Beginner Tips

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So you heard about this "really hard" modpack that takes Gregtech to the Nth degree and want to join in on the fun? Well first let's sit down and talk about what GTNH is and isn't, and who this modpack targets.

Philosophy of this modpack

GTNH is about taking the usual modball of magic and tech mods and making all the recipes Greg-ified. This means there's really nothing easy any more. All recipes are gated and modified - even vanilla ones. Even a door will need advanced tools you won't get until the Steam era at least. That means lots of hard work.

It also means a major sense of accomplishment when you open that gate to the next stage. Getting ingredients to make your first decent food. Making your Electric Blast Furnace. Your first Thaumcraft wand. Launching your first rocket. Building a full scale chemical refinery. Instead of simply being a minor event in a game, each of these becomes moments of joy that you have now reached the next level.

Target audience

As stated above, this modpack is for people who enjoy hard challenges, and are willing and able to commit serious amounts of time to them. At the beginning, this may mean hours of searching for the right ores. Later on you'll spend time building and rebuilding your technology infrastructure to handle the latest resource demand. By the end, you'll practically have degrees in Gregtech chemical and electrical engineering - even a mage needs a technological base to supply resources!

By its nature, this pack works best on servers, where players can work together to search for resources and share information. Playing SP is inherently more difficult since every orevein must be found solely by you. You are welcome to come to the Discord and commiserate with all the other players who have spent hours searching for that one redstone/lapis/mica/nickel vein.

Starting the game

Because of the amount of mods included, starting GTNH can take much longer than other modpacks. On lower end PCs, 30 minute start times are normal. On even high end PCs, expect 5 minute start times. If Minecraft looks like it has locked up, wait a few more minutes. Low End PCs has tips and configuration suggestions to help with playing on potato-PCs.

Also, default Java parameters usually don't work well, so its best to optimize your memory setup and other configuration options.

If you have problems installing the modpack, have a look at Installing and Migrating.

First day

Fair warning, nights in GTNH are *dark* (gamma correction is disabled, on purpose). And you won't get torches until well into the game. And there are terrifying Infernal mobs that can do nasty things to you. Expect to wall yourself in a hole in the ground during the night until you get your first bed. Torches will be in short supply until your first coke oven. If you're lucky and find a coal vein, you can smelt the ore to make coal for torches. There is also a guide on the Questing Mechanics.

Starting Location

The most important decision in the game is choosing where to start. If you're a beginner, look for these important factors when choosing a new place to start.

  • Near water: With no infinite water, until you get a Railcraft Water Tank, you will be making frequent trips to fetch water. Make sure the water is large enough, at least 60 blocks. Being near a river is good for setting up kinetic water generators later, but not necessary.
  • Near sand: You will need sand for many of the early multiblock recipes, and for glass. Later you can automate creating it from cobblestone.
  • Near exposed minerals: This is difficult in GTNH since ores spawn in veins. Sometimes you might get lucky and find a vein on the surface, but it's pretty unlikely. Always mark any you find.
  • Near a lava pool: Handy for refilling your smeltery.
  • Villages: A great place to setup a base. Villages however should be avoided until you have a bed, otherwise the villagers will be slaughtered while you hole up at night. Steal a door - you won't get one until you smelt iron. Walled villages are especially good if you can light them up inside the walls.
  • Roguelike Dungeons: The large brick buildings on the surface, with a bed and furnace, perfect for starting a base. The stairs down can be blocked off to prevent monsters from coming up. Also, the bricks can be cannibalized later for multiblock structures. You can cheese the dungeon by going down with only torches and lighting it all up before returning for loot.
  • Wood: No duh! You will probably need more than 7 stacks for the first 3 tiers (mostly for charcoal, paper and chests). Some great biomes to look for are the Jungle biome, any type of forest (the dense or ones with big trees are especially great), and most of all, the sacred spring, Wich has massive trees but is a rather rare biome.
  • Wet and mid-temperature biomes (NOT desert or anything snowy): This will help greatly with gathering water in the first couple ages. The railcraft water tank auto-fills with water over time, and the speed of this is heavily affected by the biome. Swampy is best for this reason and a few others (better for IC2 crops, clay sources, ect.).

Look for a location relatively flat, near sand, with good access to a body of water. Minerals will have to be searched for no matter what, and with a relatively flat location it makes it easier to get around. If possible, be relatively near an oil spout - ~128 blocks. If you are closer, cover the spout with dirt/cobble roof. Lightning or infernal mobs can set it on fire.


