Area & Stockpile Designation

An important aspect of managing an expedition is designating locations for various purposes. While not as glamorous as building monuments or fighting battles, these activities are essential to smooth logistical operation of an expedition.


Viewing the socialization area designation of an expedition that just landed.


  • Area designations provide a way for you to control where your expedition personnel perform certain activities.
    • For example, you don’t want your NPCs to wandering around hazardous or uncomfortable places when socializing.
    • To prevent this, you can designation socialization areas inside comfortable, safe, well equipped structures.
  • Stockpile designations are used to specify where your expedition’s items should be stored.
    • Stockpile designations are used to determine where NPCs will place unused raw materials.
    • Stockpile designations are used to determine where NPCs will place finished goods produced by manufacturing.
    • Stockpile designations are used to determine where NPCs will drop off communal items after having used them.
    • Correctly positioning the right sorts of stockpiles for raw materials and finished goods is an essential part of building effective supply chains.

Stockpile Management

Stockpiles are locations that you designate for storing items. Items and raw materials that belong to your expedition and are not currently in use will be placed into stock piles. In many ways, stockpiles are like area designations, in that they’re ultimately sets of coordinates that you define for your expedition to use in a certain way. They are different than area designations in many ways, in that they’re managed through specialized interfaces and are used to store items in addition to directing behavior.

When a stockpile location has been designated, but doesn’t yet contain any items, it doesn’t change the location’s base appearance. Once a stockpile contains items, though, it becomes visible and looks like a storage crate.


Viewing a stockpile’s contents is easy. Simply select the tile inspection tool and click on the stockpile. The items it contains will be listed in the “Tile Composition” view, and a button will be added to the tile information dialog to view the stockpile’s items in detail. Clicking this button will load the stockpile’s “Item Data” dialog, which will list all the items in the stockpile in alphabetical order. Any of its items can then be individually selected, and the specific item’s details can be viewed by clicking the “View Selected Item Details” button.


A screenshot showing stockpile information and its item list. Some detailed information about a cot stored in the stockpile is visible in the background.

Stockpile management is accomplished by via the stockpile management dialog. With the stockpile management tool chosen, you can select one or more tiles and set the sorts of items that can be stored there. Existing stockpiles can also be deleted using this interface. When an existing stockpile is deleted, expedition NPCs with transportation activities enabled will automatically move any items that were stored there to appropriate locations.


An early version of the stockpile management dialog. Some more refinement is needed to add more fine tuning options, but it works for now.

Trade Stockpiles

Trade stockpiles are special kinds of stockpiles that contain goods that you’re offering for trade. To create a trade stockpile, check the box for trade when you designate a new stockpile location, as shown in the screenshot below:


Creating a trade stockpile.

Your NPCs won’t deposit items in a trade stockpile, and they won’t take items out of a trade stockpile, unless you specifically tell them to. To trade items, you must specify the specific items that you want offer by placing them into a trade stockpile manually. This is done by clicking the “Designate Items” button from the stockpile’s information dialog, and then using the item selection dialog to indicate which items you want placed in the stockpile. This is shown in the screenshot below:


Specifying specific items for a stockpile.

Area Designations

The principles behind area designations are very similar to those behind stockpiles. A prime example of an area designation is your expedition’s socialization areas. These locations determine where your NPCs will gather when they don’t have jobs to do and when they want to socialize with other NPCs. Obviously, you’ll want to specify these areas in safe, comfortable locations to maximize your NPCs’ positive experiences.

Of note, active area designations can be viewed via the “Advanced View Options” dialog, as shown in this article’s top screenshot.

Here you can see a quick example of area management. In this demonstration, I’ve embarked in a location where rain is falling. I want to get my personnel indoors and out of the unpleasant weather, so I quickly construct a shelter, designate its interior as the expedition’s socialization area, and delete the default socialization area, which is located outside.

Landing Zones: Special Area Designations

Landing zones are designated areas where spacecraft can land. For spacecraft to land at a particular landing zone, its area designation must meet the following criteria:

  • The area must be perfectly level, and the designated tiles must be located in the air, directly above the surface ground tiles.
  • The area must be unobstructed. No tree limbs, structures, or other items can be hanging over the area.
  • The area must be large enough to accommodate whatever craft is trying to land.
    • A good bet is to clear out an 11 tile by 11 tile area. This is large enough to accommodate an XRT Shuttle.
Posted in Industry