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The Factorio world generator has good documentation and changing the settings works fine. We can also create custom presets, also answered here.

However, my terrain settings aren't being applied.

I tried to ask this on the previously mentioned thread, but it was rejected as off-topic. Nor does there seem to be any space on the Factorio forum for Q&A.

Since the keyword for Resource settings is autoplace_controls inside the section for Basic settings, the keyword for Terrain settings could be any random word.

So how do I configure terrain settings?

My current file is being loaded fine and other settings are being applied:

["custom-easy"] =
{
    order = "f",
    basic_settings =
    {
        peaceful_mode = true,
        autoplace_controls =
        {
            coal =
            {
                frequency = "very-high",
                size = "medium",
                richness = "very-good"
            },
            ["copper-ore"] =
            {
                frequency = "very-high",
                size = "medium",
                richness = "very-good"
            },
            ["crude-oil"] =
            {
                frequency = "very-high",
                size = "medium",
                richness = "very-good"
            },
            ["uranium-ore"] =
            {
                frequency = "very-high",
                size = "medium",
                richness = "very-good"
            },
            ["iron-ore"] =
            {
                frequency = "very-high",
                size = "medium",
                richness = "very-good"
            },
            stone =
            {
                frequency = "very-high",
                size = "medium",
                richness = "very-good"
            }
        },
        starting_area = "small"
    },
    terrain_settings =
    {
        water =
        {
            frequency = "very-high",
            size = "very-small"
        },
        grass =
        {
            frequency = "very-high",
            size = "big"
        },
        dirt =
        {
            frequency = "normal",
            size = "medium"
        },
        sand =
        {
            frequency = "low",
            size = "very-low"
        },
        desert =
        {
            frequency = "very-low",
            size = "none"
        },
        trees =
        {
            frequency = "high",
            size = "very small",
            richness = "poor"
        },
        ["enemy-bases"] =
        {
            frequency = "low",
            size = "small",
            richness = "poor"
        },
        cliffs =
        {
            frequency = "high",
            size = "small"
        }
    },
    advanced_settings =
    {
        enemy_expansion =
        {
            enabled = false
        }
    }
}

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