This tutorial will show you how to set up a basic inventory management system with the Applied Energistics 2 mod. It assumes that you are already familiar with the basics of unmodded Minecraft. Working knowledge of other basic mods such as Thermal Expansion and Tinkers’ Construct, while by no means necessary, will make it easier for you to acquire the materials needed to proceed through this guide.
The “Bill of Materials & Crafting Recipes” bars are interactive and can be clicked to reveal the crafting and processing recipes as well as a tally of their required ingredients.
This tutorial is part of a series on Applied Energistics 2.
Before you even consider getting started with Applied Energistics 2, you should have the following things prepared:
- A well-lit and mob-proof base with walls, doors and a roof,
- a storage area with chests that hold the materials you will need to craft and set up the AE network,
- at least one furnace so that you can produce smooth stone and glass,
- a well-lit and mob-proof working area with a size of at least 7 x 7 blocks,
- access to Redstone,
- access to the Nether.
You will need a basic amount of Iron, Redstone Dust, Nether Quartz, Certus Quartz Crystal and Charged Certus Quartz Crystal to get started. Iron and Redstone Dust are easy enough to find. Certus Quartz ore veins are distributed in the upper levels of your world between the height levels 54 and 36. Keep an eye on your minimap so that you don’t dig too deep. If you are playing on the TPPI 2 modpack (Test Pack Please Ignore), you might want to refer to this table for optimal mining height levels. Among the Certus Quartz Ore veins, you will at times find Charged Certus Quartz Ore blocks, which you can recognize by the animated blue sprites they emit:
Get yourself a few of those charged crystals, then find some shallow water (or use a bucket to create your own water hole) and throw in one Redstone Dust, one Charged Certus Quartz Crystal and one Nether Quartz. You will see a few animated purple flashes, and the items will react to form two Fluix Crystals which immediately jump into your inventory if you stay close to the water.
We are now ready to craft our first machine: the Quartz Grindstone. If you already have a means of grinding dusts, such as the Pulverizer (Thermal Expansion), the SAG Mill (EnderIO) or the Crusher (Mekanism), you can skip the part below where we set up grindstone.
Time to set up the machines. First, place the Quartz Grindstone, then equip the Wooden Crank, aim for the top side of the Quartz Grindstone, then place the Wooden Crank on top of it with Shift and right-click (a regular right-click opens the interface of the grindstone). The interface of the grindstone is pretty much self-explanatory:
Shift-click puts the ores and crystals you want to grind into the top slots. Close the interface, then perform a right-click on the Wooden Crank. Wait until it has finished rotating, then right-click it again until you have clicked it a total number of four times. Four rotations of the crank grind one single item into dust. Right-clicking the crank when no items are in the input slot may break it, in which case you will have to craft a replacement. If you are playing a modpack, the grindstone is very useful early-game way of grinding ores and doubling your ore yield. All materials needed to craft it can be acquired with stone tools, and are usually found in the upper twenty layers of your world.
Crafting the first machines
Grind three quartz dusts; you can use both Nether and Certus Quartz interchangeably. Combine with six glass to craft Quartz Fibers, then combine one Quartz Fiber with two Fluix Crystals to create Glass Cables.
Now grind yourself ten Quartz Dusts and four Fluix Dusts. Combine the dusts with Glass to create eight Quartz Glass, then craft an Energy Acceptor, an Energy Cell and a Charger.
Now that we have our first machine and a means of storing energy, it’s time to set it all up. If you are playing a modpack that includes the Extra Utilities mod, I strongly recommend you craft a Culinary Generator and/or a Furnace Generator. The former runs on food items, the latter on furnace fuel such as charcoal and coal. Should you be using Applied Energistics 2 without a modpack, skip the step below and craft a Vibration Chamber instead.
