Commands used in this guide
The economy of BAR consists of 3 primary resources: Metal, Energy, and Build Power.
As your base grows, you will need to improve the production of all 3 of these resources. A lack of any resource will result in a production bottleneck. Metal is the most limiting of these resources, and will usually be what limits production.
Energy and build power are unlimited
But they do take some time and resources to build up. For the typical economy, you will want 2 constructor units or 1 nano turret (200 build power) for every 100 energy/s and every 5 metal/s.
Metal extractors are the primary source of metal income. Metal extractors are placed onto metal spots, and will produce between 1-3 metal per second, depending on the map.
Most player starts have 3 metal spots, and players will usually expand and acquire 10-20 metal spots. As teams expand, they will start fighting the opposing team over metal spots. Metal is the most limited resource in most games, so the team that controls the largest portion of the map will have a large resource advantage.
Is a good way to supplement your metal income.
Some maps have features, such as rocks, which can be reclaimed for an early metal boost. Units and buildings leave behind wreckage when destroyed, and provide 1/3 to 2/3 of their metal cost when reclaimed. Any builder can reclaim wreckage. Fully built units, even enemy units, can be reclaimed, but at a much slower rate than wreckage. A commander wreckage provides 2500 metal, which is a very large amount in the early-mid game and is usually worth fighting over. Be aware that a poorly planned attack can give your opponent a boost in metal, helping your opponent more than harming them.
Also known as Metal Makers
They are a way to slowly expand your metal income at a high energy cost, and are used primarily if expansion becomes too difficult.
An early energy converter paired with an advanced solar will take approximately 8 minutes to produce as much metal as its cost. Energy converters can be used late game as a slow but reliable way to exponentially improve your economy.
Energy is produced by energy production buildings, that tend to be expensive and fragile. Improving your energy income requires using resources and build power, but does not require players to expand.
Because of this, there is no upper limit to the amount of energy you can produce within your starting base. Energy storage is not nearly as effective as metal storage, so there isn't much benefit to building more energy than you need, unlike with metal. Having 1-2 energy converters can be useful for getting some value from this excess energy.
Windmills and tidals
Have a low metal and energy cost, and can be used to form the entirety of a player's early energy economy on maps that support them.
Pressing 'I' shows the map settings, including tidal and wind incomes. Wind sometimes has a high variance in how much energy it generates, which can cause periods of low power if you do not have energy storage or other stable energy sources.
If the average wind value is > 7, then windmills are likely better than basic solars.
Always produce 20 energy, and have no energy cost, but have a high metal cost.
Basic solars are best built early game, when you have more metal than energy, or as an emergency source of energy if you are stalling.
Advanced solars produce 75 energy and have a very high energy cost, but are much more metal efficient than basic solars. Advanced solars are useful for slowly expanding an existing energy base, but should not be built when energy production is urgent.
Geothermals are similar to advanced solars, in that they cost a lot of energy and are best for expanding an energy economy, but they also have a limitation of only being build-able on geothermal spots.
Every construction unit and every lab has a certain amount of build power, which determines how quickly it builds, repairs, and reclaims.
As your energy and metal economies expand, you will need to get more build power in order to spend your resources. The starting commander has a large amount of build power, and it along with a few construction units are enough early game. Mid game, additional construction units or nano turrets will be needed to spend resources quickly enough. Late game, a large amount of nano turrets can be used to help your labs quickly build large units.
Build power is different from the other resources in that it is not global. You can decide where and on what your construction units will spend their build power.
Typically, it is best to have a large amount of build power in your base to build units, and a large amount near the front line to build defenses, reclaim, and repair. It is more difficult to expand front line build power, which is a large reason why many players will send their commander to the front lines.
Repairing and resurrecting units
These are methods that can be used to artificially boost military production without actually producing resources. It is possible for a player with a weak economy to fight on even ground against a player with a stronger economy by properly using repair and resurrect.
A player's base can be heavily damaged with the player still having the chance to recover. When recovering, the player should first focus on rebuilding the main resource they are lacking (metal, energy, or build power). Rebuilding can usually be done more quickly than many players would expect.
Tier 2 can provide a large economy boost
With tier 2 metal extractors providing 4x the metal. The starting investment needed is large, and if you add up the lab, the T2 con, and the cost of the first few T2 extractors it can end up costing 4000 metal. Make sure to have some metal stored up, and at least 20 metal income and 500 E income before teching up.
Are a much better solution to supplement your buildpower than additional factories. Ideally, you build your initial factory, then have cons / nanos assist it until you can go T2. Making multiples of the same factory or both bot and vehicle factories is something I see newbies do quite often and it is very wasteful.
These are handled by a smart widget, there are two sliders up on the power bar, the red one is the level you share power with your allies, the yellow one is the level metal makers kick in at. Another thing I've seen newbies do is make entirely too many metal makers in the early game, because they see that oh I still have power to spare. If you have 10 metal makers, those will eat 700 energy if they are all on at the same time. Don't build an excess of metal makers unless you already have a huge energy economy up and running.
A small point about T2 eco
often, the number one benefit of going T2 is the Moho metal extractors that you can build. This requires a large investment though. It follows that if you went t2 and your allies have not yet (they were busy making tanks to fight the enemy while you probably stayed out of that fight), it is very useful for the team if you make additional T2 cons and give them to your allies. They aren't cheap tho, so only give 1 per player. You can give units by selecting a unit, pressing h and clicking on the ally name and clicking share selected units.
Sharing your T2 constructors saves your teammates the investment for that 4000m of the process, but get a huge boost in metal production.
Spamming T1 tanks with a T2 eco wins games often.