What are transmuters in Pacific Drive and how do they work

Pacific Driver transmuters
(Image credit: Ironwood Studios)

Pacific Drive transmuters are devices that can turn one resource into another. So, if you can find one, you'll be able to feed a specific resource in and, if you give one of these machines enough, get something else in return. 

In theory, it's a useful way of filling any shortfall in your supplies by turning an excess of something you don't need into some rarer, harder-to-find necessity. However, the reality is that there's so much chance involved in first finding one, or having enough to transmute something, and what you'll get in return, that their usefulness is somewhat limited. 

Where to find Pacific Driver transmuters how they work

Where to find Pacific Driver transmuters

(Image credit: Ironwood Studios)

You'll mainly find Pacific Driver transmuters in the radio towers you find scattered around with the red lights on top - check the image above if you're not sure what they look like. You won't always find one inside here, but it's by far the most common location they turn up. You'll also occasionally find them inside the grey portacabins where you can get Pacific Drive gas cylinders, behind the door you can open that looks like it should be a toilet. You can even find them just out in the open towards the late game.

Pacific Driver transmuter screen

(Image credit: Ironwood Studios)

If you look at the panel on the front you'll see two icons representing what you can put in and what you get out, as well as a pie chart which show hows much you can get out out of it (it will decrease by one wedge for every 'thing' made). If you're not sure what the symbols means, or what's needed, you can interact with the transmuter to open it up in your inventory view and it will say what it uses and what it turns stuff into on the right: 

Pacific Driver transmuters

(Image credit: Ironwood Studios)

So, as you can see above, this one takes Fabric and gives you Copper Wire. Now, I'll be honest here: I can't see anything that tells you how much Fabric you need to get one Copper Wire. In this case it took five Fabrics to make a single Copper Wire but I can't see where that information appears anywhere. As I mentioned above, the blue pie chart appears to show how many you get and decreases for each thing you make. 

Generally, it takes around 3-5 input resources to get one output resource, so it's not the most cost effective way to get any extra things. The randomness of where you can find Pacific Drive transmuters, what they can use, and what they can make, means they're more of an opportunistic thing than something you'll be able to rely on. 

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Leon Hurley
Managing editor for guides

I'm GamesRadar's Managing Editor for guides, which means I run GamesRadar's guides and tips content. I also write reviews, previews and features, largely about horror, action adventure, FPS and open world games. I previously worked on Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine and website.