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Where are the Ores?

Leopold Hetzner

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Welcome to the forums :)

In contrast to a certain other block game, not all areas of the world contain the same ores, or the same amount of them. The world is made up of three or four layers of different stone types on top of each other. Certain ores may only occur in certain stone types (though copper can exist in almost all of them). So if you only explore caves, you may never discover ore types that can only exist in the lowest layer in your area, because the caves may not go down that far.

Additionally, there are far more than four different rock types. Since any given area can only have three or four at a time, you will absolutely run into the problem of, at some point, needing a resource that literally cannot generate in your area. You will then have to travel, potentially quite a distance, to a different area that can host different resources. This is intentional.

However, even if what you need can generate in your area, there's no guarantee that it will. A stone layer may stretch for thousands of blocks in all directions, but only certain spots within it will contain ore. (In exchange, once you do find ore, you generally find large amounts of it.)

To find these spots, there is a special tool that you can cast out of copper, the prospecting pick. Prospecting is a fairly complex mechanic, with a big learning curve. The most important thing about it is that you approach it systematically, instead of running around taking readings at random. The more reliable and repeatable your methodology is, the easier it is to find ore, although you may need to spend some effort initially to set up your search grid. You should also think carefully about whether you want to record your results (using map markers, or a spreadsheet, or a mod), to save time down the line when you need to look for something else, or whether you want to just focus on finding one thing at a time. I generally recommend the former, but it's understandable if you find that daunting. (Future versions of Vintage Story may help you with that out of the box, but it's not implemented as of yet.)

There should be a guide on how to use the prospecting pick in the ingame handbook (press H). You should probably go make one now and practice with it a bit.

As far as methodology goes, I've written about my own approach to prospecting here. I wrote that to help someone find cassiterite (tin ore), but you can use the same method to look for any other ore as well. If you're in need of copper, for instance, just ignore everything I say in that post about which stone types to focus on (since copper spawns in all stone types except bauxite), and follow along the steps of making the grid and narrowing down a hotspot for either "native copper" or "malachite".


Edited by Streetwind
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