I just started playing Factorio and as I go through the tutorial, I find myself constantly wasting a lot of time trying to find the things I need to build in my inventory. While I manually hover over dozens of tiny icons to find which one is the "boiler", for example, biters show up and kill me before I'm halfway through my objectives.

Is there a way to "freeze" time in-game, so I can inspect my inventory items without worrying that biters will appear to kill me? I tried hitting 'Esc', which does pause the game, but it shows a game menu and I can't interact with my inventory while paused.

  • Alternatively, you can use the search feature (magnifying glass icon in the upper-right-hand corner) to hide any icons that don't match the current search text.
    – chepner
    Sep 9, 2021 at 13:05

1 Answer 1


Pressing Shift-Space will pause the game (and display a grid of the world tiles; you can turn that off in the interface settings) without closing whatever windows you have open like Esc does.

It also freezes the UI, so unfortunately you can't access the tooltips, but it will at least let you scan the icons in peace.

Also, Settings → Interface → UI Scale can make the icons bigger, if that would help.

  • The Pause key (or Break key) will do the same. It is usually located on the top right of keyboards and rarely used
    – Sentry
    Jan 16, 2022 at 16:55

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