Oxygen Not Included: Ranching Hatches (Tips, Tricks, & Strategies)

Hatches are versatile critters in Oxygen Not Included. Much of what they do contributes to power production in a player’s base, as some produce coal and others produce refined metal, both of which cost power to produce at other machines. Their feeding needs are also very simple, so ranching Hatches is an excellent way to produce otherwise rare resources.

Different varieties of Hatches produce coal by consuming minerals that are easy to access at the beginning of Oxygen Not Included. Players commonly find themselves with a massive surplus of sandstone or igneous rock, and feeding it to Hatches serves the dual purpose of removing excess and creating a valuable resource. Furthermore, Hatches produce no harmful byproducts and require very little in terms of accommodation and care. This makes Hatch ranching not only convenient but also overpowered.

Related: Oxygen Not Included: Where to Find Fertilizer (& How to Make It)

Hatches are first found in the temperate biome in Oxygen Not Included, where the player begins their game. This means they are often the first creature a player will encounter. Because they eat any raw mineral laying on the ground, players may want to isolate Hatches by building around them at first and placing a storage bin in the enclosure to help with feeding. This is a simple task, as Hatches are nocturnal and will burrow into the ground during the day. Creating an enclosure for Hatches will also prevent the loss of materials that players need to build at the start.

Once the player has researched ranching and assigned a duplicant the critter ranching skill in Oxygen Not Included, they can begin the process of Hatch ranching. A Hatch stable can safely be built inside a player's main base. A stable must contain a grooming station and must be a minimum of 12 titles and a maximum of 96. It is a good idea to make stables 96 tiles to avoid overcrowding. Overcrowding, starvation, and cramped quarters will all cause a Hatch to become glum, meaning it will produce fewer resources. Glum critters are also less likely to lay eggs, whereas happy Hatches receive a 15% bonus to their 2% per cycle reproduction rate.

Different variants of Hatch in Oxygen Not Included will produce materials in different volumes. Below is a breakdown of Hatch variants' consumption and excretion rates, based on the assumption that the critter is happy:

  • Standard Hatches eat raw minerals and food and excrete coal at 50% of consumed mass.
  • Sage Hatches eat raw minerals and organic material and excrete coal at 100% of consumed mass.
  • Stone Hatches eat raw minerals and metal ore and excrete coal at 50% of consumed mass.
  • Smooth Hatches eat metal ore and excrete refined metal at 75% of consumed mass.

Sage Hatches are an excellent choice if a player has a surplus of unused organic material in Oxygen Not Included. The 100% conversion rate can be tempting, but it should be noted that organic material has many other uses in the game. Early oxygen production, for example, requires algae, and slime is needed to produce more algae. This makes Stone Hatchlings the preferred alternative for coal production because they can convert otherwise unused materials, and only Stone and Smooth Hatches can lay Smooth Hatch eggs.

As the player’s stable of Hatches evolves in Oxygen Not Included, they will note that the chances of producing particular eggs will increase. This information can be viewed by selecting a Hatch and looking under “Egg Chances.” The player can set an egg cracker to the type of egg they do not want. For example, if a player is breeding Stone Hatches with the hope they will lay Smooth Hatchling eggs, they can set the egg cracker to dispose of Hatchling eggs and Sage Hatchling eggs. This provides food while also helping to cull unwanted critters.

Smooth Hatches take some patience to produce, but they are extremely valuable. They refine metals more efficiently than the rock crusher, which is time-consuming and produces a fair amount of heat. Although they perform less efficiently than the metal refinery, players may find the 25% raw material loss an acceptable price. The metal refinery produces a lot of heat and heated liquid, requires duplicant operation, and uses a whopping 1.2kW of power. This makes ranching Smooth Hatches an excellent alternative to this time-consuming and dangerous process.

More: Getting Started in Griftlands (Beginner’s Tips & Tricks)

Oxygen Not Included is available now on PC and Macintosh OS

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