"The Wasteland Update has arrived! YESSSSS!!!!"

Hello everyone! Our eighth free content update, The Wasteland Update has arrived! YESSSSS!!!!

This has been six months in the making, and it’s our biggest content update yet! And, as Before We Leave approaches it’s second birthday, we have a bittersweet announcement to make: The Wasteland Update will be our last content update, too. This might already be known to you, since we’ve already talked about it here and on Twitch/YouTube too. 

Here are the full patch notes for the update -


Smart Shipping

Smart Shipping is a whole new way to transport resources between Islands and Planets.

You just decide what amount of each resource you want on each Island, and the new system automatically transports resources around - taking them from Islands that have more than they want and delivering them to Islands that don’t have enough. This works between Planets too - just set up the Islands, and if the resources need to be shipped between Planets, they will be.

Smart Shipping is the default for new games - you can select the old shipping method in the Difficulty Settings. You can convert an existing game to Smart Shipping in the Settings menu once you’ve loaded the game. Smart Shipping games cannot be converted to the original shipping method.

Repeatable Research

Once you’ve discovered and constructed the Research Institute you can research Repeatable Technologies. These give you a 10% boost in some areas of the game, and can be researched multiple times each! They’re arranged in groups, and each time you research any technology in a group, all technologies in that group become more expensive.

If you don’t know what a Research Institute is, here’s a hint: Build a Submarine and explore that one different Sunken Ruin on your first Planet.

Toxic Wasteland

Occasionally, a Highly Polluted tile might turn into a Toxic Sludge tile! This will destroy any building on the tile, and turn the surrounding area into Wasteland.

Peeps cannot work in Buildings within the Wasteland, and will immediately leave. They will only enter the Wasteland unprotected to fetch resources or do a few actions such as demolishing buildings, but only if there is no other choice. The Peeps that enter the Wasteland unprotected will have to go home sick as soon as they finish their task (similar to Fatigue).

You can build Protective Elevators and new Protective Airlocks (the same thing, just without going up a cliff) to allow Peeps to change into Protective Clothing to access the Wasteland safely. They still won’t work in Buildings while protected, but can fetch resources safely.

In order to remove the Toxic Sludge, you need to build a Toxic Sludge Extractor on it. Once that’s been constructed and done it’s job, the Toxic Sludge - and thus the Wasteland - will be removed.

We’ve made Space Whale attacks happen less often, but the more Toxic Sludge tiles you have, the faster they get!

The Whale Charmer end-game building cannot operate on a Planet with any Toxic Sludge tiles.

Protective Elevators, Protective Airlocks and the Toxic Sludge Extractor are invented with the new/renamed Decontamination technology. The construction resources of the Protective Elevator have also been reduced.

Hub Buildings

Hub Buildings help the surrounding buildings, but don't do anything specific themselves. They are invented with the new Logistics technology. There are three kinds of Hub Building:

  • Relaxation Hubs make Peeps that live in adjacent Accommodation buildings become immune to one (player chosen) source of Unhappiness.
  • Storage Hubs automatically and instantly transfer resources between adjacent buildings, and also store, fetch and deliver extra resources for them.
  • Workshop Hubs make surrounding production buildings work faster.

Nanotech Spires

Nanotech Spires are available in new games only!

They can be found on some Middle Planet Islands and most Edge Planet Islands.

If you explore a Nanotech Spire, you can choose one of three options that will remake that Island. The choices are:

  • A small boost with no downside
  • A medium boost with a downside
  • A huge boost with a big downside

Choices are permanent and unchangeable, so choose wisely!

The Reclamation Spire

Entirely removes a deposit of Astrobaleenium!  It is unlocked by the existing Laser technology.

