Build Gun

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A pioneer spinning a Build Gun in their hand.
A construction hologram.

The Build Gun is a tool pioneers can use to place, dismantle and customize buildings and vehicles.[1] It projects a hologram showing where the buildable structure will be placed,[2] and highlighting key features such as Conveyor and Pipeline inputs, outputs and power connectors. Valid placements appear blue, hard clearance appears red and soft clearance yellow, the colors for all placement validities can be freely customized in settings.

It is also the same tool that does resource scanning.[3] The pioneer will equip the tool before exiting the drop-pod. The tool is not craft-able and will still be equipped even after the pioneer respawns or dies. It also does not occupy any inventory slot.

The construction and dismantle range is 100 meters (12.5 foundation lengths). Buildings can be rotated with Middle by default, in increments of 10°, or 45°/90° when placed on Foundations. The Build Gun cannot be used while swimming; but as long as the Pioneer is above water surface, most buildings can be placed submerged or completely underwater.

Construction mode

Construction mode allows buildings to be constructed using materials in the inventory. There are various possible ways of entering construction mode:

  • Selecting a building from the build menu (Q)
  • Selecting a building bound to a hotbar (09)
  • Copying a building using the building eyedropper (Middle click)
  • Searching for and selecting a building in Quick Search (N)

It is unlocked after the pioneer has hand-mined Iron Ore for the first time, or if Onboarding was skipped, is always available.

Certain buildables require multiple clicks to be built, such as Conveyor Poles, Ladders, Flood Light Towers, or Foundations under Zoop mode. The first click confirms the location, allowing the structure to be raised (extended), rotated and/or angled. There is an option 'Build in one click' that reduces the number of clicks required.

Quick Switch allows similar buildings (such as Foundation sizes or Conveyor marks) to be cycled through by holding or pressing E.

Build modes, available for for most structural buildables such as Foundations, Walls, Conveyors, Pipelines and Hyper Tubes can be switched by holding or pressing R.

Conveyor Belts, Lifts, Pipelines, Power Poles and Miners can be upgraded or downgraded in place by selecting the new variant and aiming on the existing building. Walls have the same functionality, but Ctrl has to be held.

Build menu

The build menu Q contains all the unlocked buildings, sorted into tabs. Left-clicking a building selects it for construction, right-clicking shows additional options, such as viewing them in the Codex or adding them to the To Do List.

Hotbar shortcuts

Buildings can be bound to hotbars by hovering over them in the build menu and pressing the respective 09 key. Each building can only be bound to each hotbar once, but the same building can be bound to multiple hotbars. Once a building has been bound to a hotbar, it can be overwritten anytime, but a hotbar can never be cleared once anything has been bound to it. Inventory equipment cannot be bound to hotbars.

Buildings already bound to hotbars at the bottom of the screen can be then selected with the respective key. There are ten hotbars in total, which can be cycled through by Alt+Middle scrolling.

The default binds on the first hotbar are Power Line.png Power Line, Power Pole Mk.1.png Power Pole Mk.1, Conveyor Belt Mk.1.png Conveyor Belt Mk.1 and Conveyor Pole.png Conveyor Pole, while the other nine hotbars are empty.

Building eyedropper

Aiming at any structure and pressing Middle will copy that structure. Note that any configuration data, such as selected recipe or clock speed, is not copied.

Entering dismantle mode F previews which building is about to be copied. This can make it easier to pick the building you want, especially for small targets in cluttered areas.

Quick search

Quick search, accessed by N, allows any buildings to be searched up quicker than from the build menu. It additionally functions as a simple calculator, see controls for details.


Zoop or Zooping [4] refers to the ability to build multiple Buildable's at one time, and may have been inspired by the popular use of the Smart Foundations Game Mod (now called Smart!).

The function name of "Zoop" came from CSS Game Designer Mark Hofma (see Trivia).

How to zoop

  • Zoop Build Mode is activated by tapping R Key to switch between Build Modes, or by pressing/holding the R Key to bring up the Radial Menu and selecting Zoop.
  • You can only Zoop up to 10 at one time and only in one dimension (flat, vertical, etc.).
  • In addition to Zooping horizontally with Foundations and Walls, you can also Zoop Vertically [5] with Foundations / Ramps, Walls, and Pillars, up to a max of 10.

What can be zooped

What can not be zooped

Hologram lock and nudge mode

  • Pressing H in build or blueprint mode will lock the hologram in place, so its position can be inspected and adjusted.
  • While the hologram is locked, the arrow keys , , , will nudge (move) the hologram in one meter increments horizontally.[12]
    • The maximum distance is 8 meters or half of the width of the building, whichever is bigger.
    • Vertical nudging is not possible.
  • Using Left will place the building/blueprint as usual.