Lay down some ME Glass Cable, place the Charger on top of it, the Energy Cell adjacent to it, and the Energy Acceptor adjacent to the Energy Cell. Keep in mind that only the top and bottom side of the Charger can connect to a cable. Place the generator (we are using a Culinary Generator in the picture below) next to the Energy Acceptor. The Energy Acceptor converts any incoming energy into a format that can be used by Applied Energistics. Acceptors can connect to a huge variety of cables and generators, including, but not limited to the universal cables from Mekanism, the capacitor banks from EnderIO and the cable connectors from Immersive Engineering.
If you don’t have other mods installed, or if you want to use AE2 machines exclusively, you will instead have to craft a Vibration Chamber using the Energy Acceptor.
The setup is pretty much the same as the one above. The Vibration Chamber runs on regular furnace fuels such as charcoal or coal, and outputs its energy directly into the Energy Cell, where it is stored for usage by the connected AE machines.
Equip a regular Certus Quartz Crystal, then perform a right-click on the Charger to place the crystal inside. After one or two seconds, the crystal will slightly change its color – that means it is now charged. Fetch it with a right-click on the Charger. You are now able to produce Charged Certus Quartz Crystals at your convenience – and by extension, Fluix Crystals as well. Note that the Charger can only charge one single crystal at a time, so at least for now, you will have to put in some manual labor in order to get the charged crystals needed for the next few steps.
We cannot yet start crafting the machines and items necessary for setting up a network though, and finding the necessary crafting ingredients may take a little time.
Several of the components necessary for creating an Applied Energistics network can only be crafted with presses. These presses are found exclusively in Sky Stone Chests at the center of a meteorite. Now those are not exactly common, so we need to craft ourselves a compass in order to be able to find them.
The needle of the Meteorite Compass points to the closest chunk that contains at least one block of Sky Stone. If it does not point into one single direction and instead just slowly rotates clockwise, it cannot detect any Sky Stone anywhere near you. In that case, you need to walk around and explore more parts of your world until the compass points into one single direction.
Once you arrive in a chunk where the needle starts spinning wildly, you have reached your goal. If you are lucky, the meteorite is located on the surface.
Use your mining tools to open a hole into the center of the meteorite.
Inside, you will find a Sky Stone Chest with one or several inscriber presses.
If you are unlucky, you will find yourself in a chunk with your Meteorite Compass spinning, but no meteorite in sight. In this case, it is located somewhere underground. Keep an eye on your minimap and check whether your compass is also spinning in one or several adjacent chunks. If it is, it means that the meteorite spawned on the border of these two chunks. Place yourself in the center of the border between the two chunks, then dig downwards. If you are playing on a modpack, I strongly recommend using a Hammer and an Excavator from Tinker’s Construct, since those can excavate an area covering 3×3 blocks.
Somewhere down the mineshaft, you should see a few Sky Stone blocks in the wall. That’s your meteorite.
Dig through the meteorite and open the Sky Stone chest in its center. It should contain at least one inscriber press.
We need these four presses:
In most cases, one single meteorite will not hold all four different inscriber presses. This means that you need to find yourself yet another one. In order for your compass to lock on to another meteorite, you need to remove each and every single piece of Sky Stone surrounding the Sky Stone chest you just took the inscriber presses from.
Cleaning up all the Sky Stone can take a considerable amount of time if the meteorite is particularly large, or if it spawned on the surface. Keep an eye on your meteorite compass while you clean up; once you have removed all the Sky Stones in the vicinity, it will point your way to the next meteorite. Continue finding and cleaning up meteorite sites until you have all four inscriber presses.
Before we can set up the inscribers, we need a means of creating pure crystals. For that, we need four Crystal Growth Accelerators. Since the growth accelerators constantly use energy, we also need an ME Toggle Bus to switch off the energy supply when we are not creating crystals.
For one single crystal growth accelerator:
For four crystal growth accelerators:
Place another glass cable, then put the ME Toggle Bus on its end. Place a lever adjacent to the toggle bus – this lever will allow you to switch the energy supply on and off.
