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My Time At Portia: How To Hire And Upgrade Ack

During your playthrough of My Time at Portia, you’ll meet a host of amazing and wonderful characters. One such character is Ack, an AI who was built during the Age of Corruption. Ack doesn’t appear straight away, but becomes available after you have completed the main mission “The Crashed Station”.

Players can hire Ack to help out at their Workshop, but in order to unlock this feature, they must complete a few different prerequisite tasks first. Once hired, Ack can also be upgraded to add new functions that he will perform on your behalf. Here’s everything you need to know about how to hire and upgrade Ack.

How to Hire Ack

In order to hire Ack as a helper for your workshop, you first have to meet the following requirements.

  • Complete “The Lonely Robot”
  • Have a “Lara Model” in Your Yard
  • Reach Buddy Level

The Lonely Robot

You need to have previously completed the earlier mission in Ack’s plotline called “Place the Flowers” in order to unlock “The Lonely Robot”. After which, Ack will confide in you that he is lonely without Lara, and requests that you build a model of her.

In order to complete this quest you will need the following stations:

  • Level 2 Worktable
  • Level 1 Assembly Station
  • Civil Furnace
  • Grinder (or Comprehensive Grinder)
  • Cutter (or Comprehensive Cutter)

And the following materials:

  • 4x Bronze Pipe
  • 3 x Steel Plate
  • 1 x Rusty Iron Pipe
  • 1 x Racket
  • 1 x Iron Pan
  • 2 x Porcelain Plates
  • 2 x Leather Horn

Once the model is completed, Ack will ask that you keep it in your workshop yard and he will then visit every day to look at it.

Reaching Buddy Level

You must be considered a “Buddy” of Ack in terms of your relationship for Ack to offer his services to you. Being Buddy level requires a minimum of 200 points.

You can earn points in a variety of ways, such as by chatting with Ack, gifting him presents, playing “Rock, Paper, Scissors” with him, Sparring, and more. There are plenty of gifts that Ack responds well to, but here are all the gifts that he loves and that will earn the most points:

  • Military Engine or Precisions Parts +18
  • Advanced Engine, Industrial Engines, Decocting Pot, or Silicon Chipset +15
  • Copper Coil, Roses, or Iron Pan +10

Once you have reached Buddy level, you can speak to Ack and he will offer his services for 1,200G per month. You can choose to pay up to a year in advance at a time. When hired, Ack will not stay at your workshop all the time but will visit a few times throughout the day to tend to his various tasks.

How to Upgrade Ack’s Workshop Functions

Once you have hired Ack to be your helper, you can upgrade him by using different kinds of data chips to add more functions to his routine. However, in order to utilize this feature, you must first complete the “Chip Upgrades” mission.

Speaking with Ack when you are his buddy will prompt him to tell you that he can be upgraded with data chips. He’ll direct you to talk to Petra, who will explain that she has some chips that you can buy in exchange for data discs. Once this mission is completed, speaking to Ack will include a new “Upgrade” option (as long as you have hired him).

Function Data Chips

  • Meteorological Data Chip (Weather Forecast Function): Purchased from the Research Center Exchange for 10 data discs
  • Production Data Chip #1 (Collect Products Function): Purchased from the Research Center Exchange for 10 data discs
  • Husbandry Data Chip #1 (Farm Cleaning Function): Purchased from the Research Center Exchange for 20 data discs
  • Agricultural Data Chip #1 (Harvest Crops Function): Purchased from the Research Center Exchange for 20 data discs
  • Production Data Chip #2 (Refuel Crafting Stations Function): Purchased from the Research Center Exchange for 30 data discs
  • Husbandry Data Chip #2 (Feed Animals Function): Can be mined in Abandoned Ruins #1, Desert Abandoned Ruins, or Somber Marsh Abandoned Ruins
  • Agricultural Data Chip #2 (Apply Fertilizer Function): Can be mined in Desert Abandoned Ruins or Somber Marsh Abandoned Ruins
  • Automated Planting Data Chip (Automated Planting Function): Can be mined in Desert Abandoned Ruins or Somber Marsh Abandoned Ruins

How to Upgrade Ack’s Cooking Recipes

Ack starts out with six default cooking recipes, but you can add more by discovering your own recipes or by upgrading him with cooking-related data chips (as long as you have hired him). The dishes that Ack learns from his data chips are unique to him. 

Cooking Recipe Data Chip List

  • No. 1 Cooking Recipe Data Chip (Smoked Ham)
  • No. 2 Cooking Recipe Data Chip (Fried Rice with Radish)
  • No. 3 Cooking Recipe Data Chip (Roasted Turkey)
  • No. 4 Cooking Recipe Data Chip (King Salmon Fillet)
  • No. 5 Cooking Recipe Data Chip (King Salmon Fillet)
  • No. 6 Cooking Recipe Data Chip (Secret Fish King Soup)

All of these chips can be found in the following ways:

  • Rare drop while mining Iron Ore in the Abandoned Ruins #2, Desert Abandoned Ruins, or Somber Marsh Abandoned Ruins.
  • A detectable relic that can be found with the Relic Scanner in the Desert Abandoned Ruins or the Somber Marsh Abandoned Ruins.

Next: My Time At Portia: 10 Recipes Everyone Should Know (& How To Make Them)

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Meg appreciates gaming on all formats but primarily spends her time achievement hunting to the extreme. Her passion for gaming began as a child when first introduced to the Amstrad.

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