Factorio's big Space Age expansion arrives in October and it's going to be even bigger than we thought

Factorio: Space Age screenshot
(Image credit: Wube Software)

Factorio's interstellar expansion Space Age will launch on October 21, a date developer Wube says is good for two reasons: It gives developers enough time after their summer vacations to finish polishing the game, and enough time before the Christmas holidays to take care of any bug fixes.

Factorio: Space Age has already been in development for more than three years—it was first announced in February 2021—which is a fairly long time for an expansion. But it's also going to be a big one. Wube said in February 2022 that Space Age will be as large as the base game.

Space Age will continue where Factorio left off, with a minor tweak: The single rocket launch that marks the end of the base campaign will in fact be the first of multiple launches, each sending a rocket to one of several new worlds, each with "its own unique theme, resource, challenges and gameplay mechanics."

One very interesting note in the launch date announcement is that Space Age will not add four new planets to Factorio, as was previously promised, but five: The fifth new world is an "enigmatic" planet that "promises some of the most unique gameplay but it remains shrouded in mystery. It's the furthest planet from the sun so it's dark and cold."

Before any of that deep-space exploration begins, though, job one is the creation of space platforms, which are essentially flying factories that enable the transport of cargo between planets. The addition of elevated rails in the expansion also promises "a whole new dimension of challenge and possibility" for rail networks, while new "quality" tiers ranging from normal to legendary will grant increasing bonuses and benefits to all items, machines, and equipment in the game.

Factorio: Space Age will also offer new enemies and defenses—some of these new planets apparently aren't very friendly—and new "space age music" created by composer Petr Wasjar.

Alongside the release of the Space Age expansion, Factorio will also get a major 2.0 update that will be free for all players. The update will feature smarter worker robots, new rails, a remote view, a new fluid system, and a raft of other upgrades and improvements. 

Taken altogether, the expansion and the update promise to open the door to even more amazing Factorio accomplishments in the future—perhaps one day, producing an "inconceivable" one million science per minute will seem downright quaint.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.