Applied Energistics 2, Part 3: Storage

This tutorial will show you how to store items and manage your inventory in an Applied Energistics 2 network.

If you haven’t familiarized yourself with the fundamentals terms of Applied Energistics 2 and the basics of cable management yet, please do so before continuing with this tutorial.

This tutorial is part of a series on Applied Energistics 2.

Also, from this post onwards, I will stop posting most of the crafting recipes. Most of you are probably using modpacks anyway, and almost all of those packs include the Not Enough Items (NEI) mod which you can use to look up crafting recipes (with the “R” key by default).

Fundamentals of Storage: Storage Cells

In Applied Energistics 2, there are four different tiers of cells for item storage (not counting those added by mods such as Extra Cells 2). Each storage cell needs a storage component (think of it as the data crystal) as its core ingredient.

Unless you are running absolutely insanely massive installations, the 1K and 4K storage components will likely last you well into mid- and late-game.

Storage Components and Cells (Bill of Materials & Crafting Recipes)

For one single 1K Storage Component:

For one single 4K Storage Component:


For one single 16K Storage Component:


For one single 64K storage component:


Note that the higher storage components use the lower components as crafting ingredients.


You can then combine these storage components directly into a storage cell, or you can separately craft a storage housing and then place the component into the housing. Personally, I prefer the second option.


The difference between these cells is the amount of data they can hold. Each cell can only hold a maximum of 63 different kinds of items, so if you have lots of different kinds of flowers or woods in your storage, you will need a couple of cells to get all of those items into your network. The bigger cells are mostly used to store the kinds of items which players tend to collect in huge amounts: cobblestone, stone, dirt, gravel … you get the general idea.

Now each different item type that you store within a cell requires a small amount of data – think of it as “partitioning” space. If you’re interested in the math behind that, check out the data capacity tables on this Applied Energistics website. The important thing to keep in mind here is: If you store many different items within the same cell, a lot of the cell data capacity is used for “partitioning” and you have less space available for actual item storage.

Sure, you can just craft and use a lot of storage cells to circumvent that problem. However, if you want to keep a clean inventory and avoid clutter, you might want to pre-configure your storage cells using the Cell Workbench.

Prevent cluttering: Configure your storage cells

The Cell Workbench.The Cell Workbench allows you to configure your cells so that they only accept the item types that you have specified or reject specific items. This is particularly useful for the storage of very large amounts of items and will be helpful when you want to set up any kind of automining system such as the quarry from Buildcraft.

The Cell Workbench does not require power or a AE2 network link, so you may place wherever you like. A rightclick opens the interface, which we will be exploring now:

  1. Cell Slot
    Place the storage cell that you want to configure into this slot. Note that the extra card slots (8) and (9) as well as the “Fuzzy Comparison” menu option (6) will not appear unless there is a storage cell in this designated slot.

  2. Configuration Area
    This area shows the current item configuration of the cell in the top slot. You can add an item by left-clicking it once in your inventory, moving it to the configuration area and left-clicking once more into a slot in the configuration area. If you do not have any items equipped on your mouse cursor, a left-click on an item in the configuration area will remove that item.

  3. Clear
    Clicking this option will remove any and all configurations on that cell and return it to its default state (which is “accept all”).

  4. Partition Storage
    Clicking this option will configure the cell based on the items that are currently stored in it. So if you have for example 300 cobblestone, 54 gravel, 12 dirt and 1 sand saved in that storage cell, it will be set to only accept cobblestone, gravel, dirt, and sand.

  5. Fuzzy Comparison
    This option will only show up if the storage cell is equipped with a Fuzzy Card in slot (7) or slot (8). With this option, you can set the cell to accept partially damaged items at either any kind of damage, 99% durability, 75%, 50%, or 25%. You can use this to direct all damaged tools to one specific cell.

  6. Inverter Card
    Placing an Inverter Card in slot (7) or slot (8) will cause the storage cell to reject any item specified in the configuration area (2). You can use this to create “clutter” cells to store items of which you have a low amount by using the inverter card to prevent stone, cobblestone, gravel, dirt or sand from flowing into cell and taking up space.

  7. Fuzzy Card
    Placing a Fuzzy Card in slot (7) or slot (8) “unlocks” menu option (6), with which you can specify storage conditions for items with durability.

You will likely not need the inverter card or the fuzzy card, but they may be of use for some very specific setups.

