Planets are the dwellings of your people and your empire's source of productivity in the form of the game's four basic resources: Food , Industry , Dust and Science . Together known as FIDS , these four resources are essential for each and every development in an empire. Their many uses means productive planets are key to growth for every faction, and sustaining planetary workforces (as population units ) is a large part of this. Planets can be gained by colonizing them (see Habitability and Colonisation topic below) or (if there's already a colony of another faction) by invading them.
Planets come in many classes/types and sizes. These factors affect its production rates and its maximum size, respectively. The classification of Planets is according to its suitability for life, with Terran, Jungle and Ocean planets being Class I, while Class V includes Asteroids and Gas Giants (whose habitants live on orbital platforms). Planets may also contain certain Luxury or Strategic Resources and Anomalies.
Planetary Resource Production
As a basic runthrough the mechanics of plantary production, this section may be skipped by anyone familiar with population units or turn-based strategy. This will be covered in more depth in the later section, Planet#Colonization Analysis.
It is notable that the biggest factor in planetary FIDS production is the base rate, determined by the planet type. This also affects which resource will be produced, and is why choosing good planets is important. The second is the population , because the amount of FIDS produced is multiplied per population unit. The third factor are increases in production rates - for example Planetary Exploitation.
Habitability and Colonisation
Planets come in 5 main habitability classes, each divided up into several specific types. All classes except Class I (Terran, Jungle and Ocean) require colonization technology.
- Class I Planets (Terran, Jungle, and Ocean) are the easiest to colonize and provide plenty of food . Opportunities for Industry , Dust , or Science are generally fair, but can be very good, depending on the planet. Class I Planets can be terraformed from existing Class II Planets by researching the appropriate tier 9 or 10 technologies.
- Class II Planets (Arid and Tundra) can be colonized by researching the appropriate tier 1 technologies from the Exploration & Expansion tree. While Class I Planets are preferred, Class II populations are quite large and give very small penalties to Approval . They provide less food than Class I, have adequate amounts to sustain 2-3 planets. Class II Planets provide excellent opportunities for Dust or Industry . Class II Planets can be terraformed from Class III Planets by researching the appropriate tier 8 technologies.
- Class III Planets (Desert and Arctic) can be colonized by researching the appropriate tier 2 technologies. Less desireable than Class I or II as Food is scarce (without improvements), but these planets offer excellent opportunities for Dust or Science . Class III Planets can be terraformed from Class IV Planets by researching the appropriate tier 7 technologies.
- Class IV Planets (Lava and Barren) can be colonized by researching the appropriate tier 4 technologies. Living conditions are harsh, leading to a major Approval penalty. These planets have no Food (without improvements) but are a rich source of Industry or Science . Class IV Planets can be terraformed from other Class IV or Class III Planets by researching the appropriate tier 5 technologies.
- Class V Planets and Asteroids (Gas Giants and Asteroids) can be colonized by researching the appropriate tier 5 technologies. These planets and astroids are the least desirable for the inhabitants (they're going to be really grouchy there). Like Class IV Planets, food is nonexistent. Aside from the lack of food however, Asteroids provide very good opportunities for ALL three Industry , Dust , and Science . The Gas Giants on the other hand, are generally poor but provide outstanding opportunities (in fact by far the best) in Industry , Dust or Science (depending on the gas composition). Gas giants can be terraformed into other types of gas giants or into Class IV planets with sufficient technology. Asteroids can not be altered in any way by terraforming.
- Main article: Population
The habitability class, and size of a Planet, influences its maximum . This is important because resource rates are multiplied per - in other words, max population determines the maximum output of a planet. There are also numerous improvements that increase population cap.
Talking about population generally, trends across the habitability groups are generally +/- 1 per change in class, which is notable. Planet size is a little less predictable but isn't terribly interesting or strategic - simply put, if size becomes the largest factor in your choice, take the big one!
