Best Mods for Surviving Mars

Rate this post

“Surviving Mars,” developed by Haemimont Games and published by Paradox Interactive, is a popular city-building and management game set on the Red Planet. While the base game offers a rich and challenging experience, the modding community has significantly expanded its depth and replayability. Mods can enhance various aspects of the game, from adding new features and improving gameplay mechanics to providing quality-of-life improvements and cosmetic changes. This comprehensive review will explore the best mods for “Surviving Mars,” detailing their features, benefits, and how they enhance the overall gameplay experience.

Introduction to Modding in Surviving Mars

Importance of Mods

Mods play a crucial role in extending the longevity and enjoyment of “Surviving Mars.” They allow players to customize their experience, introduce new content, and address potential shortcomings in the base game. Whether you’re looking to add new buildings, improve AI behavior, or simply tweak the game’s aesthetics, there is likely a mod that suits your needs.

Installing Mods

Mods for “Surviving Mars” can be easily installed through the Steam Workshop or Paradox Mods. To install a mod, simply subscribe to it on the respective platform, and it will be automatically downloaded and integrated into your game. Be sure to check compatibility with the current game version and other installed mods to avoid conflicts.

Essential Gameplay Mods

1. Expanded Cheat Menu

Description: The Expanded Cheat Menu mod offers a comprehensive set of tools for players looking to customize their gameplay experience. It provides a wide range of cheats and tweaks, from adding resources to manipulating game mechanics.


  • Add or remove resources instantly.
  • Modify colonist traits and behaviors.
  • Adjust environmental conditions and disasters.
  • Skip research and construction times.


  • Allows for extensive customization and experimentation.
  • Ideal for players looking to learn game mechanics or test strategies without constraints.

2. Better AI

Description: The Better AI mod enhances the behavior of drones and colonists, making them more efficient and responsive. This mod addresses some of the shortcomings in the base game’s AI, ensuring smoother colony operations.


  • Improved pathfinding for drones and colonists.
  • Enhanced prioritization of tasks.
  • Reduced idle time for drones.
  • Smarter decision-making for colonists.


  • Increases the overall efficiency of your colony.
  • Reduces micromanagement, allowing players to focus on broader strategy.

3. Realistic Progression

Description: The Realistic Progression mod adjusts the game’s research and development timeline to provide a more gradual and immersive progression. It balances the availability of technologies and resources to create a more challenging and rewarding experience.


  • Adjusted research costs and times.
  • Gradual introduction of advanced technologies.
  • Balanced resource distribution and extraction rates.


  • Provides a more realistic and immersive gameplay experience.
  • Increases the challenge and strategic depth of the game.

Quality of Life Mods

4. Info Bar

Description: The Info Bar mod adds a customizable information bar to the game interface, providing quick access to essential colony statistics and metrics. This mod helps players monitor key aspects of their colony without navigating through multiple menus.


  • Customizable display of resources, power, water, oxygen, and other metrics.
  • Real-time updates on colony status.
  • Easy access to critical information.


  • Enhances user interface and accessibility.
  • Allows for better monitoring and management of colony resources and needs.

5. Automated Storage Management

Description: The Automated Storage Management mod automates the distribution and management of resources in storage depots. This mod reduces the need for manual intervention, ensuring a more efficient and organized colony.


  • Automatic distribution of resources between storage depots.
  • Configurable storage priorities and thresholds.
  • Improved resource allocation for construction and maintenance.


  • Reduces micromanagement of storage and resources.
  • Ensures a more efficient and organized colony.

6. UI Overhaul

Description: The UI Overhaul mod provides a complete redesign of the game’s user interface, improving aesthetics and usability. This mod enhances the visual appeal of the game and makes navigating menus and options more intuitive.


  • Redesigned menus and interfaces.
  • Improved font readability and iconography.
  • Customizable UI elements.


  • Enhances the visual appeal of the game.
  • Improves usability and accessibility.

Content Expansion Mods

7. Project Genesis

Description: Project Genesis is a massive content expansion mod that introduces new buildings, technologies, and gameplay mechanics. This mod significantly extends the depth and variety of the game, providing fresh challenges and opportunities.


  • Over 50 new buildings and structures.
  • New technologies and research options.
  • Expanded gameplay mechanics and events.


  • Provides extensive new content and gameplay options.
  • Enhances replayability and strategic depth.

