SpaceChem Steam Achievement Guide

Normally I play Civilization V Scenarios and almost only that. Recently though I can’t make screenshots of the games anymore, which makes “playing these scenarios” and “preparing for blog posts” utterly difficult. Luckily Steam offers a wide range of solutions. Namely other games. So I distracted myself with SpaceChem, a nice chemistry puzzle game.

NO WORRIES: I didn’t love chemistry in school and there is no need to know anything about it. The game has a great learning curve and you’ll be up to speed in no time.

Since I play no games without achievements (gamification really works on me), here’s my

SpaceChem Steam Achievement Guide

Even though SpaceChem puzzles, once they’re finished, look extremely complex, they’re relatively easy to build. Here’s a gameplay sneak peek from one of the earlier levels (first level of stage 3):


Polar Expedition

Unlocked 25 Jun 2017 @ 3:29pm

Reach the south pole of Sernimir IV.

Junior Permutation Technician

Unlocked 2 Jul 2017 @ 3:00am

Beat the assignment “Challenge: In-Place Swap”.

Efficiency Specialist

Unlocked 5 Jul 2017 @ 4:35pm

Beat the assignment “No Ordinary Headache” using only one reactor.

Junior Performance Specialist

Unlocked 6 Jul 2017 @ 4:40pm

Beat the assignment “Nothing Works” in under 1000 cycles.

Beating this assignment was an incredibly close call for me: I made it in exactly 1000 cycles and I didn’t know where else to speed it up without rebuilding the entire thing:

Performance Specialist

Unlocked 10 Jul 2017 @ 1:02pm

Beat the assignment “No Thanks Necessary” in under 2200 cycles.

Environmental Engineer

Unlocked 12 Jul 2017 @ 4:51pm

Beat the assignment “Challenge: Going Green”.

Industrial Physicist

Unlocked 16 Jul 2017 @ 2:34am

Beat the assignment “Challenge: Applied Fusion”.

Science is an Indoor Activity

Unlocked 16 Jul 2017 @ 4:17am

Beat 3 published ResearchNet assignments.

These achievements are about solving the puzzles created by the community and released in regular cycles. There’s some crazy complex ones, but fortunately you’ll find plenty easier puzzles. So regardless whether you are an ambitious SpaceChemist or just a busy Steam Achievement hunter — there are puzzles for you.

Here’s one of mine that was basically about building a 2^4 decision tree, to drop 16 Helium atoms on the stage, whilst outputting 15 Hydrogen atoms:

Junior Publication Reviewer

Unlocked 16 Jul 2017 @ 7:00am

Beat 10 published ResearchNet assignments.

To make it easier for you, here’s the first 10 ResearchNet assignments I finished

1.1 Tunnels I
1.1 Tunnels II
1.2 Fission I
1.2 Fission II
1.2 Fission III
1.7 Industrial Methanol
1.8 Sulfuric Acid
1.9 Wöhler Synthesis
1.12 The Big Cleanup
2.5 Fusion Germane

Cost Control Specialist

Unlocked 16 Jul 2017 @ 2:30pm

Beat the assignment “Falling” using two or fewer reactors.

Distinguished Publication Reviewer

Unlocked 21 Jul 2017 @ 6:13pm

Beat 20 published ResearchNet assignments.

And here are my finished ResearchNet assignments #11-20:

3.3 Life Prep Work
4.3 Kreisalkanol
4.8 Downgrade
5.1 PAX CHallenge 3
7.1 Misfortune Modifier
7.1 Fructose Factory
7.2 Sun Simulator
7.4 Dessication Station
8.1 Dewer Benzene
8.3 Fenton Industries

8.6 Waste Gas as described further above is actually much harder than I though, but it looked so simple and once it got me hooked I really really wanted to finish it. So this makes 21 finished ResearchNet assignments 😉

Senior Efficiency Specialist

Unlocked 22 Jul 2017 @ 9:09am

Beat the assignment “Molecular Foundry” using two or fewer reactors.

This one I “cheated” and looked up a solution on the web, after trying it myself for hours… 🙁

Performance Specialist II

Unlocked 23 Jul 2017 @ 3:15pm

Beat the assignment “Gas Works Park” in under 2700 cycles.

Here’s an assignment or rather a solution I’m really proud of: I bet the challenge by more than 50%!

Materials Engineer of the People

Unlocked 25 Jul 2017 @ 12:40pm

Beat the assignment “Challenge: KOHCTPYKTOP”.

Senior Performance Specialist

Unlocked 18 Sep 2017 @ 10:04am

Beat the assignment “Sigma-Ethylene” in under 6000 cycles.

This one is really hard. But not super crazy hard. I recommend trying this first, as it is a so much more rewarding experience.

After this I cheated on the levels

Chief Executive Officer

Unlocked 3 Oct 2017 @ 4:12am

Beat the game!

Aaaaand the 4th level I cheated: End of the Line. I’ll detail this in the conclusion, but these were just crazy hard.

Moustache Research Assistant

Unlocked 3 Oct 2017 @ 4:33am

Beat the assignment “Moustachium 602”.


Moustache Scientist

Unlocked 3 Oct 2017 @ 5:34am

Beat the assignment “Moustachium 604”.

A bit harder, but still “normal” difficulty.

Director of Moustache Research

Unlocked 3 Oct 2017 @ 6:00am

Beat the assignment “Moustachium 608”.

Some brainwork, but moderate compared to the campaign.

Interstellar Transportation Specialist

Unlocked 5 Oct 2017 @ 10:31am

Beat the assignment “Collapsar” in the 63 Corvi campaign.

Finally: The bonus campaign made up for the too hard (thus for me unrewarding) end of the standard campaign. I made it all by myself. A great feeling!

SpaceChem Steam Achievements – Conclusion

SpaceChem is an excellent puzzle game with a great learning curve! It got me hooked immediately. Incredibly good value for money: 80 hours play time for 10€!

I didn’t mind the story much, but went straight from puzzle to puzzle. The main campaign was too difficult for me in the end, which was frustrating. After having spent several hours across several evenings on 4 levels (each!), I used help from the web.

The DLC campaign made up for it with challenging but solvable puzzles and that huge satisfaction in the end of having finished the game without external help. Rewards are: A deeply satisfying feeling and a nice forum signature badge:


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