Horses are actually very useful early/mid game. Find or craft a saddle and lead per the quest in Transportation. If you can, craft a Golden Lasso as well - horses don't do well crossing water.

Make paths going the cardinal directions from your base. Smooth them as much as possible, and use stairs to go up/down. Upgrade the paths with Concrete later to go faster.

Once you have your first Bricked Blast Furnace, you can make a hang glider which helps with exploring and traveling long distances. Setup a tall launch tower at your base. You can use the electrotine and coal powered jetpacks to launch you into the air and switch to the glider to go long distances. If you hold down the jump and crouch keys, the pack will lift you and the glider will launch you forwards at high speeds. Don't exceed the speed of your chunk loading!


In early game, you should have at least the surface 256 blocks around you explored. Once you get a horse, explore further out. After you get steel, you can make a hang-glider and quickly explore thousands of blocks away from home.

Keep an eye on the sun! It gets really dark, really fast. If you don't have a bed, you'll have to shiver in a hole until daybreak.

Watch out for blood moons! If this occurs, you cannot sleep through the night. If the torches in your area start looking reddish, IMMEDIATELY stop and build an emergency fort.

Key minerals

Copper and Tin are going to be the first minerals requiring dedicated searching. Many players start with a nomadic lifestyle until they hit upon a copper or tin vein. Copper is used more often, but can show up in more ores (malachite and chalcopyrite). Tin is rarer. Look for Cassiterite or Garnet sands. Iron is relatively plentiful, with many alternate sources.

Preferred processing paths

Once you get to MV, there are some minerals that benefit from chemical baths vs orewashing/thermal centrifuging/centrifuging. (Needs checking)

  • Iron ore - Chemical bath with Sodium Persulfate to get additional Nickel
  • Copper ore - Chemical bath with Sodium Persulfate to get additional Copper
  • Gold - Chemical bath with mercury to get additional Gold
  • Silver - Chemical bath with mercury to get additional Silver
  • Lead - Chemical bath with mercury to get additional Silver

Once you hit HV, you should be using an HV macerator to get additional byproducts, both with the ore block and after thermal centrifuging.

Learning to use NEI

Not Enough Items is the mod that shows you a search bar at the bottom of your screen, and a list of matching items on the right. When typing in the search bar, you can double-click the search bar to turn the outline yellow, and it will dim your GUI and highlight any matching items. This can be useful to find a specific ingot or dust in a large inventory. Double click again to remove the highlighting.

It also enables a couple of keybinds that can be used over items in inventories.

  • R - Recipe to make this item.
  • U - Recipes that use this item.

If you are in a crafting GUI while hitting R or U, you can click the ? button to populate the grid with an outline to fill manually, or shift-click ? to autofill it.

When looking at how to create an item, it can be confusing because of large number of ways to obtain it. When looking at how to create an alloy ingot, here are some tips:

  • Focus on certain creation methods, in this order: Shapeless(dust), Mixer(dust), Alloy Smelter(ingot), Blast Furnace(ingot/hot ingot), Vacuum Freezer(ingot)
  • When looking at a long list of recipes in a specific machine, click the left arrow on the bottom to go to the last recipe. That is typically where you can find the basic ingredients recipe.
  • If an alloy has two ingredients, the alloy smelter is usually the fastest way to make it. For example, cupronickel can be made with dust or ingots of copper and nickel directly in the alloy smelter instead of mixing the dusts in a mixer and then smelting.

Locations to note

Use your Journeymap to set waypoints.

