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Mining. What am I doing wrong?


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Hiya Vintage Story peeps.


I recently bought the game and really love the game as a whole. I got myself a nice amount of copper so far and got a nice farm up and running for food. So far so good.

But now I need to go mining and I cannot, for the life of me, find any good results or even ores to begin with.


I did everything I saw in suggestions. From using Node mode to the sample mode. I am using the mod that shows you what you got on the map.

I dug down in specific spots, using node mode over and over but nothing.

I went into caves trying to find ores that way, using node mode more and more but nothing.

I have now wasted over 5 pickaxes and one prospectors pick with the next one being almost broken as well and all I want is some dang hematite lol


Is there something I am doing wrong or is this just the standard experience?
Because in videos I constantly see people find a BIIIIG load in chunks while I find poor to no traces whatsoever.

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Welcome to the forums!

Your description is a bit vague. If you're coming here saying you've already read all the suggestions, how can we offer additional ones? ;) It's also not clear what problem exactly you're running into. Are you unable to find an area with a high abundance of iron? Or are you unable to find a vein of iron when digging in an area with a high abundance of iron? Your post kinda reads like "both", except that's impossible because those cases are mutually exclusive.

In general, though: yes, this is hard for new players. Prospecting has the steepest learning curve of all activities in the game. But you can learn it, and then you can get fairly consistent results. It is a skill that you, the player, must learn through experience.

Additionally, it's important to realize that ores differ in more than just name from each other. You can't just look at the copper veins you found and assume that all ores would give you the exact same experience. Higher tier ores are harder to find, not just by spawn chance but also by how the veins themselves look. Copper is pretty much everwhere, due to a specific mix of vein size and vein numbers that make it particularly easy to run into it at random. Then comes the bronze age, where you're looking for cassiterite, or bismuth and sphalerite. They're noticably harder to track down than copper, because they're roughly the same size but spawn less frequently, so you need to put in a bit more effort and work with greater precision. But an experienced player can still consistently point you towards a deposit within maybe half an hour to an hour of looking - depending almost entirely on how much ground needs to be covered to find an initial reading. Then comes the iron age, and that's where it gets really tricky, because iron veins are nothing like copper or cassiterite or bismuth. They're absolutely gigantic in size - but rare as heck. You'll only see one iron deposit for every fifty copper ones, on average, given equal abundance. On the upside, you'll probably only ever need to find one iron ven, and it'll easily last you the rest of your playthrough, because they're just that large.

But you really have to search for it. Yes, you can dig where it says "ultra high" and find nothing. That can happen with iron. The veins are just that rare. Move some 30-40 blocks away and look there, even if that's a slightly less favorable area. You may not find anything there either. Move on, search some more. The only solution here is perseverance.

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Thank you :D


Ah apologies, let me clarify in that case. I am finding hematite results using the prospecting pick around the areas that I am looking at. But I find barely any of it in physical form in those areas. All results I am getting are either poor or little to no traces at all. (I had gone caving after reading some suggestions, using the "node mode" but that resulted in no ore deposits found within the caves themself)


I have resulted to digging down at a 0.9 poor spot for hematite which was so far after 3 hours of running around and sampling the highest amount I could find. I even made sure its the center of all other traces found but digging down and using the node mode after 20-30 blocks lead to finding nothing, not even a possible node somewhere nearby (how someone on youtube had done it for his tutorial).


Is prospecting really that difficult? It feels rather easy to understand once you know the overall feature. Maybe its because I come with prior knowledge from the minecraft mod Terrafirmacraft, who knows.


Hm, copper should be more abundant as you say but I also have been running mostly into surface copper so far. Not even using the prospecting pick did I find any deposits so far. I however found a 1.1 deposit of Limenite (if I am spelling that correctly) however that I cant even mine yet with what I have. And seeing how you speak about bronze, I wonder if I could even mine Iron with just copper yet.


Also shoot for real? Its that rare?

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Nope, you cannot mine iron with a copper pick. Limonite is one of the three kinds of iron ore, by the way. So you have already found what you wanted, and just never knew it :P Unless of course what you actually found is ilmenite, which is a titanium ore that is used as a refractory material in steelmaking in the endgame.

And if poor abundance is the best you could find for hematite, that explains why you had terrible luck digging for it there. With most ores you generally want to avoid working with anything that has an abundance of less than decent. It can still generate ore - I once found a hematite vein in a poor area myself. But I'd consider that a desperate last resort, which at the time, it kind of was. Though given that that was my first world, It was largely down to me not knowing how to find a better spot.

Getting an area with a good abundance is all about covering lots and lots of ground. For example, when I start prospecting, I pick a spot near my base which has both horizontal coordinates divisible by 40. I start with that block. And then I walk 160 blocks in one direction before I prospect again. Then another 160 blocks. And then another. When I have a line of like a thousand blocks long, I move 160 blocks perpendicular to it, and start a second line of samples, again spaced 160 blocks apart. I might end up with a 960x960 block area for which I took only 36 samples in total, spaced evenly in a grid pattern. It'll take me less than two full daylight periods to have a good first approximation of what's available in an entire square kilometer of land.

If one of these samples looked promising, I'll then I'll halve the grid spacing to search 80 blocks away from it, to figure out in which direction the abundance increases. And then I'll increase the resolution even further, searching every 40 blocks until I have mapped out the local maximum. Hopefully it'll be good enough to be worth digging. If not... well, back to the sparse 160-block grid spacing to cover more ground.

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