Stone Age

From GT New Horizons
(Redirected from Shawnbyday's Tier Tips)

Greg Tech: New Horizons is divided up into tiers that mark progression - Stone is the first of these. You have no power other than your own hands, travel is slow and dangerous, and hunger constantly nips at your heels. The Quest Book is here to guide you along, and this page focuses on getting to the Steam Age as soon as possible.

Beginner Tips is highly recommended reading, which straddles Stone, Steam and a bit beyond into LV.


Starting Location

The most important decision in the early game is choosing where to start. Look for a location that's relatively flat or open, near sand/clay, with good access to a body of water at minimum. Minerals will have to be searched for no matter what, and with a relatively flat location it makes it easier to get around and set up early farms. Due to the amount of infrastructure this pack demands you build, it gets progressively harder to move as you advance. Choose wisely.

  • Near river or lake. With no infinite water until you get a Railcraft Water Tank, you will be making frequent trips to fetch water. Make sure the water source is large enough, at least 60 blocks. Being near a river is good for setting up kinetic water generators later, but not necessary. Rivers are also not a bad way to get around by boat. Proximity to water also where clay will generate. Large quantities go into making the Smeltery, which is the first step towards better reusable tools.
  • Biome with high IC2 nutrient bonus, IC2 hydration bonus, and humidity. Not desert or snowy. InGame Info XML shows humidity but not the other two. If you plan on growing crops later for resources nutrient/hydration bonuses will support plants with higher stats and make them grow faster. The Water Tank auto-fills with water over time, and the speed of this is heavily affected by the biome humidity (90% humidity will fill 3x as fast as 30% humidity.)
  • Sand: Desert within reasonable travel distance. You will need sand for many of the early multi-block recipes, and for glass. Later you can automate creating it from cobblestone, but in the Stone Age you have to collect raw sand from the wild.
  • Hardened Clay: Proximity to clay mountains or mesa. Hardened clay can be pulverized for clay dust. Used for the Smeltery, Bricked Blast Furnace, Concrete and aluminium elecrolyzing (MV).
  • Oil: Near an Oil spout, but no closer than eight chunks (128 blocks). If you are closer, cover the spout with a dirt/cobble roof. Lightning or Infernal Mobs can set it on fire. Oil is harmless to touch but will suck you down, prevent jumping and massively slow movement, so don't fall into the well.
  • Village: A great place to setup a base. Villages however should be avoided until you have a bed, otherwise the villagers will be slaughtered while you hole up at night. Steal a door; you won't get one until you smelt iron. Walled villages are especially good if you can light them up inside the walls. Iron Golems can be turned into a passive income iron farm. Help yourself to some crops as well. If you're particularly lucky there might even be an incomplete Smeltery in the village or a Tinker's Construct house.
  • Exposed Minerals: This is difficult in GTNH since ores spawn in veins. Sometimes you might get lucky and find a vein on the surface, but it's pretty unlikely. Always mark any you find with JourneyMap.
  • Lava: Handy for refilling your smeltery. Don't expect many surface lava pools other than a rare Meteorite crater or single blocks. Most locations will need a ladder down to lava level.
  • Roguelike Dungeons: The large brick buildings on the surface with a bed and furnace are perfect for starting a base. The stairs down can be blocked off to prevent monsters from coming up. Also, the bricks can be cannibalized later for multi-block structures. You can cheese the dungeon by going down with only torches and lighting it all up before returning for loot. The other variants of Roguelike Dungeons aren't as profitable as the brick house but can still make for a solid temporary home.
  • Wood: You will probably need more than seven stacks for the first three tiers (mostly for charcoal, paper and chests). Some great biomes to look for are Jungles, Swamps, any type of Forest (the dense or ones with big trees are especially great), and most of all, the Sacred Spring, which has massive trees but is a rather rare biome.

First Days

Fair warning, nights in GTNH are dark. Gamma correction is disabled, on purpose, and you won't get a steady supply of torches until well into the game. And there are terrifying Infernal mobs that can do nasty things to you. Expect to wall yourself in a hole in the ground during the night until you get your first bed. Torches will be in short supply until your first Coke Oven when excess creosote, wool and sticks can make torches in quantity. (Tip: to have only a tiny bit of orientation in your absolute dark dirt shack, press F7 to know where the floor is). If you're lucky and find a coal vein, you can smelt the ore to make coal for torches. There is also a guide on the Questing Mechanics. Coal may drop from Small Coal Ore, but it's not a guarantee. One of the first quests offers five torches in exchange for wood, which you are strongly advised to pick.

Set up some Item Storage with Chests, JABBA barrels, and/or Storage Drawers. There are a ton of items to collect and getting organized early is key to a pleasant GT:NH experience. Choose your starting location with care because it becomes exponentially more difficult to move as more resources are gathered and infrastructure built.