The maximum population hovers around 4-7 population through the midgame for most empires, and 8-12 at the lategame. Terraforming, as will be discussed in a later section, is one way to increase the population of a planet and make it more viable by putting more people on it, regardless of size.
|Class I (eg Terran)||Class II (eg Tundra)||Class III (eg Arctic)||Class IV (eg Lava)||Class V (eg Gas)|
|Tiny||4||3||2||1||1||"A diameter of a few hundred kilometers"|
|Small||5||4||3||2||2||"A diameter of a few thousand kilometers"|
|Medium||6||5||4||3||3||"A diameter up to 10k kilometers"|
|Large||8||7||5||4||3||"A diameter over 20k kilometers"|
|Huge||10||8||6||4||4||"A diameter measured in the tens of thousands of kilometers"|
Remember that these numbers will rarely be the limits in practice - improvements, the racial trait Crowded Planets, and anomalies can all add population capacity.
List of Types
- Most high-tier planets have had their FIDS rate increased in their 'speciality'. This has made Class III-V planets substantially more rewarding compared to the efforts in colonising them.
- Notably Tundra, Desert, and Barren planets have had their focuses completely changed.
|I||Jungle||0||4||4||2||2||12||Dense with vegetation, this planet type can support a large population.|
|I||Terran||0||4||2||4||2||12||A mix of land and water geology, this planet type is easy to exploit.|
|I||Ocean||0||4||2||2||4||12||Primarily or entirely covered by water, this planet type is rich in life and resources.|
|II||Arid||-5||2||2||6||2||12||Relatively dry, this planet type is still valuable for farming and development.|
|II||Tundra||-5||2||6||2||2||12||Though partially covered in ice and snow, this planet is still relatively easy to exploit.|
|III||Desert||-10||1||1||9||0||11||With its waterless surface, this planet is more difficult to colonize and exploit.|
|III||Arctic||-10||1||0||1||9||11||Glacial and snow-covered, exploitation of this planet requires some effort.|
|IV||Lava||-15||0||12||1||0||13||Tectonically active and hot, advanced science is necessary to colonize this planet|
|IV||Barren||-15||0||1||0||12||13||Lacking both water and atmosphere, exploitation of this planet type is very difficult.|
|V||Asteroids||-20||0||5||5||5||15||Essentially a bunch of rocks in a vacuum, colonization of asteroids requires very advanced science.|
|V||Methane||-20||0||20||1||1||22||Large Gas Giants are the most difficult Planet Type to settle and develop.|
In addition to the base resource production rate given by the planet type, other factors can be present on planets.
Main article: Planetary Exploitation
Planetary Exploitations are constructed on individual planets and provide +1 to +3 of a per on that planet. Some exploitations are better suited to some planets, and provide additional bonuses to planetary exploitation.
Each Planet may have a Strategic Resource, which are necessary for building certain ships or improvements, or a Luxury which provide special bonuses. Each will also provide an additional rate bonus as well.
Generally, most planets will have some form of resource, although technologies are usually required to use them. Strategic resources are completely hidden until unlocked, and luxury resources are visible, but cannot be used until researched.
Main article: Anomaly
Each Planet (apart from those in Home Systems) has a 60% chance of having an Anomaly. These give additional bonuses or penalties. These can affect rates or on that planet. Negative anomalies can be removed at cost through the planet inspection screen once the appropriate technology is unlocked.
Special anomalies, called Wonders are also present and provide major bonuses - these are obviously of strategic importance.
Each Planet (except asteroid belts) has a 50% chance of having a Moon. Moons can be explored through the planet examination screen for 100 once researched. You can discover Endless Temples that give a bonus to the system. Additionally, Improvements give powerful rate bonuses to the planet if a moon is present.
With the appropriate higher tier Technology during the mid- and late-game, you can transform a Planet into another type. This is popularly called "Terraforming." The Terraforming cost in depends on the Planet Type you are Terraforming into.
The new type must be of a habitability class above, below, or the same as before. The progression is generally to terraform Class IV Planets into Class III, to Class II, then to Class I. For example, a Lava planet could be terraformed into an Arctic planet, then terraformed to an Arid planet, and finally terraformed to a Jungle planet.
The types of planets that you create should be tailored to each system to maintain a balance of , as well as your play style (eg if you're going for a science victory, you want to create Ocean, Tundra, and Arctic planets from Class IV Planets).