Dismantle mode

Dismantle mode F allows player-built structures to be dismantled, refunding 100% of the building cost to the Pioneer's inventory.

Aiming at any building shows the items about to be refunded, which is useful for telling what is stored within Storage Containers. Holding down Left for one second will dismantle the selected building. Dismantling structures with anything stored within them refunds the contents as well. If there is not enough room in the inventory, a crate with the overflow resources will spawn instead.

It is unlocked after the pioneer steps out of the Drop-pod and listened to ADA's 'first objective' message. Dismantling the Drop-pod is required to obtain HUB Parts used to build The HUB. If Onboarding was skipped, Dismantle mode is always available.

Mass dismantle

  • By holding down Ctrl, up to 50 structures can be selected at once.
  • By letting go of Ctrl and pressing it again, aiming at selected buildings deselects them instead
  • The dismantle filter activated using G can be activated to only select buildings of the same type as the currently highlighted building

Invalid dismantle targets

The following are known invalid dismantle targets:

Dismantling a sub-building will dismantle the parent building (if possible), otherwise dismantling will silently fail.


Main article: Customizer

The Customizer allows to edit and apply color swatches, which affect the visual appearance of buildings and vehicles, apply materials to Foundations, Walls and Roofs and apply Patterns to Foundations. It is accessed by X and unlocked in Tier 2 - Resource Sink Bonus Program.

Build clearance

Main article: Build clearance

Individual buildings' encroachments have a specific build clearance type (soft, hard, complex).


  • When exiting the drop-pod at the start of the game, the pioneer fastens a partly loose sticker on the Build Gun/Resource Scanner. The sticker is a picture of Box Boy from Coffee Stain Studios' very first game, I Love Strawberries, released in 2010.[13]
  • The Build Gun has numerous lines of text printed on its casing.
  • Snutt made the mass dismantle feature.[16]
  • Snutt mentions that the name for the function called Zoop came from came from CSS Game Designer Mark Hofma using Ladders and saying "Zoop". [17]



  • Patch The Build Gun now remembers its last used dismantle mode, such as blueprint dismantle, so you no longer need to switch to it every time the Build Gun is brought up
  • Patch When trying to dismantle invalid buildable's they will now redirect to the valid dismantlable (I.E. Like the Integrated train tracks or the Sub Buildings of the Hub, they will now dismantle the Train Station and the entire Hub respectively)
  • Patch
    • Added the ability to lock a hologram in place with H by default while in Build Mode, allowing players to inspect the placement before building
    • Added the ability to nudge a locked hologram with the arrow keys by default, allowing players to adjust the placement before building
    • Added a Dismantle Filter to the Dismantle Mode, allowing the player to select a specific buildable to dismantle and ignore all other buildables
  • Patch Fixed Steel Wall skin pack having an incorrect icon in the build menu
  • Patch Fixed a bunch of Build Gun trace issues, Building and dismantling in Gas/Water should now work again
  • Patch
    • Build Mode now prioritizes showing missing costs while building
    • Added option to only show missing cost when in Build Mode
  • Patch Fixed issue where the shopping list buttons would show up incorrectly in the Build Gun Build Menu
  • Patch
    • Increased Build Gun build menu size to fit 6 items in a single row (Was 5 before)
    • Shortened build menu Category "Transportation" to "Transport"
    • Fixed an issue where the weapon crosshair would display while the Build Gun is active
  • Patch Fixed “Currently Building: BuildingName” appearing for a very short time when accessing Dismantle Mode
  • Patch
    • Fixed all build and dismantle interactions getting locked when entering a vehicle by pressing both Q and E at the same time
    • Fixed an issue where all player input would stop working if the Build Menu/Customizer was closed with the color picker open
  • Patch Fixed Build Gun looking weird during the Drop Pod Sequence (Planetfall)
  • Patch
    • Added indicator for the HUD in Build Mode to display how many objects are being built when zooping
    • Potentially fixed a crash when Mass Dismantling
    • Fixed Hologram snapping always using automatic clearance snapping if a Multiplayer / Dedicated Server Client was building, it now updates settings between Client and Host/Server
  • Patch
    • Added some extra safety checks for dismantling to hopefully prevent some crashes
    • Changed so the snap guidelines always appear (The Green line to align to inputs/outputs)
  • Patch 2018-10-11: Introduced