  • Villages - scavenge for useful materials, Witchery books, smeltery blocks. Note any interesting trades for later. Once you can make Golden Lassos, you can bring back villagers to your base.
  • Stonehenges - These can have chests or droppers with good loot.
  • Obsidian totems or obelisks - 1x1 spire of obsidian or floating pillars in an obsidian circle - avoid these. May be surrounded by difficult to kill mobs.
  • Aluminum Gravel - Always gather any you see. Aluminum veins cannot be found in the Overworld. Later in MV you will electrolyze clay dust for aluminum. Only process the bare minimum of the gravel, you want to save it for HV so you can get bauxite for titanium later.
  • Rubber trees - Gather until you have ~16+ saplings. Keep the wood too for centrifuging later. Frequent around rivers. Look for trees that have a 3 leaf tall spire at the top, or a brown spot on the side.
  • Vanilla clay - Rivers and lakebeds have clay - gather all/as much as you can. To make mining less frustrating, make a cobblestone wall around the outside of the clay patch, and fill in the water with sand/gravel. Then mine it all out. Otherwise mining underwater can be pretty frustrating since no infinite water means the water drains, pushing you around. Or you can try breeding clay bees.
  • Gravel - Initially you will need gravel for flint tools, but once you start mining you'll have plenty from that. Later you can forge hammer cobblestone into gravel or sand.
  • Mountains/Mesas - Look for mountains with stained clay - good source for mass quantities of clay dust instead of vanilla clay once you build a macerator. Layered mesas contain more clay, but has different colors.
  • Silverwood trees - Very rare, may need to travel several thousand blocks to find them. Or just use seed 4292492439225141544 and you'll have 4 in view. They have a distinctive blue color. Look for Cherry groves or Sacred Springs, they're more common than magical forests.
  • Slime islands - Mark for later - Not super common but there should be at least a couple with ~2000 blocks of you.
  • Roguelike Dungeons - Explore the surface levels and mark for later. Easier to cannibalize the bricks from the red brick house version than making your own.
  • Pam's gardens - Don't break them, gather them instead (rightclick). You can plant them back at your base and they will spread. Once you have 3-4, then you can break excess. For those who hate the Hunger Overhaul/Spice of Life, there is a quest for collecting every Pam's garden that rewards a Healing Axe that restores food.
  • Meteors - Gather all the stone, save it for later. Ok for building since it has good blast resistance. The center will have a Sky Stone chest which is also blast resistant. Keep the contents for later.
  • Red/Black granite/Basalt/Marble - Ok for building since it has good blast resistance. Black granite can be difficult to see.
  • Snow - Gather a few stacks if you can find some. Good for smoothies/Delighted meals later.
  • Lootgames dungeons: These are large green cube areas underground with a simon-says minigame inside. A great source of loot for early game, with good chances of really useful stuff.

Base building

When building your base, there are a couple of primary concerns:

  • Chunk boundaries: Don't ever build a multi-block machine across chunk boundaries.
  • Take a look over on this page for a general overview on GT electricity. For the purposes of being "safe", never, ever over-volt your machines or your cables. Over-volting machines result in explosions, and over-volting/over-amping your cables and wires result in fires, which in turn may lead to more explosions. This not only applies to cables and machines, but also to energy and dynamo hatches. Plan your machine layout and designs thoroughly (preferably in single-player first!).
  • Certain multiblocks have their own set of rules, some of which may not be fully documented in the tooltip shown in NEI. Following the multiblock's rules could save you from an explosion. For every new multiblock you build, it is best to either check this wiki for documentation on how that multiblock works, look it up on the ftb gamepedia page, or ask the friendly people over on the Discord help channel.
  • Cover your machines: Rain on or next to a GT machine will cause it to explode. Be careful when setting up machines away from your base - don't forget to cover them up!
  • Spread apart: GT power generation and smelting will generate pollution. Mostly it's not enough to matter, but when you have multiple blast furnaces operating continuously it can really build up. Put them a chunk or two away from the rest of your production and/or house unless you like wearing hazmat suits. Worst pollution sources are EBF, Pyrolyse Oven, Implosion Compressor.
  • Blast proofing: Everybody eventually does something to cause an explosion. Mis-wiring a transformer, forgetting to cover a machine, putting water into a hot boiler, etc. Try and localize the damage by using tougher, more blast proof materials. Marble, basalt, granite, concrete help.
  • Be sure to read the electrical guide for more information on base building requirements.

Nice to have

Scaffolds: These blocks are like ladders that don't need to be attached to a block. Destroy the bottom block and the whole thing falls to the ground.

Monster repellator: Once you get to LV, you can build these to keep monsters from spawning - they can still walk/teleport into your base. Without power, they work a reduced distance, and higher tiers also work better. Only works on single player. On servers, claim chunks instead.

Your first boss fight

The Naga in Twilight Forest is probably the first boss fight you'll do. It's gating Thaumcraft, so if you want to become an archmage, you'll need to kill it and gather the scales.

Getting to the twilight forest will require building a portal generator in the assembler. While the surface of the TF is "safe", the frequent caves and canyons will spawn monsters who can walk onto the surface at any time.

Having a glider makes exploring the forest much easier and safer.

Once you find the nearest Naga area, bring a decent crossbow. You can probably win with a bow and arrow


The smeltery does not produce aluminum ingots, but it can create aluminum brass alloy for making molds. Also, you can't make iron blocks from the smeltery either!

Always check and recheck common recipes as you get new machines and advance in tech. Something annoying now (like circuit boards) may become much easier with just the right machine (like an assembler). Even recipes like chests have an assembler version to save on resources. In fact, it has two! So be sure to check recipes often.