Volcanoids: Getting Started in the Drillship

Here’s everything that you need to know to get to work in Volcanoids.


Image Source: Volcanoids, via YouTube
Image Source: Volcanoids, via YouTube

Volcanoids is a re-imagined survival co-op game that sees you exploring the remnants of an island known as Adranos, which you had once called home. However, eruptions triggered by mechanical beings and robots have caused the lands to be warped into an apocalyptic wasteland.

As such, you must learn to survive through your wits and brains. Utilising their own technology against them, your goal is to outsmart these beings and capture one of their own Drillships and fight back against their tyranny.


Volcanoids grew in popularity after its creator, developer Richard Rampas, began to post videos of the game’s progress on TikTok. Documenting his progress with videos that would show him implementing ideas, improvements, and feedback from viewers and players, the game now boasts a solid following on Steam, with an average of “very positive” through the reviews.

If you are just picking the game up now, though, it can be quite daunting. The process of having a mobile base that you need to work on continuously can be very strange to some and confusing to others. Fear not, though, as we’ve got all of the fundamental aspects of Volcanoids covered, enabling you to ready yourself to survive against the forces of nature and machines.

Getting your first drill in Volcanoids

Once you land on the island, your first task is to follow the captain’s orders, which will walk you through the basics of the game. This will let you mine your first resource node, kill your first robot enemy, loot your first buildings, and conquer your first drill.

After you’ve completed your first takeover of a drill and fixed up your Drillship, you need to start thinking about what is coming. Every few minutes, an eruption will wipe out the upper structures and areas of the island; if you’re not underground by then, there is a high possibility of death.


You will also be attacked by enemy robots, so you need to figure out what to prioritise for survival. Here are some easy tips to ensure that you can survive on Adranos.

Stocking up on resources

The first step to securing your survival is ensuring that you have a steady supply of resources at your disposal. Throughout the game, you will come across broken down piles of equipment, minable resource nodes, and lootable abandoned buildings.

It’s best to gather a hefty amount of coal and copper, as these will be your basic core resources. Coal is used as fuel to power your drill, and copper is the basic component to just about every piece of weaponry and upgrade in Volcanoids.


Not only are you able to loot abandoned buildings and resource nodes, but you are also able to loot defeated enemies. After defeating Cogs, make sure to loot them for just about every piece that they have left. Their loot and equipment will be crucial in getting better refinery equipment.

If you happen to run out of copper or coal, you will be in a tough spot as enemies may be able to overwhelm you. As such, always keep extra resources in the storage container within your Drillship.

Always aim for the head

Cogs will come in a variety of strengths and form, with some having insane amounts of armour while others will utilise shotguns and long-range rifles. In all instances, these Cogs have fundamental strengths and weaknesses: they have heavily-armoured bodies and a central head that is weak. As they are structured much like a regular human, you can take advantage of this weakness.

At the start of the game, you will only have your trusty revolver and 40 bullets to use. Although this may seem like a lot, unless you get to crafting, that amount of ammunition will run out quickly.

To conserve bullets, make sure to always aim for the head. You can do this by aiming down the sights of your revolver, allowing for much more accurate firing. Standing still will also allow you to hone your aim. A body shot with the revolver will take about four hits to take down a single cog, while only two is necessary if you hit the head.

Later, you will unlock weapons such as the shotgun and rifle, which can be utilised in different scenarios. If you have a choice, long-range sniping is the way to go, as Cogs tend to group up en masse to protect their drills and compounds. Once you thin the heard, you will have a much easier time securing resources and the loot from their bodies.

Suit up your Drillship

Although you have successfully captured your first Drillship, that does not mean that you’ll simply be safe and secure. Your ship will need extensive maintenance, which includes repairing walls, ceilings, and other exterior sections.

Once you complete the basic repairs, it’s time to start upgrading and tailoring your Drillship to your liking. You are able to add up to four additional segments, allowing for more space to work with, as well as more storage containers and areas for further integrated research devices.

If you want to add segments to your Drillship, you will need to upgrade your modules as much as possible. This is also true if you plan to play with other players, as this is a co-op game. To add another segment, you will need to upgrade your coal powerplant as well as your energy output modules.

The Intel Production tiers will be your most important research, which can be found under the production tech tab at the research worktable. Upgrade this completely to ensure that you get all of your technology schematics unlocked.

When it comes to being ready for a new segment, your best option is to get almost all Tier 1 modules and attachments available after lotting a few cog Drillships, and then add a second segment. This will minimise the output of the engine while maximising your efficiency.

Finally, maxing out all of your available armour, weapon, and turret upgrades will provide you with the best and most reliable survivability chance. As you add segments to your Drillship, you will unlock harder and more dangerous territories, including underground tunnels. As such, keep your Drillship well-stocked and properly equipped before you add more segments.

Never stray from home

The last bit of advice to new players is to never wander too far from your Drillship. As you gain confidence and equipment to explore further and further, you may forget the dangers both above ground and below ground; if you’re caught lacking, the eruption of the volcano will wipe you out.

With this as a possibility, make sure that you don’t stray too far away from your Drillship after an eruption. As you can manoeuvre around underground once you have the appropriate upgrades, you will always have a chance to scout out a new zone for resources and materials. Be cautious and take your time to ensure that you always have easy access back to your Drillship, just in case any Cogs get too close.

Staying close to your original Drillship will also help when you get too loaded up on resources. The game does have a storage upgrade on your person, but that can only be researched once you get further into the game. For this reason, making sure that you can get at least two to three trips in of full loot while above ground will make resource gathering much simpler. Remember, you can always move the Drillship later, but getting yourself caught out when the eruption occurs will be much more punishing.

These tips will get you through the early stages of Volcanoids and help you adjust to the gameplay. As time goes on, weaponry and utility will be updated, per the developers, but these facts will stay the same.

Happy drilling, and stay safe as you explore Adranos alone or with a couple of friends!


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Daniel L

Daniel is a general jack of all trades in esports. You may find him yelling at video games during the evenings or writing into the early hours of the morning. His enjoyment of esports is only eclipsed by his love for food, and for tilting in League of Legends.
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