Jump to content

Can't Find Iron Ore

Recommended Posts

Title says it all, I've got fifty hours in game and for the life of me I have been entirely unable to find iron ore anywhere. I even dug a Vintage Story Style strip mine in chunks that, according to the prospectors pick, had decent amounts of iron ore but I've still got nothing. Are there any mods, tips, tricks or console commands that could potentially help me find it? I'm about to quit playing the game because after fifty hours in I should have been able to at least find SOME iron ore

Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forums! The most important tip is: don't build strip mines. ;)

Ore in VS generates as horizontal discs. Meaning, if you dig horizontal shafts, it's like trying to shoot the edge of an archery target instead of the front face. Instead, dig straight down. A 2x1 block vertical shaft, equipped with ladders, all the way down to the bottom of the world. If you do not hit an ore deposit on the way, go 20-30 blocks to one side and repeat. One time, I was also desperate for iron, and had to make do with a "poor" reading. I had to dig four such shafts until I found something. Thankfully, iron deposits are huge, so once you get one, you'll be set for a good long while. And a "decent" reading is quite okay as far as chances go.

Additionally: do you have the secondary propick mode (node search mode) enabled in your world? It can help while you dig those vertical shafts, by detecting ore you just barely missed.


Edited by Streetwind
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have found a lot of iron ore veins during my VS play. Most of them simply by exploring caves. Iron ores are more or less red color and is easily spottable. Simply continue playing, explore as much caves as you can and you should hit it sooner or later. Exploring caves has other benefits: ruins (with rare materials), and traslocators.

Prospecting with propick is much harder imho. My first experience was nightmare. I was not able to find ore because I use bad procedures. Be very very precise when use propick and stick to right procedure (you can find here in forum detailed explanations how to propick ores step by step).

Horizontal strip mine like in Minecraft doesn't work at all.

Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Streetwind said:

Thankfully, iron deposits are huge, so once you get one, you'll be set for a good long while.

In my limited experience this isn't true. So far the only iron deposit I've found is of quite modest size, just slightly larger than the surface copper deposits I've been mining. At about a dozen ingots worth it definitely didn't set me up for long at all.

It wasn't very deep. I found it while caving, not far beneath the surface. After going well down into the granite layer and mining a visible cassiterite vein, (~50 bronze ingots worth) on the way out I used the propick in Node Search Mode to make a number of tests. One of them reported the Hematite. When mining it out I saw that it was right at the granite-shale boundary.

For new players

Note that when using the propick in Node Search Mode, any amount reported is important information while looking for new deposits because it's reporting real blocks it found and not theoretical probabilites. If the propick finds just a single block that's part of an enormous deposit it will still report "trace". You need to locate an ore ore block and either do further tests or start mining the deposit to know its true extent.

After mining a deposit, reports of trace amounts can help you extract the remaining small bits of ore disconnected from the main ore body.

Vintage Story isn't Minecraft

New players, ignore most of what you learned from Minecraft about locating ore. As DrEngine just said, "Horizontal strip mine like in Minecraft doesn't work at all."

This is because ore distribution in Minecraft is very, very simple. With the exception of emerald, every ore in Minecraft's overworld spawns in all biomes. Everything is everywhere—you have to be unlucky not to find it!

Vintage Story is quite different. The ore generation rules mean that each mineral has regions where there's none at all! The most important feature of the prospecting pick is to tell you where not to look! (Note that the propick can be wrong about this, and that you can get lucky and hit a deposit the propick doesn't report, but this is too rare to rely on. There are also minerals that the propick never reports. Read about this in the Prospecting for Ore Fields section of the wiki.)

The only mining method in Minecraft that carries over to VS is exploring caves to spot visible deposits. Other VS methods, locating surface stones and using both propick modes, are completely different and very important.

VSProspectorInfo mod

This new mod is a tremendous help in using the propick in Density Search Mode. It's available here: VSProspectorInfo - conveniently store prospecting pick results directly in your map data. Instead of you writing the results from the propick on scraps of paper or entering them into a spreadsheet, this mod stores them in game and marks the tested chunks on the map. You can see on the map which chunks you've already tested so you never needlessly repeat a test, and the stored results show as a tooltip when you mouse over a tested chunk. Brilliant and highly recommended.

Trivial note: What Minecraft players call "strip mining" is completely unrelated to the real-world term

Minecraft players have taken to calling straight tunnels dug 2 or 3 blocks apart in the diamond layer "strip mining" because they don't care about the meaning of the term in the real world. There it's the very destructive method of excavating all the vegetation, dirt, and unwanted rock above to expose a shallow horizontal ore deposit to daylight. Doing real-world strip mining in Minecraft would be pointless since all you'd get would be a little iron because ore deposits in Minecraft are tiny, not flat layers that can extend for miles like coal in the real world.

While formerly used only for surface mining, today an extreme type known as "mountaintop removal" is practiced in the Appalachian mountains of the eastern US where it hideously disfigures the landscape.

Edited by Stratagerm
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Stratagerm said:

When mining it out I saw that it was right at the granite-shale boundary.

Then it ran up against that boundary and got truncated, yeah.

Typical hematite veins that appear in their full size will have you running multiple trips even with four leather backpacks because your inventory filled up. ;)

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/27/2020 at 7:30 PM, Streetwind said:

Typical hematite veins that appear in their full size will have you running multiple trips even with four leather backpacks because your inventory filled up. ;)

Even with leather backpacks that have 12 slots each, you'll have to go several times.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

This topic might be a bit old already, but just yesterday I went on the trip to find my first iron ore myself, having had no "random luck" while caving so far. So I went just a bit south of my base with my trusty propick and followed a miniscule reading of limonite until I got it up to "very poor" with 1,6-1,8‰. This was the best I could get for the beginning as it didn't go any higher than very poor, so I wanted to try my luck and even found a little cave entrance. Inside the cave I found a shaft that goes very deep and that very shaft went right through an iron deposit! So I started digging and needed almost 2 full black bronze picks to mine it all, it even had a tin deposit next to it as well. I ended up with 7 stacks plus 38 medium chunks of iron ore... the iron deposit was larger than anything else I encountered so far, all from a "very poor" reading on the propick. While my example might be very lucky, remember that the propick in density search mode is always chance-based and won't actually tell you if there is ore present. For this you would need to check with the node search mode. I personally don't use node search mode as I find it more challenging and fun with caving/chance based search.

TL;DR Walk around with your propick until you get any sort of hematite/limonite/magnetide reading and check different directions if it goes any higher, then look for cave entrances or just start digging down.


Best of luck in the tunnels!

Edited by Tobias Feuerbach
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.