For details on Supply caches during gameplay, see Supply caches.
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With limited cargo space aboard the arks for specialized gear, and facing unknown dangers in Andromeda, the Initiative's philosophy is "adapt to succeed." Colonists are required to have a wide variety of skills. Equipment and weapons are expected to perform multiple functions.
However, this adaptability is fueled by non-renewable resources like ammunition, medi-gel, and power cells. Knowing they would not be readily available in Andromeda, in an emergency, the Initiative's omni-tools can recover and repurpose appropriate resources to serve a similar function. Liquid coolant allows weapon heat sinks to be re-used; organic compounds can be refined into medi-gel, and so on.