Place a glass cable next to the toggle bus, then a stone brick. Surround the stone brick with cables as pictured below.
Place one Crystal Growth Accelerator on each of the edges as pictured below.
Fill the space between the Crystal Growth Accelerators with water, then add a staircase for easy access. Adding five blocks in a U-shape on top makes it easier to throw in items.
You now have a setup with which you can create pure crystals. In order to create pure crystals, you first have to craft crystal seeds from sand and the corresponding crystal dust.
Flip the lever to turn on the Crystal Growth Accelerators, then throw the crystal seeds into the water. After a minute or two, the crystal seeds should have grown into fully-formed pure crystals. Most AE2 crafting recipes allow for the usage of both regular and pure crystals, which can save you quite a few resources. In addition to that, certain items such as the controller actually require the usage of pure crystals as a crafting ingredient.
Don’t forget to turn off the growth accelerators once you have picked up the crystals; otherwise they will continue to suck energy out of your system.
Fire up the presses
Now that you are in the possession of all four inscriber presses, it is time to put them to use. First, craft five inscribers – one for each inscriber press, and one to combine their outputs into processors.
For one single inscriber:
For five inscribers:
Add six more glass cables to your machine setup, then place the inscribers in front or on top of the cables. Leave some room between the right four inscribers and the leftmost one, so that you can easily discern it later. You can connect cables on all sides except for the front, so you can play around with the placement a bit.
Right-click the rightmost inscriber and place one of the inscriber presses in the top slot. Repeat this for all four inscriber presses to the right, so that each of the four different inscriber presses has its own inscriber. The leftmost inscriber will be used to combine the output of the four inscribers to the right.
The first ingredient you need to craft is Silicon. If you only use Applied Energistics 2 without any other mods, you can acquire Silicon by smelting Certus Quartz Dust or Nether Quartz Dust in a furnace:
Note that the two processing recipes above are disabled in some modpacks such as TPPI2. If you are using such a modpack, you can instead create silicon by grinding sand in a Pulverizer (Thermal Expansion) or a SAG Mill (EnderIO).
Place the silicon in the inscriber with the silicon press. One inscribing process requires about 2000 RF, so make sure that there is enough energy left in the energy cell.
Like the charger, the inscriber can only hold one single item in the input/processing slot, but the items do stack normally in the output slot. Aside from the silicon press, each inscriber press can only process one single ingredient in order to produce one specific circuit.
Note that the recipe for the Printed Calculation Circuit below only accepts Pure Certus Quartz Crystals, which you have to create using the Crystal Growth Accelerators introduced above.
You can now use the leftmost inscriber to combine the printed circuits from the steps above with Redstone Dust and Printed Silicon to create the three processor types we need for a large variety of AE2 items and machines. The printed circuits go into the top input slot, the Redstone Dust into the middle input slot, and the printed silicon into the bottom input slot.
About that network…
Finally! It took a little while, but now we have access to everything we need to set up a network. A minimal AE network used for item storage needs an ME Controller hooked up to an energy supply, an ME Drive with at least one storage cell, and an ME Terminal to be able to access the contents of the network.
Smelt four Sky Stone in a furnace to get the Sky Stone Blocks needed to craft the ME Controller:
Note that you need Pure Fluix Crystals to craft the ME Controller.
Terminals are a bit bothersome to craft. First, you need to create an Illuminated Panel, an Annihilation Core and a Formation Core, all of which are then combined with a Logic Processor to craft the basic ME Terminal.
Connect the ME Controller to your existing cable setup and place the ME Drive adjacent to it. Put the storage cell into the drive, then place another cable next to the drive and attach the ME Terminal to the cable.
You also might want to upgrade the terminal to a crafting terminal, so that you can do all your on-the-fly crafting directly with the ingredients in the network.
That’s all for now, folks! The intricacies of cable management, autocrafting and other subtleties of Applied Energistics will be explored in a separate guide.