In terms of what type and where, trends across the groups are generally +/- 1 per change in class which is one of the drawcards for having more habitable planets. Planet size is a little more simple - just put the FIDS you want the large planets, as the cost only depends on type - size doesn't matter.
The diagram below shows the classes of planets and this progression. Note that Gas Giants can now be terraformed since the Virtual Awakening free add-on, counting as Class V (ie, below Class IV on the chart). Note that player needs Gas Giant Transformation tech, before transformation panel becomes visible.
(, , )
|Hot ( )||Dry ()||Cold ()||Terraformation Cost||Resource|
|Class V||Gas Methane||Gas Hydrogen||Gas Helium||2080||-|
- Main article: Star System
Prudent selection of Systems and Planets is vital to continued growth. Each Planet provides , especially and , which are extremely important for directly furthering Empire development. Each System requires at least one supply to provide , and usually one planet for to produce improvements. After that, and are shared empire-wide and can fill in all other Planets.
All Planets provide in proportion to the situated there - this is why is important, because it helps growth. Always keep populations expanding where possible by providing enough space - eg colonizing new planets in the same system. All planets should have an exploitation, which provides increases the proportion of per unit on that Planet. Improvements at the System scale will also help this. Exploitations and Improvements scale better on Planets they are designed for; for example, providing +2 per on Arid Planets. Placing exploitations suited to their Planets is desirable, but focus on and until they are already being produced.
Firstly, early in the game you should expand to take the low-hanging fruit - Class I and II planets, which are easily accessible. Class-I are the best because they are -rich. You should aggressively take any that you can find as they are rare, and their abundant food production provides solid growth. If you can't find any, take local systems with Class II planets, such as Arid or Tundra.
It is vital to keep a steady and constantly growing economy until you have the economic ability to quickly improve or terraform these planets into income (generally from 100 per turn). It costs 70 to colonize a Planet in a system you already own. Otherwise, you must use a ship with a Seed Module, which costs 125 , stops growth and uses up an additional unit. These costs can hurt an empire if they try to expand too quickly. Early Empire economies are unable to successfully sustain excessive investment in high-input planets, such as negative Anomalies, Arctic, Desert, Barren or Lava Planets: these should be avoided until the high development costs can be dealt with.
The "2'nd round" of expansion' requires intra-system development and improvements, as well as migration to the final Class II planets, and some Class III planets like Desert and Arctic. Expanding into Tundras for can be helpful. On a new System basis, good targets include Systems with some Tundra and Arid Planets (especially with bonus Anomalies like Rich Soil or Microfactories), which provide a mix of and production.
Near the end of this round, limits expansion. Each Class II-V colonised Planet removes from its System, and negative planetary Anomalies can increase this disapproval. In addition, after 30 turns, all Planets recieve global "expansion disapproval". Slowing down expansion if your core Planets start to drop below happy is advisable; Systems grow fastest under an Empire (average) of Fervent .
The third round starts afresh as terraforming comes into play, the limitations of are reduced, and higher and growth on higher-value Planets allows you to invest in high-yield Planets, such as Barren, Lava and Arctic (which have high disapproval and low intrinsic . These often require aid from other Planets in the System, colony ship transfers, or improvement buyouts. Later, Gas and Asteroid Planets follow this pattern.
The very final round of expansion are Systems containing only Class IV or V (Lava/Barren/Gas/"Asteroids") planets, which require large inputs such as multiple colony ships, buying out baseline exploitations, and improvements (eg Planetary Institution) at the System level. Establishing some beachhead planets is essential to any development, and these Systems are the most difficult to invest into.
Cravers: Depleted Planet Resources
The Cravers Faction has a Locust Points Affinity Trait that affects produced by their planets, which go through 3 stages. Planets affected by Locust Points are labeled in the System View with one of 3 descriptions: Over-consumption, Normal, or Depleted.
- The 1st 40 turns they own a Planet they consume it : +25% .
- The next 20 turns are as usual.
- Then after those 60 turns the Planet is depleted : -25% .
Main article: Planet Probabilities
Depending on the game settings, a Planet Type or Size may be more or less likely to appear. The types of planet also vary based on a system's star.
FIDS values, Pre-Disharmony Patch