The unforgiving wastelands of Kenshi are a pretty fun little adventure to run through. The player has a bunch of opportunities to find hidden items, take on powerful enemies, and even build their own army of post-apocalyptic samurai. But to actually do many of these tasks you need to either get money or resources. To be able to access the research, crafting and other mechanics, you need to be able to gather the tools. A big part of that process involves mining. Yes, the old profession is still alive out in the wastes.
You can mine to sell it for profit in the early game, but it will be slow going. You will have to also avoid being ambushed by bandits and wild animals. But if you can survive long enough, mining becomes vital. You need Stone, Iron and Copper to make many of the basic resources in the game, and you need a constant supply of all three to build any decent base. Sure, you could adventure around the map and buy the stuff you need, but mining it yourself is far faster.
How to mine resources in Kenshi
Mining works just like any other Job in the game. You select a character and right-click the mining resources to have them mine until their inventory is full. You can automate the mining by having a character do it permanently. Simply hold Shift and then Right-Click to assign that job permanently to that character. They will do the jobs in the order they appear in their Jobs window from top to bottom. If you place storage down for that resource, that character will automatically dump resources into the storage as part of their assigned job.
There are also buildable mines that you can use inside bases that offer mining nodes for your characters to use. These use the fertility of the land like farming spots. When you’re placing any kind of mine, you will see a percentage popup that shows how fertile that spot is. In general, the proximity to a natural mining spot increases the mining fertility of that spot. The higher that percentage, the faster you can get resources from that mine. The base game adds a few basic options, mods may also add automated options. The latter is a lot easier to deal with, as you have to manually add characters to the mining job otherwise.
Where to find mineable resources
Mining resources is fairly simple in Kenshi but there are some things you need to keep in mind. For one thing, you actually have to find a mineable resource. These can come in a few forms, but are usually pretty easy to learn what they look like. Each zone has different mineable resources in Kenshi. Some will be rocks containing iron or copper. Others will be metallic ruins you can also mine. When you hover over a node where you can mine resources in Kenshi, you will see a small pickaxe icon appear.
There are a few other things to remember about mining in this game. It’s slow work for one thing. You will have to keep an eye on your surroundings, lest your miner be ambushed by roaming bandits. Don’t mine and then not pay attention to your characters. If you have extra faction members, maybe place a few lookouts around the node. You can also have a character follow the miner and they escort them around, in a way. There are a few different things that will influence your mining speed in Kenshi. The main contributing factor to mining speed is the skill level that your character has in Laboring. Having a character with high score in this area can make things go faster. Having multiple characters mine the same node also helps.
Hunger is another thing to keep your eye on. You need to keep your characters fed so that they don’t get a stat penalty. Getting slower mining because you’re running out of food slows down all other crafting as well, so focus on having a solid food supply first, then put effort into mining.
Also, you will move very slowly when laden with raw ore. The tradeoff is that loading up a character with tons of ore can help them increase their stats just by running around.