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Tutorials/Getting Started

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So, you've just installed BuildCraft and successfully started a new world, but you're asking yourself, "What do I do now?"

Well, this tutorial is here to help! Follow along as we journey into the wonders of BuildCraft! If this is too complicated for you, try reading this tutorial instead.


As mentioned, engines are required in order to power your BuildCraft machines. The simplest and least expensive engine, the redstone engine, is powered simply by redstone current but does not produce much energy and cannot power most machines.

(Click on the wooden gears in the recipie to learn how to make them)

Redstone Engine - Tekkit In Less Than 90 Seconds 01:16

Redstone Engine - Tekkit In Less Than 90 Seconds

The next more powerful type of engine is the Stirling Engine (formerly called Steam Engines)

Steam Engine - Tekkit In Less Than 90 Seconds 01:24

Steam Engine - Tekkit In Less Than 90 Seconds

This engine is about as fast as a redstone engine and they will blow up if there is too much fuel. Stirling engines are the second tier of engine. They use cobblestone instead of wood or iron so are still cheaper than the Combustion Engine. These engines cannot overheat unless there is an oversupply of power. The stirling engine runs on burning items and so needs refuelling to continue operation. Burnable items include lava buckets (you don't get to keep the bucket in 2.2.10), coal, charcoal, wood, planks, sticks, saplings, crafting tables, chests and bookcases. The stirling engine also needs redstone power to run. Basically, it will burn everything a normal furnace will burn.

Material Burn Time
Lava bucket 16 minutes 40 seconds
Coal/Charcoal 1 minute 20 seconds
Wood and Planks 15 seconds
Saplings and Sticks 5 seconds

Combustion Engines are the third tier of engine.

Combustion Engine - Tekkit In Less Than 90 Seconds 01:20

Combustion Engine - Tekkit In Less Than 90 Seconds

They use iron instead of wood or cobblestone, making them the most expensive engine. Combustion Engines are the most powerful engine, running the fastest and giving the most power per stroke. It draws full stacks when used on a Wooden Pipe, and moves a Quarry without delays between each action.

Combustion Engines can waste oil or fuel if it is added when the engine is already full, so taking the time to create an "add on demand" system that supplies oil only when you flick a lever, can save a lot of oil. The downside is that you need to keep a close eye on the engines as they use the oil fairly quickly. It may also be possible to set up a redstone clock to send out oil at the same rate the engines use it. When switching off the engine, it will take several minutes for it to cool back down before resuming operations again.

When a Combustion Engine overheats, it turns dark red. If the Engine is not cooled in time, it explodes. BuildCraft v.2.2.0 introduced the need to cool Combustion Engines. Combustion Engines can be powered for a long time without overheating, provided you keep them cooled with water. A combustion engine will overheat very quickly if not cooled. A combustion engine that has become yellow/red for even a few minutes will require two buckets of water to regain "green" status. Water can be pumped into them to fill this need. Alternatively, buckets of water can be placed into the engine to keep it filled up. While active, the engine will consume the water stored inside it. The current fuel and water levels can be seen in the engines GUI with heat and power output information also available in an info tab within the GUI. Pumping water into an engine is much preferable to manually filling it with buckets because assuming suitable supply of water it is guaranteed that the engines will not overheat.


Once you've been mining for a while you'll probably be wanting to set up some gear to do it all for you.

If you've got 11 diamonds (in addition to the other more common materials) you'll be able to build your first automated Quarry .

Quarry Operating

Four Quarry blocks in action.

Quarry - Tekkit In Less Than 90 Seconds 01:30

Quarry - Tekkit In Less Than 90 Seconds

The Quarry will excavate a 9x9 area mining down until it reaches bedrock or lava. The Quarry must be powered by one or more engines (not redstone engines), so if you've found oil you should try to create a Refinery (4 more diamonds please) and use it to create fuel for one or more combustion engines. You'll need to use pumps to feed oil into the refinery, and to pump water into the combustion engines to stop them exploding.

If you're wanting to set up but haven't managed to find oil, create a few steam engines as shown earlier, and create one wooden conductive pipe, and a bunch of cobblestone or gold conductive pipes. Line the engines up and connect the wooden conductive pipe to the end of the engines, then place the rest of your conductive pipes to connect to your Quarry to start it going.

Note that while building the frame and clearing the area, Stirling Engines seem to overheat much more easily. A configuration of 3 engines in a row will overheat until explosion during this process, while, once the regular mining starts, this configuration will only have the engine closest to the quarry flash green every second or so. Any blocks the quarry clears during construction of the frame simply disappear.

Once the frame is complete, it will spawn a crane-like structure that will begin to mine the area one block at a time. These blocks will "pop out" from the Quarry, unless a pipe is attached to take the items. As you don't want to be standing around picking up your loot all day create a few cobblestone transport pipes, and place them so they connect to a chest, perhaps inside your shelter. Note that there is no need for a wood pipe to fetch the items, the Quarry will place the items into a connected stone, cobblestone, gold, iron, or diamond pipe on its own.

If the quarry encounters lava while digging, the rest of the blocks under the lava will not be mined. If however, the lava is turned to obsidian or cobblestone, the quarry will return to mining those blocks again, ensuring the entire area is dug out. If the quarry has finished all it can (all the bottom of the quarry is bedrock or lava) then it will finish operating.

Sit back and enjoy the sun while your machinery does all the hard work, unless you didn't find oil in which case you'll probably be running around feeding those hungry steam engines all the time.

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