8. Martian Vegetation

Description: The Martian Vegetation mod introduces new plant life and terraforming options, allowing players to create lush, green environments on Mars. This mod adds a new dimension to the game’s terraforming and aesthetic customization.


  • New plant types and vegetation options.
  • Expanded terraforming mechanics.
  • Improved visuals for a more vibrant Martian landscape.


  • Adds visual variety and beauty to the Martian environment.
  • Enhances terraforming and environmental customization.

9. Colony Enhancements

Description: The Colony Enhancements mod adds a variety of new buildings and infrastructure options to improve colony life and functionality. This mod provides additional customization and optimization options for players.


  • New residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.
  • Enhanced utility and infrastructure options.
  • Improved aesthetics and functionality for colony structures.


  • Increases customization and optimization options.
  • Enhances colony life and functionality.

Cosmetic Mods

10. Visual Improvements Pack

Description: The Visual Improvements Pack mod enhances the game’s graphics and visual effects, providing a more immersive and visually appealing experience. This mod includes improved textures, lighting, and environmental effects.


  • High-resolution textures and models.
  • Enhanced lighting and shadow effects.
  • Improved environmental and weather effects.


  • Enhances the visual appeal of the game.
  • Provides a more immersive and realistic experience.

11. Custom Skins

Description: The Custom Skins mod allows players to customize the appearance of buildings, vehicles, and colonists. This mod provides a wide range of aesthetic options to personalize your colony.


  • Customizable skins for buildings and vehicles.
  • New clothing and appearance options for colonists.
  • Wide range of color and design choices.


  • Allows for extensive aesthetic customization.
  • Enhances the visual diversity of the colony.

12. Mars Terrain Overhaul

Description: The Mars Terrain Overhaul mod provides a complete redesign of the Martian landscape, including new terrain textures and features. This mod enhances the natural beauty and realism of the game’s environment.


  • High-resolution terrain textures.
  • New geological features and landmarks.
  • Improved environmental realism.


  • Enhances the natural beauty and realism of the Martian landscape.
  • Provides a more immersive environmental experience.

Utility and Tool Mods

13. Mod Config Reborn

Description: Mod Config Reborn is a powerful utility mod that allows players to configure and manage other mods more effectively. This mod provides a central interface for adjusting mod settings and resolving conflicts.


  • Centralized mod configuration interface.
  • Conflict resolution and compatibility management.
  • Extensive customization options for individual mods.


  • Simplifies mod management and configuration.
  • Ensures compatibility and reduces conflicts between mods.

14. Camera Tools

Description: The Camera Tools mod provides advanced camera controls and tools for capturing screenshots and creating videos. This mod is ideal for players who enjoy documenting and sharing their gameplay experiences.


  • Advanced camera controls and free movement.
  • Adjustable field of view and depth of field.
  • Screenshot and video capture tools.


  • Enhances the ability to document and share gameplay experiences.
  • Provides advanced tools for capturing high-quality visuals.

15. Debug Tools

Description: The Debug Tools mod provides a suite of debugging and testing tools for players and modders. This mod allows for extensive testing and troubleshooting of gameplay mechanics and custom content.


  • Detailed debug information and logging.
  • Testing and troubleshooting tools.
  • Extensive customization and configuration options.


  • Enhances testing and troubleshooting capabilities.
  • Provides valuable tools for modders and advanced players.

Specialized Mods

16. Terraforming Expanded

Description: The Terraforming Expanded mod provides additional terraforming options and mechanics, allowing players to further customize and transform the Martian environment. This mod adds new depth and complexity to the terraforming process.


  • New terraforming projects and options.
  • Expanded environmental customization.
  • Improved visuals and effects for terraforming.


  • Adds new depth and complexity to the terraforming process.
  • Enhances environmental customization and transformation.

17. Space Race Enhancements

Description: The Space Race Enhancements mod expands the Space Race DLC content, providing new features, missions, and interactions with rival colonies. This mod adds additional strategic and diplomatic options.


  • New missions and objectives for the Space Race DLC.
  • Enhanced interactions and diplomacy with rival colonies.
  • Expanded strategic options and challenges.


  • Enhances the Space Race DLC content.
  • Adds additional strategic and diplomatic depth.

