IXION: 7 Beginner Tips to Get You Started

Get your strategy going!

Marc Torzar
Marc Torzar
10 Min Read

IXION is one of the latest entries to the city builder genre. This space-themed, sci-fi strategy developed by Bulwark Studios combines city management with space exploration—creating a visually stunning and challenging game.

Despite IXION’s easy-to-learn gameplay, it can get very difficult really quickly. If you’re just trying out the game for the first time or are entirely new to this genre, this guide can help you get started. Here are seven useful tips for playing IXION.


Organize Your Buildings’ Placement

In IXION, internal space management is extremely important. Unlike in most city-builder games, the space to build your structures inside the Tiqqun is very limited. Each Sector has a limited size of 56 x 30 tiles—a total of 1680 tiles of constructible area.

You don’t have any vast forest or grassland in this game (because Earth is already dead), so you’ll have to plan and manage the placement of your structures very carefully. Failure to organize the placement of your buildings will lead to plenty of empty spaces, which most likely means a suboptimal and inefficient Sector.

Empty tiles in the Tiqqun's Sector
Look at those wasted spaces!

These empty spaces might not seem like a big deal at first, but they can quickly add up and prevent you from maximizing a Sector’s space.

Look at it this way—you can build one Insect Farm in an empty 4×8 grid, but you can’t build any in four 2×8 spaces scattered across the Sector.


Mind the Cycles

IXION's time is represented by the unit "cycle"

The unit of time in IXION is represented by the “cycle,” One cycle is equivalent to one revolution of the Tiqqun.

Most events and processes in the game resolve based on a number of cycles. For example, the Mess Hall serves Food to your crew members every five cycles (meal cycle), and the Electronics Factory transforms 30 Silicon into one Electronics every three cycles.

There isn’t much that you can do about the time outside of pausing or speeding up the game. So, the best (and only) way to utilize time in IXION is to keep track of it.

IXION's UI shows the time of resolution for most events
You can see how much time you have left to solve the problem.

Fortunately, most processes and events in the game show the number of cycles before their resolution. Just learn to maximize IXION’s cycle indicator integrated into its great UI, and you won’t have any time-related problems (hopefully).


Try to Aim for Sector Specializations

Specialization tutorial explanation

Having a certain number of buildings of the same type or discipline in a Sector provides specialization bonuses to that Sector. These specialization bonuses provide various benefits, such as production increases and speed boosts, that further improve the overall performance and efficiency of the buildings in the same discipline.

Hence, the ideal setup is to place most buildings of a certain type in the same Sector to gain their specialization bonuses.

For example, you could try placing at least five buildings with Space specialization in Sector 1 to gain a tier 1 bonus. This makes the Docking Bay load and unload resources 30% faster and improves the efficiency of the Hull repair by 10%. Then, you could focus on Food production in Sector 2 by placing the buildings that produce Food in this Sector, gaining Food specialization and its corresponding bonuses.

Sector specialization bonuses
Some examples of specialization bonuses (You’ll first need to unlock the DLS Center via the Tech Lab and build one before you can view these stats.)

It’s almost always better to focus on just one or two disciplines in a Sector to gain their specialization bonuses. And by capitalizing on these bonuses, you can make your buildings much more efficient and effective in performing their functions.

You may be wondering: doesn’t that mean some Sectors won’t get access to the other important resources?

Not necessarily.

Focusing on a few disciplines doesn’t mean you’ll abandon the other necessary aspects of a Sector. I mean, you technically can’t survive without the essential structures like the Stockpile and Crew Quarters.

Moreover, you can always supply a Sector with resources from another Sector via the Stanford Resource Transfer.

This brings us to our next tip. . .


Proper Resource Management Is Key

IXION resource management menu

Although stats like population and resources in Sectors are independent of each other, the Klain Population Management and Stanford Resource Transfer let you transfer crew members and resources between Sectors.

If one Sector has overworked workers, then it might be a good idea to transfer (even temporarily) a few workers from another Sector. Similarly, if the current Food supply isn’t enough to feed all the Sector’s crew members in the upcoming meal cycle, you could transfer some spare Food from another Sector to avoid any members from starving.


Learn to Prioritize Which Resources to Gather

IXION resource prioritization menu

There are two main types of resources in IXION: raw resources and manufactured resources. Raw resources include Iron, Carbon, Silicon, Hydrogen, Ice, and Waste. Manufactured resources include Alloy, Polymer, Electronics, Food, Cryonic Pods, and Science Points.

Among these resources, some are clearly more important than others (e.g., Food, Alloy), but they may also change at different points in the game.

In the beginning, Alloy is generally the most important resource for you to obtain, alongside the perpetually essential Food. As you move forward, you may often find yourself in situations where gathering Silicon or Electronics must be prioritized over gathering Alloys to build the necessary upgrades to increase the Tiqqun’s total Power capacity.

Tiqqun exterior solar panel
Solar Panels are necessary for you to keep building structures in the Sectors.

Sometimes, you’ll have to focus on gathering Cryonic Pods first to match the increasing demand for workers in the growing Sectors.


Don’t Overdo It

IXION warning screen

There will come some points in the game where you’ll feel confident with the Tiqqun’s condition. You’ll feel like the space station you’re administering is doing very well and that you won’t have any problems anytime soon.

If this is the case, then you might also start building a bunch of structures and researching upgrades in advance.

Well, don’t!

We’ve mentioned that you should learn how to think ahead, but don’t overdo it.

Aside from requiring more resources, most buildings also require Power and Workers to function. If you’re careless, you might find yourself short of resources, which can result in angry crew members—and the possibility of them going on strike.

Tiqqun crew workers on strike
Workers on strike can severely impede a Sector’s production if left unresolved.

Moreover, having to dismantle a building so you can rearrange your structures can sometimes be annoying.

It’s a good thing that dismantling a structure IXION does not have any resource penalty, so you get 100% of the resources initially used. But its mechanic first requires completely collecting the resources used to build the structure.

So, if you don’t have a Stockpile available for storing the resources from the building, the structure won’t be completely destroyed and will continue to take up space. You’ll also have to wait before the building gets completely demolished before you can remove any road connection. This mechanic makes destroying and re-arranging buildings a pain.


Don’t Be Afraid to Choose the “Bad” Option

IXION event warning
Yes—everything is absolutely fine!

You’ll sometimes face events that have glaringly obvious answers. But oftentimes, choosing the “correct” answer isn’t always the best thing to do. It might seem better to promise good things to your crew, but failing to deliver will only result in worse (or even catastrophic) consequences.

Before hastily making decisions, take a look at the current condition of your crew and the space station first. Then, evaluate if the event’s requests are reasonable given your current resource supplies and the station’s overall condition. If you think that it might not be reasonable to promise, then don’t.

Overpromising plus underdelivering is a recipe for disaster.

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Philosophy scholar by day, avid gamer by night—Marc spends most of his free time playing strategy/tactics, FPS, and RPGs on his laptop and console (after he's done all requirements for his graduate studies, of course!).
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