Surviving the Aftermath Update 9: Tainted Earth Details

Contamination is at an all-time high, what will you do to stop it?

Paradox Interactive and Iceflake studios have just launched their latest update for Surviving the Aftermath with Update 8: Tainted Earth. This update amps up that toxicity in-game but adding new ways for players, and their colonists, to become contaminated.

The newest update adds Contamination Nation, where pollution has various levels of strength and is easily transferrable via wind. The stronger the wind, the farther the spread, which can lead to global catastrophes for t hose not careful. Though Deposits can be removed, their effects will still linger for some time yet. 

Structural Integrity is also impacted, as the contamination spreads and disrupts daily life in a way that is pretty familiar right now with COVID-19: production stops, buildings close down, though in this instance, colonists must keep an eye on the heat map to track contamination areas in order to control its spread. 

Other changes include: 

  • Resource Full: Water and food production have seen a massive overhaul. Water now has two roles, drinking water for colonists and powering certain buildings. Players can set production limits on resources, that when reached, colonists will be unassigned from that area and are free to do other tasks. If resources drop below the threshold, colonists will be reassigned, increasing colony efficiency. 
  • More Improvements: Players can construct six additional buildings that enhance resource production, rival society leaders will appear at the gate to conduct business, bandits can steal resources during combat, and more. 

For the full patch notes for Surviving the Aftermath, courtesy of the studio itself: 


  • Pollution simulation:
    • Wind will throw pollution out of the pollution deposits and spread it around the colony map. Some disasters such as Fallout will also spread pollution.
    • Buildings close to the pollutants will absorb pollution and need to be decontaminated.
      • 100% of pollution will stop the building.
      • Polluted shelters are still habitable, but they deliver a high dosage of pollution to colonists living in them.
    • Colonists can gather pollution and get the radiation sickness condition from it.
    • Leaving dead colonists laying in the colony will start generating pollution.
    • Some buildings such as Burial Pit, Outhouse, and Environmental Station generate pollution and should not be placed close to the living space of colonists.
    • Repairing a polluted building will generate pollution to the colonists repairing it. Higher levels of clothing can prevent this contamination.
  • Added a heatmap type overlay mode for viewing where pollution is at its strongest. This can be opened from the bottom menu or pressing ‘P’ on the keyboard. Similar overlay modes will be used for other features in future patches.
  • Support added for multiple levels of Clothing, Tools, and Weapons. 
    • The manufacturing of these can be selected from each building. 
    • Colonists prefer higher-level items over lower-level items.
    • Better weapons have a higher level of damage output, better tools improve work efficiency and better clothes protect from higher levels of pollution.
  • Water system changes:
    • Water is divided into drinking water and water used by buildings.
      • Production is still global. The division happens in the distribution phase.
    • Some buildings now consume water. The water is provided to them by a close-by water storage building. 
      • Greenhouse
      • Field Hospital
      • Cookhouse
      • Mess hall
      • Bakery
      • Sauna
    • Water consumption of buildings is changed to use an effective area-based system.
      • Water towers distribute water to their surrounding buildings within their effective area.
      • The priority inside the area is determined by the distance from the water tower.
    • Clean water storages are used to store clean water that is only meant for colonists.
      • If drinking water storages are not available, colonists drink directly from the production.
      • Previous water storage buildings now function as clean water storage.
    • New buildings are added for water production and distribution.
  • New buildings:
    • Aqua Farm – Turns lakes into farms and allows the production of water-based food in many forms. The downside is that it slowly pollutes the lake.
    • Water Collector – Early game water producer. A colonist working in the building carries water from the lakes. This replaces well as the early game water production building.
    • Water Pump – Late game building that pumps water in large quantities from lakes. It must be placed near the water, similar to fisheries and Aqua Farms.
    • Clean Water Storage – Delivers and stores water for colonists.
    • Large Clean Water Storage – The same as above but stores more clean water.
    • Magnetic Separator – Late game building that allows mining rare resources from underground deposits to be used in the production of components.
    • Electronics Factory – Late game building that makes it possible to produce components inside the colony.
  • Assignable work areas now have 3D models present in the world, which stays visible even after deselecting the related building. The area can also be moved by clicking the new 3D model at any time, rather than going through the building like before.
  • Information is now shown in the UI about all resource types and amounts that fall under the current active work area while modifying it.
  • Pathfinding now has a fallback functionality if the colonist ends in a dead-end or blocked section of the map. This should prevent colonists from walking over water or other blocked tiles in these situations.
  • Added option to set global production limits per resource type. This allows prioritizing the production of certain resources over others. This feature is accessible from production buildings.
  • Saving the game is now blocked when event popup is active and unfinished.
  • Saving building components is now more robust and allows adding and removing components from buildings in future updates. This allows more flexibility with future updates that change building features.
  • A new kind of tutorial popup is now shown when the gate is built for the first time. Similar functionality will be added to other critical parts of the game progression in the future.
  • Removed a previously added feature, which hid the health bars after a certain amount of time. Health bars are now shown only when the person is in combat state.
  • Rare resource type added, which can be used to manufacture Components. Its current storage amount can also be seen in the top bar.
  • New underground deposits added into the map – Rare deposit.
  • Fixed issue related to updating the gate in the middle of gate combat.