18. Colonist Life Expanded

Description: The Colonist Life Expanded mod provides new features and mechanics related to colonists, enhancing their interactions and behaviors within the colony. This mod expands on the base game’s colonist management system, offering new opportunities for customization and immersion.


  • Colonist Traits and Needs: Introduces new traits, needs, and behaviors for colonists, enhancing their individuality and complexity.
  • Occupations and Specializations: Adds new occupations and specialization paths for colonists, allowing for more diverse roles within the colony.
  • Social Dynamics: Expands on colonist interactions and social dynamics, including relationships, conflicts, and community events.
  • Education and Training: Enhances the education system, allowing for the development of specialized skills and talents among colonists.
  • Colonist Events: Introduces new random events and challenges related to colonist life, providing additional narrative depth and gameplay variety.


  • Enhanced Colonist Management: Provides more depth and customization options for managing colonists.
  • Increased Immersion: Adds realism and complexity to colonist interactions and behaviors.
  • Expanded Gameplay Variety: Introduces new challenges and opportunities related to colonist life, enhancing overall gameplay variety.

19. Martian Holidays

Description: The Martian Holidays mod introduces seasonal events and celebrations to the game, enriching the cultural and social aspects of colony life on Mars. This mod adds festive activities and special events for colonists to enjoy throughout the year.


  • Seasonal Festivals: Introduces holidays and celebrations based on Earth and Martian traditions.
  • Festive Decorations: Adds decorative items and structures for holiday festivities.
  • Special Events: Includes unique events and activities for colonists to participate in during holidays.
  • Cultural Integration: Enhances the cultural diversity and social cohesion within the colony.


  • Cultural Enrichment: Adds depth and immersion to colony life with seasonal celebrations.
  • Community Engagement: Encourages colonists to participate in social events and activities.
  • Holiday Spirit: Enhances the atmosphere and enjoyment of gameplay with festive themes.

20. Advanced Resources

Description: The Advanced Resources mod expands the game’s resource system by introducing new types of resources, refining processes, and resource management mechanics. This mod enhances the strategic depth and economic complexity of colony operations.


  • New Resource Types: Introduces rare and exotic resources with unique properties and uses.
  • Resource Refining: Adds refining processes and facilities to extract higher-quality materials from raw resources.
  • Economic Management: Enhances resource trading and economic interactions with Earth and other colonies.
  • Advanced Infrastructure: Introduces new buildings and structures for processing and managing advanced resources.


  • Strategic Depth: Adds complexity to resource management and economic planning.
  • Resource Variety: Expands gameplay options with new resource types and refining processes.
  • Economic Simulation: Enhances realism and immersion in colony economics and trade.

Customization and Compatibility

Choosing and Managing Mods

When selecting mods for “Surviving Mars,” consider the following tips:

  • Compatibility: Check mod compatibility with the current game version and other installed mods to avoid conflicts.
  • Community Ratings: Review user feedback and ratings on mod platforms to gauge reliability and quality.
  • Personal Preferences: Choose mods that align with your gameplay preferences and desired enhancements.
  • Experimentation: Experiment with different combinations of mods to find the right balance of features and gameplay adjustments.

Managing Load Order

To optimize mod performance and stability, manage the load order of installed mods:

  1. Priority: Arrange mods in order of priority, with essential or core mods at the top of the load order.
  2. Dependencies: Ensure that mods with dependencies or compatibility requirements are placed accordingly.
  3. Testing: Test mod combinations in-game to identify any issues or conflicts that may arise.

Updating Mods

Regularly update installed mods to ensure compatibility with the latest game patches and improvements. Monitor mod platforms for updates and patches released by mod creators to maintain optimal performance and functionality.


“Surviving Mars” benefits greatly from its vibrant modding community, which continues to enrich the game with new content, features, and improvements. Whether you’re looking to enhance gameplay mechanics, customize visuals, or expand colony management options, there are mods available to suit every preference and play style.

By exploring the best mods highlighted in this review, players can elevate their “Surviving Mars” experience with enhanced gameplay depth, immersive visuals, and expanded content. From essential gameplay adjustments to creative customization options, mods offer limitless possibilities for exploring and conquering the Red Planet.

Whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned player, embracing mods can unlock new dimensions of enjoyment and challenge in “Surviving Mars.” Dive into the thriving modding community, experiment with different mods, and discover the perfect combination to create your ultimate Martian colony adventure. Happy modding!

Leave a Comment