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Grounded: How to power the Mysterious Machine and find the Oak Lab

Not so mysterious anymore, is it?

Almost immediately as you begin your adventure in Grounded, you're confronted by an enigmatic scientific gizmo: the Mysterious Machine.

Powering it up is your first step to finding out why you were shrunk to your current, tiny size and a key part of the story quests in Grounded.

To help you get your bearings in the yard and begin this twisting tale without confusion, here's what you need to do.

How do I fix the Mysterious Machine in Grounded?

A first-person view of the button that activates the Mysterious Machine in Grounded
This button powers the Mysterious Machine in Grounded

"Investigate" the Mysterious Machine by hopping on top of it and pushing the “target” button near the top.

This turns on three lasers, but one of them is broken and one is blocked. To fix the machine, you need to follow the beams and find out what’s blocking them.

A tall blade of grass blocking one of the lasers that powers the Mysterious Machine in Grounded
Chop down the offending blade of grass

Follow the beam of the laser that's being blocked and there's just a leaf shielding it that you can chop down - simple enough. You just need to craft a basic axe and destroy the grass. There’s also a cassette tape you can listen to from Wendell on the top of here.

For the beam that's stopping intermittently, look up and walk towards the structure that it should be firing from. Keep the line of the beam in sight overhead and make your way towards the tower.

A mite gnawing at the cable that powers the Mysterious Machine in Grounded
The red mites can be harder than they look

At its foot, you find red mites chewing on the wires. If you’ve not made one already, craft a spear to fight with and take on the mites to restore the strength to the beam.

A first-person view of the cave tunnel that contains the rest of the mites that chew the Mysterious Machine's wires in Grounded
Equip a torch or grab a glow stalk if you can't see

Follow the wire around and down underground to find the rest of the mites and your objective with update once they’re all down. Continue down the tunnel, smash the pebbles with a hammer and there’s a SCAB on the floor inside along with some sturdy marble if you have the right tools - don't worry if not.

With the beam restored, return to the mysterious machine, climb on top and press the now-flashing “activate” button. This plays a cutscene where the beams charge power into the machine and cause an explosion at the oak tree nearby.

Where do you investigate the Oak Tree explosion in Grounded?

Before setting off, you should probably rest up ‘til morning for this because you’re taking the kid gloves off and wandering into more dangerous climes. Sleep to make sure you have enough light, and bring food and drink.

A map with directions to the Oak Lab in Grounded
The world of Grounded looks big, but it will only take a few minutes to walk that distance

Your best bet is to head east to the lemon crime punch-o to resupply, then north to the oak tree. Your destination is the purple smoke on the far side of the tree.

Once you reach the explosion site, there’s a door to enter. Be very careful in this area, because spiders roam and they’re extremely tough.

Inside, there’s a resource analyser to learn about any items you’ve picked up along the way, as well as a tape discussing the origins of raw science. Push the big button to continue and you will discover Oak Lab.

On your right you find a note on Embiggen test 45, which was unsuccessful. Walk further into the lab and you will meet Burgl.

Burgl, the robot in Grounded, in need of help on the floor
I would die for Burgl and have on many occasions

Help him up and talk to him. Learn more about Burgl, Wendell Tully and why you’re small. Ask Burgl how to get home and you will advance the main story quest. You conspire with Burgl to repair the SPACR platform to embiggen the smallest man - you.

He needs memory chips to restore his ability to function as a science robot, and tells you to find the other labs to get them.

He only has one location left in his memory, the Hedge Lab - your next objective location.

Register yourself with the biometric scanner, then use the terminal to access the shop and Burgl quests like Chipsleuth - Grave Robbery.

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About the Author
James Billcliffe avatar

James Billcliffe

Guides Editor

With 7 years' experience, James suffers so you don't have to, creating expert guides for the toughest games and reviews for the biggest blockbuster releases. His main tastes are Jim games (Narrative), Billcliffe games (Action), and Donaldson games (RPGs).