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Since GregTech changes a lot of the early Stuff, you probably don’t even know how to get started with the most simple things you need to survive. This Guide is here to fix that.
One thing you might notice is that there is Sticks and Rocks on the ground in most Areas like this:
You can pick them up using Rightclick or Leftclick, it doesn’t really matter unless you have a Fortune Tool, in which case Leftclick is better. In either case, no more punching Trees needed to get Sticks.
It is possible to get the following Items from picking up Sticks and Rocks from the ground:
From left to right:
Sticks are important as you can use them as Tool Handles and for Torches, you could use Bones too instead, for the Rock and Flint Tools.
Rocks can be used to make Tools as well, if you don’t have Flint. Clubs can be used to turn Cobblestone into Rocks too, should you need them that badly. They also most oftenly indicate what Type of Stone is directly below the Surface.
Flint is the best Material to make your early Tools with. Most early Tools can be made without a Crafting Table by just using the 2x2 Grid on your Player.
Meteorites are a nice Bonus and can be used as one of the ways to go further up in Crucible Progression. Meteoric Iron is also a good Tool Material, as it is magnetic and can automatically collect dropped Items instantly. And you can craft it together with a Flint to make Flint and Tinder.
Ore bearing Rock is the most important thing you can find, not because the Rocks contain a small amount of a nice Material, but because their Location indicates a Large Ore Vein below you. You can dig straight down from a place where you got an Ore bearing Rock and will be met with a Vein containing said Ore. Just make sure that you follow the Minecraft Rule Number #1 of "never dig straight down" so you dont accidentially end up in a Lava Pool.
If you are lucky, you got a Meteorite or specific Ore bearing Rocks, that can be combined with a Flint to make Flint and Tinder.
With a different kind of luck, you might even get Matches for lighting a single Fire directly, as a drop from certain Undead Mobs, or from Dungeon Loot.
For the ones who don’t want to rely on their Luck, you are gonna first make a Flint Knife, then harvest some Tall Grass with it, take 9 Grass and craft it into a Grass Bale, and then put it at a dry place to make it into Dry Grass Bales (The Tooltip will state if it is dry enough at your position).
Said Dry Grass Bales can then be uncrafted back into 9 Dry Grass, which you can then use with Sticks to either make a very bad Fire Starter or a Torch!
There also is Dry Logs in some Areas of the World, such as Deserts or Forests. Those Logs can be de-barked to make Dry Bark, by rightclicking them with a Knife or an Axe. Said Dry Bark can be used for Fire Starters too.
Now to get started with making the Setup for smelting Metals:
There are Small Ores in the World that will smelt into Nuggets when put into a regular vanilla Furnace. Chacopyrite and Tetrahedrite for example.
Once the Nuggets and/or Chunks are made into Ingots, you can use a Stone Hammer with a Stone, Granite or even Lead Anvil (more on Anvils further below) to make them into two Double Ingots and then into two Plates for crafting a File.
Use that File to make a Rod out of an Ingot, make a Plate and then put them together to a Chisel.
Now that you have a Chisel you can start making a Crucible. For that you will need a Lead or Bismuth Burning Box.
The Burning Box will take 4 Lead or Bismuth Plates and a Double Copper Plate to be crafted.
To make the Double Copper Plate, make a Triple Ingot first and then flatten it into a Double Plate. There is gonna be more efficient ways to do that later, trust me.
The rest is just making Bricks and Hardened Clay in the Furnace, and then you have everything for a proper Ceramic Crucible.
So in order to use your Hammer on an Anvil you need to make one first, Smoothstone can be suitable for crafting a Single-Use Anvil if you really have no better option at all, such as Red/Black Granite, Lead or Bronze.
Place it in front of you, you will see a large Flat Table alike Area where you have to rightclick the Ingredients onto.
Put an Ingot on the Left and another Ingot on the Right, then Hammer the TOP Side of the Anvil to get a Double Ingot.
Afterwards, since Double Ingots are mostly useless, you might wanna put that Double Ingot on the Anvil and leave the second Anvil Slot Empty, to then hammer it into an actual Plate the same way as before.
You may wonder why I explicitely stated to hit the TOP Side of the Anvil so far, this is because Anvils have multiple ways of Hammering, due to the Sides with Bending Cyclinder alike Functionality.
If you hammer the Left Side or the Left Half of the Front Side, you can turn Plates into Foils, while if you hit the Right Side or the Right Half of the Front Side, you will receive Curved Plates instead!
Anvils have Durability and will break into Scraps or Pebbles when the Durability runs out, so you can always recycle Part of a broken one if needed.
In order to build your very first Crucible Setup, you first need to place a Burning Box (see instructions above). Then place your Ceramic Crucible ontop of it, and a Ceramic Mold horizontally next to the Crucible.
Unless you found the Book that contains a List of all possible Mold Configurations in great Detail, you are going to need to experiment using the Chisel on Random Spots of the Mold to create the desired Output when using said Mold.
The Basic Shapes are 3x5 for Ingots, 5x5 for Plates and 1x5 for Rods. Any failed Shape will result in an amount of Nuggets equivalent to the number of spots you have chiseled.
Don’t worry about the alignment, you can put the 1x5 Rods Shape for example, on any of the 10 possible locations, regardless of rotation.
You can use a Magnifying Glass to see what the Mold will Output, or you can harvest the Mold and look at its Tooltip to do the same.
Now you can throw Metals into the Top of the Crucible, and Fuel such as Coal or Saplings into the Burning Box, and use a Firestarter on the Burning Box to start smelting.
