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Aquatico Beginner Guide – Tips on Building, Crafting, and Gathering Resources

With a focus on helping your citizens survive as you build a city in the depths of the sea, how will you fare when dealing with oceanic challenges?
Aquatico start screen
Aquatico title screen | Image by Overseer Games

Have you ever wanted to build a civilization like Atlantis? In Aquatico, your goal is to build an underwater settlement. This turns upside down the concept of city building we’ve come to love in games like Sim City and Civilization, as an environment like Aquatico has different demands on its buildings and citizens.

There is a bit of a learning curve to Aquatico, reflective of its environment. You’ll learn to assess potential build spots on oceanic maps, select builders and hubs, and manage resources in this fantastic environment.

The tutorial will cover terrain types, but overall, make sure you begin your settlement in a fertile zone.

How to Plan Your City in Aquatico: Resources

Your cities need four main components to survive when you get started:

  • Oxygen
  • Fuel
  • Oil
  • Electricity

Each building needs to connect to these and won’t work without a connection. This means you have to strategize to place these resources adequately and build pipelines between your buildings. It’s definitely in line with something a real life civil engineer would have to consider.

Tip: You must always leave an outlet for pipelines and stockpile batteries in early game.

You also have key construction components, including:

  • Iron
  • Plastics
  • Glass

As you can imagine, wasteful humans have littered the ocean floor with some of these construction components, but you can also trade for them if you can’t find them.

How to Use Domes in Aquatico

Domes are living and working environments for your citizens. In domes, people don’t need to wear any kind of protective gear (so long as you maintain domes and give them what they need to function). Outside of the domes, they have to wear little ocean suits.

You can increase your citizens’ productivity and save them time with good city planning: do they live near work? Are your utilities near each other?

An Aquatico city
An Aquatico city featuring domes | Image by Overseer Games

To keep people happy, you’ll need to keep an eye on your citizens’:

  • Food and food diversity
  • Religion
  • Housing
  • Health
  • Luxuries
  • Religion
  • Education

In this way, Aquatico is very much like Civilization: citizens have demands, and to keep them happy and productive, you need to meet them and provide the resources that will satisfy their needs.

You can find all of these stats when you look at each dome. The idea is to create an environment that reminds them of the surface world.

The most important thing about building domes is to build more than you need so people don’t feel crowded. Additionally, don’t get stuck in the slump–when it’s time for medium dome tech, rush it.

Food Tips for Aquatico

Every civilization loves its food!

Food demands are among the highest — the most important factor in citizen happiness. To succeed:

  • Use your resource tree to advance in the food production brackets.
  • Make sure you have enough food in all three tiers for your citizens.
  • Upgrade to new food tiers when necessary and possible.

Don’t forget your trade and exploration, either. Trade outposts can result in automatically generated resources, while explorers take risks to find new resources that can transform your society. If you’re stuck without a resource, consider buying it.

Tip: Sea cucumbers are the most lucrative to trade! You should build a trade port as soon as you are able.

Aquatico Success Concept

To succeed in Aquatico, you’ll find that your successful buildings generate basic, advanced, and rare components, which helps its economy grow. It’s very similar to games like Satisfactory that require you to build smaller components into larger ones.

Your strategy must be pretty planned and focused, but if things go awry, you will need to be cool enough to pivot. One of the more rewarding aspects of the game is seeing citizens enjoy the domes in Aquatico as a result of all their technological developments.

If citizens get too unhappy in Aquatico, they go away forever, so managing their happiness is essential to the game. Hopefully, playing it will keep your spirits up, too.


We hope you enjoyed our guide about getting started in Aquatico. Please check out Gamer Journalist on Facebook to join the discussion and keep up to date with our content. You may also want to check out our guide about winning barbarian clans mode in Civ VI.

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