  • Children who are not in school now carry boxes and scavenge deposits in the colony.
  • Underground deposits now have a richness value that affects the resource production speed from the deposit.
  • Field efficiency is now calculated from the soil types it’s placed on per tile, placing on barren soil is no longer blocked.
  • Colonists can now eat multiple food types at once from storage and different food types decrease hunger by different amounts.
  • Cancelling repair task now drops the resources carried in for the repair next to the repaired building.
  • Repair resources now return to the correct state after loading a save game.
  • Bandits now throw molotovs during colony attacks and sometimes steal resources from storage buildings.
  • Combat can now sometimes cause a critical hit, which causes a colonist to get an injured condition.
  • Specialists are no longer deselected on the world map when issuing a command and all action points have been used.
  • Pressing ‘L’ key allows highlighting all living entities in the colony map including animals, colonists, and bandits.
  • The Malnutrition tutorial is now actually shown.
  • Sauna is now prioritized over outhouse if both are available.
  • Colonists no longer run through large plank deposits.
  • Building a gate now shows a milestone popup.


  • Support for 3D icon floaters has been added and the old 2D floater icons have been replaced with newer ones. The new system also supports animations and state changes for the icons. Work with this will continue in future updates and all old 2D icons will be replaced with 3D icons.
  • Work area indicators are now shown on the map as 3D objects.
  • Pollution affects the look of foliage nearby and the color of night fog.
  • Added UI indicator which points to important objects that are currently out of the view.
  • Children carry tools and boxes in a more correct position now.
  • Events related to Societies now show their leader as the event image.
  • Pollution deposit models have been remade to match the new pollution system.
  • Decoration objects now rotate to random orientation when placed.
  • Statistics menu and stored food icons changed, notification icons simplified.
  • Selection ring size is no longer related to the size of the selected object, such as children having a smaller ring than adults.


  • Second Chances event no longer triggers earlier than it should.
  • The All-terrain Tires tech now improves all vehicles.

Surviving the Aftermath is currently available in Early Access on the Epic Games Store and Xbox Game Preview for $19.99., and will be available on Steam Early Access in October.

About the Author

Liana Ruppert

With an arguably unhealthy obsession with Dragon Age and Mass Effect, Liana is wildly passionate about all things in the gaming community. From shooters, to RPGs, if it's out - she's playing it. A medically retired US Sailor and now full-time hoarder of gaming collectibles, Liana's passion for everything in the gaming industry is palpable. Also, if you lose her in a crowd, just casually mention any BioWare game and the crazy pterodactyl screech will without a doubt follow. You can follow her on Twitter @DirtyEffinHippy or email her for editorial inquiries at [email protected]!