Pick up any Gardens and berry bushes nearby. Hang onto a few of each garden and break extras for some early food. Do *not* jump or run unless necessary. Until food is renewable, hunger is a real problem. Build stairs up/down between your house and farm if they're not level as soon as possible, and between commonly traversed destinations.

Close combat with most mobs is likely to end in your death this early in the Stone Age. Avoid or cheese whatever you can, and run away from everything else. Many hostile mobs have dangerous abilities. Punji Sticks, Quicksand, Natura Berry Bushes or Cactus all make for good defensive barriers. Once you have a bed, sleep immediately as it turns to night (6:32pm). This will prevent hostile mobs from spawning and ruining your day. Make a Sleeping Bag for a portable bed that won't reset your spawn point.

Explore the immediate area around your base to ensure there aren't any environmental Hazards. Two in particular to be wary of are Hungry Nodes and Tainted Lands. Hungry Nodes are invisible but manifest as a small localized area of block destruction. Approaching too close is lethal. Tainted Lands are dark purple and spread, slowly infecting and destroying any living things the Taint comes into contact with. Eerie biomes caused by Eldritch Obelisk's nodes and Stone Circles should also be given a wide berth, as they can spawn powerful mobs.

Bamboo, Quicksand, Greatwoods & Silverwoods are also worth taking note of, if they're nearby. All are used for early side quest progression.


Punch some trees, craft gravel into flint, and make a crafting table. The first tools you can make are not wood but flint. Once you have a furnace up and running, make mortars from stone and flint to process gravel more efficiently. Always keep a mortar around to avoid having to use the 3:1 gravel recipe.

This might be the first time you'll run into one of GT:NH's quirks - difficulty in finding recipes. NEI has no results for "Flint Pickaxe". Tools in GTNH aren't hard coded the same way vanilla recipes are - so to find them, look up the base material (Flint) and hit "U" for uses. Flint tools have straight crafting recipes but more advanced materials you'll need to find the "GregTech Material Tools" tab for reference.

Basic Farms

Beyond the random bits of food quests hand out, there aren't many good food sources available. See Beginner Tips - Food for the best ways to keep yourself fed. Break Gardens to get food, drop them in any crafting grid to convert to seeds. Start a basic farm as soon as possible to avoid starving to death. Farmland must be within 4 horizontal blocks of a water source block at the same Y-level or it can't be tilled. Tilling non-hydrated grass with a hoe/mattock will yield seeds.

Squids are easy to kill, respawn on their own, and drop calamari which can be cooked or eaten raw.

Plant a large plot of cotton after securing renewable food. You're going to need a ton of string for Tanned Leather, Backpacks and a Sleeping Bag/beds. Place all of your Pam's Gardens that you don't have more than eight of on cleared dirt/grass around your base so they start spreading. Leave at least six blocks between gardens of the same type. Consider breaking Stalk Gardens to find some soybeans and plant a 9x9 cropland of that. Soybeans are one of the most versatile crops and process into Tofu for the Healing Axe quest.

Lure some cows, chickens, pigs and/or sheep into a pit or pen before slaughtering any extras. Passive mobs have a chance to explode on death if not killed with an appropriate tool, another reason they don't make for the best food supply.

Tinker's Tools

Tinker's Construct tools are available early and well worth switching over to as soon as possible. After unlocking the Stone Age tab of the Quest Book, complete Basic Processing, Clay: The Gathering, Macerator v0.1 Alpha, Something to Carry Liquids, and Book Parts to unlock the Tinker-Time quest. Villages also sometimes have a set of Tinker's Part Builder, Stencil Table and Crafting Station ready to use. These tools have durability but can be repaired with whatever the main tool head material is made out of. They also gain EXP over time, unlocking modifier slots that can be used to increase speed, luck, damage, durability and more. TiCon tools can also be upgraded with better parts, but only if fully repaired first. The only starting material to begin with is Flint, but the Quest Book will offer you an iron pickaxe head upgrade.

If you lose your iron pick, all is not lost. Look for Small Iron Ore or its natural alloys Pyrite, Magnetite or Limonite. Small Ores can be mined at one level less than the regular ore. If you still have an iron shovel or better, look for Iron Gravel. It spawns rarely in the world and can be melted down into a new pickaxe head.

Prospecting & Mining

Copper and Tin are going to be the first minerals requiring dedicated searching. Many players start with a nomadic lifestyle until they hit upon a copper or tin vein. Copper is used more often, but can show up in more ores (malachite and chalcopyrite). Tin is rarer; look for Cassiterite or Garnet sands. Cassiterite spawns high (y80-200) so it's best searched for in elevated areas like mesas or mountains. Iron is relatively plentiful, with many alternate sources. Make an Ore Finder Wand as soon as possible.

Other important resources to make it into the Steam Age include Redstone, Calcite, Gold & Gypsum, so keep track of these if found. Redstone is a primary, while Calcite spawns rarely in Lapis veins, Gold spawns rarely with Magnetite, and Gypsum is found with both Basaltic and Granitic Mineral Sands. NEI has an excellent module for GT Ore Veins, showing composition, world type, scarcity and depth.

