Z-level

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Z-Levels are the various maps with set borders that contain the playable areas of SS13. Moving off the edge of a z-level in space will place you somewhere on the opposite edge of the debris z-level. There are five different z-levels in SS13, each one serving a different purpose.

Normal space

Station

This z-level contains the main station/sealab or space ship. It also contains the Listening Post, as well as a few other items of mild interest around the borders.

If you aren't on Oshan Lab, leaving this z-level from any edge will send you to the debris field. If you are, it won't, because the edges are surrounded by unbreakable trench wall. Try going center-ward instead.

Debris field

A section of deep space long abandoned by Nanotrasen and Syndicate alike, the debris field is loaded with derelict stations, abandoned ships, dangerous attack drones, and plenty of goodies for the adventurous (and well-prepared) scavenger. It's also home to the more habitable Mining Outpost and space diner for those looking for a place to relax off-station.

Leaving the debris field via any edge will place you on the opposite edge of Mining Level (i.e. going off the left edge of debris will put you on the right side of Mining Level). Travelling back to the normal z-level requires a wormhole, teleportation, or the Mining Shuttle (now available on every map).

Mining Level

A mining zone filled with very large, randomly generated asteroids similar to those from the mining magnet. Expect modest bounties of ore, the occasional angry drone, and some very strange, very weird asteroids that'll really leave you scratching your head. You access it by going off the edge of the debris field as described in that section; to go back, it's the same idea. For example, going off the right side of Mining Level will put you on the left side of the debris field, going off the north side will send you to the south side, and vice versa.

Bringing a cargo transporter is very much recommended in order to be able to bring all the loot you find back to the station.

The Trench

A supremely dark, elaborate, randomly-generated underwater cave system lurking underneath Oshan Laboratory. Not much of a station presence besides a tiny, pitch black outpost for the Sea Elevator, but there's plenty of reason to be here. Miners explore these caves for ore, Engineers come here to boost the power of their hotspots, and there's something for everyone if you know where to look. If you tread carefully, you might find some truly tremendous treasures, and, if you're lucky, incredible secrets--and their incredibly tremendous guardians.

You enter and exit the Trench by riding the Sea Elevator, which will take you to small, dark outpost with a few supplies. In an interesting contrast to the Mining Level and Debris Field it "replaces", you can also enter it through the giant deep hole in the middle of the station z-level or any the smaller holes scattered about the rim of the station, either by piloting a minisub into it, climbing up/down a sea ladder, or simply walking into it, which is surprisingly not dangerous. You can also make your own holes by detonating bombs and other explosives on the seafloor. Unlike other holes, which all somehow lead to the same site, each of these holes leads directly to its corresponding area in the Trench

Restricted space

The Adventure Zone

A mis-mash of all the different areas you can explore using telescience, separated together into individual Adventure Zones. It also contains VR.

Central Command (Centcomm)

A place that's normally only accessible by the emergency shuttle. Contains the admin's offices, along with a few Other Things.