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I think forcing players to figure out how to use the tools provided early in the game for navigation is perfect, (beacons, terrain tool to create directional markers, the compass, the dense strip of stars overhead).  The possibility of straying too far from base and getting lost is exactly what the devs intended.

As the astroneer explores farther away from base, he notices that the base marker is dropping below the horizon (because the planet is a sphere).  That's why beacons are so cheap to research.  A technique you can use when setting beacons is to create a ramp with terrain tool, like 20 meters high.  Walk up the ramp and place your beacon at the top. 

This will allow the beacon marker to be seen from a farther distance over the horizon.  Be aware that sometimes the clouds will block your view of the base & beacon markers,  even while standing at the top of the ramp.  So do yourself a favor and build the ramp so that it points in the direction of your base or your previous beacon.

The devs wanted players to realize the fact that the astroneer needs to learn actual land navigation techniques if they are to survive.  For example when the astroneer first lands on the starting planet (Terran), he notices the strip of densely grouped stars running directly overhead at his base (perpendicular to the horizon).  And the strip of stars is aligned East-West on his compass. 

If the astroneer travels too far from base and forgets to set a beacon, he can follow the strip of stars in the sky back to his base.  He knows that if the strip of stars is no longer directly overhead (perpendicular to the horizon), he can go North or South until the stars are again directly overhead.



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