Decorative Buildings

We've added a variety of decorations to spice things up on your Islands! Unlock these Decorative Buildings by achieving certain milestones in the game. Here's a few examples of how you can get some:

  • Earn the Spaceship Statue when you first settle another Planet
  • You get the Park when you first settle an Island with Cats or Dogs
  • You get the Big Tree when you first settle a Rainforest island

... and many more for you to discover! ;)

QOL Updates

  • You no longer need to have a Library on each Island to access researched buildings (you still need them to gather and send research resources).
  • Added a Reclamation Spire building, which will entirely remove a deposit of Astrobaleenium! It is unlocked by the existing Laser technology
  • The strength of Weather Systems is now limited, according to how polluted your Planet is.
  • We’ve updated the layout of the Technology Panel, to make things clearer. Also, if you mouseover a technology, arrows leading to technologies that require it are highlighted accordingly. 
  • We’ve updated which construction category some of the Buildings are in - some of the categories were way too full!
  • Landing your first Ship/Spaceship will automatically grant you the Shipping/Spaceflight technology.
  • Repairing other ruined buildings (including the initial Ruined Generator) will grant you the technology needed to invent it (or one of its prerequisites instead if you don’t have that yet).
  • Significantly reduced the amount of time technologies take to research.
  • Updated the costs and timing of many early game buildings to be quicker and cheaper
  • Decorated roads with no Power Pole reduce the impact of any Gloom effect.
  • Building construction now begins as soon as any resources are at the construction site, rather than once all resources have been gathered.
  • Peeps that have eaten Meals or Good Meals carry more resources per trip than usual.
  • Peeps that have drunk Smoothies or Good Smoothies work longer than usual before returning home.
  • Allowed the Stepped Warehouse to be constructed on Swamps.
  • Desalination Plants can now be constructed on high tiles, and next to inland water sources.
  • Added a nicer snow effect.
  • Happy Peeps will now take over jobs from sad/hungry Peeps, to help prevent spiraling into disaster.
  • Added a dropdown in the Shipping Manifest, so you can change the source or target Islands for a Shipping Lane.
  • Added more personal messages from Peeps when they are (or were) hungry, thirsty etc.
  • Updated credits
  • Updated text to remove references to Colonization.
  • Added Japanese localization
  • Added more loading hints
  • Ruined buildings will reorient towards a neighbouring road when repaired


  • Re-balanced Gloom values for some buildings.
  • Bridges can be repaired from either side
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the Elevator sounds to play infinitely
  • Fixed some textboxes that were not deselecting properly if you press ‘Escape’
  • Fixed warehouse storage ratios when dragging them
  • Fixed some visual banding in the atmosphere shader
  • Whale Charmer tech now requires Battery Power tech
  • Protective Elevator can now be constructed with either/both Clothing and Good Clothing
  • In new games, prevented the First Island on a planet from being Swamp or Rainforest (as they're hard/impossible to land the spaceship on)
  • Fixed an issue that sometimes caused the cliff side models to hover slightly higher than they should, creating gaps in the terrain
  • The Whale Charmer and its upgrades are now cheaper and require varied resources
  • Elevator sounds are now quieter
  • Allowed building Shelters on Swamps
  • Made Automated Desalination only produce salt when next to ocean
  • Made Show Planets button responsive if you toggle from Show Planets to Shipping Mode and back
  • Fixed being able to select road upgrades that haven't researched yet via hotkeys
  • Fixed Tutorial objective "Speed up time" not completing after changing the game speed using keyboard shortcuts
  • Fixed Shelter not costing Crystals in the Apocalypse Soon scenario
  • Don't cancel music when moving between planets
  • Fixed Airships not doing the right thing if the Port they're loading at gets upgraded
  • Fixed an issue that was choosing an invalid location for the Crystal Island
  • Fixed an issue when building an Elevator down into a hole containing an Ancient Ruin
  • Fixed an issue with Ruined Bridges that was making them unable to be repaired in specific situations
  • Made Deactivate Tutorial Button slightly larger
  • Don't list both Very High and High Expectations in population tooltip

Reporting Bugs and Giving Feedback

As always, the best place to tell us about bugs and provide feedback is in our Discord. Also a huge thanks to everyone who played the experimental beta branch on Steam and gave us feedback. You're the best!

Thanks for reading everyone - see you for another blog post soon <3