Once the Metal is molten, click the Top-Middle Side of the Mold once to pour the Metal into it, and wait for it to first solidify and then fully cool down. Use Pincers if you’re impatient on the cooling down.
You should turn off the Burning Box once you’re done smelting, otherwise your Crucible will melt down. To turn it off, simply place a solid Block in front of it and wait.
Usage of Saplings and similar for that is advised, as the Saplings have a short burn time, and therefore make the Burning Box react faster to being turned off.
If you want to use the Crucible for smelting Ores, crush the Ore Blocks first using a Hammer to harvest them. Ore Blocks will not give you any Material when thrown in and all goes to waste, so go crush them first!
Whenever you use the Crucible with crushed Ores instead of washed Ores, you will get a Pile of Stone Dust remaining inside the Crucible. You can remove it with a Shovel (rightclick ontop) once the Stone isn’t molten anymore.
Every now and then you need to remove the Ashes out of a Burning Box. You can do so by rightclicking the Box with a Shovel in order to not burn your hands or anything.
You can burn Stuff in the Burning Box without having a Crucible ontop, useful if you need Dark Ashes but dont have anything to use the Coal on. (still a waste of Energy though)
In order to make Iron in the Crucible you need the following:
One of either Marble, Quarried Stone, Limestone, Chalk or actual Calcite (all those stone types smelt into Calcite).
Dark Ashes from your Burning Box (when used with Coal).
An Iron containing Ore such as: Magnetite, Basaltic/Granitic Mineral Sand, Yellow/Brown Limonite or Hematite (Banded Iron).
Then throw all of that together in the Crucible (see NEI for precise ratios), and melt it until you see Iron forming or the overall Volume of Stuff inside the Crucible drop.
The formula for knowing how much Furnace Fuel you need to smelt any given thing is as follows (see F3+H for Tooltips of the actual Weights in kg):
( (Weight-of-Items plus Weight-of-Crucible) multiplied with (Target Temperature minus Environment or Current Temperature) ) divided by (500000 times the Burning-Box-Efficiency in Percent)
Two Saplings = 1 Smelt, One Coal/Charcoal = 8 Smelts, and so on.
There is plenty of Blocks that can be useful in the early game:
Mortars are used to grind things into Dust that aren’t too hard for the Pestle. You might have noticed already that you need that to make Bonemeal now, because the old Crafting Recipe will only give you "White Dye". :P
Juicers make Fruits into Juice and Seeds into Seed Oil. Quite useful early on.
Mixing Bowls are mixing things together. It can make Gunpowder, Food, Glue and much more.
Bathing Pots are used to make things like Paper, Treated Wood or Food earlygame. The better variants of this can also galvanize Steel using molten Zinc. Also usable for painting Blocks using the liquid Dyes.
Wooden Buckets are useful for some of the earlygame Fluids, especially Water.
Ceramic Jugs can store 2000 Liters of any compatible Liquid, though you won’t be able to place Fluid Blocks in World with it. You can drink out of the Jug, and you can place the Jug outside to collect Rainwater should you desire to do it that way.
Hoppers can be made out of a LOT of different Materials, even Lead!
Wooden Pipes are the easiest way to Transport simple Liquids such as Water around.
Drains can absorb Fluid Blocks in front of them. They also work infinitely on properly placed Rivers, even in the Twilight Forest.
Cauldrons of the Vanilla Minecraft kind are useful as you can wash Ores in them by dropping the Crushed Ore onto their Top (with the Q-Key, if you use Default Keybinds). GregTech Pipes will connect to them and can fill them with Water, if the Pipe itself has a good enough Capacity (of at least 334 Liters).
Sifting Tables can be used to get Gems from certain Purified Ores that you got fro mthe Cauldron. Maybe put a Hopper below it to automatically empty the Output.
Grindstones are used to sharpen your Tools. And to make Glass Lenses for Magnifying Glasses.
Barrels can be used to store simple Liquids inside of them. Certain Liquids can be fermented into Alcoholic Beverages or Vinegar. To do that just use a Soft Hammer (Wood Hammer for example), and hammer it after you have filled it with the desired amount of Juice. Use a Magnifying Glass to know whenever the thing is ready to be unsealed.
Item Barrels can store 5000 to 10000 Items inside of them. They automatically pile up smaller Dusts and Nuggets into bigger Piles too and vice versa. There is also the Storage Inserter Block that you should look into, if you want to dump your Inventory into a Wall of them.
Coke Ovens are used to turn Logs into Charcoal and Coal into Coal Coke, while outputting Creosote to any Pipe on their Bottom Side. You need to use a Fire Starter or similar to start them up.
Misc Stuff I don’t really have a Category for:
You need magnetic Iron Rods for Motors and Dynamos? No Problem the early Tier Iron Rods can be crafted with Redstone to magnetize them without the need of a Polarizer or Electromagnet.
When crafting Machines for your Setups, MAKE SURE THAT THE POWER LEVELS ARE MATCHING, Just because a Machine is made of Bronze doesn’t necessarily mean that another Bronze Machine connected to that one is a good Idea. The "same Material → same Tier"-Concept DOES NOT WORK IN GT6! Look at the Tooltips!
Speaking of that, don’t try to run Steam Powered Setups hard on the Limit, you WILL blow up your Stuff due to the irregular nature of Steam. A Turbine that can emit 64RU/t might emit 65RU/t for a moment and then you are screwed.
In order to get a Bottle of Mercury for a Thermometer, you first need to put enough Cinnabar into a Crucible, heat it up with a Burning Box for a second (like a Sapling could be enough Fuel), take a Glass Bottle and rightclick the Crucible to fill it with Mercury, because you can fill any suitable Fluid Container by rightclicking the Crucible with it.