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After excavating in a few threat level 1-6 worlds, I've found a single piece of gold ore. I have no way of knowing just how far down I've been digging but It feels like quite a ways down, in fact most of my deaths underground are falling down long unlit tunnels.

So far all of my gold+ ores have been found in random dungeon(?) chests. Though dungeons are quite hard to come by and if I die in one it takes way too long to run back to them.

Do I just need to keep digging? Does the threat level have anything to do with ore quality? Can higher tier ores be found on every planet if you dig deep enough?

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Higher threat levels generally mean more abundant ores, and ores of higher rarity. However, especially rare ores like gold or diamond can still be hard to come by, generally occurring only at the deepest levels of the planet. Personally, I'm mining level 19 planets for gold and maybe producing 4 ores by the time I reach the planet's core. I found two gems (8 ores) worth of diamond in the 1-9 planets, and haven't seen any since.

That said, planet type may have something to do with it. I've noticed that moons contain a more ores than I'm used to, in addition to being a bit easier to dig through. Desert and arid planets are super easy sources of iron, copper and coal since you can just dig into the sand to dislodge everything.

Some advice: hoard your iron. You'll want it for Sector Beta.

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  • Hmm, I'm not sure I'll make it past Alpha sector without exploiting the UFO boss. I'm on a level 6 right now and I've found my 4th piece of gold ore. And I'm definitely hoarding... Almost at 1k bars of both copper and iron ;) – VanBuzzKill Dec 6 '13 at 15:18
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The two primary factors in ore distribution are depth and threat level. Deeper is better, higher threat level is better. Biome may or may not be a factor, but desert, arid, and moon biomes have blocks that you can dig through quicker, which means you get to the ore that is there faster. Furthermore, moons warm up when you're deep enough.

Note that all planets have obsidian if you get too deep, and obsidian is much harder to dig through than any other block I've yet encountered. Ore value doesn't jump to match the digging difficulty, so in my view digging through obsidian isn't worth it.

Therefore: dig down until you see obsidian, then dig out to the sides.

Also, keep in mind your current target. In the alpha sector, your goal is silver armor. In the beta sector, you need gold, iron, and coal.

N.B. This answer was written during Starbound beta. It reflects a universe generated before the first character wipe of beta.

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Most of the ore i got was gotten the same way you got yours, but if you dig deep and check out the higher tier worlds (I have a lot of luck 7+) you should be able to find a decent amount.

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Use moon type moons, as they have 3x as much generated ore! Just make sure you have something warm like the Snow Infantry set, because if not you'll be placing down a campfire every 30 seconds to keep warm. I just finished excavating a moon type moon and I got:

  • 328 Coal
  • 56 Copper
  • 237 Iron
  • 36 Silver
  • 27 Gold
  • 8 Platinum
  • 17 Diamonds (WOW)

If this was prior to the first character wipe, then sorry if this answer is of no help :)

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