Stormworks: Build and Rescue Wiki

Electricity is used to power electrical components. It is consumed gradually by most components, though some components such as motors, engine starters, and radar consume electricity at a higher rate than most other components. Electricity can be generated using generators and solar panels and can be stored in batteries for later use.

When the infinite electricity option is enabled, all electrical components will operate at full capacity regardless of whether or not a fully-charged power source is actually connected.

This article was last edited for V1.7.11 (6 June 2023).

Units[ | ]

Stormworks doesn't use real-life units of electricity. The system is also simplified, so voltage and amperes are not simulated. The unit of energy used by the game doesn't line up with any real-life unit of measurement, so most people call it "SWatt" (or Stormworks Watt). Generators measure their output in this unit, and batteries use SWatt seconds.

For example: A small battery has a capacity of 1600. This means that at 1 SWatt of generator output, it would take 1600 seconds to fully charge it from 0% to 100%.

Storage[ | ]

There are three batteries available:

Each battery varies in size, capacity, price, and weight. Each battery size has calculatable ratios of size and weight to capacity based on these properties.

Hardpoint connectors also store a little bit of electricity, enabling various discarding weapon to have electricity storage.

A larger battery is better than multiple smaller batteries when prioritizing capacity because it will cost less, weigh less, and take up less space.

As with normal electrical connections, batteries can be connected in parallel or in series to any component requiring power.

Recharging batteries[ | ]

Batteries can be charged in three different ways: generators, solar panels, and recharge stations.

Generators[ | ]

Generators come in three sizes:

  • Small Generator
  • Medium Generator
  • Large Generator

Generators convert mechanical energy to electricity. Each generator size has an RPS level beyond which any increase in output is negligible. Larger generators have greater efficiency at higher RPS, but they also require more torque to achieve those limits.

Mechanical energy can be created by a variety of components such as diesel engines, jet engines, and torque cranks. Diesel and jet engines require fuel to run but can produce high torque and RPS while torque cranks rely on interaction by the player and produce relatively low torque and RPS.

Solar Panels[ | ]

Solar panels convert the sun's energy into electricity at a very slow rate. Solar panels are expensive and heavy for the small amount of power they provide, costing $400 each and weighing 2 mass per block.

Recharge Stations[ | ]

Recharge stations can often be found nearby workbenches where vehicles are spawned and can supply electricity to charge a vehicle's batteries via an electrical cable anchor. Recharge stations are painted yellow with two black lightning bolt icons. A cable can be found in an equipment inventory slot attached to each recharge station.

Sudden loss of power[ | ]

  • Lightning: A nearby lightning strike while in a vehicle above 120 m in altitude will cause power to go out for about 10 seconds. It will also trip any circuit breakers, and has a reportedly small chance to damage any components not protected by a circuit breaker.
  • EMP: Similar to lightning, a nearby EMP warhead being set off will cause vehicles to lose power. EMP range is approximately 500 meters. Engines will be shut down by this, even if they are already running, and even if their throttle is a constant value which doesn't depend on power. Circuit breakers will be tripped, and resetting them will not fix the issue. Power will start coming back on after 55 seconds, and will ramp back up to full power by 60 seconds.
  • Damage: Vehicle damage can be caused by collisions, fire, or by attacks from various weapons. Damaged batteries will stop supplying power. Other components, even circuit breakers, will continue to relay power even if damaged. Batteries lose all charge when damaged and will need to be recharged if repaired.
  • High drain: Suddenly using large amounts of power can cause a decreased power supply to other components. For example, running a medium engine starter from a small battery while the engine is at full clutch can cause lights to flicker due to the large power draw, even though the battery may still have sufficient energy to run the lights normally after the engine has started.

Notable effects of low/no power[ | ]

  • Electric Motors: An electric motor's speed will decrease as its power supply dwindles. Diesel-electric vehicles with insufficient power generation may slow down until they stop.
  • Engine starters: Similar to motors, engine starters provide lower maximum RPS as power supply decreases. This can result in engine RPS being stuck below the minimum RPS (2.0) required to start the engine. Vehicles outfitted with an electrical cable anchor can be connected to another vehicle to draw power from its batteries, allowing one vehicle to jump-start another.
  • Lights: Lights dim in low power and shut off when power is completely unavailable. This can make a vehicle interior extremely dark and difficult to navigate, though flashlights can mitigate this problem.
  • Powered doors: Powered doors and hatches will open without power. This can break seals and cause flooding. Manually-operated doors and hatches can be used to reduce this risk.
  • Controls: Control components such as buttons and throttles (with the exception of keypads) cannot be operated without power, even to operate components that don't require power like parachutes, flare launchers, machine guns, etc. These can still be triggered by logic signals, however.

Tips[ | ]

  • Power drain with engine startup can be reduced by using a clutch; engine RPS on startup can be improved by this as well. Release the clutch (set its clutch pressure to zero), then try to start the engine. Only re-engage the clutch when the engine is above 3 RPS.
  • To avoid crashing as a result of lightning or EMP, aircraft can be equipped with a vehicle parachute triggered to activate with a loss of power. For example, a laser distance sensor within the vehicle will report whatever distance is between it and some other point of the vehicle it is pointed towards; when the power goes out, it will report zero distance. A microcontroller or an equals and a delay logic block could be used to detect when the reported distance becomes zero and stays that way longer than 10 seconds (indicating EMP, not just lightning), and use that to trigger the parachute release without requiring power to do so.
  • Gradual loss of power can deplete a vehicle's batteries and leave it unable to start if left unattended for too long. This can be prevented by using a circuit breaker. Connect your batteries to one end of the breaker, then connect everything that draws power to the other end of it. An open circuit breaker effectively separates two circuits and no electricity will be consumed by the connected circuit until the breaker is closed again.
  • The unit of electricity in Stormworks is called Swatt (short for "Stormworks watt").
  • Generators indicate their output in kiloSwatts (kW equivalent).

Earlier versions[ | ]

Electricity was once used only in "advanced mode" but has since become part of the regular game due to the removal of "simple mode".