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Example of in-game pollution (red squares) in the map

Pollution is represented as an abstract "cloud", updated per chunk every game second (60 ticks) and visible on the minimap and Map, when Alternative view is on (default Alt-Key). It appears as a red colored blocky cloud.

It is produced by many buildings involved in processing items and spreads outwards at a steady rate.

The evolution factor is not increased by the spreading/absorbed pollution, but by the pollution produced by all the Player's machinery at every tick. This means that no matter how hard the player tries to contain the pollution, enemies will still evolve at the same rate. They just won't attack the player as frequently. The pollution cloud is used to trigger biter attacks and determines the size of the attacks.


Main article: Achievements

Pollution is directly connected to the following achievement:

  • It stinks and they don't like it
Trigger an alien attack by pollution.

Pollution spread

As soon as a chunk has reached 15.0 pollution it starts spreading in all four cardinal directions at a rate of 2% per game-second (60 ticks).

For example, a chunk with 400.0 pollution and 4 adjacent chunks with 100.0 pollution each, raises the pollution in all adjacent chunks by 8.0 while reducing its own pollution by 32.0. But everyone of the 4 surrounding spreads 2.0 pollution "back" to the center chunk, so it only loses 24.0 + absorbed value.

Pollution dissipation

  • Every Chunk (32x32) of map slowly reduces the pollution it covers (See Pollution Production#Chunks). So the more the pollution spreads, the more is absorbed.
  • Trees also absorb some pollution (See Pollution Production#Trees).
  • Spawners absorb a great amount of pollution, and use this to produce enemies.
  • In certain Mods it is possible to build devices or trees which reduce pollution.

Native life

Pollution attracts biters to the Player's factory. Biters who find themselves in a polluted area will attempt to reach the source of pollution and destroy it.

Each spawner absorbs 20 + 0.01 * [chunks pollution] every game second (60 ticks), if the chunks pollution is greater than 20 otherwise it absorbs the total pollution.

Higher pollution values decrease the time it takes for biters to join the attack force. After a certain amount of pollution is absorbed the spawner sends one of its biters/spitters to a rendezvous point. Every 1 to 10 minutes (random) the mustered biters launch an attack. If not all biters have arrived at the rendezvous point by that time, they will wait up to an additional 2 minutes for stragglers.

Required pollution to add an additional biter/spitter to the attack wave:

Pollution Type
200 Small biter
1000 Medium biter
4000 Big biter
20000 Behemoth biter
200 Small spitter
600 Medium spitter
1500 Big spitter
10000 Behemoth spitter

With 1350 absorbed pollution at the time of attack the following wave consists of 6 small biters and 1 medium biter OR 6 small spitters and 2 medium spitters depending on the spawner's type and evolution factor.


Modules that list "+x% pollution" increase pollution multiplier, not a flat pollution rate. Final pollution value is (pollution multiplier * energy usage multiplier * base pollution), meaning heavily boosted buildings are likely to account for most of the pollution produced in a factory.


In other languages: Español Français Русский 中文

These tables contain information about the levels of pollution produced/absorbed by items in the game.


Object Pollution per KW per game second (60 ticks) Pollution per game second at full power
Stone furnace
0.01/KW 1.8
Steel furnace
0.02/KW 3.6
Electric furnace
0.005/KW 0.9
Burner mining drill
0.03333/KW 9.999
Electric mining drill
0.1/KW 9
0.1/KW 9
Assembling machine
0.03333/KW 2.9997
Assembling machine 2
0.016/KW 2.4
Assembling machine 3
0.00857/KW 1.7997
Small pump
0.004/KW 0.12
0.01538/KW 5.9982
Oil refinery
0.00857/KW 3.5994
Chemical plant
0.00857/KW 1.7997



If a chunk's pollution is greater than 20, each enemy spawner absorbs 20 + 0.01 * [chunk's pollution] every game second (60 ticks), otherwise it absorbs the chunk's total pollution.


Every chunk has a natural absorption rate per tick which is determined by the weighted average of its floor tiles.

Following numbers are the pollution reduction for a full chunk (32x32 tiles) composed of the same floor tiles per tick.

Tile Pollution per tick Pollution per second
Dark sand -0.0033 -0.2
Sand -0.0042 -0.25
dry grass -0.0066 -0.4
medium dry grass -0.0075 -0.45
grass -0.0075 -0.45
dirt -0.0075 -0.45
dry dirt -0.0075 -0.45
Green water -0.0083 -0.5
Deep green water -0.0083 -0.5
Water -0.0100 -0.6
Deep water -0.0100 -0.6
Stone floor 0.0 0.0
Concrete 0.0 0.0

Pollution per tick resembles the third number in the pollution debug information (which is missing the 5th digit)


Every single tree absorbs a small amount of pollution in its chunk per tick.

Object Pollution per tick Pollution per second
-0.0001 -0.006
-0.0001 -0.006
-0.0001 -0.006
-0.0001 -0.006
-0.0005 -0.03
-0.0005 -0.03
-0.0005 -0.03
-0.0005 -0.03
-0.0005 -0.03
-0.0005 -0.03
0 0


  • 0.13.2:
    • Optimized rendering of huge pollution clouds on the map.
  • 0.13.0:
    • Large amounts of pollution is created when burning fires.
    • Pollution creation of the productivity module was reduced drastically.
    • Optimized pollution rendering on map and minimap.
  • 0.12.0:
    • Trees degenerate slowly when exposed to pollution at high levels.
  • 0.8.0:
    • Added option to turn off pollution visibility even when detailed info is on.
  • 0.7.1:
    • Speed modules no longer produce extra pollution.
    • Added missing pollution descriptions.
    • Pollution is only shown on the minimap with alt mode on.
  • 0.7.0:
    • Introduced concept of pollution.

See also