This text is displayed when the player is standing in a chunk that contains an ore vein.
This text is displayed when the player is standing in a chunk that contains an ore vein.

GT ore veins generate evenly spaced on a grid, with two chunks in all directions between ore chunks. JourneyMap comes equipped with a togglable ore vein overlay which will automatically register deposits, so long as they are at least 200 blocks away from spawn axis (chunk 0,0) in both horizontal directions (known issue). To get a vein to register, hit the ore block, use an Ore Finder wand with the correct resource, or a Prospector's Scanner. The InGame Info XML panel in the upper left (by default) will tell you when you're in an ore chunk. Once one is found, simply move three chunks over for the next. Rarely, there may be no vein to find. This happens most commonly when there is no stone in the height range the vein wanted to spawn at. Depleted veins can be toggled from JourneyMap with (default Delete) key. This will mark them with an X. Double-click on a vein icon to toggle tracking it as a visible waypoint.

NEI's search highlight feature (double click the search bar to turn it yellow) can be used to more easily see specific identified ore veins on JourneyMap.

Small Ores

You've no doubt seen single blocks of ores with names starting with 'Small' by now. These are indicator ores and a sprinkling of random resources. Diamond, Redstone, Lapis, Gold, Silver, Iron. Nickel, Copper, Zinc, Tin and Coal spawn in all chunks of the Overworld as long as their Y requirements are met.

For other Smalls, they mean there's likely an ore vein of the corresponding material somewhere nearby. Silver, Zinc and Nickel do not spawn veins in the Overworld, so they're worth collecting or marking for later. Small ores can drop their associated resource, its dust or crushed forms. They rarely also drop a stone dust of the type of rock they were in.

For more information about how GT:NH places ores, see Ore Generation and the datasheet, Small Ore Spawn sheet.

Quests, Coins, & Lootbags

Quests will give you coins, items or lootbags as a reward for completion. Coins are used later to buy things from the Coins, Coins, Coins tab of the Quest Book. They may seem useless right now, but save them. Lootbags will give a variety of random rewards. If the quest book says "Choice Reward" you have to pick one of the options; otherwise you get everything shown. It's not necessary to complete all the quests in order to progress. Mandatory progression quests are marked with a larger, fancier icon. When in doubt about what to do, find one of those and complete it. If a quest isn't completing, check that it's not a "Crafting Task" that was just unlocked. Crafting Task quests will not count previously crafted items, so especially this early it's highly recommended to follow the quests closely.


The Smeltery is one of the reasons for all the fuss about clay, sand and gravel. Crafting the Grout is tedious in Stone Age since there's no automation. Set up a temporary work camp near the water's edge with your gravel, sand, clay and a Crafting Table or Crafting Station. Crafting Stations keep their inventory, so the only thing that has to be placed each time is the bucket. A saw is needed to make one, or they can be appropriated from a Tinker's house in Villages. It's mentioned by the Quest Book but bears repeating: the Smeltery does not double ores in this pack. That ability is gated behind the Macerator, which you will gain access to in Steam.

Coke Oven

One of the first milestones is a Coke Oven for torches and charcoal. Massive quantities of charcoal are needed to make Steel later. The sooner you start on mass charcoal production, the better. The alternative is going mining for coal regularly.

The Coke Oven build is similar to the Smeltery; large quantities of sand and clay, shaped into bricks, cooked and assembled into blocks. Like the Smeltery, this process is best accomplished close to a water source to minimize trips for refilling buckets for the Crafting Station. While initially a single Coke Oven is enough to get a stable source of fuel and torches, most players are going to want multiples to keep their Bricked Blast Furnaces fed sooner rather than later.

GregTech Iron Tools

Access to Iron opens up the File, Screwdriver, Saw, Wrench, Wire Cutter and Hammer. These and making Bronze officially marks the end of the Stone Age. NEI’s limitations means that finding the recipes for these tools in a specific material is quite difficult. Memorize or set a Worktable recipe, because these tools are heavily used from this point forward until an Assembler is built. Iron, and later Wrought Iron will be the most plentiful thing to make tools out of for Stone and Steam tiers. Steel and Alumite are technically better, but the 2-3x extra durability isn't worthwhile until production of either is trivial. The same recipe shapes carry across for most other basic materials, simply substitute the ingots/plates.


Bronze is an alloy of Tin and Copper, easily mixed in a 1:3 ratio in a crafting grid. While both materials are abundant in worldgen, sometimes it can be difficult to locate a source of Tin. Tin is commonly found as Cassiterite Sand (Y50-Y60) or Cassiterite Ore (Y80-Y200), both of which like to spawn at high elevations. If Chalcopyrite Ore has been found, use a piece in your Ore Finder Wand to help locate a Vermiculite Vein, which contains Cassiterite as well. Sample ores can also be bought from the Quest Book in a pinch.

Are You Ready? Next Up, The Steam Age