In your journey to restore nature while playing Terra Nil you may need some help. Depending on what difficulty you pick, this relaxing strategy game can feel confusing at times. We’re here to make it easier with some of the best tips and tricks we’ve learned while playing.
There are a few simple parts of the gameplay that are easy to miss or not take advantage of. Even though they can make a significant difference in improving your experience. Whether that’s a super useful building or something as simple as the undo tool.
Tip 1 – Use the Undo Tool
Terra Nil is forgiving in that it has an undo tool you can use to rewind one move back. While you can’t undo every single action you’ve made, this at least helps when you make a mistake. Also, it’s great for testing new buildings that you may not quite understand yet.
There have been a number of times when I had to undo a move because I couldn’t quite see the range of a building well enough. This is why it’s a wonderful tool as you reach the tougher stages and alternate challenge versions.
Tip 2 – Follow the Book Tips & Instructions
The book page that appears when you first start a stage provides some useful tips. While the phases of restoring a region are similar, the methods in which you do are vastly different. This is where those quick tips from the book can help get you started.
Especially if you’re on a drastically different stage where you may not even have land to build on. With that said, if you’re playing the alternate challenge stages, the book tips don’t change. So you’re on your own figuring those out.
Tip 3 – Be Careful Focusing on Optional Goals
As you restore nature in Terra Nil, there are also optional goals you can chase after for resources. While the reward amounts are typically small, they can still help you keep going. However, it is important to not get too ahead of yourself.
I made the mistake once of focusing only on optional goals instead of progressing through each phase. This led me to being locked out of unlocking new buildings that were required to complete the stage. Fortunately, you can practically complete optional goals at any time. But, certain phase steps you can’t.
Tip 4 – Watch Your Resource Usage
One of the main hurdles you’ll encounter while playing Terra Nil is running low on resources. As you begin to get low, your screen will flash red indicating that you’re close to running out. This is a good signal that you need to start thinking conservatively before it’s too late.
Regardless of what difficulty you’re playing on, it helps to balance spending and gaining resources. As you progress through each phase, you’ll get multiple opportunities to gain more resources. While the Irrigator is your main source in the beginning, you’ll eventually get a chance to upgrade it with other structures. This can help double up on the soil you’re using.
Tip 5 – Rainfall is a Gamechanger
My favorite optional goal that usually works its way in near the end of a stage is rainfall. However, it is possible to complete a level without even getting rain. Especially since it’s not available for certain stages as well.
Chances are if you’ve unlocked rain, you’re relatively far in and have a decent grasp on restoring your region. Although, you may still find yourself running low on resources and questioning every move. Fortunately, rain brings a ton of resources with it as it purifies the land, water, and fills in valleys too.
Tip 6 – How to Recycle in Terra Nil
The final phase on every Terra Nil level is recycling your buildings after placing a few zones for animals. With that said, recycling tends to get tougher as you reach later regions and challenge stages. This is because it functions differently depending on whether you’re using boats or drones.
You may even struggle early on when relying on boats because you can’t always reach buildings far from water. Then, you have to rely on Excavators to create lakes. These can help you reach buildings out of reach. Or if you’ve unlocked the Rock Hopper for moving stones. Otherwise, you need to use Pylons and Recycling Silos together.
Tip 7 – Take Full Advantage of Monorails
It’s easy to not realize how powerful monorails are in Terra Nil. While I played mostly on the Ecologist difficulty, those of you trying Environmental Engineer will have to use monorails a lot. While some players may only use them for recycling, they can save a bunch of resources too.
If you create a well-connected monorail system, you can frequently transfer buildings around your region. Such as moving Combustors to increase the temperature without spending resources. Even though certain buildings like Irrigators can still consume resources to move.
Tip 8 – How to Save in Terra Nil
This is a simple tip that I wanted to throw in just because not everyone may understand how saving works. Even though stages frequently only took me around an hour, it’s bound to vary for every player. And as I previously mentioned, the difficulty you choose will certainly play a role too.
So if you need to take a break or can only get a short session in, there is a saving system in place. When you exit a stage you’re actively working on, just make sure you use the “Back to Main Menu” or “Exit” button. Otherwise, when you try to use the “Return to World Map” button, it’ll warn you that you’ll lose your progress.
Tip 9 – Get the Most Out of Building Tooltips
I don’t know how it took almost my entire Terra Nil playthrough before I realized this trick. When you hover over a building button near the bottom of your screen, it’ll show all sorts of useful information. But, I didn’t realize that you can hover over the humidity requirements as well.
Otherwise, you’re stuck looking at a bar without numbers and left guessing what you need to get to. Aside from this, you can hover over each icon under what a building provides and requires for more info too. Or even click the small book icon to open up a relevant page.
Tip 10 – Experiment With Different Buildings
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different buildings that may feel optional. You can definitely get through certain stages without using some buildings at all. However, they often have uses that you may not be utilizing. Such as the late-game Pylons which can extend the reach of your electricity.
I originally ignored them since I was worried it would eat up my Turbine’s power and not be worthwhile. However, they end up providing even more electricity for you to use. And honestly, I had no idea until I started experimenting with them on a challenge stage.
That’s all there is to this Terra Nil guide filled with tips and tricks to help you out. Hopefully you learn something new while restoring nature to each region. This relaxing game can be a bit of a puzzle as you work through each phase.
Jeff is a journalist with over 10 years of experience writing, streaming, and making content about video games. With an associate degree in journalism, he’s a sucker for RPGs, survival games, roguelikes, and more.