Wood, stone, iron, and oil. All four are resources in They Are Billions, and each one has to be collected using its own structure. The first three are easy enough to figure out, but finding oil can be a task you’re new and desperate to start building the high-tier units.
Oil is a lategame resource, which means it’s not something to worry yourself with until you’re already established. It’s not like you can worry yourself with it, anyway. The oil platform structure cannot even be researched until you have a foundry up and running, and the only way to get one prior to that point is via a particularly lucky mayoral candidate.
We’re going to go over how/where you can find oil deposits, how exactly you get the technology to extract the oil for your own gain, and lastly what it’s used for as well as one semi-obscure use that can save your playthrough. You didn’t buy They Are Billions to be an oil baron, but it comes with the purchase.
Where to find oil
Believe it or not, you may be looking at your much-needed oil without even knowing it.
That image isn’t a natural hot spring — it’s oil!
Oil deposits always look like the above image, steam and all, and are spread about all 4 of the game’s currently available maps. If you’re lucky, you may already have at least one oil deposit already within the safety of your colony’s walls.
How to extract oil
In order to start raking in that sweet black gold, you need to be a lot higher on the tech tree than the basic wood workshop.
As mentioned earlier, oil is a lategame resource and as such you can’t start to collect it until you have the last research facility (the foundry) and have researched the oil platform itself.
Once you’ve researched the oil platform using the foundry, you can find it in the command center menu under the resource category just like the sawmill, quarry, and other resource facilities.
Unlike the other resource buildings in They Are Billions, the oil platform must be placed directly on top of the oil deposit rather than next to it. This is good to know if you’re trying to plan your colony’s layout, as you don’t have to take the placement of the oil platform into consideration as heavily as other resource buildings.
The uses of oil
There are a few things to know about this resource.
First: Each oil platform grants 10 oil per tick.
Second: Each oil platform drains 80 gold per tick.
Third: Units who need oil to be built will serve as a permanent drain on the resource. Lucifer, Titan, and Thanatos all require oil not only for training but for upkeep. Each one you have in your employ will reduce your oil gains by 1, which can slow your advanced unit production.
Last (but not least): Oil can be a huge cash cow if you use the market. You can sell oil for 40 gold each via the market, and you can increase that price up to 54 gold each just by building a second market.
The fact you use oil to build advanced units is a given, but the fact that it sells for so much is one thing that can save your playthrough if you’re having trouble getting enough gold. It’s not mandatory to use an oil platform to make gold, but it is very much something to remember now and in subsequent playthroughs.
There’s not much else to know about the game’s most valuable and elusive resource. Of all the resources in They Are Billions, this is the one with least explanation and use — but the uses it has are critical. Units like Thanatos and Titan can completely change your colony’s fate, and the extra gold you can get from selling oil can be a real lifesaver.
If you found this guide useful, I recommend checking out my They Are Billions guide. It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like.