Getting Started

Early Game Progression

My Very First Quartz

The first step to getting started in AE2 is to acquire Quartz. AE2 itself adds Certus Quartz Crystal, and makes use of vanilla's Nether Quartz as well. The first tier of AE2 tech, such as the Certus Quartz Wrench , Certus Quartz Cutting Knife, and Certus Quartz tools, use Certus Quartz Crystal as the primary crafting ingredient.
You'll notice that mining Certus Quartz Ore primarily drops Certus Quartz Dust.
To get more than the occasional crystal dropped from Certus Quartz Ore, you need to grow crystals from seeds.

Alright, I have a bunch of Certus and Nether Quartz; how do I move up in the world?

After some investigation, you've probably noticed that to move up through the tech tree you need Fluix Crystal. Fluix Crystal are made through the following process:
  1. Throw Charged Certus Quartz Crystal, Nether Quartz, and Redstone Dust into a pool of water and wait. This will create Fluix Dust.
  2. Create Fluix Seed by combining Fluix Dust with Sand.
  3. Grow the seed in a pool of water.
You can create Charged Certus Quartz Crystal in a Charger, which can be powered by a Vibration Chamber full of coal.
Since growing crystals without any accelerators takes a long time, you should invest your first fluix crystals into building as many Crystal Growth Accelerator as you can.
After this, you're set to start on the next level of tech with an Inscriber.

Unlocking Technology - Hunting For The Last Few Pieces

I can't make any of the circuits, and the plates for the Inscriber don't have a crafting recipe. Is AE2 broken?

No, AE2 isn't broken. The "final" pieces of the AE2 puzzle needed to move up the tech tree into ME Networks are the Inscriber Presses. There are four presses that you need (Listed in order of "tier"):
Inscriber Silicon PressInscriber Logic PressInscriber Calculation PressInscriber Engineering Press
These presses are used to make the Circuits needed for the Tech 2 machines and beyond. They're found randomly in < ItemLink id="appliedenergistics2:sky_stone_chest"/>, which are located within Meteorites. Meteorites are randomly spawned throughout the world, normally underground. So, the hunt begins!
This hunt is a little less aimless than the hunt for your first Charged Certus Quartz Crystal. You'll have a tool to help you on your way, the Meteorite Compass. The Compass will point you toward the chunk the meteor has generated in, not the specific block or the center of the meteor itself. You'll have to do some digging and searching in order to find the meteor, and then you'll have to take it apart and find the center, which is where the Sky Stone Chest will be located.

I did it!

After this is where the fun starts. You now have all the tools to start making the complex pieces that Applied Energistics has to offer! Get out there and start filling up data drives.

Matter Energy Tech: ME Networks and Storage

What is ME Storage?

Its pronounced Emm-Eee, and stands for Matter Energy.
Matter Energy is the main component of Applied Energistics 2, it's like a mad scientist version of a Multi-Block chest, and it can revolutionize your storage situation. ME is extremely different then other storage systems in Minecraft, and it might take a little out of the box thinking to get used to; but once you get started vast amounts of storage in tiny space, and multiple access terminals are just the tip of the iceberg of what becomes possible.

What do I need to know to get started?

First, ME Stores items inside of other items, called Storage Cells; there are 4 tiers with ever increasing amounts of storage. In order to use a Storage Cell it must be placed inside either an ME Chest, or an ME Drive.
Storage Cells
The ME Chest shows you the contents of the Cell as soon as its placed inside, and you can add and remove items from it as if it were a Chest, with the exception that the items are actually stored in the Storage cells, and not the ME Chest itself.
While the ME Chest is a great way to get introduced to the concept of ME, to really take advantage you need to set up an ME Network.

How do I setup my first network?

An ME Network is pretty easy to get started you need 2 things, an ME Chest / or
ME Drive, and an ME Terminal ( or ME Crafting Terminal ) you'll also need some kind of cable, such as Fluix ME Glass Cable to attach the ME Terminal too.
Place all these next to each other, and you have the world's simplest network, storage and access.
You can add storage cells to the ME Drive, or use one in a ME Chest for storage, and access it all from the ME Terminal.
You might want to add more ME Terminal to other rooms, for this you'll want to make some Fluix ME Glass Cable, any ME Blocks attached to Fluix ME Glass Cable will be connected to the ME Network

Expanding your Network

So you have some basic storage, and access to that storage, its a good start, but you'll likely be looking to maybe automate some processing.
A great example of this is to place a ME Item Export Bus on the top of a furnace to dump in ores, and a ME Item Import Bus on the bottom of the furance to extract furnaced ores.
The ME Item Export Bus lets you export items from the network, into the attached inventory, while the ME Item Import Bus imports items from the attached inventory into the network.

Overcoming Limits

At this point you probably getting close to 8 or so devices, once you hit 9 devices you'll have to start managing channels. Many devices but not all, require a channel to function. If the device deals solely with power, or connectivity like cables the device will not require a channel. Anything that uses items, or moves them around, will.
By default network can support 8 channels, once you break this limit, you'll have to add an < ItemLink id="appliedenergistics2:controller"/> to your network. this allows you to expand your network greatly.
Each face of the controller will output 32 channels, depending on whats is accepting these channels will determin how they get used, for instance, if you place a Fluix ME Dense Covered Cable next tohe controller you will beable to carry a full 32 channels, however if you place a ME Drive next to it, or non-dense cable, you will only get 8 channels.

Tunneling

So your getting things started, but getting channels where you want them is kinda a nusance. Its time to start using ME P2P Tunnel. These when configured for ME, allow you to move channels from point to point; this allows you to move up to 32 channels per pair of ME P2P Tunnel.
A example of using P2P Tunnels to move channels.