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A game-tick (or just "tick") is 1/60 of a Game-second.

Everything in Factorio is calculated with that base. For example the speed of anything is internally calculated in Tile/tick.

The real-world duration of a game-tick depends on the speed of your computer, and is at least 1/60th of a second (0.01667 seconds). A tick can last longer when the game stops (say, to autosave) or if the framerate drops below 60FPS.

What is done during one tick?

This FFF-article explains what the game engine calculates on every tick.

See also