How to Fix Steam Engines in Factorio That Aren’t Working

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In Factorio, you can use Water Pumps, Boilers and Steam Engines to generate electricity. It’s the first type of electricity you’ll use, and will be stuck with it for most of the game until you’ve done a lot more research.

One thing I noticed is that a lot of people have problems when settings up the Steam Engines and Boilers, resulting in them not running or generating any power.

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Fixing Steam Engines & Boilers

Let’s take a look at the easiest set-up. Which is to connect the Boiler so it’s longer side is connected to the Offshore Pump. The Boiler has 3 connections, the two that are opposite eachother are for flowing water, and the third one emits Steam. Connect the Steam Engine to the side that emits Steam.

factorio steam engine setup
Easiest Steam Engine setup

You can actually check which connections are needed by pressing ‘ALT’ on your keyboard. You’ll see the icons for both water and steam showing up on each connection point. So the Water Pump must connect to where there is a water icon, and a Steam Engine to anywhere there’s a steam icon.

factorio connection points
Connection points with helpers

You can check everything is working by hovering over each item. Hover over the Boiler and it should say it has 200 out of 200 Water, which means it’s successfully collected water from the Pump. If it doesn’t, then check your connection there.

Now hover over the Steam Engine, and it should say 200 out of 200 Steam, which means it’s transported water from the Boiler and turned it into Steam. Now if this doesn’t say 200 out of 200, then your connection to the Boiler might not be correct. Otherwise, you can check that you’ve actually fuelled the Boiler (if you have a flashing fuel icon). By left clicking it, you can see a fuel slot where you can place a fuel item such as Coal. 

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Instead, if you have a flashing yellow electricity icon, that means the power isn’t being output to anywhere. You’ll need to place any sort of electricity transmitter. Place a Small Electric Pole in close proximity to the Steam Engine. Now places more poles in a direction towards your buildings and structure.

Hopefully now, your Steam Engine and Boiler are working correctly and producing power to your base in Factorio!

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Phillip Anderson
Phillip Anderson
Hey, I'm Phillip Anderson! After studying Video Game Design at University, I began writing articles at PwrDown in my free time. I currently play my games on PC, but also own a PS4 & Nintendo Switch. I'm also a VR enthusiast, owning an Oculus Rift S where you might find me playing Beat Saber or Skyrim VR!