We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Factorio adds new feature that was considered “too hardcore” for years

A Factorio update introduces Parameterized Blueprints to the Steam strategy game and management sim, letting you further customize building.

10/10 Steam management sim Factorio adds new tool previously considered "too hardcore" - A rocket ship takes off from the center of a large production facility.

A Factorio update has introduced a new feature that was previously considered to be “too hardcore to be included” by its developer. Lead designer Michal ‘kovarex’ Kovařík says he has spent years contemplating the idea, but finally decided to give it a go after learning not to underestimate the players of the beloved base building and resource management sim.

With an ‘overwhelmingly positive’ 97% Steam rating from 140,000 user reviews, it’s clear there’s a passionate audience for Factorio and its intricate, complex brand of factory automation, and this new tool seems like a very worthwhile addition for its more advanced players. Parametrized Blueprints are a way to quickly build a desired layout repeatedly in the management game, while still maintaining your customization options.

“I’m going to cover a feature I just finished,” Kovařík says in his latest Factorio development blog. “I was thinking about this idea for years already. I always thought the feature was too hardcore to be included, but I learned that it is usually a mistake to underestimate the players, so I gave it a go, and decided to share it right away.”

As an example, he shows a series of train unloading stations being built, with rails, a train stop, and filtered inserters to correctly unload the desired items. “This is nice,” he explains, “but whenever I build the blueprint I need to reconfigure all the filtered inserters for the target item, and also change the name of the stop, and it is tedious.”

Factorio Parameterized Blueprints - The player sets up a series of train unloading stations using the new customizable building tool.

Parametrized Blueprints solve this problem by not having a specific item configuration, but instead acting as a generic blueprint that players can determine a series of preset parameters for. These will then be presented for you to fill out with the specifics whenever you choose to build something with that blueprint.

You can even assign certain parameters as dependent on others, meaning you won’t need to implement every single required parameter if some are determined by others. For example, you can auto-assign ingredients of an item to other parameters, or set that a second numerical parameter will always be double the value of the first, meaning you only need to enter the first one when building.

Factorio Parameterized Blueprints - Setup menu for the new tool, allowing the player to determine certain parameters that affect the resulting build.

“Factorio has been compared to programming many times,” Kovařík concludes, “and this is just another part of the analogy. I would love to hear your feedback about this feature. Is it too much? Is it understandable? Can you not wait to use it? Let us know on the usual channels.” While I’m far from the best Factorio player out there, I can already think of some great ways to make use of this new option, so I’m curious to discover what others will do with it.

If you’re after more tools to play with, have a look through our pick of the best Factorio mods. We’ve also lined up the best simulation games if you love messing around with intricate systems.

You can also follow us on Google News for daily PC games news, reviews, and guides, or grab our PCGN deals tracker to net yourself some bargains.