While there is plenty of scrap topside in My Time at Sandrock, you’re going to need to delve into the ruins of pre-calamity civilization if you really want the good stuff. After 330 years of disuse, the earth itself has overtaken these old shopping malls and office buildings leaving them full of rock and mineral. Grab your pickhammer, pack your snacks, and delve down in search of riches. Just make sure you’re back to bed before midnight.
Earning the ability to mine
There are a few places to mine in My Time at Sandrock. You’ll gain access to the first after you’ve created the cranes for the scrapyard. Once these are in place, you can descend to the first area, the Eufaula Salvage Abandoned Ruins. Be careful: My Time at Sandrock absolutely has fall damage, and trying to bypass the elevator is a good way to see what the penalty for death is.
Other ruins open up as you progress through the story. If you’re the type to lean hard on resource stockpiling, you will want to take the occasional break to help the townspeople, if only so you’re provided with fresh rock to break.
The rewards of mining
It’s important to delve into the mines for a few reasons. Most obviously, it’s a great way to find resources; specifically minerals like copper and tin. While looking around in there, however, you can find parts of artifacts that can be assembled at the museum and donated. Donate enough of them, and you’ll start earning bonuses. Lastly, you can find rare parts hidden throughout. Things like coils and engines can only be found by delving into the mines. These may not be immediately useful, but make sure you have them stashed away for later.
Mining is a key aspect of life in Sandrock.
How to mine
Most mining is done with the pickhammer. Since the mines are located in futuristic, pre-catastrophe buildings, it’s pretty easy to spot what can be cut through. It’s the dirt. Chances are that anything brown will give way to your pick. You can dig in just about any direction, just point and swing.
If you dig yourself into a hole, you’ve been equipped with a jetpack that has unlimited lift. Likewise, some areas of the mine are more vertically-oriented, so being able to float up to higher areas is useful just in terms of getting around.
Finally, you’ll want to make use of your scanner. While this annoyingly hides most of your UI, it will show where doors are hidden and where rare gear is buried. Unless you plan on just digging the place clean, the scanner is indispensable for avoiding unnecessary work. With it just pointing you to the good stuff, there’s no need to just dig aimlessly.
You should also consider making as much progress as possible in each of the mines early on. Lower floors have better loot, and the elevators on each odd floor provide a shortcut to get to them quicker. For example, in the first mine, lower areas start providing you with tin ore, which can be turned into bronze; an important ingredient for upgrading your tools.
Speaking of which, before you get too far ahead of yourself, note that certain resources can only be cracked open by tools of a certain level. You’ll need the bronze pick, for example, to break apart larger copper veins. However, tin and other artifacts can be unearthed with the basic one.
Managing your energy is important when working in the mines.
It’s dangerous to go alone
While the first mine is relatively peaceful, don’t get used to it. Other ruins have enemies lurking around that you’d best be ready for. Remember that there’s no rush in My Time at Sandrock, so make the effort of improving your combat skills and weaponry before putting them to the test against baddies. There’s a lot worse roaming about than rocket chickens.
These foes get more difficult the deeper you go, so you will want to make sure you take the time to hone your skills and sharpen your blades. Otherwise, you’ll be seeing the game-over screen a few more times than you’d like.
You can always go home
If things get too hairy or your character gets tuckered out, you can immediately return to the entrance to the mine by bringing up the map screen and pressing the button corresponding to “leave ruins” (found at the bottom of the screen). This will instantaneously kick you back to the entrance, saving you the effort of having to dig your way back out.