and block the port.

Drones do not have specific flight paths and may not take the same path every time. However, they will still travel from their original destination to the specified ports, in order. Technically, players can jump on a drone as it takes off and fly it. However, since drones tend to pick up speed and change direction in flight, this can be dangerous and easily kill the engineer.

Gamers can learn more about drones and drone ports by watching the video below from creator ImKibitz:

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