Storing the storage cells

The ME Chest

The ME Chest.Now that you have crafted and configured one, or several, or dozens of storage cells, you need to use them somehow. One of the simplest ways to do that is to use the ME Chest. The chest does not need to be attached to an ME network to function, but it does require energy to run. Aside from the Applied Energistics cables, you can also power it via connectors from Immersive Engineering, Fluxducts from Thermal Expansion, or cables from Mekanism.

It allows for the insertion of one single storage disc by right-clicking its front (2) and placing the disc in the slot. By right-clicking its top face (1), you can then directly access the items that are saved in the currently inserted storage disc – as long as the chest is powered. If the disc is connected to an existing AE2 network, its contents will also be available to the network.

The chest is a convenient way to store items which you would like to access separately, such as for instance food or ammunition.

The Portable Cell

The portable cell is the mobile little brother of the ME Chest. It is crafted by combining an ME Chest, an Energy Cell and a 1K Me Storage Component:

It has half the capacity of a 1K ME Storage Cell, and can only store up to 27 different item types. Electric item chargers such as a Flux Capacitor from Thermal Expansion can recharge the portable cell while you are out in the field.

The ME Drive

The ME Drive.The ME Drive is your main storage device for cells. It can fit up to ten discs. Note that the front lights correspond to the disc placement in the interface. The light in each disc slot has four states:

  1. Blank means that no disc is inserted in the slot.
  2. Green means that the inserted disc still has free capacity.
  3. Yellow means that the inserted disc has almost run out of storage.
  4. Red means that the inserted disc is full and cannot accept any more items.

As opposed to the ME Chest, the ME Drive does not provide you with a direct way of accessing the items saved inside of its storage cells. This means that you need to connect it to an existing network with at least one ME Terminal in order to access the saved items. Note that you don’t necessarily need to have a network with a controller for that:

If 8 or less AE2 devices are connected to one another, they constitute an “ad-hoc network” (this was mentioned before in the AE2 Terminology introduction) and can be used without a controller. However they still do need an energy supply. Here’s an example for a very simple setup with a terminal and one drive:

The Culinary Generator from Extra Utilities (top left) chomps up food to create energy, which gets routed through the AE2 Energy Acceptor into the AE2 Energy Cell. The energy cell powers both the terminal and the ME Drive. Note that only two channels are used in this setup – one for the terminal, one for the ME Drive. We could add another six ME Drives if we wanted to, without the need for a controller.

Each ME Drive also acts like a ME Cable. This means that you can place up to 8 ME Drives directly adjacent to one another without the need to connect every one of them to a separate cable. If you place more than 8 drives next to one another, all of them will shut down until you remove the additional drives.

So if you need a lot of storage, you can connect four clusters of drives to one single dense cable. This will give you 320 storage cell slots (per dense cable) to work with. Note that the front side of the drives can align itself into any direction. This means that you can, for instance, embed your drives in the floor of a room, like in this example below:

The glass covers on the cables were created by cutting the Borderless Glass block from the Chisel mod with the saw from Forge Microblocks.

If you do create a server room full of ME Drives, remember one very crucial thing: ME Drives are not blast-proof! If a Creeper blows up close to a drive, its storage cells will pop out and lie on the ground. If there is more than one creeper around and a second creeper blows up shortly after the first one, your storage cells and all items saved on them will be gone forever!

Therefore, if you want to keep your inventory safe from creepers, follow these rules:

  1. Thick walls: Surround your server room with at least two layers of mostly blast-proof material such as obsidian, cobblestone or stone bricks.
  2. Lights: Make sure your server room is well lit to prevent mobs from spawning in it. If you have the Optifine mod installed, you can press the F7 key to highlight blocks where mobs can spawn. If there is a yellow or red “X” on any of the blocks in your server room, you need more lights. Make sure that the top side of your ME Drives is also well lit.
  3. Exits: One way in, one way out. Secure your server room with a double door security system and iron doors. The double room system prevents mobs from following you into the server room.

Here’s a cross section of a simple server room layout following these rules:

That concludes this tutorial! We’ll be looking at autocrafters next.


  1. Pingback: Applied Energistics 2, Part 2: Cable Management – Minecraft Mod Guides

  2. Pingback: Applied Energistics 2, Part 1: Getting Started – Minecraft Mod Guides

  3. Pingback: Applied Energistics 2, Part 4: Autocrafting – Minecraft Mod Guides

  4. is it possible to separate ME drives in the terminals so that each one is listed individually ie you have one which is loaded with stone at one part of the network and another which is loaded with sand at another part of the net work, and rather then seeing stone and sand in the same terminal the terminal shows each of the ME drives and its contents

    • I do not understand your question – could you paraphrase what it is that you want to do?

      Do you maybe want to have separate terminals for separate items?

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